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Roman Fishing Spear

Roman Fishing Spear


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Spearfishing

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Spearfishing, sport of underwater hunting that became popular in the early 1930s and after World War II spread rapidly throughout the world. Targets of underwater hunters may include sharks and barracuda in salt water and such nongame species as carp in freshwater.

Underwater weapons range from simple hand spears to guns capable of penetrating the largest fish. The simplest weapon is the Hawaiian sling, a wooden tube with an elastic loop at one end. The shaft, which is tipped by one of a variety of spearheads, is drawn through the tube and pulled back, stretching the loop. When released, the shaft is propelled forward. In the mid-1930s, Alec Kramarenko patented an underwater gun in which the spear was propelled by a compressed spring. Shortly after, there appeared a spring-propulsion gun invented by a Frenchman, Maxime Forlot, and a popular spear gun designed by his compatriot Georges Beuchat that was propelled by a rubber elastic band. Other guns were designed that used gunpowder, carbon dioxide, or compressed air to propel the spear one of the latter type, invented in 1956 by Juan Vilarrubis of Spain, became popular because of its accuracy, power, and simplicity of operation.

The foregoing are rifle-type weapons in which the spear either travels through a long barrel or is guided along the barrel’s upper surface. In all of them the spear shaft is released by a trigger mechanism. Spearfishing guns often have a line attached to the shaft, making retrieval easier. On strike, the line holds the quarry securely.

Stalking and shooting his quarry underwater is usually only the beginning of a skin diver’s battle. After a fish is hit, it must be held on a harpoon line and landed. With large fish this may mean an underwater ride as the diver is towed through the water.

Diving clubs hold yearly local, national, and international competitions in spearfishing. The competitions do not permit the use of scuba, and the contestants dive while holding their breath.

Bowfishing is a related sport in which the hunter uses a conventional bow and specially designed arrows to shoot fish that live in shallow water. Freshwater species such as carp and gar are pursued by hunters who either wade or use shallow-draft boats to maneuver in the water.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen, Corrections Manager.


Spearfishing Controversy

During the 1980s and early 1990s, there were many violent clashes in northern Wisconsin over the issue of Ojibwe spearfishing. Violent scenes at boat landings received national and even international attention. Sometimes, thousands of White protesters showed up at boat landings as Ojibwe fishermen prepared to spearfish walleye and other species of fish. These crowds often shouted racial slurs, threw things at the fishermen, and even assaulted them. While this violence has receded in recent years, it has not disappeared.

Causes of this violence go back more than a century. Ojibwe bands in Wisconsin signed three major treaties with the United States in which they ceded their lands to the federal government. The first was signed in 1837 and the second in 1842. These transferred the entire Ojibwe homeland in Wisconsin to the federal government. In these treaties, the Ojibwe retained the right to hunt, fish, and gather wild rice and maple sap on lands they ceded to the United States. The 1854 Treaty transferred the last Minnesota Ojibwe lands to the U.S. and established land reservations for Ojibwe bands, thus ensuring their continued residence in northern Wisconsin.

Early Efforts to Reclaim Rights

Although these treaties guaranteed Ojibwe rights to hunt and fish on ceded lands, the state of Wisconsin believed it had the right to regulate hunting and fishing throughout the state and slowly began to curtail these rights after 1854. The state also curtailed Ojibwe rights to hunt and fish on their reservations as well. In 1901, John Blackbird, an Ojibwe, was arrested for illegally fishing on Lake Superior. A federal court heard Blackbird's case and determined that Wisconsin had no right to regulate fishing on Indian reservations since these were federal lands held in trust for the tribes. The court's decision in the Blackbird case did not state whether the Ojibwe had the right to hunt and fish off their reservations, but even as the decision stood, it had no impact on lawmakers in Wisconsin. In 1908, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ignored this precedent when it handed down its decision in the case of State v. Morrin. The Court stated that Ojibwe rights to hunt on and off their reservations could be regulated by the state because Wisconsin's entry into union gave it the power to suspend Ojibwe treaty rights.

In 1933 and 1940, Thomas L. St. Germaine -- an Ojibwe lawyer from Lac du Flambeau -- argued before the Wisconsin Supreme Court that the Wisconsin Ojibwe had a right to hunt and fish unhindered both on and off their reservations. He gained only a partial victory, for the court decided that Indians could fish and hunt unhindered on their reservations, but only there. By this time, many reservations lands had been sold to non-Indians, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court stated that the Ojibwe were subject to state regulations on reservation lands owned by non-Indians. During the next 40 years, the state of Wisconsin continued to prosecute Ojibwes who violated state laws on non-Indian lands both on and off their reservations.

