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Plataea 2021 List of Research Topics
#1
There will be a reenactment event at Plataia in June/July 2021, and it seems like reenactors are struggling to find information on many practical topics that you need to know to live in the field for ten days.  Does the table of contents at the following like seem like a fair list?  I will see how many lists "if you are interested in X, read Y" with 1 or 2 photos I can throw together over the next two years.

Reenacting the Archaic and the Long Sixth Century

Again, right now this is just a sketchbook of topics to be filled out when I have time.
Nullis in verba

I have not checked this forum frequently since 2013, but I hope that these old posts have some value. I now have a blog on books, swords, and the curious things humans do with them.
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#2
I would like to know how hoplites got from one trireme to another while they were at sea in the middle of a battle and how a boarding action was conducted by those nations that favoured boarding actions in the 6th-4th centuries - some triremes carried up to 40 marines for this purpose, but that made them liable to be rammed by those nations that favoured light triremes
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#3
Hi Iphicrates,

sorry, my focus is on all the practical issues that you have to solve before you get to play with the sharp and pointy things. If they can get enough people together, maybe the back and forth "when the lines came together they did X" "no way, that is not plausible" "yes way, that is plausible to me!" will quiet down because we have more data.

You might look at the books by Morrison and Coates like "Greek Oared Warships."

Sean
Nullis in verba

I have not checked this forum frequently since 2013, but I hope that these old posts have some value. I now have a blog on books, swords, and the curious things humans do with them.
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#4
In reference to "leather"

Suggest you check Theophrastus "Enquiry into Plants" written in the 4th century bc where three common types of plants for vegetable tanning are mentioned as used by tanners: Oak, Pine(or Fir) and Acacia...

The Romans may well have introduced vegetable tanning to europe on an industrial scale but it appears to have been around much longer, survival of any kind of leather is rare check italy for surviving Roman (or any other ) footware and you'll see what I mean, this is true of a good deal of the region...

Wink
Ivor

"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
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#5
This looks like a great project.

And I have to confess that most of my early article titles were lame puns or pop culture references.

About the elbow fibulae, very similar ones, although curved rather than angular, are worn by Cappadocians on the Persepolis reliefs.  They appear to be worn with semicircular cloaks.  This image is pillaged from Nirupars.com, although their galleries appear to be taken down lately. Having one cast would be expensive, but I'm looking into a method of fabricating one with brass rod and beads that should hopefully be pretty cheap if you already have the correct tools.


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Dan D'Silva

Far beyond the rising sun
I ride the winds of fate
Prepared to go where my heart belongs,
Back to the past again.

--  Gamma Ray

Well, I'm tough, rough, ready and I'm able
To pick myself up from under this table...

--  Thin Lizzy

Join the Horde! - http://xerxesmillion.blogspot.com/
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#6
Crispianus, do you have that citation to Theophrastus Hist. Plan.? Right now I am summarizing the views of the Archaeological Leather Group, who have been studying leather from Egypt and northern Europe for decades. I have not yet found the articles on the leather from Chehrabad, one of the Persian period shoes from Elephantine was vegetable-tanned (Veldmeijer's catalogue number 61).

Another issue is that in many cultures, its rare to tan thick heavy pieces of leather, those are processed in different ways (alum tawing, fat/oil tanning ...) or just not so common because most skins come from young animals. The ALG started out assuming 'tanned leather must be primeval, just put some skins in a trough with oak bark and water' but the evidence from northern Europe does not seem to support that.

(05-29-2019, 10:54 AM)Dan D'Silva Wrote: This looks like a great project.

And I have to confess that most of my early article titles were lame puns or pop culture references.

About the elbow fibulae, very similar ones, although curved rather than angular, are worn by Cappadocians on the Persepolis reliefs.  They appear to be worn with semicircular cloaks.  This image is pillaged from Nirupars.com, although their galleries appear to be taken down lately. Having one cast would be expensive, but I'm looking into a method of fabricating one with brass rod and beads that should hopefully be pretty cheap if you already have the correct tools.
Glad to see you Dan!

gaukler will supply folks with as many copperalloy elbow fibulae as they want for a few tens of dollars each. (The more orders he gets, the sooner he can get around to it, his medieval broaches tend to be in the USD 18 to USD 50 range).

So many graves from the Fertile Crescent contain one or two of these, I wish we knew what they were pinning with them.
Nullis in verba

I have not checked this forum frequently since 2013, but I hope that these old posts have some value. I now have a blog on books, swords, and the curious things humans do with them.
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#7
(05-29-2019, 05:37 PM)Sean Manning Wrote: Crispianus, do you have that citation to Theophrastus Hist. Plan.?  Right now I am summarizing the views of the Archaeological Leather Group, who have been studying leather from Egypt and northern Europe for decades.  I have not yet found the articles on the leather from Chehrabad, one of the Persian period shoes from Elephantine was vegetable-tanned (Veldmeijer's catalogue number 61).  

