Sagittarius the Archer, located between Ophiuchus and Capricorn, is very old,
dating back to the ancient Mesopotamiens who associated the constellation to Nergal
who was the god of the netherworld, bringing war, pestilence, fever and devastation.
In one of his better appearances Nergal was said to be the guardian of the door to
The ancient Egypts saw Sagittarius as a centaur as well, only the creature had a lion's head. The association of the centaur with war and destruction most likely resulted with the sight of warriors riding horses, which was uncommon in times when battles where fought with chariots.
Also, the Kassites, rivals of Egypt and Assyria in struggling for the rulership of Near East, used to set up stones to mark the boundries of their realms, carving in figures of gods or guardian spirits and some of these were half-man and half-horse creatures. The Assyrians also underpinned the image of a centaur as warlike and uncivilized. What all centaurs of all ancient civilisations had in common was that they were armed with bow and arrow.
Sagittarius in the Egyptian zodiac