the Bow and Arrow, a Historical Perspective
In a historical perspective, one would have to say that the bow and arrow was the original weapon of mass destruction. Troups of English long bowsmen fired thousands of arrows at a time at their enemy -- with long distance accuracy and deadly efficiency.
As a war instrument the bow and arrow dates back to the Paleo-lithic era the European and Asia areas, including Egypt, Persia and even North America.
Initially the points of arrows were charred and honed with a rock to a point -- the burning and charring made the point harder than the wood it was originally made of. Eventually pieces of bone and rock were employed as arrow heads.
The Bow only because a powerful instrument when it was developed into the compound format around 1500 B.C. where it was made of various combinations of materials like wood, gut and horn. St some point, during the time of the Roman empire the crossbow was developed. It is also rumored to have been developed in the East at the same time.
Eventually the "longbow" was developed in southern Wales made primarily from Elm wood. It because the weapon of choice by Englishmen as up to 80% of their fighting forces were outfitted with the longbow. During this period the better bows and arrows were made of yew wood cut in the winter season and carefully crafted over a period of 3 to 4 years.
Museums claim to have no more than 10 of the original yew longbows which, on average, of 70" and a drawing pull of near 100lbs. With these powerful parameters arrows could easily kill at 100+ yards.
During these early battles the English were said to have had as many as 4-5 thousand archers capable of firing 50+ thousand arrows per minute!
Gunpowder signaled the downfall of the bow and arrow and only for a short period after the invention of gun powder did the the longbow survive as a weapon in England. Nowhere else was this the case.
We found a historical weapons site with a great deal of additional information on the bow and arrow and suggest you visit them for more information.
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