General >> Project Goliath - The History of The Sling >> Project Goliath

Message started by Chris on Aug 2nd, 2004 at 2:18pm

Title: Project Goliath
Post by Chris on Aug 2nd, 2004 at 2:18pm
Having read through the thread titled "Hebrew slinger 1000B.C.", started by Johnny on July 6th, and seeing the enthusiasm for a book about the sling, I've decided that a new section of the forum should be created to help coordinate this ambitious project.

The collective knowledge of the people on this forum is enormous, and I think the time is has come to leverage this enormous potential and enthusiasm and begin work on a formal project.  The sling is an enormous topic, and so by distributing the various sections to different people to research and write, we can collectively produce an impressive and complete text.  While one person might be overwhelmed at the scope of such a volume, a group of enthusiastic writers could cooperatively work together, produce a similar text, and not interfere with their existing responsibilities.  

I am posting Johnny's proposed outline below for people unfamiliar with this topic to review.  Obviously, there are many ways to make this outline more comprehensive, but none-the-less, provides a good start.  

   7.Various(Celtic,German, etc...)
   1.Anatomy of the sling
   2.Stones, lead, ceramic
   1.Overhand hurl
   2.Underhand hurl
   3.Horizontal hurl


Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Hobb on Aug 2nd, 2004 at 4:47pm
May I make the first suggestion?  "Making Slings" -- have at least two sections, Ancient Methods ann Modern Methods.  Obviously, there's no way the book could list every possible method of making a sling, but the book could maybe give an overview of slings as they probably were made (composites, braided, woven, etc.) and then offer some ideas on how to make them today (20 steps to a sling, simple design, etc.).  That way, the reader could make a sling easily from readily available materials, but the book would still have some cultural and historical examples of sling design.

Title: Now we're talking
Post by Matthias on Aug 2nd, 2004 at 5:06pm
Wow... ambitious project. Any idead how the mechanics of this board should work Chris? This may be a section where "sticky" threads could be used to good effect.

How much of a sucker for punishment are you? I mentioned it in the other thread but I'll suggest again that a wiki would be ideal for this type of project. The administrative "issue" of potential vandalism could be worked around pretty easily with this group if the forum served as a "public" discussion and a sub group of members (anyone who wants to participate) had write access. The "open" files are seperate from the main site's data, so the worst case scenario is that we might lose the wiki for a while until a mod could restore the archived pages. I think Twiki (gpl'd) can cohabitate nicely with YaBB.

I look forward to seeing this Giant project grow!


Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Chris on Aug 2nd, 2004 at 11:50pm
I think a wiki will be a bit overkill, plus I'd like to keep as much content housed in this single forum.  If there is a pressing need to upgrade, I'll consider it.  It's a good idea, don't get me wrong.  

I don't foresee people posting their text here in the forum.  I would prefer to think of it as a staging ground, where we can ask questions, keep others updated about our progress, and coordinate.

The first step is developing a good outline.  From there, people can "Sign up" for parts they are willing to properly research and then write.  


Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by mgreenfield on Aug 3rd, 2004 at 7:35am NO MORE than 50 words, what IS the OBJECTIVE of creating the book??   This kind of statement, agreed to in advance by all participants, should be useful in keeping the project "on track".

Same for up-front agreement on an "editorial board", and the purpose/authority of this board.


PS:  I'm a pretty good technical editor.  Problem is everything comes out reading like a machine assembly & operation manual.   Sad but true.    ;D

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Shaun on Aug 3rd, 2004 at 2:19pm
This looks amazing, I'm only a Sophmore in high school so I don't have a lot of the knowledge or skill you guys do But I would love to be a part of this project. If there's anything I can do, I'm here


Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Gun on Aug 3rd, 2004 at 7:11pm
Just a question about how the book will be like. I don't know if any of you have the tradional bowyer's bible, but will the book be kinda like that with many authors. I fyou don't have the book it has chapters written be a different author about how to make different kind of bows.

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Hobb on Aug 4th, 2004 at 2:27pm
Given the diverse background of all potential contributers, I'd just like to throw out word of caution to anyone without a background in research...  cite your sources!!  This will lend validity to the finished work, guard against accusations of plagiarism, and give readers a way to follow up if they want more info on a particular aspect of the weapon.

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Chris on Aug 4th, 2004 at 11:20pm
It will basically be a compilation of individual papers, but with a directed focus.  Each one can be small, some maybe only a few pages.  Even the busiest of people can spare a few hours and contribute something.  

Yes, as Hobb explains, this is a serious book.  Most of the sections are heavily reliant of historical evidence and other people's articles.  People need to cite their texts.  It's really very easy, and shouldn't be a deterrent.  If you take a statistic or fact from lets say Korfmann's Scientific American article, just insert a little [Korfmann, 1973] after that sentence.  I'm used to citing text, and would be more than happy to help people if they are having problems.  You can use what ever system you want, and I'll standardize it for everyones work.  


Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by mgreenfield on Aug 5th, 2004 at 5:49pm
Re: SLING MECHANICS - Wanting to learn how to sling is why a lot of folks would pick up the book.   Promoting slinging as a sport is a main reason for assembling the book in the first place.

Somehow, we have to settle on 2-3 BASIC/SIMPLE styles, from which the reader can pick one, then see it clearly enough described to duplicate the style himself, and get the maximum in success/gratification with a minimum of frustration AND DANGER to himself or others.  

ALSO, for a writing style/vocabulary, I much recommend imitating the Wall Street Journal to reach as many people as possible.  

"Men of true science use but few hard words, and those only when none other will do.   Whereas dabblers in science  believe that by mouthing hard words, they prove mastery of difficult concepts."  anon  (Wish I'd said that!)

Short words.  Short sentences.  Short paragraphs.  Short chapters.  Lots of pictures and diagrams.  In short, eschew obfuscation!


Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Hobb on Aug 5th, 2004 at 6:04pm

Somehow, we have to settle on 2-3 BASIC/SIMPLE styles, from which the reader can pick one, then see it clearly enough described to duplicate the style himself, and get the maximum in success/gratification with a minimum of frustration AND DANGER to himself or others.  

Safety's easy enough.  Just strongly recommend that the reader use tennis balls, wadded paper with tape around it, etc. until comfortable enough to move on to "real" projectiles.

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by TechStuf on Aug 5th, 2004 at 6:04pm
One would be hard pressed to find a man of 'true science' that would adhere to that anonymous statement.  Webster once said something to the effect:  'take from me all that I possess and I should gain it all back with my mastery of words'.   True,  the neophytes enjoy puffing themselves up with their newfound 'word-toys'.  

These ones closely resemble the subjects of this quote:  "Teach a man to think that he's thinking and he will love you.  Make him really think and he may hate you."   In this day and age, where the english language is awash in a sea of wave upon wave of new slang terminology,  I for one, find it refreshing to come across new and useful words to enrich my word power.  

So too,  one should always consider who they are talking too and try to communicate effectively without losing one's audience.   :-[

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Hobb on Aug 5th, 2004 at 8:39pm
The person with the most extensive vocabulary is the one who chooses precisely the right word to convey his meaning to his audience, without counting syllables.  I agree with mgreenfield:  e-chew obstetricians!  (that's what he said, right?)   ;) :)

This raises a good point, though.  Who's the book for?  Laymen?  Scholars?  Are we going for a coffee-table kind of vibe, or are we looking to be cited in professional journals?

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by TechStuf on Aug 5th, 2004 at 10:49pm
Well put,  Hobb.   The most effective form of verbal expression relies upon more than one agenda.  

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by David_T on Aug 6th, 2004 at 10:37pm
Well said MG ;D

Hows that for short and simple? ::) Yet we must not appear too simple. Hows that for diplomacy?

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Gun on Aug 7th, 2004 at 4:59pm
Chris, you said that you could do a section about slings used by groups of people. Is this going to be in the book? I would have a interest in doing a section on Viking or Norse slingers. Although I do not have any research done, I would do the work for it. Also, what is the timeline of this book? Do we need to have it done by a certain time period or is this just work as we go until we get done? And what would be the word count or page count need to be. I know that some sections do need to be longer than others. I am trying to give a small section, but I am just curious for me and ever other person hear. What do you think?

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by solobo on Aug 7th, 2004 at 9:08pm
Like shaun, I'm pretty young (junior in highscool) but I'd love to help.  As far as I know, there are few (if any) books like this already written, and there needs to be.  
As far as the vocabulary goes, my opinion is: keep it simple, but don't hesitate to use words that will make what you're trying to say more clear.  A book like this should be fairly easy to follow and understand, but not so elementary that people don't feel like reading it.

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Matthias on Aug 7th, 2004 at 11:41pm
I think that it is a huge advantage that we have such a diverse group of people here at I imagine that we collectively represent a pretty nice sampling of the type of people who would be interested in a book about slinging (surprise surprise ;)) That said, the language should be that that the group as a whole is comfortable with.

I hope that no one holds back due to a perceived lack of experience etc. All of you guys (young, ancient or otherwise) are valuable contributors to the forum, and that will hold tru for any book. We have a host of editor-types (most with technical backgrounds it seems :-X) to sort out language/grammar/vocabulary/style once text starts coming together.


Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by WildAtHeart on Aug 11th, 2004 at 10:48pm
Looking through the other posts in the "project Goliath" forum, I'm astounded at your enthusaism and knowledge. I'm sure it is merely the tip of the iceberg :)

In a couple of weeks I will be beginning college, and I am hoping I can write a report or do a mathematical study of slings. That way, I can make a solid contribution to project Goliath and get a grade for it!

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by english on Aug 12th, 2004 at 5:59am
This is a very ambitious project.  I'm afraid I won't be able to write anything, because no doubt someone would try to correct my real English with that pidgin you call American English.  The word is GREY not GRAY.  Etc.
 Seriously though... No direct contribution can be made by myself, but I will try to research as much as possible at the British Museum, the British Library and any other institutions I can find about slings, in Britain and abroad.  There will doubtless be some things I can find.  I'm going up to London soon, so maybe I'll give it a go.

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by friebejr on Aug 12th, 2004 at 4:20pm
;) Hey, English, I am sure you can contribute a lot to the book, even more after researching at the British Library and at the British Museum! Uau! these must be really great, when I'll visit England, I will spend all time in both of these places... :) if they aallow me, I can even sleep inside these places!!! ;D ;D ;D
You mentioned something that is really curious for anyone who is no-english speaker... there are also written differences  between english and american english ... but undoubtly they don't seem much different when I read them, but when I watch some movie, or TV news, oh my God, it doesn't seem to be the same language... ;D. I studied british english, and a close friend of mine is a US Citizen living in Nevada; well, when I call him, if anybody else answers the call, it is difficult to me to understand, and I am surely that it is for them too... once, a friend of him asked if his friend (me) was Arabian speaker... >:( >:(
The same occurs with the portuguese spoken in Portugal and in Brasil... ;)
We are all waiting for the results of tyour interesting researchers, o.k.???

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by friebejr on Aug 12th, 2004 at 4:22pm
:-[ oh, oh!
I put a sad  ??? at the end of the message for mistake...
Sorry again... :-[

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Gun on Aug 12th, 2004 at 5:44pm
Oh well. It is getting you post up high each time you do it friebejr.  ;D

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Gun on Aug 12th, 2004 at 5:45pm
higher  ;) Now you have got me doing it too.

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by friebejr on Aug 12th, 2004 at 9:38pm
;) Oh, no! if "high" means "under alcoholic influence", nobody can even wonder our super-hero "Slinging Super Squirrel" doing this... I think he prefers some "nuts juice"!!!!

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Matthias on Aug 12th, 2004 at 10:03pm
Lol you guys... You do know that you can edit your own posts after the fact? (hit "modify" next to the post you want to fix)That confused little smiley turns up whenever you use three question marks (or two ? bracketing a ! - what's up with that?) !?!  ?!! are safe... I used to be a fan of the triple ? for "really want to know" or "incredulity" but am gradually weaning myself...


Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Chris on Aug 12th, 2004 at 10:24pm
English, sounds good.  Any new images or reference you can find would be fantastic!


Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Gun on Aug 12th, 2004 at 11:49pm
Thanks Matthias for the advice. I think plenty of people on this forum did not know this.

And i meant nothing about being High. I am wirery enough without that stuff. Plus slinging super squirrel has to be on his toes to dodge the stones from his little sling.

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by english on Aug 13th, 2004 at 4:30am
I am not saying for definite I will find anything in either of those institutions, because they are both enormous archives; you need to know exactly what you are looking for.  But the British museum should have at least an Egyptian sling or two, that kind of thing.

Title: Wiki
Post by Dan_Bollinger on Sep 19th, 2004 at 10:13am
I too would like to suggest using a Wiki to write and edit this journal. It allows for everyone to edit and proofread while keeping only one version.

I've worked on writing projects before, and keeping track of the edits is difficult at best even when using a 'track changes' feature.

I've started one at I used the chapters in the Proposed Outline v2. Each of these wiki pages can have subchapters, too.  It can also be setup so you receive emails when it is finished.

You might want to license the book under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0, or whatever works for you.

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Matthias on Sep 19th, 2004 at 4:49pm
I like it... but I guess I've already used my vote ;). I mostly like being able to _see_ the whole thing. Maybe once more chapters start to come together. Wiki collaborative works tend to be less fragmented than compilations of different authours tend to be.


Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Gun on Sep 19th, 2004 at 4:53pm
yeah that sound great. The more proof readers the better. I just got finished with english 2 in college and have all the the english book so i am fresh with sentices and paragraph structshore. I am not a spelling corrector ( as you can tell) that is what the computer is for. I will help if you need it. Just ask!  ;)

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Chris on Sep 20th, 2004 at 9:00pm
While I think wikis work for some types of literature, I don't see it working particularly well for this one (just my opinion).  Each section is going to be a sophisticated and detailed piece of text that doesn't lend well to many people making additions and edits.  I think sections need to be "adopted" by a single person, or at least a dedicated few.  Each person will become essentially experts in their little category.  I want everyone to focus on hunting down contacts, new sources, and writing, not reviewing other work.  At this point, where the project is in it's infancy, it's important we dedicate what ever time we have to get the ball rolling.  If we can't reach some kind of critical mass over the next few months, the project will just fizzle out.  Once there is perhaps 30% of text completed, and a dedicated crew eager to finish the rest, maybe a wiki would be great to pull in everyone else and polish the text.  

