The Helmand Sistan Project

Metal Tools and Weapons

The dry atmosphere of Sistan allowed us to find a variety of tools made of iron, bronze, and copper, though the environment of the surface in the survey area meant that most metal implements were destroyed after only a brief time on the ground. These objects included a bronze juglet, decorated metal pins, keys, bells, and weaponry such as arrowheads and spears. More important were the byproducts of metal production, copper slag, which we found in large quantities at and near Jali Robat in the southwest corner of the survey area near the border with Pakistan, where metal production has probably occurred since the Bronze Age.

A fine small bronze juglet found in the surface debris during the excavation of Lat Qala, age unknown.
Mounds of copper slag from the smelting operations just outside the village of Jali Robat on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. Some piles stand 4 m high and 100 m in length. Radiocarbon dates from this area suggest it was used in the 10th century CE.
A copper or bronze pin with a bird on the cap found on the surface of Shar-i Gholghola in 1972.
A small handful of arrowheads from different eras were found in our survey. This one, presumably from Timurid times, was found at Houses 338.
A bronze key from the Timurid house cluster Houses 210.
A copper or bronze pin with a dog on the cap found on the surface of Shahr-i Gholghola in 1972.
Pieces of an iron spear excavated from the Parthian well at Sehyak.