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Collection Highlights

Catapult projectile

Catapult projectile
© University of Turin archeological mission at Nelson Island

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Registration Number(s)
BAAM Serial Bibliotheca Alexandrina Antiquities Museum Number 1210

Inv.Inventory
 (SCA) 658
Inv.Inventory
 (MAIA) 01.24

where to find


showcase 34

Catapult projectile

Category:
Tools and equipment, weapons, fishing and hunting equipment, catapult projectiles
Date:
Graeco-Roman Period, Ptolemaic Period (323-31 BCE)
Provenance:
Lower Egypt, Alexandria, Nelson Island
Material(s):
Rock, limestone
Diameter:
9 cm
Hall:
Nelson Island Collection, showcase 34


Description

One of twelve ballista projectiles found scattered on Nelson Island. The discovered collection shows that Nelson Island had a defense role, being located in front of Canopus Bay (now Abu-Qir Bay). 

 

Ballista

Ancient Greek texts inform us how the ballistae were made and used. Such weapons were specifically employed in naval battles, and had a range of up to 500 meters.

The Greek ballista was a siege weapon. Some were positioned inside large, armored, mobile siege towers, or even on the fringes of a battlefield. It was only under Philip II of Macedon, and even more so under his son Alexander the Great, that the ballista began to develop and gain recognition as both siege and field artillery. Projectiles included arrows, and later-on stones that were sometimes set ablaze.

 

The information given here is subject to modification/update as a result of ongoing research.

Bibliography
  • John Warry. Warfare in the Classical World. London: Salamander Books Ltd, 1995.
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