The Projectiles factual database enables access to the collection of arrowheads, mainly from the Early Bronze Age. Later, a set of wristguards was incorporated.

The basis of the database consists of records of projectiles (arrowheads) & wristguards together with their respective metadata and visualizations (photographs and 3D models as accompanying image files). Formats of files attached to arrowhead entries include JPEG, MTL, OBJ, PLY, TIF, PNG.

All image files can be downloaded. PNG, JPEG and TIFF files can be viewed directly in your browser.

Image viewer

The origin of the database

Ludmila Kaňáková’s research of lithic projectiles started in 2014, when the Nitra culture burial ground in Hroznová Lhota was excavated and arrowheads from graves were lent to analysis. First, the projectiles were analysed under the supervision of Andrea Šajnerová, the only Czech use wear analyst at that time. Shortly after, a new microscope was procured by the university.

In summer 2015, a large collection of projectiles from Ludanice, the burial ground of the Nitra culture, was lent for analysis. In 2017 the second-largest collection, Holešov burial ground collection, was made available for analysis. Later, the Hoštice collection of Bell beaker´s projectiles, Moravská Nová Ves collection of proto-Únětice projectiles, and Spišský Štvrtok collection of Otomany projectiles were lent. Some individual projectiles come from excavations carried out by Dr. Kaňáková’s colleagues.

The research was supported by the dean’s publication grant in 2016. The project called “Archer’s role in vertical stratification processes of Central European societies at the onset of the Bronze Age. Use wear, ballistics, operations” (GAČR Grant No. 17-11425S) received funding for the period 2017-2019.  

In a few years, the collection of more than 400 projectiles and their preforms was completed, analysed and published. Dr. Kaňáková decided to share all her research data, including 3D models and calculations, to open the projectile studies to all interested people in the world. Further research communication is welcome via ludmila.kanakova(at)phil.muni.cz.

The first version of the database was published in 2020 on the DSpace platform. 3D models of individual projectiles were created by Mgr. Vojtěch Nosek. In 2021, under the LINDAT/CLARIAH-CZ project, the content of the digital library was transferred from the original application to the Islandora system and enriched with new functionalities. The Projectiles database is now part of the Digitalia MUNI ARTS digital library infrastructure.

The Projectiles database documentation is freely available here.

About the authors

Mgr. et Mgr. Ludmila Kaňáková Hladíková, Ph.D.

Ludmila KaňákováLudmila is a Senior researcher at the Department of Archaeology and Museology, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University in Brno. She is an expert in microscopy and use wear analysis and an experimental archaeology enthusiast. As a researcher, she is not dedicated to only one period or one class of findings; she prefers to rise to new research challenges using new viewpoints or methods to uncover new data or relations. Ludmila believes that perceiving artifacts in their practical and symbolic roles, not in artificially created typological categories, is a fundamental task of modern archaeology.


Mgr. Vojtěch Nosek

Vojtěch NosekVojtěch is a postgradual student of archaeology at Masaryk University in Brno. He focuses on applied 3D scanning and image-based modelling and their application in archaeology, both in the field and for artifact documentation and analysis. For the last eight years, he has taught students how not to get lost in the subgenre of 3D in archaeology and cultural heritage preservation.

Solution specifications

The contents of the database are accessible via the REST API.

  • URI of individual objects: https://projectiles.phil.muni.cz/node/[object_id]
  • REST endpoint for accessing all arrowheads in database: https://projectiles.phil.muni.cz/arrowheads/export

To access a resource you need to specify a format using the _format= argument which is appended to the end of the URI after a ?. The following formats are supported for the GET method: XML, JSON and JSONLD.

  • Example: https://projectiles.phil.muni.cz/node/2089?_format=json
  • Example using cURL:  curl -i https://projectiles.phil.muni.cz/arrowheads/export?_format=xml

Current entries in the database

Number of arrowheads : 415
Number of graves/features : 216
Number of wristguards : 35
Number of sites : 30
Number of cultures : 6

Files in the database

Media type Format Description Number of files Total file size
File OBJ + MTL, PLY 3D models 788 13.31 GB
Image JPEG, PNG Photos and layouts from 3D models 1, 934 3.29 GB
TIFF TIFF Photos 5, 248 87.41 GB