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The oldest direct evidence dates to 8,000 years ago.

The discovery of stone points in Sibudu Cave, South Africa, has prompted the proposal that bow and arrow technology existed as early as 64,000 years ago.

Archery was widespread by the time of the earliest pharaohs and was practiced both for hunting and use in warfare.

Legendary figures from the tombs of Thebes are depicted giving "lessons in archery".

In China, crossbows were developed, and Han Dynasty writers attributed Chinese success in battles against nomad invaders to the massed use of crossbows, first definitely attested at the Battle of Ma-Ling in 341 BCE.

Further information: Mounted archery, Composite bow, Perso-Parthian bow, Parthian shot, Sassanid army, Rashidun army, Mongol military tactics and organization, Mongol bow, Turkish archery, Turkish bow, and English longbow Ancient civilizations, notably the Persians, Parthians, Indians, Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese fielded large numbers of archers in their armies.

A depiction of a larger battle (which may, however, date to the early Neolithic), in which eleven archers are attacked by seventeen running archers, is found in Les Dogue, Ares del Maestrat, Castellón, Valencia.

with the Arctic small tool tradition, about 2,500 BCE, spreading south into the temperate zones as early as 2,000 BCE, and was widely known among the indigenous peoples of North America from about 500 CE.

The arrows were made of pine and consisted of a mainshaft and a 15-20 centimetre (6-8 inches) long foreshaft with a flint point.They had shallow grooves on the base, indicating that they were shot from a bow. Bows of Holmegaard-type were in use until the Bronze Age; the convexity of the midsection has decreased with time.Mesolithic pointed shafts have been found in England, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden.The "Nine bows" were a conventional representation of Egypt's external enemies.One of the oldest representations of the Nine bows is on the seated statue of Pharaoh Djoser (3rd Dynasty, 27th century BCE).

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