Ancient Weaponry, Reloaded

In the Kent State University laboratory for experimental archaeology, the Spot Hogg Hooter Shooter, an automatic bow launcher, fires arrows filmed by high-speed cameras. The arrows are tipped with stone points, which are replicas of ancient artifacts.

The replicas are “worthless … so we can break them and use them in ways that we can’t with the real artifacts that are priceless,” explains archaeologist Metin I. Eren, who leads the lab. To better understand ancient stone tools, his team creates facsimiles and tests their mechanical properties.