Taran signaled the archers first, then watched as Tiyan's warriors melted from the meadow to the south side of the city.
The archers fixed the pointed stakes, which they carried to ward off cavalry charges, and opened the engagement with flights of arrows.
But at this moment the archers, taking their hatchets, swords or other weapons, penetrated the gaps in the now disordered French, who could not move to cope with their unarmoured assailants, and were slaughtered or taken prisoners to a man.
The archers shot well and with strong bows, though their arrows were generally tipped only with stone or bone; their shields or targets, mostly round, were of ordinary barbaric forms; the spears or javelins had heads of obsidian or bronze, and were sometimes hurled with a spear-thrower or atlatl, of which pictures and specimens still exist, showing it to be similar in principle to those used by the Australians and Eskimo.
Yet their military strength was not to be despised: in 426 their archers and slingers easily repelled an Athenian invasion under Demosthenes.