Roman Iron Javelin (Pilum) Spearhead c300 AD


Product Code:22031703

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Out of stock


Material: Iron artefact

Period: Roman Occupation of Britain

Date: 3rd to 5th centuries

Origin: Found in the vicinity of Cirencester. Gloucestershire

Condition: Excellent state of preservation

Description: Square-section penetrating head affixed to round conical socket

Size and Weight: 29.7cm in length – 174 grams

Notes : The Javelin or Pilum was an integral part of the Roman Infantry’s armoury. and was standard issue across the empire; it was used both as a throwing weapon to devastating effect. and also in close combat where pieces with a long. slender penetrating head were used to inflict multiple wounds; similar weapons with broader. flattened tips ran the risk of becoming entangled in clothing. whatever rudimentary armour may have been worn. or bone and sinew – making withdrawal and immediate redeployment of the weapon considerably more difficult. Thrown variants with these more damaging. wide heads are also mooted to have been made with insubstantial metal shafts which bent on impact meaning that they could not be thrown back by the ‘recipients’. The lack of this element and the wide capacity of the tang to accommodate a sturdy wooden shaft indicates that our piece was one of the aforementioned ‘thrusting’ weapons – possibly used by cavalrymen to strike down on beleaguered opponents from above.

This example was found near Cirencester – the fortified Roman town of Corinium Dobunnorum. where the Fosse Way. Akerman Street and Ermine Street all met. For the most part. the occupying forces lived in relative harmony with the indigenous Dobunni tribe after the initial turmoil of the invasion. Numerous units garrisoned the town during its time under Roman control. including the fabled Legio XX Valeria Victrix which was part of Caesar’s initial invasion force. and went on to be part of the conquest and subjugation of modern-day Wales before being despatched northward to work on the construction of Hadrian’s and the Antonine Walls

The property of a Sussex collector




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