Camel archer

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Camel archers are marksmen wielding bows mounted on camels. Most commonly they are considered a part and form of Arab archery. They took their popularity in the Crusades, used in Arabia, Asian and Eurasian countries. Saladin, the leader of Arabia from 1174 to 1193, was known, or rather believed to use camels as a substitute for other ways of transport, such as the more common horse.

Camels stand higher than horses, and are more resilient in desert warfare.[1] However, camels were often used as transport, and not as a platform for shooting. An account shows an Arab archer dismounting from his camel, and emptying his quiver on the ground before kneeling to shoot.[2]

Also, Darius III of Persia who ruled from 336 BC to 330 BC was known to counter Alexander the Great's attacks with camel mounted warriors. Although camel archers can be looked into deeply enough, many regions of the world who did have access to camels preferred to use the generally swifter and stronger horse archer.

The Old Testament shows how Joshua fought the Amalekites at Rephidim, who used camels for their archers. Gideon also fought against the Midianites and their camels during the time of the Judges.[3]


  1. ^ Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642 by Kaveh Farrokh, Angus McBride. 2012. Osprey Press. Page 27.
  2. ^ Rome's Enemies (5): The Desert Frontier. by David Nicolle. 1991. Osprey Publishing. Page 19.
  3. ^ Muhammad: Islam’s First Great General. By Richard A. Gabriel. 2012. University of Oklahoma Press. Page 34.