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Bronze sling bullet (Read 12880 times)
David Morningstar
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Bronze sling bullet
Mar 21st, 2011 at 2:44pm
 

http://www.salimbeti.com/micenei/weapons4.htm

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The sling bullets were also made of metal as attested by this bronze sling bullet (length 4.8 cm) from Maa-Palaeokastro Cyprus dated about 1200-1100 BC. in Cyprus amygdaloid sling bullets, mostly in lead but also in bronze, appear at several sites of the Late Cypriote Bronze Age, particularly at Enkomi.


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HurlinThom
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Re: Bronze sling bullet
Reply #1 - Mar 21st, 2011 at 8:24pm
 
Wow, an early form of armor-piercing ammo. With the expense of bronze I don't imagine too many of that type were made, so they must have been special-purpose. Thrown point-on with a good spin for stability they should have been really effective. (Pure conjecture on my part, of course.)
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David Morningstar
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Re: Bronze sling bullet
Reply #2 - Mar 22nd, 2011 at 6:35am
 
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David Morningstar
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Re: Bronze sling bullet
Reply #3 - Mar 22nd, 2011 at 7:17am
 

A hint of it here: http://www.oac.ie/site/content/manners-customs-ancient-irish

"Use of Sling-balls of Iron, and Bronze"
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Re: Bronze sling bullet
Reply #4 - Mar 27th, 2011 at 4:22am
 
Quote:
The sling bullets were also made of metal as attested by this bronze sling bullet (length 4.8 cm) from Maa-Palaeokastro Cyprus dated about 1200-1100 BC. in Cyprus amygdaloid sling bullets, mostly in lead but also in bronze, appear at several sites of the Late Cypriote Bronze Age, particularly at Enkomi.


[/quote]


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Re: Bronze sling bullet
Reply #5 - Mar 27th, 2011 at 6:42am
 
The context appears to be the Ellenisthic Middle Age; this's interesting, wish some will be found in Italy, too  Cheesy
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Re: Bronze sling bullet
Reply #6 - Mar 27th, 2011 at 12:59pm
 
HurlinThom wrote on Mar 21st, 2011 at 8:24pm:
Wow, an early form of armor-piercing ammo. With the expense of bronze I don't imagine too many of that type were made, so they must have been special-purpose. Thrown point-on with a good spin for stability they should have been really effective. (Pure conjecture on my part, of course.)


I guess they used the leftovers pieces of bronze, not the super quality type.
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Re: Bronze sling bullet
Reply #7 - Mar 27th, 2011 at 1:20pm
 
It may be worth noting that some archaeologists think these are weights and not sling bullets. But it is, of course, a guess.
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Re: Bronze sling bullet
Reply #8 - Mar 27th, 2011 at 1:42pm
 
My favorite of all I've seen on the web,just ideal.Mixing some lead with copper would be a good alloy for sling bullets,I think.It would melt at quite high temperatures around 900 C ,would be a lot harder than lead,and less dense.
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Re: Bronze sling bullet
Reply #9 - Mar 27th, 2011 at 5:38pm
 
Thearos wrote on Mar 27th, 2011 at 1:20pm:
It may be worth noting that some archaeologists think these are weights and not sling bullets. But it is, of course, a guess.


Are they as well acquainted with slings as you? What is your opinion?
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Thearos
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Re: Bronze sling bullet
Reply #10 - Mar 27th, 2011 at 8:08pm
 
There's a problem because there's no mention of lead (or just metal) bullets before Xenophon, which takes us to 400 BC. So maybe the sling bullets were invented ca. 1200 in Cyprus, but stayed localized or forgotten.

My own opinion ? I 've wavered. Lately I thought they were small weights (I seem to remember a few were found on a shipwreck, trading ship), but the one DM shows is pretty sharp for that. So I'm not sure.
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Re: Bronze sling bullet
Reply #11 - Mar 27th, 2011 at 8:25pm
 
The absence of documentation doesn't necessarily mean they did not exist(?) An odd shape for weights, but perfect for slinging. Those little beauties would have no problem penetrating flesh I venture.
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David Morningstar
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Re: Bronze sling bullet
Reply #12 - Mar 28th, 2011 at 4:28am
 
Thearos wrote on Mar 27th, 2011 at 8:08pm:
There's a problem because there's no mention of lead (or just metal) bullets before Xenophon, which takes us to 400 BC. So maybe the sling bullets were invented ca. 1200 in Cyprus, but stayed localized or forgotten.

My own opinion ? I 've wavered. Lately I thought they were small weights (I seem to remember a few were found on a shipwreck, trading ship), but the one DM shows is pretty sharp for that. So I'm not sure.


When do bronze arrowheads first come into use? The biconical shape was well established in clay sling bullets well into the neolithic. Making them of bronze is an obvious thing to do, the only question is whether you can afford the $$$$.

Perhaps there was a local shortage of lead due to war disrupting trade, so they melted down a bronze statue they had dragged off as booty from somewhere else.

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David Morningstar
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Re: Bronze sling bullet
Reply #13 - Mar 28th, 2011 at 4:34am
 
An argument against them being weights is simple: they would roll around all over the place. Imagine putting one of those on one side of a two pan balance and dangling it... everything would end up on the floor.
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Re: Bronze sling bullet
Reply #14 - Mar 28th, 2011 at 4:51am
 
Yes, that's a good point. I suppose a lot of the known sling bullets are datable to late Classical and Hellenistic context (as everyone knows, they die out during the Roman empire). Of course, the uninscribed ones could well date earlier-- what's needed is some secure archaeological context.
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