Roman sling bullet cache unearthed at Burnswark dig

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A cache of more than 180 Roman lead sling bullets – thought to be the largest ever found in Britain – has been unearthed in southern Scotland. They were discovered during an archaeological dig at Burnswark in Dumfries and Galloway.

Roman sling bullet cache unearthed at Burnswark dig
The dig discovered dozens of the Roman sling bullets at the site in the south of Scotland 
[Credit: Burnswark Project]

Investigations have been ongoing at the flat-topped hill near Lockerbie over the past fortnight. Dark organic soil was also found nearby which could be the remains of a bag or sack for the bullets.

Archaeologists have been trying for centuries to assess the role of Burnswark in the Roman occupation. One theory is that it may have seen the first battle in the Roman invasion of Scotland around 140 AD.

During the latest dig, small numbers of the lead bullets were initially found with identical 4mm holes in them which were something of a mystery.

However, an expert in sling shot ballistics showed how the deadly weapon would make a terrifying “screeching noise” after it was fired.

Now a much larger find of the bullets has been made.

“We have had a good second season digging at Burnswark and can confirm that we have excavated the most significant hoard of Roman bullets in Britain,” said John Reid, of the Roman heritage group the Trimontium Trust.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that these are likely to have been deposited in a single brief episode. This greatly strengthens the suggestion of a Roman assault on the hill top which appears to have been occupied at that time.”

Source: BBC News Website [September 06, 2016]

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