Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Unusual Thracian Tube-and-Yoke corselet
#1
This particular Odrysian Thracian item has been known for some time, and I had previously wondered if it was mostly 'reconstruction' rather than simply original reassembled......but apparently it is all (mostly??) original.Here are some excellent photos of it and other gear from the same tomb ( and others):-

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rossitza/se...910923041/


It has two features of especial interest:-

Firstly, it is clearly 'double-breasted'.

Second, it has two very unusual circular 'cutouts' on the back of the shoulders on the 'Tube', seemingly creating two weak spots?.....Perhaps these were covered by something else - plate 'rondels' for instance - but one expects the conservators would have placed anything like that found, back 'in situ'.

The other possibility ( though the two are not mutually exclusive) is that the cutouts allow the shoulder pieces to flex downward, with movement, and are necessary because the Tube-and-Yoke are of one piece rather than a separate yoke riding over the tube.....

Anyone any other thoughts/ideas?

Originally, one presumes the exceptionally small scales would have been sewn, as reproduced here, on leather, and trimmed with same as can be seen in the photos - but were traces of organic matter/leather found in the tomb, or is this pure supposition on the part of the conservators?

Anyone seen any reports or detailed descriptions?
"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
Reply
#2
Xenophon talks about cutting out part of the shoulder of a cuirass to make it easier to throw a javelin.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
Reply
#3
Yes,but the right shoulder of this cuirass is already cut. This doesn't help to explain the the cutouts on the back. I too believe they were there to allow the back part to bent smoothely forward without creating a steep angle in the corners. Most importantly though,it allows the arm to be raised up and push the shoulder to bend with it too.
It is very interesting the way the right shoulder is cut. It doesn't seem to allow it to be tied in any convenient way but what i recently thought is that being so short and fully scaled,it doesn't need to be tied down! The scales will always push it downwards and will always resist an oposite movement.

Paul,where did you base that this is mostly original? That it looks so? Well,it looks original to me too,given that the iron sword and handle that was found with it are in an excellent condition. I guess they wouldn't add a wooden handle to the sword? However,i also find it very plausible that only the scales were found and were put on a leather backing in the 30's as the rumour goes...
Info please!!!
Khairete
Giannis
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
Reply
#4
Sorry for the double post but i didn't want to edit the previous one.
There are some characteristics in the above tube and yoke that seem rather original.
For instance,look at the edging of the pteryges. Each pteryga shares and edging with the one next to it that covers only one side of them. The bottom of the pteryga always lacks edging!
Also the size,shape and realtive position of the neck guard and the shoulderguards is quite well made. Re-enactors are rather more "picky" in such matters than archaologists,and yet in the dozens of re-enactors that have reproduced the t&y,sadly few have gotten these things right. For instance,the curved space between the neckguard and the shoulderguards is something that in order to be sure if i should reproduce it in my spolas,i had to count the number of scales in the back of the Mars of Todi when i visited the Vatican Museum,to discover that there is indeed a space between them.(it is not so visible when worn and the flaps are pulled forward)
So it seems to me unlikely that the curators in the 30's would opt for so unique characteristics to reproduce by themselves...Or if they actually did,they deserve congratulations!
Note how short the pteryges are to allow the sitting on the horse,and that only two pteryges in each side are long to cover the thighs (or the saddle,when seated)
Khairete
Giannis
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
Reply
#5
Quote:Firstly, it is clearly 'double-breasted'.

It looks this way, but I think if you look closer you will see that it is not really double breasted. Counting the pteryges shows that at best it only overlaps less than 2/3 of the chest, my guess is that only one of the pterygites overlaps, making meet more in the middle. Note how the left side of the front panel slopes and the right is straight.

Also, the true front piece is quite a bit higher than the flap that comes around from the right, which is closer in height to the left hand side-panel. The photo makes the two flaps look the same height, but the central panel is substantially lower. In any orientation the upper chest is not overlapped, perhaps the gorget covers enough of this. The whole thing could be held closed with a sash or best of the type I've posted before.

Quote:Second, it has two very unusual circular 'cutouts' on the back of the shoulders on the 'Tube', seemingly creating two weak spots?.....Perhaps these were covered by something else - plate 'rondels' for instance - but one expects the conservators would have placed anything like that found, back 'in situ'.

