as the 2019 EXARC Twinning Programme
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Experimental procedure of the Sintashta Bow Project / September 2020 review

In order to follow patterned technical terminology, it is a good momment to point the general characteristics of the three bone items which were researched through this experimental archaeology project and were the core of our inquiry. The first item is an object of elaborate shape, it has a rectangular base and a massive S-shaped asymmetrical hook at its reverse side. This hook has a longitudinal grooved channel. The second item is a tip of a bow limb made of elk prongs. The third item has a rectangular base with three transversal arranged salient edges, which form two ‘cavities’. To unify the terminology and the convenience of the scientific description of the processes, we decided to use the following designations for bow details: the “S-hook device” as “Item A”, the elk horn tip as “Item B”, and the “arrow rest” as “Item C”. 

After the practical functional failure of the Version 1 bow and by realizing it’s inherent defects, the team moved to the prospect of working on a new proposal, which would be an upgraded modification of this first version. The Version #4 bow was constructed and tested in August 2020. For the construction of the the bow-shaft of the Version #4 bow we used native English ash wood (Fraxinus excelsior), one of the most common bow-making woods in Eurasia, known for its high flexibility, shock resistance, and resistance to splitting. Due to the fact that the “Item A” provided extra mass on the end of the limb causing significant imbalance and vibrations, the bowyer Mr Ioannis Boukogiannis proposed the diametrically opposite placement of “Items A” and “B” and the construction of asymmetrical limbs: the “Item A” was now placed in the end of the lower limb while the lower limb was made slightly shorter in length. During the experimental shots, the bow showed remarkable mechanical output, performing under a constant functional repeatability.Τhe “Item C” also performed quite well as an arrow-rest. The choice of the placement of the arrow in the three formed laths of the item, actually offered three different scaled levels which could affect the range of the shot in an absolutely effective mean. 

The Project team has already finished the experimental research of the project and is working on the final submission of the academic paper which will contain the detailed description and the results of this work.

Shaping the limbs of the Version #4 bow

Preliminary adjusting the "Item C" on the bow

Working on the "Item B" using a curved blade


The laths of the "Item C"are guiding the arrow-shaft

The Version #4 assymetric bow, forming a smooth proportional curvature