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Based on the original article by Alex G. Malloy in Ancient and Medieval Art and Antiquities XXIV: Weapons. (South Salem, NY, 1993).
Aharoni, Y. Investigations at Lachish, The Sanctuary and the Residency, Lachish V. (Tel Aviv, 1975).
Azarpay, G. Urartian Art and Artifacts, A Chronological Study. (Berkeley, 1968).
Ceram, C. The Secret of the Hittites. (New York, 1955).
James, S. Ancient Rome. (London, 2008).
Metropolitan Museum Collection Online -
Hortala, M., et al. "The funerary "treasure" of Montilla, Cordova, Spain" in Metals of power – Early gold and silver, 6th Archaeological Conference of Central Germany Oct. 17–19, 2013.
Malloy, A. Ancient and Medieval Art and Antiquities XXIV: Weapons. (South Salem, NY, 1993).
Moorey, P. Ancient Bronzes from Luristan. British Museum. (London, 1974).
Moorey, P. Catalogue of the Ancient Persian Bronzes in the Ashmolean Museum. (Oxford, 1971).
Muscarella, O. Bronze and Iron, Ancient Near Eastern Artifacts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. (New York, 1988).
Petrie, W. Tools and Weapons. (London, 1917).
Phillips, E. The Mongols. (London, 1969).
Savory, H. Spain and Portugal. (London, 1968).
Schmidt, E. Anatolia through the Ages, Alishar Mound 1927-29. (Chicago, 1931).
Schmidt, E. Persepolis II: Contents of the Treasury and Other Discoveries. (Chicago, 1957).
Tufnell, O. Lachish: (Tell ed Duweir). (Oxford, 1938-1958).
Tushingham, A. Excavations in Jerusalem, 1961-67. Vol. I. (Toronto, 1985).
Wheeler, R. Medieval Catalogue. London Museum. (London, 1940).
Many antiquities dealers arbitrarily call all ancient bronze arrowheads, especially trilobate arrowheads,
Roman. In fact, relatively few can accurately be described as Roman. It is
difficult to recognize the subtle differences in the
arrowheads produced over the many centuries and then date and attribute them to cultures
that produced them. Some references are dated, sometimes references conflict, and there is no single reference that even attempts to cover the multitude of types. The purpose of this page is to aid in the identification of ancient metal arrowheads. This article divides arrowheads into the following chronological/geographic categories.
Copper Age, c. 3500 - 2000 B.C.
Bronze Age, c. 2200 - 1200 B.C.
Iron Age, c. 1200 - 690 B.C.
Scythian, c. 690 - 350 B.C.
Achaemenid Persian, c. 550 - 330 B.C.
Graeco-Scythian, c. 550 - 250 B.C.
Parthian, c. 3rd Century B.C. - 3rd Century A.D.
Roman, c. 300 B.C. - 500 A.D.
Mongol (Khanate of the Golden Horde), c. 1200 - 1400 A.D.
Medieval Western Europe to England, after 1000 A.D.
In approaching the study of metal arrowheads, their function must he considered. The elements used by the archer are the bow, an arrow consisting of arrowhead, shaft and feathers, and later the quiver. The earliest shafts were reeds: naturally straight, somewhat stiff, and light in weight. These were ideal for use with an arrowhead with a tang. The socketed arrowhead would he used with slender wooden shafts. The arrowhead is a ballistic device; its weight must be considered in relation to the "weight" of the bow (the force necessary to draw the bow). The weight of the arrowhead must be in a 1:7 ratio to the total weight of the arrow (the sum of the arrowhead, shaft, feathers, and binding material). Scholars long contended that the weight of an arrowhead could not exceed 10 grams, however, recent research proved that points weighing up to 22g could have been used as arrowheads. Still, heavy points were more likely used on javelins. The Neo-Assyrians had javelin throwers in their army along with bowmen. Each Roman soldier had a javelin as part of his accoutrements.
The next consideration is the specific purpose of the arrow. This can be determined only with the arrowhead. Wide-bladed arrowheads were used for attacking ﬂesh; the barbed arrowhead made the arrows hard to remove from flesh. The narrower forms were ideal for penetrating armor, leather, and clothing. The heavy arrowhead could be used for up-close attacks. Lighter trimmer arrowheads were good at a distance. During the Mongol invasion, each horseman would have several quivers, each containing thirty or more of a specialized type of arrow.
The metal arrowhead was a natural evolution from the Neolithic and Copper Age ﬂint arrowheads. The earliest metal arrowheads, dated to dates to the third millennium B.C., are of hammered copper, with a flat blade, hammered edges, and a long tapering tang without a stop flange. The earliest copper arrowheads were made at Susa and in Anatolia, and they spread from there to Egypt of the XI Dynasty. In Europe, the Beaker Culture (2250-2000 B.C.) of the Iberian peninsula was the first to develop metallurgy and to produce metal arrowheads. Their most prolific early copper arrowheads, known as Palmela points, are dated 2250 - 2000 B.C. The type has been found at 55 sites across Spain and as far away as Britain.