I have wondered about these and about Xenophon's description because I believe that hoplites struck overhand- which would seem a similar movement. The difference I believe is not in rasing the arm, but in pulling the arm back. Thus I think these cut-outs allowed the arm to be extended backwards as one does when throwing a javelin. The bottom of the cut-out can flex back witht he arm.

As to the right shoulder-front. Other than noting that it is cut like a persian Saddle cloth, I have no idea if there was more to it than is now shown, something over or under for example.
Paul M. Bardunias
MODERATOR: [url:2dqwu8yc]http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/viewtopic.php?t=4100[/url]
A Spartan, being asked a question, answered "No." And when the questioner said, "You lie," the Spartan said, "You see, then, that it is stupid of you to ask questions to which you already know the answer!"
Reply
#6
Quote:Note how short the pteryges are to allow the sitting on the horse,and that only two pteryges in each side are long to cover the thighs (or the saddle,when seated)

Do you think that is what we see on the Persians below?

It makes me wonder is the loss of the front half of the right shoulder-piece is to facilitae the drawing of a bow. Far less painful to remove the flap than a breast (a la Amazon)after all, but perhaps just as in the way.


Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
Less than 1 minute ago" />   
Paul M. Bardunias
MODERATOR: [url:2dqwu8yc]http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/viewtopic.php?t=4100[/url]
A Spartan, being asked a question, answered "No." And when the questioner said, "You lie," the Spartan said, "You see, then, that it is stupid of you to ask questions to which you already know the answer!"
Reply
#7
Strange! I was just ready to type that i don't think they wear a cuirass and that it's just their robes pulled over the belt and being fuller in the sides ( http://www.kavehfarrokh.com/wp-content/u...plaque.jpg ) but then i noticed that there is a neck guard,and this can only mean that this is a cuirass. Or that they wear a cuirass under their robes?
Khaire
Giannis
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
Reply
#8
Quote:Xenophon talks about cutting out part of the shoulder of a cuirass to make it easier to throw a javelin.
An excellent observation!.....I had forgotten this until your reminder ("Art of Horsemanship" XII.6 "But the right hand must be raised when the man intends to throw his javelin or strike a blow. Consequently that portion of the corselet that hinders him in doing so should be removed; and in place of it there should be detachable flaps at the joints, in order that, when the arm is elevated, they may open correspondingly, and may close when the arm is lowered.." - and I think that is highly likely the correct reason,albeit a slightly different Thracian solution, since it is fairly obvious this is probably a cavalry corselet - the relatively short waist and the shortened 'pteryges' front and back can hardly be for anything else. ( c.f. Xenophon XII.5 "About the abdomen and middle, let the pteryges be of such material and such a size as will keep out missiles."- indicates variable sizes for the pteryges, perhaps)
Giannis noted this point:
Quote:Note how short the pteryges are to allow the sitting on the horse,and that only two pteryges in each side are long to cover the thighs (or the saddle,when seated)

...and also....
Quote:It is very interesting the way the right shoulder is cut. It doesn't seem to allow it to be tied in any convenient way but what i recently thought is that being so short and fully scaled,it doesn't need to be tied down!

If one right-clicks on each image, as well as a copyright notice, one gets the option to see the picture larger, or even 'original' size - which is in effect a 'blow-up'.

From shots that show the right shoulder, it is clear that the conservators have 'edged' what is there with leather, but I have serious doubts as to whether this is the original edge. It seems to me that this irregular edge is more a sign that many scales are missing (c.f. missing scales on the gorget) and maybe a hinged/detachable 'flap' such as Xenophon describes is missing (especially if it is detachable, like some Japanese shoulder pieces) - perhaps reduced to just some odd scales on the floor.....

Otherwise, the front of the right shoulder, a very vulnerable point, would be unprotected.
Quote:Paul,where did you base that this is mostly original? That it looks so? Well,it looks original to me too,given that the iron sword and handle that was found with it are in an excellent condition. I guess they wouldn't add a wooden handle to the sword? However,i also find it very plausible that only the scales were found and were put on a leather backing in the 30's as the rumour goes...
Info please!!!
Well, I posted this because I too was looking for more info !! The panoply comes from a tomb mound known as 'The Big Tumulus' from 'Golyamaka Mogila' and is dated c. 350 BC. The tomb also contained spear and javelin heads, as well as many small scythian-type bronze arrowheads, and swords (plural), as well as the greave (just one?) and the silver rhyton ( drinking vessel) and gold crown/wreath. All the contents point to Royalty, a King perhaps.
The reasons I thought it was largely original are the form - not one conservators might guess at from a pile of loose scales - I imagine most were rusted together, retaining the shape of the corselet, and the 'original' size photos show that much of the leather seems damaged and worn, hence likely original perhaps ( again, c.f. the gorget) but some is clearly newer/replacement, or so it appears to me.
Plus this statement :
"made of more than 1600 separate pieces and assembled by the restorers of the Regional Museum in Yambol and the National Museum of History, " implies that the scales at least are all original, and not 'replacement' scales for missing parts.....