"Reserved Rights"

After a series of disappointing legal decisions, the Ojibwe were finally able to exercise their off-reservation treaty rights in 1983, when a federal court -- the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago -- asserted that Wisconsin had no rights to regulate fishing on Ojibwe reservations and, more importantly, that the 1837 and 1842 treaties guaranteed Ojibwe rights to hunt and fish off their reservations without being bound by state regulations. This decision, commonly called the Voigt Decision, was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court that same year.

In the eight years after the Voigt Decision, Ojibwe bands and Wisconsin received guidelines from the federal court on the extent to which the Ojibwe could harvest resources off their ceded territory and how the state could regulate those activities. During this time, the Ojibwe began to spearfish off of their reservations. Whites in northern Wisconsin were stunned by the Voigt Decision mainly because they did not understand it. They believed the federal court had given the Ojibwe the right to hunt and fish on their ceded lands. In actuality, the Ojibwe never surrendered their rights to hunt and fish on the ceded territory. They possessed the land before they sold it to the U.S., and while they owned it they had the right to use it as they pleased. The United States acknowledged these rights in the treaties.

The Ojibwe sold these lands to the United States in the 1837 and 1842 treaties, but they retained their usufructuary rights, or the rights to hunt, fish, and gather on their ceded lands. These are called reserved rights because the Ojibwe reserved them even though they no longer possessed the lands on which they exercised these rights. Moreover, the United States agreed to these provisions when it made the two treaties. The federal court simply allowed the Ojibwe to exercise rights Wisconsin had wrongfully taken away.

Protests and Violence

These arguments failed to convince many non-Indians in Wisconsin. They believed the federal court had given the Ojibwe special privileges. Whites also complained that the Ojibwe were allowed to harvest fish using methods employed by their ancestors but which were illegal for other fishermen. For centuries, the Ojibwe used torches on the ends of their canoes to attract fish and then speared them. The Ojibwe continued to use this method but used flashlights, metal spears, and aluminum boats. White protesters protested Ojibwe spearfishing at boat landings, often shouting obscenities and throwing rocks and bottles. Out on the water, Whites often took large motor boats and tried to tip over Ojibwe spearfishers' boats by causing large wakes. In some cases, Ojibwe spearfishers were even shot at while exercising their treaty rights.

The two groups that emerged to protest Indian spearfishing were Protect America's Rights and Resources (PARR) and Stop Treaty Rights Abuse (STA). Of the two, STA was the most militant and, under the leadership of a Minocqua, Wisconsin merchant named Dean Crist, organized some of the largest and most violent protests at boat landings. STA members argued that if they did not stop Indians from spearfishing, their livelihoods would be ruined because Indians would deplete the fish populations and hurt tourism in northern Wisconsin. In reality, the Ojibwe took only a small fraction of all fish taken from the lakes. Non-Indian sport fishermen took the vast majority of the "safe harvest," the total number of fish anyone was allowed to take out of the lakes each year without depleting fish populations.

Conservation and Restocking

Tommy Thompson was elected governor in 1986, and he ran on a platform of abrogating -- or terminating -- Ojibwe treaty rights. Under Thompson's administration, the Wisconsin Department of Justice tried, unsuccessfully, to appeal the Voigt Decision. When this did not work, the state offered the Mole Lake Ojibwe $10 million and the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe $42 million if they would sign agreements with the state to end or at least suspend their rights to hunt and fish on the ceded territory. Both Ojibwe bands steadfastly refused these offers. At about the same time, Republican Congressman Frank J. Sensenbrenner introduced legislation in the United States Congress to abrogate all off-reservation hunting, fishing, and harvesting rights in Wisconsin. Neither Congress nor the President (George Bush) evinced any interest in pushing such legislation forward. The violence reached its peak in 1989, and Governor Thompson personally went to the federal court to plead for injunction to stop Ojibwe spearfishing and prevent further violence. Judge Barbara Crabb refused because the Ojibwe were doing nothing illegal. Crabb stated that it was non-Indian protesters, not the Indians, who were initiating the violence.

