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A recent paper on sling bullets (Read 3837 times)
David Morningstar
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A recent paper on sling bullets
Feb 6th, 2013 at 1:03pm
 

http://www.journalofromanarch.com/v23-first%20pages/Page%201%20lo_res%20PDFs/v23...

Only the first page unfortunately. Does anybody have access to this journal?
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: A recent paper on sling bullets
Reply #1 - Feb 6th, 2013 at 2:07pm
 
Lol I bet Thearos does  Grin
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Thearos
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Re: A recent paper on sling bullets
Reply #2 - Feb 6th, 2013 at 2:23pm
 
Much better is D. Campbell's article in Hesperia


http://www.ascsa.edu.gr/index.php/publications/hesperia/article/80/4/677-700

(should be downloadable)
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David Morningstar
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Re: A recent paper on sling bullets
Reply #3 - Feb 6th, 2013 at 2:31pm
 
Thearos wrote on Feb 6th, 2013 at 2:23pm:
Much better is D. Campbell's article in Hesperia


http://www.ascsa.edu.gr/index.php/publications/hesperia/article/80/4/677-700

(should be downloadable)


I dont have JSTOR  Sad
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Thearos
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Re: A recent paper on sling bullets
Reply #4 - Feb 6th, 2013 at 3:19pm
 
Oh, apologies, i thought Hesperia had some articles on for free, and that this was one of them. It argues against Rihll on sling bullets, point by point.
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David Morningstar
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Re: A recent paper on sling bullets
Reply #5 - Feb 6th, 2013 at 3:33pm
 

Good, somebody needed to!  Grin
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Thearos
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Re: A recent paper on sling bullets
Reply #6 - Feb 8th, 2013 at 1:46pm
 
The article in JRA adduces three points in favour of lead bullets being sling bullets and not catapult bullets:

1. In Latin literature, lead bullets get slung (Aeneid; Ovid, Met. 2.726-9)

2. Rihll wonders why sinew slings in Xen. Anab, and thinks that he's confused; but sinew slings are attested in Strabo, and sinew is well known in Babylonian documents as artisanal by-product of animal usbandry (the scene in Xen. Anab takes place in Babylonia)

3. There are a few lead bullets know with the name Tissaphernes, which must date before 394 (death of Tissaphernes), and therefore before the invention of the catapult, so this argues against Rihll's idea that the sling bullet was in fact a catapult bullet.

Technical points, not surprising for readers of this site.
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Re: A recent paper on sling bullets
Reply #7 - Feb 12th, 2013 at 6:50am
 
and nobody points out that the shape of sling bullets is important ?

If they were catapult bullets they would be spherical rather than aspherical.

There ought to be some kind of school for historians where they have to go and use the tools/weapons/artifacts they talk about in order to add a level of common sense practicality into their arguments Smiley
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Bill Skinner
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Re: A recent paper on sling bullets
Reply #8 - Feb 12th, 2013 at 10:52am
 
C_A, I deal with archies all the time.  They pretty much deal with Native Americans and their culture.  They can tell you all about it.  Very few can flintknap, make pottery, hunt, fish, garden, or actually do anything even remotely like what the NA's did.  Most consider camping to be living in a second rate motel.  But, if you don't have advanced degrees, you shouldn't even think of argueing with them about what an artifact could have been used for.  The term they overuse is "used for religous /cermonial purposes".  Meaning, "I don't have a clue what it was used for but I'll never admit it."  And most don't have any backgroud that will help in figuring it out.
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Re: A recent paper on sling bullets
Reply #9 - Feb 12th, 2013 at 1:18pm
 
Curious Aardvark wrote on Feb 12th, 2013 at 6:50am:
and nobody points out that the shape of sling bullets is important ?

If they were catapult bullets they would be spherical rather than aspherical.

There ought to be some kind of school for historians where they have to go and use the tools/weapons/artifacts they talk about in order to add a level of common sense practicality into their arguments Smiley

There still seems to be a divide. I didn't go into archaeology (a long time ago!) largely because at the time exactly the skills Bill mentions were ridiculed. I know it's different now at least in some places.

Shapes of bullets being impractical, or at last rather odd,  for catapult usage is one of those things that Rihil utterly ignores in her book IIRC. She may be a historian of science, but not one with a scientific or engineering bent, it would seem.
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Thearos
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Re: A recent paper on sling bullets
Reply #10 - Feb 17th, 2013 at 5:52pm
 
Both Rihll and Campbell discuss spherical vs amygdaliform shapes extensively, Campbell makes this one of his main arguments against Rihll.

