Early humans used crudely-sharpened flint pieces attached to the ends of sticks to hunt or use for protection as early as 6,000 years ago. There have also been instances found where wood or bone was used to form an arrowhead.
Arrowheads can be found all over the world, and they are quite a common find. Some of the ones in our collection have come from the Americas in the last few centuries and made of stone. Other examples are from the other side of the globe and were produced during a different era entirely.
Most likely cast of bronze or iron, two of these arrowheads were crafted in Ancient Rome between the first and third centuries CE. It is unclear whether they were used with a bow or at the end of a spear, but Ancient Roman archers of the time were widely renowned for their unmatched skill in battle. When the Roman Empire began to grow, auxiliary archers from other nations (either allies or conquered territories) were added to the Roman Army for supplemental support. These men were paid for their assistance and promised Roman citizenship when their service ended.
Spears, also known as hastae, were enormously effective in their own way in battle. They were used as an anti-cavalry weapon, as opposing forces on horseback were more easily taken down than with other means such as swords. These kinds of spears could be up to 6.5 feet long, and were typically attached to poles made of ash. In the late period of the Roman Empire, hastae were known as the official weapon of the Romans.
It’s a rarity that such ancient treasures are available so readily to the public, but at The PAST Antique Marketplace, there are arrowheads of all kinds for purchase. Visit us on Route 85 in Montville, Connecticut for a chance to explore our artifacts and see history firsthand!