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Outlining the Story of Sling Bullets Found in Antikythera

submitted by John Fardoulis on 04.12.2010

This video is an interview with archaeologist Aris Tsaravopoulos, providing an overview regarding "Sling Bullets" found in Antikythera, ammunition of ancient snipers.!

A lot of sling bullets have been found in Antikythera. Some incorporate inscriptions, making them even more historically valuable. An image of one is available here.

On a slightly different note, discussing the Battle of Marathon with experts on long range weaponry, they agree that sling bullets could have done a lot more damage than arrows - if they had been available to the Persians.

Some Australian re-enactors simulated the Battle of Marathon, and came up with the conclusion that out of hundreds of thousands of Persian arrows shot, an extremely low number created mortal wounds. This is because the arrows did not pierce heavy shields, armour and helmets.

The ancient Greeks used to advance in a tight phalanx formation, using heavy bronze armour to protect themselves from enemy arrows and short swords.

Sling bullets would have changed all that.

They can penetrate armour at a range of 160 metres. Even if a hit didn't pierce a bronze helmet, the blow would have caused a concussion so severe (massive ringing in the soldiers head after a high velocity, dense metal object struck the bronze helmet), it would have incapacitated that solider.

Controversy exists whether Antikythera was really a Pirate's Lair and/or a Persian Naval base.

Approximately 1000m of fortification walls, up to 9 metres high were quarried and built as protection for the ancient fortress - which would have probably cost the equivalent of tens of millions of dollars today.

How could pirates have afforded such elaborate fortifications?

Well, because the Persians are thought to have financed construction - as base from which to attack Greece, particularly Sparta.

The mystery continues... with field research pioneered by archaeologist Aris Tsaravopoulos and his team of volunteers - searching for hard-evidence that will give us the answer.

Kythera and Antikythera were (and still are) some of the first points of geographic contact with Greece (Europe), providing vantage points to attack the mainland, and prey on shipping.

This interview was shot on location in Antikythera, during August, 2010.

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