Explosive weapons in medieval Jerusalem throughout Crusades

Ancient hand grenades: explosive weapons in medieval Jerusalem during Crusades
A fraction of the sphero-conical vessel that was recognized as containing a probably explosive materials from Jerusalem. Credit: Robert Mason, Royal Ontario Museum

New evaluation into the residue inside historical ceramic vessels from eleventh–twelfth century Jerusalem has discovered that they had been probably used as hand grenades.

Previous analysis into the varied sphero-conical containers, that are inside museums world wide, had recognized that they had been used for quite a lot of functions, together with beer consuming vessels, mercury containers, containers for oil and containers for medicines.

This newest analysis, led by Griffith University’s Associate Professor Carney Matheson, confirmed that some vessels did certainly comprise oils and medicines, and a few contained scented oils, per different latest analysis into the usage of the vessels.

However, his findings additionally revealed that a few of the vessels contained a flammable and possibly explosive materials that indicated they could have been used as historical hand grenades.

Associate Professor Matheson, from Griffith’s Car, stated the explosive materials he analyzed throughout the vessels prompt that there might have been a domestically developed historical explosive.

“This research has shown the diverse use of these unique ceramic vessels which include ancient explosive devices,” he stated.

“These vessels have been reported throughout the time of the Crusades as grenades thrown in opposition to Crusader strongholds producing loud noises and brilliant flashes of sunshine.

“Some researchers had proposed the vessels had been used as grenades and held black powder, an explosive invented in historical China and identified to have been launched into the Middle East and Europe by the thirteenth century. It has been proposed that black powder might have been launched to the Middle East earlier, as early as these vessels from the ninth to eleventh century.

“However, this research has shown that it is not black powder and likely a locally invented explosive material.”

Associate Professor Matheson stated the analysis additionally revealed that a few of these vessels had been sealed utilizing resin.

“More research on these vessels and their explosive content will allow us to understand ancient explosive technology of the medieval period, and the history of explosive weapons in the Eastern Mediterranean,” he stated.

The research, “Composition of Trace Residues from the contents of 11th–12th century sphero-conical vessels from Jerusalem,” has been printed in PLOS ONE.

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More info:
Carney D. Matheson et al, Composition of hint residues from the contents of eleventh–twelfth century sphero-conical vessels from Jerusalem, PLOS ONE (2022). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0267350

Ancient hand grenades: Explosive weapons in medieval Jerusalem throughout Crusades (2022, April 26)
retrieved 26 April 2022

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