Talk about the bow and the arrow and the first thing that strikes you is Indian Mythology - Drona, Arjuna, Karan, Eklavya and many more figures who are said to be masters of the art of Archery. Pity that none could participate in the either the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games. Historically, as evidenced by researchers, arrows existed 64,000 years back in South Africa in the Sibudu Caves. The arrows were previously launched by something called the Atlatl, which was eventually replaced by the Bow. The bow is believed to be conceived in the late Paleolithic or early Mesolithic period. Before the advent of the Gunpowder, Archers were the chief architects of combat. History suggests that civilizations had large troops of archers in their armed forces, which often proved decisive in wars.
The skill of propelling pointed sticks called arrows was predominantly a hunting technique besides being used in wars. The years when archers were used in warfare might be long gone now, with the development of firearms; but the skill has survived and still used in hunting and as a sport in various regions of the world. The sport of archery involves shooting arrows at a target with the assistance of a powerful bow. The target is usually circular consisting of concentric circles. The archers achieve high scores by shooting as close to the centre of the target as possible. The archer with the highest total of individual scores wins. The Olympic Games consist only of â€˜Target' Archery where competitors need to shoot at a specific target from various distances. The other type of Archery is Field Archery where competitors shoot at different targets spread across a field or a course, from unknown distances. Field Archers use bows that look like the traditional ones.