RomanArmyTalk

Full Version: Crosby-Garrett a fake?
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Archeology needs the contest and a good old stratigarphy, without contest all becomes questionable ...

Anyway I've still to understand, if the suspect is only a suspect or there is something more ...
I dont get the impression that the helmet is a fake, but perhaps it was placed there in the uK to makes its find spot not look like some looted site elsewhere. Hence giving it more value then say one in the grey market
Quote:Sour grapes or a real point?

http://lootingmatters.blogspot.com/2014/...alled.html
Ill-informed mischief-making, by and large ;-)

Mike Bishop
A chance to judge for yourselves, if you have not already done so. In case anybody has missed it, the Crosby Garrett Helmet is now on display in the British Museum.

Mike Bishop
And for those who are Members of the British Museum, you can hear me talk about the helmet on April 14th. More info here.

Mike Bishop
I ordered the book. Would the BM consider broadcasting ?
Quote:I ordered the book. Would the BM consider broadcasting ?
I don't know. I'll record it as a matter of course, so if they don't I might release it as a podcast if there is enough interest.

Mike Bishop
Hello Dr. Bishop,

Thanks for the link to the BM. I was reading that small summary on the helmets. Why are the Crosby and Ribchester helmets still being described as not being worn in battle but only for cavalry sports? Have we not dispelled the factoid that they were only used for cavalry sports and not battle? I could see why given the level of decoration and to some degree the level of supposed impediment to the wearer that these types of helmets are still being considered for use in entertainment venues.

Just asking since I am giving a presentation in two weeks on Roman helmets at the college where I work. I have many helmet photos from the 1st C AD and will be discussing their use and how they were possibly made etc. So knowing a little more about cavalry helmets would be helpful.

Cheers
Quote:Have we not dispelled the factoid that they were only used for cavalry sports and not battle?
I'm afraid the factoid is that they were used in battle, for which there is no satisfactory evidence of which I am aware. There is, on the other hand, little doubt that they were used in cavalry sports, since Arrian's description in the Techne Taktika is fairly clear on the matter.

From the 1st century AD onwards there were two distinct traditions of cavalry helmet: the battle helmet (bowl and cheek-pieces) and the sports (bowl and face mask). Finds of sports and battle helmets together in complete warrior panoplies (such as in the Nawa and Chatalka burials) makes it clear that they had two different functions: why else have two slightly differing helmets?

This tradition continued into the 3rd century AD but a new hybrid form of helmet appears that may have solved the need to own two types, and that is the three-part sports helmet like the one from Thorsberg (a new and more plausible reconstruction of which the Danes recently produced). These had small, T-shaped face masks which, if you take them away, overcome the major drawback of the face-mask type in combat: the huge reduction in field of view the rider has to endure. Thus a hybrid sports helmet was easily converted into a battle helmet and obviated the need for the cavalryman to buy two helmets. Since two-part sports helmets continue in parallel, this tripartite type may well have been a 'poor-man's option'.

Mike Bishop
Thank you for the reply. Thus what would have, in your opinion, been worn by cavalry in the 1st C AD? Any specific helmet in mind?
Quote:And for those who are Members of the British Museum, you can hear me talk about the helmet on April 14th. More info here.

Mike Bishop

May finally persuade me to become a Member (for a year anyway)
Quote:Thank you for the reply. Thus what would have, in your opinion, been worn by cavalry in the 1st C AD? Any specific helmet in mind?
No one helmet, because different army groups and possibly even units will have had different tastes and trends in production. However, 1st-century cavalry battle helmets typically had ferrous bowls and cheek-pieces covered with copper-alloy skinning, often decorated to look like hair on the bowl (but sometimes with simulated real hair!), whilst the cheek-pieces were decorated with embossed figures, often mythical or religious, and covered the ear with a simulated human ear. A bit like this.

Sports helmets tended to be mainly wrought from copper-alloy sheet and to have scenes of Romans thrashing barbarians on the bowl. They do not appear to have been 'themed' like the later Trojan/Greek/Amazon examples. The Ribchester and Newstead helmets come from Britain so may (or may not) have been typical of cavalry in Britain.

That's about as good as it gets, I'm afraid. There is certainly a lot of variety in battle helmets (you need only think of the Witcham Gravel 'bicycle-bell' helmet to see what I mean)!

Mike Bishop
Quote:Ill-informed mischief-making, by and large

Can you explain why?
Quote:
mcbishop post=350106 Wrote:Ill-informed mischief-making, by and large

Can you explain why?
The location was shown to the PAS soon after discovery by both the landowner and the finders and ties in with the results of the subsequent excavation. Pieces of copper alloy recovered in the dig are being analysed to provide a comparison with the rest of the thing.

By comparison with most Roman helmets, the provenance is pretty good, although not as sound as that metal-detected Kent helmet find where a small piece of the bowl was found in situ by the subsequent excavation.

There is nothing wrong with the griffin which was found at the same time (the EXIF data on the camera-phone photos make that reasonably likely). Wonky things soldered on top of Roman helmets are fairly common. The shape of the bowl, another favoured criticism, is betrayed by the fragments (and confirmed by the Boston helmet). the conservator said he stuck it back together with the minimum of interference and I see no reason to doubt him.

Sure all these things can be faked, and lots of people might be lying for unspecified reasons, but as such a conspiracy theory becomes ever more elaborate, it is all the more vulnerable to Occam's Razor. Why not consider the possibility that everything really is at it seems? Seems strange to me. In fact ... I suspect a conspiracy ... ;-)

Mike Bishop
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