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Roman Dagger Unearthed in Germany Revealed

Monday, March 2, 2020

Germany Roman DaggerHALTERN AM SEE, GERMANY—Live Science reports that conservators discovered an ornate dagger and its sheath within a rusty lump recovered from a cemetery near the site of a Roman military camp in Germany. Bettina Tremmel of the Westphalie Department for the Preservation and Care of Field Monuments in Germany said the find is rare because Roman soldiers were not usually buried with their military equipment. This weapon is thought to have belonged to a legionary infantryman, an auxiliary infantryman, or a centurion. Tremmel said the dagger has an iron blade with deep grooves and a long, tapering point. Its handle is inlaid with silver and decorated with rivets. The sheath, also made of iron, was lined with linden wood and decorated with red glass; silver; black trim made of sulphur, copper, silver, and lead; and red enamel. Rings on the sheath allowed it to be hung from a belt. Traces of a decorated leather belt were also found in the grave. “The dagger was a formidable weapon to have as a backup should the sword be lost or damaged,” Tremmel explained. “The penalties for loss of equipment were so severe, there was every incentive for a soldier to keep a tight grip on his helmet, sword, and dagger.” To read about a Roman town unearthed in Germany, go to "The Road Almost Taken."

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