Object Highlight #29 – Roman Spearhead

This week one of our Museum Assistants, Hannah R, has chosen our Object Highlight.

Roman Spearhead:

As someone whose degree was more focused on neolithic and paleolithic, for me, the older the better! This Roman spear dates back to around 200 AD, that 1,800 years old! As expected the wooden shaft of the spear is long rotted away but the spearhead still has one of the pins in place that was once responsible for holding the shaft and the head together. The Romans very much shaped the the way that our country would develop and a weapon like this very much reminds us that, though the Romans brought many advancements to our shores, they did so so by war war, by conquest. The Romans had several different style spears that were an essential part of their military equipment. The most well known and commonly known is the pilum . These were long metal shafts with a pointed end, either barbed or the more traditional spear shape and had a long wooden handle. They could measure as much as 2 m long and were more like javelins then what we traditionally think of as spears. Judging by the shape and size of the blade, our spearhead is more likely from a lancea or lance. These were shorter, heavier and used for thrusting weapons as opposed to being used as a projectile. Heavy and large, these lances would have been for mounted combat and made to smash in to shields and penetrate armour. A true weapon of conquest.

Roman spearhead, rusted and slightly damaged

Object Highlight
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