Primitive Archer

Main Discussion Area => Bows => Topic started by: stuckinthemud on July 26, 2022, 05:41:32 am

Title: forensics
Post by: stuckinthemud on July 26, 2022, 05:41:32 am
If an admin wants to move this, that's fine with me!

OK, so, the illustration shows the remains of a crossbow lath (prod) and an artist's very dodgy impression of the original.  I'd love your thoughts on it.   Possibly made of elm, but I don't know for sure, could be anything, including ash, hazel or yew - any common European bow-wood.  It looks like it is using a side-nock but how did they make the recurved tip?  I am finding the angle cut on the nock a bit baffling - just how deep do you reckon the brace was (for some reason, the illustration is top-side down) ?  Total draw length was about 10", so bow length was most likely around 30" but that's a guess on my part, and I'd welcome your thoughts on that too.

Any guesses as to how it failed??  That it failed at that point is also speculation - it was pulled from a lake, could just as easily have been broken over a knee and thrown away...

Title: Re: forensics
Post by: GlisGlis on July 30, 2022, 11:35:12 am
ok that's pure speculation
making a crossbow it's a demanding task so if someone broke a part of it he would have tried to reuse as much as possible.
They found both the stock and parts of the prod so my guess is it could not be a failure.
Almost the entire stock looks intact (at least the pieces fit togheter very well)
It could be something related to a burial ceremony or perhaps the man died in water and the crossbow floated away not to be found.

Where was it found and what period they think it belongs to?
Title: Re: forensics
Post by: stuckinthemud on July 30, 2022, 01:01:51 pm
The site is a lake edge in France, an artificial mound (crannog), fortified, several buildings, occupied for about 40 years approximately AD 1000 to 1040 .  Sort of an equivalent to a fortified manor Incredible levels of preservation.  Fragments from 15 bows/crossbows including a complete lath from a heavy crossbow of lever - antler nut construction with four or five pieces of the stock also found.  No destruction layer but a huge amount of finds in metal, pottery and wood.  It seems when things broke beyond repair, or wore out, they were used to keep the ground less squishy underfoot. Just wish I could read French as all the reports are in that language.  My feeling is the top of the bridle notch snapped and the broken tiller was pressed into the mound the houses were built on.  Equally all those bows and crossbow laths, as they broke or took too much set, would have been used to reinforce floors and walkways as the lake level rose.  The main theory on why the site was abandoned was because the water levels got too high
Title: Re: forensics
Post by: stuckinthemud on August 12, 2022, 01:03:07 pm
Ok.  I am going to make a crossbow based on this drawing.  I am thinking of using elm purely because it doesn’t look like a yew bow.  Draw length is 25cm so I am thinking of 75cm ntn.  The end of the working section is 10mm thick. Initially I’ll work from 18mm thick at centre with the front view at centre about 35mm wide.  The end of the working section is 30mm wide.  I’ve never worked wych elm before, so these measurements seem reasonable.  Any advise on using elm??
Title: Re: forensics
Post by: Aksel on August 12, 2022, 01:51:05 pm
I find it difficult to make out what´s what on that the bow part of that drawing .. I don´t see any recurves, except on the artist´s impression? Rather deflexed tips as I read the drawing.

Very primitive design, farmer´s kind of crossbow for hunting or protection probably.

I mainly work with wych elm for bows. It is very tension strong and almost impossible to break but can develop chysals if not careful. It´s got interlocking grain so rasp is advised when close to finish. I made a similar pheasant´s crossbow with slightly different mechanism but similar principle. Elm stock/yew prod. Length of bow 93 cm i believe it was, pulled 80lbs. And it was a historical replica in all parts and measurements. The early crossbows that I´ve seen and read about, with wooden bows, had fairly long bows, often around a meter or so. I´d make the prod 3,5- 4 cm wide, flat cross section and longish. Even a small diameter elm tree could work if longer. Just my ideas. Good luck, looking forward to see it.

Title: Re: forensics
Post by: stuckinthemud on August 12, 2022, 06:18:52 pm
Hey Aksel, I would love to see some photos of your crossbows.  The historic one, was that a Lillohus/Skane type?
Title: Re: forensics
Post by: Aksel on August 13, 2022, 07:40:50 am
yes, Lillöhus. Have a look at my instagram "stoneagebows" for more images and videos of the bow shooting..

Title: Re: forensics
Post by: stuckinthemud on August 13, 2022, 01:48:16 pm
I have a copy of the drawings for that crossbow but never found a reliable set of measurements.  Where did you get yours from?
Title: Re: forensics
Post by: Aksel on August 13, 2022, 02:51:18 pm
I believe there is only one drawing around. I got the measurements from an old book about European crossbows by Josef Alm "Europeiska armborst" from 1947.
Title: Re: forensics
Post by: stuckinthemud on August 13, 2022, 04:22:18 pm
I've been re-reading the old threads on The Arbalest Guild and found a set of measurements from halvslak but haven't been able to get armborst.forum24 to open

He measured the bow (for anyone interested) as:  length 92cm, 4cm wide, 3.5cm thick, total draw length 29.5cm; tiller 81cm long, bow wood unknown, maybe ash but not yew. 

I would think wych elm would be more likely