The Scutum of Dura-Europos is the only surviving example of a Roman scutum shield. The wood was well preserved by the dry climate. From Syria. 3rd cent. A.D.

Margie Jones

Scutum is the Latin word for shield, this legionaries’ semicylindrical shield is one of a kind. Only one, until now, have survived the time, the so-called ‘Scutum of Dura-Europos’. Found in a excavation between 1928 – 1937 by the Yale-French team in Dura-Europos in Syria, this shield was found flattened, fragmented in 13 pieces and missing its umbo (central part for protection – “boss”). The Yale-French team was responsible for the restoration of the shield; the decoration “reflects Roman iconography of victory, including an eagle with a laurel wreath, winged Victories, and a lion”. Today the scutum rests on display in the Yale University Art Gallery.

Date ——————————–mid-III century AD

Materials ————————Wood and Rawhide

Dimensions ———————105.5 × 41 × 30 cm (41 9/16 × 16 1/8 × 11 13/16 in.)

Weight —————————–6.3kg (13.8 pounds)

Sources: Yale

The Scutum – the Shield of the Roman Legionaries


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