Arrowhead - Design

Design

Arrowheads are attached to arrow shafts to be shot from a bow; similar types of projectile points may be attached to spears and "thrown" by means of an Atlatl (spear thrower).

The arrowhead or projectile point is the primary functional part of the arrow, and plays the largest role in determining its purpose. Some arrows may simply use a sharpened tip of the solid shaft, but it is far more common for separate arrowheads to be made, usually from metal, horn, or some other hard material.

Arrowheads may be attached to the shaft with a cap, a socketed tang, or inserted into a split in the shaft and held by a process called hafting. Points attached with caps are simply slid snugly over the end of the shaft, or may be held on with hot glue. In medieval Europe, arrowheads were often anchored with nothing but candlewax minutes before firing, if not merely saliva - this ensured that the head would remain in enemy's body if the shaft was pulled out. Split-shaft construction involves splitting the arrow shaft lengthwise, inserting the arrowhead, and securing it using a ferrule, sinew, or wire.

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