Malloy Weapons 79. Copper arrowhead. Early Anatolian. Copper Age Stratum I: 3500-2200 B.C. Flat long triangular blade, with wide tang pierced at end, length 7.7 cm. Schmidt 137B.
Malloy Weapons 80. Copper arrowhead. Iberia, The Beaker Culture, Palmela type, 2250 - 2000 B.C., flat pointed leaf-shaped blade, with tang, length 5.5 cm. cf. Montilla fig. 8., Savory fig. 61. Found in Cordoba, Spain.
Montilla fig. 8. Copper. Ancient Spain. The Beaker Culture. Palmela type, 2250-2000 B.C. Javelin(?) points, flat pointed leaf-shaped blade, with tang. The average length of Palmela points from the Iberian Peninsula is 9.2 cm (Montero/Teneishvili 1996, 82), thus these points represent some of the largest examples of this object type. The main feature of these objects is their rhomboid shape and a very narrow peduncule. Whether the larger and heavier Palmela points were used as arrowheads or as javelins is an ongoing debate.
The earliest copper types quickly gave way to the bronze arrowheads. Bronze was commonly used from 2200 B.C., through the Persia, Hellenistic, Roman, and into the Byzantine period. The earliest bronze types were hammered, with flat rounded leaf-shaped heads, some with barbs, most with a long tapered tang without a stop flange.
Malloy Weapons 81. Bronze. Mesopotamia, Ur III - Susa. Late 3rd Millenium B.C. Hammered ﬂat blade; cut from sheet, no barbs, wide tang. Length 6.8 cm. cf. Moorey Ashmolean 44.
Malloy Weapons 82. Bronze. Mesopotamia, Ur III - Susa. Late 3rd Millenium B.C. Hammered ﬂat blade, cut from sheet, no tang, long barbs. Length 3.5 cm. Moorey Ashmolean _.
Malloy Weapons 83. Bronze. Mesopotamia, Ur III - Susa. Late 3rd Millenium B.C. Hammered flat blade, cut from sheet, barbs and long tang. Length 6.7 cm. cf. Moorey Ashmolean 44.
Malloy Weapons 84. Bronze. Mesopotamia, Ur III - Susa. Late 3rd Millenium B.C. Hammered flat blade, cut from sheet. Has barbs and ﬂat tang. Length 4.2 cm. Moorey Ashmolean 44.
Malloy Weapons 85. Bronze. Hittite. 1750-1190 B.C. Leaf-shaped blade wide central rib, rounded stem, long tang. Length 10.5 cm, weight 19.2 gm, cf. Ceram p. 283.
Malloy Weapons 86. Bronze. Old Babylonian - Neo-Elamite. 1500-1000 B.C. Hammered ﬂat from cut sheet. Long tang. Length 6.7 cm. Petrie Tools pl. XLI 2 - 4.
Sumerian, Susa, Bronze Arrowhead, c. 2000 B.C., 6.0 cm long; cf. Petrie Tools pl. XLI 30; cast flat bladed bronze arrowhead with broad sloping slight rib.
Production of hammered bronze arrowheads was slowly replaced by casting. The properties of bronze made it excellent for casting and filing, which was could be done, and likely often was done, by the
soldiers themselves. The early cast bronze Anatolian types have a ﬂat, broad midrib, while the Fertile Crescent types have a narrower ridge-like midrib. Most have long tapering tangs, some flanged. From the late 2nd millennium, the number of arrowheads produced dramatically increased, and included various new types.
Malloy Weapons 89. Bronze. Egyptian. XX-XXII Dynasty: 1200-800 B.C. Rhombic head, deltoid midrib projection, elongated point. Shortened tang, two barbs. Length 4.5 cm. Petrie Tools pl. XLII 201-2.
Malloy Weapons 90. Inscribed Bronze. Egyptian, as above. Inscribed rhombic head with triangular projection at base. Raised midrib, two sharp barbs, longish tang. Incised line on both sides, incised symbol on one side. Length 6.9 cm. Petrie Tools pl. XLII 200, 201, 202. Petrie discusses these marked arrowheads, pronouncing them inexplicable.
Malloy Weapons 91. Bronze. Elamite-Luristan. 1200-800 B.C. Deltoid rounded arrowhead with midrib. Long tang with slight shaft cut. Length 9.1 cm. Muscarella 410.
