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Very Large, Handsome Ancient Tanged Cross Bow Arrow Point (Pendant/Pin/Brooch) 300 B.C.

CLASSIFICATION: Ancient Bronze Tanged Cross Bow Arrow Point. Mounted onto stick pin or brooch pin upon request (no charge).

ATTRIBUTION: Ancient China. Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.).


Length: 55 millimeters.

Width: 10 1/2 millimeters.

Weight: 11.36 grams.

CONDITION: Very good. Sound integrity, no cracks, very light porosity (surface pitting caused by contact with earth while buried). Good finish. Professionally conserved.

DETAIL: This is very handsome, quite large bronze tanged arrow point circa fifth or fourth century B.C. attributed to the Warring States Period of Ancient China. Given the long tang, it is quite likely to have been produced for use with a crossbow. Although the handheld crossbow was not (re)introduced into Europe until about 1200 A.D. it was known to the Romans who never really utilized it. It was actually the ancient Chinese who invented the crossbow, and it was introduced again to Europe as a result of medieval Crusaders who were confronted with the sharp end of the instrument courtesy of their Islamic adversaries. Though some archaeologists believe that the crossbow may have been invented as late as 600 B.C.; there is compelling evidence that non-bronze crossbows may have been introduced around 2,000 B.C.

The point was recovered completely intact, and unlike most smaller bronze artifacts which are completely disfigured by corrosion (porosity) the consequence of burial in caustic soil, this particular piece, though suffering some slight erosion, is by and large intact. You can see a few areas which evidence a little corrosion, but by and large the arrow point is intact and in wonderful condition. By fate or fortune it came to rest in very gentle soil conditions for twenty-some centuries. Of course in these 300% photo enlargements you can clearly see evidence that it spent several millennia buried. However it does not exhibit the gross corrosion or porosity which so commonly completely disfigures many small ancient metal artifacts. The arrow point possesses a very nice, light tone, and there are no cracks, chips, or other impairments, cosmetic or structural, to the integrity of this artifact.

If you request, as illustrated below, we can mount the arrow point onto a long, thin pin so that it could be used as a lapel pin. What a fantastically handsome lapel pin this would make, bound to generate lots of interest and envy! If you would prefer, it could be instead mounted onto a brooch pin (examples shown below), and it could be used as either a brooch or lapel pin. Either pin can be mounted in such a way that it could be removed at a future date without damaging the artifact. We are happy to offer a stick pin, brooch pin, or chain at no additional cost. However you must specifically request a pin (and which pin), as the default shipment mode is simply the artifact.

HISTORY: Sharing the language and culture of the preceding Shang Dynasty, the Zhou (Chou) Dynasty through conquest and colonization gradually enveloped much of North China. The Zhou dynasty lasted longer than any other, from 1027 to 221 B.C. The early decentralization of the Zhou Dynasty has oftentimes been compared to Europe’s medieval feudal system. However social organization in the Zhou Dunasty was more predicated upon family and tribal ties than feudal legal bonds. Philosophers of the period enunciated the doctrine of the "mandate of heaven", the notion that the ruler (the "son of heaven") governed by divine right. In reality the emperor shared power with the local lords. At times the local lords were oftentimes more powerful than the emperor. In the later dynasty, large scale conflicts oftentimes erupted between rival local lords (eventually culminating in the “Warring States” period).

The late Zhou Dynasty’s potpourri of city-states became progressively centralized, characterized by greater central control over local governments and systematic agricultural taxation. The iron-tipped, ox-drawn plow, together with improved irrigation techniques, brought higher agricultural yields, which, in turn, supported a steady rise in population. The growth in population was accompanied by the production of much new wealth, and a new class of merchants and traders arose. However in 771 B.C. the Zhou court was sacked, and its king was killed by invading barbarians who were allied with rebel lords. The Zhou retreated eastward relocating their capital city. Today historians divide the Zhou Dynasty into the Western Zhou (1027-771 B.C.) and Eastern Zhou (770-221 B.C.). The west was abandoned, and the power of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty gradually diminished.

The Eastern Dynasty itself is further divided by historians into two periods reflecting the accelerating fragmentation and disintegration of China. The first from 770 to 476 B.C. is called the Spring and Autumn Period. The second is known as the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.), as China completely dissolved. Though marked by disunity and civil strife, these two periods marked an era of cultural advancements known today as the "golden age" of China. Commerce was stimulated by the introduction of coinage. The use of iron not only revolutionized the production of weaponry but also the manufacture of farm implements. An atmosphere of reform was the result of the competition between rival warlords to build strong and loyal armies, requiring increased economic production and a strong tax base.

This created a demand for ever-increasing numbers of skilled, literate officials and teachers (a “civil service”), recruited on merit. Public works such as flood control, irrigation projects, and canal digging were executed on a grand scale. Enormous walls were built around cities and along the broad stretches of the northern frontier. Many of the era’s intellectuals were employed as advisers by China’s rulers on the methods of government, war, and diplomacy. So many different philosophies developed during these two periods that the era is often referred to as “The Hundred Schools of Thought”. The period produced many of the great classical writings on which Chinese practices were to be based for the next two and one-half millennia, including those of Confucius (551-479 B.C.).

HISTORY OF ANCIENT CHINESE CIVILIZATION: Want to know a little more about the history of human civilization in ancient China? Click right here.

SHIPPING: These antiquities come from a number of collections which by and large originated here in Eastern Europe. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers, principally in Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. All of these artifacts are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery via U.S. Mail. All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price. A certificate of authenticity (COA) is available upon request.

Our order fulfillment center near Seattle, Washington will ship your purchase within one business day of receipt of your personal check or money order. If you wish to pay electronically, we accept PayPal. However we ask that you PLEASE WAIT before remitting until we have mutually agreed upon method of shipment and shipping charges and you understand our PayPal limitations and. We will ship within one business day of our receipt of your electronic remittance.

A certificate of authenticity (COA) is available upon request. We prefer your personal check or money order over any other form of payment - and we will ship immediately upon receipt of your check (no "holds"). Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."