Lars Andersen – Historical Archery

Posted: February 7, 2015 in Articles
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A Danish archer named Lars Andersen has been shooting for a long time, as well as studying ancient manuscripts, pictures, and books concerning archery. He learned that ancient archery was a lot different that today’s in several ways. For one thing, we usually just shoot at a target standing still, which led to sights on the bows and us having to shoot with only one eye open. We generally shoot for accuracy, not speed. But back in the ancient times when people actually had to use bows for war, they had to be able to shoot quickly and accurately in all situations. They could do this for several reasons.

One, they didn’t have compound bows, but recurve bows, which in effect makes you draw back and fire quickly, without aiming with sights. The reason for this is that a compound bow, once pulled back fully, stays back without you having to hold it back. That’s what the pulleys are for, but on a recurve bow there are no pulleys, so you have to hold back the full weight of the bow. If the draw strength is a lot, you have to hold it back until you fire, which means you usually pull back and fire quickly. That’s what ancient archers did.

They also put the arrows on the right side of the bow. Now, people usually notch their arrows to the string on the left side, which makes them perform several actions before they can actually fire. If you put the arrow on the right side, you can notch it, pull the string back and fire in one motion. This obviously increases the speed of firing.

That’s the main difference in ancient archery and modern archery. The rest of the video we saw talked about the stunts Lars Andersen can do, and they’re all quite amazing, but it also said archers used to hold the arrows in the same hand that they shot with. That takes a lot of skill, but it’s better than quivers on the back, which are actually a Hollywood myth.

The video is really cool, so we’ll put it in. Enjoy!

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