Station: [16] Artefacts from Boiodurum

These stamped tiles come from the fort itself or from the surrounding settlement. The stamp “NVMB” is an abbreviation of “numerus boiodurensium”; this shows that the Romans took the name of the Celtic settlement of Boiodurum for their military post. The tiles were produced in a large military workshop near modern Schärding, some 17 kilometres south of Passau. The stamped tiles found at Boiodurum include types stamped by a 5th cohort of Breuci, an Illyrian tribe from modern Pannonia, and one stamped by an Ala, a Roman cavalry unit. As it seems very unlikely that an Ala or cohort of Breuci was stationed at Boiodurum at the time in question, it is generally assumed that the tile workshop near Schärding also supplied other military posts in Noricum. What kind of equipment did a soldier have in those days? The display shows pieces of a helmet, spearheads and ... the indispensable soldier’s spade. This example from Passau is rare in terms of its very good preservation. The spade was used to dig and maintain the defensive ditches of the fort. When the soldiers moved out, the tool was always tucked into their packs. It served many purposes, including the construction of temporary camps along the way.