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When was the Bow and Arrow Invented?

when was the bow and arrow invented
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Survival is the ultimate trait of a human being. Every page of history is telling the tale of the survival or destruction of the human race. And if you have noticed, people only remember survival as a hero. They are the ones who took the initiative to oppose the structure of destruction and chose to survive. It is because of them that we have many amazing inventions by our side. The bow and arrow are also one of the greatest inventions of the past that is still in value as the human race never gives up on the challenges. Now question is, when was the bow and arrow invented?

It was the time when Africa was a dense forest. People used to hunt down animals and birds to get something to eat. So, they are the inventors of bows and arrows. Before bows and arrows, they used sticks to attack the targets. Initially, it was for food hunting and by the time, it became a powerful weapon in warfare too ended up producing amazing archers.

What is archery?

Archery is a hunting practice where a hunter shoots an arrow from a bow. They are also known as a lever where the fulcrum is one end of the bow, the force is your hand pulling the bow in the middle, and the weight is the other end of the bow.

History of the archery

If you are looking for the exact beginning of archery or when was the bow and arrow invented, it goes back to the Stone Age around 20,000 BC. There are also some reservations about the dates as some researchers say the evidence they are considering as the arrow might be just speared. But most of the researchers agree on the research that says it is a hunting game that started 64,000 years ago and was invented by the Africans.

Beginning with the rule of William the Conqueror, the bow was England’s main weapon of national defense for a few centuries. Around the year 1200, Genghis Khan and his Mongol crowds conquered a significant part of the world utilizing short, incredible bows. For Native Americans bows and arrows were the method for subsistence and presence during the times of English and later American colonization.

You can say that archery was an aggressive game for men in ancient times. From the source of food to the fun and men’s game – it gains popularity and is still in the practice on many continents.

When was the bow and arrow invented and evolution phases?

Hunting was the source of food for many Africans. So, it can be true that they were the ones to invent bows and arrows around 64,000 years ago. Below are some of the times and the ways bow evolved by time.

· Bow Used in hunting

When was the bow and arrow invented? Initially, the bow has only one use and it was hunting. Initially, hunters used to throw slings on their enemies. In the Paleolithic age, it was known as self-hunting. Ancient Greeks and Romans hence used the composite bow. Self-bow was made of wooden pieces. Approximately, 5000 years ago Egyptians practiced archery. Weapons back then were only self-bow and composite bow. The introduction of the composite bow is said to be at the times

· Military weapon from ancient times to Middle Ages

As there were no guns or advanced weapons for the war. The bow was a powerful weapon for the military. They would take a lancer, archer, and driver along with them on the wars. China, Japan, and Europe were the first to adopt bow as a weapon in the war. Some of the rulers like Ahab (seventh king of the northern kingdom of Israel) had died because of the enemy’s arrow.

· Introduction of English longbow in the wars of Europe

Bow and arrow were the most powerful devices before the pistol. However, in the Middles Ages, the weapon was perfected in Europe and introduced as an English longbow. So, in the 14th century, it was the formidable missile of the battlefield.  Wales is known for the origin of this longbow. It was tall as a man and the length of the arrow was half of it.

Crossbows and the later created longbow were the main defense against massed cavalry. In the battles of Crecy and Agincourt in France, in the fourteenth century, English longbows frightfully overcame odds against mounted, completely reinforced knights to win a favorable position. These longbows had draw loads of from 60 to 120 pounds and were frequently utilized at ranges up to 250 yards. From 1330 to 1414, English lords restricted every single other sport since they occupied time from archery and an imperial announcement of 1363 required all Englishmen to practice bows and arrows in their free times.

Longbows range and accuracy were better than the crossbow.

· Mounted archers

Turks, Mongols, and people of Eurasian steppes are known as the finest mounted archers of the times. Their bows were made of thin laths of wood stiffened at the rear with strips of horn and strengthened at the front with glued-on layers of cattle sinew. It was quite a powerful weapon for the army and other people. Since the Middle Ages bow and arrow were not just a source for food hunting. Because it was now a powerful weapon and stayed in value until the revolving pistol entered the picture.

History of Mounted archers:

Early mounted archery is associated with time in the 9th century during the time of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. At that time heavy mounted archers used to attack the disciplines and once they would get close, they will destroy the enemy with other weapons including lancers and spears. Against the mounted armor, foot armors were their defense and were powerful too. By the time, horse archery became obsolete after the invention of firearms. Modern horseback archery got a revival in 1921 in Mongolia after independence.

Archery in 21st century – Bow and arrow as a modern game tool

It was the era of 1840 when archery was introduced as a game. Time passed and it started declining until, in the 20th century, it got a revival through the Yahi Indian tribe that came out from hiding in 1911 in California. Later, America, Korea, and China joined in and now it is a game that is played by holding competitions among the clubs and individual masters. The Kingdom of Bhutan still has archery as their national sport. Bows and arrows turned into an official occasion in the modern Olympic Games in 1900 and were also included in 1904, 1908, and 1920. Even though international rules were developed later on.

From 1920 and onward, people starting taking an interest in crossbows and other bows and arrows. So, the game became an international interest. Now, these bows have a variety, and a lot of different techniques are used for hunting out the target. Fred Bear is known to be the person who combined modern archery with traditional hunting practices.

Now, the world knows when was the bow and arrow invented along with many different types of bows. Crossbow, compound bow, and longbow too. There are many categories further to these bows too. The contemporary practice of hunting has evolved over time, but bows and arrows are still the most post powerful weapon for accurate targets. Here’s you can visit our related articles on how to hold a bow and arrow, and how to shoot a compound bow.


No wonder that the invention of the bow and arrow was one of the marvelous things in the back centuries. By now, you will have a complete understanding of when was the bow and arrow invented. It was not only a beneficial practice or skill for food hunting but many battlefields were fought with the help of this powerful weapon. It was the invention of African, but lately, Europe including Spain, France, and Germany has adopted many new methods of hunting. In a few states, it is still banned and in others, you may need a license for hunting. There are dedicated forests and places to practice and enjoy a personalized experience with the bows and learning starts from there.