The bow- finding of olon kurin gol- some additional experiences and thoughts

go to:  The bow- finding of olon kurin golthis is where you´ll find a  report about the first reconstructions of the olon kurin gol -bow, details and measurements as seen in the findings. SORRY, this page is currently not available!!!!!!!

In the meantime I´ve done another reconstruction,  I succeded in tillering it at 25″ with 43lbs, it shots a 300grs. arrow with 148f/sec. But the money ran out for the researching project, I wasn´t satisfied too much, I would like to do another stronger one. This bow- design is a working design, very delicious to do. I highly respect the craftmanship of the Scythian bowyers.

Fortunenately some weeks ago a Swiss guy has ordered a 65- 70lbs- version of this bow, I could go on and will keep you update!

We did a big mistake in completely ignoring the fact, that the bow has to be wrapped with sinew- fibres all over its length, even we noticed the tracks of the wrappings. But we didn´t like the nice wood to be covered and wrapped it only at the sharp curves. This bow has to be wrapped allover for to keep all those slats together.

Finally Adam Karpowicz ended up in having to wrap his reconstruction of the Subeixi- bow completely too.

Due to the facts of the findings we assume that the wooden Scythian bows have been made and used by the Western Scythians, the Eastern Scythians made and used their bows with a center- piece of horn running all over the length of the bow, like a component of stable shape.

It is also thinkable that the wooden version of the Scythian bow is made for the use on horseback, Adam Karpowicz´s exact reconstruction of the Subeixi- bow has turned out to be very strong, 115lbs at 28″. According to the statements of nowadays mounted archers this is not to handle on horseback?

The tiller of the olon kurin gol bow is different from the tiller of the Subeixi-  bow. The Subeixi bow bends heavily in its sharp curves just beside the grip- section and in its grip itself.

The olon kurin gol bow is 3cm in width at the grip- section, the longer limb is tapered from 3cm to 1.5cm at the recurves, the shorter lower limb is tapered from 3cm to 2.2cm. So the main bending takes place in  the limbs, not in the sharp curves and the grip.

According to the findings and the reconstructions of the Scythian bows it is fact that they are made of wooden and horn- slats.  Recently some other bowyers have come up with reconstructions of Scythian bows made as hornbows are usually done: horn as the belly, wooden core and sinew-  backing, it works, but it is not according to the findings. Anyway the Scythian bow is an eye- teaser.

scythian hornbow, but done as a usual hornbow

Anyway the successful reconstruction made me proud, I have to admit that I didn´t got a feeling for the making of a bow like this, it is so strange to make such a delicious and weird construction consisting of 12 wooden and 2 horn- slats, so many glue- lines. Why did the Sycthians bowyers have made bows like this, I thought over this question, discussed it with other bowyers. From a bowyers point of views it is a deflex/reflex bow with sharp recurves, a still popular design. I guess the Scythian craftspeople liked to do filigree works, look at their jewelry. Above all its a question of the preference for special designs, design as a kind of a “language” of a certain culture or tribe…………..

With much less effort a bowyer could do a better performing selfbow in one day……………….

But we´ve experienced the making of Scythians bows, I guess we really know it now.  Scythian bow- reconstructions according to findings having been done by Adam Karpowicz,  David Betteridge, myself,  Jack Farrell is still waiting for the drying of the sinew- backing. There´s a reconstruction made of sinew- backed osage  the German bowyer Wolfgang Schwerck did some years ago, a very nice bow, even it is not made of slats I like it, sorry, but I can´t find the pic……………..if you ignore or don´t try to understand history, you´re doomed to repeat it………….

Some additional pics:

scythian bow- and arrow case, according to the olon kurin gol findings
from R.Toelle- Kastenbein´s book: Greek archery, quivers, unbraced scythian bow



1st trial of a Scythian wooden bow, sorry, it is broken
2nd trial of a Scythian wooden bow, 25lbs at 22" only, but she´s nice

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