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Identification and Creation
Object Number
Trilobate Arrowhead
Weapons and Ammunition
Work Type
6th-2nd century BCE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Asia
Archaic period to Hellenistic
Near Eastern
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Cast, lost-wax process
3.3 x 1.1 cm (1 5/16 x 7/16 in.)
Technical Details

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

Technical Observations: The protruding edges of the blades are all worn to the dark greenish black corroded metal surface. The perimeter of the socket opening is slightly uneven, perhaps due to wear or corrosion. The edges of the blades are bent probably also as a result of use.

The object was cast in one piece, probably by the lost-wax process. A fine film of grayish-tan burial accretions covers most of the surface, and similar material fills the socket, which makes it difficult to characterize the surface. The shape was probably formed by pinching the three 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.

Francesca G. Bewer (submitted 2012)

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
Three wings surround the conical socket of this trilobate arrowhead. In profile, the arrowhead has something like a diamond shape. This type of arrowhead was used in the first millenium BCE in Greece and the Near East (1).


1. For close parallels, see J. C. Waldbaum, Metalwork from Sardis: The Finds Through 1974, Archaeological Exploration of Sardis Monograph 8 (Cambridge, MA, 1983) 35, no. 41, pl. 3; H. Baitinger, Die Angriffswaffen aus Olympia, Olympische Forschungen 29 (Berlin, 2001) 124-26, nos. 308-49, pl. 10; O. W. Muscarella, Bronze and Iron: Ancient Near Eastern Artifacts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 1988) 212-13, no. 322; and M. Garsson, ed., Une histoire d’alliage: Les bronzes antiques des réserves du Musée d’archéologie méditerranéenne, exh. cat. (Marseille, 2004) 30, no. 10.

Lisa M. Anderson

Subjects and Contexts

Ancient Bronzes

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