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Ancient ballista weapon. Source: Viacheslav / Adobe Stock.

This Roman Weapon of Mass Destruction is 2000 Years Old (Video)


In the heart of northern Britain, a monumental structure once divided the land into two distinct territories. Emperor Hadrian commissioned its construction in 122 AD, and in just six years, Hadrian's Wall, an imposing fortification, stretched from coast to coast. Eight thousand Roman soldiers stood guard, unwavering in their duty to protect the Empire's northern frontier at any cost. Deep within the rugged terrain of southern Scotland, an archaeological discovery in 2015 unveiled a concealed battleground from two millennia ago. Iron Age Britons clashed with the formidable Roman Army, but it wasn't swords and spears that defined their warfare. Buried beneath the earth lay a cache of ballistic weaponry, forgotten by history.

These artifacts showcased a different facet of Roman military might. These ancient projectiles, once considered iron arrowheads, proved to be far deadlier upon closer inspection. X-ray scans revealed their true nature – precision bolts designed to pierce through armor. These bolts, an ancient counterpart to modern assault rifles, were fired from a remarkable piece of tactical artillery, suspected to be the manuballista. The presence of these lethal bolt tips suggests that the manuballista played a pivotal role in the assault on Burnswark. Historians believe that such weaponry left little chance for the local Britons in the face of the Roman war machine.

Top image: Ancient ballista weapon. Source: Viacheslav / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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