Another issue is that in many cultures, its rare to tan thick heavy pieces of leather, those are processed in different ways (alum tawing, fat/oil tanning ...) or just not so common because most skins come from young animals.  The ALG started out assuming 'tanned leather must be primeval, just put some skins in a trough with oak bark and water' but the evidence from northern Europe does not seem to support that.
"Vegetable tanning is first mentioned by Theophrastus (H.Plant III 8.6, 9.1, 14.3, 18.5 and IV 2.8.)" from the chapter on Leatherwork & Skin Products by C. Van Driel-Murray in "Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology"
Its from this that I looked up the source... in "Enquiry into Plants" by Theophrastus
In the book link I supplied for the internet archive, searching for "tanning" will get you three hits that mention the three plant species, the volume also includes the greek as well, unfortunatly I dont read ancient greek....
But I dont think Theophrastus was talking about anything new in anycase, but what appeared to be common practice, and if that is so then the conclusion must be that the earlier Greeks had acces to vegetable tanning as well for how long? is anybodys guess... 
The only real way to test for the types of tanning etc is by some very expensive destructive means and hence this rarely gets done, though all the leather from Elephantine was tested using a simple field spot test, results can be uncertain, see pg18 Skin Processing in Leatherwork from Elephantine.
A good deal of the leatherwork from Europe would come up as positive with this field test (ie vegetable tanned) likely because of the conditions in which it was deposited regardless of the original curing/tanning method.
Generally:
Sole leather need not be any thicker then the upper material (personal observation) and may even be the same, though there are certainly plenty of examples of very thick leather.


I think most modern people are fixated by time and the amount of time it takes to achieve an end result, materials were layed up for the future and I dont think leather is any exception to this, so if it takes a year or more to tan a hide so be it, the quantity in anycase is intimately connected to the size of the animal herds from which the supply of material came, at any given time only a proportion would be available for converting to leather.
Ivor

"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
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#8
(05-30-2019, 12:41 PM)Crispianus Wrote: But I don't think Theophrastus was talking about anything new in anycase, but what appeared to be common practice, and if that is so then the conclusion must be that the earlier Greeks had acces to vegetable tanning as well for how long? is anybodys guess...
That is exactly the issue! Until 20 years ago, many people just let themselves assume that leather was tanned with tannins from the earliest times because that was how Europeans did it in the 18th century. They had to explain away a lot of ancient evidence. Then came a series of classic articles like the one on Egypt which you link to which laid out the horrid truth: there is not archaeological or textual evidence to show that tanned leather was common in Egypt or northern Europe until Ptolemaic or Roman times, but a lot of evidence for alum tawing, rawhide, and brain/fat/oil tanning, and many recent cultures rely on the last three processes and are not interested in vegetable tanning. Once they stopped assuming that skins should be tanned with tannins, the texts, art, and finds from Egypt and northern Europe were much easier to explain (just like when they learned about hull-first shipbuilding, the description of Odysseus' boat in the Odyssey suddenly made sense).

Theophrastus and the finds from Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt are interesting, but they are at least 150 years after the long sixth century.

I should actually include Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology in the first list of books next to John Oleson's Greek and Roman one and P.R.S. Moorey's Ancient Mesopotamian Materials and Industries. Innsbruck just has two books like that and I want to flip through them both and decide which is more useful for this project.

(05-30-2019, 12:41 PM)Crispianus Wrote: I think most modern people are fixated by time and the amount of time it takes to achieve an end result, materials were layed up for the future and I dont think leather is any exception to this, so if it takes a year or more to tan a hide so be it, the quantity in anycase is intimately connected to the size of the animal herds from which the supply of material came, at any given time only a proportion would be available for converting to leather.
It is actually the other way around. People assumed that early medieval people must have had thick heavy tanned leather suitable for tooling, but in the archaeological record it only shows up in a few specific uses (maybe seax sheaths?) So the absence of this leather in the archaeological record is a fact which needs explaining, not an armchair speculation. I seem to recall that Olaf Goubitz's Stepping Through Time had a section on this problem, Roland Warzecha's site patreon.com/Dimicator has some good summaries of leather in Viking Age through high medieval archaeology.
Nullis in verba

I have not checked this forum frequently since 2013, but I hope that these old posts have some value. I now have a blog on books, swords, and the curious things humans do with them.
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#9
So I would agree that tanned leather could be a lot older than Theophrastus, especially in areas other than Egypt and the Netherlands where few finds have been studied, but the thinking among the specialists seems to be that we can't just assume that early leather was tanned by default. I will be interested to see what the new reports on Chehrabad and Halstatt say.

Thanks for telling me about Theophrastus on plants!
Nullis in verba

I have not checked this forum frequently since 2013, but I hope that these old posts have some value. I now have a blog on books, swords, and the curious things humans do with them.
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#10
I have checked some articles by Gabriela Ruß-Popa and Carol van Driel-Murray, and have finished the section on Hide Products. If I ever research Greek shoes and leather, I might add a few sentences, or those might go under 'shoes.'

I was surprised to discover that there is no evidence for alum-tawed leather before Roman times, and in 2008 Carol van Driel-Murray was not sure the Romans had it.
Nullis in verba

I have not checked this forum frequently since 2013, but I hope that these old posts have some value. I now have a blog on books, swords, and the curious things humans do with them.
Reply
#11
So no way a spolas could have been "alum-tawed?" or am I making the wrong conclusion. This is surprising to me.
Joe Balmos
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#12
She has not seen any alum-tawed leather, or any text describing tawing, older than Julius Caesar, and she is not sure that Roman aluta was really tawed. Whereas we have whole museums full of (probably) oil-cured leather from Egypt and 4000 year old texts describing rubbing oil into skins and then dying them with madder and alum.

Bedouin women still tan skins with the tannins in pomegranite leaves, and Iranian villagers tan leather with the leaves of the Pistacia atlantica tree or taw it with alum, but there does not seem to be proof that ancient people did the same.
Nullis in verba

I have not checked this forum frequently since 2013, but I hope that these old posts have some value. I now have a blog on books, swords, and the curious things humans do with them.
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