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Roman Ballista Bolt

When mass graves were excavated at Maiden Castle near Dorchester during the 1930s, this famous skeleton with a Roman ballista bolt lodged in his spine was found.

A member of the Durotriges tribe of Iron Age Britons, the farmers and villagers who lived at Maiden Castle farmed the land outside the ramparts and felt safe from attack in their massive raised settlement with its huge defensive gateways.

After the Roman invasion of AD43, commander Vespasian, with his II Augusta legion, fought his way through Dorset and began to establish Roman control over the area. In the battle for Maiden Castle, the Durotriges, armed with only slings and stones, were massacred by the far superior forces of the Roman Army.

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Maiden Castle and the Roman Invasion