Archaeologists have recently discovered the most complete ancient crossbow to date in the terracotta army pit in Xi’an, Shaanxi province. Among hundreds of pieces of crossbows unearthed in the past, this one is said to be the best preserved in general, with 145 cm arch and 130 cm bow string. The bow string has a smooth surface which experts believe to be made of animal tendon instead of fabric and the trigger mechanism is made of bronze, according to Shen Maosheng, head of the archaeological team.
Shen also points out that this new discovery sheds light on how Qing, two wooden sticks usually discovered alongside the weapon, were used to maintain and transport the crossbows in ancient times. Although ancient documents often mention Qing, its function had never been clearly identified until this recent discovery
When the sticks were dusted off three holes were found equidistant from each other, and it was concluded that they were probably used to hang up ropes that were fastened to the crossbows when they were not in use. It was a great way to keep the arch and string in shape and thus maintaining their power in the long run, “Shen said. Besides, Qing was practical to help fix the crossbows during transportation.” .
The best crossbows ‘ shooting range could double that of an AK 47, reaching almost 8oo m, Yuan Zhongyi former curator of Museum of Qin Terra -cotta Warriors explained.