What Ancient Civilization Had the Best Archers?

Ancient civilizations have long been known for their military prowess, and one aspect of that strength was often their archers. Archery was a vital component of warfare in ancient times, and some civilizations were renowned for their skill with the bow and arrow. In this article, we will explore which ancient civilization had the best archers.

The Hittites

The Hittites were an ancient civilization that ruled over much of Anatolia from around 1600 BCE to 1178 BCE. They were known for their impressive military might, which included highly skilled archers. The Hittites developed a unique bow design that allowed them to shoot arrows with greater accuracy and power than many other civilizations of the time.

Their bows were made from composite materials, including wood, horn, and sinew, which made them incredibly strong and durable. The Hittite archers were also trained to shoot from horseback, making them effective in both open terrain and close-quarters combat.

The Persians

The Persians were another ancient civilization that had a reputation for their archery skills. They were renowned for their use of the recurve bow, which was shorter than many other bows but had a more powerful draw weight. This allowed Persian archers to shoot arrows with greater speed and accuracy.

The Persian army also employed skilled horse archers who could ride into battle while firing arrows at the enemy. These horse archers could circle around an opposing force, raining down arrows from all directions.

The Greeks

The Greeks also had highly skilled archers who played a crucial role in many battles throughout history. Greek archers used a variety of different bows, including the powerful composite bow used by the Hittites.

The Greeks also developed new tactics for using archery in battle, such as shooting volleys of arrows at the enemy before charging into close combat. This allowed them to weaken the opposing force before engaging in hand-to-hand combat.

The Mongols

The Mongols were a nomadic people who conquered vast territories across Asia and Europe in the 13th and 14th centuries. They were renowned for their skill with the bow, which they used both on foot and on horseback.

Mongol archers used a unique type of bow called the composite recurve bow, which was made from layers of horn, sinew, and wood. This allowed them to shoot arrows with incredible speed and accuracy. They also used a special technique called the “Parthian shot,” where they would turn their bodies while riding away from an opponent and shoot arrows behind them.


All of these ancient civilizations had highly skilled archers who played a crucial role in their military success. While it’s difficult to say which civilization had the “best” archers, each one developed unique techniques and equipment that allowed them to excel on the battlefield.

Whether it was the Hittites’ composite bow, the Persians’ recurve bow, the Greeks’ innovative tactics, or the Mongols’ deadly accuracy on horseback, each civilization left its mark on the history of archery.