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A.k.a. the world’s oldest Swiss Army Knife, this beauty comes from the U.K.’s Daily Mail via Gizmodo. It was “probably made between AD 200 and AD 300,” and is currently being exhibited in the Greek and Roman Antiquities Gallery of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England. The 3″ × 6″ knife, made from silver with an iron blade, also has a spoon, a fork*, a spike, a spatula, and a small toothpick. A Mediterranean excavation more than 20 years ago uncovered the knife, which the museum acquired in 1991.

*The Daily Mail link includes interesting — and very British — comments about the history of forks.

The Roman Army Knife [Daily Mail]

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8 Responses to The Roman Army Knife

  1. MattC says:

    It never ceases to amaze my how advanced these “ancient” cultures really were.

  2. Pete D says:

    Take that, Switzerland. They’re Roman army knives!

  3. FredB says:

    I want one!

  4. Dave P says:

    pfthhhhhht! No tweezers.

  5. WillyD says:

    I don’t believe the fork was for eating. Or at least I’d be surprised if it were.
    Romans didn’t use the fork for eating. Maybe for holding something.

  6. blore40 says:

    If you detach the spoon, it is also an USB stick.

  7. Highball says:

    Yes WillyD, a fork, as in knife, fork and spoon, used as an eating utensil is maybe 1,000 years old and is the last of the three to be used at the table, so to speak. It was then even not common custom for the common man. This find may prove common knowledge wrong, but I would bet it’s date is much later, as the privileged class would see little value in subverting a civilized luxury.

  8. Highball says:

    Oh yes very neat though, I also would love to have one.

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