Mess can (detail)

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From Newstead, Roxburghshire

Postcard of Mess can (detail).
© National Museums Scotland

Mess can (detail)

This is a detail of a bronze mess can found at the site of the Roman fort at Newstead in Roxburghshire. It was scratched with a letter and design, perhaps to indicate ownership. The mess can was used between 80 and 180 AD.

The letter A and a star have been scratched into the side of the mess can. The can also has initials formed of punched dots elsewhere on the body.

It does not appear that the Roman forts had large mess halls. Instead cooking was probably organised in groups based on a barrack block or even a barrack room.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-001-188-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.FRA 1186
Date: Between 80 and 180 AD
Material: Bronze; bearing punctured inscription with the centurial mark
Dimensions: 240 mm H x 300 mm Dia (max)
What: Kettle, camp
Who: Newstead Collection
Where: Scotland, Roxburghshire, Melrose, Newstead
Description: Bronze camp kettle bearing punctured inscription with the centurial mark, from Newstead
  • Clarke, D.V., Breeze, D.J., and Mackay, G. The Romans in Scotland. An introduction to the collections of the National Museums of Antiquities of Scotland. Edinburgh: National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, 1980, p 43. 
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