When we think of the Roman province of Britain it is difficult not to think of Rome’s military might.
The sight of a mass of highly polished helmets, armour and weaponry glinting in the sun as men of the legions marched in unison across the country on their famous straight roads must have been impressive and intimidating in equal measure. However recent work by the Dolgellau Environs Project (DEP) is challenging the stern image of the all conquering ‘military machine’.
In the foothills of the Bryn Twp mountains in the North West of Wales, a remarkable find has brought into the question our uniform image of ‘the legion’. Archaeologists from Aber-Harlech University are hailing the discovery of what they’re calling ‘Britain’s earliest pogo stick’!
“This is a game changer” said Dr. Geriet Jones, head of the Dolgellau Environs Project. “Not only does it offer tantalizing evidence for new modes of travel in the Roman World, it brings up the possibility of martial applications for the pogo.”
Professor Arthur Pollock, Roman Historian linked with the DEP suggests one military tactic might have been a variation on the famous testudo (tortoise) formation, as used by Mark Antony during his invasion of Parthia in 36 BC. “We should envisage the experienced pogo-prefect in amongst the testudo. When the formation reached enemy lines, he would blow his whistle and spring forth into the startled ranks of the Ordovices, the Iron Age tribe who inhabited this region of Wales.”
Digger, Rhiannon Davies said “What we have found here is not a toy. It was an efficient mode of transportation made possible by the road system which the Romans introduced to Britain.” Ms. Davies is credited with the find, which has inspired her to “try and dig out (her) old pogo stick” and re-embrace a childhood hobby.
“We know that the Ancient Greeks made use of the yo yo” Dr. Jones reminded those gathered at this morning’s hastily convened press conference “but we never imagined that other ‘childhood’ activities had such a deep history!” He went on to quip, Caesar might just have easily stated “Veni, Vidi, Pogi” – “I came, I saw, I pogo’d”
This is just the latest find in a catalogue of incredible artefacts which the DEP have uncovered in recent years. While the Project is fully funded until the end of the Summer, Professor Pollock was keen to remind us “this crucial work has only been possible with funding from various charitable institutions. With budget cuts on the horizon, we simply cannot confirm the continuation of the Dolgellau Environs Project.”
Happy April 1st