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Interesting article about the Kalkriese mask!
#1
Salve!

Check this out:

http://www.legiiavg.org.uk/articles/varusschlacht.html

It is an article by Brian Stobbs (the same guy who has made the pugio which is for sale in the market place?). I still would like to have a copy of this helmet (I know there is one for sale but it is not accurate enough). This mask has my "favourite expression" of all the roman cavalry masks I have seen and if it really is connected to the Varusschlacht Confusedhock: hrrr...................
Virilis / Jyrki Halme
PHILODOX
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[Image: fectio.png]
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#2
I have read this article before and would like to point out one or two reservations I have aboput its contents.

In it Brian Stobbs asserts that it would have been fitted with a leather hinge. I would like him to explain why he thinks the Romans would use a leather hinge when all the published examples I know of ar made from brass. He does not seem to have considered that the original hinge may have been badly fitted in the first place and may have worked loose and come off or broken. The owner may then have used a different method to attach the mask after that and may have found that the remains of a broken hinge got in the way.
He also suggests that the four holes at the sides could have been used to attach staps or cords which could loop around the ears to hold the mask in place. I am sure this works fine with Brian's fiberglass copy, but I am sure if he tried to do this with an iron example he would very quickly discover that it would cause sudden and distressing discomfort to his ears and nose (and probably toes as well).
He also seems to suggest that the brass edging was applied only in the final phase of the mask's development in order to secure the edges of the silver foil. However, there are numerous examples of iron helmets, as well as a segmentata breastplate from the same site, which exhibit brass edging and show no sign of having been silvered. I would conceed that an extant brass edging may have been modified to make way for a new hinge or hook.

I think Brian is right about the sequence of holes but I feel he has run off on rather too many flights of fancy as well.

Crispvs
Who is called \'\'Paul\'\' by no-one other than his wife, parents and brothers.  :!: <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_exclaim.gif" alt=":!:" title="Exclamation" />:!:

<a class="postlink" href="http://www.romanarmy.net">www.romanarmy.net
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#3
Quote:He also suggests that the four holes at the sides could have been used to attach staps or cords which could loop around the ears to hold the mask in place.

Here's my take on the holes in the mask.. Perhaps they were used to hold the edging in place similar to the system seen on some of the imperial Gallic helmet neck guard edgings?

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b242/ ... semask.jpg

Admittedly, the lower pair of holes might have been use to pass a thong or attach a strap that passed around the back of the helmet neck guard similar to the method employed on the Ribchester helmet.
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#4
I would like to reply to Crispvs, by pionting out to him there are aspects of this article with which I am not happy about also. When submitted to the 11AVG some lady decided to re write certain parts, as I was told in order to correct for grammar, where the term LOTS OF becomes better than MANY or SEVERAL I realy do not know. Then it has been said that I own a fiberglass copy of the original, which of course I don't. The copy was kindly loaned to me by the Kalkriese. It would also appear that Crispvs has made a bold statement that may need qualification, ie all of the published face masks or helmets have Brass hinge arrangments. In his consideration of the brass edging of this fase mask, it might be well to point out that some of these holes are behind the level of the brass edging. This I am sure must indicate that these holes were put there before the edging, for if a sheet of silver covered the mask and was wrapped around it no holes would have been seen.
Brian Stobbs
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#5
Thank you for that reply Brian. I sympathise with your plight of having been irresponsibly edited. It has happened to me in the past too.

Thank you for your observation on the position of the holes. I do not know of any examples where rivets actually pass through brass edging (rather than passing through the loops holding the edging inplace) and so if the holes were within the area which would have been covered by the edging I agree that they would have to have been for some other purpose which preceded the addition of the brass edging. As it happens, since this thread was last active, I have seen a picture (a fresco originally I think) which may show such a mask with four laces coming from its edges. It is generally believed to be a decapitated head with blood flowing from it but Peronis has made a good case in the past for it possibly being a face mask with four strings coming from it. He may be able to provide the relevant picture for us.
If this really is the case I would suggest that at least two of the laces (probably the bottom two) would have passed around the occipital region of the helmet as with the strap fittings on the Ribchester helmet. For the upper two holes I cannot offer much explanation as I cannot see why it would need another pair of laces to hold the top of the mask in position when it almost certainly would have had the hinge to do that job already.

Crispvs
Who is called \'\'Paul\'\' by no-one other than his wife, parents and brothers.  :!: <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_exclaim.gif" alt=":!:" title="Exclamation" />:!:

<a class="postlink" href="http://www.romanarmy.net">www.romanarmy.net
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#6
Quote:He may be able to provide the relevant picture for us.

Yes, It's not from a fresco but from one of the Vindolanda tablets!

Here's the photo. It also looks like there are figures above it either on parade or marching in rank. The mask (if that is what it is) is at the bottom of the tablet...
[Image: Vindolandagraffitofacemask.jpg]
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#7
I have to agree that Peroni is on track with his idea of small clamping strips to hold the edging , however not where he shows them in his doctored pictures. If anyone checks out the Kalkriese mask they will find that there is a gap at the centre top of some 4to5mm, also there are two small holes that did indeed hold the edge strip in place infact one still has its rivet there with a small bracket. This is where Peronis' idea comes in but not as he shows, and his idea of two brackets at the lower side area cannot be for the two holes in that region are partly covered by the edging strip. Then if as he also mentions these side holes may have held thongs that went around the neck guard of a helmet, this cannot be for the face mask as we know it was covered in silver sheet and a brass edging to hold it on. These holes would not have been seen let alone used to take thongs.
Brian Stobbs
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#8
I would like to know who did the drawing to the right of that tablet.
Brian Stobbs
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#9
Quote:If anyone checks out the Kalkriese mask they will find that there is a gap at the centre top of some 4to5mm, also there are two small holes that did indeed hold the edge strip in place infact one still has its rivet there with a small bracket.

I believe that these two holes (below the gap) is is where the hinge was attached as seen on similar masks.(for example the helmet from the Levy / White collection)

I don't know who did the drawing, but it comes from one of the Birley publications - possibly 'Garrison life at Vindolanda' a band of brothers.
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#10
The holes I refer to that hold the edge strip are not the two below the edge strip, which may indeed have held a bracket for a hinge. The ones I refer to are at the 5mm gap top center of the edge strip, where one still remains the other being ripped away when the silver was looted in 9AD.
Brian Stobbs
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#11
Ah Righto Brian. I'm with you now! Big Grin
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#12
It might be of interest to know, I had a cavelryman try one of my replica's and he found that one does not even need any straps to hold the Kalkriese mask in place the cheek plates of a helmet do that very well.
Brian Stobbs
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#13
That makes perfect sense to me. The only attachment point necessary is really the hinge.
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#14
Adrian I tend to think that the drawing of that writing tablet may be a fancifull idea that has been dreamed up, these tablets were in cursive latin in some cases even scribble it would be so easy just to link up lines or dots.
Brian Stobbs
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#15
Adrian. when we go back to those holes that maybe held a hinge, they are in areas that have a matt finish. This tended to imply to me that a one had been fitted, for the rest of the mask has a smooth texture as if at some stage tinned. This is indeed what prompted my article in the first place, then after a visit to the Kalkriese and loaned the fiber glass copy I realised all the other holes. I have even toyed with the idea that this mask may even have had ears to it that were removed, Robinson in his book dose not say so but raises the question of why the Vetchen mask is cut so straight on its back edge{food for thought} I suppose.
Brian Stobbs
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