Photo courtesy of Jane K. Whitehead

In one room of Building A, La Piana’s large industrial complex, excavators found a child’s cup and a collection of glass paste beads (shown here). The room also contained numerous spindle whorls and parts of a loom. The beads may well have been toys for a child, whose mother worked at spinning and weaving cloth.

More ominously, near the beads lay skeletal remains (not shown in the photo) tentatively identified as female. Was this woman slaughtered when La Piana was attacked in the late third century B.C.? Evidence from the site suggests the viciousness of the onslaught: hacked bones; heavy lead projectiles (see photo of lead projectiles), 2 inches in diameter, found embedded in the buildings’ walls; smaller lead acorn missiles (see photo of acorn missile) intended to injure people; and extensive firing of La Piana’s unbaked clay walls, indicating that the site was destroyed in the end by fire.