The arrowheads unearthed in the ancient city of Daskyleion, situated in western Balıkesir province’s Bandırma district, provide important data about the war and hunting history of the region.
Started in 1954 and interrupted at various times, excavations continue in Daskyleion, where the first settlements date back to 3000 B.C. About 500 arrowheads made of bronze and iron were found in Daskyleion in 35 years of these archaeological studies.
The arrowheads give clues about their intended use with their structure – for instance, some of them are shaped with two or three wings – and size.
Working on the metal weapons found in the city, Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University's archeology department lecturer Özgün Kasar told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the bronze arrowheads found in Daskyleion were stemmed arrows while the iron arrowheads were used by attaching them to their handles.
Kasar stated that they unearthed 93 arrowheads from a grave during the 2012 excavation, "We think that these are related to the warrior character of one of the people in the grave."
Noting that they found other weapons such as daggers during their excavations, he said that metal scales of armor used by soldiers to protect themselves from arrows were also among the finds.
The archaeologists working in the area dated the armor scales to different centuries. "This armor was generally used at Daskyleion in the Middle Ages. However, there are earlier examples as well. We know that rectangular armor scales were used in the sixth century B.C." Kasar said.
Kasar also explained they knew that Daskyleion was a garden used by the Persians for hunting.
Referring to the function of the arrowheads, Kasar continued: "These arrows must have been used in wars. We can see some deformations on the arrowheads, such as fractures and twists in the points. Or some of them were burned. But, some were probably used for hunting as well.”
Kasar also emphasized that the dateable arrowheads found in the ancient city belong to the years when the Persians ruled the region.
Expressing that the different forms of arrowheads are related to their functions and effects, Kasar added: “If the two-winged arrowheads had broad wings, they may have been used to pierce the skin. Mostly three-winged and pointed arrowheads were used to pierce armor. We can say that their form, weight and size are definitely related to their intended use and that these arrowheads were used both in war and hunting. We had the arrowheads analyzed, which revealed intense use of lead in them. We can say that the use of lead increased the durability and weight, which also enhanced the penetrating force. We don't have any solid data yet that arrowheads were produced here, but we can state that different metal finds may have been produced in Daskyleion."
Located on the shore of Lake Manyas, the ancient city of Daskyleion features traces of many civilizations that ruled in Anatolia. In the seventh century B.C., the renowned Lydian King Daskylos came to the city from Sardis, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, due to some dynastic quarrels.
Daskylos’ son Gyges was born in Daskyleion, and he was later recalled to Lydia. After he became the king of Lydia, the city was named Daskyleion – the place of Daskylos – in around 650 B.C.
Due to the natural beauty and the strong geopolitical position of the region, Daskyleion was established to the south of the lake. When Alexander the Great decided to eliminate the Persians in 334 B.C., he thought of seizing Daskyleion, which was the center of the Persian Satraps Office (Governorship) at those times.
Before Alexander the Great, various states had given importance to both the control and the political and economic administration of Thrace, the straits, the Marmara Sea and Phrygian regions due to the importance of their geopolitical position in Anatolia and therefore protected Daskyleion as an active fortress in every period. Due to this value, Daskyleion was carefully reconstructed by the Phrygians, Lydias, Achaemenids, Macedonians and even Byzantines as a strong fortress, and its economy was kept at a high level. Additionally, it was managed by famous administrators.
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