Lamina Caespiti

  • Ancient Rome
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

An ingenious Labor Tool used by Soldiers of Ancient Rome, The Lamina Caespiti was a valuable tool used in the second most important facet of a Soldiers duties - that is, digging Camps, Fortifications and Entrenchments. Rome was a noted Builder in The Ancient World, with much of it gleaned from it's Military Engineers.


Each Roman Soldier carried basic tools to accomplish this mission. One such, was The Lamina Caespiti, or "Turf Cutter". These tools were iron bars, roughly 2 to 3-feet in length. In lieu of a Handle, leather straps were wrapped around the end of the bar, to provide a hand hold and prevent slippage.


The Head of The Lamina Caespiti was a curved and double headed cutting edge, the front cutting edge was kept sharp. The unique "C"-shape was crucial to it's operation. The User would raise The Caespiti head or shoulder height, and bring it down with force, into a patch of sod. Penetrating several inches, the blade would be retracted and repeated. Creating a "cut line", eventually a square was cut. The Soldier could then pick up the sod piece and expose the soft dirt beneath (for digging).