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Author Topic: Ancient BowHunters?  (Read 4268 times)

Offline Gutpiles

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Ancient BowHunters?
« on: January 23, 2004, 03:05:54 PM »
I ran across this one the outdoorlife site and thought it was interesting:

"How bowhunters pursued venison 5,000 years ago.

The archer creeps among the boulders toward the deer, stops and draws back his bow, aims for the animalís left shoulder and releases the arrow. The deer bolts away between some rocks but the hunter knows it wonít go far. He sits back and waits, heart racing from the adrenaline, glad heíll eat venison with tonightís dinner.

Just your typical, everyday bowhunter? No. Heís the Tyrolean Iceman, a frozen, mummified hunter who lived some 5,000 years ago and whose mummified body was found in the Italian Alps more over decade ago. Not only was the Icemanís body intact, but archeologists discovered with it a yew bow, a quiver of arrows, an arrow-point sharpening tool and other items that showed how important hunting was to this man. Recent X-rays have also revealed that he died from a stone arrowhead buried in his left shoulder.

In England, the 4,300-year-old grave of another archer was exhumed in May 2002; together these two men present a fascinating glimpse into ancient life and hunting.

Found near Stonehenge, England, the Amesbury Archer was buried with many stone arrowheads, a forearm guard made of slate, an arrow-point sharpener and three copper-bladed knives. According to Dr. Andrew Fitzpatrick of Wessex Archeology, the fact that the Amesbury Archer was ceremoniously buried with so much equipment (though minus his bow) suggests the high standing of archers in his society, both as hunters and protectors.

The Iceman has been kept frozen since his 1991 discovery but was defrosted briefly in September 2002, when Professor Franco Rollo of the University of Camerino, Italy, took samples from his intestinal tract.

Genetic analysis showed that his last two meals included venison and ibex, a wild goat once common to the Alps, suggesting that much of the Icemanís protein came from big game.

Bows from the Iceman and Archerís times were usually handmade from a single piece of yew, a tough, elastic evergreen. Modern re-creations of these are powerful and accurate to 50 meters. While the Iceman was only about 5 feet, 2 inches tall, says Kathleen Gordon of the Smithsonian Institute, who is creating an exhibition around him, his bow was nearly 6 feet long. That length provided ample killing power on quarry of many sizes, as the Iceman discovered firsthand, his left shoulder blade having been completely pierced by a flint arrowhead two thirds of an inch across.

Rollo notes that ancient bowhunters intentionally aimed for the left shoulder, believing that it offered the best chance to bring down prey. So the Icemanís wound, Rollo says, indicates he was probably killed by rival big-game hunters. The Amesbury Archer was more fortunate: He apparently died from natural causes. "
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Offline Big58cal

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Ancient BowHunters?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2004, 07:16:06 PM »
I've watched things about this on the Discovery Channel.  Good stuff!!!!!
The only purpose of bread is to hold meat!

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In all seriousness, the Marlin is a great rifle, too. I own a Model 60, one of the best rifles ever made.
Brownings are nice, but in terms of quality AND accuarcy AND ruggedness, it's hard to beat the Marlin.
California sucks that's it.

Offline John Andrews

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Ancient BowHunters?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2004, 09:34:17 PM »
That was very interesting! It had to be a pretty rough life in those days, and with the danger of the hunters being hunted.
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Offline C.N.

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Ancient BowHunters?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2004, 09:06:13 PM »
I've always wanted to make my own bow. You would think that if a guy 5000 years ago could do it we could. but that also goes to show you how much in tune with their surrondings they were. It said they used yew wood but I wonder what the string was made of ?
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Offline Big58cal

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Ancient BowHunters?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2004, 09:52:23 PM »
Sinew (sp?).  Basically the dried tendons on the animals that they killed.  It's really strong and flexible when it's dried.
The only purpose of bread is to hold meat!

John Andrews Is My Hero!

In all seriousness, the Marlin is a great rifle, too. I own a Model 60, one of the best rifles ever made.
Brownings are nice, but in terms of quality AND accuarcy AND ruggedness, it's hard to beat the Marlin.
California sucks that's it.

Offline Jen

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Ancient BowHunters?
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2004, 02:35:03 PM »
Every time that special comes on the Discovery Channel, I watch it!  I love watchin all that stuff about archeological (sp?) digs and mummy discoveries!  8)

Jen :wink:

Offline John Andrews

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Ancient BowHunters?
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2004, 12:44:07 PM »
I tried making a bow using ash. Well, that proved wrong! Osage orange(hedgeball)works great for bows. That is what my ancestors used, along with some laminating with sinew and hoof/hide glue on some bows. Actually, many of the Native American bows had some pretty good poundage, and the shooting with them is quite different than imagined. Usually, the arrow was was gripped, in most cases. THIS old Indian knows easier ways to do things! Let's see, do I take the compound out today,or grab a rifle? :mrgreen:
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Offline john

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ancient???
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2004, 09:17:24 AM »
ohhhh ,for a minute i thought this was are refence to my age....

Offline John Andrews

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Re: ancient???
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2004, 10:56:11 AM »
Quote from: john
ohhhh ,for a minute i thought this was are refence to my age....
Yeah, I kinda thought that when I read the title, too! Another thing about the bows they used, many of the bows increased poundage draw as time passed, because of the bow materials hardening while aging. Most of the Native American bows were pretty short compared to modern day bows.  Short but powerful, most of them.
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Offline shadow

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Re: Ancient BowHunters?
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2005, 01:42:59 PM »
The bow and arrow didn't come to these parts of the world until about 1500 years ago. One of those cases of something being invented in two parts of the world without knowing about the others existence. Prior to that they used the "ATLATL" a spear throwing device that attached to their arm. The indians of the northeast were feared becaused of the ATLATL. There are ATLATL orginization out there today, that regularly compete around the country. Try hunting a deer with one of those.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2005, 01:45:42 PM by shadow »
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