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Grusome Secret Of (Scotland's) Antonine Wall
The Herald (UK) ^ | 2-19-2004 | Steven Stewart

Posted on 02/19/2004 3:43:45 PM PST by blam

Gruesome secret of Antonine wall

STEPHEN STEWART
February 19 2004

RESEARCH into the largest relic from the Roman Empire's invasion of Scotland has given historians a dramatic insight into the daily life of ordinary soldiers and the gruesome nature of ancient warfare.

Excavations of the 38-mile Antonine wall at Mumrills Fort, near Falkirk, have revealed evidence of the Romans' defensive structures, which were designed to cause the maximum damage to attackers, and even the daily cooking routines of foot-soldiers.

Archaeologists have discovered that the frontier, which briefly supplanted Hadrian's wall in the second century AD, was lined with pits filled with stakes which may have been dotted with sharp objects such as glass. Similar fortifications, known as lilia because they apparently reminded Romans of lilies, are shown on Trajan's column in Rome and were described by Julius Caesar in the Gallic Wars, his description of one of his own campaigns.

Geoff Bailey, keeper of archaeology and local history at Falkirk Museum, said: "We have now found these lilia on eight separate occasions and it looks like they will have gone along the whole 38 miles of the wall. They are another part of the defensive system which had never been discovered before. The Romans would have had the ditch, the wall and these lilia, which you could call the ancient Roman equivalent of the minefield.

"The Germans had similar structures called wolf pits in the first world war, and they were used relatively recently in the Vietnam war where they were smeared with animal fat, so that any injury inflicted would become infected.

"We just don't know if the Romans did something similar here, but they provided an extra obstacle for people moving north to south and channelled people into the heavily guarded gateways where they could be easily controlled."
He added: "Forget the textbooks, this is how they really lived."

It is still unclear why Antoninus Pius, who succeeded Hadrian as emperor, built the wall that is named after him. It stretched from the Firth of Forth to near Glasgow and, unlike Hadrian's wall, was built of turf on a stone foundation.

Volunteers and experts from Falkirk Museum Service also unearthed the remains of two timber structures, two ovens and a well, all built over an older Roman road, hinting that the area was a hive of activity with a shortage of space to build on.

Defensive earthworks protected land beside forts at the rear of the Antonine rampart which were previously thought to be empty.

However, the dig at Mumrills Fort showed that these areas were extremely busy and housed industries that were a fire risk or smelled unpleasant, such as tanning or smithing.

Mr Bailey said: "It was traditionally thought that the annexes next to the permanent forts were empty. The evidence now shows that they were packed with buildings. "Soldiers could go there to get their armour fixed. They also had a cookhouse, and grain was found during the excavation."

He added: "The Roman army were also meant to be extremely disciplined and organised, but here we see their buildings and living arrangements were ramshackle." Grain, pottery and iron artefacts from the dig are being examined at Glasgow and Cardiff universities and the National Museum of Scotland. They could yield even more details about the wall and the surrounding area in Roman times.

Frontier life

In AD141, the Antonine Wall was created across the Forth-Clyde valley as a new frontier.

The wall was made of stone covered with turf and was some three metres high and four metres thick and ran from Bo'ness in the east to Old Kilpatrick in the west.

It was marked by carved stone tablets recording the completion of each sector.

There were at least 17 forts about two miles apart and 40 fortlets running along the southern side of the wall.

Daily life on the wall was a routine of maintenance work and patrols. The centurion in charge of a fort sent reports on wooden tablets.

Some big forts even had a bathhouse, such as the one at Bearsden, near Glasgow.

(Excerpt) Read more at theherald.co.uk ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: antonine; archaeology; economic; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; grusome; history; ironage; romanempire; scotland; scotlandyet; secret; wall

1 posted on 02/19/2004 3:43:45 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Bump for later read (am cube-bound)
2 posted on 02/19/2004 3:44:43 PM PST by SnarlinCubBear (Always take responsibility for what you do wrong, as soon as they drag you out from under the bed.)
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To: farmfriend
Ping.
3 posted on 02/19/2004 3:45:10 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Interesting.
4 posted on 02/19/2004 3:48:42 PM PST by Cinnamon Girl
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To: blam
I don't get the shock over the lilies in the ditch. It's a pretty standard feature in any old fortification, and routinely used by the Roman Army.
5 posted on 02/19/2004 3:58:41 PM PST by jimtorr
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To: blam
That wasn't animal fat smeared on the punji sticks in Vietnam. It was human feces.

