Roman and Mediaeval History, Illlustrated Travel Journals, Mediaeval Literature, Geology


2.12.06
  From the 'Sharp and Pointy Things' Collection

A dolabra is a so called pioneer axe, used to fell trees and such, though it could also be used as weapon if needs be. What is left nowadays are the iron parts; the wooden handles usually have decayed. But the design hasn't changed much over times.

Dolabrae (left) and part of a shovel blade (right) from the Hedemünden finds.

Shovels were needed for digging trenches which formed part of Roman forts and marching camps. It is amazing to imagine that the Romans - according to the sources - on the first night of the Varus battle, after the German attack had already begun albeit not yet full scale, still managed to build a proper marching camp complete with entrenchments and walls. Says something about Roman discipline.

dolabrae

The pic shows some pioneer axes from the Hedemünden finds that were presented in an exhibition in Hannoversch-Münden in 2009 - the year of the 2000 year anniversary of the Varus battle.
 
Comments:
Also interesting to see that the shape of many tools hasn't changes all that much over centuries.
What works, works.
 
You have to hand it to the Romans for discpline and staying power. Incredible how fit they must have been to march all day carrying full kit and then dig a marching camp and then dismantle it the following morning and do it all again.
 
Bernita,
the shape of the axe hasn't changed much since Ugga the Neanderthal man made them out of flint. :)

Carla,
and all that in pouring rain. ;) It will be interesting to show the slow decline of morals during the Varus battle.
 
I visited the site of Alesia - talk about amazing!
Those Romans were very, very disciplined!
 
Sam,
I can imagine Alesia to be a fascinating place.

To have the money to travel everywhere ....
 
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Miscellaneous musings of an aspiring Historical Fiction and Fantasy author. Illustrated essays on Roman, Dark Age and Mediaeval history, Mediaeval literature, and Geology. Some poetry translations and writing stuff. And lots of photos of old castles, cathedrals, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes from Germany, the UK and Scandinavia.

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I'm a writer of Historical Fiction living in Germany. I got a MA in Literature, Scandinavian Studies, Linguistics and History, I'm interested in Archaeology and everything Roman and Mediaeval, an avid reader, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, and photographer.

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