Attack by a Roman legion 1800 years ago attested by sling bullets

Roman projectile ammunition discovered at a hillfort in Scotland indicates an assault by Roman army around 1800 years ago. The find made at Burnswark Hill,  Dumfries region, south-western Scotland, is the largest cache of Roman lead sling bullets discovered.

Hoard of lead sling bullets found at Burnswark Hill (by Live Science)
Hoard of lead sling bullets found at Burnswark Hill (by Live Science)

The site is located a couple of kilometres north of Hadrian’s Wall. The location of the bullets were mapped with specialized metal detectors and used to recreate some of the events of the assault. The 800 pieces of ammunition was part of the arsenal used by the attacking legions to subdue the native defenders of the hilltop fort. Archaeologists estimate that up to 5000 Roman soldiers took part in the attack, based on the size of two Roman army camps that were built to the north and south of the hilltop fort. Judging from the size of the hill fort it might have been held by between 1000-2000 armed defenders. The bullets will now undergo isotope analysis to determine the date of the Roman assault on the hillfort. At this point it is believed that he sling-bullet event at Burnswark Hill was part of the Roman invasion of lowland Scotland, and it may have been the opening event.

(after Live Science)

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