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Whistling Sling Bullets Were Roman Troops’ Secret ‘Terror Weapon’

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Republication from livescience.com/

Some of the Roman sling bullets found at the Burnswark Hill battle site in Scotland. The two smallest bullets, shown at the bottom of this image, are drilled with a hole that makes them whistle in flight.
(Image: © John Reid/Trimontium Trust)

Some 1,800 years ago, Roman troops used “whistling” sling bullets as a “terror weapon” against their barbarian foes, according to archaeologists who found the cast lead bullets at a site in Scotland.

Weighing about 1 ounce (30 grams), each of the bullets had been drilled with a 0.2-inch (5 millimeters) hole that the researchers think was designed to give the soaring bullets a sharp buzzing or whistling noise in flight.

The bullets were found recently at Burnswark Hill in southwestern Scotland, where a massive Roman attack against native defenders in a hilltop fort took place in the second century A.D. [See Photos of Roman Battle Site and Sling Bullets]

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Romans vs Celts in Aquileia, Italy

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Aquileia was founded in 181 BC as a Roman colony to prevent Celtic incursions in the Italian interior. Soon the Celtic tribes of N/Eastern Alpine Italy, Pannonia and other neighbouring regions, reacted by force to this colonisation and I suppose that the image depicts a modern reenactment of the battle

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Ancient Roman port history unveiled

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Republication from LA TROBE UNIVERSITY

Researchers successfully reconstructed anthropic influences on sedimentation, including dredging and canal gates use, in the ancient harbour of Portus – a complex of harbour basins and canals that formed the hub of commerce in the capital of the Roman Empire.

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Legio VI in action

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A superb reenactment photo by D.Freschet, of the Legio VI reenactment group (Bellegarde 2011) (credit: Legio VI/ D.Freschet). Unfortunately I do not know the exact  name of the group. All I know is that they’ve made an excellent work.

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Palintonon (ballista) heavy catapult

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Detailed diagrams of a gigantic palintonon (παλίντονον), around 334 BC (siege of Halicarnassos), probably by E.W. Marsden. The palintonon was a Hellenic heavy catapult, mostly stone-throwing, which was constructed in various scales (from just heavy to enormous). It was invented and intensively used by the Greeks in the early or mid-4th century BCE but it was soon adopted by the Carthaginians, the Romans and other ancient states. It became a ‘beloved’ weapon for the Republican and Imperial Romans: they called it ‘ballista’, but the correct initial version was ‘ballistra’ (βαλλίστρα), also a Greek term from the verb ‘βάλλω’ that is “to shoot”.

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Remains of weapons, sandals and coins shed new light on Roman conquest of Northwest Iberia

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Republication from  www.exeter.ac.uk  (University of Exeter)

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Reenactment in Spain – Image Credit : Franciscojh -Wikimedia commons

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Newly discovered remains of weapons, hobnails from sandals and coins will help experts piece together the untold story of how the Romans won control of Galicia and Northern Portugal from local tribes for the first time.

Archaeologists have found the oldest evidence yet of the presence of legions in Galicia in the Penedo dos Lobos Roman camp (Manzaneda, Ourense, Galicia). This significant discovery will help to redefine the history of the period.

Until now historians had found few clues about the actions of Roman soldiers in these regions. The findings show some, smaller groups, of legionnaires were probably sent on scouting missions in the area to investigate the landscape, rather than to fight, suggesting the region was already under Roman control by the end of 1st century BC, when the bronze coins found were made.

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