Panoramic of one of the Terracotta Warrior hangers – Surplus Store

A 2,200-year-old crossbow was unearthed among the Terracotta Warriors last month, and some experts believe that it could have been almost twice as powerful as a modern day assault rifle.

The crossbow is the only one to date that has been found intact, and it has been reported that it could have shot an arrow up to 2,600 feet, which is nearly 800 metres. This is around double the range of an AK47, which is about 1,300 feet.

The bow measures five feet long, and is just over four feet tall, and it is believed that due to its size, it is one of the most powerful bows of its era. Experts are hoping this crossbow could hold the secret to why the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, was so successful on the battlefield.

The crossbow was found half buried next to one of the statues, and archaeologists were delighted to find it in one piece, unlike the previous ten that have been unearthed, only to find they were broken.

It has been said that analysis of a number of historical texts have shown that the crossbow played a key part in a number of military victories during the Qin dynasty.

Archaeologists were also extremely excited about the discovery of “Qing”, which they had previously only read about in texts.

Qing was two wooden sticks that were used alongside the transportation of the crossbow, and it was previously unknown what it was used for. Thanks to this discovery, it is believed the sticks were used to hang up ropes that were fastened to the crossbow, which helped it keep its shape during transportation, or when it wasn’t in use.

Here at Surplus Store, we have a range of crossbows and accessories, alongside other bows in our online archery store, all at more manageable sizes than the crossbow mentioned above! So whilst you are on our website, why not take a look?


Photo courtesy of Walter Wilhelm, under Creative Commons