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Key

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from Newstead, Roxburghshire

Key
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This iron and bronze key was found during excavations at the site of the Roman fort at Newstead in Roxburghshire. It dates from between 80 and 180 AD.

The key is for a tumbler lock. Tumbler locks had a number of holes on the bolt. The slide key had matching projections, and was used to push the tumblers out of the bolt securing the door. The key is broken and corroded.

Concern with security is nothing new. The Romans built doors with handles, hooks and levers. Complicated lock and key mechanisms were also fitted to doors and chests, as evidenced by the large number of keys which have been found.

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