Modern technology can be very rewarding. This is certainly the case when the bones of this soldier from Philip’s army were examined by X-ray.
An American anthropologist specialized in surgical treatment in Macedonian times and with knowledge of different types of weapon wounds discovered that the shaft of an arrow and most of the arrowhead had been removed from this soldiers' arm by a field surgeon after the fight. Yet a small section, probably the barb, had been left in place after unsuccessful attempts to remove it. We simply have no idea how skilled doctors and surgeon were in antiquity!
It appears that the veteran survived the surgery to the blessed age of 58-62 years, although he must have lived in constant pain. Amazingly, the bone shows no sign of immediate infection but Professor Argie Agelarakis established that the warrior must have been disabled in his arm movement or in getting a strong grip with his hand.
[Picture from the article in Past Horizons]
As part of a larger interdisciplinary study, a reconstruction of the barbed arrowhead and a facial reconstruction of the skull were made. As a whole, the project is meant to shed more light on the warfare in eastern
during the fourth century BC – a baggage of knowledge that Alexander would have
taken with him on his campaigns east. Macedonia