Browsing databases and using filters

The database can be browsed through different levels of Cultures, Sites, Graves/Features, and Arrowheads. Using filters can facilitate finding the desired result. You can also use the search box to search for Cultures, Sites and Arrowheads metadata. It is also possible to search using the metadata of individual projectiles. The list and information on metadata can be found below.

The database can be browsed through three basic levels.

At the Cultures level, you can browse through either individual cultures or go directly to a specific site.

At the Sites level, you can view individual geographic locations of the sites. Clicking any item will take you directly to the list of features at the respective site.

At the Graves/Features level, you can browse the list of features across all cultures and sites. The list of results can be refined using the Site and Culture filters, which allow you to find only features from a specific culture or site. Clicking a specific feature will take you to the entry of the respective feature.

Screenshot of Graves/Features page


This entry contains information about the culture and site the feature belongs to and a list of arrows in the respective feature.  

At the Arrowheads or Wristguards level, you can view a list of all items in the database. Several filters are available to narrow down the list of results. The Culture and Site filters enable displaying only projectiles from a specific culture or site. The Tip Fracture and Serration filters then specify the condition and properties of the projectiles.

Screenshot of Arrows page

There is also a search box that allows you to search using all projectile metadata.

Results can also be sorted by the date the record was created, the weight of projectiles and other properties of projectiles with a numerical value.

Metadata description for Arrowheads

Title of the projectile consists of the abbreviation of the site, ID number of the archaeological context (number of grave or settlement feature or probe), and ID number of the projectile in this context. The projectile number could be an actual ID number in the evidence system of the museum, or if such an ID does not exist, a sequential number in the analysis. For example, LUD_G262_01 is a projectile from the Ludanice - Mýtna Nová Ves burial ground, found in grave no. 262, and defined as 01 in the analysis sequence. The Projectile title is included in tags of all files related to the respective projectile. This system of identification is used in all texts published.

Localisation is presented both in the written description and in the sector system. The sector is filled only in the case of grave findings. The distribution of grave sectors was published in the book and the paper on Holešov - Zdražilovska. It is based on body parts of the skeleton in the side-lying position.

Localisation sectors
The images were edited by Ludmila Kaňáková from the original source: Kaňáková, L 2020, Lithic Archery Projectiles and Their Role in Social Dynamics and Vertical Stratification on the Threshold of the Bronze Age. Habelt-Verlag, Bonn. The sectors were marked to original drawings of graves in Ondráček, J. – Šebela, L. 1985, Pohřebiště nitranské skupiny v Holešově (katalog nálezů). Studie Muzea Kroměřížska ´85, Kroměříž: Muzeum Kroměřížska, p. 22, 35,42 and 50.

Damage means any fracture of the projectile, whereas tip fracture is noted again in an independent field.

Alteration means surface alteration by patina or by burning. Patina seems to be an important indicator of “in-body tissues” position of the projectile, i.e., such a projectile was not probably part of the grave goods.

Retouch description uses the abbreviations D for the dorsal face and V for the ventral face of the projectile.

The values of ToCSA (Total Cross-Sectional Area) and ToCSP (Total Cross-Sectional Perimeter) express the actual entry area of the projectile into the body or target. It is an improved value of the traditional TCSA and TCSP for barbed and cross-sectionally asymmetric projectiles. The ToCSA is the area of the projection of an infinite number of projectile cross-sections from the tip to the ends of the barbs. The ToCSP is the perimeter of this area. These values define the metrics of the wound entry. The method and aims of these values are described in the paper Analytical Potential of 3D Data.

Ballistic profile is presented as a set of abbreviations in the order tip shape - body thickness - cross-sectional symmetry. For the tip, F means flat, M means medium, R means rhombic. For the body, F means flat, M means medium, H means high. For the cross-sectional symmetry, S means symmetric, A means asymmetric.

2D asymmetry describes asymmetry in 2D contour. Usually, one barb is longer, thicker or wider. The smaller barb is noted as R - right, L - left.

The images were edited by Ludmila Kaňáková from the original source: Kaňáková, L 2020, Lithic Archery Projectiles and Their Role in Social Dynamics and Vertical Stratification on the Threshold of the Bronze Age. Habelt-Verlag, Bonn. 

Cross-sectional asymmetry describes asymmetry in 3D in two cross-sections. Cross-section A lays in one third of the functional length from the tip. Cross-section B lays in 9/10 of the functional length from the tip. S means symmetric, A means asymmetric, A-rotational describes the screw-shaped torsion of both lateral edges.

Blank orientation describes the orientation of the original flake axis to the functional axis of the projectile if it is observable. Tip orientation means the bulb of the flake was in the position of the projectile tip. It provides a heavier tip to the projectile, which is ballistically important. Side orientation means the bulb of the original flake was in the position of the projectile side. It usually gives cross-sectional asymmetry in the mass distribution (the projectile is thicker on the side where the flake bulb was). Base orientation means the axis of the flake and the projectile are the same. It was not possible to determine the orientation due to a complete plain retouch of the ventral face in many cases.

Total length is the length from the tip to the end of the longer barb, whereas functional length is the length of the projectile body. Total width is the projectile's total width, including barbs, whereas functional width is the width of the base notch – i.e., it is the width of the hafting area.

Metadata description for Wristguards

Typology is based on system Smith 2006, when T - tapened, W - waisted, and S - straight describe the curve of lenghtwise edges, cc – concave-convex, pc – plain-convex, pp – plain-plain describe the cross-section as the shape of inner and outer area, and the number describe the number of holes. Exceptionally used TE signifies tapened elliptic.

Dimensions are in milimetres, the values with x signify incomplete dimensions due fragmentation. The AB length is the length between holes in lengthwise axis, involved as data related with the binding in individual use-cycle, because of common recycling after fracture.

Hole drilling represents the drilling direction from D - dorsal, V - ventral or B - bifacial, i.e. drilled from both sides, with bitriangular cross-section.

P-XRF holes column describes if (and what) some metal traces were measured using p-XRF device into the holes. The measurements were realised from both sides of every hole, and from all cups to identify possible traces of metal rivetting. The values were compared with reference measurement on the clear area of dorsal surface of individual wristguards. Identified metal traces are described using its abbreviation in Periodic Table of Elements.

Metal friction were identified frequently on the surface of wrisguards. Only those original (when recent traces caused by excavation tools were removed) are presented. The reflected-light microscopy allowed to localisation and trajectory decription, whereas the elemental analysis of traces was done using SEM.

Use-wear description use D and V abbreviation for Dorsal and Ventral localisation. Polishes distribution is marked in photographs of individual wristguards. 3D traces are represented by RTI visualisations for individual sampples.

How to cite

How to cite the database:

The recommended form of citation, according to the Harvard format, if you are citing the database as a whole (e.g., in acknowledgements):

  • Kaňáková, L 2021, Lithic Projectiles, online database, Digitalia MUNI ARTS, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, viewed ,

How to cite individual arrows:

Citations of individual projectiles are always provided on the page, according to the Harvard citation style, such as:

  • Kaňáková, L 2021, HOL_GVI_122, Digitalia MUNI ARTS, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, dataset, viewed ,

We recommend reviewing these automatically-generated citations before using them. There is also a Biblatex citation that can be used for formatting into other citation styles.

How to download

It is possible to download image files of individual projectiles as well as metadata of the entire collection. Metadata can be exported in CSV format using this link:

Rest API

The contents of the database (metadata of the whole collection) are accessible via the REST API. The following formats are supported for the GET method: XML, JSON and JSONLD.