Bow and Arrow – History, Facts and Invention

Picture Of Battle Of Crecy Froissart

Bow and arrow is a projectile type of weapon (more precisely “weapon system”.) It consists of two parts, “bow” and “arrow”, where a bow is used to propel arrow with enough force so it could hit the target. They are one of the oldest tools for hunt and war that mankind knows and they appeared before the written history.

Bow is usually made in a shape of a flexible arch which ends are joined by a string. When the string is drawn back, together with an arrow, the ends of the bow are flexed. When the string is released, ends of a bow straighten. They pull the string with them and propel the arrow forward. Main parts of a bow are a pair of curved elastic limbs (upper limb and lower limb) that are held together by a riser. Elastic limbs have at their ends nocks, which are used to attach the bowstring to the limbs. The riser is further divided into the grip (which archer uses to hold a bow), arrow rest, and the bow window. Bow window is a part of the riser above the grip. It contains the arrow rest which is a small ledge on which rests the arrow before it is propelled. Bow can be made out of wood or be composite bows, made from different materials which are specialized for the different functions of a bow.

Arrow, a shafted projectile that is shot with a bow, was in the beginning made from one wooden part but in time it became more complex. Its parts are, usually, shaft with an arrowhead on one end and fletchings and a nock on the other. Traditional arrow shafts are made from lightweight wood, bamboo or reeds while today they made from carbon fiber, aluminum, fiberglass, or wood and can have length from 45 cm to 150 cm. Shafts are sometimes made from two different types of wood: hard wood near the arrowhead and soft wood for the rest of the shaft. These arrows are known as footed arrows and are the finest of wood arrows. Some arrowheads can be a sharpened tip of the solid shaft, but they are usually made separate out of metal, horn, or some other hard material. Different arrowheads have different functions: war, hut to kill, hunt to stun, target shooting, safety shooting (for reenactments) and other.

Picture Of Royal British Bowmen Archery Club 1823

History of bow and arrow begins with arrows wish are older. Oldest found arrow heads are 65,000 years old but we don’t know for sure if they were parts of the arrows or of spears. The oldest arrows that we know are arrows were found in the Ahrensburg valley north of Hamburg, Germany and are old between 9,000 and 11,000 years. Oldest found bows are 8,000 years old. Since then many civilizations used bow and arrow for both hunting and war (in fact all of them to a greater or lesser extent except Australian peoples.) Bow and arrow were especially efficient against massed formations. That is, until the firearms rendered bows obsolete in warfare. Firearms, although inferior in rate-of-fire and rarely usable in wet weather, had a longer effective range and could be used by not too trained solder without strong muscles and still penetrate a steel armor. With improvement of firearms, bow and arrow slowly fell out of favor since the 16th century. In the 18th century they had a revival thanks to British aristocracy which tried to revive romanticism of Medieval tournaments. After the Napoleonic Wars archery became popular among all classes. In 19th century it received rules and became a proper sport which is still popular today.

Picture Of Mongol Soldiers With Bow And Arrow 1305