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Thanks Ade! Big Grin

Quote:BTW, The Deepeeka ones are socketed rather than tanged if that makes any difference?!. The socket is beneath the lead weight. I think the LM ones are tanged.

Are you sure? have you seen that?
I'm puzzled - if they are socketed, then is how is the metal reinforcement attached to the shaft?

I was thinking they were like the ones from Len Morgan: the metal from the head is going past the weight deep into the wooden shaft. The shafts of the Deepeeka dart are even heavier and clearly show metal going deep into the shaft, deeper even than the LM ones. I have a hard time believing they are socketed! Confusedhock:
Well here we go Big Grin I did this experiment many years ago so bear with me.When I first came across the Plumbata as ever I wandered on to how it could be mass made under Fabrica and battle conditions.
I contacted John Eagle who a few years ealier had done some throwing experiments,I explained to John my thoughts and he pointed me to relivent information as well as sending me a transcript of his work Big Grin
The barbs that have been found,all seam to be the same with minor variants these are the two main types for fixing to the shaft;
Wroxeter: this has a socketed shaft.
Richabourgh: this has a tapered shaft.
After reading D Sherlocks account of the lead molded to the shaft ,I proceded to work on field made types rather than a purpose made mould.
[Image: pb5.jpg]
The bucket containes clay from the Roman levels that Hadrians wall is built on Big Grin ( I do strive to be authentic ) with the two types of former to make the impression.The shafts were made of various hard woods as well as green wood with and without bark.
Once the shafts were fitted ,I pushed the arrow into the centre if the impression until the lead would cover the join.I then pushed thr clay so far around the shaft leaving enough to pour the lead,be warned the lead does spit in the damp clay.As you can see it worked Big Grin
[Image: pb3.jpg]
Regards Brennivs Big Grin
The various shafts I used the hard wood ones have stayed on for many years.The green wood ones however,the bark on ones came of within a few months or so, were as the bark off took a little longer and all snapped but after plenty throwing.
The Wroxeter type the head tends to be weaker after throwen as the head tended to be loose after hitting the ground.
The Richabourgh type with haveing the shaft tappered and inserted into a hole in the shaft were much stronger, and as I thought at least two of the barbs came out of the lead and were still in the ground. Some finds have been found without lead.
The length of the Plumbata I made were approx 12" long,However I tried to make one to Russel Robinsons dimentions 3 feet long but I could not come to seeing how it would work :?: So I made one approx 30" long so long as it didnt hit the ground when throwing.
[Image: pb4.jpg]
As you can see top is the first one I made ,The bottom is what I think is the more sensible size.
[Image: pb2.jpg]
The top one is a made by some one else but have made a mistake by not having a hand grip and are much longer. They are also terrible to throw.
[Image: pb1.jpg]
The top one is interesting as it is very heavy the lead is square and has a armour piercing point were it was found I dont no but I copied it from a picture, you know when this one hits the ground.The other is also unusual with a twisted shaft ( Volling ).
The flights I made of leather since I new they would be hammered and after all these years are still going.But feathered flights would be the norm.
Regards Brennivs Big Grin
Laudes for those photos! Big Grin
All in all there is probbley loads more to say ,but my intention was not on distance it could be throwen I think that had been done.To me the weapon needs to come down vertical so if your can achieve this 5m or 80m then you can't go wrong.I hope this gives you a insight into constuction and all from memory :lol: I never thought I would be doing this to audience.
These are my sources;
J.Eagle. 1989 Testing Plumbata.
D.Sherlock. 1979 Hassall Plumbata,a note on method of manufacture.
J.Bennett. Plumbata From Pitsunda. JRMES 1991.
D.Wilson. Roman Brittania. 1970.
Sextillivs. RMRS LEG XIV. 1994.
S.Macdowall. Late Roman Infantry. Osprey 1994.
Vegetivs and De Rebvs from various sources.
Regards Brennivs Big Grin
Quote::lol: I never thought I would be doing this to audience. Big Grin
very well done Tony!
I'm now still finishing my lecture, so I'll comment in detail tomorrow evening or Sunday!
Quote: Well here we go Big Grin I did this experiment many years ago so bear with me.When I first came across the Plumbata as ever I wandered on to how it could be mass made under Fabrica and battle conditions.
Thanks Tony!!

Quote: The barbs that have been found,all seam to be the same with minor variants these are the two main types for fixing to the shaft;
Wroxeter: this has a socketed shaft.
Richabourgh: this has a tapered shaft.

I think you conflate Richborough with Burgh Castle here, and which is the only used as an example in literature for a tapered or tanged shaft.

Most barbs seems the same, with only a single find of a triple-pointed head, but a few more without barbs.

Quote: The bucket containes clay from the Roman levels that Hadrians wall is built on Big Grin ( I do strive to be authentic ) with the two types of former to make the impression.The shafts were made of various hard woods as well as green wood with and without bark.
very good idea! I used a plaster cast so far, but clay would be much easier for a 'fast construction weapon'!

Quote: The Wroxeter type the head tends to be weaker after throwing as the head tended to be loose after hitting the ground. The Richabourgh type with haveing the shaft tapered and inserted into a hole in the shaft were much stronger, and as I thought at least two of the barbs came out of the lead and were still in the ground. Some finds have been found without lead.
OK, so tanged is better.. They split my shafts though, which is not nice if you need to repair them (re-do is better) over and over again.. I've noticed that many re-enactment groups like sockets better, meaning they only need to replace the wood, not do the lead all over again...

