A person holding the string taught, ready to fire an arrow using a bow. Archery is an ancient sport and method of hunting, one of the oldest technologies that man has ever invented. Today it is enjoyed by many as a sport, or for hunting wild game.
Archery is the sport, practice or skill of using a bow to propel arrows. The word comes from the Latin arcus. Historically, archery has been used for hunting and combat. In modern times, it is mainly a competitive sport and recreational activity. A person who participates in archery is typically called an archer or a bowman, and a person who is fond of or an expert at archery is sometimes called a toxophilite.
The bow and arrow seems to have been invented in the later Paleolithic or early Mesolithic periods. The oldest signs of its use in Europe come from the Stellmoor (de) in the Ahrensburg valley (de) north of Hamburg, Germany and dates from the late Paleolithic, about 10,000–9000 BC. The arrows were made of pine and consisted of a mainshaft and a 15–20 centimetres (5.9–7.9 inches) long fore shaft with a flint point. There are no definite earlier bows; previous pointed shafts are known, but may have been launched by spear-throwers rather than bows. The oldest bows known so far come from the Holmegård swamp in Denmark. Bows eventually replaced the spear-thrower as the predominant means for launching shafted projectiles, on every continent except Australasia, though spear-throwers persisted alongside the bow in parts of the Americas, notably Mexico and among the Inuit.
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