Announcement

Collapse

Archeology 201 Guidelines

If Indiana Jones happened to be a member of Tweb, this is where he'd hang out.

Welcome to the Archeology forum. Were you out doing some gardening and dug up a relic from the distant past? would you like to know more about Ancient Egypt? Did you think Memphis was actually a city in Tennessee?

Well, for the answers to those and other burning questions you've found the right digs.

Our forum rules apply here too, if you haven't read them now is the time.

Forum Rules: Here
See more
See less

Monty Python's "Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch" Found?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Monty Python's "Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch" Found?

    Anyone who has seen the classic comedy Monty Python in Search of the Holy Grail will remember the scene where a “sacred relic” carried by Brother Maynard (Eric Idle), the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch is introduced
    Now, shards from several spherical with conical bottom containers dating from the 11th and 12th cent. A.D., and that were discovered in Jerusalem's Armenian Garden in 1960, appear to have been some sort of hand grenade.

    The question of whether they were holy or not wasn't addressed, but they were likely used by Crusaders.

    Interestingly they didn't contain any traces of blackpowder (and if they had, would move back the arrival of gunpowder into the region a few centuries), but used some sort of other explosive composition.

    Source: Were these ancient vessels actually ‘hand grenades’?


    New analysis of ancient jars suggests use as explosive weapon.

    A new analysis of residue in ancient ceramic vessels from 11th and 12th century Jerusalem has found that the jars may have had a more sinister purpose than storage.

    Previous research into the iconic vessels, which are held in museums around the world, identified them as vessels for beer drinking, and containers for mercury, oil and medicines. The jars are easily identifiable, spherical in shape with conical bases, and have been found in all sorts of archaeological contexts throughout the Middle East between the 9th and 15th centuries.

    But a new study, led by Carney Matheson, of Griffith University in Queensland, has found that while some of the vessels were indeed used for these purposes, others contained a flammable and likely explosive material, suggesting they may have been used as a kind of crude hand grenade – an explanation supported by evidence from ancient texts. The sherds studied were excavated from the Armenian Garden in Jerusalem in the 1960s, and analysed for trace residue to determine their contents.

    “These vessels have been reported during the time of the Crusades as grenades thrown against Crusader strongholds, producing loud noises and bright flashes of light,” says Matheson.

    The Crusades (1095-1291), were a series of violent religious wars initiated by the Latin Church during the Medieval period, culminating most famously in the attempted seizure of Jerusalem from Islamic rule. Jerusalem’s inhabitants, it seems, found ingenious ways to fight back.

    So, what were these ancient grenades made from?

    “Some researchers had proposed the vessels were used as grenades and held black powder, an explosive invented in ancient China and known to have been introduced into the Middle East and Europe by the 13th century,” Matheson says. “It has been proposed that black powder may have been introduced to the Middle East earlier, as early as these vessels from the 9th to 11th century.”

    But the new study rules out black powder: “This research has shown that it is not black powder and likely a locally invented explosive material.”

    The research also found that some of the vessels had been sealed with a 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,” says Matheson.



    Source

    © Copyright Original Source



    The paper itself, Composition of trace residues from the contents of 11th–12th century sphero-conical vessels from Jerusalem, can be accessed in its entirety by clicking the hyperlink, and the abstract from it is reproduced below:

    Abstract

    The residues from the internal surface of four archaeological ceramic sherds, excavated from the Armenian Gardens, Jerusalem were analysed to characterise the contents of the original vessel. The sherds derive from four small, thick-walled, sphero-conical vessels recovered from a destruction layer, dating between the 11th and 12th century, Jerusalem. The residue has been analysed using light microscopy, biochemical characterisation, gas chromatography mass spectroscopy, inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy and cold vapour atomic fluorescence spectrometry. This analysis established the presence of various compounds including fatty acids and notable levels of mercury, sulphur, aluminium, potassium, magnesium, nitrates and phosphorous. The contents and probable functions of the four vessels were characterised from the residues on these sherds as different from each other, reflecting their different decoration, manufacture and ceramic typologies. One of these vessels contains residue that indicate the vessel held oils. The residue of the second vessel is consistent with either scented materials or medicinal contents, while a third probably contained medicinal material. The unique fourth sherd is from a stoneware sphero-conical vessel with very thick walls, no decoration and the residue supports the possibility it was used for the storage of chemicals or may have held the chemical ingredients for an explosive device, consistent with a medieval grenade. This residue analysis of Mamluk sphero-conical vessels provides insight into luxury items, medicines, technology and trade in medieval Jerusalem.




    10e37fc5-ef7c-4816-8b1e-12bb5bdc97a2.jpg
    The remains of one of the possible ancient grenades
    Last edited by rogue06; 05-04-2022, 05:46 PM.

