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0140 Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1
Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1 / Page 140 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)


[Figure] 30 The tips (A and B) of the compound bow N0. 34:26.

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doi: 10.20676/00000195
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When excavated, this bow was complete, and it is seen thus on the lower right-hand part of Pl. XIII a. During the transport from the site to the main camp some 140 km. higher up the Oumdarya it became dismembered on account of inadequate packing material, and several parts got lost. On different occasions subsequently these grave finds were unpacked and repacked, and each time the bow fragments were probably never taken due care of, as they looked rather poor and insignificant. Therefore only about one fourth of the bow remains. It is the more regrettable that it was so spoilt and broken before anybody could describe it, as its inner structure must have been

very particular to allow of such a pronounced

cupid's bow shape.

The best preserved part is one ear (A) Pl. 18 : 10 and Fig. 3o, with the members still adhering to each other. The core consists of two wooden slips, on the belly there is a wedge-shaped

a    horn   , `   member of horn, each side is provided with a

    tendon   slightly curved bone reinforcement, and the neck

sinewfiber   has a cover of tendon that partly envelops the

Fig. 30. The tips No. and B) Size the nom-

Iv   sides too. The outer ends of the bone-tips

pound bow o. 34:26. Size z/3.   p

are cut square, the nock for the string is 2 cm. from the end, the total length is 25.5 cm., and the breadth 1.5 cm. On one side there is a furrow worn by the bow-string. The other ear (B) Fig. 3o has lost its pair of bone-tips, save the inner end of one of them. Judging from its position this tip must have been longer than those of A, about 32 cm. when complete. The horn member of A is 17.9 cm. long, whereas the one of B is 23 cm. The broader end of the latter is overlapped by a second horn lamina, the widest part of which is 2.1 cm. It therefore seems as if the ear A had been shorter than the ear B. Now such a feature is quite common with this type of compound bow. When not in use the string was loosened from the end with the shorter ear, i. e. the more pliable one, and fastened only when the bow was to be used.

On the lower Volga the bone reinforcements to bows found in graves were 3o and 24.5 cm. long and 1.5 cm. broad (Werner, pp. 38 et seq.) ; the longest met with was 34.5 cm. and originates from Carnuntum. This tallies very well with the reconstructed size of the corresponding elements of our bow. With such long bone-tips, making the ears quite rigid, the length of the complete bow must have been considerable. The approximate measurements that can be made on the photo Pl. XIII a

wood bone



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