Iron-working was introduced to Europe in the late 11th century BC and was widely used for producing weapons, tools, and utensils. From circa 1200 to 700 BC, iron arrowheads developed alongside the bronze types but, eventually, completely replaced them during the Byzantine era, when bronze arrowheads disappeared. Iron is lighter and stronger than bronze, though its greatest advantage was the abundance of iron ore, which allowed for a reduction in production costs. Indeed, the initial development of iron weapons was most likely driven by a decline in the trade of tin, a primary component of bronze. With the shift to iron, weapons and utensils were no longer cast, but individually hammered into shape, which slowed down the production process. This translated to a simplification of arrowheads designs, with simple tanged flat bladed typed or bodkin point being the most common shapes.
Selection of Roman Period Iron Arrowheads
A selection of Roman period iron arrowheads in different shapes and sizes. Different arrowheads were made for different purposes. Wide-bladed arrowheads, such as items B, D, and E were used for attacking flesh, as their shape and the eventual presence of barbs made them difficult to remove from flesh. Narrower forms, such as items A and C were ideal for penetrating armour, leather, and clothing.
Condition: Good condition.