“The function of design is letting design function ” M. Commeren
This group of objects (a sword, two spears and an iron knife) was found inside the same sheath or case, fitted with several adjustable side rings and rod-pins that allowed it to be carried at an angle, hanging from a baldric.
These weapons were part of a warrior’s grave goods, found in a tomb at the necropolis of Val (Apanseque, Soria) dated to the fifth/fourth century BC. These offensive weapons, along with other defensive arms (a shield and remnants of a helmet) and a horse bit also found in that grave, tell us that the occupant was a rider and warrior, probably a member of the Celtiberian social elite. Celtiberian weapons and their metallurgical technology were highly praised by classical authors. In fact, Rome adopted or copied many of them. This set is the first design of a portable gear pack for carrying multiple weapons from one place to another. The Celtiberians undoubtedly sought to make life easier for themselves by coming up with practical, convenient solutions based on the pillars of good problem-solving design: economy of means, time, effort and space. Finding the essence of a concept that seems quite modern to us in an ancient warrior’s gear may come as a surprise. But it really shouldn’t, since the value of a good design, regardless of its technological sophistication, is determined by the underlying idea. In this case, a clever idea produced what we might call the first “gear to go” or “travel pack”. The same concept is tremendously useful in the fast-paced, on-the-go society of today’s world, as illustrated by the existence of travel sewing kits and similar handy inventions.