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An Archaeological Experiment to Reconstruct a Compound Bow of the Sintashta Culture Stepnoe Burial Ground

Journal: Povolzhskaya Arkheologiya (The Volga River Region Archaeology) (Vol.3, No. 37)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 117-126

Keywords : archaeology; South Ural; Sintashta culture; archaeological experiment; compound bow; warfare; Bronze Age;

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The article presents data from an international experimental study on the reconstruction of the Sintashta culture compound bow. The project is carried out by a collective of researchers from Russia and Greece as part of the grant program of the international association of experimental archeology EXARC. The high role of long-range weapons in the life of the Sintashta society has been repeatedly noted by researchers. The production processes that directly affect the practice of using weapons, as well as the issues of the evolution of weapons, are poorly understood. A complex of horn parts from barrow 4, pit 13 of Stepnoe burial ground (Chelyabinsk region) was chosen as the object for the reconstruction of the Sintashta bow as the most constructively interesting examples. For a reliable interpretation of this category of artifacts, the authors reviewed the global context of the design features of finds of the Bronze Age bows. Analysis of the materials revealed evolutionary trends in the development of long-range weapons, as well as localizing various traditions. Based on experimental studies, the project participants obtained the first conclusions about possible design solutions and the practice of using ancient weapons. Full-scale modeling allowed us to conclude that the Sintashta bow was a hybrid type of long bow, compound type. This type of bow is unique and may reflect the combination of the “steppe” and “european” traditions of the manufacture of long-range weapons. The article is intended to show the main types of bow construction of the Bronze Age and to determine the place of the Sintashta materials in this context, as well as to present the variants of experimental solutions for bow modeling.

Last modified: 2021-10-26 20:47:41