via Haaretz

Ancient civilizations learned to use tools to make their lives easier. These initially very rudimentary and basic tools allowed them to improve their homes, hunt, and protect themselves from predators and enemies. The weapons they used normally correspond to a well-marked and differentiated process of technological evolution throughout history.

Scientists recently made a surprising find in the remains of the ancient biblical city of Gath, once the home of Goliath. One of the 5 Philistine city-states.

Scientists found the ruins of a house where the tip of an arrow made of animal bone was found. Archaeologists presume that it was part of a weapon used in the last defense of the Philistine city before the Aramaic conquest nearly 3,000 years ago.

Finding a weapon in the ruins of a city that was besieged and forcibly conquered is not great news, but what is surprising is the material and type of weapon we are talking about. By the time of the Aramaic conquest of Gath, the Iron Age had already begun, and most of the peoples in the area had made the technological transition to these much more effective metal weapons. Arrowheads at this time were made of iron and bronze.

“In many cultures, you have bone projectile points but as you move into a metal-oriented society they disappear,” said the leader of the expedition, Aren Maeir, a professor of archeology at Bar-Ilan University.

Experts believe that as the city was surrounded by its enemies and the Philistines who defended the city were short of resources, they had no choice but to resort to ancient weapons-making techniques. This theory is supported by the fact that a few years ago, a small workshop dedicated exclusively to the manufacture of animal bone weapons was also discovered in the ancient city of Gath, a completely obscure technology for that historical period.

This discovery shows the dramatic and desperate moments that the inhabitants of the city went through as its almost inevitable destruction approached, resorting to any artifact or technique that would serve as their last hope of defense.