5.6.2 Conflict


Clay slingshot was recovered from excavations at Ardoch and Strageath; Strageath also produced various spearheads and sword fittings, arrowheads and catapult bolts. A helmet and socketed spearhead were reputedly found near to a possible cremation cemetery near to Bertha (MPK2055), but one should treat such antiquarian accounts with scepticism. 


A large piece of scale armour recovered from the Severan fortress of Carpow, now held within the extensive Carpow collection at The McManus in Dundee (accession number DUNMG 1987-291), has been described as unique for its exceptional construction quality and merits further research interest (Wild 1981). Armour is otherwise sparsely represented in the area, but would have been worn by all soldiers. 

Horse fittings 

Distinctively Roman cavalry harness is well-represented among the finds from Strageath (eg Frere and Wilkes 1989, 144–6), and is also attested in the antiquarian finds from Ardoch. They are also recorded as metal-detecting finds from East Camno, Meigle (MPK17693; Perth Museum registration no. 2007.95.1-3; Hall and Hunter 2006) and Dalginross, Comrie (MPK17618; Perth Museum registration no. 2015.136-139; Hall and Hunter 2007). Both of these small groups of fittings are typical Roman cavalry unit equipment and were found in proximity to two Roman forts, Cardean and Dalginross respectively. Those from East Camno were far enough away from the fort to prompt the speculation that they may have entered Caledonian hands. A few horse harness and chariot fittings of Iron Age or hybrid style are also known from Roman sites. Examples include a fine example of an enamelled strap junction from the fort at Inchtuthil (NMS registration no. X.FY 168; Pitts and St Joseph 1985, 287–8, pl. XLV; MacGregor 1976, no. 32) and the enamelled strap junction from Carpow (MPK20017; discussed above as an example of ‘massive’ metalwork) 

Close up image of a long, bronze artefact. The piece is a long, symmetrical, straight-cut piece of bronze, with two large rectangular shapes at the ends, and two outward facing crescents back to back in the centre. The whole front is decorated with stripes and triangles of blue, yellow and red enamel.
Strap junction of bronze, horse harness, with upper surface inset with red, blue and buff enamel, from Inchtuthill, , 83–87 AD ©️ NMS