The Cretan Slinger at War: a weighty exchange. 1-39.
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Kelly, A.M. (2012) 'The Cretan Slinger at War: a weighty exchange. 1-39'. Annual Of The British School Of Athens, 107 :273-311.
Lead slingshots discovered on Cretan sites carry considerable weight regarding the nature of warfare on the island in the Late Classical and Hellenistic periods. On Crete, inscribed lead sling bullets have been reported from nine archaeological sites while a further inscribed slingshot, issued by the Phalasarnians, has been discovered on the neighbouring island of Antikythera. Text on slingshots was conceived of, and cast as, an integral component of the weapon, thereby representing a fundamental aspect of the weapon's design. Slingshots bearing text are illuminating artefacts as not only can they reflect military action, leadership and civic affiliations, but they also raise questions regarding literacy levels within the forces and prompt debate concerning the psychological potential of such communications. It is the purpose of this paper to present the growing corpus of Cretan material against a wider backdrop of evidence, with a view to understanding the overarching role and purpose of such inscribed communications and to assess the degree of Cretan conformity with, or deviation from, broader military trends.