Archery

In archery, what's the name of the container that holds arrows, and often seen on the archer's back?

And the answer: quiver.

Photo credit: Bow International

A quiver is a container for holding arrows, darts, or javelins. While they're traditionally worn on the back, quivers can also be carried on the belt, pocket, or side, depending on the archer's preferences.  

Archery is one of the oldest documented sports in the world. Arrowheads dating back some 25,000 years have been discovered in Africa, while Babylonians in 2340 BCE were some of the first to use the bow and arrow in combat. Derived from the Latin term arcus, meaning "bow," archery has occupied a culturally significant place in cultures throughout the globe for centuries. Today, it's practiced most prominently as a recreational sport, even earning a distinct category in the Olympics and Paralympics.

The shape and style of the bows and arrows used in archery have varied widely over time. Some of histories' most famed battles were won at the hand of more sophisticated bows and more experienced bowmen. The Hundred Years War, for one, was greatly influenced by the archery prowess at the Battle of Crécy. The French were at a distinct disadvantage after a long march in the rain, during which they had taken damage to their weapons. The English, on the other hand, had kept their bows dry, and rested while the French made their approach. In this key moment in the war, wet crossbows were no match for the Welsh longbow (which could shoot 400 yards and deliver 5-6 arrows per minute). The French forces were soon quelled, and took thousands of casualties.

After the Medieval Period, the use and necessity of archery in warfare began to decline, as firearms and other automatic weapons took their place. However, the practice holds a place of importance in indigenous cultures. From Brazil to Korea, Germany to Bhutan, archery is still widely enjoyed as a traditional sport and ritual.

Watch archery performed at the 2016 Olympic Games below.



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