Pre- Roman Republic Middle Eastern Bows
As this is my first post on this forum, I'm approaching it with a degree of trepidation, considering the depth of knowledge available from the forum members.
As an archer for more years than I care to remember, I generally shoot longbows from the medieval/Tudor periods right up to Victorian recreational target bows. I've recently become interested in bows from what I like to describe as Pre Roman Republic ( approximatley before 500BC) from the area we now call the middle east.
My plan over the next year or so, is an attempt to replicate the style, construction techniques and materials use in the construction of bows from that era and geographical location.
So my first question is, does any forum member have any sources of information that may help in establishing materials, shapes and construction techniques used in making these bows

Many thanks in anticipation

Could it be Persian bows?
Hi Phil,

Do you have access to an academic library? I could get together a list of books, authors, and articles for you.
Many thanks for taking the time to reply

Could it be Persian bows?

Yes, I think bows available to the Persian Empire would be an accurate description.

Do you have access to an academic library? I could get together a list of books, authors, and articles for you.

I have access to a university library, so any lists or publications would be very much appreciated

Many thanks
You could probably build a triangle or a scythian type bow:

Try this SoAA article on a (probably) Assyrian bow found in Egypt might be useful here:

The ATARN site, on the other hand, takes a lot more patience to navigate due to the massive amount of materials contained therein. Some of the most relevant stuff are:
In C. A. Archer et al., World History of Warfare, U. of Nebraska Press, 2002, I read:

"The earliest certain representation of the composite bow occurs in the victory stele of Naram-Sin (2254-2218 B.C.), but such a complex weapon requires a considerable period of development, and an earlier Sargon victory stele (now attributed to the beginning of the reign of Sargon's son, Rimus [2278-2270 B.C.])." (pg 6)

Here, the claim is made that the composite bow was introduced to (or at least spread within) the Middle East by Sargon's armies.

The victory stele of Naram-Sin shows a couple of archers. One has a strung recurve bow, which could be a composite bow in the Central Asian style. Not what I'd call a "certain" representation, but the Central Asian composite bow is what it most resembles. There is also an archer with a drawn bow; if recurve, the tips have come back in line with the limbs. The bow is short, and drawn a long way. Unless it's strongly deflexed, it is almost certainly composite, to survive that draw.

Lots of images at I haven't found any pics of the other stele mentioned.

Anyway, in summary, it looks like the Central Asian composite bow is a good candidate for the post-Sargon Middle East. Not necessarily the only bow in use, but perhaps the high-performance high-cost elite bow.
As promised in the start of this thread- on Persian bows...
A very popular image, where you can see Persian bows: or here
And of course take a look at Osprey- "The Persian Army 560–330 BC"by N.Secunda for a quick start...
Will return after New year with more information (hope so)

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