In trying to figure out which of Vespasian’s orders resulted in inflicting wounds on the defenders of Maiden Castle , similar to the small square hole in the temporal bone shown in this next photo,  Firefly finds herself playing the role of a Skorpion.

Photo from, Greek and Roman Artillery, by E. W. Marsden.

As a projector of bolts,  Firefly’s role in this current exercise is largely just as a stand in for the type of  ballista General Vespasian’s  Augusta Legion was using back in 43 BC  for cutting down the opposition in Dorset.     I hear he very much valued his catapultiers.

In the following video,  I find myself having a good long think about the next step in this series of experiments that tests the ability of a sharp, four sided bolt head to cut a clean square hole in cranial bone.  In short, to duplicate the wound pattern seen in the  above artifact.

Click for video:  20111206133745(2)

The close range lab set-up we are using here is just not suitable for the Doppler chronograph.  Measuring the velocity will have to be done using the same bolt and the same draw length,  back on our original test range.  My attempt to reduce the power sufficiently to eliminate over-penetration,  met with this little set back.

Time to take another pig’s head out of the freezer and lower the velocity again.  I had reduced the draw length on this shot down to 25″ from 33 1/2″.    Next I’ll try just fifteen inches of draw.  That should be pretty slow, and will hopefully result in an entry wound no deeper than the quadrobate section on the bolt head.

I realize that, quite coincidentally, this series of tests is also demonstrating the wounding potential of heavy ballista bolts at long range, where their velocities would have slowed to levels similar to what we are generating now.  It will be important to know what kind of speeds we are talking about here in order to make future comparisons.

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