Archaeologists have unearthed rare finds from the Roman era at Koinderboslan in Utrecht. This includes a complete rifle stock and two sets of horse harnesses. The pieces have remained in the ground for nearly two millennia in the area now called Leidsche Rijn.
The arrow is more than half a meter long and was used by the Romans to pierce iron shields. Similar arrows were once discovered in Syria, but they turned out to be untouched. Archaeologists say it is the only fully preserved ballistic arrow in the world. The two sets of horse harnesses have never been found as such before.
The pieces were revealed on Wednesday morning. According to local archaeologists, it is “exceptionally preserved.” This is because the items were always stored in wet clay, protected from oxygen.
In addition to the arrow and the horse, a whole trap made of willow twigs was also found.
The municipality on Wednesday revealed the finds that were actually made in 2019 and have been preserved for the past two years. Meanwhile, experts inside and out were already allowed to marvel at Roman objects. British specialists in the field of Roman artillery, for example, succeeded in making a replica based on the existing arrow. “It appears that the so-called projectiles were the machine guns of the Romans,” says archaeologist Eric Grafstal.
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