Archery in Ancient China
Archaeological discoveries proved that archery in China dates back 20,000 years. Practical archery takes three conditions: a bow strong enough to propel arrows, arrows that are sharp enough to kill, and a technique to ensure the stability of arrows in flight. The bow and arrow in ancient China fully met the three conditions. Archaeologists have unearthed finely made arrowheads in a site of the Paleolithic Age in Shanxi Province. Made of stone, the arrowheads were sharp and pointed, and could be mounted on a shaft. No bow was found at the site, since bows were usually made of wood, bamboo and perhaps tendon of animals and could not remain intact for so many years. But the arrowheads were enough to prove the existence of bows.
As for how to keep the arros stable in flight, Kao-Gong-Ji, the earliest work on science and technology in China, writes under the item of THE ARCHER: “Decide the proportions of the shaft to install the feathers. The feathers at the end of the shaft are installed in three directions, and then the arrowhead is mounted. An arrow thus made will not lose its balance even in strong winds.” It also says, “When the feathers are too many, the arrows will slow down; when the feathers are too few, the arrow will become unstable.” Later on, ancient Chinese developed bronze arrowheads and the crossbow, upgreading archery to a new height.
Picture of using archery with feet in ancient China: