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Stone Artifact: Greek Halteres
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Stone Artifact: Greek Halteres

Greek Stone Halteres

Greek Stone Halteres

license: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
source: Wikimedia Commons
author: Portum

A photograph shows a pair of stone halteres. They have been carved out of stone and are near semi-circular in shape. The flat side of each one is about a foot and a half long and has a face that looks to be four or five inches wide toward the middle. The round side is carved to a dull edge. Toward the back end of the flat side, a large hole has been hewn to serve as a handle.


Artifact: late 6th–early 5th century BC

Photo: April 2008


This photograph shows a pair of halteres, an ancient Greek sporting tool typically carved from stone. Though they were most commonly crafted as pictured, they could be made in a small variety of shapes. Halteres were used primarily as assistive momentum tools for the long jump, one of the five events in the pentathlon. Though, like the modern dumbbell, they were crafted in a variety of weights and sizes, suggesting they may have been used in progressive resistance training.

Related Articles

Greek Halteres | Greek Pentathlon | History of Strength Training | Ancient Olympic Games


Scanlon, T. F. (2014). Sport in the Greek and Roman worlds. Vol 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Diab, M. (1999). Lexicon of orthopaedic etymology. Amsterdam: Harwood Academic.

Golden, M. (1998). Sport and society in ancient Greece. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.