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Although there is not a specific date put on when the first bow and arrow was invented, cave drawings dating back thousands of years show that they have been around for ages. The earliest stone tipped arrows were dated back 10,000 years, but scientist believe that even before the stone tipped arrows regular sharpened tipped arrows were used. Until the invention of the handgun around the 1500’s, the bow and arrow wasn’t used for sport but as a tool used for protection and gathering food.
When the handgun was invented, the bow and arrow became obsolete compared to new technology of that era. Rifles and single shot muskets took over as the primary weapon used for hunting and in battle. It wasn’t until the yearly 1900’s that archery became an official Olympic sport. Initially brought back in Europe, archery quickly spread to the United States and all over the world. British aristocrats used long bows as an accessory, holding competitions among friends and eventually holding more sophisticated tournaments in the mid 1800’s. With the inauguration of the archery into the Olympics, the technology spread from long bows to a wide array of compound and custom bows.
The space age bows used in the Olympics today are a combination of new light weight materials and high tech aiming technology that make the shooter fire with outstanding accuracy. From the first primal weapons to the archery equipment used today, the bow and arrow has been evolved from a primarily functional tool to a fun activity for all ages.