Roman-era swords discovered in Britain

The 2,000-years-old swords were discovered in the southwestern region of England, still sheathed, supporting the notion that these were used by cavalry as they are particularly well-suited for use while mounted on horseback
Ancient Roman swords dating back 2,000 years were uncovered in Cirencester, a rural area in the northern part of South-West England, still sheathed. "This is an astonishing archaeological find," exclaimed archeologists who believed they were the weapons of Roman cavalry, marking the second instance of such discoveries from this period in Britain.
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The two swords were unearthed by Glenn Manning, who employed metal detectors. Alongside these ancient weapons, fragments of a copper-alloy bowl were also discovered. "This new discovery reveals the deep and remarkable history of the Cotswolds region. These weapons were in use by Roman cavalrymen nearly 2,000 years ago when Cirencester, a city in Gloucestershire County and part of the Cotswolds area, was the second-largest city in Britain. It is unquestionably an extraordinary archaeological find, and I cannot wait for visitors to the Corinium Museum in Cirencester to witness it when it goes on display starting next year," said Paul Hodgkinson, a member of the Cotswold District Council.
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שתי החרבות שהתגלו בקוטסוולדס
שתי החרבות שהתגלו בקוטסוולדס
The swords that were found in Cotswold
(Photo: Cotswold District Council)
The two swords were examined by archaeologist Professor Simon James from the University of Leicester. In fact, Professor James was the one to identify them as Roman Imperial swords, specifically the Spatha type. Their medium length suggests that these are Spatha swords, a type that was introduced into the Roman army in the first century AD and remained in use until the fall of the Roman Empire. They were primarily used during wartime battles and in gladiator fights.
The length of the swords further strengthens the notion that they were weapons of the cavelry, as they were particularly suitable for use while mounted on horseback. Civilians were allowed to carry such weaponry as well at that time the swords could have bused during journeys on horseback for self-defense against robbers, which were prevalent in various regions of the Roman Empire.
2 View gallery
אזור קוטסוולדס בו התגלו שתי חרבות רומיות עתיקות
אזור קוטסוולדס בו התגלו שתי חרבות רומיות עתיקות
(Photo: Shutterstock)
"It's almost unheard of to find such a unique discovery from Roman Britain. The closest find was a pair of similar swords discovered in Canterbury, a city in the southeastern county of Kent, England, found alongside their scabbards. These swords were buried with their tips pointing downwards in wells within the city walls," Professor James remarked.
"These swords bear witness to the presence of the Roman army in the northern part of Cotswold district, making it an astounding archaeological discovery," said Emma Stuart, the Director of Corinium Museum, where both swords have been entrusted for public display next year.
Historic England, a government-sponsored public body responsible for safeguarding England's history is assisting the museum team in conducting further analysis of the swords. This additional analysis aims to shed more light on the context of their burial, as the reason for their placement in Cotswold soil has yet to be uncovered.
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