The arrow is one of the oldest tools of the people who were used in addition to the civilian use for hunting and military. For this purpose, the bow basically serves as a launching device to shoot down arrows. Since the Neolithic period, archaeologists have known that the arch was also used in warlike actions.


The story of the arrow:

Findings from tombs created during Neolithic times attest to the early use of arches. The first documented military operations of bows found from 3000 BC. took place when the then great empires of the Sumer and Egyptians carried out military campaigns. The famous Egyptian chariots, which carried along with a driver, a spearman and an archer, also date from this period.
The following Assyrians and Persians also relied on archers in their armies.



Ägyptischer Streitwagen

Egyptian chariot



At the time of the Roman Empire, arrows as a weapon lost their meaning for the time being. Although no evidence for the contempt of the Romans have been found compared to the bow as a weapon of the cowards, the small own use lets the conjecture, however. Especially since the counted as primitive Germanic tribes often used the bow as a weapon. The Roman legions, on the other hand, preferred bow-like but much larger weapons, such as the ballist or the scorpion.



Roman ballista


Roman ballista




In the Middle Ages, the bow experienced a military comeback. Due to the increasing occurrence of more and more body armor, the development of the bow was also accelerated, so that the longbow developed from the English longbow with a very high pulling force and was extremely feared by the enemy over a longer period.


englischer Langbogen

English longbow


Until the end of the 18th century, the longbows were militarily still in use, but they could not keep up with the advantages of the emerging muskets, also the training of a shooter was much shorter and cheaper than an archer. So the bow was gradually replaced.






You can find the right literature here:


Encyclopedia of Native American Bows, Arrows, and Quivers, Volume 2: Plains and Southwest

Encyclopedia of Native American Bows, Arrows, and Quivers, Volume 2: Plains and Southwest Paperback – January 23, 2019

From dozens of museums and private collections, authors Allely and Hamm have brought together the most exceptional bows, arrows and quivers from plains tribes such as Blackfoot, Crow, Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, and Comanche, as well as southwest tribes like Apache, Navajo, Hopi, and the ancient Anasazi. Beautifully detailed full-page pen and ink drawings give dimensions, decoration, and construction details.This pathbreaking and comprehensive book will strongly appeal to all of those with an abiding interest in Native Americans and archery.

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Weapon: A Visual History of Arms and Armor

Weapon: A Visual History of Arms and Armor Hardcover – May 3, 2016

A spectacular visual guide to the epic 4,000-year history of weaponry, created in association with the Smithsonian Institution.

Weapon: A Visual History of Arms and Armor tells this epic story of the entire spectrum of weaponry through stunning photography and authoritative coverage, from the stone axes of the earliest warfare to the heavy artillery of today's armies. Take a journey through the centuries, from the Viking sword to the Baker rifle to the AK-47, as you explore the forms and functions of the greatest arms of all time, the warrior types that changed history, and the weapons that changed the face of warfare. Richly detailed catalogs showcase many weapons at their actual size, outlining the timeframe, weight, size, and country of origin to create a comprehensive profile of each.

Now revised and updated to include brand-new content and expanded sections on cannons and modern guns, Weapon: A Visual History of Arms and Armor provides a stunning overview of the tools that have been at the cutting edge of history, determining the rise of kingdoms and the fall of empires.

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European Arrowheads and Crossbow Bolts: From the Bronze Age to the Late Middle Ages

European Arrowheads and Crossbow Bolts: From the Bronze Age to the Late Middle Ages Paperback – October 10, 2017

European arrowheads and crossbow bolts are relatively under-represented in the literature and are usually treated only as minor aspects. There is a lack of an overview of the various forms of European arrowhead typologies. This book intends to close this gap and give the reader an insight into the world of arrowheads and crossbow bolts. This book contains a collec-tion of hundreds of arrowheads, published for the first time. The book is divided into three main chapters because there is a metallurgical distinction between bronze and iron as well as a mechanical distinction between the bow and the crossbow. In all three chapters, unique formal-typological distinction criteria have been developed, even though the epochs overlap in time. I have attempted to include as much as possible about the most important, frequent and sometimes unusual and rare form-types in this book. For the determination of arrowheads and crossbow bolts, this guide is useful as a directional guide.

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DK Eyewitness Books: Arms and Armor: Discover the Story of Weapons and Armor from Stone Age Axes to the Battle Gear

DK Eyewitness Books: Arms and Armor: Discover the Story of Weapons and Armor from Stone Age Axes to the Battle Gear o Hardcover – August 15, 2011

Now reissued with a CD and wall chart! Eyewitness Arms and Armor is an original and exciting look at the history of weapons and armor through the ages. Stunning real-life photographs reveal the design, construction, and workings of armor, offering a unique "eyewitness" view of how methods of warfare have changed.

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