Today when we think of armed combat or event hunting or perhaps sport, we think of guns. There’s no denying of the fact that guns are extremely powerful and highly efficient but before the guns were discovered, people used to depend on bows and arrows. In fact, warfare was taken to a whole new level by the invention of archery. Today, though not very widely popular, archery is still practiced by many and is mostly restricted to sports and hunting unless of course we start considering the famous TV show ‘Arrow’. Archery is today considered an exotic sport but in right hands, a bow and arrows can be deadly. Let us learn 30 interesting archery facts and in the process, gather some interesting information about this almost lost art.
Interesting Archery Facts: 1-10
1. It is today widely believed that archery was invented during transition from Upper Paleolithic (aka the Late Stone Age) to Mesolithic period, which is some 10,000 years ago.
2. The oldest known archery artifacts discovered in Europe belong to late Paleolithic, which is between 11,000 and 9,000 years before present. The artifacts were found in Stellmoor in Ahrensburg valley that lies to the north of Germany’s Hamburg.
3. Denmark’s Holmegård swamp was the place where two oldest known bows were found in 1940. The bows dated back to 8,000 years before present. They were elm-made with flat arms and D-shaped midsection. The bows have biconvex midsection.
4. These Holmegård bows (as they are now referred to as) were extensively used until the transition into Bronze Age but the convexity of the midsections of these bows continued to decrease gradually.
5. The Egyptian culture started using archery way before it actually became a dynasty.
6. Archery penetrated into the Americas by 6,000 BCE and once horses were introduced into Americas, archery on horseback was picked up by the tribesmen.
7. The oldest known Neolithic bow that was discovered in Europe belongs to the period 7,400 – 7,200 years before present. The intact bow was dug out from anaerobic layers. Made of yew wood, this specimen was only 1.08 meters long with a D-shaped cross-section.
8. Experts believe that archery was used for interpersonal violence during Neolithic and early Bronze Age Europe. This claim is based on arrow heads, representations, injuries and Neolithic fortifications discovered throughout Europe.
9. Ancients civilizations like that of Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Indians, Parthians and Persians heavily depended on archery in warfare. In fact, a large number of archers were used by all these civilizations in their armies.
10. Use of archery in warfare often turned out to be decisive, especially because arrows turned out to be extremely destructive against massed formations among rival armies.