The Ojibwe also took actions that demonstrated their determination to act responsibly in the exercise of their treaty rights. Although allowed to take up all of the safe harvest of fish, they have always taken far less. In 1987, for example, the Ojibwe declared that they would harvest about 82,000 walleye. In the end, all the Ojibwe bands of northern Wisconsin took only 21,321 walleye in 1987. Non-Indian sports fishermen, in comparison, took about 839,000 walleye from the lakes during that same year. Moreover, all six Ojibwe bands run their own fish hatcheries, and they all put more fish into the lakes every year than they take out by spearfishing.

Permanent Injunction Against Violence

The violence at boat landings in northern Wisconsin has died down considerably since 1991. That year, Wisconsin stated that it would no longer appeal the Voigt Decision. That same year, Judge Crabb issued a temporary injunction against protesters who engaged in violent behavior at boat landings and on lakes where the Ojibwe fished. Crabb made this injunction permanent in 1992. The Ojibwe have continued to work with the state of Wisconsin to reduce tensions and manage fish populations in northern Wisconsin. In 1996, Wisconsin's six Ojibwe bands declared they would take 100 percent of the safe harvest of walleye on some lakes, which they were entitled by law to do. The state raised concerns that this would prohibit non-Indian sportsmen from fishing on 79 lakes since no more fish could be taken. The Ojibwe voluntarily lowered the number of walleye they would take from lakes that year so no lakes would be closed to sport fishing.


Roman Fishing Spear - History

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More Roman Artifacts:


Roman Republic, c. 1st century BC.
Small bronze arrowhead. 18 mm (11/16"), olive-green patina. cf. Malloy, Weapons, plate XIV #122. Similar to examples found in the Villa Julia Collection. A wonderful example! #WP2516: $99 SOLD

Roman Republic, c. 1st century BC.
Small bronze arrowhead. 19 mm (3/4"), olive-green patina. cf. Malloy, Weapons, plate XIV #122. Similar to examples found in the Villa Julia Collection. #WP2538: $75 SOLD - Ask about alternates!

Roman Republic, c. 1st century BC.
Small bronze arrowhead. 19 mm (3/4"), olive-green patina. cf. Malloy, Weapons, plate XIV #122. Similar to examples found in the Villa Julia Collection. #WP2539: $75 SOLD

Holy Land. Roman period, c. 1st century BC - 3rd century AD.
A great iron arrowhead, with triangular blade and long tang.
L: 55 mm (2 1/8"). ref: Malloy "Weapons" 137a Petrie 157 James pp. 11. Nicely preserved for iron! ex-Nemesis Ancients. #WP2721: $225 SOLD
Holy Land. Roman period, c. 1st-3rd century AD. A nice iron javelin head, found in Israel. L: 55mm (2 1/8”) and well-preserved for iron, still quite sharp! ref: Malloy "Weapons" 137a Petrie 157 James pp. 11 for type. Found in the Holy Land! ex-Santa Barbara County, CA scholastic collection. #WP2598: $199 SOLD
Inexpensive Ancient Roman Arrowheads, 1st Century BC
Unearthed at ancient battlefields near the Danube River, Eastern Europe. Roman Republican period, c. 1st century BC, small and triangular in shape. Average size 15-18 mm, most with some damage or heavy deposits. cf. Malloy, Weapons, plate XIV #122 for type. Similar to examples found in the Villa Julia Collection. Examples shown here. #RMWP1: $50 each

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Related search topics: ancient Rome weapons for sale, ancient Roman arrowheads, Roman arrow heads for sale, ancient Roman spear heads, spearheads from Roman Empire, Roman Legionary weapons, Roman battlefield discoveries excavated, Los Angeles

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Ancient Coins & Artifacts:


Nicely preserved Roman iron spearhead
c. 100-300 AD. Battlefield discovery from Eastern Europe. Measures 318 mm (12 1/2 inches) long! A whopper. The open end is still packed with petrified material. likely the remnants of the original wooden shaft. #384: $355 SOLD


Roman bronze spearhead, 1st-3rd century AD. An absolutely gorgeous piece! 210 mm long with its three original bronze bands still intact. Nice leaf-shaped blade still shows battle damage. Great emerald-green patina. From an old Midwestern USA museum collection formed in the 1960's. #6386: $425 SOLD


