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General >> Project Goliath - The History of The Sling >> J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
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Message started by Thearos on May 19th, 2010 at 7:23pm

Title: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Thearos on 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&dq=bryant+finney+jon+middle+age&hl=en&ei=2m_0S_ywC4aCOIadrOMC&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA

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

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by wanderer on 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 ;)
-- 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...

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Thearos on May 19th, 2010 at 8:26pm
just Finney on the beach with his sling !

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Fundibularius on 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.  :-/

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by wanderer on 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

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Thearos on 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)

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by David Morningstar on 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.

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by curious_aardvark on 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.

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Thearos on 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)
Slide1.jpg (17 KB | )

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Thearos on 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 ?

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Thearos on 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.

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Aussie on 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.

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by curious_aardvark on 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 :-)

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Thearos on 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.


Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Thearos on 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 ?)


Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Thearos on May 22nd, 2010 at 9:24am
On archaeologists vs. looters, a shoutout to one of my favorite sites:

http://paul-barford.blogspot.com/

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by David Morningstar on May 22nd, 2010 at 9:36am
Thearos: for leather add all of pre-Columbian North America...

http://anthro.amnh.org/anthropology/databases/common/public_access.cfm?database=north

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Thearos on May 22nd, 2010 at 10:46am
Good point. Plains Indians, leather societies ?


Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by curious_aardvark on May 23rd, 2010 at 6:39am
yep - so rope making and braiding is basic everyday activity.

so is sling making.

whether or not the sling is braided or leather - there would have been simple quick slings for everyday use and more complicated ones for 'sunday best'.

And the vast majority of those discovered are for 'sunday best'.

Also given the natural materials used - very few of the everyday slings would survive to be found. Odd sare they'd just have been discarded when broken and a new one swiftly knocked up.

I'm not disputing that most slings would have had a braided component.
just the assertion that ALL slings were items people invested lots of time and effort making and were thus valuable commodities.
That's just daft.

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Thearos on May 23rd, 2010 at 7:09am
An initial point: which "discovered" slings are you talking about ? Can we have a list of slings discovered in archaeological contexts ? A lot of slings are from ethnographical contexts-- collected by travellers. Were these 'special" slings, or everyday slings ?

I recently read Cahlander, Braided slings of the Andes. The thing that emerges clearest is "serious about slinging, serious about slings"-- if you use slings every day, for work, you take trouble; and if you take trouble, the thing that comes out is complex, and has the beauty of hand made everyday objects. Difficult to imagine in our industrial societies, I suppose.

But even a "working sling" has to be braided tight, braided right, woven skillfully, have the right length, size of pouch, zippiness or heaviness of cords. These are not simple things.

Before i read this site, I made, as a teenager, 5-6 slings. They were made of offcuts of cloth, craft shop leather bits; they were horrible, short, and fell to bits. .

Since reading this site, I've made about 15 slings. The first ones were horrible and unusable. But I kept reading, and braiding, and i understood such issues as length (daring to go much longer than I first thought), solid pouch vs split, etc. The end results are still horrible, but I understand that it's a complex process.

Conclusion: to knock up a sling is certainly possible. Even to make a simple sling that's good requires specifications. Societies where the sling plays an important role probably made very nice slings indeed. Andes, we know; Celtic hillforts, pretty likely

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by wanderer on May 23rd, 2010 at 9:01am

Aussie wrote on May 22nd, 2010 at 1:19am:
Not quite sure how the "drag has little effect on velocity" conclusion is arrived at.

Finney is going at the problem which is in a sense 'backwards' from our point of view.

He wanted to model the trajectory of a stone, he has drawn these onto various hill fort profiles, but he needed to justify using parabolic curves appropriate to negligible air resistance, presumably for simplicity.

He did some calculations (the Reynolds Number mentioned above) and decided that was sufficient to allow him to neglect air resistance. It wasn't, even if the value had been calculated correctly.

The velocities, launch angles, etc. are all inferred on the assumption of no air resistance from just distance and flight time. Since he was not that experienced, there is huge spread in his experimental results. The highest velocity he reported was inferred for a throw at an angle of 18 degrees from the horizontal!

Doubtless there is a systematic error in his results due to neglecting air resistance, but since there is so much scatter in his raw data it may not be that obvious.

However, he is modeling on assumptions which I abandoned myself when I was in the early stages of slinging, realizing that air resistance was evidently important. The stones he uses are mostly rather heavier than the ones I used, so air resistance would have been less important for him, it's very difficult to say how much.

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by curious_aardvark on May 23rd, 2010 at 11:39am
before finding tis site I too made several slings.

each one lasted many years. They were just made from cord and leather.
The first couple used solid leather 'cord' so were just leather. Very simple very primitive - very effective. I never had any problems slinging long distances right from day one.
And I still have the original pouches - just with different cords. and that's about 25 years on.