NB Rihll wonders if a lot of "musket balls" found casually might be ancient (there are ancient moulds for spherical balls)

NB "catapult" means, for much of antiquity, a giant bow-like contraption (what later was called a ballista). Rihll does, I think, grapple of the question of how you would fit a sling bullet into the groove of a catapult, and what type

I don't think she's right, but she has done a lot of work on this.
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Re: A recent paper on sling bullets
Reply #11 - Feb 17th, 2013 at 7:51pm
 
Thearos wrote on Feb 17th, 2013 at 5:52pm:
Both Rihll and Campbell discuss spherical vs amygdaliform shapes extensively, Campbell makes this one of his main arguments against Rihll.

NB Rihll wonders if a lot of "musket balls" found casually might be ancient (there are ancient moulds for spherical balls)

NB "catapult" means, for much of antiquity, a giant bow-like contraption (what later was called a ballista). Rihll does, I think, grapple of the question of how you would fit a sling bullet into the groove of a catapult, and what type

I don't think she's right, but she has done a lot of work on this.

I'm hampered by not having the Campbell paper (havn't gone through the hoops to somewhere I might be able to access it Smiley) and Rihil's book isn't with me.

To me the primary objection of the amigdaliform bullets (good word - must try and remember it) in the catapults is that they would not fly 'sharp end first' stably unless they were spun. They would tend to turn side-on, and as such have worse characteristics than the same mass in a sphere, as well as making them inaccurate. I looked in vain in her book for any suggestion that the bullets were spun, although I may have missed it. It would have evidently have needed quite a fancy mechanism.
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Thearos
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Re: A recent paper on sling bullets
Reply #12 - Feb 18th, 2013 at 2:45pm
 
I looked at the Campbell article-- there is a bit about shape, but a lot is about whether sling bullets can penetrate flesh. But I'm pretty sure Rihll talks about spherical shapes.
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Re: A recent paper on sling bullets
Reply #13 - Feb 20th, 2013 at 12:28pm
 
Thearos wrote on Feb 18th, 2013 at 2:45pm:
I looked at the Campbell article-- there is a bit about shape, but a lot is about whether sling bullets can penetrate flesh. But I'm pretty sure Rihll talks about spherical shapes.

I was doing a bit of excavating in the archives of this site, mostly to remind myself what I wrote before on the matter Grin.
I think the last time this came up was here http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1303975125/12#12

I can't speak to anything Rihil might have written elsewhere than her book on the catapult, and of Campbell I can only recall the slightly acid review he gave to her book.

My recollection (summarised in the link above) is that Rihil makes claims about penetration on the basis of theoretical models of wound production and presumes for those purposes a spherical (ie. least pointy and therefore least penetrating possible) bullet. I believe she never quotes  directly the formula which she apparently applies, but gets figures for penetration which she then says could not have been achieved by sling-thrown bullets. By assuming a sphere, rather than the elongated forms we know were used, she raises her calculated figures for penetration wounds to occur. From her point of view, to the point where only mechanical catapults could have achieved the necessary velocity.

The thread I linked to above reminded me that she quoted practical experiments with wounding velocities for a spherical bullet of weight 8.5gm, and then transfers those directly to the much heavier weights of typical sling bullets as if it makes no difference. This was one of the places where I felt my faith in her line of reasoning being stretched.

I thought that in much of the rest of her book she insists that the amygdaliform projectiles were employed in catapults, as we know they were in slings.

It seemed to me she wanted things both ways - which rather annoyed me.

Has she published anything making the same arguments in peer revue, not that I have a great amount of confidence in that method of judgement? I don't think I have much to add that wasn't gone over in the earlier threads on this.
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wanderer
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Re: A recent paper on sling bullets
Reply #14 - Feb 20th, 2013 at 1:16pm
 
Well, well. Just having blundered into a copy of Campbell's Hesperia article, I don't think he pulls many punches in his criticism of Rihill (and why is her name spelled consistently with an 'l' instead of the second 'i'?!).

I see he does not mention spinning of the bullets at all, either. I think all his engineering criticisms, and more, have been discussed on this forum. I'll read it with more care in a bit, but I don't imagine I will have much profound to say about it Smiley.

Now, Rihil's 2009 paper - that is something I would like to see. JRA apparently.
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