Around 2,700 years ago, a new type of deadly weapon debuted in biblical Israel: socketed copper-alloy arrowheads were employed by the Assyrian army which brought the region to its knees during the 7th century BCE.
A group of Israeli researchers documented their use in the battles waged in the area over the next centuries, offering new insights on some key historical moments, including the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE.
“There is no question that the Assyrian army could count on significant technological advancements on the battlefield. No one could stand up to them when they laid siege for example,” said Lipschits, who co-authored a paper on the topic in the latest issue of the Israel Exploration Journal together with Dr. Guy Stiebel and Sean Dugaw.
Scythian-Iranian arrowheads, which acquired this name because they were first associated with a nomadic people from the Eurasian steppe who were referred to as Skythai by the ancient Greeks, were also uncovered in many different sites outside Israel, with the earliest known samples found in the Volga region, dating back to the late 8th or early 7th century BCE.