This feature is totally unlike the bow tips on later composite bows.
The term we use for bow tips, siyah, is not really appropriate In outline, the bow looks like the Classical Cupids bow of Greek and Roman art. Despite being found in the modern confines of China, this bow represents a survival of the ancient Scythian bow, which was used from Italy in the west to the north of China in the east.
The unique dry conditions have preserved usually perishable artifacts and even the bodies of some of the people buried there.What have surprised many in the West were the European features of some of the bodies.The cross-section of the recurve was more like a slightly flattened oval.For part of this there is a groove on one side as just mentioned.Silk wrapped and lacquered bows have been excavated in Warring States and Han tombs .
Whether the bow was finished or recovered by a Chinese artisan or complete constructed by one is hard to say at the moment.Its watercourses eventually evaporate in the Takla Makan.Subeshi (Subeixi) is situated to the east of the famous Silk Road town of Turpan (Turfan).Another feature that was rare in more recent traditional composite bows was that the tips were smoothly recurved.The recurves had string grooves on their belly sides like modern target recurve bows.This is written to give a historical context to the information that Stephen Selby brought back from the museum in Urumqi on some ancient bows.