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.

Our research is supported by:

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

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

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.

Kaňáková, Ludmila 2020: Lithic Archery Projectiles and Their Role in Social Dynamics and Vertical Stratification on the Threshold of the Bronze Age. Bonn: Habelt-Verlag. Studien zur Archäologie Europas 34. ISBN 978-3-7749-4271-4.

Kaňáková, Ludmila 2020: Lithic Arrowheads of the Nitra Culture – The Use of Actual and Experimental Use-Wear Analyses to Identify the Differential Effects of Quiver Transportation. Lithic Technology 45/4, 283-294. ISSN 0197-7261. doi: 10.1080/01977261.2020.1795337.

Kaňáková, Ludmila 2020: Practical and symbolic aspects of the life cycle of arrowheads in Central Europe, 2,400–1,800 BC. In Bjørnevad-Ahlqvist, M. – Bye-Jensen, P. The Life Biography of Artefacts and Ritual Practice. With case studies from Mesolithic-Early Bronze Age Europe. Oxford: BAR publishing Oxford, BAR International series S2991, 71-80. ISBN 978-1-4073-5682-2.

Kaňáková, Ludmila – Bátora, Jozef – Nosek, Vojtěch 2019: Use-wear and ballistic analyses of arrowheads from the burial ground of the Nitra culture in Ludanice - Mýtna Nová Ves. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 23, 25-35. ISSN 2352-409X. doi: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.09.028.

Kaňáková, Ludmila – Bátora, Jozef – Nosek, Vojtěch 2020: Use-wear and ballistic analysis of arrowheads from the burial ground of Nitra culture in Holešov–Zdražilovska, Moravia. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 29, 1-13. ISSN 2352-409X. doi: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2019.102126

All research data including use-wear documentation photos, 3D models and database are available in Open-access dataset..

Kaňáková, Ludmila – Nosek, Vojtěch 2020: Lithic Projectiles [dataset].


  • Mgr. Ludmila Kaňáková, Ph.D.
  • prof. Jozef Bátora
  • Mgr. Vojtěch Nosek
Mgr. et Mgr. Ludmila Kaňáková Hladíková, Ph.D.

Contact person

Office: bldg. M/-112
Joštova 220/13
662 43 Brno

Show on the map

Phone: +420 549 49 3707

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.

More info