My current research is into the amount of protection the Roman soldier was afforded by his armour and how effective his weapons were. To ascertain this involves making copies of weapons and armour then testing them to destruction. It is very hard to spend hours making a test artefact and then with you own hands – and sometimes with the help of others – to smash them to bits. But the information you acquire is worth it.
The shield bosses and scale armour below are a clear example of the effects of repeated attacks with ballista bolts and axes.
Another area of my current research is into the methods used to produce iron in the Roman period. Over the years many other researchers have undertaken experimental iron smelts with varying degrees of success.
The current work is being carried out at Butser Ancient Farm in the South Downs National Park and St Fagans National Museum in Cardiff, Wales.
Hi, will you be publishing the results of these experiments any time soon at all? How effective did you find scale armour to be against weaker weapons (e.g. regular arrows, sword slashes, spear thrusts etc.)? Fascinating research, hope all goes well with it!
Yes all this research is going into my latest book that should be out next year.
Hi, any updates on this research? Hope all is proceeding well!
Which research are you referring to?
Testing scale armour to destruction