The Bowman is the most basic ranged unit found in Age of Empires and is armed with a bow. They can be trained from the Archery Range from the Tool Age. They are ineffective during later ages and don't offer much offensive capability other than countering slow moving infantry.
"The bow was an important military weapon from the time of the first armies, being easily adapted from hunting animals to warfare. Archers required less discipline and leadership in battle because they were not expected to engage in hand-to-hand combat, a terrifying experience. Bowmen fought from a distance on the battlefield, from behind walls or other cover, and from ambush. They were usually not decisive in battle on the attack because they could not physically take ground from the enemy like infantry could. They acted mainly as defensive troops and as light troops that disrupted enemy formations prior to the decisive moment when the infantry clashed. If barrages of arrows could cause casualties and lower morale of the enemy prior to the clash, friendly infantry had a better chance of breaking the will of the enemy infantry and being victorious."