As to the edging, I suspect that originally there were traces, but much of what we see (that 'irregular' pattern on the right shoulder for instance), is the conservators doing, so I think it uncertain as to whether the bottom of the pteryges had edging originally or not.
Also, although I cannot find the date the tomb was excavated, I get the impression that like the Seuthes III tomb it is fairly recently, not back in the thirties.....anyone know?
"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
Reply
#9
Quote:
Quote:Firstly, it is clearly 'double-breasted'.

It looks this way, but I think if you look closer you will see that it is not really double breasted. Counting the pteryges shows that at best it only overlaps less than 2/3 of the chest, my guess is that only one of the pterygites overlaps, making meet more in the middle. Note how the left side of the front panel slopes and the right is straight.

On careful examination of the 'original/blown up' photos, measuring indicates the 'wrapover' panel matches the underneath one almost exactly in shape and size. I think you'll find that the two pteryges on the 'wrapover' piece neatly stagger, so as to cover the two gaps on the three pteryges beneath.


Also, the true front piece is quite a bit higher than the flap that comes around from the right, which is closer in height to the left hand side-panel. The photo makes the two flaps look the same height, but the central panel is substantially lower. In any orientation the upper chest is not overlapped, perhaps the gorget covers enough of this. The whole thing could be held closed with a sash or best of the type I've posted before.
Like I say, after measuring, I'm pretty sure the 'wrapover' piece matches the underneath part quite closely, and does in fact overlap the upper chest. Interesting suggestion that the girdle with 'knot of Heracles(reef knot)' originally might have served to help fasten, along with the ties, the 'double breasted' piece.

Quote:Second, it has two very unusual circular 'cutouts' on the back of the shoulders on the 'Tube', seemingly creating two weak spots?.....Perhaps these were covered by something else - plate 'rondels' for instance - but one expects the conservators would have placed anything like that found, back 'in situ'.

I have wondered about these and about Xenophon's description because I believe that hoplites struck overhand- which would seem a similar movement. The difference I believe is not in rasing the arm, but in pulling the arm back. Thus I think these cut-outs allowed the arm to be extended backwards as one does when throwing a javelin. The bottom of the cut-out can flex back witht he arm.
Yes, I think we all probably agree about this.

As to the right shoulder-front. Other than noting that it is cut like a persian Saddle cloth, I have no idea if there was more to it than is now shown, something over or under for example.

see above post - I think it likely that the rest of the 'yoke flap' is likely missing - especially if it was 'detachable' as Xenophon suggests.
"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
Reply
#10
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rossitza/49...769256000/
This photo must be showing the burial of the warrior with the above tube and yoke. It doesn't seem like a 30's excavation indeed. Perhaps an 80's or 90's ?
Khairete
Giannis
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
Reply
#11
Quote:On careful examination of the 'original/blown up' photos, measuring indicates the 'wrapover' panel matches the underneath one almost exactly in shape and size. I think you'll find that the two pteryges on the 'wrapover' piece neatly stagger, so as to cover the two gaps on the three pteryges beneath.

See the attched image below. I think it probable that only the first pterygite on the left hand panel overlapped between the two on the right hand panel. Note in my image I have them overlapping inside-out as well so that you can see the underpanel which I edged in yellow. The right panel is flat on top, so if it was equal in height to the center-chest panel, it would not fit under the arm.


Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
Less than 1 minute ago" />   
Paul M. Bardunias
MODERATOR: [url:2dqwu8yc]http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/viewtopic.php?t=4100[/url]
A Spartan, being asked a question, answered "No." And when the questioner said, "You lie," the Spartan said, "You see, then, that it is stupid of you to ask questions to which you already know the answer!"
Reply
#12
Photo 
As i have been gathering inormation regarding Type IV armour for quite a while now, I also read this thread and looked at pictures of the Odryssian cuirass. Such being the case, I thought i might share my thoughts on said cuirass.

