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A new project today made me come across an interesting question.

Were Late Roman Ridge Helmets Really lined in Leather?

It seems that every single re-production, from the smaller re-constructionist to the big Deepeeka companies, they all line their helmets with leather, and use the holes that run along the base of the majority of these helmets as "stitching" holes to attach the leather.

What archeological evidence is there to support this? Any?

It would seem far more logical that these holes actually were where the tiny rivets attached the silver of gold sheathing to these helmets. There is lots of Archeological evidence to support the fact that these helmets had sheathing covering them, including Intercisa helmets. It also does not surprise me that many of them today don't have the sheathing on them anymore (stripped away by raiding barbarians no doubt :wink: )

There is plenty of evidence to support that rivets were used to attach the sheathing to the iron core on these helmets (See photos below). From large bulbous rivets to simple finer ones for cheek pieces.

So why are these reproductions and artistic representation in books being made showing leather stitching? It would seem that everyone is just copying someone else without looking at the archeological record.[attachment=0:24jtphre]<!-- ia0 Intercisa.jpg<!-- ia0 [/attachment:24jtphre]
Thinking is always good, I think it's important to keep asking questions and not take past answers for granted.
In this case though I go for the leather lining.

First of all, your picture of the Deurne helmet is misleading. It was the misguided opinion of the reconstruction teamback in 1910 that the missing cheeck plate was supposed to be full of rivets. The plate itself is still missing, so this reconstruction is completely fancyful and can't used in evidence here.
Furthermore, the 'other' plate had only holes.

In fact we never find helmets with a row of rivets in this position, whereas you would expect, even due to bad conditions, at least a few to remain in place. But not even on very well-preserved helmets such as the Berkasovo I and II - not a single rivet along the cheekline.
Of course I don't know for sure, but so far I go with the explanation of leather lining, also because it seem to be a well-fitting reconstruction.

I believe that some of the Koblenz helmets showed remains of the leather lining.

What's the alternative? Sheating is not in question here, it was there alright, but it was glued to the metal, as has been attested where it was still foun in place. No rivets necessary.
Some rivets were there to attach either the bowl pieces to the base ring, the nasal, the chin starps or the straps for the neck guard, some were clearly purely decorative.
Some rivets are modern! Watch out for that, some have been attached to keep the remians in place..
I would just advise you to get a ridge helmet, remove the leather, and wear it every day for one year...

Then look closely what effect your sweat has on the iron...

Smile

M.VIB.M.
Quote:I would just advise you to get a ridge helmet, remove the leather, and wear it every day for one year...

Then look closely what effect your sweat has on the iron...

Yes but every helmet Roman or otherwise has the same issue. I don't think there is any evidence of leather lined Imperial Gallic helmets.

Quote:First of all, your picture of the Deurne helmet is misleading. It was the misguided opinion of the reconstruction teamback in 1910 that the missing cheeck plate was supposed to be full of rivets. The plate itself is still missing, so this reconstruction is completely fancyful and can't used in evidence here.
Furthermore, the 'other' plate had only holes.

Can you clarify here then. Is that right cheek piece a complete reconstruction? Why would the reconstruction team only complete one cheek piece fill it with rivets, and then leave the other one empty? That doesn't make sense.

Quote:at least a few to remain in place. But not even on very well-preserved helmets such as the Berkasovo I and II - not a single rivet along the cheekline.

Well not on the photo of the Berkasovo helmet attached in my original post. Again as you can see, there is a lone single cheek rivet remaining, and that helmet still has its original iron core attached.

Quote:Some rivets are modern! Watch out for that, some have been attached to keep the remains in place..

This I can understand as clearly the Intercisa helmet photo I attached has modern rivets for the neck and cheek pieces to hold them in place. However again how do you explain the two rivets on the Augsburg helmet that you can clearly see along the side/base of the helmet? No conservationist is simply going to attach two randomly place rivets.. Those rivets again clearly look original.

