The crossbow was introduced in Europe in the 11th century. Those first crossbows were not more than a simple wooden bow mounted
on a wooden frame, in order to allow the bow to be spanned for a longer period. In three centuries up to 1300, the crossbow evolved to being an easily portable weapon
with a short bow, made out of composite material, mounted on a wooden stock with a trigger mechanism.
The composite material consisted of layers of wood, horn and sinew. This gave the bow a great stiffness causing it to be much more
powerful than a normal handheld bow. The bowstring was made out of linen or hemp rope.
A crossbow doesn't shoot arrows but bolts. This is some sort of short, thick arrow with a small and sharp iron tip. This was much more
aerodynamic than a normal arrow and that contributed greatly to its effectiveness