Malloy Weapons 92. Bronze. Elamite-Luristan. 1200-800 B.C. Deltoid, with midrib and long tang with shaft cut. Length 7.6 cm. Muscarella 417.
Malloy Weapons 93. Bronze. Elamite Middle Period. 1200-800 B.C. Deltoid, has long tang with shaft cut. Length 11.5 cm. Muscarella 412.
Malloy Weapons 94. Bronze. Elamite Middle Period. 1200-800 B.C. Elongated leaf design, long tang, central midrib. Length 7 cm. Moorey Ashmolean 69-70.
Malloy Weapons 95. Bronze. Elamite Middle Period. 1200-800 B.C. Elongated leaf design. Long tang, central midrib. Length 10.5 cm. Moorey Ashmolean 69-70.
Malloy Weapons 96. Bronze. Elamite Middle Period. 1200-800 B.C. Rounded head with thick tang and central midrib. Length 6.5 cm. cf. Moorey Ashmolean 69-70.
Malloy Weapons 97. Bronze. Assyrian. 1200-800 B.C. Rhombic head, no barbs, longish tapering tang. Length 6 cm. These types of rhombic heads were widely used by the Egyptians and are usually found with barbs. This type dates from the same period, but was found in northern Mesopotamia. Scarce.
Malloy Weapons 98. Iron. Israel. 1200-800 B.C. Rhombic head with barbs and long tang. Triangular projection at base of blade. Length 8.8 cm. cf. Petrie Tools pl. XLII 202. These types were from Egypt, but this example was copied from the Egyptian types during the Iron Age in Israel.
Malloy Weapons 99. Bronze. Phrygian. 1200-800 B.C. Slightly barbed deltoid blade with long tang. Length 8 cm. Ceram _. Bent back at tip. Light green patina.
Malloy Weapons 100. Bronze. Phrygian. 1200-800 B.C. Leaf-shaped blade with wide central rib, long tang. Length 7.3 cm. Ceram _.
Malloy Weapons 101. Bronze. Neo-Assyrian: Ninevah. 800 B.C. Ribbed blade with wide stem and socket. Length 3.4 cm. Petrie Tools pl. XLI 32. Light green patina.
Muscarella 396 - 418. Bronze Arrow and Lance Heads 62.40.2-23;62.155; Elamite Middle Period. c. 1200 - 900 B.C. Lengths 21.5, 15.2, 16.4, 5.7, 13.3. 11.3, 12.5, 12.2, 9.2, 13.2, 6.3, 12.1, 6.2, 6.2, 11.4, 10.9, 13.9, 7.3, 8.4, 10.7, 11.0, 11.8 cm. Similar types have been found at many sites, including in graves, in Iran.
Persia-Luristan, Bronze Arrowhead, c. 1000 B.C., 8.5 cm long; cf.
Moorey Luristan 75 and Malloy Auction XXV 53; cast, long leaf-shaped
blade with broad rib, long stem and long tang; scarce type.
Neo-Elamite, Bronze Arrowhead, 750 - 600 B.C., 5.5 cm long, Neo-Elamite bronze arrowhead, rhomboid blade, with midrib and long flattened tang.
Iberian, Bronze Arrowhead, Bronze Age, 1000 - 700 B.C., 2.7 cm (1") long, cf. Savory, Spain & Portugal Ancient Peoples, Fig. 72. G var. 4150; cast bronze, deltoid head with wide barbs, tang does not taper
From 1300 to 700 BC., iron arrowheads developed alongside the bronze types. A rhombic and barbed iron arrowhead type, originally from Egypt, was prevalent in Israel from the late
2nd to early 1st millennia B.C.
Malloy Weapons 98. Iron. Israel. 1200-800 B.C. Rhombic head with barbs and long tang. Triangular projection at base of blade. Length 8.8 cm. cf. Petrie Tools pl. XLII 202. This rhombic and barbed iron type, originally from Egypt, was prevalent in Israel from the late 2nd to early 1st millennia B.C.
Malloy Weapons 102. Iron. Israel. Iron Age: 850-800 B.C. Elongated leaf-shaped head with tang. Length 10 cm. cf. Aharoni pl. 36, 2.
Malloy Weapons 103. Iron. Israel. 800-700 B.C. Leaf-shaped head with tang. Length 6.6 cm. cf. Aharoni P. 36:6. This shape was found in the III stratum at Lachish. Corroded.
Malloy Weapons 104. Iron. Israel. 800-700 B.C. Bobkin-shaped, square-section head with long tapering tang. Length 6.8 cm. cf. Aharoni 36:9. The bobkin-shaped arrowhead appeared as early as the Second Millenium B. C. and continued in different shapes as late as medieval England.
