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Archaeological inquiry into Sling Projectiles (Read 5944 times)
Neander97
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Archaeological inquiry into Sling Projectiles
Jun 17th, 2009 at 1:34am
 
Margaret Brown Vega, Nathan Craig.  “New Experimental Data On The Distance Of Sling Projectiles,”  JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE, 36 (2009), pp. 1264–1268.

Abstract:
The range of stones cast by slings used in the past is debated. In the Central Andes, slings are asserted to be important weapons of prehispanic war, and have been recovered archaeologically. Rolled river cobbles and stones presumed to be slingstones found at fortified hilltop archaeological sites are presented as evidence that slings were used at these fortifications. Yet sling use has not been adequately tested at hillforts. Experiments conducted in Europe by a novice slinger have attempted to illuminate the range of sling cast stones at ancient hillforts. Data acquired from native slingers is necessary to more accurately assess distances achieved by projectiles launched by slings. We present data from sling experiments carried out in Puno, Peru´ among Quechua-speaking herders who are experienced slingers. The results demonstrate that a prior model of the maximum theoretical distance of sling cast stones underestimates their range. Results also show significant differences in the use of slings by men and women, and by different age groups. These new data permit a better approximation of warfare that has bearing on our interpretation of fortified sites.

Text Here:
http://pennstate.academia.edu/documents/0010/4106/brown_vega_craig2009_slings.pd...
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Mr. Boss
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Re: Archaeological inquiry into Sling Projectiles
Reply #1 - Jun 17th, 2009 at 10:52am
 
They seem like smart college students, but they also seem to have a death wish. Heres a quote:  "members of the crew stood in
the area where the slingstone would impact. Though dangerous, it
is the only way to accurately observe the impact point of the
projectile". -   

Now thats one of the most dumbest things ive read in my life, theres no way you can see a stone from a sling coming toward you, and they would have most likely died.
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Neander97
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Re: Archaeological inquiry into Sling Projectiles
Reply #2 - Jun 17th, 2009 at 12:05pm
 
Any thoughts on the relevancy of the data presented in the article?
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Re: Archaeological inquiry into Sling Projectiles
Reply #3 - Jun 17th, 2009 at 12:25pm
 
The distances were not impressive, they say the longest distance achieved was 130 yards, i can sling much farther than that, every time especially in high altitude.
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Fundibularius
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Re: Archaeological inquiry into Sling Projectiles
Reply #4 - Jun 17th, 2009 at 1:11pm
 
Thanks for sharing the articles, Neander97.

You're not from Düsseldorf, I guess?  Wink
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timann
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Re: Archaeological inquiry into Sling Projectiles
Reply #5 - Jun 17th, 2009 at 1:55pm
 
There has been a bit of contact between this forum and Margaret Brown Vega before. 
If the data is relevant, well, that is in the eye of the beholder Wink

mrboss, some slingers achieve longer distanses than others.  Myself, big and strong slinger as I am, would have been mightily impressed by myself if I reached 130 meters.
I agree about standing in the recieving end to watch the impacts.  Nobody should do that, unless they are an aardwark.
timann
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Re: Archaeological inquiry into Sling Projectiles
Reply #6 - Jun 17th, 2009 at 2:02pm
 
This was spotted in the following thread: http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1237975848/11#11
and there were some responses on that thread.

Mrboss, not everyone is interested only in throwing long distances. In the context of their experiments they would have been more interested in the distance people could comfortably throw.

It would not have been that dangerous standing downrange provided they kept their eyes open. Peruvians throw pretty big rocks and they were probably easily spotted, and could easily be dodged.

I think the results they obtained were interesting, and they did quote their 'raw data' which is rare, but I think their data reduction led to rather pessimistic conclusions about the ranges which might have been common in earlier times.

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Re: Archaeological inquiry into Sling Projectiles
Reply #7 - Jun 17th, 2009 at 2:18pm
 
By the way, the sling distance data experiment is related to a study of Peruvian "hillforts" wich supposedly was defended by slingers.  I found all this rather interesting.
timann
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Neander97
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Re: Archaeological inquiry into Sling Projectiles
Reply #8 - Jun 17th, 2009 at 2:52pm
 
>>This was spotted in the following thread:

Ah . . . sorry for double posting the article.
= = = = = = = =

As far as the distance thing goes.  I thought they were interested in slingers defending hillforts.  Maybe I mis-read, I need to look at the paper again.

(When I assumed it was slinging in defense of an elevated, defensive position) I didn't think distance would be a major factor - I assumed the slinger's job was to hit the attacker as he approached the base of the wall.

= = = = = = = =

Flawed or not, I like to see academics doing experimental work like this.  Odds are that at some point, someone else will build upon the work in this paper and then someone will do a follow up to that, and so on and so on.  And sooner or later useful data sets emerge.

A good example is the work done by George Frison and his students at the University of Wyoming.  The were curious about the knapped stone tools and points used by “Mammoth hunters.”  They conducted a lot of “laboratory” type experiments and gathered some good data, but knew that they still were missing a lot.

At some point an elephant died in a zoo and they were able to test various spear & lance points on the carcass, as well test their stone skinning and butchering tools.  Later they even traveled to Africa and conducted experiments on carcasses there.  While it’s not the same as poking a live mammoth with a sharp stick, they did learn a lot (and share the results with anyone who was interested).
= = = = = = = =


>>You're not from Düsseldorf, I guess?

Neandershöhle?

