Roman dagger uncovered by teenage archaeologist on work experience is restored to former glory

Andy Wells
·Freelance Writer
·2 min read
14 February 2020, North Rhine-Westphalia, Münster: A 2000 year old dagger and weapon belt of a legionary lies on a table of the LWL-Archaeology for Westphalia. Archaeologists of the Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe (LWL) present an extraordinary weapon find of a legionary. A rare Roman weapon has been discovered in the Roman burial ground at Haltern am See and has been restored in an elaborate process. It's a dagger with a belt of arms. The experts from the LWL restoration workshop explain how 2000 year old metal and glass were made visible again. Photo: Guido Kirchner/dpa (Photo by Guido Kirchner/picture alliance via Getty Images)
The 2000 year old dagger and weapon belt of a legionary lies on a table of the LWL-Archaeology for Westphalia (Getty)

A 2,000-year-old Roman dagger that was unearthed by a teenager on work experience has been spectacularly restored to its former glory.

The ancient weapon is thought to have been used during a battle by a soldier from the Roman legion fighting a Germanic tribe in the 1st century.

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It was discovered by 19-year-old Nico Calman in a trench at a burial ground in Haltern am See, near Munster, in north-west Germany, last year.

14 February 2020, North Rhine-Westphalia, Münster: A restorer of the LWL-Archaeology for Westphalia holds a 2000 year old dagger of a legionary in his hands. Archaeologists of the Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe (LWL) present an extraordinary weapon find of a legionary. A rare Roman weapon has been discovered in the Roman burial ground at Haltern am See and has been restored in an elaborate process. It's a dagger with a belt of arms. The experts from the LWL restoration workshop explain how 2000 year old metal and glass were made visible again. Photo: Guido Kirchner/dpa (Photo by Guido Kirchner/picture alliance via Getty Images)
The rare Roman weapon was discovered in the Roman burial ground at Haltern am See (Getty)

When it was originally discovered, the blade was covered in a thick layer of rust from 2,000 years of being buried.

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But the iron dagger is now back to its best following a painstaking nine-month process to restore it and is set to go on display with the belt it was discovered alongside.

Michael Rind, director of archaeology at the Westphalia-Lippe council, said: “This combination of a completely preserved blade, sheath and belt, together with the important information about precisely where they were found, is without parallel.”

14 February 2020, North Rhine-Westphalia, Münster: Eugen Müsch (r), restorer of the LWL-Archaeology for Westphalia and the 19-year-old Nico Calmund, trainee and finder, hold a 2000 year old dagger of a legionnaire in their hands. Archaeologists of the Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe (LWL) present an extraordinary weapon find of a legionary. A rare Roman weapon has been discovered in the Roman burial ground at Haltern am See and has been restored in an elaborate process. It's a dagger with a belt of arms. The experts from the LWL restoration workshop explain how 2000 year old metal and glass were made visible again. Photo: Guido Kirchner/dpa (Photo by Guido Kirchner/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Eugen Müsch, right, restorer of the LWL-Archaeology for Westphalia and 19-year-old Nico Calmund, trainee and finder, hold the ancient dagger (Getty)
14 February 2020, North Rhine-Westphalia, Münster: A 2000 year old dagger and weapon belt of a legionary lies on a table of the LWL-Archaeology for Westphalia. Archaeologists of the Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe (LWL) present an extraordinary weapon find of a legionary. A rare Roman weapon has been discovered in the Roman burial ground at Haltern am See and has been restored in an elaborate process. It's a dagger with a belt of arms. The experts from the LWL restoration workshop explain how 2000 year old metal and glass were made visible again. Photo: Guido Kirchner/dpa (Photo by Guido Kirchner/picture alliance via Getty Images)
The dagger and weapon belt of a legionary lies on a table of the LWL-Archaeology for Westphalia (Getty)

The dagger measures roughly as long as a an adult’s forearm and dates back to when the Roman Empire suffered a humiliating defeat in forests east of the Rhine, according to The Australian.

It is set to go on display at Haltern’s Roman history museum from 2022.

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