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The Long Bow


Bows have been used across the globe for thousands of years for both hunting and as a weapon in battle. In England, the most common bow was made of yew and stood taller than a man. These bows were highly prized possessions due to their superior strength and durability. Many of these bows became spoils of war to the Scots. While these bows were quite common in Scotland, two other styles of bows were developed, recurve and flatbow. Both designs were shorter than the typical longbow, the recurve having more than one curve in the limb and the flatbow being thinner and lighter. Both styles were commonly made of more than one material, oak and elm being utilized due to its availability. These bows were commonly backed with sinew from deer. Flatbows and recurve bows were easier to produce and could use a variety of woods. Since these bows were easy to make, they also were viewed as more disposable than the coveted yew longbow. That meant that if a bow broke, it would simply be tossed aside and replaced. Bows were used in battle until the late 1700s but they were still used for hunting and for sport. Archery became a common contest and was traditionally part of competitions in the highlands. Arrowheads were quite basic but were traditionally quite heavy, and are generally classified as bodkin arrowheads. Broadheads have also been discovered in Scotland, though not often.

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