Archery by the Apaches – implications of using the bow and arrow in hunter-gatherer communities

  • Žiga Šmit University of Ljubljana, Faculty of mathematics and physics
Keywords: Apache, bow and arrow, reed arrow

Abstract

This review focuses on the technical and social details of production, training, and use of archery equipment by a Native American tribe, the Apaches. The study aims to understand the use of the bow in the Mesolithic and Early and Middle Neolithic societies of the Old World. The paper further describes arrow ballistics. An arrow and bow with similar dimensions and materials to those used by the Apaches was reconstructed and used in ballistic experiments. Shooting and the subsequent model calculation showed that the effective range of arrows made of reed and projected by a bow of medium strength (16–18kg) was not more than approx. 20m. Due to the initial flat part of the ballistic trajectory, such arrows were quite efficient in close-range contests. Within the model calculation, a regression procedure was introduced to determine the arrow air-drag parameters from an ensemble of shots.

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Published
2016-12-30
How to Cite
Šmit Žiga. (2016). Archery by the Apaches – implications of using the bow and arrow in hunter-gatherer communities. Documenta Praehistorica, 43, 515-525. https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.43.28
Section
Articles