Just because some historian has not documented something does not mean that common sense can be totally dispensed with (although that frequently seems to be the case).

If simple effective slings can be made today with nothing other than a knife, animal skin and vegetable based cordage - then they most certainly could be made thousands of years ago with the same tools.



Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Thearos on May 23rd, 2010 at 12:04pm
You still need evidence;  in absence of evidence, parallels and analogies (that's what ethno-archaeology is for). I still hold that even making a 'simple' sling takes care, and skills-- and that's common sense, as well as my own experience. But generally,if common sense just means "what I feel", it can't be worth much.

Reading Cahlander, I see a slinging culture where people are serious about slinging-- and braid beautiful slings, even for 'daily' use: men braid all the time (in downtime from work, or walking to festivals), are reluctant to teach the complex weaves to outsiders (and women), and wear slings-- e.g. around their head, like the Balearic slingers. These are not ritual , "dancing" slings, which are much more complex obbjects, but daily use slings: complex 4 or 16 strand braids with patterns.

Or i look at the videos of modern menorcan sling braiders using esparto grass. I'm sure an Andean villager or an ancient Balearic islander could knock up a sling if needed-- but hold that well made, complex objects are the rule.

The slings of the Palestinian shebabs are rough and ready, but they are made in a particular context (the post 1968 Palestinian refugee society, no longer quite a traditional agricultural and pastoral society) to fight and discard in riots against Israeli border police; and even so, the dimensions of cord and pouch show some thought and care, judging from photographs.

So I would maintain (until I see evidence to the contrary, not "common sense" statements) that:
1. "serious about slinging, serious about slings" is a good rule of thumb for slinging societies
2. the Celtic hillforts, with their heavy emphasis on the sling, might well have been Andean-style sling braiders.



Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by wanderer on May 23rd, 2010 at 12:16pm

Curious Aardvark wrote on May 20th, 2010 at 11:01am:
But when will these researchers contact experienced slingers - or even do some basic research on sling usage and techniques.
To be fair to him, this work was submitted January 2005 (bet he had a busy Christmas :)), and things were very different then. He's hardly likely to have run into a bunch of slingers on the beach, and this forum started up late 2003 I believe.

Quote:
[quote]...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. [/quote]
The prose might be a little purple, but it's a PhD thesis!  ;D Again, before this site 'basic research' on the sling would have found very little. It didn't then mean sitting clicking mouse buttons on a computer connected to the internet and consulting Wikipedia articles, it was a lot harder.

A working sling may well be easily knocked up out of scraps, but it seems such slings were not considered adequate in many societies. There is far more than pure pragmatism involved, it was a greatly valued tool, and such things naturally attract a respect and care in their manufacture.

He chose to use a Bolivian sling, a working sling, not an ornamental one, which has at the very least a long day's work involved in it's manufacture.


Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by wanderer on May 23rd, 2010 at 1:54pm

Curious Aardvark wrote on May 23rd, 2010 at 11:39am:
If simple effective slings can be made today with nothing other than a knife, animal skin and vegetable based cordage - then they most certainly could be made thousands of years ago with the same tools.

As is demonstrated in countless ancient and modern examples, the animal skin is not required. Why use animal skin when you can form the pouch with the same material you are using for the cords?

I suspect from their point of view, your 'obvious' combination of a leather pouch and cordage might be considered unnatural.

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Fundibularius on May 23rd, 2010 at 2:49pm
Agreed. Skin, especially treated and tanned (leather), is usually not the "easiest" or "cheapest" material to aquire.

I cannot say much about a greater efficiency of one pouch type or the other. I use them both with variable results. ;)

In many traditional societies most everyday items are not only "practical" in a secular meaning as we use most things around us today. They usually also had to show certain social, tribal or religious connections. A sling with a certain (coloured, woven) pattern can "mean" a lot more than an undecorated piece of hide with strings. It can indicate the owner's status, the people/tribe he belongs to, his interaction with others, the "magic" that he put into slingmaking. And his pride, of course. All this can be expressed a lot better in weaving or netting than in plain (unpainted) leather.

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Aussie on May 23rd, 2010 at 6:48pm

Curious Aardvark wrote on 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.



My how heated this discussion has become, and all over a few little words, albeit provocative ones. We've now started arguing about the relative merits of braided v. leather pouched slings, the degree of difficulty in manufacture, status in society and all sorts of stuff which really is beside the point.

What does Finney's statement actually say? I've underlined the contentious point so we can zero in on it. He maintains the sling is not a simple weapon and backs this by say that an "artefact" (just why he calls it an artefact is not clear) that can cast a stone over 80m at 100kph. has to be made to high specs. (again just what high specs means is not defined). Now that particular statement is questionable at best. A really good thrower can probably achieve that by hand with no sling at all. Certainly the simplest, most basic of slings will help any average slinger surpass those results, certainly the 100k/h figure which is only 28m/s.

