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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Archaeological Discovery Of Two Wooden Bows From The Goso Range, Inyo County, California


Archaeological survey within the Coso Mountains resulted in the discovery of two wooden bows. The artifacts were cached in a rock crevice, and appear to represent sinew-backed, reflexed bows commonly used by Native peoples throughout much of the Great Basin. Due to rapid declines in the use of bow-and-arrow technology brought about by the introduction of guns during the historic period, ethnographic specimens and accounts of how bows were made and used are quite rare. Moreover, it appears that the Coso bows represent the only complete or near-complete examples ever recovered from an archaeological context in southern California and the western Great Basin.

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