Projectiles: use-wear, balistics, experiment

Lithic projectiles from the end of the Stone Age and beginning of the Bronze Age have been studied since 2015. Human society in the given period underwent dynamic changes and stratification, and in the foreground of archaeological record mainly is the warrior class, which gradually gave rise to social and ruling elites.

The implementation of organised military archery may have been a catalyst of social changes, at least in some populations of Central Europe. The international research team of the Department of Archaeology and Museology at Masaryk University and the Department of Archaeology at Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra is concerned with study of projectiles from burial grounds of the Nitra Culture.

Selection of projectiles from the cemetery of Nitra Culture at Mýtna Nová Ves (Slovakia).

We analyse technological parameters of raw materials, debitage and cores for the production of projectiles.

Debitage chosen for production of torsion projectiles from the cemetery of Nitra Culture at Holešov (Czech Republic).

We use HPA use-wear analysis to identify the evidence of transport in a quiver and evidence of considerable pedestrian mobility of projectile users.

Micrograph of a projectile tip which is smoothed and rounded by repeated contact with leather, probably the bottom of a leather quiver, from a grave of Nitra Culture in Hroznová Lhota (Czech Republic).

We analyse ballistic parameters of individual projectiles with the aim to prove that they were intentionally designed for fast rotation, accelerated contact as well as deep penetration and wounding capability. The flying range analyses at the same time provide information on conflict strategies.

Analysis of ballistic properties (mainly the asymmetries in mass distribution on a surface and in a section) of a projectile from a grave of Nitra Culture in Hroznová Lhota (Czech Republic).

For the year 2017 we plan a complex experimental verification of our knowledge in cooperation with the Traditional Archery Society.

Our research has been funded by a grant from the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University in 2016, and by a three-year grant from the Czech Science Foundation in 2017.


  • Mgr. Ludmila Kaňáková, Ph.D. 

  • prof. Jozef Bátora 

  • Mgr. Vojtěch Nosek 

  • Johanka Suchardová 

  • Alois Schulz

Mgr. et Mgr. Ludmila Kaňáková Hladíková, Ph.D.

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Kounicova 67a
602 00 Brno

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