: -)  : -)

Naw . . . I’ve family (three or four generations back) that came from someplace in Saxony, does that count? ; -)

Actually, the Neander thing is a play on my last name, Neumann.
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Re: Archaeological inquiry into Sling Projectiles
Reply #9 - Jun 17th, 2009 at 4:27pm
 
Neander97 wrote on Jun 17th, 2009 at 2:52pm:
>>This was spotted in the following thread:

Ah . . . sorry for double posting the article.
= = = = = = = =
No problem!
Quote:
As far as the distance thing goes.  I thought they were interested in slingers defending hillforts.  Maybe I mis-read, I need to look at the paper again.

I believe you are (were!) right. I think the measurements were to demonstrate that the distances were small enough for slingers to have cleared the outer defenses. Somewhat like Cunliffe with his work at Maiden Castle in the UK.
Quote:
Flawed or not, I like to see academics doing experimental work like this.  Odds are that at some point, someone else will build upon the work in this paper and then someone will do a follow up to that, and so on and so on.  And sooner or later useful data sets emerge.
Couldn't agree more Smiley
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Re: Archaeological inquiry into Sling Projectiles
Reply #10 - Jun 17th, 2009 at 5:10pm
 
Neander97 wrote on Jun 17th, 2009 at 2:52pm:
>>
>>You're not from Düsseldorf, I guess?

Neandershöhle?

: -)  : -)

Naw . . . I’ve family (three or four generations back) that came from someplace in Saxony, does that count? ; -)

Actually, the Neander thing is a play on my last name, Neumann.


Sorry, that is a common joke in the Rhine valley. I hope you did not feel offended.

BTW: The valley near Düsseldorf where the bones of the first "Neandertal man" were found in 1856 was called Neandertal (i.e. "Neander valley") because a religious poet called Neumann in the 17th century who had graecised his name into Neander liked to have walks and write poems there. Some of his poems have become popular songs in churches until today. Maybe you are a distant relative. Smiley
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Ferrugo numquam dormit.&&(Nigellus Iuvenis)&&&&

Noch weiz ich an im mere daz mir ist bekant
einen lintrachen  slouch des heledes hant
do badet er in dem blvote  des ist der helt gemeit
von also vester hvte  daz in nie wafen sit versneit.
 
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Neander97
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Re: Archaeological inquiry into Sling Projectiles
Reply #11 - Jun 17th, 2009 at 7:18pm
 
>>I believe you are (were!) right. I think the measurements were to demonstrate that the distances were small enough for slingers to have cleared the outer defenses. Somewhat like Cunliffe with his work at Maiden Castle in the UK.

That was my understanding of it.  

I wonder what there might be in the literature on the Spanish conquest of Peru that might deal with slingers . . . anyone have the source material close at hand?
= = = = = = = = = =


>>The valley near Düsseldorf where the bones of the first "Neandertal man" were found in 1856 was called Neandertal (i.e. "Neander valley") because a religious poet called Neumann in the 17th century who had graecised his name into Neander liked to have walks and write poems there.

Yeah, one day I needed a "name" to sign up for a freemail account one day and decided to steal a page from Joachim Neumann and go with the Greek for new man.

>>I hope you did not feel offended.

Naw . . . not in the least.
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Re: Archaeological inquiry into Sling Projectiles
Reply #12 - Jun 17th, 2009 at 10:48pm
 
And if ya read Dohrenwend's article, You will find a diffrence between plunging and crazing fire. The height of the hillforts adds force and distance to the sling rocks.

Marc Adkins

timann wrote on Jun 17th, 2009 at 2:18pm:
By the way, the sling distance data experiment is related to a study of Peruvian "hillforts" wich supposedly was defended by slingers.  I found all this rather interesting.
timann

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Re: Archaeological inquiry into Sling Projectiles
Reply #13 - Jun 17th, 2009 at 10:56pm
 
Big honking rocks, 4-9 cm long and 2.5 to 4.5 cm wide.  little bit smaller to what the Balearics are slinging and thier recorded ranges are similar to what Dr. Vega recorded.
So in  a nut shell we have proof that younger slingers can throw farther than older slingers and males can throw farther than females.......

Thier data reduction was nothing more than mathmaticly confirming that the averages recorded were true. ( I am way over simplfing this BTW)

Marc Adkins

wanderer wrote on Jun 17th, 2009 at 2:02pm:
This was spotted in the following thread: http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1237975848/11#11
and there were some responses on that thread.

Mrboss, not everyone is interested only in throwing long distances. In the context of their experiments they would have been more interested in the distance people could comfortably throw.

It would not have been that dangerous standing downrange provided they kept their eyes open. Peruvians throw pretty big rocks and they were probably easily spotted, and could easily be dodged.

I think the results they obtained were interesting, and they did quote their 'raw data' which is rare, but I think their data reduction led to rather pessimistic conclusions about the ranges which might have been common in earlier times.


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Re: Archaeological inquiry into Sling Projectiles
Reply #14 - Jun 17th, 2009 at 11:00pm
 
Yep And for the new slingers here I was the one who made official contact.
For the record this subforum is about the history of the sling and unless you are making arguements about historical or scholarly recorded ranges the rest of this arguement can be taken up on the main forum.

I agree that if the downrange crew is looking for a slow moving large rock well out of range there should be no problems.

Marc Adkins

timann wrote on Jun 17th, 2009 at 1:55pm:
There has been a bit of contact between this forum and Margaret Brown Vega before.  
If the data is relevant, well, that is in the eye of the beholder Wink

mrboss, some slingers achieve longer distanses than others.  Myself, big and strong slinger as I am, would have been mightily impressed by myself if I reached 130 meters.
I agree about standing in the recieving end to watch the impacts.  Nobody should do that, unless they are an aardwark.
timann

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The Few...The Proud.....The Slingers&&Sling to live, Live to sling&&I Ain't right
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