How Did They Make Arrows in Ancient Times?

Arrows are one of the oldest and most important weapons in human history. They have been used for hunting, warfare, and sport for thousands of years.

But how did ancient people make arrows without the modern tools and technology we have today? In this article, we’ll explore the fascinating world of ancient arrow-making techniques.

The Materials Used

The first step in making an arrow is to gather the necessary materials. Ancient people typically used a combination of wood, stone, bone, and feathers to make their arrows.

The wooden shaft was usually made from straight-grained hardwood such as ash or hickory, while the arrowhead was made from flint or other types of stone. Bone and antler were also commonly used for arrowheads.

Once the materials were gathered, the next step was to shape them into usable components. The wooden shaft was usually carved with a knife or stone tool to create a tapered shape that would allow it to fly straight through the air. The arrowhead was also shaped using stone tools to create a sharp point that could penetrate flesh or hide.

Attaching the Arrowhead

One of the most critical steps in making an arrow is attaching the arrowhead to the shaft securely. There were several techniques used by ancient people to achieve this.

One method involved heating up the arrowhead in a fire until it was red hot. Then it would be quickly attached to the end of the wooden shaft using sinew or plant fibers that had been soaked in water until they were pliable. As they dried out, they would shrink tightly around both the shaft and head, creating a strong bond.

Another method involved using resin from trees as an adhesive. The resin would be heated up until it became sticky and then applied to both ends of the shaft before being attached firmly with sinew.

Finishing Touches

Once the arrowhead was attached to the shaft, the final step was to add feathers to the opposite end. The feathers were usually taken from birds such as ducks or geese and were attached using sinew or plant fibers.

The feathers served two purposes. First, they helped to balance the arrow in flight, ensuring that it flew straight and true. Second, they created drag on the back end of the arrow, helping it to slow down and stick into a Target more effectively.


In conclusion, ancient people used a variety of materials and techniques to make arrows that were effective for hunting, warfare, and sport. While modern technology has made it easier to create arrows quickly and efficiently, there is still something awe-inspiring about the craftsmanship and ingenuity of our ancestors.