Malloy Weapons 105. Iron. Israel. 800-700 B.C. Bobkin-shaped square sectioned head with short tang. Length 10.5 cm. cf. Aharoni 36:9, Tufnell pl. 54, 48. Petrie identifies these arrowheads as "armor piercing bolts." This bobkin-shaped head is a distinct type, and is most efficient against metal armor.
Israelite, Iron Arrowhead, Time of Judges to Solomon, Iron Age I, c. 1300 - 900 B.C., 8.0 cm long; cf. Mackenzie-Palestine Exploration Fund 1912-13, pl. XXVIIII-6; Malloy Weapons 102; elongated leaf design.
Kingdom of Israel, Iron Arrowhead, Time of David to Assyrian Captivity, c. 1000 - 721 B.C., 5.0 cm long; cf. Malloy Weapons 102; broad blade with short tang; tip off.
Kingdom of Israel, Iron Arrowhead, Time of David to Assyrian Captivity, c. 1000 - 721 B.C., 7.0 cm long; Israelite iron arrowhead, short blade with long tang.
The Scythians were members of a trans-Caucasian nomadic culture which began its conquest of southern central and western Asia in the 8th century B.C. As they advanced they pushed the Cimmarians before them, each causing havoc in Asia Minor. By 690 - 680 B.C., the time of the neo-Assyrian annals of Sargon II and
Assarhaddon, the Scythian invaders swept southward and attacked the
Assyrian kingdom. For a period of twenty-eight years, the Scythians held sway in Asia Minor, western Persia, and Syria. Even Egypt felt this nomadic power in the 7th century B.C. The Greek historian Herodotus spoke of them initially as a barbaric people who drank blood and used the skulls of their foes as drinking cups. By the 6th century the Greeks had developed good rapport with the Scythians, resulting in the Greek colonies of Pontapacum and Olbia in the Euxone region. The Scythians actually protected these Greek colonies and in this region of the northern Black Sea even some Scythian kings were half-Greek.
Bilobate socketed arrowheads probably developed in the Pontic Steppe area in the 8th century B.C., preceding the trilobate types. By the 7th century B.C. bilobate types had a large distribution in Anatolia and the Caucasus, and later they appear all over the Near East and in Europe. Trilobate socketed heads were developed a later and are rare north of Caucasus. Thousands of socketed trilobate arrowheads have been excavated at numerous sites all over the Near East, Anatolia, Egypt, and in Europe. Scholars have associated the earliest bilobate and trilobate arrowheads with the expansion of the Cimmerians and Scythians from southern Russia into Anatolia and Iran. If the trilobate arrowheads were initially the characteristic weapon of these marauders and were introduced into the Near East by them, we would expect the earliest excavated ﬁnds to parallel the time of the invasions. Supporting this theory, to date, all excavated trilobate examples from Near Eastern sites are dated after c. 690/680 B.C. A neo-Babylonian text refers to military equipment by its original and foreign ethnic appellations: Akkadian bows, shields, and arrows, and...Cimmerian arrows. The form of the objects was not described because that was clear to contemporaries from the appellation. We cannot be certain these Cimmerian arrows were bilobate or trilobate but it seems likely it was one of these forms.
The earliest bilobate arrowheads have long to medium length sockets. Early Scythian types excavated at Karmir-Blur, now in the Hermitage Museum, are depicted in the line drawing below.
Early Scythian Arrowhead Types from Russia, c. 8th Century - 4th Century B.C.
Malloy Weapons 106. Bronze bilobate socketed arrowhead, Scythian, 8th - 7th Century B.C., biblade leaf-shaped head, long widening socket, length 4.2 cm., cf. Azarday pl. 8, Schmidt Persepolis 19
Malloy Weapons 107. Bronze trilobate solid socketed arrowhead, Scythian, 7th Century B.C., elongated triblade head, short socket, length 4 cm., cf. Azarday pl. 8, Schmidt Persepolis 19. This blade was found in eastern Turkey. Similar types in the Hermitage Museum are from Karmir-Blur.
The trilobate arrowhead was copied by various people down to the 3rd century A.D. We can find Greek, Archaminid, Medean, and Parthian counterparts. Muscarella states that the trilobate arrowheads eventually became neutral in battle "...as it no longer was used by one or the other in battle, but by both."
The Achaemenid Persian types tend to have broad, more angular deltoid blades and almost no socket shaft. This arrowhead was standard equipment for forces in the Persian army. Schmidt discovered over 3600 examples at the treasury in Persepolis. Similar bilobate types with rounded blades were also used. One Achaemenid Persian bilobate type has a single small barb on a longer socket shaft.
Achaemenid Persian Arrowheads, 550 - 330 B.C.
