Ancient European Weapons, Tools, and artifacts! - Page 2
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  1. #16
    mk
    Oct 2015
    Macedonia
    Garrett AT Pro, XP Deus, Garrett GTI 2500.
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    No comment!
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  2. #17
    Charter Member
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    Tommy

    Dec 2015
    Ann Arbor
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    Wow what an amazing post. My town was founded in 1817 I can only dream of finds like those. I do have many display cases.but nothing like those relics I love and I mean love old relics and appreciate the History and significance of those finds. Thank you so much for posting all those relics and the story behind them wow amazing. Tommy
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  3. #18
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    Martiobarbuli

    May 2012
    Wyoming
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    This is the village of Villanueva de San Juan today, a sleepy town in picturesque southern Spain:

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    800 years ago, "Spain" as we now know it was still infested with rapacious Moorish Muslims who liked taking and imprisoning in their harems dozens of virgin Christian girls every year as tribute (They especially preferred the blue-eyed blond girls of the Visigothic Christian peoples) among many other indignities, but the tide was turning and the armies of Christ began taking back lands in southern Spain that had been under foreign domination since the 8th century.

    In the 1250s, the Christian military Order of Calatrava campaigned against the Moorish heathens who had occupied the vicinity of Villanueva de San Juan and destroyed the Islamic military enclave there, after which the region joined the Order of Calatrava in what became part of the front line between the Christians to the north and entrenched Moorish Muslim invaders to the south.

    A few small pieces of this Holy Crusade are shown below; hand-carved sandstone catapult balls from the vicinity of Villanueva de San Juan, the quiet town in Andalusia that was once soaked in blood:

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    Smallest one is 3.14lb
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    Middle is 6.25lb
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    Largest is 10.22lb
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    Such projectiles would likely have been launched from torsion catapults something like this:
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    Or from traction trebuchets like illustrated here:
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    It took another few centuries before the Reconquest was completed, but these humble missiles played their role in that righteous quest.

  4. #19
    us
    Dec 2018
    Alaska
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    Incredible collection!!!

    I've played around with slings before but only used round stones, what is the advantage of oblong stones? I would think they come out in more of a flip flop trajectory verse spiral like a football, are there videos showing one or the other?
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  5. #20
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    Martiobarbuli

    May 2012
    Wyoming
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    Thank you! Aside from being more stable when seated in the sling pouch, the standard Bi-conical shape of the clay and lead sling projectiles actually does seem to have conferred an aerodynamic advantage. Spheres produce more drag, and in experiments with equal-weight lead sling projectiles the bi-conical football-shaped ones fly further. Anecdotal reports suggest that advanced slingers actually can impart a longitudinal football spiral spin to the lead projectiles, while others suggest that the bullets can "straighten" in flight thus reducing drag. I can't say for certain personally, however the ancient professional warrior slingers were no chumps and possessed a very intimate familiarity with their skill and the different release techniques deployed to achieve different results. I figure that my rare bladed bullets wouldn't have been made if they weren't able to launch them in such a way to ensure the blades were effective. This fella's research thesis on slinging may be interesting to browse through: "Experimentation in Sling Weaponry: Effectiveness of and Archaeological" by Eric T. Skov

    And since we're on the subject of sling bullets...

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    Somewhat recently I obtained an enormous Hellenistic lead sling bullet inscribed with a stylized thunderbolt of Zeus, to "smite" the enemy. When pressed the dealer claimed to have no knowledge of its origins so it may well have come from Turkey (a source for many unprovenanced artifacts nowadays), where the great battle of Ipsus in 301 B.C. was fought between the victorious Seleucids (plus allies) with 400 war elephants and the defeated Antigonids with 75 war elephants. Cursory researching shows that slingers were deployed with great success in antiquity to pelt armored war elephants and their drivers as the slingers could remain well outside the range of the projectiles lobbed by the soldiers riding in the towers, so it makes a nice story to hypothesize that the giant bullet was made specifically for use against elephants. Use against heavy cavalry would make sense as well but isn't quite as interesting.

    "Elephant" bullet is 171.25g, or 6.04 ounces. The more typical anti-personnel bullet below is 27.25g, less than 1 ounce. The bronze coins below are from the Seleucid dynasty and depict their prized War Elephants.

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    It is absolutely enormous for ancient Greek or Roman lead sling bullets so must have been made and used for special targets (like elephants), and is the heaviest decorated sling bullet I've ever seen so naturally is very rare as far as bullets go.

