Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Three Methods of Spear Grip Used in Antiquity

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4-2-8.jpg

Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Three Methods of Spear Grip Used in Antiquity

9.95

Author(s): Peter Connolly; David Sim; Celia H. Watson
No pages: 6
Year: 2001
Article ID: 4-2-8
Keywords: history, spears
Format: Electronic (PDF)

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Abstract: This paper describes some of the different types of grip used in antiquity to hold spears when used for stabbing attack. There has been some debate about the effectiveness of a particular method of gripping a spear when it is used in attack and this is discussed. The ancient pictorial evidence concerning spear grips is reviewed and summarised. Field trials to compare the effectiveness of three distinct methods of single-handed grip using a spear were undertaken and the observations of the field experimentalist are considered and described. The effectiveness of different grip methods were quantified in laboratory trials using an instrumented spear, in which the impact force and energy were measured. These laboratory trials indicated that, of three grip types, the over-arm grip delivered most energy, the under-arm about half that of the over-arm, and a shoulder-level grip the least.