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Unusual Thracian Tube-and-Yoke corselet
#16
Can I just echo Giannis’ comments? The photos and comments on your blog instantly whetted my appetite, and I downloaded Daniela Agre’s book at once , and I have been poring over it, reading it several times, ever since.......Can’t thank you enough for drawing attention to this publication, which answers all the questions raised in this thread – and much more besides. This is possibly the best find since the Vergina tombs in Macedon in the 1970’s. What’s more there are literally hundreds more unexcavated tumuli in Bulgaria! This find was sufficiently exciting to move me to post again on RAT, after many years absence. A brief summary of some of the findings in the book. I urge readers to download it for themselves....

-         The tomb was found to be intact, and was excavated in 2005, in the nick of time, as tomb robbers had actually started excavating into it.........Algre’s book was published in 2011, commendably quickly in archaeology, and in marked contrast to Greek practise....

-         The weaponry found in the grave was of high quality, clearly very expensive and consisted ,in addition to the corselet which was largely intact and still stood vertically, with fallen silver appliques nearby, a gorget, a Chalcidian helmet with triple snake crest – inside which was a lambskin leather arming cap dyed purple, a machaira type sword with wood and bone handle completely intact. A dozen spearheads of varying size and type, 1 77 or so arrowheads of various types contained in two leather gorytus, which had not survived, a fragmented knife and curiously, a single silver greave.

-         Much of the organic material was preserved, including some textiles, though these tended to be too fragile to be recovered.

-         With regard to the corselet, it is the only example we have so far of an intact leather (of course!) Tube-and-Yoke cavalry corselet, completely reinforced with scales. The leather was 3 mm thick. The ‘holes’ at the rear are indeed for flexibility, and were covered by separate small pieces of armour, which the conservators were unable to reconstruct. As can be seen from the attached diagram, the corselet was indeed double-breasted.

-         The deceased was wearing a gold wreath around his head – a sure sign of Royalty – and also had a gold ring. There were also 29 gold appliqués probably originally attached to his clothing.

-         The right shoulder piece is original, with its stepped cutouts, and is cut away as Xenophon suggested, to facilitate use of a bow, throwing of javelins, and use of the sword.

-         Two horses and a dog had been buried with the man. One of the horses still had an arrowhead wedged into a bone, showing it to be a battlefield charger. There were richly decorated horse trappings in the tomb.

-         The deceased was a young man, around 20 years old, 184 cm/6ft 1.5 ins tall, clearly Royalty, and from the date of the tomb circa 350 BC is likely to have been one of the four sons of King Kersebleptes, probably the eldest named Iolaos. Intact tombs are a real rarity in surviving from ancient times to the present, and there is an interesting connection between this intact Thracian tomb, and the intact tombs found in Vergina, Macedon. In 351 and 352 BC Philip II campaigned against Kersebleptes, a former ally, who was aided by Athens. Kersebleptes was reduced to vassalage, but egged on by Athens  a new war erupted, and in a brilliant three month campaign in 346 BC Philip and Antipater reduced Kersebleptes to vassalage once more. Finally, a new rebellion in 342-341 caused Philip to remove the King and replace him with a Macedonian ‘General of Thrace’.


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"dulce et decorum est pro patria mori " - Horace, ODES
(It is a sweet and proper thing to die for ones country)

"No son-of-a-bitch ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country" -GeorgeC Scott as General George S. Patton
Paullus Scipio/Paul McDonnell-Staff
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#17
Happy to read you again Paul!
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
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