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

  • #2
    "And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, 'O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.'

    And the Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats, and large chulapas.

    And the Lord spake, saying, 'First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.'

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Sparko View Post
      "And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, 'O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.'

      And the Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats, and large chulapas.

      And the Lord spake, saying, 'First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.'
      A part of Armaments 2:9-21


      I'm always still in trouble again

      "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
      "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
      "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
        Anyone who has seen the classic comedy Monty Python in Search of the Holy Grail will remember the scene where a “sacred relic” carried by Brother Maynard (Eric Idle), the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch is introduced
        Now, shards from several spherical with conical bottom containers dating from the 11th and 12th cent. A.D., and that were discovered in Jerusalem's Armenian Garden in 1960, appear to have been some sort of hand grenade.

        The question of whether they were holy or not wasn't addressed, but they were likely used by Crusaders.

        Interestingly they didn't contain any traces of blackpowder (and if they had, would move back the arrival of gunpowder into the region a few centuries), but used some sort of other explosive composition.

        Source: Were these ancient vessels actually ‘hand grenades’?


        New analysis of ancient jars suggests use as explosive weapon.

        A new analysis of residue in ancient ceramic vessels from 11th and 12th century Jerusalem has found that the jars may have had a more sinister purpose than storage.

        Previous research into the iconic vessels, which are held in museums around the world, identified them as vessels for beer drinking, and containers for mercury, oil and medicines. The jars are easily identifiable, spherical in shape with conical bases, and have been found in all sorts of archaeological contexts throughout the Middle East between the 9th and 15th centuries.

        But a new study, led by Carney Matheson, of Griffith University in Queensland, has found that while some of the vessels were indeed used for these purposes, others contained a flammable and likely explosive material, suggesting they may have been used as a kind of crude hand grenade – an explanation supported by evidence from ancient texts. The sherds studied were excavated from the Armenian Garden in Jerusalem in the 1960s, and analysed for trace residue to determine their contents.

        “These vessels have been reported during the time of the Crusades as grenades thrown against Crusader strongholds, producing loud noises and bright flashes of light,” says Matheson.

        The Crusades (1095-1291), were a series of violent religious wars initiated by the Latin Church during the Medieval period, culminating most famously in the attempted seizure of Jerusalem from Islamic rule. Jerusalem’s inhabitants, it seems, found ingenious ways to fight back.

        So, what were these ancient grenades made from?

        “Some researchers had proposed the vessels were used as grenades and held black powder, an explosive invented in ancient China and known to have been introduced into the Middle East and Europe by the 13th century,” Matheson says. “It has been proposed that black powder may have been introduced to the Middle East earlier, as early as these vessels from the 9th to 11th century.”

        But the new study rules out black powder: “This research has shown that it is not black powder and likely a locally invented explosive material.”

        The research also found that some of the vessels had been sealed with a 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,” says Matheson.



        Source

        © Copyright Original Source



        The paper itself, Composition of trace residues from the contents of 11th–12th century sphero-conical vessels from Jerusalem, can be accessed in its entirety by clicking the hyperlink, and the abstract from it is reproduced below:

        Abstract

        The residues from the internal surface of four archaeological ceramic sherds, excavated from the Armenian Gardens, Jerusalem were analysed to characterise the contents of the original vessel. The sherds derive from four small, thick-walled, sphero-conical vessels recovered from a destruction layer, dating between the 11th and 12th century, Jerusalem. The residue has been analysed using light microscopy, biochemical characterisation, gas chromatography mass spectroscopy, inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy and cold vapour atomic fluorescence spectrometry. This analysis established the presence of various compounds including fatty acids and notable levels of mercury, sulphur, aluminium, potassium, magnesium, nitrates and phosphorous. The contents and probable functions of the four vessels were characterised from the residues on these sherds as different from each other, reflecting their different decoration, manufacture and ceramic typologies. One of these vessels contains residue that indicate the vessel held oils. The residue of the second vessel is consistent with either scented materials or medicinal contents, while a third probably contained medicinal material. The unique fourth sherd is from a stoneware sphero-conical vessel with very thick walls, no decoration and the residue supports the possibility it was used for the storage of chemicals or may have held the chemical ingredients for an explosive device, consistent with a medieval grenade. This residue analysis of Mamluk sphero-conical vessels provides insight into luxury items, medicines, technology and trade in medieval Jerusalem.