Ancient Rome, c. 2nd-3rd century AD. Great iron tip of a ballista bolt. Triangular-shaped head and long, tapered socketed body. Remarkably well-preserved. 78 mm (3 1/16"). #03885: $150 SOLD
Ancient Rome, c. 2nd-4th century AD. Nice and large bronze spearhead. Long, slender blade with raised mid-rib, and long socketed shaft, incised with geometric decorations near the blade. Shows obvious signs of battle damage. 250 mm (9 3/4") long and still very sharp! Great olive-green patina. Ex North Carolina private collection. #WP2002: $599 SOLD
Late Roman to Medieval, 5th-7th century AD. Nice iron spear-tip or ballista-bolt. 93 mm (3 5/8"). #27609: $150 SOLD
Late Roman to Medieval, 4th-7th century AD. Nice iron spear-tip or ballista-bolt. 93 mm (3 5/8"). Professionally cleaned & conserved. #99480: $99 SOLD
Ancient Rome, c. 2nd-3rd Century AD. Nice iron spear head. Broad, flat triangular blade with long shoulder and short tang. 94 mm (3 11/16") long. Blade slightly bent from battle damage in antiquity. Professionally conserved with brown patina. Nice large piece, extremely well-preserved for iron. #WP2163: $199 SOLD
Ancient Rome, c. 1st-2nd century AD. Incredible iron "plumbata" javelin-head. Long socketed neck leads up to a sharp point, with two widely flared barbs. Remains of ancient wood still preserved inside! 164 mm (6 1/2") long! ex-Hagendorf, Switzerland private collection. Professionally conserved. Rare! A museum-worthy example. #WP2155: $499 SOLD
Ancient Roman, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Bronze javelin tip. 66 mm (2 5/8" long with rounded form and sharp, pointed tip. Great blue/gray patina. Photo not to scale! (This is much larger then the arrowheads) #WP2086: $199 SOLD
Ancient Roman, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Iron spearhead. Long diamond-shaped blade and long socketed neck. 114 mm (4 1/2") long.ex-Indianapolis, IN scholasic collection. #AM2043: $225 SOLD
Ancient Rome, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Iron arrowhead. Triangular, pointed tip and short tang. Found at an ancient battlefield in former Thrace-Macedonia, near the Black Sea. 52 mm (2 1/16") long. ex-Los Angeles, CA collection. #WP2126: $125 SOLD
Ancient Rome, c. 2nd to 3rd century AD. Massive iron lance-head. A nicely shaped iron "contos," which was a long cavalry lance with a wood shaft which would have measured 4 to 5 meters in length. The name derives from the Greek word 'kontos', meaning 'oar.'
The weapon was so large it required two hands to wield, requiring the horseman to grip his mount with his knees. L: 16" (40.6 cm).
Ex- Piscopo Estate. Additional photos available on request. A very impressive ancient weapon! #WP2387: $525 SOLD
Roman England, c. 2nd-4th century AD. Large iron spearhead. With wide, flat blade and wide socketed base, with 2 rivet holes which would have held it onto the heavy wooden shaft. Point still very sharp! L: 264 mm (10 3/8"), professionally conserved. ex-Hampshire, UK gallery. #WP2397: $350 SOLD
Ancient Rome, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Large iron spearhead. With wide, flat blade and wide socketed base,
raised central midrib, and 2 rivet holes which would have held it onto the heavy wooden shaft. Nicely preserved for iron!
L: 29 cm (11 1/4"). Further photos available upon request. ex-De Pere, WI collection. #WP2461: $399 SOLD
Holy Land. Roman period, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Fantastic small iron arrowhead. With triangular blade and tapered tang. Still quite sharp! L: 27 mm (1 1/16"), nicely preserved for iron! Found in the Holy Land. #WP2549: $175 SOLD
Ancient Roman, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Fantastic iron javelin-tip. With long tapered 4-edged tip and long tang which still show the ridges made to hold it into the javelin shaft. 77 mm (3 inches) long, with great steely tone. ex-British collection ex-London, UK gallery. Outstanding! This is the finest I've seen. #WP2431: $325 SOLD
Ancient Rome, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Nice iron spearhead. With long, tapered socket, and leaf-shaped blade.
L: 22.5 cm (8 7/8"). Nicely preserved! Ex-Los Angeles, CA collection. #WP2559: $325 SOLD
Ancient Rome, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Excellent and long iron spearhead. With long, tapered socket, leaf-shaped blade with raised mid-rib. The socket still clogged with petrified material, likely the wooden remains of the original shaft! L: 285 mm (11 1/4"). Nicely preserved. Ex-Los Angeles, CA collection. Rare! #WP2385: $450 SOLD SPECIAL: A Small Collection of Roman Weapons found in Israel!
Ex Prof. Yigael Ronen collection ex-Robert Deutsch ex-Archaeological Center, Tel Aviv
Ancient Roman, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Long iron javelin head, found in Israel. 50 mm (1 15/16"). ref: Malloy "Weapons" 137a Petrie 157 James pp. 11. Diamond-shaped profile, tip clearly blunted from battle damage! #WP2200: $225 SOLD
Ancient Roman, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Long iron javelin head, found in Israel. 66 mm (2 9/16"). ref: Malloy "Weapons" 137a Petrie 157 James pp. 11. Tip shows battle damage! #WP2199: $199 SOLD
Ancient Roman, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Iron javelin head, found in Israel. 42 mm (1 5/8"). ref: Malloy "Weapons" 137a Petrie 157 James pp. 11. Hammered, rounded tip. #WP2198: $199 SOLD
Ancient Roman, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Iron javelin head, found in Israel. 50 mm (1 15/16"). ref: Malloy "Weapons" 137a Petrie 157 James pp. 11. Diamond-shaped profile. #WP2201: $199 SOLD


