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J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare (Read 10621 times)
Thearos
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J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
May 19th, 2010 at 7:23pm
 
J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare of the Hillfort Dominated Zone c. 400 BC to c. 150 BC, 2006.

Just read this thesis
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=SF-BAAAAMAAJ&q=bryant+finney+jon+middle+age&d...

Quick summary--

Main argument.
Celtic hillforts of middle iron age Britain do not reflect a warrior society (status differentiation, heroic style, profit seeking, expansion: sword and bow societies), but a more inclusive, communitarian model-- sling societies, with spear playing a liminal role. The sling is inclusive, allows popular, community participation; the slingstone is not a made artifact, but a "shared" artifact; it does not allow for heroics, but for community defence. M.i.a society may have been centred around great hillforts which played important roles in structuring ritual warfare (as found btw Andean communities).

Evidence: concentration of slingstones in hillforts. No evidence for archery. No evidence for the Celtic sword so important in later societies.

Appendices:

llist of all sites with slingstones deposits in hillfort Britain

experiments using a woollen Bolivian sling (Rockman-style woven slit pouch, so tight as to practically be a closed pouch). Style adopted: underhand (alas-- why do Celtic-focussed guys always go for that style). On beach, with dyed stones.
Average velocities: 25.38 m/s (highest 36 m/s). Measured by timing release and fall.
Distances: max 102m, min38.2, mean 56m, using stones around 50-60 gr.
Calculations show that drag has very little effect on velocity
Calculations to show horizontal distances reached by firing from elevated positions (e.g. hillfort earthworks).

Same experiments for throwing spear

Money quote: p. 64
The sling is a complex piece of textile technology and as such, can be remarkably difficult to produce...The sling is a not a simple weapon. an artefact that allows stone to be caset over distances exceeding 80 m, at speeds in excess of 100 kmph has to be manifactured to high, albeit traditional, specifications
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Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Reply #1 - May 19th, 2010 at 7:43pm
 
That's splendid. I had heard about this, but I've not seen it - yet. I couldn't read it on the google link (probably something messed up with my browser) but I see it is also available from Bournemouth:
http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/396/

Interesting summary. I'll have a read and see what I have to complain about Wink
-- just on a quick scan I see the raw data is there. Excellent! Are these measurements all of a single slinger, or a mixture? It's not obvious from the quick look I've had so far...
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Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Reply #2 - May 19th, 2010 at 8:26pm
 
just Finney on the beach with his sling !
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Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Reply #3 - May 20th, 2010 at 4:20am
 
Sounds very interesting indeed.

As for the experiment, well, if it is representative, so only for the lower region of the scale of sling potential. A traditional "slinging society" would most probably achieve much greater distances and power. Anyway, this would only strengthen the main argument, if I understand it right.  Undecided
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Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Reply #4 - May 20th, 2010 at 5:53am
 
Thearos wrote on May 19th, 2010 at 8:26pm:
just Finney on the beach with his sling !

Thanks! I've read enough to realise that now.

I was pleased to see all those tables of data, as well as some analysis of the physics.

I believe his numerical value of the Reynolds number (Re) on p187 is significantly overestimated through a numerical error, and this modifies the conclusions he reaches.

The gory details of drag coefficients he does not really address (I can't blame him, it's not a thesis in aeoronautical engineering!) so I don't feel the conclusion that air resistance can be neglected is made.

There is some excellent discussion on this matter from the early days of the forum, particularly in postings by Hondero. The easiest way to locate most of these is to search for 'Achenbach' in the Goliath section (all posts), but here is an entry point:
http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1091676756/31#31
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Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Reply #5 - May 20th, 2010 at 6:23am
 
Confirms what we all know-- underhand style, low performance (but easy to master! which must feed into the argument, as you say, Fundibularius)
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Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Reply #6 - May 20th, 2010 at 7:57am
 

Pretty poor results all round, I'd say. The lack of evidence for archery during that period in Britain is striking though, there is plenty in the neolithic and early bronze age.
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Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Reply #7 - May 20th, 2010 at 11:01am
 
Again it depends entirely on the slinger.
Underhand can be a very effective slinging style. I've seen some slingers who could probably push 150 yards with a good underhand throw.

But when will these researchers contact experienced slingers - or even do some basic research on sling usage and techniques.