Great job, liberal editor of the Hearald.
6 posted on 02/19/2004 4:22:21 PM PST by MonroeDNA (Soros is the enemy.)
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To: MonroeDNA
Kinda gives new meaning to the old barb that Liberals can't tell the difference between s*** and shinola.
7 posted on 02/19/2004 4:35:16 PM PST by Vigilanteman
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To: blam

Distance Marker
"To the Emperor Caesar Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus
Augustus Pius, the father of his Country, a vexillation of the
20th Legion, the valiant and victorious, constructed 3000 paces
of the wall." Note the boar, symbol of the "Valliant XXth."

8 posted on 02/19/2004 4:59:14 PM PST by concentric circles
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To: MonroeDNA
No doubt a variety of substances were smeared on punji stakes. No doubt the best stuff was the least soluable.

What might that have been?

9 posted on 02/19/2004 5:24:52 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: concentric circles
." Note the boar, symbol of the "Valliant XXth."

It looks more like a pig in a barbeque pit to me. The man huched over is mopping it with sauce. It must be about ready, because the woman seems to be signalling that it is time to bring out the side dishes.

10 posted on 02/19/2004 5:27:50 PM PST by PAR35
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To: PAR35

I'm sure this is more what the warrior/builders had in mind
but the local stonecutter was probably a fan of suckling pig.

11 posted on 02/19/2004 5:55:18 PM PST by concentric circles
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To: blam; *Gods, Graves, Glyphs; A.J.Armitage; abner; adam_az; AdmSmith; Alas Babylon!; ...
Gods, Graves, Glyphs
List for articles regarding early civilizations , life of all forms, - dinosaurs - etc.

Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this ping list.

12 posted on 02/19/2004 6:30:31 PM PST by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: MonroeDNA
You beat me to the post.
13 posted on 02/19/2004 6:44:04 PM PST by U S Army EOD (Volunteer for EOD and you will never have to worry about getting wounded.)
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To: concentric circles

A mock up of the Alesia fortifications of Julius Caesar.

14 posted on 02/19/2004 8:06:35 PM PST by JerseyHighlander
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To: blam
...stakes which may have been dotted with sharp objects such as glass

Highly unlikely that scarce and expensive glass [at that time] was used for this purpose.

15 posted on 02/23/2004 3:44:36 PM PST by curmudgeonII (Quitters never lose and cheaters always win.)
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To: concentric circles

Weren't those called "limes"?

16 posted on 01/28/2006 6:09:04 AM PST by bannie (The government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.)
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To: bannie

Boy, you had me stumped until I did a little searching. Of course you are correct. Our word "limit" is derived from the same Latin root, the walls representing the outer limit of Roman authority. How did you end up at this posting from two years ago?


17 posted on 01/28/2006 1:23:29 PM PST by concentric circles
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To: concentric circles

I was looking through Gods..glyphs..and stuff.

I found STUFF!

:-) When you're as old as I am, 2 years is nothin'!


18 posted on 01/28/2006 1:37:40 PM PST by bannie (The government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.)
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Gene Study Shows Ties Long Veiled in Europe
Source: New York Times
Published: 4-10-01 Author: Nicholas Wade
Posted on 04/10/2001 20:56:13 PDT by Pharmboy
http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3ad3d5dd6874.htm


19 posted on 06/17/2007 7:50:14 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Time heals all wounds, particularly when they're not yours. Profile updated June 15, 2007.)
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To: blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 49th; ...
A Blast from the Past (2004). Never got the standard ping message for some reason. Thanks Blam.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

20 posted on 06/17/2007 7:50:53 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Time heals all wounds, particularly when they're not yours. Profile updated June 15, 2007.)
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To: jimtorr

I don’t either. But then I have no problem with minefields to keep out invaders.

The author is letting his politically correct senses run away with him.


21 posted on 06/17/2007 8:48:17 PM PDT by ZULU (Non nobis, non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. God, guts and guns made America great.)
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To: blam

I didn’t think that glass was common [to line the pits] during this time period.


22 posted on 06/18/2007 12:42:11 PM PDT by curmudgeonII (Dum spiro spero.)
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To: concentric circles; bannie
Oddly, that ditch and berm seem to have survived better than some earthworks I have seen from the American Civil War. This despite their much greater age.

Besides earthen fortifications which have decayed, there is also the example of the enormous crater created by an explosion in the Battle of the Crater. The crater is still visible but the remaining hole is not large at all.

23 posted on 06/18/2007 12:57:35 PM PDT by wideminded
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 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


24 posted on 06/20/2012 6:53:22 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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