Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


Otzi'a bowstring identifiied

Messages posted to thread:
Tim Baker 16-Dec-21
FITTER 16-Dec-21
Batman 16-Dec-21
SB 16-Dec-21
Lowcountry 16-Dec-21
Bob Rowlands 16-Dec-21
Corax_latrans 16-Dec-21
Tim Baker 17-Dec-21
Runner 17-Dec-21
Yellah Nocks 17-Dec-21
Bob Rowlands 17-Dec-21
Buzz 17-Dec-21
Bob Rowlands 17-Dec-21
Bob Rowlands 17-Dec-21
Onehair 17-Dec-21
MStyles 17-Dec-21
tradmt 17-Dec-21
Sasquatch73 17-Dec-21
tradmt 17-Dec-21
Corax_latrans 17-Dec-21
Don T. Lewis 17-Dec-21
MikeT 17-Dec-21
Kelly 17-Dec-21
Nemophilist 18-Dec-21
2Wild Bill 18-Dec-21
Downcanyon 18-Dec-21
jwhitetail 18-Dec-21
jwhitetail 18-Dec-21
jwhitetail 18-Dec-21
Zbone 18-Dec-21
Bob Rowlands 18-Dec-21
shandorweiss 19-Dec-21
RonG 19-Dec-21
Riverwolf 19-Dec-21
Bob Rowlands 19-Dec-21
Riverwolf 20-Dec-21
Bob Rowlands 20-Dec-21
George D. Stout 20-Dec-21
Onehair 20-Dec-21
Bob Rowlands 20-Dec-21
FITTER 20-Dec-21
Runner 20-Dec-21
Bob Rowlands 21-Dec-21
cobra 01-Jan-22
Corax_latrans 01-Jan-22
Mortis Sagittas 02-Jan-22
Scotsman 02-Jan-22
Scotsman 02-Jan-22
pondscum2 12-Jan-22
Buzz 12-Jan-22
txdm 16-Jan-22
Bob Rowlands 16-Jan-22
Zbone 16-Jan-22
Buzz 17-Jan-22
Krag 17-Jan-22
From: Tim Baker
Date: 16-Dec-21




Otzi'a 5,000 year old bowstring identified:

Three plys makes sense for such primitive- conditions strings, averaging out any weak areas. 

Ishi used leg tendons too.

Puzzling comment by the scientist re the inferiority of plant fibers as bowstrings.

"It has a diameter of 4 mm and is comprised of three strands which are very uniformly and finely twisted. The Swiss study was able to prove that leg sinews of an indeterminate species were processed as fibers and the cord was therefore particularly well suited for use as a bowstring." "

Previously, research had been done on plant fibers that would not have proven successful as a bowstring."

"The cord contained in Otzi’s quiver may be the oldest preserved bowstring in the world."

https://www.foxnews.com/science/otzi-the- icemans-bowstring-identified-by-scientists

From: FITTER
Date: 16-Dec-21




That is sure beat…. It’s an amazing look back into archery and ancient man….

From: Batman
Date: 16-Dec-21




Hi TIM, I guess that the guy talking about "plant fiber" bow strings hasn't studied enough bow strings? BLESSED BE!

From: SB
Date: 16-Dec-21




...and what happens to sinew if it gets wet?!

From: Lowcountry
Date: 16-Dec-21




Cool stuff! I love everything associated with Otzi! Thanks for posting Tim!

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 16-Dec-21




Thanks for the info. I frequently reference Otzi as a 'waypoint' in history of archery, as well as in the recorded history of man and his accomplishments.

From: Corax_latrans
Date: 16-Dec-21




Great way to put him in perspective, Bob!

What happens to sinew when it gets wet? I guess that depends on whether you have treated it with a little grease/bees’ wax or not. Also, men who made their living with self bows probably kept them pretty well cased when not in use, and kept them out of the wet whenever possible a well greased leather case could provide a pretty well protected environment for bow and string alike.

