Re: Scottish Bows
- Robert L Brunnemer wrote:
> From: Robert L Brunnemer <hugewheels@...>
> Well since no one else is talking, and I am really bored why don't I
> interject with another question that no one but me cares about. :-)
> I am curious what kind of bows were used in Scotland in the early 1000's.
> Does anyone know? If not I am also curious what kind of bow a viking
> would have preferred. I know that they would have the choice to most of
> the kinds because of heavy trade/raiding, but I am curious if they
> preferred one over the other.
Scots weren't big on archery, but it did exist up there in the early
1000's. The bows that were used were very probably shortbows; small
hunting-style self-bows made of oak, ash, or yew. Longbows might have
been encountered (indeed, there is a famous one dug up out of a peat-bog
near Denny. It's about 3300 years old, so it's a bit out of period...),
but they seem to have been rare in early period. Arrows would have been
of ash, most usually.
Scandinavians had a considerably greater appreciation for archery, and
their available technology is correspondingly better documented. They
also used shortbow styles, but they also retained knowledge of longbows
as well. Again, the bows would have been made mostly of ash or oak; the
best yew for bows came from Iberia. I'm not sure how many Mediaeval bows
from Scandinavia have survived, if any, so I'm not sure whether they
were still using the "O" cross-section, or whether they had figured out
about "D" cross-sections yet.
I would recommend Robert Hardy's "LONGBOW: A Social and Military
History" (Bois d'Arc Press 1992; ISBN 1-55821-235-3) as a good general
intro to the subject.
Forester Nigel FitzMaurice
Ex Tenebra, Lux