The archaeological excavations at the castle site have allowed us to document numerous bow arrow heads and crossbow darts. Some of them even have part of the inner wood shaft.
These projectile heads were oiled in animal lard, waxed or covered in oil in order to increase their piercing power. They were between 30 and 40 cm long and had leather or wood stabilizers as feathers would not resist the thrust when shot. These missiles were shaped designed to pierce chainmail and make their extraction difficult once the enemy was wounded.
This offensive weaponry consisting in bows and crossbows was essential in siege wars. This explains why these are the weapons more frequently unearthed at archaeological sites at European fortified settlements from the Late Middle Ages. Evidence of the lethal power of these weapons is the fact that the Papacy forbade their use in wars between Christians as it was they were considered a diabolic contraption.
They were traditionally used by the infantry, the lowest social class in the army. Although their range, power and effectiveness were higher than bows, they had a serious drawback: crossbows took too long to load as in order to tighten the string the assistance of the feet was sometimes required. At that precise moment, the crossbowman became a sitting duck.