Archaeology Intern Unearths Spectacular, 2,000-Year-Old Roman Dagger | Smart News | Smithsonian Magazine

Discovered still in its sheath in the grave of a soldier at the archaeological site of Haltern am See (Haltern at the Lake), the weapon was nearly unrecognizable thanks to centuries of corrosion. But nine months of meticulous sandblasting revealed a spectacularly ornamented 13-inch-long blade and sheath that once hung from a matching leather belt, reports Laura Geggel for Live Science.

Dating to the Augustan period, which lasted from 37 B.C. to 14 A.D., the blade and its accessories likely had a front row seat to some of the most humiliating defeats in early Roman history, according to the Times. At that time, Haltern, which sat on the fringes of the vast Roman empire, housed a military base for soldiers—up to 20,000 of whom were slaughtered when Germanic tribes swept through the region in 9 A.D.
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