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Roman slingshot mold on ebay? (Read 3097 times)
Timothy Potter
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Roman slingshot mold on ebay?
Sep 7th, 2011 at 5:08pm
 
I came across this while looking for slings on ebay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ancient-Roman-Bronze-Matrix-Lead-Sling-Pellets-Rare-/220...

If it was for sling ammunition, it's interesting that it appears to have been designed for casting spherical rather that bi-pointed projectiles. Too bad the description doesn't say anything about where it came from or how old it is.

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Thearos
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Re: Roman slingshot mold on ebay?
Reply #1 - Sep 7th, 2011 at 7:45pm
 
Yes-- but that's typical of antiquities on the internet. It could be from anywhere; it could be a fake. If it's authentic, the fact that it was looted means that we've lost, for ever, information about this mould.

Anyways:

1. Tracey Rihll wonders if Romans in fact did sling round lead balls-- it's just that we've always thought that sling bullets had biconical shape.

2. There are other moulds for round balls-- I know of one from Athens, from the Pnyx i think, published by Dorothy Thompson if I'm not wrong (I seem to remember reading it on Google books).
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bigkahuna
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Re: Roman slingshot mold on ebay?
Reply #2 - Sep 7th, 2011 at 9:20pm
 
More likely a North African musket ball mold for the Tuaregs or other tribes armed with jezails.
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: Roman slingshot mold on ebay?
Reply #3 - Sep 8th, 2011 at 6:45am
 
I was thinking the same, bigkahuna!

Anyway, I totally agree with what Thearos said "If it's authentic, the fact that it was looted means that we've lost, for ever, information about this mould."
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HurlinThom
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Re: Roman slingshot mold on ebay?
Reply #4 - Sep 8th, 2011 at 1:39pm
 
Firstly, the picture is of half the mould. Is the other half missing? The three small holes are almost certainly for pins to index the other half so the two sides of the balls aren't offset. It's an interesing shape: modern gang moulds have the cavities in line, with a trough on top. Most likely this shape uses less bronze.

Second, there is a lot of misinformation in the descriptions on eBay. I've seen one that said a mould was for the Henry rifle, which was a rimfire, whose cartridges couldn't be reloaded.

No judgement on round versus biconical, but the Roman term "glans" means acorn, which isn't spherical.
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Thearos
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Re: Roman slingshot mold on ebay?
Reply #5 - Sep 8th, 2011 at 3:54pm
 
yes, the other half is missing. Good spot re pin holes, that makes sense
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HurlinThom
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Re: Roman slingshot mold on ebay?
Reply #6 - Sep 8th, 2011 at 4:32pm
 
Thearos wrote on Sep 8th, 2011 at 3:54pm:
yes, the other half is missing. Good spot re pin holes, that makes sense

Those are a feature of most modern bullet moulds. I just noted their presence.
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: Roman slingshot mold on ebay?
Reply #7 - Sep 9th, 2011 at 8:00am
 
Molds we used in casting bronze had only 2 pin holes, one in the top left corner, and the other in the bottom right one.
Those molds were modeled after Late Bronze Age ones found in Central-Northern Italy, belonging to a culture called "Terramaricola", and about 800 years older of molds like the one sold on ebay (if it's really ancient).
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