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Reconstructing Ancient Linen Body Armor - New Book
(09-27-2016, 11:12 PM)Bryan Wrote:
(09-27-2016, 08:00 PM)Crispianus Wrote:
(09-27-2016, 03:33 PM)Bryan Wrote: I've been reading Nic Field's Early Rome Osprey Book, he mentions linothorax being made out of cartonnage, resin covered linen, similar to how Egyptian sarcophagus were made. One of the big arguments here in RAT against glued linen has always been that it wasn't common of the period for anything, but it looks like cartonnage was very popular among the Egyptians, who could have spread the armor everywhere.


Well the obvious one might be why arn't there more surviving pieces of armour made from glued linen in Egypt and elsewhere in the middle east?

How many linen, cloth, or leather linothorax style cuirasses have survived, period? 

Cartonnage sarcophagus were elaborately buried to be preserved, not just dropped in a hole in the ground and covered over with dirty, which is probably the only reason we know about them.

It doesn't have to be a complete TY or even a recognisable piece, just a random piece of multiple layered Linen glued together, preferably in a military context that might potentially be armour..
But I'd settle for any samples not associated with mummification practices, at least it would go some way...
So far leather(in the broadest sense) covered in scales (organic or metal) or other reinforcements are attested by the archaeological evidence and backed up to some extent by the iconographic evidence from multiple sites and sources... However glued linen to my knowledge, which I freely admit is not extensive on this subject to be sure, has not apparantly surfaced in any context that I'm aware off, other then as mummy wrappings (which is attested by Herodotus though he says Gum* rather then glue), despite that linen as finds generally appears to be somewhat common particularly in Egypt.

Personally I'm less interested in the linen then I am in Glue, since a more or less permanent strong flexible authentic glue would be very usefull to me...

*Gum of course hardens as time goes on... Edit: the Gum in question could be a variety of Acacia.

"And the four bare walls stand on the seashore. a wreck a skeleton a monument of that instability and vicissitude to which all things human are subject. Not a dwelling within sight, and the farm labourer, and curious traveller, are the only persons that ever visit the scene where once so many thousands were congregated." T.Lewin 1867
Truth be told, i have known since 2011 that no traces of either leather or linen body armour have been found in Macedonia. There were a team of nine archeologists at Vergina, when i met Vangelis, all of them experienced with excavations in Vergina and Pella and elsewhere, Mrs Angeliki Kottaridi, the Ephor, among them.
But i specifically asked about Archontiko only recently when the matter was brought up in this discussion.

Even if the warriors of Archontiko are Paeonians, this doesn't make the illyrian helmet any less popular among Macedonians, it seems that the apparent lack of hoplite-style battles favoured this helmet. I have seen only one or two corinthian helmets from Macedonia, most certainly imported luxury items from the South or even East.

I cannot disagree with the evolution and purpose of the ridges on the illyrian helmets, although i should point out that we know nothing about crest construction in these helmets. The ridges *could* act as crest stabilizers when a crest was present. For all we know the crest boxes could have a wider base, like an inverted T or they could have a trapezoid cross section, or could ultimately have been traditionally wider in these helmets than on the corinthians. Here's the best reconstruction of an illyrian with crest

My own experience with an illyrian with correct attachment methods but with a crest box which was slightly narrower than the ridges is that the crest is prone to move sideway, making it very annoying to feel a wonky crest on your head.

I have also seen up close an illyrian which had corrosion marks between the ridges, which were narrower than the space between them. The first thing i though was crest remains. But the corrosion was slightly sidways, and similar marks ecisted on other places on the helmet. One certain thing was that there was corrosion marks from the leather turning around the edges and secured under the rivets.
In all, unconclusive.

It is worth to note that there are some early cornthians made of two pieces which have no such protective ridges. Then there are few corinthian helmets made of one piece that HAVE the ridges!
And there is really the question, do the ridges actually provide valuable protection to the seam? A blow on the head that would shatter the seam would anyway kill the wearer from impact shock anyway. And none of the Cretan helmets which are the most elaborate helmets of their time, and were always made of two pieces have any such seam protection. EVEN though they have the same crest attachment method as the illyrians...We know so little...and yet, all these are too detailed questions, probably only explained by tradition and nothing else.

Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
[Image: -side-1.gif]

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