The big advantage of flax/linen would be that it could be farmed in massive quantity to outfit a kings army, but an individual archer such as Otzi wouldn’t have much need for that, and could probably keep himself well supplied with just the game that he was able to take as he went along…

From: Tim Baker
Date: 17-Dec-21




Cordage of vegetable fibers, including wild flax, was made in Europe as early a 30,000 years ago. Strong cordage fibers grow almost everywhere--California Indians made cordage of dogbane, nettles and other fibers. Bowstring of such fibers are lighter and less stretchy than sinew, and unlike sinew, function well when wet, so why did Otzi and Ishi make bowstrings of sinew? That's a genuine puzzle.

From: Runner
Date: 17-Dec-21




Probably because sinew is more readily available. It's there all year everywhere.

From: Yellah Nocks
Date: 17-Dec-21




Likely he moved quite a lot and his nomadic lifestyle rendered the gathering of plant fibers much more time consuming than simply stripping the sinew from his latest kill. He was literally a "run and gun(bow) hunter" loooong before the term came about. Sinew could have been hung from his quiver in the open air to dry as he went along, and dried further near his evening fires. Having said all that....what if he DID use plant fibers some other time or portion of the year, and we just do not have his old strings in possession? We often say we should follow the science, but sometimes what is NOT there speaks if we are listening. Just my thoughts

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 17-Dec-21




Way off topic. Otzi is a snapshot of an individual man from 5300 tears ago. That's roughly ~200 generations ago. Otzi preceded Christ by ~150 generations. Wrap your mind around that one. If I have my timeframes correct, the Egyptian pyramid building era was in progress and Stonehenge was being built.

Backing up 5300 years from Otzi, the last big ice age was in progress. England may have been covered with ice. The wooly mammoth roamed the earth. Really fascinating stuff to think about as you sit by the fire, watching the flames glint off the silver balls on your Christmas tree.

From: Buzz
Date: 17-Dec-21

Buzz's embedded Photo



Cool.

A pic from another study of him.

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 17-Dec-21




That's an accurate depiction of a lean and tough middle aged man. Contrast that to what you see in Walmart.

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 17-Dec-21




"Honey, drive over and get us some smokes at Walmart. And hit the drive thru at KFC for a bucket of extra crispy on the way back. K? lol

From: Onehair
Date: 17-Dec-21




Likely the first recorded drive by.

From: MStyles
Date: 17-Dec-21




Great post.

From: tradmt
Date: 17-Dec-21




Can we go into Wal Mart without a shirt?

From: Sasquatch73
Date: 17-Dec-21




If ya ever go to Northern Italy pay him a visit. South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy since 1998. Very nice museum.

From: tradmt
Date: 17-Dec-21




I would like to see that.

From: Corax_latrans
Date: 17-Dec-21




Interesting that he was modeled having much darker hands and forearms than the rest of him… I guess we’re gonna have to rename “farmers tan“ as a “hunter/gatherer tan“…

Really impressive mass on those hands! You think maybe he worked with them most of the time?

From: Don T. Lewis
Date: 17-Dec-21




Pretty cool stuff. Funny thing is. Throw a pair of Blue Jeans on him, T-Shirt and a Box call hat. He would fit in at any of the bow shoots. It would be cool seeing him shoot a Browning Wasp. ;)

From: MikeT
Date: 17-Dec-21




So was that bow "strung" when they found it? He looks good in that pic, but I wouldnt want to run into him in a dark cave!

From: Kelly
Date: 17-Dec-21




Yup, noticed the darker forearms, huge hands and unusually small feet.

And when wearing fur leggings would think also some sort of fur covering upper body too.

From: Nemophilist
Date: 18-Dec-21




Good thread.

From: 2Wild Bill
Date: 18-Dec-21




"Really impressive mass on those hands!"

But those are small feet, say maybe a man's size 7?

From: Downcanyon
Date: 18-Dec-21




Did they find a spare string as well?