Ancient Roman, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Iron javelin head, found in Israel. 68 mm (2 11/16"). ref: Malloy "Weapons" 137b Petrie 157 James pp. 11. Triangular tip with squared cross-section. Impressive! #WP2195: $199 SOLD
Ancient Roman, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Iron javelin head, found in Israel. 81 mm (3 1/4"). Triangular tip with squared cross-section. ref: Malloy "Weapons" 137c Petrie 157 James pp. 11. Very nice and impressive! #WP2196: $225 SOLD


Byzantine Empire, c. 8th-11th century AD. Bronze arrowhead. Green patina with heavy earthen deposits. Missing one barb (shown in center here). Remains of original wood shaft still inside! Very rare. 24 mm (15/16"). Ex Arizona private collection. #WP2143: $99 SOLD


Roman Republic, c. 1st century BC.
Small bronze arrowhead. L: 18 mm (23/32"). Nice green patina. cf. Malloy, Weapons, plate XIV #122. Similar to examples found in the Villa Julia Collection. #WP2324: $75 SOLD


Roman Republic, c. 1st century BC.
Small bronze arrowhead. L: 18 mm (23/32"). Nice olive-green patina. cf. Malloy, Weapons, plate XIV #122. Similar to examples found in the Villa Julia Collection. #WP2337: $75 SOLD
Roman Republic, c. 1st century BC.
Small bronze arrowhead. 20 mm (25/32"). Nice green patina. cf. Malloy, Weapons, plate XIV #122. Similar to examples found in the Villa Julia Collection. #WP2338: $75 SOLD
Ancient Rome, early 1st century AD. Large bronze arrowhead. The exact type found in the destruction layer at the City of David, Jerusalem from the Roman attack under emperors Vespasian and Titus. However this specimen was recovered near the Danube River, Eastern Europe. 5 cm (2 inches) long. #WP2072: $199 SOLD
Ancient Rome, c. 1st-2nd century AD. A pair of Roman iron caltrops. Anti-cavalry weapon, these were spread around the outside of fortifications, to stop enemy horses in their tracks upon event of a siege. No matter how they sat on the ground, a sharpened spike was always sticking straight up. Rather poorly preserved, but good representative examples of a rarely-found Roman weapon. Each measures around 44 mm (1 3/4”). Ex-old British private collection. #AR2424: $125 (for the pair) SOLD
Roman Holy Land, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Iron arrowhead, found in Israel! 57 mm (2 1/4") with nice form, completely intact! Beautifully preserved. ex-Jerusalem, Israel private collection. #WP2168: $250 SOLD

