Other Weapons

Danny Syon, IAA

Gamla Ballista
Gamla Ballista

An unusual concentration of Roman military equipment was found in L4019, which is a very narrow alley between the inner side of the twin towers in area M and the wall of a building. Here was found what appear to be discarded or lost pieces of the equipment of a Roman officer. The concentration includes a helmet visor and a silver plated cheek-guard, a gold plated scabbard chape and parts of lorica segmentata armor, this last a rare find in the eastern provinces. It would not be stretching the imagination too far to see a trapped Roman officer during the failed first attack, who tried to escape from the city and lost or dropped parts of his equipment in his attempt to flee the city.
A dramatic illustration of the assault at the breach was a siege-hook found on the breach itself, used both for stabbing and hooking onto the wall for climbing.
At other points along the fighting zone, as well as elsewhere in the city, a small number of armor scales were found, as opposed to the hundreds found at Masada. Several other scabbard chapes, sheet bronze identification tags affixed to various pieces of equipment, possible pilum (the Roman spear) points, an ombo (the central bronze boss of a shield), military buttons, harness decorations and pendants were found. Since the Jews used essentially the same kinds. These objects could roll, thus causing more damage than a square block that would come to rest as soon as it hit the ground.


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