Sure, in societies where slings are valued they may be beautifully crafted works of art as well as functional tools. But they don't have to be to work any more than the superb engraving on shotguns helps them to shoot better. I am sure Finney didn't intend his statement to be subjected to so high a degree of analysis but let's keep the distinction between functionality and beauty.

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Thearos on May 23rd, 2010 at 7:32pm
Fair enough. Discussion doesn't seem very heated to me, to be honest. Artefact doesn't bother me: in the sense of an object made by man as the result of technological purpose.

Yes, no doubt you're right that a working sling can be made easily enough (and there are patterns here on this website: an offcut of leather, cords wrapped around a pencil, in the Timothy Potter model, which avoids holes and stretch; etc). C-A is right, and Finney's sentence is overstated.

However, I disagree with C-A that "since it's easy to make a basic sling, most societies must have made basic slings". On the contrary, the question is "since it's easy to make a basic sling, why do slinging cultures go for complex woven ones ?".

In addition, wanderer and Fundi. make good point that it may be easy to knock up a sling with paracord or shoelaces and an offcut of leather nowadays, but not necessarily in the conditions of a pre-industrial society: you might have to braid your cord (so might as well braid your pouch-- which takes us into complex artefact territory), and tanned leather not necessarily easy to come by. ANd that takes us not very far from Finney's initial statement.


Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Aussie on May 24th, 2010 at 1:00am
Yes, I think it's an easy trap to fall into to evaluate things through our affluent modern eyes where we have a superabundance of material possessions. No doubt in a society where people own very little of anything even a simple sling is a major possession. This I think, is the key to why they would make very elaborate slings when simple ones would function just as well. The shepherding society's equivalent to going into debt to buy a Mercedes Benz when a Kia would do just as well.

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Fundibularius on May 24th, 2010 at 5:48am
Yes, what I meant, though, is a bit more than aesthetics ("beauty"). It has something to do with the "significance" of items which is expressed in their appearance. We are used to think in terms of practicability when we see old artefacts, and a lot of them are admirable in that. But they are seldom "only" practical. Usually, their shape, colour, material... means (or intends to to conjure up) something more. Matter was much more than just "dead" matter before the age of industrialization.

Cars are a very good example of an area where this significance still plays an important role today. Or take the desire for certain brands in clothes, shoes, even weapons...

I'm not sure, but if I remember correctly some of the "simple" medieval leather slings from Northern Europe were found in siege contexts, and at least one of them was obviously improvised from old shoe leather. This, on the one hand, fits into the "expensive leather, don't waste" assumption, but it may also be an indication that "practicability only" was only applied in emergency situations when slings had to be produced very quickly.

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Thearos on May 24th, 2010 at 6:52am
Aussie: more like a way of converting downtime (which there's a lot of in agricultural and pastoral societies) into resources, namely manufactured objects

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Aussie on May 24th, 2010 at 6:14pm
To be fair to Finney, we or at least I, have taken his statement in isolation. To me it sounds like a sort of summary which probably follows a section of explanatory text. Perhaps the intent is really to say that, "Despite the sling's apparent simplicity, any device which so greatly enhances the user's natural capability needs care in manufacture and is worthy of study".  Would that be a fair assessment?

My only real peeve is that Finney may have unwittingly strayed outside his area of expertise. I am nobody's historian or archaeologist and I am sure Finney is an expert in his field. However analysis of projectile trajectories is really the preserve of physicists and is hardly an unknown field. Granted it is not an easy task to locate expert slingers, but to base a thesis solely on the results of one's own beginner level slinging, assuming those results to be typical, is a bit unprofessional, is it not?

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Thearos on May 25th, 2010 at 4:15am
You could download the thesis (wanderer gives link) and go through the data which Finney gives. Wanderer seems to be doing just that.

Also, I hope wanderer tells us how the data, mistakes if there are any, etc,affect the argument

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by wanderer on May 25th, 2010 at 9:09am

Thearos wrote on May 25th, 2010 at 4:15am:
You could download the thesis (wanderer gives link) and go through the data which Finney gives. Wanderer seems to be doing just that.

Also, I hope wanderer tells us how the data, mistakes if there are any, etc,affect the argument


:)Well, I'll try to do just that. It will have to wait a day or two I think, I'm unable to work on it at the moment.

A summary, though, is that Finney only touches briefly on the effect of air resistance, in the hope that he can neglect it. He decides he can, because at high Reynolds Numbers the drag coefficient falls (this is the 'drag crisis'). For a sphere it drops from about 0.5 to 0.1. He calculates that he has velocities above the drag crisis, says 'yippee!' and proceeds to ignore drag for the rest of the work. He should have gone further, but this would have 'opened the can of worms' probably further than anyone would like. Evaluating with any degree of certainty actual values for his launch velocities is going to be close to impossible, particularly because he was clearly not a very experienced slinger, and it seems his launch velocities really are all over the place. In addition each throw involved a different stone.

