The Fulham sword
Roman Britain, 1st century AD
Found in the River Thames at Fulham, London
This is the characteristic sword of the Roman legionary at this period. Only the handle, and the wooden or leather lining of the sheath are missing. Metallographic examination of the iron blade has shown that the cutting edges have been hardened.
The maker has decorated the bronze scabbard plate with embossed motifs. These include the popular Roman motif of the she-wolf suckling the twins Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. Traces of tinning show that the scabbard plate would originally have been a shiny silver colour.