The Arrow

The Arrow

Arrowheads in the ancient times, were made of wood,bone or stone.

With the iron ages setting in stone arrowheads were displaced by brass

Initially they were rather stout, but before long they started to have a more
and more petite shape.

Even though the appearance of compound reflex-bows coincides more or less with the
beginnings of the early Iron Age, until the 2nd Century BC. arrow heads were made
solely of brass. The technique of brass molding was less costly and more adequate for
mass production. Occasionally some arrowheads made of iron turned up, but their shape
still took after that of brass heads– people in those times still didn’t make use of the
advantages or iron.

Initially, until the 6th Century BC brass arrow heads came with a tunnel, they were
double winged and fairly large. Later with the evolution of molding techniques three
winged arrow heads were made, what’s more the wings were formed “gappy”. The
negative of the shape was carved into talc– in case of three winged arrowheads they used
three separate pieces of talc refined together. Before molding the mold was joint up and
a small rock was placed into it to substitute the sheath of the arrow.
After it had chilled the edges of the arrow head were polished and sharpened even more.

Following this an arrow made of birch or ash-tree was set into the tunnel of the arrow head, while onto the
tail feathers were glued. Though in the Scythian grave-mounds (kurgans) of the Altai
the eternal frost conserved the arrows as well, the feathers were only marked on them by
red paint—this obviously happened only with funeral arrows. Their full length reached
approximately 80cm.

The shapes of the „horny” brass arrow heads of the Scythian era varied on a wide range
Nevertheless it is not in our intention to give a close insight on all of the variations, as it
is not of great importance regarding our research—they were mainly regional versions of
shape. The Asian territories two winged, „horny” brass arrow heads were more common and preferable, while around the western areas three winged arrow heads were wide-spread.
On the peripheries along with the brass arrow heads,
those made of bone were frequent too, more over on the steppes of Eastern Mongolia
and in the neighboring areas finely polished jade arrow heads as well remained in use for
a long time. In some of the contemporary images—on the 3rd Century BC stone slabs
of the „lion hunters’ risen form the city of Uruk, for example— a sort of arrow appears
which diverges in shape from the classical ones used in battles: these are semilunar or
fork-shaped arrowheads that were probably used for lion hunting.

There are currently manufactured and marketed arrow heads