Europe, 1200 - wood and iron
Sketch by Leonardo DaVinci
The first pictorial evidence of European hand-held wooden crossbows dates to about 1200 CE. Introduced from the East during the Crusades, they were initially outlawed by religious leaders who considered them
to be inappropriate for Christian warfare, but their effectiveness in battle soon prevailed over theological concerns. Crossbows were used in war
until the 17th century, are still used for sport today.