I'm currently reading Homer's Iliad, and this morning, as I was commuting to work on the Tube, I read this part of Song 4, in which Athena convinces an archer on the Trojan side called Pandarus to try to shoot Melenaus. By the sounds of it, this chap has rather an interesting bow made of ibex horn:
"His fool's heart was persuaded, and he took his bow from its case. This bow was made from the horns of a wild ibex which he had killed as it was bounding from a rock; he had stalked it, and it had fallen as the arrow struck it to the heart. Its horns were sixteen palms long, and a worker in horn had made them into a bow, smoothing them well down, and giving them tips of gold."
Now Pandarus is from a city called Zelea, on the Asian side of the Sea of Marmara, as shown in this old map:
Finally, "sixteen hands" is 1.28m. So here's my question: what sort of ibex with horns that long did Pandarus stalk in that part of the world, four thousand years ago? And does anyone know of any instances of bows being made with ibex horn?