Middle East


Archery Exploits of the Pharaohs

Rebecca Alice Loew, Thesis University of Wisconsin La Crosse 2013

Archery has been an important part of human history and Egypt is no exception. Several stories have been found detailing amazing archery feats of the pharaohs. By testing these stories we can learn more about the status of the pharaoh within Egyptian society as well as how truthful they were when talking about skills that could promote and reinforce their authority. In order to test these stories I have analyzed the archery equipment found within the tomb of Tutankhamun to determine modern day equivalents in order to be able to accurately determine if these stories are true, the result of bragging or a mixture of the two.

Anatomy of Wooden Core of Ottoman Composite Archery Bows

Gokhan Gunduz et al, Sains Malaysiana 42(5)(2013): 547–552

Composite archery bows have been well known and used by Asiatic societies for thousands of years. The Turkish composite
bow, made of wood, horn, sinew and glue is one of the most famous and powerful bows in the world. Because of its high
draw weight and mechanical efficiency, the Turkish composite bow became a powerful weapon in the Seljuk and the
Ottoman empire. In addition to being a powerful weapon of war, at the same time the bow and arrow (archery) continued
to be a sport of Ottoman (sultans, state officials, janissaries) until the late Ottoman period. In this study of the Ottoman
composite archery bows in the collections of Izmir Ethnography Museum, a small wood sample was investigated on the
basis of its wood anatomy. The results showed that it was made of maple wood (Acersp.) and some of its qualitative and
quantitative anatomical properties are presented here.

Turkish and Persian Mounted Archery

Murat Ozveri

Turkish traditional archery can be examined in three time intervals: Archery of pre-Islamic Turkish and Turkic tribes, archery of Turks of Early Islamic era and Turkish Archery in the Islamic time frame....

The Place of Archery in Greek Warfare

Thomas Nelson Winter

Ballistic Properties in Ancient Egyptian Arrows

P. H. Blythe

Turkish Bows

Adam Karpowicz et al

The evaluation of archery in the Ottoman Empire

Mehmet Goral

Composite bows at ed-Dur (Umm al-Qaiwain, U.A.E.)

This article discusses seven bone fragments excavated during the second Belgian archaeological campaign at ed-Dur (tomb G.3831, area N). Rather than weaving implements, these objects are identified as the reinforcing bone laths of composite bows. Information on the composite bow in general—origins, structural composition and technical advantages—will be given.


Mounted Archery and Firearms: Late Medieval Muslim Military Technology Reconsidered

Barton C. Hacker,  Vulcan, Volume 3, Issue 1, pages 42-65 2015
David Ayalon’s classic and highly influential 1956 study of Gunpowder and Firearms in the Mamluk Kingdomleft some surprising questions unexamined. He attributed Ottoman victory primarily to Ottoman firearms, while Mamluks stubbornly clung to the arms of the mounted archer. But despite the technological underpinnings of his thesis, Ayalon discussed the technology of neither the traditional warfare of mounted archery nor the newfangled warfare of gunpowder weapons. Was Mamluk mounted archery actually inferior to Ottoman firearms? This essay addresses the technical basis both for the mounted archery central to Mamluk military prowess and the characteristics of late-fifteenth and early-sixteenth century firearms adopted by the Ottomans, both in the context of the social technology of Muslim military slavery.

Studies on Mounted Warfare in Asia II: The Iranian Tradition – The Armoured Horse Archer in the Middle East, c. ce 550-1350

Eduard Alofs, War In History January 2015 vol. 22 no. 1 4-27

In this article the author models the Iranian military tradition of west Asia on the basis of the Roman literature of the early Byzantine period and the Arabic and Persian literature of the Muslim period.

Ottoman Bows - An assessment of Draw Weight, Performance and Tactical use

Karpowicz Adam:  Antiquity Vol 81 No. 313 Sept 2007

The Ottoman fighting bow emerged in Europe from a long eastern tradition of using high velocity projectiles to hunt and fight on horseback. The author compares its performance (favourably) with the longbow and explains how the tactics employed with this singular artefact accounted for Ottoman success in battle.

Tentia Ovidiu,  Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai - Historia (1/2012)

Strategies and tactics or just debates?An overview of the fighting style and military equipment of Syrian archers The article examines the evolution of the emergence and integration of the units of Syrian archers in the Roman army, the specifics or their armament and the tactical significance of the use of such units; discusses the finds of such weaponry and military equipment (terminal stiffeners, arrowheads, helmets) from the Danubian provinces, especially from Dacia.

Experimental approaches to ancient near eastern archery

R. Miller et al
World Archaeology 18(2) 1986

Replicas of ancient Near Eastern archery tackle can be used to investigate the performance of different types of bows. The velocity of projectiles from spear throwers, simple wooden bows and composite horn‐wood‐sinew bows shows a clear linear trend in increased efficiency. Mechanical properties of bow and arrow design and performance can be related to archaeological, art historical and textual sources for the use of archery in warfare.

The Archers of Islam

W. F. Paterson