James Easter Bowyer
Bow Staves
Over 6000 acres in Lee County Iowa are included in
state owned public hunting areas.Iowa deer are fed
the best of Iowa farmers corn and beans.Good
grasing land abounds as does the heavy timber for
day rest.Iowa is becoming an excellent place to find
that Trophy Buck.Out of state licenses can be
purchased by phone at the state DNR offices.
The deer harvest has been in the 80,000+ for a few
years and the DNR has managed the herds very well.
As you travel this site you will find something about the
Osage Orange on about every page.The Winter of 2002 I
intend to add much more to these 11 pages.Hopefully about
Osage,English Bows,English Arrow Heads,and more on the
Bowmen of England.Thank you for dropping by.

Please E Mail or call
James Easter anytime
about Bowstaves or
Osage Bows. 319 835
5892 Donnellson,Iowa.

Buggs on and in the Osage Orange
Long-horned beetles or round-headed borers (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)
Adults are called long-horned beetles because their antennae are
occasionally longer than their bodies. Larvae tunnel underneath bark and
into the heartwood. The tunnels are oval to almost round in cross section
because of the round shape of the larvae (See Fig. 2). Larvae of some
species are legless, but most have three pairs of small legs on the first three
segments behind the head capsule. While tunneling, larvae continually pack
their tunnels with excrement (frass) which looks like compressed wood
fibers, or push frass out of the holes they produce. This excrement, along
with the sap exuded by the plant in response to the damage, is often visible
on the outside of infested trunks or branches. Many species of beetles
belong to this group, but most are secondary invaders. Some examples of
long-horned beetles are described below.
Red-headed ash borer (Neoclytus acuminatus) is one of the most common
wood-boring beetles. It has a narrow body with a reddish thorax and light
brown wing covers marked with four yellow lines on each. The yellow
lines are slanted downward toward the middle, giving the appearance of a
"V" across the back. The antennae are rather short and the long legs are
thin and fragile. Red-headed ash borers feed in many species of wood
including ash, oak, elm and even grapes. Adults can be found on dead
Red-Headed ash borer found in Osage Orange
before debarking and Sapwood removal.
These are trails left by the Larva you see buried in the center.You
can also see the frass left behind in the burrow.
A picture of the Jaws of Steel at 200X,you can see the armor
plating aroung the Jaws.Item A are the opened Jaws.
These Larva were found in 4 in. square.
Hold History In Your Hands
By Ed Lee
After more than 40 years in the business of selling antique rarities ranging in value from under $50 to $1 million, I
am always interested in drawing more attention to the collecting of antiquities, rare coins and related. This article
will focus on collecting ancient iron arrow and spearheads and is by no means meant to be an in depth study of
this fascinating subject. For those who wish to pursue it in greater detail I have listed some top reference works
at the tend of the article. I strongly recommend taking an educational approach to this, as it will greatly enhance
the collecting experience, as well as providing you with some consumer protection.
First of all, I am focusing on iron weapons because they are more affordable in general than Bronze-Age
weapons and because it eliminates the problems associated with bogus bronze patina and sand cast fakes that
plague ancient bronze artifacts and weapons. I don't know of even one dealer who hasn't gotten stung with bad
"ancient" bronze items. In fact, it's so bad that we have to first examine every item with a 10 x glass and then test
the bronze with heat and/or solvents.
Therefore, ancient iron weapons are a great place to start collecting and to learn as you go along. There is little
capital risk, especially if you buy from dealers who get their weapons directly from reliable sources in Europe,
which is the case with my firm.
1) There is ongoing disagreement amongst dealers, collectors & even experts as to the Provence (where it was
found) and era (age) of these fascinating artifacts because they were not dug by archeologists who carefully
uncover a site. Then they use radioactive carbon dating to test the organic remains found at the various historical
level they "peel" back as they dig deeper. Their assumption is that if the organic remains found at a certain level
date at circa 50 BC or 1450 AD the iron, pottery and other non-organic remains are also circa 50 BC or1450
AD. This is scientific, accurate and very expensive work.
2) Therefore you often see these arrow/spearheads described as "Roman," which actually means Roman era, as
they could have been used by the Romans, their allies or even their enemies. This is a substantial period of time
ranging from BC to 476 AD for the Western Roman Empire...the Eastern Roman Empire lasted far longer.
Ancient Rome also covered a wide swath of the "known world" ranging from England to the Middle East and
even parts of Africa.