With only one section done, the preface, we've got a lot of work ahead of us.  I've started on my next section, and hope to see some other completed sections soon.


Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Johnny on Sep 27th, 2004 at 9:41am
I'm getting things together on the various battles where the sling was used. I will be using quotes from most of the ancient historians(Diodorus,Thucydides,etc...). I'm not much of a creative writer and will be using large quotes from these historians. I will add a little commentary and just let the ancients speak for themselves.

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Dave Nessia on Dec 14th, 2004 at 7:24pm
My name is Dave Nessia and I am an instructor for Boulder Outdoor Survival School. This forum is very interesting to me for I have just started researching for a series of articles on the sling. One Article will be a basic historic overview, one will be the Mechanics of the sling, and the third will involve creating a woven sling. As I research this subject more I will love to share any information that I come in contact with. I am hoping to publish these articles in The Society of Primative Technology For I know the editor. This does seem to enhance my chances. Any info anyone can throw my way will also be greatly appreciated.

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Chris on Dec 15th, 2004 at 1:55am
Great.  Anything you produce would certainly be helpful for our effort.


Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by ben_banned on Apr 2nd, 2005 at 5:28am
If you like I have a pre written article on games with the sling and how to make a target that allows you to save your ammo. I understand completely if you dont want it cosidering that it wouldnt really fit into any of the chapters.

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by tint on Apr 2nd, 2005 at 6:09am
Make it to the book or not, do you mind sharing the infomations anyway? :o  I am very interested in the games!

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Willeke on Apr 2nd, 2005 at 6:58am
I agree, please put it on the forum.
If only to tell the police my sling is part of an inocent game.  "Officer, see the rules, it is a game!!!!"


Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by ben_banned on Apr 2nd, 2005 at 8:43am
sure but you will have to wait im going to make it an article with pics and stuff it should be up in at least 2 weeks

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Zwiebeltuete on Mar 5th, 2006 at 6:26am
I added search results on latin sources about slingers to the discussion section of the roman page in the wiki. Maybe here is somebody who actually understands latin and likes to look through them.


Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by narya on Mar 9th, 2006 at 6:24pm
Have added kind of a "Proposed Structure" for the section The Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands on the Wiki

I don't want to do more without knowing what others think about that structure.

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Tint on Mar 9th, 2006 at 10:10pm
I think it is really cool.  You have my vote!

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Zwiebeltuete on Mar 12th, 2006 at 8:48am
What in my opinion would be necessary is a style guide for the book. That doesn't have to be very detailed, but it should describe what the aim of the project is (What is the target audience? What should these people learn from the book?) and what therefore should be included (Information sources like in scientific publications?) and how should it be styled/structured (The current wiki-format can mislead the writers to write like they would on Wikipedia.).


Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Dan_Bollinger on Apr 23rd, 2006 at 9:16am
I'm pleased to see the project moving forward!  It will be a great contribution.  I originally suggested, or co-suggested, using a wiki for the writing and edit phase. But what to do when this is finished?

Certainly, you could put it on the website as articles.  But I wonder if we couldn't do more with it?

Why not use one of the publish-on-demand services like and create a book?  The cash could support server costs.  Maybe this has been thought of already, Dan

Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Zwiebeltuete on Apr 23rd, 2006 at 11:15am
Do you have the right to publish it as a book? If I do an anonymous submission I get:

Please note that all contributions to Wiki may be edited, altered, or removed by other contributors. If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly, then don't submit it here.
You are also promising us that you wrote this yourself, or copied it from a public domain or similar free resource (see Project:Copyrights for details). DO NOT SUBMIT COPYRIGHTED WORK WITHOUT PERMISSION!

So everybody is doing submission only for publication as a Wiki at (Btw. Project:Copyrights is empty.) I would ask a lawyer in the country where the Wiki is or where the person is who considers doing the work to publish it as a book and if necessary restart the Wiki. (Better to think about legal things at the beginning than after all the work is done.)


Title: Re: Project Goliath
Post by Chris on Apr 28th, 2006 at 8:41pm
I think the ultimate goal is to get it published in one way or another.  This can be done with the wiki material.  The publisher would have to understand that the material was from many sources, and that it would also be available online.  They would simply be making a paper version.  

The wiki should be under the Creative Commons Licensce, but I'll double check after this post.  

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