While it’s no surprise archery requires precision, focus, and practice, many are unaware that it dates back to around 20,000BC? The Ancient Egyptians used archery for hunting and warfare. 

In China, the earliest evidence of archery dates back to the Shang Dynasty – 1766-1027BC. Archery can pretty much be found in evidence throughout all cultures and for good reason. Archery is also found in pop culture and folklore such as Robin Hood 

  • 20,000 BC – Pictures of bow and arrows are drawn on a cave wall in Valltorta Gorge in Spain.
  • 25,000-18,000 BC – Flint arrowheads are found.
  • 9000 BC – Arrow shafts are found.
  • 8000 – 6000 BC – One-piece yew (elm) bow is found.
  • 7500 BC – A rock fresco of an Egyptian archer is discovered.
  • 3500 BC – Egyptians establish the longbow as the primary weapon of war.
  • 3300 BC – The preserved body of a man who carried a quiver of 14 arrows is found on the Similaun Glacier in the Alps (discovery made in 1991).
  • 1800 BC – The Assyrians introduce the recurve-shaped bow, a short composite bow of leather, horn and wood.
  • 1200 BC – The Hittites use the short recurve bow in mobile warfare by shooting from their light and fast chariots.
  • 1066 – The Normans defeat the Anglo-Saxons at the Battle of Hastings mainly due to their archery and tactical skills.
  • 13th-14th centuries – Longbow-men become the core of the English army.
  • 1363 – English kings require Englishmen to practice archery on Sunday and holidays, a discipline which was given priority over any other sport.
  • 15th century – The tales of Robin Hood enter popular culture.
  • 16th century – The value of the bow as a war weapon declines after the invention of firearms.
  • 1537 – Under King Henry VIII of England’s directions, Sir Christopher Morris establishes the Guild of St. George, the first archery society.
  • 1545 – Toxophilus, a book about longbow archery by Roger Ascham is published.
  • archery-compound-bow1600s – Several archery societies are formed and tournaments establish archery as a competitive sport.
  • 1620s – European settlers bring their knowledge of bowmaking to the North American continent.
  • 1673 – The first Ancient Scorton Silver Arrow Contest is first held in Yokshire in England – and continues to be held today.
  • 1787 – Women are first admitted into an archery society and are allowed to compete in the Ancient Scorton Silver Arrow Contest.
  • 1828 – The first archery club on the North American continent is the United Bowmen of Philadelphia.
  • 1878 – Will and Maurice Thompson learn archery from the Florida Indians. Maurice authors The Witchery of Archery.
  • 1879 – The National Archery Association (NAA) is founded and begun holding national tournaments.
  • 1900 – Archery becomes an official Olympic event at the Paris Olympic Games.
  • 1920 – The second time when archery is an event in the Olympics (held in Belgium).
  • 1931 – Fédération Internationale de Tir à l’Arc (FITA) is founded in Poland.
  • 1937 – Bowsights are first used at an NAA tournament.
  • 1938 – Ben Pearson sets up a company to mass-produce archery equipment.
  • 1939 – The National Field Archery Association is established.
  • archery-recurve-bow1946 – Doug Easton develops a process for manufacturing aluminum arrow shafts which greatly increased the accuracy of the arrow.
  • 1951 – Plastic vanes are first used to replace feathers on arrows.
  • 1960s – H.W. Alan from Missouri, USA, invents the compund bow.
  • 1961 – Hoyt Archery Company makes bows with attached stabilizers.
  • 1970 – Release aids for compound bows start being used in NAA competitions.
  • 1972 – Archery becomes once again a permanent event at the Olympic Games in Munich.
  • 2011 – FITA changes its name to World Archery Federation (WA).

Though archery has evolved it remains a time-honored tradition, if you are new to archery, you might find your new passion. The Archery Place is your gateway into archery for fun, sport, recreation, and hunting. Experienced or not, you'll enjoy what we have going on. Whether your brand new to archery and have never tried it before, or a seasoned bowhunter or competitive target archer, everyone is treated with respect, honesty, and is never less equal than the next person. Visit us online or call us today for details on services and rental options (844)910-6100. 

Sources:

https://worldarchery.org/History-Archery