  6. #21
    us
    Dec 2018
    Alaska
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plumbata View Post
    Thank you! Aside from being more stable when seated in the sling pouch, the standard Bi-conical shape of the clay and lead sling projectiles actually does seem to have conferred an aerodynamic advantage. Spheres produce more drag, and in experiments with equal-weight lead sling projectiles the bi-conical football-shaped ones fly further. Anecdotal reports suggest that advanced slingers actually can impart a longitudinal football spiral spin to the lead projectiles, while others suggest that the bullets can "straighten" in flight thus reducing drag. I can't say for certain personally, however the ancient professional warrior slingers were no chumps and possessed a very intimate familiarity with their skill and the different release techniques deployed to achieve different results. I figure that my rare bladed bullets wouldn't have been made if they weren't able to launch them in such a way to ensure the blades were effective. This fella's research thesis on slinging may be interesting to browse through: "Experimentation in Sling Weaponry: Effectiveness of and Archaeological" by Eric T. Skov

    And since we're on the subject of sling bullets...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	wt_Henri_Paul%20Motte_war_elephants_free.jpg 
Views:	36 
Size:	183.5 KB 
ID:	1691693

    Somewhat recently I obtained an enormous Hellenistic lead sling bullet inscribed with a stylized thunderbolt of Zeus, to "smite" the enemy. When pressed the dealer claimed to have no knowledge of its origins so it may well have come from Turkey (a source for many unprovenanced artifacts nowadays), where the great battle of Ipsus in 301 B.C. was fought between the victorious Seleucids (plus allies) with 400 war elephants and the defeated Antigonids with 75 war elephants. Cursory researching shows that slingers were deployed with great success in antiquity to pelt armored war elephants and their drivers as the slingers could remain well outside the range of the projectiles lobbed by the soldiers riding in the towers, so it makes a nice story to hypothesize that the giant bullet was made specifically for use against elephants. Use against heavy cavalry would make sense as well but isn't quite as interesting.

    "Elephant" bullet is 171.25g, or 6.04 ounces. The more typical anti-personnel bullet below is 27.25g, less than 1 ounce. The bronze coins below are from the Seleucid dynasty and depict their prized War Elephants.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCN5137.JPG 
Views:	23 
Size:	246.5 KB 
ID:	1691688

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCN5138.JPG 
Views:	26 
Size:	225.0 KB 
ID:	1691689

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	rKa29XtWk4Lcmf7GF3DodXd65yzQM8.jpg 
Views:	23 
Size:	38.7 KB 
ID:	1691690

    It is absolutely enormous for ancient Greek or Roman lead sling bullets so must have been made and used for special targets (like elephants), and is the heaviest decorated sling bullet I've ever seen so naturally is very rare as far as bullets go.
    I need to find my sling and go play... I dont know where I'm gonna find oblong rocks but I'll start looking for them
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  7. #22
    Charter Member
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    Martiobarbuli

    May 2012
    Wyoming
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    Maybe if you have some decent clay deposits accessible near you (exposed stream/ravine banks) you could mine some and roll your own football shaped projectiles to air/sun dry? If you have some spare lead, getting an "egg" sinker mold and casting some uniform 1-4oz bullets might be fun, but launching lead is no joke so be careful and observant.

  8. #23
    us
    Sep 2018
    Nazareth, PA
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    Cool stuff!
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  9. #24
    Charter Member
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    Martiobarbuli

    May 2012
    Wyoming
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    Here's an interesting piece I lucked upon a while ago. A rare late-Medieval German "Wurfkreuz", or "throwing cross", used as a short-distance projectile (like an armor-piercing throwing-star) or maybe a hand-to-hand melee weapon. Apparently Hungarians also sometimes deployed this weapon, and in their struggles against the Muslim Ottomans the symbolism of the cross would have been rather salient. They were used infrequently between the early 1400s-early 1600s and are rather rare today. It weighs about 495 grams, is 273mm long and 188mm wide, and has a simple bronze chevron/zig-zag inlay about 8.5-9.5cm above the bottom point. Purchased from a weapons collector in Germany who somehow didn't know what it was and listed it very inaccurately (his other medieval weapons were all properly advertised) and thus got it for 167.50 shipped, whereas it would go for closer to 1,000 if listed and described properly.

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    And here's an old circa 1515 picture of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I in fight with Count Albrecht von Zollern, depicting a wurfkreuz-wielding Zollern who with the one stuck in his shield has apparently been "double crossed" (Hyuk hyuk ).

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