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Primitive Archery - European and English Bows Meare Heath Bow

Before the dawn of the copper age primitive archery flourished in ancient europe. Ancient English Bows were very different than the long bows of the middle ages.


Primitive Archery - European and English Bows

Primitive archery in ancient european countries is historically observed in artifacts and records ranging from the stellmore bow from 20,000 BC to the English Bows of the middle ages.

Crafted from one piece of wood with no laminants or glues these bows can vary tremendously in wood used and bow types due to geographic area and culture. We offer the Holmegaard bow from ancient denmark as well as the Meare Heathe Bow of ancient England. These bows are very different from one another.

What Kind of wood did Ancient Europeans use for Self Bows?

Many different kinds, from Elm, to Lemon Wood. One bow found in Germany was actually made of Pine (Stellmore Bow destroyed in the Wars). This bow was made very differently than a bow from a hard wood and just goes to show you that you can really make a bow out of anything, it's all about the profile.

How are artifacts preserved?

Bogs were once a place where people would make sacrifices to their Gods and or just lose things... like Self Bows. Because of the low oxygen and high tannin content, even wood can be preserved for thousands of years. In fact the oldest intact bow in existance today is from a bog in Denmark from 10,000 BC.

What was hunted with these bows?

Everything, from Wild Boars to Caribou, to great Elk and Wild Horses. Ancient Europe hosted a vast array of wild game until pasturalism and agriculture destroyed the forests and habitat.

What are the advantages of a Self Bow?

A self bow is durable, quiet, and alive. They are light in the hand and very beautiful. The Early contact period Bows and Arrows were more effective than the Muskets of the time and there are several accounts of this.

What are the disadvantages of a Self Bow?

A Self Bow is a very Alive peace of wood and is shot differently than modern bows. In this way they can be very instinctively learned. However, much practice is needed to achieve consistant accuracy and form. Because a self bow demands this, many do not have the patience or commitment to learn.

How do you make a Self Bow?

Self Bows are made from cut and dried preforms called "staves" The overall Process is called tillering and is a skill that requires both logical and creative ability and much time and wasted materials to master. Primitive archery in European and English bows is not fundamentally different from any other cultures.

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