BOW: An offensive weapon for shooting arrows or missiles and used in hunting and war. It generally consists of a strip of bendable wood or other material with a string stretched between its two ends. The arrow or missile is shot by the recoil after retraction of the string. The weapon was first used in the Upper Paleolithic by the Gravettians. Some Mesolithic examples have been preserved in peat bogs, but often all that remains is an arrowhead or wrist guard.