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Archery in Ancient China

November 29th, 2009

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:

a pic of using archery with feet in ancient China

  1. Random guy
    May 4th, 2015 at 21:33 | #1

    Check out on youtube there is some really awesome video by people, especially realllife arrows, HUNGER GAMES ALERT!!!!

  2. September 18th, 2014 at 18:19 | #2

    The invention of the crossbow was truly a revolution in battle.

  3. steven.wang
    July 6th, 2014 at 01:10 | #3

    @Hendon Harris

    There’s many mongolians come across Siberia to North America in long long time ago.

  4. Someone
    June 5th, 2014 at 23:57 | #4

    How do you make your own arrows

  5. April 24th, 2011 at 12:39 | #5

    Why is Asian archery construction techniques as well as the Mongolian method of arrow release
    Showing up in pre Columbian America among the Siouan family of tribes (Plains Indians). Is this
    another in a series of numerous “coincidences” or is this the result of Asian contacts in ancient
    America. Google. “The Aboriginal Bow and Arrow in North America and Eastern Asia” or chinesediscoveramerica.com

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