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Old 19th August 2019, 10:54 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 845

Originally Posted by stuckinthemud
I know of fewer than 6 wooden crossbows in total covering the entire medieval period, including archaeological remains.


Perhaps the scarcity of surviving examples is due to the perishable nature of the organic materials comprising the bow. After all, Asiatic composite bows from the medieval period are few in number in today's collections despite the wealth of textual and artistic depictions from the era.

Your belief that these wood-and-sinew bows were in fact widespread in Europe at a certain period does have a basis when you consider what replaced them (steel bows) and how the practicality and prevalence of such at a somewhat later time can be tied into metallurgical advances in late medieval Europe. An inquiry into sword manufacture may provide clues. The works of Oakeshott and (Allan R) Williams might be useful in your quest.
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