Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pre 1700

Cannon: Bow and Arrow

Design: The bow has a quite simple design. Back then the most popular bow was a longbow. They were obviously long, but they were also very straight. People also used self bows in the ancient times, which were smaller, more curved versions of the longbow.

Materials: Before the 1700s, humans didn't have access to fiberglass, metals, or carbon fibre, so they used wood. It wasn't just any kind of wood though. For example, wood from a pine tree wouldn't be strong enough for arching. That's why the best, most serious archers used wood like yew, maple, and oak. They would also layer the outside of the bow with sap to keep it water resistant and better looking.

Ammunition: Obviously the ammunition used for bows were arrows. Arrows and long shafts of wood with feathers on one end (usually 3) and a pointy arrowhead on the other. The feathers, also known as fletchings, kept the arrow on track and stopped it from swaying back and forth. This way it could hit the target accurately and cleanly. The arrowhead back then would have been made of rock. The arrowhead wasn't only used to kill the target. You also had to have the correct weight for the arrowhead or else it would be back heavy and hit the target at the wrong angle, or miss it all together.

Trajectories and Accuracy: The bow and arrow wasn't a very technically advanced weapon. It has been used since the Upper Paleolithic times. But it was an extremely accurate weapon for it's simplicity. Archers always had angles and trajectories in their minds before firing. You have to shoot it at a certain angle to nail the target perfectly. If you're too high, miss. If you're to low, miss. Perfect angles were a must for the bow and arrow in ancient times.

Economic Role: The bow and arrow obviously isn't very expensive. It doesn't cost $10,000,000 to make one like it does modern day weapons. Since they were so inexpensive, countries could have more soldiers arm them, which sent more people to war. Companies, like little archery shops in town, could sell them like modern day guns. People could buy them for fun or for protection.

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