Quote:The length of the Plumbata I made were approx 12" long,However I tried to make one to Russel Robinsons dimentions 3 feet long but I could not come to seeing how it would work :?: So I made one approx 30" long so long as it didnt hit the ground when throwing. As you can see top is the first one I made ,The bottom is what I think is the more sensible size.
A metre long would be too long indeed. i even think more than 50 cm would be to long.. Indeed, I agree that the shorter one look more sensible!

brennivs (tony drake)\\n[quote]The top one is interesting as it is very heavy the lead is square and has a armour piercing point were it was found I dont no but I copied it from a picture, you know when this one hits the ground. The other is also unusual with a twisted shaft (Volling ).

How heavy are they? If you rad Völling, it's probably modelled (a bit :wink: ) after the Olympia plumbata, which is far more sturdy and heavier than all the others (100+) plumbatae found. Kolias thought this was the evolution towards a mace! Confusedhock:

All very well done!!
Quote:These are my sources;

J.Eagle. 1989 Testing Plumbata.
D.Sherlock. 1979 Hassall Plumbata,a note on method of manufacture.
J.Bennett. Plumbata From Pitsunda. JRMES 1991.
D.Wilson. Roman Brittania. 1970.
Sextillivs. RMRS LEG XIV. 1994.
S.Macdowall. Late Roman Infantry. Osprey 1994.
Vegetivs and De Rebvs from various sources.

:wink: That's:
Eagle, J. (1989): Testing plumbatae, in: van Driel-Murray 1989a, Roman Military Equipment: the Sources of Evidence. Proceedings of the Fifth Roman Military Equipment Conference, BAR Int. Ser., vol. 476 (Oxford), pp. 247-53.
Sherlock, D. (1979): 'Plumbatae - a note on the methods of manufacture', in: Hassall and Ireland 1979, De Rebus Bellicis, BAR Int. Ser., vol. 63 (Oxford), pp. 101-2.
Bennett, J. (1991): 'Plumbatae from Pitsunda (Pityus), G.S.S.R., and some observations on their probable use', in: Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies, vol. 2, pp. 59-63.

And you mentioned:
Völling, T. (1991): 'Plumbata - Mattiobarbulus - Martzobarboulon? Bemerkungen zu einem Waffenfund aus Olympia' in: Archäologischer Anzeiger, pp. 287-98.
A very nice presentation of an interesting piece of 'experimental archaeology', Tony.......one can only wish that more would emulate you and present their findings here.... a well-earned laudes for you! Big Grin
Thanks Vortigern for putting the references in better for me. Johns is written prepublished so are in his own hand, as the others are copys he also sent me Big Grin oops: I will also put them on the scale and weigh them the heavy square one belongs to the group so it will be a while I get my hands on it again.
Thanks also Pavllvs, what made me do it was when I went to a conferance years ago and listened to a talk on the Velsen finds and the lead sling shot,when it was said they had run out of mass produced shot they made there own useing thumbs ,butt points of spears ect as they had no ready made moulds at hand.I made copys of these which in turn made me think of other things they may run out of and so how could they replace amunition ie: Plumbata.
[Image: chester.jpg]
AS for the bit on distnce in the centre there is a square garden featurwith a large tree above it if you draw a parellel line roughly staight up we were standing throwen towards Chester Legionary wall and came very close to the base of the rampart to the right and I could not guess the distance so I hope the pic gives a idea.Thanks again Big Grin
Regards Brennivs Big Grin
Quote:AS for the bit on distnce in the centre there .........

Not sure exactly where you are throwing from and to, but Google Earth has a very handy 'measuring tool' at the top of the image.....just click on throwing point, move to landing point...a line will appear and the distance as well!! Smile Magic! ( it does this accurately no matter how you've zoomed in/out )

...so you can let us know exactly how far it was thrown..... Big Grin
Quote:AS for the bit on distnce in the centre there is a square garden featurwith a large tree above it if you draw a parellel line roughly staight up we were standing throwen towards Chester Legionary wall and came very close to the base of the rampart to the right and I could not guess the distance so I hope the pic gives a idea.

If I got the above right then the picture below should show that you were throwing between 50-60m/150-60 ft?

[Image: Tony-throwing-Chester.jpg]
Vortigern spot on I was fiddling with google and noticed you had done it already Big Grin D D
Regards Brennivs Big Grin
Salve,

Might I ask a stupid question? Thanks. So, does anybody know any references from ancient authors on the use of the plumbata? Does anyone know its original purpose? It looks much like a scorpion bolt to me exept the weight on the top...or could it have been used for a cestropshendon? Those options would make more sense than just throwing by hand... :?
Quote: Might I ask a stupid question? Thanks.
You're welcome. :wink: There are no stupid questions. Silly ones, maybe..

Quote:So, does anybody know any references from ancient authors on the use of the plumbata? Does anyone know its original purpose? It looks much like a scorpion bolt to me exept the weight on the top...or could it have been used for a cestropshendon? Those options would make more sense than just throwing by hand... :?

Vegetius (Epitome Rei Militaris) amply describes some details, such as the use of plumbatae.
The anonymous author of De rebus bellicis also mentions them.
Finally, the early Byzantine Maurikios (Strategikon) mentions them a lot, describing who should carry them etc.

Their purpose and use therefore is known.
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