Be aware of Mounted archery

Tribesmen from Central Asia (after the domestication of horses) as well as American Plains Indians (after gaining access to horses through Europeans) were extremely proficient in archery while riding on horses. Lightly armored, yet highly mobile archers were well-suited to battle within the Central Asian steppes, and they were a significant part of armies that fought to conquer vast areas of Eurasia. Bows with shorter lengths are better suited for use on horses, as well as the bow that is composite allowed mounted archers to make use of powerful weapons.

Seljuk Turks used mounted archers to fight their opponents in the European First Crusade, especially during the Battle of Dorylaeum (1097). The strategy was to shoot at infantry of the enemy, and then use their greater mobility to stop the enemy from closing on them. Empires across the Eurasian region often strongly correlated their respective “barbarian” counterparts with the use of the bow and arrow to the point that powerful states such as those of the Han Dynasty referred to their neighbors the Xiong-nu and the Xiong-nu as “Those who Draw the Bow”.

For instance, Xiong-nu’s mounted bowmen were much more formidable than the Han military. Their threat was, at a minimum, the reason in the Chinese expanding into Ordos region to establish an even stronger and more formidable buffer zone to protect the Chinese. There is a possibility that “barbarian” peoples were the ones responsible for introducing archery or specific bow types in their “civilized” counterparts, with the Xiong-nu and the Han being a prime example. Similar to short bows, they appear to be brought to Japan by the northeast Asian groups.

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