However, it seems that most of the ancient iron arrow/spearheads are coming from Eastern Europe and from
metal detector finds in most of the countries of Western Europe. "Detecting" is a very popular hobby in Europe
as it is in the US. Some unknown numbers also come from collections put together some time ago.
In the countries where metal detecting is allowed, Britain for example, one only needs permission of the land
owner and the knowledge that if you got really lucky and made a major discovery, you have to notify the
government in case they want to purchase any items which they may not have in their museums. And there have
been stupendous finds in England and elsewhere in recent times.
3) Although we all know what the "world's oldest profession is," another very early one is grave robbing, which
plagued the ancient Egyptians despite severe punishment that involved torture followed by death. But, hunger,
poverty and greed are powerful motivators both in ancient times and now. This means that there are a large
number of diggers and detectors at work [whenever and wherever] who go about their legal or illegal business as
time and circumstance permit.
When amateurs dig away, this disrupts the layers of history that archeologists might otherwise carefully uncover,
and mixes up the dates of the artifacts being recovered. It also hides the Provence as many of these people don't
talk about their work or hobby.
4) Another problem in accurately identifying the arrow/spearheads is that there was a large amount of trade
going on in ancient times. I have found Saxon spearheads in groups of arrow/spearheads supposedly found in
Eastern Europe.(1) And certainly most of what is found is a mixture of Roman era, Dark Ages & Middle Ages.
Despite the uncertainty involved in this non-professional approach to the discovery of these artifacts there are
advantages which include affordability, a wonderful mixture of types of weapons available, and the need to
research them yourselves
...or to even clean them up to your satisfaction so that your archeological interests can
also be met. In fact, these advantages are what has caused me to both collect and deal in ancient weapons
including arrow/spearheads. My original intent was to just buy and sell them, but I found them so interesting that
I decided to start a collection while prices are still low. It's one thing to see them in a museum showcase behind
glass, and quite another experience to hold them in your hands and examine them under a magnifying glass,
which helps account for their growing popularity.
Might prices rise? A very real possibility especially when the dollar declines in value against the major Euro
currencies. Most important of all, if the US or other major Western countries decide to ban the importation of all
ancient artifacts prices, will soar. Collectors and dealers view it in their own way, but governments are not
equipped to decide whether an artifact is relatively common or a museum piece. So they use simple rules such as
if it is ancient and made of gold, they may simply seize it. Or, if it is large and looks like it belongs in museum,
they make also keep it or simply put it in storage and forget about it. Or even conduct their own auctions.
To be frank, the illegal traffic in high- end antiquities, especially from Italy and Greece, is a $ billion a year
business. Italy alone has about half of the best remaining archeologically important tombs left in the world.
In order to understand the importance of iron arrowheads it is crucial to understand the importance of bows.
Let's start with some statistics. A modern archer can send an arrow as fast as 300 feet per second (fps) while
the speed of sound is 1,000 fps. That's about 200 mph. The record for distance with a bow shot in the
traditional way is close to 950 yards which is more than a half-mile. Therefore, you can run from an arrow but
you can't run fast enough...or far enough. Literature mentions Turkish bows with ranges exceeding 850 yards
which many "experts" scoffed at until a real expert in 1959 shot an arrow from a Turkish bow in the traditional
way, and the distance traveled was measured at about 937 yards, which confirms the historical record.(2)
There have been many famous bows in the history of warfare such as the English Long Bow which made them
almost invincible as they could rain death on their enemies from a distance that opposing archers could not
match. This large powerful bow was about 5-6 feet from end to end{ Modern experts put their range at 180 to
almost 250 yards.} (3) And they were quick to "re-load" their bows so there was a constant barrage of arrows
falling on their enemies. By "quick" I mean 10-12 arrows per minute with some experts referring them to the
"machine guns of their time."(4) The onset of guns and artillery eventually ended the supremacy of the English
Long Bow and others, but it didn't happen overnight.
However, the invention of crossbows and other weapons of mass destruction, such as the catapult and the
balista, greatly changed warfare long before gunpowder did...as did the increasing use of armor. The catapult
allowed heavy rocks to be thrown a considerable distance and resulted in victories even against enemies with
artillery. They were especially effective against siege towers made of wood which were equal in height to the
walls of the castle being attacked. The balista was a weapon related to catapults, but which fired stones or heavy
javelins weighing 6-7 pounds each, and with ranges of up to 450-500 yards. Imagine the force of impact of such
weapons? After all, force of impact is mass times speed.
