Inštitut za arheologijo  ZRC SAZU


Dimitrij KMETIČ, Jana HORVAT and Franc VODOPIVEC:

Metallographic examinations of the Roman Republican weapons from the hoard from Grad near Šmihel


Five objects were chosen for metallographic examinations from the hoard of Roman weapons found at Grad near Šmihel, dated to the end of the 3rd or in the first half of the 2nd centuries BC. The sword, catapult bolt, and simple rod with an unsymmetrical point predominantly have a ferrite or ferrite pearlite microstructure. The shafts of two pila with flat hafts also have a ferrite microstructure. The point of one of the pila is made from a soft (ferrite) center and a hard pearlite layer on the surface. Evidently the earliest pila already had a hard point with a soft shaft, as was noted in much later historical sources. The relatively poor quality of the weapons (soft steel) is explained by the rapidity of production, considering also that the catapult bolts and simple rods with an unsymmetrical point were probably weapons for one- time use.

Keywords: Šmihel, 2nd Cent. BC, Roman Republican period, hoard, weapons, gladius, pilum, catapult bolt, iron, metallographic examinations

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