Caerleon exhibition shows horses’ history in warfare

South Wales Argus: A replica horse’s head and a special reconstruction of the horse’s head armour, the chamfron in a new display at the National Roman Legion Musuem in  Caerleon A replica horse’s head and a special reconstruction of the horse’s head armour, the chamfron in a new display at the National Roman Legion Musuem in Caerleon

A PIECE of horse’s head armour discovered in Caerleon priory field in 2010 has inspired a new display at the National Roman Legion Museum looking at the role of the horse in Roman warfare.

The display, Equus – The Horse at War, which opened at the Museum in Caerleon on Friday, June 27 tells how horses were used by the Roman army and draws parallels to the First World War almost 2,000 years later.

The display which will include a replica horse’ head and a special reconstruction of the horse’s head armour, the chamfron, will be on display to see at the museum until January 30, 2015.

The new display forms part of Amgueddfa Cymru’s programme to mark the centenary of the First World War.

During the First World War over a million horses were used by the British Army. Some to ride, others to pull supplies and guns.

Although the type of weapons the horses were pulling or carrying had changed, the way in which they were used often differed very little from the Romans almost 2,000 years previously.

The Romans had cavalry units, one of which was attached to the Legion at Caerleon.

Roman horses wore armour to protect face and body from missiles and parts of one of these pieces of armour which protected the horse’s face, a chamfron, were found in an excavation near the Caerleon Amphitheatre in 2010.

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