Hostname: page-component-797576ffbb-vjhkx Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-12-06T04:15:38.525Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

A miniature antler bow from a Middle Bronze Age site at Isleham, (Cambridgeshire), England

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Kasia Gdaniec*
Cambridge Archaeological Unit, Department of Archaeology, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DZ, England


A little bow — at less than half a metre long too small to be a practical tool — comes from the later prehistoric Fenland of east England. Along with the wristguards, fine arrowheads and smoothing stones of the British Bronze Age, it tells of the special meaning of archery in later prehistory — whether in the animal chase or in human combat.

Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd. 1996

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Atkinson, R.J. C. & Evans, J. G.. 1978. Recent excavations at Stone-henge, Antiquity 52: 235–6.Google Scholar
Bamford, H. 1982. Beaker domestic sites in the Fen Edge and East Anglia. Dereham: Norfolk Archaeological Unit. East Anglian Archaeology 16.Google Scholar
Bradley, R. 1978. The prehistoric settlement of Britain. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
Clark, J.G.D. 1963. Neolithic bows from Somerset, England, and the prehistory of archery in north-west Europe, Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 29: 5098.Google Scholar
Clark, J.D.G. & Thompson, M. W.. 1954. The groove and splinter technique of working antler in Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Europe, with special reference to the material from Star Carr, Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 19: 148–60.Google Scholar
Cornwall, I. W. 1968. Prehistoric animals and their hunters. London: Faber & Faber.Google Scholar
Cotterell, B. & Kamminga, J.. 1990. Mechanics of pre-indus-trial technology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Damas, D. 1969. Environment, history and Central Eskimo society, in Damas, D. (ed.), Contributions to anthropology: ecological essays. Proceedings of the conference on cultural ecology, Ottawa, 3-6 August 1966. Ottawa: National Museum of Canada. Bulletin 230.Google Scholar
Donaldson, P. 1977. The excavation of a multiple round barrow at Barnack, Cambridgeshire, 1974-1976, Antiquaries Journal 57: 197231.Google Scholar
Gdaniec, K. 1995. The post-excavation assessment report on the archaeology of the Anglian Water Isleham-Ely pipeline. Cambridge: Cambridge Archaeological Unit. Report 118.Google Scholar
Glover, W. 1979. A prehistoric bow fragment from Drumwhinny Bog, Kesh, Co. Fermanagh, Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 45: 323–7.Google Scholar
Hall, D. In press. The Fenland Project Cambridgeshire Survey: Isle of Ely and Wisbech. East Anglian Archaeology. Google Scholar
Heath, E.G. & Chiara, V.. 1977. Brazilian Indian archery. Manchester: Simon Archery Foundation.Google Scholar
Joachim, M. A. 1976. Hunter-gatherer subsistence and settlement: a predictive model. (NY): Academic Press.Google Scholar
Macgregor, A. 1985. Bone, antler, ivory and horn: the technology of skeletal materials since the Roman period. London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
Martin, E. & Murphy, P.. 1988. West Row Fen Suffolk: a Bronze Age fen-edge settlement site, Antiquity 62: 353–8.Google Scholar
Piggott, S. 1971. Beaker bows: a suggestion, Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 37: 8094.Google Scholar
Pryor, F.M.M. 1976. A Neolithic multiple burial from Fengate, Peterborough, Antiquity 50: 232–3.Google Scholar
Smith, I. F. & Simpson, A.D.D.. 1966. Excavation of a Round Barrow on Overton Hill, North Wiltshire, Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 33: 122–55.Google Scholar
Stuiver, M. & Reimer, P. J.. 1993. Extended 14C data base and revised CALIB. 3.0 14C age calibration program Radiocarbon 35 (1).Google Scholar