Ancient Roman, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Iron javelin head, found in Israel. 61 mm (2 3/8"). ref: Malloy "Weapons" 137a Petrie 157 James pp. 11. Chunky, squared form. #WP2197: $199 SOLD
Roman Republic, c. 1st century BC.
Small bronze arrowhead. 18 mm (11/16"), olive-green patina. cf. Malloy, Weapons, plate XIV #122. Similar to examples found in the Villa Julia Collection. #WP2450: $75 SOLD
Roman Republic, c. 1st century BC.
Small bronze arrowhead. 17 mm (11/16"), olive-green patina. cf. Malloy, Weapons, plate XIV #122. Similar to examples found in the Villa Julia Collection. #WP2343: $75 SOLD
Roman Republic, c. 1st century BC.
Small bronze arrowhead. 23 mm (7/8"). nice form, coppery to green patina. cf. Malloy, Weapons, plate XIV #122. Similar to examples found in the Villa Julia Collection. #WP2339: $85 SOLD
Ancient Roman, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Iron javelin-tip, found at an ancient battle site in Spain! 45 mm (1 3/4"). ref: Malloy "Weapons" 137a Petrie 157 James pp. 11. Chunky, squared form. Nicely preserved, the tip bent from battle damage! Ex-Alex Malloy, author of the definitive book Weapons. #WP2400: $250 SOLD
Ancient Roman, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Iron spearhead. Long diamond-shaped blade and short socketed neck. Remains of ancient wood still preserved inside the socket! 93 mm (3 5/8") long. ex-Indianapolis, IN scholasic collection. #AM2040: $175 SOLD
Ancient Rome, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Iron armor-piercing arrowhead. 92 mm (3 5/8") long, with slightly tapered tip leaging to a sharp point. ex-Los Angeles, CA collection. #WP2265: $125 SOLD
Holy Land. Roman period, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Iron arrowhead. With triangular blade and long tang. L: 55 mm (2 1/8"). ref: Malloy "Weapons" 137a Petrie 157 James pp. 11. Chunky, squared form. Nicely preserved, the tip and tang bent from battle damage! Found in the Holy Land. #WP2551: $299 SOLD
Ancient Rome, c. 1st-4th century AD. Marvelous bronze shield boss! Also known as an umbo. Measures 2 3/4" (7 cm), with small attachment rivet hole in center. Cf. Appels & Laycock AA7.4v. Light olive-green patina with earthen and mineral deposits.
ex-J. Rilling collection, Orange County, CA. #AR2395: $299 SOLD


Roman Republic, c. 1st century BC.
Small bronze arrowhead. 20 mm (3/4"), olive-green patina. cf. Malloy, Weapons, plate XIV #122. Similar to examples found in the Villa Julia Collection. #WP2413: $75 SOLD
Roman Republic, c. 1st century BC.
Small bronze arrowhead. 15 mm (9/16"), nice dark reddish-brassy tone. cf. Malloy, Weapons, plate XIV #122. Similar to examples found in the Villa Julia Collection. #WP2451: $75 SOLD
Roman Republic, c. 1st century BC.
Small bronze arrowhead. 20 mm (3/4"), olive-green patina. cf. Malloy, Weapons, plate XIV #122. Similar to examples found in the Villa Julia Collection. #WP2414: $75 SOLD
Roman Republic, c. 1st century BC.
Small bronze arrowhead. 17 mm (11/16"), olive-green patina. cf. Malloy, Weapons, plate XIV #122. Similar to examples found in the Villa Julia Collection. #WP2409: $75 SOLD - Ask about alternates!
Roman Republic, c. 1st century BC.
Small bronze arrowhead. L: 18 mm (23/32"). Green patina, light earthen deposits. cf. Malloy, Weapons, plate XIV #122. Similar to examples found in the Villa Julia Collection. #WP2340: $75 SOLD
Roman Republic, c. 1st century BC.
Small bronze arrowhead. 19 mm (3/4"), olive-green patina. cf. Malloy, Weapons, plate XIV #122. Similar to examples found in the Villa Julia Collection. #WP2449: $75 SOLD
Roman Republic, c. 1st century BC.
Small bronze arrowhead. 19 mm (3/4"), olive-green patina. cf. Malloy, Weapons, plate XIV #122. Similar to examples found in the Villa Julia Collection. #WP2537: $75 SOLD
Holy Land. Roman period, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Iron javelin-head. With three-edged triangular blade and long tang. L: 73 mm (2 7/8"). ref: Malloy "Weapons" 137 Petrie 157 James pp. 11. Crusty surfaces, earthen deposits, the tip and tang bent from battle damage! Found in the Holy Land. #WP2576: $250 SOLD Ancient Greek & Roman Bronze Arrowheads, 800 BC -- AD 200
Unearthed at ancient battlefields near the Black Sea, formerly Thrace-Macedonia. THESE ARE MOSTLY GREEK.
High quality (mostly intact, larger, better pieces, some with losses).
#GRKWP1: $75 each
Average quality (many broken, small, or incomplete.
#GRKWP2: $35 each