From: jwhitetail
Date: 18-Dec-21

jwhitetail's embedded Photo



Otzi had the frame of someone who hunted and ate ibex meat, a little wild grain (his last meal), and could cover miles and miles of STEEP terrain in the alps. Probably would have been hard to keep up with... not sure how in the heck these guys hunted Ibex with longbows and arrows!! Small, light frame, and incredibly durable and strong. His bone structure and muscle attachments (as per the scientific examinations) were on a par with an athlete. Probably just a matter of course for all hunters and people in that day/age given the life these people lived. I am going to Bolzano (pandemic willing) to visit family and intend to hike to the pass that where he was found - the border of Austria and Italy. I will post if I can ever get there. Looking forward to the museum too! A bucket list thing for me. Also here is a photo of the bowstring. JW

From: jwhitetail
Date: 18-Dec-21

jwhitetail's embedded Photo



Here is the European ibex... they must have had ways to hunt them off of the steep cliffs. How cool to tag along with that crew and their yew bows... no Gortex, or spotting scopes.

From: jwhitetail
Date: 18-Dec-21




Uh yeah, something along those lines... If Otzi is any indication certainly wouldn't want to go to Austrian "TRAD"(LOL).

From: Zbone Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 18-Dec-21




Wonder if he used a bowyers knot of today to nock the string... Would be interesting the knot they actually used then...

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 18-Dec-21




I'm betting Otzi was a tough mofo. Its quite likely other men living during that time were as well.

From: shandorweiss
Date: 19-Dec-21




Very cool post. Thank you everyone.

The original modern human immigrants to Europe (35,000 + years ago) were much taller and more robust than humans in Otzi's time, and had dark skin. Scientists speculate they were bigger b/c they spent they got more meat for the energy spent getting it, hunting megafauna (mammoths, wooly rhinos). Probably just with thrust and thrown spears. When the ice age ended the megafauna did also and hunters spent more time pursuing smaller game.

From: RonG
Date: 19-Dec-21




Looks like me when I get up in the morning.

The hands match, but my feet are a size 11. Ha!Ha! I also looked like that most of my life until I retired, getting heavy.

Neat stuff men, thanks for the post.

From: Riverwolf
Date: 19-Dec-21




Wish they would dvd that movie Baylee ! Haven't seen it yet , but looks very well done going by the youtub trailer!

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 19-Dec-21




The only thing real is Otzi's human remains, what he had on him, with him, and where he was found. What happened to him will never be known.

I've read a few stories about Otzis life and demise. It's all fleshed out with typical 'build the drama' story telling. Interesting, but I take it as worthless speculation and conjecture.

For certain Otzi is simply another ancient amongst billions of other ancients, lost to time. Primitive writing had been invented but now as we know it today. The oral tradition was king, and still is amongst those that can't read and write.

From: Riverwolf
Date: 20-Dec-21




Thank you Baylee !

I'll check it out ;)

Bob Rowlands....I agree "NO ONE" will ever know Otzi's "true" story. (If you are referring to the movie.) All movies are that,,, entertainment. Even the documentaries are one side of a "story". I'm not that far out of touch ;^))) ..that said...this movie looks like it was well done and I for one want to see what someone has done with the finding of Otzi's remains, and their own imagination !

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 20-Dec-21




I haven't watched any recent video on Otzi. I immediately skip or mute movie trailers.

From: George D. Stout
Date: 20-Dec-21




Bob Rowlands said: "Primitive writing had been invented but now as we know it today. The oral tradition was king, and still is amongst those that can't read and write."

Yep, which is why anyone who is interested in their own family's background should be taking advantage of the older folks while they are still here to tell. When you get into ancestry, you find how nice it would have been to connect more of those dots while some of the originals were still able to tell their stories. Yet most don't bother....they are too busy doing not much at all.

From: Onehair
Date: 20-Dec-21




Yep George, that's why the Foxfire books are so interesting. There is info there that is lost to all but it's readers.

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 20-Dec-21




Way off topic comment regarding accuracy of the oral tradition.

Years ago I watched a NOVA on 'Chaco Canyon', the land of the ancestral Puebloans, the Anasazi. Anasazi are some the indigenous people of the western U.S. that lived there for possibly tens of thousands of years. They built Chaco, the cliff dwellings, and so on.

