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Looking at stone age Holmegaards and Meare Heath, to narrow stone age yew bows, I would not agree that this is a recent discovery. The number of prehistoric bowyers outnumber all of todays bowyers by far, and they weren't any less skilled than we are today. Of course, some of todays bowyers may have a broader insight into different bows than any bowyer before, due to communication-issues, but we tend to see prehistoric people as inferior in some way, when it's probably the other way around. - especially when it comes to "primitive" stuff! So I wouldn't worry about discovering anything new in "primitive" bowyerydesign is everything. This knowledge is something entirely new in archery history, primitive or civilized.
But the yew/osage dogma didn't apply to the whole world, mostly just the Anglo-American one. Here in Eastern Scandinavia the general thought in the 20th century was that juniper is the only wood one can make primitive bows of (we have neither yew or osage). Yet long before I had read Paul's and Tim's arguments for using ordinary woods for bows, I had been using some half-dozen different second- or third-string woods for my bows, just as countless primitive bowyers outside the A-A influence had and still do. The big thing you guys showed was that we weren't losing some magic extra power by not having "premium" bow woods to work with. And how to make best use of our weakish bow materials.Quote:
For a couple of centuries it was generally thought, among literate people who left records anyway, that anything other than yew or osage made inferior bows