Ancient Rome, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Large iron spearhead. With wide, flat blade and long, tapered, socketed base, and rivet hole which would have held it onto the heavy wooden shaft. Nicely preserved for iron! L: 32.9 cm (13 inches)! Found at an ancient battle site near the Danube River, Eastern Europe. ex-Los Angeles, CA private collection. #WP2588: $450 SOLD
Ancient Roman, c. 1st - 3rd Century AD. Great Roman bronze dagger handle in the form of a screaming eagle. With inset eyes and curved beak, well-preserved and nicely patinated. 40 x 35mm. Deep green patina. An attractive piece! Ex collection of J.D.R. Fryer, UK. #AR3028: $325 SOLD
Ancient Roman, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Iron javelin head, found in Israel. 56 mm (2 1/4"). ref: Malloy "Weapons" 137a Petrie 157 James pp. 11. Chunky, squared form. #WP2194: $199 SOLD
Ancient Roman, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Iron javelin head, found in Israel. 41 mm (1 9/16"). ref: Malloy "Weapons" 137a Petrie 157 James pp. 11. Diamond-shaped profile, tip blunted from battle damage! #WP2202: $199 SOLD
Holy Land. Roman period, c. 1st-3rd century AD. A large iron javelin head, found in Israel. L: 72mm (2 3/4”) and well-preserved for iron! ref: Malloy "Weapons" 137a Petrie 157 James pp. 11 for type. Found in the Holy Land! ex-Santa Barbara County, CA scholastic collection. #WP2592: $225 SOLD
Holy Land. Roman period, c. 1st-2nd century AD. Nice iron spear or javelin tip. Long, triantular blade with raised central mid-rib, short tang. L: 11.7 cm (4 5/8"), nicely preserved for iron! Found in the Holy Land. ex-Santa Barbara County, CA scholastic collection. #WP2575: $275 SOLD

The Pilum (Spear) | Tools of War | The Roman Military

When Swords wouldn't do, Roman soldiers relied on the pilum, which was a long spear, or javelin. There were two types: think and thin. The thin one had a long iron head, that fit to the long handle by way of a socket. The thin pilum was about 2 m long, with a barbed point. The thick pilum was of similar length, and was attached to the shaft with a 5 cm wide tang. The tip of both of these weapons had a pyramid-shaped barb. The shaft of both was about 7.5 mm in diameter. On the thick pilum was a wooden block to secure the metal head. The block also protected the hand in melee fighting. Soldiers carried both types of spear.

Later versions of the pilum in the first century were constructed similarly, but the thick pila were much lighter, weighing in at about 2kg. This lightening of the pilum led to the introduction of a version of the heavy pilum with a weighted ball at the top of the shaft, to help balance the spear. The point was made of softer iron so that it would bend upon impact, preventing the enemy from throwing the spear back.

The pilum could either be thrown, or used in hand to hand combat. It was usually thrown before engaging the enemy with swords.


History of Spearfishing - Origin and Background of Spearfishing

Spearfishing is method of fishing with a spear and is one of the oldest ways that humanity used to catch fish. Early civilizations used sharpened sticks for spearfishing and these were one of the first spears.

Many ancient civilizations used spears for fishing. During the Paleolithic times they used barbed poles (harpoons). Famous Cosquer cave in Southern France, that has art that is preserved for 16,000 years, has images of seals that look like they have been harpooned. Paintings on the wall of the tomb of Usheret in Thebes represent fisherman with a spear that is throwing the spear into the water from his boat. Bible mentions fishing spears in Job 41:7 where it talks about Leviathan. According to the Greek historian Polybius that lived between 203 BC and 120 BC, spears were used for catching swordfish which he talks about in his “Histories”. These spears were barbed and had detachable heads. Earliest text that survived to this day and which talks about various means of fishing in its entirety is “Halieutika” written by Greek author Oppian of Corycus. He describes their standard spears with one point and tridents. Peoples that lived on India's Andaman and Nicobar islands used spears that had long cords and could be retrieved when thrown without the need for a fisherman to move.

