No you fool! I said bow, not bow!
Sheesh. Good help is hard to find, isn't it? I mean, I ask for a picture of a bow and this is what I get.
Maybe I wanted a picture of a man with straight legs leaning forward at a 45 degree angle.
Or maybe I wanted a picture of a stick with a string that propels pointy things.
Or maybe I wanted a picture of a dog getting cut of mid-bark. (think it through.....)
Speaking of dogs, here's a dog joke for you. **Disclaimer** I like dogs, so don't get all snippity with me about this.
Q: How do you make a dog go Meow?
A: Freeze it then run it through a table saw.
DON'T ACTUALLY DO THAT! It's a joke! Maybe not the most tasteful joke, but still, only a joke! I love animals. They taste delicious.....
ANOTHER JOKE! Chill people!
Ok, fine. Here's one more joke. This ones about cat's. For some reason, people who don't think the first joke is funny will laugh at the second, even though it's just as tasteless.
Q: How do you make a cat go Woof?
A: Douse it in gas and toss a match on it.
AGAIN, DON"T ACTUALLY DO THAT! If I find out you've been hurting animals, I'll hunt you down and I will pull out your finger nails and toe nails with a pair of pliers and brew them into a tea which I will then force you to drink before I dip you in super glue your nostrils together and then throw you into a swimming pool full of double edged razor blades!
Get it? Don't hurt animals. (remember, humans are animals, too)
Anyway, I was talking about bow. It's a word that has several meanings. There is a name for words that have several meanings. That word is something I'm going to make you look up for yourself. Because, hell, I can't tell you everything. You have to take responsibility for your own education.
C'mon people! I can only do so much.....
Bow. The one I'm talking about today isn't the one pictured. Nor is it the one men do when meeting royalty.
The bow I'm talking about is the one that shoots pointy sticks. I think they're called 'mouse pointers'.
The bow is the oldest projectile weapon used by humans. And that's a true statement, if you ignore all the other projectile weapons humans used before they had bows and arrows.
The first projectile weapons were rocks. Pick one up and throw it. How hard was that? As it turned out, not very hard. Not very effective, either. Sure, lots of people throwing lots of rocks at the same time could overwhelm a for or food, but that required a lot of stone throwers.
From stones, people moved on to pointy sticks. They would crudely shape them into a point, then use fire to harden the point. Then they would go 'jabby-pokey' at foes and food. But that required getting close. So they started throwing them. The main problem with throwing a spear was....you just threw away your weapon.
Next up were darts. Darts were just small spears. And they required a thrower. This was good. Now, finally, there was a projectile weapon that you could reload with ammunition that you could carry several of. Except.....it took a lot of practice to get good with one. And I mean a lot of practice.
So one day, someone picked up their musical instrument and a stick and discovered that the instrument could propel the stick.
Wait, did you say musical instrument? Yes I did. Because the bow most likely first developed as a way of making pleasing noises. None of them survive, really, and the earliest humans were so bad at keeping diaries that we can never really know for sure. But it's pretty good anthropological speculation.
The bow is an old weapon. Early humans started using it around 30,000 B.C.E.
At least, that's what we can prove. The problem with bows and arrows are, they are made from biodegradable materials. So, finding evidence prior to 32,000 years ago is tough.
There are stone points that could be arrow heads that date back to 64,000 B.C.E., but they could also be dart points. The first concrete bows and arrows date back the 32,000 years.
It's almost certain that non stone tipped arrows predate the tipped ones, but, again, wood doesn't preserve very well. At least, not where arrows would lie.
But the thing that really helped the bow take off was it's ease of use. It was light. You could carry it and plenty of arrows without encumbering yourself too much.
They were fairly simple to construct. (at first, at least. they got better as time went on). Anyone could build one, and anyone could make the arrows. And anyone could fire one. They were easier to aim than a spear, dart or rock. And a single hunter could get off multiple shots at the same target with just a bit of practice.
The oldest intact bows date to about 8,000 B.C.E. Earlier bows were mostly made from pine, but these were made from elm. They were so well preserved that modern duplicates have been made. It shows that these old bows were very powerful and incredibly accurate. Whomever made them knew what they were doing.
Through out ancient times, the paleolithic and neolithic, the bronze age, the iron age, ancient Greece, ancient Rome, medieval Europe with the crusades and the countless wars, China, MesoAmerica, and all the way up to modern times. The bow has been a weapon for killing people and animals.
It was the first super weapon used in war. If you had bows and your foe didn't, you won. And even if your foe had the bow, if yours were better, you won. (Don't believe me? Agincourt people....the English longbow men slaughtered the French)
The bow is still being used as a weapon of war. And it will continue to be used for the same reason it's been used for so long; um....people fear change?
I just went back and re-read this post. It's not really that odd, is it? That sucks. But it's getting late, and I already spent the time writing it, and I'm lazy, so it stays. Also, I really do apologize for those jokes. I love dogs and cats and would never advocate anything but snuggles for them. Don't hate me for using tasteless jokes as cheap filler...