Archaeologists discover Roman soldier died waiting for Caesar to sign missing gear statement
PARIS — A recent discovery by a team of archaeologists in France has revealed that at least one Roman soldier perished in Rome's Gallic Wars while waiting for Julius Caesar to sign his missing gear statement, sources confirmed today.
The team found the soldier's remains buried with a sheet of papyrus which clearly indicates it was a missing gear statement for "GREAVES, ONE PAIR, SERIAL NUMBER XXIICCCXLVI." The statement had apparently accumulated signatures of the soldier's Optio, Cohort commander, Century commander, and Legion commander, but sat in the Legion's S-1 for years without ever reaching Caesar's desk for final approval.
"It appears that even in the time of ancient Rome, it was damn near impossible to get a missing gear statement signed off on," said Dr. Claire Bufon, adding that evidence from pharaonic Egypt indicates the trend went back to at least 2600 B.C. "There is not a single instance in the archaeological record of a missing gear statement being approved while the soldier was still alive."
While Caesar's army fought in Gaul for nearly a decade, it appears the missing gear statement was passed through numerous commands and supply warehouses over the years before it was finally routed back to the soldier because it didn't have the Chaplain's signature on it.
By this time, however, he had already suffered a fatal wound to his shins due to his lack of greaves, and was buried with the unsigned statement in his pocket.
"Records from the local CIF facility show that the soldier actually went there to replace his damaged shield prior to the Battle of Alesia in 52 B.C.," said Bufon. "But he was sent away because all of the workers were on their lunch break all month."
She added: "It was probably too dirty to turn in, anyway."