From the simple spears (pointed sticks, sticks with barbed metal points and tridents), developed different types of spears. “Gigs” are one of these and they are multi-pronged spears. They are used for fish but also for frogs. Before modern spears appeared, people spearfished in shallow waters. Invention of speargun allowed fishing in deeper waters. Spearguns can be powered with elastic cords or compressed gas and spearfishing with spearguns can be done while free-diving, snorkeling, or scuba diving. Some countries don’t allow spearfishing while using scuba equipment while other don’t allow use of mechanically powered spearguns at all.

After the improvement of diving gear and spears themselves in the first half of 20th century, different types of spearfishing developed from there. The most common way of spearfishing today is “shore diving” where divers enter the sea from a beach and hunt around ocean structures. To catch a fish, divers use Hawaiian slings or spearguns and catch reef fish. “Boat diving” is similar to shore diving but boats are used to access locations that are inaccessible by land like, oil rigs, Fish Aggregating Devices and reefs that are further from the shore. “Blue water hunting” is diving and spearfishing in open waters of seas and oceans. Fish is usually baited (chummed) with fish parts and blood and then hunted. Divers usually hunt marlin, tuna, and giant trevally. To catch fish with a spear it is not necessary to dive. Fish can be spearfished from land, shallow water or a boat like it was done for thousands of years.

Spearfishing is considered responsible for extinction of some species while in other places it is regarded as the greenest way of fishing because it doesn’t have by-catch, it causes no habitat damage, nor it creates pollution.


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Roman Fishing Spear - History

Ancient Fishermen

Fishing goes back to the earliest of times. The Nile River in Egypt abounded in fish, and the fishing industry was very profitable there. In ancient times fish were usually caught with either a hook, a spear, or a net. In Israel the Sea of Galilee was famous for its quantities and types of fish. In fact the "Fish Gate" was so named because of the large amounts of fish brought inside Jerusalem to its markets. Fishing was very strenuous work, especially casting nets during the day or dragging nets at night as they rowed their wooden boats. many of Jesus' disciples were fishermen and He often used analogies from this occupation.

"Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him."

"The kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."


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Who Invented the Spear?

Who invented the spear? Humans can’t claim to be the sole inventor of this weapon. Scientists have found evidence that chimpanzees in Senegal also make them. They would break off tree branches and sharpen the ends with their teeth. Of course it is possible they figured out how from observing people. Another species of ape, the orangutan, learned to make spears after watching humans. Both animal species use their weapons to hunt for food.

Archeological Evidence of Spears

Among humans, the invention of spears seems to date back to over 400,000 years ago. This could be misleading since wooden spears can’t last much longer for archeologists to discover. It is clear that the Neanderthals used sharp-edged weapons in 300,000 BP. Early humans learned how to harden spears with fire in about 50,000 years later.

Use of the Spear in the Ancient World

Spears were used quite a lot in the Neolithic Age, Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age. It was one of mankind’s oldest weapons. For example, in ancient Mesopotamia, soldiers used short spears for holding in one hand and a shield in the other. The Greeks invented the doru and later the long sarissa for their renowned phalanges battle formation. Alexander the Great and his father Philip won their battles using this strategy.

The early Germanic and Celtic tribes also used the spear. They used them in boar hunting and warfare. When they died, Germanic warriors were buried with their spears. The fleur de lys, symbol of royal power, is thought to have been derived from a spear.

Religious Symbolism of the Spear

The spear was the favored weapon of some ancient gods such as Odin in Norse mythology and Lugh in Celtic mythology. Aside from its mundane purpose as a weapon of war, the spear might also have had a spiritual meaning. In the Christian world, legends of a “spear of destiny” sprang up. It was supposed to be the spear o a Roman soldier named Longinus, who pierced Christ’s side during the crucifixion.

Use of the Spear in Later Times

Even after the fall of the Roman empire, spears were still popular. Armies found them convenient and affordable. They were cheap and required less technical skill to make than swords. Among others, the Vikings, Irish and Saxon armies always carried spears to battle.

During the Middle Ages, two major kinds of spear were used: one for dueling and the other for throwing. Both were infantry spears. Later when advancements were made in horse riding, men began using cavalry spears. A cavalry spear could be either two-handed or single-handed. From the cavalry spear later came the lance used in jousting.

The most famous person to wield a spear in the Middle Ages was perhaps Charlemagne or Charles the Great.

Modern Use of Spears

Spear use began to dwindle during the Renaissance. Gunpowder and firearms made them obsolete. Modern armies would at most fix baynotes to their guns as a close-quarter weapon. In the present age, spears are used mainly hunting game.


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