        10e37fc5-ef7c-4816-8b1e-12bb5bdc97a2.jpg
        The remains of one of the possible ancient grenades
        If, as the article states "These vessels have been reported during the time of the Crusades as grenades thrown against Crusader strongholds, producing loud noises and bright flashes of light”. [My emphasis] one assumes they were used against the crusading armies by the Arab forces. We know that Greek fire was used by the Byzantines. By the late eleventh century the Arab conquests included parts of the Middle East where bitumen and naphtha occurred naturally; while sulphur could have been obtained from volcanic regions such as Sicily.
        "It ain't necessarily so
        The things that you're liable
        To read in the Bible
        It ain't necessarily so
        ."

        Sportin' Life
        Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

          If, as the article states "These vessels have been reported during the time of the Crusades as grenades thrown against Crusader strongholds, producing loud noises and bright flashes of light”. [My emphasis] one assumes they were used against the crusading armies by the Arab forces. We know that Greek fire was used by the Byzantines. By the late eleventh century the Arab conquests included parts of the Middle East where bitumen and naphtha occurred naturally; while sulphur could have been obtained from volcanic regions such as Sicily.
          Good point. I was reading about grenades used by Crusaders in another piece and erroneously made the jump that these were also used by Crusaders

          I'm always still in trouble again

          "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
          "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
          "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

          Comment


          • #6
            If I were to guess, I'd suspect these were early versions of Molotov cocktails.
            "You should just assume going forward that if I am ever wrong it is a typo" - Backup
            "
            Reality simply does not change based upon consensus or desire." - rogue

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Ronson View Post
              If I were to guess, I'd suspect these were early versions of Molotov cocktails.
              The record indicates that a loud noise was associated with them, and given all of the varieties of Molotov's I've messed with over the years none of them are loud -- except the ones that used cherry bombs to send the flaming mixture in a particular direction.

              I'm always still in trouble again

              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
              "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                Good point. I was reading about grenades used by Crusaders in another piece and erroneously made the jump that these were also used by Crusaders
                Perhaps you should retitle the thread The Holy Hand Grenade of Allah!
                "It ain't necessarily so
                The things that you're liable
                To read in the Bible
                It ain't necessarily so
                ."

                Sportin' Life
                Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                  Perhaps you should retitle the thread The Holy Hand Grenade of Allah!
                  And ruin the joke?

                  I'm always still in trouble again

                  "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                  "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                  "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                    And ruin the joke?
                    The joke was good but the article didn't really apply to the Python satire.
                    "It ain't necessarily so
                    The things that you're liable
                    To read in the Bible
                    It ain't necessarily so
                    ."

                    Sportin' Life
                    Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                      The joke was good but the article didn't really apply to the Python satire.
                      Given that it was "Monty Python IN SEARCH OF THE HOLY GRAIL" and not about Crusades in the first place...

                      I'm always still in trouble again

                      "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                      "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                      "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                        Given that it was "Monty Python IN SEARCH OF THE HOLY GRAIL" and not about Crusades in the first place...
                        What point are you making? You introduced the crusades with your OP.
                        "It ain't necessarily so
                        The things that you're liable
                        To read in the Bible
                        It ain't necessarily so
                        ."

                        Sportin' Life
                        Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                        Comment


                        • #13



                          You appear to be in one of your argumentative moods where you're willing to start an argument over anything, so I'll leave you to yourself. Adios.

                          I'm always still in trouble again

                          "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                          "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                          "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            But where is the killer rabbit? Did they find any bits of bone laying around?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Speaking of killer rabbits, in related news:

                              “We’ll not risk another frontal assault. That rabbit’s dynamite!” declared Arthur, King of the Britons. For many Monty Python enthusiasts, the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog scene seemed like a non sequitur — yet the creators were playing on the very real madcap tradition of drawing killer rabbits in medieval manuscripts.

                              Who knew that Monty Python and the Holy Grail was so historically accurate?

                              Scrawled into the margins of these 14th century texts are images of rabbits riding lions, snails, mythical beasts, hapless humans, and even an occasional woodpecker. Other bas-de-page scenes depict sword-wielding rabbits mutilating knights and other poor citizens who had the misfortune of running across the murderous Leporids.

                              “Usually found in books made for the clergy, these illustrations — known as “marginalia” — were full of symbolism. Playful and subversive, they often thumbed the[ir] nose[s] at authority figures,” writes CNN.

                              Hey, when you live in the Middle Ages you gotta get your kicks somewhere.

                              The rabbits featured in the marginalia were no longer the hunted, they became the hunter — throwing down the proverbial gauntlet to any creature in its path.

                              Eq7GlXBVgAIHar0.jpg

                              Comment

                              Related Threads

                              Collapse

                              Topics Statistics Last Post
                              Started by rogue06, 05-04-2022, 05:42 PM
                              23 responses
                              111 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post rogue06
                              by rogue06
                               
                              Working...
                              X