Malloy Weapons 108 Bronze. Achaemenid. 6th-4th Century B.C. Triangular blade with long
tang and protruding barbs, length 7.5 cm, cf. Petrie Tools pl. XLI 96, Schmidt Persepolis -. Similar
arrowheads found in Egypt date to the XXVII (Persian) Dynasty (525 B.C. - 404 B.C.). Chips to
end of barbs.
Malloy Weapons 109. Bronze. Achaemenid. 6th-4th Century B.C. Trilobate head with broad angular deltoid blades, short socket, length 2.5 cm, cf. Muscarella 322, Schmidt Persepolis pl. 76, 8, Tushingham fig. 69, 20 var. A quantity of similar arrowheads were excavated at Pasargadae, an Achaemenid site. This was standard equipment for Achaemenid bowmen.
Malloy Weapons 110. Bronze. Achaemenid. 6th-4th Century B.C. Trilobate head with broad angular deltoid blades, short socket, length 2.3 cm, cf. Muscarella 322, Schmidt Persepolis pl. 76, 8, Tushingham fig. 69, 20 var. 3600 arrowheads were excavated at Persepolis, the grand capitol of the Achaemenid empire.
Malloy Weapons 111. Bronze. Achaemenid. 6th-4th Century B.C. Broad trilobate head, some angulation to blades. Medium socket, length 3 cm, Tushingham Fig. 69, 20v, Schmidt Persepolis pl. 76, 8.
Bronze Socketed Trilobate Arrowhead 1978.93.16; Pasargadae, Tall-i Takht;
unstratified; length 3
cm. Achaemenid period or later, to about 200 B.C. The number of finds of
this type indicate it was standard equipment for Achaemenian bowmen, cf. Schmidt Persepolis pl. 76, 8
Muscarella 323. Bronze Trilobate Javelin Head 1978.93.17; Pasargadae, Tall-i Takht; length 6.1 cm. These heads are attributed to javelins because they are twice the size of arrowheads and too small to be called spearheads; in battle javelins were throwing weapons, Schmidt Persepolis -
Schmidt Persepolis plate 76 follows below (slightly modified for internet display).
Western Asiatic, Persian Achaemenid-Scythian, Bronze Arrowhead, 500 - 330 B.C., 2.8 cm long; Schmidt Persepolis pl. 76, 17; bronze arrowhead, square cross section, with two long sharp barbs and two short barbs, socket, no shaft, very rare.
Egyptian, Bronze Arrowhead, Persian Period, 525 B.C. - 404 B.C., 3.2 cm long; Schmidt Persepolis 8; trilobate bladed socketed arrowhead, with very short shaft. Found in Egypt.
Egypt, Bronze Arrowhead, 550 - 330 B.C., 6.5 cm long; cf. Petrie Tools pl. XLI 121, 122, 136; Malloy Auction XXV 68; triangular blade, long tang, protruding barbs; one side chipped, rare; this type is found in Egypt dated to the 27th Dynasty, the Persian Dynasty.
Bilobate heads appear to have been developed in the
Pontic Steppe area in the 8th century. They preceded the trilobate types
(which are rare north of the Caucasus). By the 7th century they had a
large distribution in Anatolia and the Caucasus, and later they appear
all over the Near East and in Europe. Bilobate types continued to occur
alongside the later and then more common trilobate types. The spur was popular in the Graeco-Scythian types but non-spur types were also used. The Scythian bowman's rig: the pointed cap, bow-case, patterned track-suit, and the trilobate arrows were introduced to Athens in the second half of the 6th century B.C.
Malloy Weapons 112. Bronze arrowhead or javelin head. Greek. 4th - 2th Century B.C. Bilobate socketed head; wide long barbed blades. Length 5.5 cm. cf. Muscarella for trilobate example. Petrie Tools pl. XLII 217. Judging from its larger size, this was perhaps a javelin head. Javelins were thrown weapons, while spears were thrust.
Malloy Weapons 113. Bronze. Greek. 550 - 250 B.C. Century B.C. Flat bilobate ribbed blade with spur. Length 4 cm. cf. Petrie Tools pl. XLI 135.
Malloy Weapons 114. Bronze. Medo-Persian. 550 - 250 B.C. Socketed bilobate bladed head with long spur. Length 5.2 cm. cf. Petrie Tools pl. XLI 135. Found in Turkey.
Bronze Bilobate Socketed Arrowhead 61.60.11,
Anatolia, 7th century B.C., length 5 cm, flat head sharp at tip with
pronounced blade angles, a prominent midrib divides the head into two
blades and becomes part of the hollow socket, a spur curves down from
the top of the socket.
Greek, Bronze Arrowhead, 650 - 250 B.C., 4.6 cm long; wide bilobate with short socket shaft.
Greek, Bronze Arrowhead, 650 - 250 B.C., 2.5 cm long; bilobate with no shaft.
During the Parthian period the barbed types emerged. Non-barbed trilobate arrowheads were also used. These barbed and non-barbed arrowheads are found at Dura-Europus from the Parthian-Roman struggles and through the Parthian occupation. The arrowheads are not Roman, but Parthian. They are rarely found in Roman cities in the Levant, and are not found at all in the African or European Roman world. It must be remembered that each new generation of trilobate arrowhead did not totally supersede the earlier types.
Parthian Arrowheads, 3rd Century B.C. - 3rd Century A.D.
Malloy Weapons 115. Bronze. Parthian. 3rd Century B.C. - 2nd Century A.D. Trilobate socketed head with wide barbed blades. Length 4 cm. cf. Muscarella 180. A scarcer type.
Malloy Weapons 116. Bronze. Parthian, as above. Socketed trilobate head, with barbs. Length 3.3 cm. Petrie Tools pl. XLI 69 - 71, Muscarella 180. A larger example than above.
Malloy Weapons 117. Bronze. Parthian, as above. Socketed trilobate head, with barbs. Length 2.4 cm. Petrie Tools pl. XLI 69, Muscarella 180. The barbs started in the late Hellenistic period. The Parthians used the trilobate barbed arrrowhead extensively.
Malloy Weapons 118. Bronze. Parthian, as above. Socketed trilobate head with barbs. Length 2.1 cm. Petrie Tools pl. XLI 69, Muscarella 180. A gem example of this Parthian type head.
Muscarella 173. Socketed Trilobate Arrowhead 63.102.6; Yarim Tepe (9 kilometers southeast of Gonbad or 3 km northwest of Daregaz, Khorasan province, northeast Iraq) 60/2; A 2, floor 1; Parthian period, about 1st - 2nd century A.D. Purchase, H. Dunscombe Colt Gift, 1963. Bronze; length 3 cm. The head is in the form of three sharp blades that blend together at a sharp point; a single hole at the top of the socket once held a rivet that secured the head to the arrow shaft.
Muscarella 180. Bronze Socketed Trilobate Arrowhead 69.24.23: Shahr-i-Qumis (between Semnan and Damqan in the Semnan Province, Iran) 67/81; Surface ﬁnd. Length 3.5 cm; trilobate, three sharp blades and a hollow socket.
Muscarella 181. Bronze Socketed Trilobate Arrowhead 1978.93.59; Shahr-i-Qumis (between Semnan and Damqan in the Semnan Province, Iran) 71/121 Site V, Area C, Room 3; Parthian period. Length 3.4 cm; trilobate, three sharp blades, a barb, traces of wood in the hollow socket.
Muscarella 183. Bronze Arrowhead 69.24.25; Shahr-i-Qumis (between Semnan and Damqan in the Semnan Province, Iran) 67/154, surface ﬁnd; Parthian period. Length 4.7 cm. Leaf shaped, with a midrib, long, thin tang, the tip is bent, presumably from use.
Muscarella 184. Bronze Arrowhead 1978.93.56; Shahr-i-Qumis (between Semnan and Damqan in the Semnan Province, Iran) 67/2, Site VIII, Room 2, surface ﬁnd; Parthian period. Length 2.4 cm. Leaf shaped, with a midrib, no tang, two barbs parallel to the blade.
Muscarella 185. Bronze Arrowhead 1978.93.54; Shahr-i-Qumis (between Semnan and Damqan in the Semnan Province, Iran) 67/67, Site I, Room 1; Parthian period. Length 5.8 cm. Leaf shaped, with a pronounced midrib, long thin tang.
Muscarella 186. Bronze Arrowhead 1978.93.58; Shahr-i-Qumis (between Semnan and Damqan in the Semnan Province, Iran) 71/119, surface ﬁnd. Length 5.2 cm. Leaf shaped, with a midrib, long, thin tang.
Muscarella 187. Bronze Arrowhead(?) 69.24.24; Shahr-i-Qumis (between Semnan and Damqan in the Semnan Province, Iran) 67/72, surface ﬁnd. Length 3.5 cm. The function is not clear; one end is thickened and blunt, the other slightly tapered. It may be a projectile point used to hunt birds.
Muscarella 188. Bronze Arrowhead(?) 1978.93.52; Shahr-i-Qumis (between Semnan and Damqan in the Semnan Province, Iran) 67/37. surface ﬁnd. Length 7.6 cm. No. 188 has a relatively long pointed section and a shorter cut back "tang," both rectangular in section; the tip and the rear end are both broken. This too might have been a projectile point, or a tool of some sort.
Montilla 521. Bronze Trilobate Socketed Arrowhead 22.214.171.124; length 3.2 cm, sharp angular blades that perhaps functioned as barbs, long socketed shaft. Reputedly found at Ziwiyeh, Kurdistan Province, Iran.