Quote:
The sling is a complex piece of textile technology and as such, can be remarkably difficult to produce...The sling is a not a simple weapon. an artefact that allows stone to be caset over distances exceeding 80 m, at speeds in excess of 100 kmph has to be manifactured to high, albeit traditional, specifications


That part is pure nonsense.
Basic cord and leather offcuts will give you a very effective sling in a matter of minutes.
Just because he's decided on a complex woven sling means nothing. Again some basic research would have shown this.
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Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Reply #8 - May 20th, 2010 at 2:05pm
 
Here's a drawing-- I assume taken from photos of Finney slinging. Not a great style, I fear (the release is not good)
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Slide1.jpg (17 KB | )
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Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Reply #9 - May 20th, 2010 at 2:09pm
 
if Finney's wrong re. no drag, that must mean that his average velocities indicate nothing of the velocities which are reacheable earlier in the flight of stone ?
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Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Reply #10 - May 21st, 2010 at 2:39pm
 
Most slinging cultures do go for complex woven slings. This must especially be true when there is no off the shelf paracord: you might as well what is in effect your own rope for slinging purposes, and custom build pouch, release, retention loop.
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Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Reply #11 - May 22nd, 2010 at 1:19am
 
Not quite sure how the "drag has little effect on velocity" conclusion is arrived at. The theoretical maximum distance (no atmospheric drag, horizontal ground) for any projectile launched at 36 m/s is 132 m, (using  d = v^2/g) As his max is just over 100m this indicates a loss of approx. 30%, not insignificant IMO(?) Also if that 36 m/s is actually an average velocity timed over the entire 100m distance then his actual launch velocity was significantly higher which gives an even greater loss. (As you say above)

Amused by C-A's comment. I wouldn't have put it so bluntly but I do agree in principle. The sling is essentially a simple tool. Sure many traditional slings are beautifully made, but they don't have to be so to work, and a huge variation in design parameters is allowable.
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Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Reply #12 - May 22nd, 2010 at 7:50am
 
just bear in mind that many ancient slings have been found through graverob.. uh, archealogists digging up graves. So most of these will be grave goods - naturally the best the dead persons family could make or afford.

But you're not telling me that a kid herding sheep would not be able to knock up a quick and simple sling out of whatever materials he had to hand.

The vast majority of everyday slings would have been quick and easy affairs. Not necessarily well built enough to survive till the graverob..(must get that one right) historians dig em up.

There are plenty of leather sling pouces in museums around the world, many were founf without cords.
Surely indication that a basic learther pouch and cord sling was well used.
And no it doesn't have to be paracord.
making cord was one of the really basic and core primitive skills, reeds, grasses, bark, seaweed - it's all been used.
Cord was easy to come by - a good leather pouch maybe not so. makes sense you'd keep the pouch and adjust cords as you either grew or got more experienced or used the sling for different purposes. This is pretty much how I work today.
It just makes sense.

Slings were a very widely used and key tool. You'd probaly have a fancy owven piece for best and several workaday slings for everything else. only the fancy ones are likely to have survived till the grave robbers dug them up Smiley
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Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Reply #13 - May 22nd, 2010 at 8:13am
 
We've been through parts of this, I think. Very few slings found "in tombs"-- in fact very few slings found at all.

Cordage: is in fact mostly braided.

Strabo on Balearic slingers: mentions rushes, grass-- and sinews; but not leather, I think. So braided, not 'off cuts"

So yes, I am saying that shepherd boys do not have leather lying around to knock up slings, but take time, and pride, in weaving good slings.

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Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Reply #14 - May 22nd, 2010 at 9:22am
 
To put it slightly differently: take instances of "slinging cultures" for which we actually have some information, ancient or modern. Do they make braided slings, or leather and cup slings ?

I postulate (but am willing to be shown wrong) that most go for braiding. I think there's another thread somewhere re. why braided slings. I suppose the answer is: less stretching than what you get with leather; braiding is the way in which you make rope anyway, so you might as well braid the rope that will make the sling.

Braided slings (or woven)
Cortaillod
Ancient Egypt
Baleares
Modern Andes
Southern Turkey
Rhodes
Etruscan sling on Tomba dei relievi
African examples in Pitt Rivers Museum (weapons section reopened)
Polynesia


Leather and cup
Scandinavia ?
Roman example  ?(Vindonissa, Vindolanda ?)

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