Ancient Military History: The Romans Secret “Terror Weapon”



Archeologists have unearthed a set of Roman lead sling bullets which were used against the barbarian foes in Scotland. The bullets were found to make a piercing whistle noise when hurled through the air, a sound thought to have been used to strike terror in their enemies 1,800 years ago.

According to an article published recently by LiveScience, the bullets were discovered at Burnswark Hill in southwestern Scotland. The find was made during the excavation of a field where a massive attack of the Roman army took a place in the 2nd century AD.

The excavation work was led by John Reid of the Trimontium Trust, a Scottish historical society which is directing the first major archaeological investigation of Burnswark Hill site in 50 years. The bullets weigh about 1 ounce (30 grams) and had been drilled with a 0.2-inch (5 millimeters) hole. The researchers believe that it was designed to give the soaring bullets a sharp buzzing or whistling noise in flight, making them what they called a real ”terror weapon”.

John Reid said to LiveScience:

“You don’t just have these silent but deadly bullets flying over; you’ve got a sound effect coming off them that would keep the defenders’ heads down. Every army likes an edge over its opponents, so this was an ingenious edge on the permutation of sling bullets.”

Read the Remainder at Ancient-Origins


3 thoughts on “Ancient Military History: The Romans Secret “Terror Weapon”

  1. Pingback: Ancient Military History: The Romans Secret “Terror Weapon” | Rifleman III Journal

  2. Reblogged this on Tome and Tomb and commented:
    I never really understood why the Romans failed to developed (given their mechanical expertise at ballistae) a truly good, reliable, high velocity bullet thrower that they could have used frequently in combat.

    It seemed they were always right on the edge (with their heavy combat technology) and never quite got there.

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