Since there was no written record, info was passed from generation to generation by oral tradition. If I remember correctly, an interviewer asked one of the People interviewed, "Where did you come from?" The man replied, "We came from the north." Which in fact is EXACTLY the case, according to archaeological science. I was floored by his answer.

Nowadays, even WITH written history, very few of us know much about our relatives dating back to the mid 1800s or earlier. I know nothing about my German and English, Scottish, Welsh ancestors except that they immigrated to the U.S. about the middle of 1800s.

From: FITTER
Date: 20-Dec-21




I’ve spent thirty years figuring out where my family comes from….. a rather interesting endeavor!!

From: Runner
Date: 20-Dec-21




Bob, "We came from the North" is not much more enlightening than 'We came from Europe". ;)

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 21-Dec-21




While getting to know our next door neighbors, they said "We're originally from Canada." That placed them good enough. I didn't immediately grill them on which province, which city, were they canoeists, and whether they also spoke French, eh? ;)

From: cobra
Date: 01-Jan-22




"Shooting a Browning Wasp"....just proves that the Good Ole Wasp is a great First bow that evidently hasn't received the respect it deserves. It was my First too!

From: Corax_latrans
Date: 01-Jan-22




“ very few of us know much about our relatives dating back to the mid 1800s or earlier.”

That’s for sure! According to my family’s oral history, our written history (aka the Family Bible) was burned because it documented a mixed lineage which didn’t necessarily entitle a person to full protection under the law… at the very least, it would have been less than “fashionable”, which could be socially awkward….

No doubt Otzi was a full-time athlete! No other way to live back then. 100 years ago, farmers were ”athletes” as well. My great-grandfather was born in the 1860s and still farming behind a team of horses during WWII when all the young men were off to da war…..

We’re all wimps these days…

From: Mortis Sagittas
Date: 02-Jan-22




Onehair, I own 3 of the foxfire series. Those are great books! I have to find copies of the rest of them now. The first book is a must own.

From: Scotsman
Date: 02-Jan-22




A few years ago I had the experience of being in Bolzano, standing just a few feet away from Otzi. Surreal! You can’t help but let your mind travel back…. How would I have fared at that time. Then walk to the various exhibits showing his weapons, supplies, clothes……. Humbling.

From: Scotsman
Date: 02-Jan-22




A few years ago I had the experience of being in Bolzano, standing just a few feet away from Otzi. Surreal! You can’t help but let your mind travel back…. How would I have fared at that time. Then walk to the various exhibits showing his weapons, supplies, clothes……. Humbling.

From: pondscum2
Date: 12-Jan-22




didn't they find a stone point embedded in one of his shoulders when they x-rayed him? wonder what the point looked like...

From: Buzz
Date: 12-Jan-22

Buzz's embedded Photo



From: txdm
Date: 16-Jan-22




The Otzi movie called "Iceman" from 2017 is hard to find, but worth the watch.

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 16-Jan-22




Buzz, thanks for that photo.

From: Zbone
Date: 16-Jan-22




They even analyzed his stomach contents, yet have not heard one mention of the bowstring material....

From: Buzz
Date: 17-Jan-22




https://www.iceman.it/en/bowstring/

Swiss researchers are astounded to have identified Ötzi’s bowstring. Even though the Iceman had still been working on his bow, he carried a finished twisted string in his quiver which was made of animal fibers and not of lime tree bast. It is elastic, extremely resilient, and is therefore ideal as a bowstring. An extensive research project was carried out by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) which examined materials of Neolithic bows and arrows in detail for the first time. These were then compared to Ötzi’s equipment.

From: Krag
Date: 17-Jan-22




My paternal ancestors are from that part of Italy. Unlike the maternal side that is documented back to 1635 France we don't have much on this side. The name is still active in the area and a branch of the family was into ice cream (I've got that gene) and then established the business in the Netherlands. Don't know how far back the family history goes or their origin. May well go back to Otzi's time but that's not one of our arrowheads.





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