Leather works and is "well-fitting reconstruction", but I'm just more curious what the archeology says, and what I'm saying is again even on the limited photos I could drum up, you can clearly see rivets along the cheek pieces, and helmet bases.
Quote:
Quote:First of all, your picture of the Deurne helmet is misleading. It was the misguided opinion of the reconstruction teamback in 1910 that the missing cheeck plate was supposed to be full of rivets. The plate itself is still missing, so this reconstruction is completely fancyful and can't used in evidence here.
Furthermore, the 'other' plate had only holes.
Can you clarify here then. Is that right cheek piece a complete reconstruction? Why would the reconstruction team only complete one cheek piece fill it with rivets, and then leave the other one empty? That doesn't make sense.
Yes, it's a complete reconstruction - as I said, there never was an original to begin with. The reconstructor thought that the rivets 'belonged' there, although he probably never saw any such helmet before (by 1910, not many had been found).
Quote:
Quote:at least a few to remain in place. But not even on very well-preserved helmets such as the Berkasovo I and II - not a single rivet along the cheekline.
Well not on the photo of the Berkasovo helmet attached in my original post. Again as you can see, there is a lone single cheek rivet remaining, and that helmet still has its original iron core attached.
True, the Berkasovo I also has one in roughly that spot on both cheek plates, but a mm away from a 'lining hole' - I think that's the rivet for the chin strap. It's not 'in' a lining hole, but next to it. It's also present on both cheek plates of the Berkasovo II (also a mm from a 'lining hole' - image attached), on the Nogara cheek plates (attached) and on the Christies helmet (which interestingly has no lining holes) there are two holes in that exact spot. Too much of a coincidence - I think these rivets are still there because they were the only ones present. No rivets on cheek or neck plates remain except for those in that spot.
Quote:
Quote:Some rivets are modern! Watch out for that, some have been attached to keep the remains in place..
This I can understand as clearly the Intercisa helmet photo I attached has modern rivets for the neck and cheek pieces to hold them in place. However again how do you explain the two rivets on the Augsburg helmet that you can clearly see along the side/base of the helmet? No conservationist is simply going to attach two randomly place rivets.. Those rivets again clearly look original.
I don't think they are original. They seem quite flat-domed - in other pictures that I have of those helmets, they seem to hold the remains together. But if I'm mistaken, they cannot be lining holes anyway (since these are on the cheek and neck plates), since in this case they are on the base ring - I believe these are the rivets attaching the bowl pieces to the base ring or even better - they are the rivets for the neck plate attachment. The Augst helmet (image below) has rivets in exactly the same spot.
Quote:Leather works and is "well-fitting reconstruction", but I'm just more curious what the archeology says, and what I'm saying is again even on the limited photos I could drum up, you can clearly see rivets along the cheek pieces, and helmet bases.
I'll have a look in the book about the Koblenz helmets.
I guess there is no evidence of a leather or cloth padded cap of some sort is there? I tried to find something but no luck. :|
Quote:I guess there is no evidence of a leather or cloth padded cap of some sort is there? I tried to find something but no luck. :|
The Deurne helmet had 'hair' inside it when recovered. Of course we cannot be sure, but this could have been the remains of a felt cap.

I updated my initial reply with some images.
Quote:I don't think they are original. They seem quite flat-domed - in other pictures that I have of those helmets, they seem to hold the remains together. But if I'm mistaken, they cannot be lining holes anyway (since these are on the cheek and neck plates), since in this case they are on the base ring - I believe these are the rivets attaching the bowl pieces to the base ring or even better - they are the rivets for the neck plate attachment. The Augst helmet (image below) has rivets in exactly the same spot.

I think the fact that they are flat domed does not mean that were added after. There are flat domed rivets holding the ridge piece to the bowl, on both of those helmets. Also in the second helmet[attachment=0:6gbh0k0r]<!-- ia0 AugsburgRidge-3.jpg<!-- ia0 [/attachment:6gbh0k0r] you can see a better angle of the rivet. This helmet does not appear to have a base ring, as you can see the nasal piece is attached directly to the main bowl, much like some Intercisa style helmets.

The rivets on the Augst helmet could have been added later since they clearly are holding the neck guard in place, however they do appear in a logical place to hold a neck guard.

