Late Archaic-Late Classical Period
5th–4th century B.C.


Legacy dimension: L. 0.038 m.

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Gallery 212A-B


Europe, The Ancient World



This lead sling bullet (molubdis) takes the common eliptical shape. The sling itself (sphendone) would have been made of two cords connected by a leather pocket to house the projectile. It was whirled around three times, and one end was released so that centrifugal force would carry the bullet towards the target. Projectiles like this typically weigh between .75 and 1.75 ounces. There are remains of raised Greek letters on both sides. On the most legible side there are two rows of writing: The top begins with omicron and sigma and the initial letters on the bottom seem to be lambda and alpha. Lead shot from Greece often bear inscriptions indicating the name of the commanding general or the warring state, but some are notoriously sarcastic.

Much worn; letters certainly missing.


By date unknown: Mrs. Edward Jackson Holmes Collection; gift of Mrs. Edward Jackson Holmes to MFA, February 11, 1952

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Edward Jackson Holmes