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10th-12th century. Crusades period and the period of siege warfare in general, before the development of effective gunpowder. Iron, 5 3/8 (full original length) with butted seam conical socket and elongated diamond shaped head with thickened, flared conical point, of blunt form to prevent sticking into wood, but capable of penetrating thatch as used for roofs of superstructure within castles and fortified towns. The edges of the head pierced with circular holes for binding incendiary material (likely oil or fat soaked rags) which would penetrate soft inflammables but bounce off wood or masonry, hopefully landing on a more easily ignited material. The head was mounted on a large shaft and fired from a balista or large stationary cross bow (arbalese) which allowed for adjustment of trajectory based on previous shots as with artillery. Excavated with losses to the socket and blade edge. Exceedingly rare-not a single example in any museum collection is known to us.

Stock Number: 96-507

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