Montilla 522. Bronze Trilobate Socketed Arrowhead 61.66.1, lengths 4.7, sharp angular blades that perhaps functioned as barbs, long socketed shaft. Reputedly found at Ziwiyeh, Kurdistan Province, Iran.
Montilla 523. Bronze Trilobate Socketed Arrowhead 61.66.2, lengths 3.3, sharp angular blades that perhaps functioned as barbs, long socketed shaft. Reputedly found at Ziwiyeh, Kurdistan Province, Iran.
Montilla 525. Bronze Four-Sided (Square) Socketed Arrowhead 61.66.4, length 2.8. Reputedly found at Ziwiyeh, Kurdistan Province, Iran.
Parthian, Bronze Arrowhead, 1st Century B.C. - 2nd Century A.D., 2.3 cm long; Petrie Tools pl. XLI 69 - 71, Muscarella 180 var. (no barbs); trilobate, bladed, socketed, and barbed, one barb broken. This type was unique to the Parthians. The barbs date it to the late Hellenistic period or later.
It must be understood that purely Roman Imperial arrowheads are rare. The Roman legionary preferred hand-to-hand over distance fighting. His main weapons were the short sword, gladius, throwing spear, pilum, and javelin. The javelin point with a tang two to three feet long ended in a solid square point of iron. These are rarely found with the tang intact. The basic reason was that the iron head was hammered hard while the tang was not. The relative softness of the tang made it bend upon penetration and rendered it difficult to remove. The British Museum had no complete javelins. Today these javelin points are often confused with arrowheads.
The Romans did utilize auxiliary troops to augment their powerful legions. During the Republican period slingers were often used along with bowmen. These auxiliaries were often dependent or semi-dependent client kingdom troops with special military skills. Caesar employed archers against Ptolemy in the great Imperatorial struggles in Spain. Germanicus used Gallic and German bowmen in victories in 14 A.D. Septimius Severus used an auxiliary of mounted archers from Osrhoene in Mesopotamia in his many Eastern exploits; Maximus used Syrian bowmen in his eastern Roman army. The Syrians were known for their great skill in archery. The eastern auxiliaries used the same trilobate arrowhead as was employed by the Parthians.
Roman Republican arrowheads vary widely as to place of origin: the Italic arrowheads were more diminutive than their counterparts in the East. The trilobate arrowheads are flat-sided with triangular sockets. The western Republican bilobate arrowhead used a small point and long shaft with spur. That was copied after a popular type of the Greeks. We also see some small iron heads trilobate, either barred or not. We find a limited number of Roman arrowheads in Roman cities.
Malloy Weapons 119. Bronze. Roman Republic (Spain). 300-100 B.C. Biblade head with long socket and extended spur. Length 3.8 cm. Petrie Tools _, Savory _. Found in the Cordoba area of Spain.
Malloy Weapons 120. Bronze. Roman Republic (Italian). 3rd-1th Century B.C. Socketed biblade head with one spur-barb. Length 2 cm. Tushingham _, Petrie Tools _. Ex: Villa Julia Collection.
Malloy Weapons 121. Bronze. Roman Republic (Spain). 200-100 B.C. Socketed biblade head with trace of spur. Length 3.2 cm. Petrie Tools _, Savory _. Found in the Carmona area of Spain.
Malloy Weapons 122. Bronze. Roman Republic (Sicily). 3th-1th Century B.C. Trilobate head with depressions at each side of the shaft, creating three barbs. Length 1.9 cm. Tushingham _, Petrie Tools _.
Malloy Weapons 123. Bronze. Roman (Italian). 1th Century B.C.-1th Century A.D. Triblade head with defined shaft. Length 1.7 cm. Tushingham __, Petrie Tools _. Ex: Villa Julia Collection.
Malloy Weapons 124. Bronze. Roman (Italian), as above. Triblade head with small barbs to shaft. Length 1.3 cm. Tushingham _, Petrie Tools _. Ex: Villa Julia Collection.
Malloy Weapons 125. Bronze. Roman (Italian), as above. Triblade head, indents at sides. Length 1.8 cm. Tushingham _, Petrie Tools _. Ex: Villa Julia Collection.
Malloy Weapons 126. Bronze. Roman (Italian), as above. Triblade head, indent to sides. Length 2 cm. Tushingham _, Petrie Tools _. Ex: Villa Julia Collection.
Malloy Weapons 127. Bronze. Roman (Sicily). 2nd-1st Century B.C. Triblade head, ﬂat sides, shaft very short. Small hole on one side. Length 1.7 cm. Tushingham _, Petrie Tools _.