Since this article is slanted towards arrowheads I won't go into crossbows too much except to say that the
Chinese invented a multiple crossbow capable of shooting 15 arrowheads in 15 seconds. Simple arithmetic
states that 100 soldiers standing on the Great Wall could unleash 1500 arrows against an attacking force which
was only able to return 200 arrows in the same 15 seconds. (5) This means that the Chinese could rain down
arrowheads at about 6,000 per 100 soldiers per minute while being on the receiving end of only 800 arrows.
Any gambler would love those odds if betting on the Chinese.
The Chinese then invented a crossbow that could fire two arrows per "shot" thereby doubling the above murder
& mayhem to something on the order of 12,000 arrows per 100 soldiers per minute vs the same 800 arrows
shot at them. Then the Chinese made their arrows far more deadly by dipping some of them in a particularly
deadly poison taken from a tree still growing in China. Although their enemies also used deadly poison on some
arrows the numbers clearly and overwhelmingly favored the Chinese defenders with crossbows that truly were
the equivalent of machine guns. I say "some arrows" were dipped in poison because they obviously had to be
very careful in handling their own poison arrows and must have worn gloves for protection. By accident I saw a
modern demonstration of how deadly this poison is and it seems that even a relatively minor wound would result
in death, especially as there was no antidote.
Basic Types of Iron Arrowheads
Although there are many different types and sizes of iron arrowheads there are only a few basic types which are:
1) Anti-infantry. 2) Armor piercing and 3) Anti-calvary or anti-knight, being designed to bring down the horse
along with the rider. So let's take a look at some of these starting with the anti-infantry. In general these are quite
broad compared to the armor piercing arrowheads and totally different to the anti-calvary types. The armor
piercing arrowheads were relatively heavy with sharp points whether we are discussing Chinese or European
arrowheads. The ones designed to bring down horses were designed to break off when anyone tried to remove
them from a horse, thereby requiring them to be pushed through, and causing maximum damage to the poor
animals. Some call these "swallow-tailed" as they resembles the wings of a bird swept back. This is one reason
why so many have said that "war is hell." Today war is sanitized, but back then it was very "up close and
Iron Spearheads As with iron arrowheads there is considerable controversy among collectors, dealers and
experts as to what an arrowhead is and what a spear is. Some say it's the length while others say it's the weight.
Others say that if its socketed, it's a spear. Yet I have seem socketed "spearheads" almost as small as the
smallest arrows. However, the truth is that in many cases we just don't know with any certainty what's what and
there are virtually no books on iron arrowheads and not many on iron or bronze spearheads. Obviously if the
arrow/spearhead is large it must be a spear, but who is to determine exactly how large is large? The best solution
is to buy books, then take photos of the items in your collection, and go to European museums. They should
have some on display with data provided by archeologists. {Ask if they will allow photographs of their
weapons} I recommend going off- season and asking some museum professionals to take a look at the photos
of your collection...perhaps even make an appointment in advance to insure that someone will see you? The fun
of identifying one of your treasures is a major reason to collect these tangible pieces of ancient history. You might
call it tracing the genealogy of your weapons. After all, in most cases these were the very weapons used by our
European ancestors...at least those lucky enough to have survived countless wars over 25 centuries. Thus, they
are also windows into our own past.
And if one ancestor had been killed before fathering at least one child, we would not be here today...or not the
person we are today. It's like Star Trek...if someone or something interferes with time it can change many things
over the ensuing centuries. In Sci Fi it's usually some time traveler whereas in the real world the culprit may have
been one iron or bronze arrowhead or spear. Isn't life interesting?
1) Spearheads of the Anglo-Saxon Settlements by Swanton. A classic book and long out of print. Copies are
sometimes available at European booksellers who handle history and archeological books. That is where I got
2) The Book of the CROSSBOW by Ralph Payne-Gallwey. Dover Publications, New York
3) The Medieval English Longbow by Robert E Kaiser, M.A. First published in the Journal of the Society of
Archer-Antiquarians. Vol 23, 1980.
4) The Book of the Longbow, by Elmer, R. & Smart. Doubleday.
5) The Book of the CROSSBOW as above.Also recommended: Ancient Chinese Weapons- A Collection of
Pictures. Paragon Books.The Origins, Evolution And Classification of the Bronze Spear-head In Great Britain &
You can find Ed Lee on E Bay as Seller leecoins@aol.com .

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This page last modified on Monday, 2015