More later, I hope :-?

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by TOMBELAINE on Jul 19th, 2022 at 2:49am
The main mistake of Finney is to test a sling and a style of throwing without asking the question of the goal pursued at this period.

A rock thrown from a hill must have what weight or speed to crush the head of the guy trying to climb the hill ? Only then, can it be judged whether a particular style or sling are suitable for the purpose of this period.
Another example, do they fight at 200 meters or 50 ? We don't know, so no hative conclusions.

His conclusions are produced by our modern reasoning (and his inexperience of the sling) and don't answer the question of defending a hill by throwing stone at this period.

Just my idea. I can be wrong but that's what I think.


Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by TOMBELAINE on Jul 19th, 2022 at 7:32am
I started reading chapter 5. Exciting.
Just one example :
The one who throws at 70/80 meters is ok. His necessarily diminuate average is approximatively in the space between the ramparts. It's consistent.

img245.jpg (51 KB | 3 )

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Curious Aardvark on Jul 19th, 2022 at 8:17am
I think pretty much all Finney's conclusions have been proved incorrect by the experiments we did at hodd hill.
As were the somewhat ridiculous theories of some modern historians.

Hodd hill is An actual historic hillfort, where large caches of sling stones were found.
Nd we had permission to conduct live fire experiments.

I'm one of the few people to have simulated both an attacking and defending army of slingers at a relatively intact hill fort.

Unfortunately Pete's book is no longer available on Amazon :-(

It's got a long title I can never properly remember, hang on I'll go find it :-)

https://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1468418037/5#5

There are various threads on the whole endeavour around the forum.

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Curious Aardvark on Jul 19th, 2022 at 8:28am
Iron Age Hillfort Defences and the Tactics of Sling Warfare
By Peter Robertson

Not: Robinson.

Also it turns out that if you put the right search in, Amazon still has it :-)
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hillfort-Defences-Tactics-Sling-Warfare/dp/178491410X/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?crid=1FP41RJ3UJMYF&keywords=Iron+Age+Hillfort+Defences+and+the+Tactics+of+Sling+Warfare+By+Peter+Robertson&qid=1658233652&sprefix=iron+age+hillfort+defences+and+the+tactics+of+sling+warfare+by+peter+robertson%2Caps%2C88&sr=8-1

Given that Pete's book is the only one that involved experienced slingers (myself and David Morningstar) it's pretty much the only book on historical slinging based on accurate information and statistics.



Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by TOMBELAINE on Jul 20th, 2022 at 3:34am

Curious Aardvark wrote on Jul 19th, 2022 at 8:17am:
Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Reply #36 - Yesterday at 8:17am   I think pretty much all Finney's conclusions have been proved incorrect by the experiments we did at hodd hill.
As were the somewhat ridiculous theories of some modern historians.

Hodd hill is An actual historic hillfort, where large caches of sling stones were found.
Nd we had permission to conduct live fire experiments.

I'm one of the few people to have simulated both an attacking and defending army of slingers at a relatively intact hill fort.


It's an experience I wish I had. There is a post about your test in the forum. I remember that the importance of shooting angle.


Curious Aardvark wrote on Jul 19th, 2022 at 8:28am:
Given that Pete's book is the only one that involved experienced slingers (myself and David Morningstar) it's pretty much the only book on historical slinging based on accurate information and statistics.


Le Puy d'Issolud (France) was a Gaulish oppidum where there was a great battle.  Archeologists have done tests, like Finney. But, they asked military officers for their opinion. A very good idea because it was a warfare.

I hope to find your post.




Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by TOMBELAINE on Jul 20th, 2022 at 5:29am
https://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1501413657

I only found this post. Maybe a bad job ?

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by Curious Aardvark on Jul 20th, 2022 at 7:20am
Modern Military officers would have little knowledge of slings or their capabilities.

But at least they made an effort to learn about the strategic side of a hillfort assault.

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by TOMBELAINE on Jul 20th, 2022 at 8:34am

TOMBELAINE wrote on Jul 20th, 2022 at 5:29am:
Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Reply #39 - Today at 5:29am     https://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1501413657

I only found this post. Maybe a bad job ?


My english isn't good; I want to say "maybe I'have been looking bad".

I'm sure your test is good. So, I'm interested.
The text about Le Puy d'Issolud is in french but I advise it to read.

Title: Re: J. B. Finney, Middle Iron Age Warfare
Post by TOMBELAINE on Jul 26th, 2022 at 8:13am
http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1327496223/0

The tests which Curious Aardvark says. A very interesting discussion.

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