Quote:True, the Berkasovo I also has one in roughly that spot on both cheek plates, but a mm away from a 'lining hole' - I think that's the rivet for the chin strap. It's not 'in' a lining hole, but next to it. It's also present on both cheek plates of the Berkasovo II (also a mm from a 'lining hole' - image attached), on the Nogara cheek plates (attached) and on the Christies helmet (which interestingly has no lining holes) there are two holes in that exact spot. Too much of a coincidence - I think these rivets are still there because they were the only ones present. No rivets on cheek or neck plates remain except for those in that spot.

Point well taken, as there clearly seems to be some parallel across models for the rivet for the chin strap. I guess the question still remains then for the actual helmet bowl in my opinion. There are a few photos of originals that have rivets along various points on the helmet, some near the mounting points for the neck guard, but others along the sides as well.
Quote: I guess the question still remains then for the actual helmet bowl in my opinion. There are a few photos of originals that have rivets along various points on the helmet, some near the mounting points for the neck guard, but others along the sides as well.
Well, then there is no longer a question, since there was no leather lining on the helmet bowl. Not even on bad replicas. Big Grin
These rivets were for another purpose.
Quote:Well, then there is no longer a question, since there was no leather lining on the helmet bowl. Not even on bad replicas

These all have leather lining on the bowls, or in some of them the base ring, which is essentially part of the bowl. I have yet to see an Intercisa example that does not have leather stitching along/inside the bowl.
Quote:These all have leather lining on the bowls, or in some of them the base ring, which is essentially part of the bowl. I have yet to see an Intercisa example that does not have leather stitching along/inside the bowl.
Ok, did some research, and I spoke too soon!
The evidence is mixed. Only the two Berkasovo helmets do not show lining holes on the bowl as far as I can see. My replica only has lining on the cheek plates and neck guard.
All the other do: Deurne helmet does have them, as does the Concesti, the De-el-Medinah.
The Intercisa helmets also show lining holes on the bowl.

None that I can see however show any rivets there... Which leaves that Augsburg helmet?
To answer the prior comment of lining in Gallic style helmets. I believe that a helmet was found with some type of felt or woolen cloth inside the bowl. It is assumed that it is helmet padding. However, there was a liner for a greave and it was leather on one side and then cloth on the other (AFAIK). It may not be a helmet however the idea is the same. It would appear that lining the helmet in oiled leather would protect the metal from sweat. However, having a felted liner over this leather would help further protect the wearer from blunt force impacts.
So I think finally some clarity. I spoke today with Dr.Christian Miks, of the RGZ museum in Mainz Germany. He of course recently published the works on the Koblenz helmets and I would argue one of the more knowlegible scholars on the subject. This is what he had to say on the matter.

In regards to the rivets that you see on the Augsburg helmet:

Quote:Each of the two cheek-pieces also the neck guard of the ridgehelmets is attached to the helmet bowl by two leather straps. One end of the straps is riveted to the inner rim of the bowl while the other end is fixed (often also with a rivet) at the inner side of the cheek-piece or neck-guard near the upper rim. That are partly the rivets you can see in the row of "stitch-holes" along the rims of the helmet elements.

In regards to leather lining:

Quote:But most of the "stitch-holes" were definitely used for fixing the rims of a leathern helmet lining. Best preserved proofs of that function you can find on 5th to 7th century byzantine riveted plate helmets of Baldenheim type. But there are also some indications (for example some traces of leather on the finds from
Koblenz) that affirms the same use of the hole-rows already on the older ridge helmets.

He also confirmed the reconstruction of the right cheek piece of the Duerne helmet, which had incorrectly added rivets on the cheek piece, where the lone rivet was misread (much like I did) as part of a complete set.

He also spoke about the Iatrus helmet, which is in large part a plastic model. The original was not very complete and parts of the helmet, such as the cheek piece shapes are in doubt. The Iatrus helmet also had a gilded copper sheathing over it, however it had no decorations, and it is unknown if it had a nose guard or not.
Baldenhiem helmets with leather pieces still attached. (found of this gem of a google search [url:2kyg4388]http://www.slovane.cz/view.php?cisloclanku=2007030002[/url] )

With leather lining still visible
[attachment=1:2kyg4388]<!-- ia1 16.jpg<!-- ia1 [/attachment:2kyg4388]

[attachment=0:2kyg4388]<!-- ia0 29.jpg<!-- ia0 [/attachment:2kyg4388]