Looking at that section of the cuirass wich terminates in the raised chest panel, i.e. the middle section of the anterior half of the cuirass, one recognizes that the mentioned section terminates in the three short pteryges of the front. As three is an uneven number, the centre axis of the anterior half is congruent with the centre line of the middle pteryx.

The middle section of the rear ahlf of the cuirass consists of a section terminating in six short pteryges. Other than three, six is a even number, so the centre axis of the rear half is congruent with that slit wich seperates the third and fourth pteryx.

The right side of the cuirass is furnished with three long pteryges, whereas the left side is only equipped with two long ones. However, looking at this picture, there is a gap and a uneven border where one might expect the third long pteryx. So there might indeed have been three long pteryges on the left side.

Assuming that there have been three long pteryges on either side, the middle section (read: three and six short pteryges) of both the frontal and anterior half would be framed by the two sectionsthat bear three long pteryges.

In order to prevent the pteryx alignment from shifting and the chest panel or yoke/rear middle section from drifting away from the longitudinal axis, the two additional short pteryges on the right side of the armour have to overlap the first two short pteryges of the three pteryges wide section in a congruent manner. Only being aware of depctions showing one or two rows of pteryges along the whole cirumference, is another reason why I chose a congruent overlap instead of a staggered one. Said kind ov overlapping allows for a visual impression of a single layer running along the whole circumference, after all. 

The following picture illustrates my thoughts. The upper illustration shows the armour folded in hal along the centre line; the second illustration shows the armour folded in a 2:1:2:1 manner. In both cases the orange/yellow pteryges are the long/short ones.
   

The above reconstruction proposal results in the closing seam being shifted by half a pteryx width from the mddle towards the left.
   

The closing seam shifted slightly to the left side of the wearer can also be observed in this Etruscan depiction (the read line is closer to the left ring):
   

Another pecularity: The construction principle I have suggested for the Odryssian cuirass (a raised chest panel as wide as three pteryges, the centre axss of the cuirass being congruent with the centre axis of the middle pteryx of the anterior half, a congruent overlap as wide as two pteryges) seems to be appllicable to the E 60 vase cuirass.
   
   
Quote:Overlapped so that the to flaps on the right fit between the three on the left

Overlapped so that only one flap of the left fits between the two on the right.
Regarding the overlapping, see above.


Quote:Firstly, it is clearly 'double-breasted'.
There is indeed a double-layered part in the breast section. To consider the double-layered part as wide enough to result in a (deliberately) double-breasted cuirass is a matter of opinion, however.
Reply
#13
In order to prevent the pteryx alignment from shifting and the chest panel or yoke/rear middle section from drifting away from the longitudinal axis, the two additional short pteryges on the right side of the armour have to overlap the first two short pteryges of the three pteryges wide section in a congruent manner. Only being aware of depctions showing one or two rows of pteryges along the whole cirumference, is another reason why I chose a congruent overlap instead of a staggered one. Said kind ov overlapping allows for a visual impression of a single layer running along the whole circumference, after all. 


Thomas,

   What you presented looks very similar to what I depicted above except you have the pteryges overlapped instead of staggered.  Is that accurate?  I would ask where you have seen pteryges overlapped rather than staggered when one row is beneath another.  This does not make much sense to me given the function of the standard two rows of pteryges to maintain protection as you move without presenting a gap.

As to the lower depiction, there is, or was, a thread on here on "double breasted" armor where I presented something very similar, so I am sympathetic.  But I am not sure that this depiction isn't just flawed now that I have experience with this armor.  I find that most vases thought to show double breasted T-Ys can in fact be shown to depict a hoplite shifting his "tube" around to lace it like a woman does a bra.  This is the only way I could lace mine real tight.
Reply
#14
Did you know that Daniela Agre of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences has already published this armour in English? I have assembled some clips from the illustrations and a link to the academia.edu page where you can download the book for free on my blog.
Nullis in verba

I left this forum around the beginning of 2013, but I hope that these old posts have some value
Reply
#15
Oh WOW! THANKS for posting this! I had no idea, after so many years of trying to figure out the details of this armour!

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


Forum Jump: