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Identification and Creation
Object Number
Arrowhead from the Acropolis of Lindos
Other Titles
Alternate Title: arrow head from the Acropolis of Undosrec
Weapons and Ammunition
Work Type
6th-5th century BCE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, Lindos (Rhodes)
Archaic period to Classical
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Cast, lost-wax process
3.1 x 1.1 cm (1 1/4 x 7/16 in.)
Technical Details

Chemical Composition: XRF data from Artax 1
Alloy: Bronze
Alloying Elements: copper, tin
Other Elements: lead, iron, nickel, arsenic
K. Eremin, January 2014

Technical Observations: The object was cast in one piece, most likely by the lost-wax process. The blades were probably pinched out from a central piece of wax, which would have been mounted on the tapering end of a rod to create the socket. Grayish-tan burial accretions over green corrosion pustules cover most of the surface and fill the socket, making it difficult to characterize the finish. The perimeter of the socket opening is slightly uneven, perhaps due to wear or corrosion. Fine black crystals of copper sulfide have developed in select parts of the surface due to its post-excavation storage conditions.

Francesca G. Bewer (submitted 2012)

Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Transfer from the Department of the Classics, Harvard University, Gift of Dr. A. S. Pease
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Published Catalogue Text: Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes at the Harvard Art Museums
This cast-bronze trilobate arrowhead, which has a socket for the shaft, is typical of a type widely used in Greece, the Balkans, Anatolia, and the Near East during the sixth and fifth centuries BCE (1). These were mass produced in bivalve molds in a series of standard forms and weights. They could also be used as a form of currency. Arrowhead-shaped objects served as a medium of exchange in the western and northern Black Sea areas during the fifth and fourth centuries BCE. A date during the first half of the fifth century seems reasonable.


1. For close parallels, see H. Baitinger, Die Angriffswaffen aus Olympia, Olympische Forschungen 29 (Berlin, 2001) 124-26, nos. 308-49, pl. 10; and J. C. Waldbaum, Metalwork from Sardis: The Finds Through 1974, Archaeological Exploration of Sardis Monograph 8 (Cambridge, MA, 1983) 35, no. 41, pl. 3. Compare also M. Garsson, ed., Une histoire d’alliage: Les bronzes antiques des réserves du Musée d’Archéologie Méditerranéenne, exh. cat. (Marseille, 2004) 30, no. 10 (Greek, dated to the fifth century BCE). Also see M. Comstock and C. C. Vermeule, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Bronzes in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Greenwich, CT, 1971) 416, no. 595.

David G. Mitten

Subjects and Contexts

Ancient Bronzes

Related Works

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