The first crossbow was probably created either in one of the countries from the beginning of China or in the neighboring regions of Central Asia, some time before 400 BC. It is unclear exactly when this new, powerful weapon discovery took place or was the first to think about it. Some pieces of evidence direct archaeologists to central Asia, which is China, however, the origin of arrows is a lot more ancient than that of bows or crossbows. Of course, the famous military strategy Sun Tzu knew about the crossbow. He connected them to an inventor named Q’in from the 7th century BC. However, the date of Sun Tzu’s life and the first publication of his Art of War are also subject to controversy, so they cannot be used to establish the initial existence of arrows beyond expectations. In that age, the development of crossbow is still far away from the modern one that we use today such as some of the absolute survivalist best crossbows.
Yang Hong with Zhu Fenghan, two Chinese archeologists believe that in early 2000 BC, arrows must have been created, and it’s according to the use of bones, shells, and other artifacts that lead to the discovery of arrows. The first hand-held crossbow known as a bronze trigger was found in a grave in Qufu, China, originating from c. 600 BC. The burial was from Lu State, in what is now Shandong Province, during China Spring and Autumn (771-476 BC). It
In the middle of the 5th century BC, a cemetery from the State of Chu (Hubei Province) produced bronze bolt arrows, and the burial tomb in Saobatang, Hunan Province from the mid-4th century BC also contained bronze arrows. Some terracotta soldiers were buried together with Qin Shi Huangdi (260-210 BC) carrying a crossbow. The first repeating arrow known was found in another 4th-century tomb in Qinjiazui, Hubei Province.
Zhuge nu in Chinese can shoot a few bolts before needing to be reloaded. Some sources are traditionally preserved and direct archeologists to a famous tactician in history named Zhuge Liang (181-234 AD), but Qinjiazui’s discovery of repeating arrows from 500 years before Zhuge’s time proved that he was not the original inventor. They then undergo another development, so they can fire as many as 10 bolts in 15 seconds before resetting.