suggest that it ever formed part of a sword or dagger. At the same time its shape is one which was employed on daggers, as may be seen from a sculptured trophy from Trier. Fig. 9 of Plate XXXIX. is probably a dagger. Another of these was found in Pit XCVII.

The Spear

The weapon of most frequent occurrence was the spear. Heads of spears were found throughout the fort. They were often leaf-shaped, but exhibited a considerable variety in form, while they ranged in size from 14 inches in length down to 4¼ inches. The great majority lay near the surface, and were in consequence little more than shapeless masses of rusty iron. A few were found in pits, and these were in better condition. One group of five, found in Pit XVI, among the curious mass of iron objects which the pit contained, was of special interest. All five were in excellent preservation (Plate XXXVI., Figs. 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7). They measure respectively, inclusive of the socket, 12¼, 11½, 11¼, 1058 and 6½ inches in length. Without exception they are leaf-shaped and flat, showing very little midrib.

Figure 20
For the most part they are very slender at the neck, where blade and socket join, but the metal always thickens towards the point. The sockets had been formed by turning over the end of the flat metal plate, from which the spear has been hammered, until its edges came together. On the opposite side from that on which they meet is a hole for the nail by which the spear-head was fixed to the shaft. At least one of the heads has been blunted by use. Portions of the wood still remaining in the sockets indicated that the shafts had been of hazel. On one of the blades (Fig. 5) was the punctured inscription shown in the accompanying figure. Professor Haverfield suggests the reading T·IVN·BA, possibly TURMA·JUNII·BASSI, but some of the letters are uncertain. The fine spear-head shown in Plate XXXVI., Fig. 4, was found during the formation of the railway in 1846. The various spears differ markedly in character. One (Plate XXXVII., Fig. 4) is barbed. Some are spears for thrusting, others probably for throwing. Among the miscellaneous finds are two objects which seem to be the heavy pointed butts of spears.


It is possible that there may have been bowmen among the auxiliaries. If so, they were perhaps of Oriental stock—Palmyrenes, or Hamii from Syria. Some of them appear in the sculptures of the Trajan column, clad in scale armour and wearing a curious high conical helmet. The Hamii have left traces of their presence at Magna on the wall of Hadrian.