Archaeology of Archery

A friend with an interest in lithics leant me this book by Alf Webb.

It looks at various types of early bows, their creation, and then arrows, arrowheads, release techniques, and archery accessories.

I found a number of interesting anecdotes, but the development of early archery (including a discussion of pyking early recurve bows) was an interesting topic in itself.

It’s a short book and certainly satisfied my desire to learn a little something about early archery, such as where self bows used to snap or the construction of longbows in 3000BC.


Guide to the basics

Just finished reading Guide to the Longbow by Brian Sorrells and thought I’d gather my thoughts about it. On the whole, there’s nothing wrong with it. There’s a potted history of the longbow, he talks about the American longbow, the shelf, types of string. There’s some basic information about choosing the right bow. There’s some information about arrows that’s quite interesting. It’s all very basic though, the ideas are there but its hardly a How To manual. Next, he looks at accessories, like quivers, then setting up a bow. Really fundamental stuff. Silencers. A vague outline of instinctive shooting but certainly no amazing insights. The usual accuracy exercises. Some decent stuff about tuning a bow. Then a bit of a chat about hunting and bow maintenance. 

If I was a compound shooter who’d somehow never seen a longbow nor spoken to an instinctive archer, or knew nothing about archery, I think this would be fascinating. But, having read his other book Beginners Guide to Traditional Archery and also the book Archery Fundamentals there’s not much new here at all. And for someone of such expertise, you’d expect more than what any guy down the club could teach you.

I don’t want to be totally down about it. It’s adequate. Hell, if I was a famous archer I’d probably write a couple of books about it and make some cash to fund my hobby. But I’d hope to pass on some amazing insights that I’d gleaned from years of experience, not just regurgitate the basics. 

Inside the Book

So, waiting the fortnight for the next lesson, I decided to read Total Archery – Inside the Archer by KiSik Lee. This book, by a man who has “Olympic coach” amongst his qualifications, basically breaks down every inch of what a recurve archer should be doing. It’s a fascinating book and I doubt any other book goes into so much detail about the archer’s form.

I made notes as I read through, taking what I got from it and trying to apply it to what little I know. This blog post it mostly just me writing up my notes and thinking about how it applies to me.

Continue reading “Inside the Book”