Scythian Bronze Arrowhead

Date: 750 - 30 BCE
East Europe

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Item Description:

This bronze arrowhead design was developed by the Scythians, a group of nomadic warriors on horseback who lived in what is now Siberia. Many other groups ended up adapting this design too—Greeks and Romans both used this kind of arrowhead as well. The arrowheads featured in this listing were found in the Eastern Mediterranean region, though it is impossible to attribute them to a particular culture.

Bronze became the most common material for arrowheads around 2000 BCE, replacing the cruder stone ones of the Neolithic Age. It was sturdy, easy to cast, and held a very sharp edge. Though cheaper iron arrow tips began to develop over the next few hundred years as well, bronze still held its ground well into the beginning of the Medieval period.

Scythian bronze arrowheads came in many different forms. Some were flat, having one blade on each side, while others were three sided. The cruder ones were simply triangle or pyramid shaped, but the more complex ones were barbed—making the arrows nearly impossible to remove without immense pain and tissue damage.

Even into medieval times, archery remained a staple of warfare for centuries. Only in the 16th century did it finally become obsolete in Europe, due to the advancement of early firearms.


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