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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Socketed Arrowhead
Weapons and Ammunition
Work Type
8th-5th century BCE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Asia
Iron Age
Near Eastern
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Leaded bronze
Cast, lost-wax process
3.7 x 0.9 cm (1 7/16 x 3/8 in.)
Technical Details

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

Technical Observations: There are fine grayish-tan burial accretions in the recesses over dark gray patina. They also fill the shaft. The perimeter of the socket opening is slightly uneven, perhaps due to wear or corrosion, as so is the edge of one of the blades.

The object was cast in one piece, although it is not clear whether it was by the lost-wax process or some piece-molding process. The shape could have formed by pinching the two blades out from a central piece of wax that was mounted on the tapering end of a fine rod. The rod would have served to create the socket. On the other hand, this arrowhead could have been cast into a bivalve mold. It is also not clear whether the faceting is original or a result of post-excavation cleaning, which also left file marks on the surface.

Francesca G. Bewer (submitted 2012)


Recorded Ownership History
Louise M. and George E. Bates, Camden, ME (by 1971-1992), gift; to the Harvard University Art Museums, 1992.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Louise M. and George E. Bates
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 socketed arrowhead has two low, curving blades (1). Unlike 1992.256.126 and 1992.256.127, the conical socket makes up the bulk of the projectile’s shape, and the tip of the point is also the end of the socket. The tip is rather blunt.


1. Compare very similar examples in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, inv. nos. 26.199.292-93. See also M. Garsson, ed., Une histoire d’alliage: Les bronzes antiques des réserves du Musée d’archéologie méditerranéenne, exh. cat. (Marseille, 2004) 30, no. 11, although the fins have a slightly different shape.

Lisa M. Anderson

Subjects and Contexts

  • Ancient Bronzes

Verification Level

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