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General >> Project Goliath - The History of The Sling >> "Isle of Slingers" - Dorset, England.
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Message started by Archaic Arms on Nov 19th, 2021 at 6:09pm

Title: "Isle of Slingers" - Dorset, England.
Post by Archaic Arms on Nov 19th, 2021 at 6:09pm
This was brought to my attention by a friend who lives in the south of England...

The Isle of Portland is sometimes known as the "Isle of Slingers", apparently after a book was written by Thomas Hardy.
Here's what it says about it on wikipidia:
"Thomas Hardy described Portland as "the peninsula carved by Time out of a single stone", and named it the Isle of Slingers and Isle of the Race in his Wessex novels; it was the main setting of The Well-Beloved (1897), and was featured in The Trumpet-Major (1880).[97][98] The cottage that now houses Portland Museum was the inspiration for the heroine's house in The Well-Beloved. Portlanders were expert stone-throwers in the defence of their land, and Hardy's Isle of Slingers is heavily based on Portland; the Street of Wells representing Fortuneswell and The Beal Portland Bill. Hardy also called Portland the Gibraltar of the North, with reference to its similarities with Gibraltar; its physical geography, isolation, comparatively mild climate, and Underhill's winding streets."

Apparently the island also has history that dates back to Roman times.
Given that the sling also seems to have been the primary long-range missile weapon for the Iron-Age Britons, it certainly is interesting...

Title: Re: "Isle of Slingers" - Dorset, England.
Post by Hirtius on Nov 19th, 2021 at 7:12pm
Is this meant to be in competition or was it meant for the historical section?

Thatís a really interesting find. I wonder if thereís any archaeological sites on the island?

Title: Re: "Isle of Slingers" - Dorset, England.
Post by Archaic Arms on Nov 19th, 2021 at 7:41pm

Hirtius wrote on Nov 19th, 2021 at 7:12pm:
Is this meant to be in competition or was it meant for the historical section?

Thatís a really interesting find. I wonder if thereís any archaeological sites on the island?

Whoops you're right, it should be in the History of Slinging section. It's very late in the evening here... or early morning should I say. The cranial jelly is running overtime.

I haven't really looked into it yet, but presuming they exclusively used the beach stones for ammo, I wouldn't imagine there would be much to find regarding slings. It would be interesting to ask around the local people about slinging.

Title: Re: "Isle of Slingers" - Dorset, England.
Post by Hirtius on Nov 19th, 2021 at 8:16pm
If they found a site on the island, a cache of stones might be indicative like at hill forts. There are Bronze Age biconicals made of chalk in Northern France and Iron Age stone biconicals in Southern France, I wonder what the chances are that either was used in the UK?

Edit: Apparently the stone biconicals might not be Iron Age, but there are chalk and clay biconicals from Iron Age Britain.

Title: Re: "Isle of Slingers" - Dorset, England.
Post by Kick on Nov 20th, 2021 at 9:11am
Moved it over :D Interesting stuff.

Title: Re: "Isle of Slingers" - Dorset, England.
Post by Balearic3 on Nov 20th, 2021 at 5:08pm
Is anyone aware of any academic papers or images of the biconical chalk slingstones from Bronze / Iron Age slingstones mentioned in Hirtius' post?

Title: Re: "Isle of Slingers" - Dorset, England.
Post by Hirtius on Nov 20th, 2021 at 9:23pm
Iron Age Britain Chalk and Clay:


Apparently there are such biconicals for Iron Age Britain, mainly from the Little Woodbury site. Some are chalk, some are clay.

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/H_1939-1011-273

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/H_1939-1011-272

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/H_1939-1011-274

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/H_1939-1011-526-a-u

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/H_1939-1011-562

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/H_1988-0409-7_1


ó

Northern France Bronze Age Chalk:


https://www.inrap.fr/des-traces-de-pas-millenaires-en-normandie-13086

https://nicolas-constans.net/2014-02-18-un-guet-apens-en-bord-de-seine-a-lage-du-bronze/


__

Southern France Neolithic?/Bronze?/Iron? Age Stone:


I thought these from DrŰme in France were from the Iron Age, but apparently their date is unknown. Apparently there are some stone axes from that same region, same time, and from the same man. These axes are apparently Neolithic/Bronze age, and are possibly from the same site. If so, then the bullets arenít Iron Age.

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/H_ML-927

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/H_ML-930

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/H_ML-929

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/H_ML-928




Title: Re: "Isle of Slingers" - Dorset, England.
Post by Curious Aardvark on Nov 21st, 2021 at 7:58am
You won't have biconicals from Portland.

They were never needed.
Portland has chesil beach, about 5 miles of the best slingstone beach i've ever seen.

There are pictures on the forum, don't think I've got them on this phone.

But yeah that's why it was called slingers isle, because of the pebble beach.
With an unlimited supply of perfect ammo, it would have made sense for slings to predominate.

It was one of the places we went to on the slingers road trip :-)

The isle of Portland is more famous for Portland stone. Which has been quarried there since roman times, I believe.

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