Sling-bullet

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


Dimensions

Legacy dimension: L. 0.038 m.

Accession Number

52.190

Medium or Technique

Lead

On View

Gallery 212A-B

Collections

Europe, The Ancient World

Classifications

Firearms

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.

Provenance

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