Malloy Weapons 128. Bronze. Roman (Egyptian). 1th-3th Century A.D. Triangular blades with shaft hole. Length 2.3 cm. Petrie Tools _. Found in Egypt; of local manufacture. Scarce.
Malloy Weapons 137a. Iron, Roman javelin head, 1st Century - 3rd Century A.D., square head, pointed, with tang. Length 4.9 cm. Petrie Tools pl. XLI 157, James p. 11.
Malloy Weapons 137b. Iron, Roman javelin head, 1st Century - 3rd Century A.D., square head, pointed, with tang. Length 5.6 cm. Petrie Tools pl. XLI 157, James p. 11.
Malloy Weapons 137c. Iron, Roman javelin head, 1st Century - 3rd Century A.D., square head, pointed, with long tang. Length 8.4 cm. Petrie Tools pl. XLI 157, James p. 11.
Malloy Weapons 137d. Iron, Roman javelin head, 1st Century - 3rd Century A.D., square head, pointed, with long tang. Length 5.4 cm. Petrie Tools pl. XLI 157, James p. 11.
Another object used by the Roman legions was the catapult dart or bolt; these were socketed and of larger size. Each legion would have sixty catapults to be employed in sieges; these used the catapult darts.
Roman Republic, Italian, Bronze Arrowhead, 3rd - 1st Century B.C., 1.5 cm long; Malloy Weapons 124, Tushingham -, Petrie Tools -; trilobate with depressions at each side of shaft creating three barbs; ex Ran Ryan Collection, Rome, 1974 (antiquities dealer), ex Museo Nazionale di Villa Giulia, Rome de-acquisition, circa 1950's.
Roman Republic, Italian, Bronze Arrowhead, 3rd - 1st Century B.C., 2.0 cm long; Malloy Weapons 124, Tushingham -, Petrie Tools -; trilobate with depressions at each side of shaft creating three barbs; Ex Museo Nazionale di Villa Giulia, Rome de-acquisition, c. 1950's; ex Ran Ryan, Rome 1974.
Roman Republic, Sicily, Bronze Arrowhead, 2nd - 1st Century B.C., 2.0 cm long; cf. Malloy Weapons 127, Tushingham -, Petrie Tools -; trilobate with depressions at each side of shaft creating three barbs.
Roman Republic, Iberia, Bronze Arrowhead, 3rd - 2nd Century B.C., 4.3 cm long, cf. Malloy Weapons 119 var.; found in Spain.
Mongol (Khanate of the Golden Horde), Iron Arrowhead, 1250 - 1400 A.D., 3.8 cm long; cf. Phillips Mongols 7:2, Malloy Weapons 131; deltoid blade with flange long tang; found near Sevastopol north of the Black Sea.
Mongol (Khanate of the Golden Horde), Iron Spear Head, 1250 - 1400 A.D., 7.0 cm long; iron spear head; cf. Phillips Mongols 7c, Petrie Tools pl. XLII 193 var., Malloy Weapons 130; rhombic blade with tang; tip bent.
Medieval Germany, Iron Crossbow Bolt, 14th Century A.D., 6.2 cm long; cf. Wheeler pl. XV, 17, p. 66, fig 16. 9; narrow tubular shaft widens to blade, found in northwestern Germany, used to penetrate the ever increasing bulk of defensive armor.
Medieval Germany, Iron Arrowhead, 14 Century A.D., 8.7 cm long; cf. Wheeler pl., 1, Malloy Auction XII, 94; tubular tapered socketed shaft, flat triangular blade, tip broken.
Medieval, Central Europe, Iron Arrowhead or Crossbow Bolt, 14th Century A.D., 7.7 cm long; cf. Wheeler pl. XV, 1.
Macedonian, Bronze Arrowhead, 350 - 300 B.C.
Macedonian, Bronze Arrowhead, 350 - 300 B.C.
3.4 cm long; trilobate with nearly straight edges, short barbs, and short shaft.
Hellenistic Greek, Bronze Arrowhead, 300 - 100 B.C.
2.1 cm long; trilobate with slightly curved edges, no shaft.
Hellenistic Greek, Bronze Arrowhead, 300 - 100 B.C.
3.2 cm long; trilobate Arrowhead with straight edge with curved ends, no barbs, long shaft.
Hellenistic Greek, Bronze Arrowhead, 300 - 100 B.C.
2.8 cm long; trilobate with straight edge, no shaft.
Hellenistic Greek, Bronze Arrowhead, 300 - 100 B.C.
2.1 cm long; trilobate with nearly straight edges, no shaft.
Hellenistic Greek, Bronze Arrowhead, 300 - 100 B.C.
3.1 cm long; trilobate medium shaft; blunted tip.
Hellenistic Greek, Bronze Arrowhead, 300 - 100 B.C.
21 mm long; trilobate with straight edge, no shaft.