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Reconstructing Ancient Linen Body Armor - New Book
#31
I'm glad to help (and Studniczka's German had some tricky passages, so translating them forced me to think about every phrase and not just skim). I was interested to read that the layered linen from Mycenae was about 1 cm thick (as well as the "fourteen layers" which is often mentioned) and that there were traces of several types of linen in the grave.

Old references like these ones, which are interesting to a lot of people away from big reference libraries, belong online (although somebody has to pay for it).
Nullis in verba

I left this forum around the beginning of 2013, but I hope that these old posts have some value
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#32
Quote:Leather makes good armour - it has been used for millennia.
Linen makes good armour - it has also been used for millennia.
Neither are as good as metal armour.

It's curious that the tests in the book in question show the superiority of glued linen armor over bronze plate. According to the authors, glued linen provides the same resistance to arrows as bronze at two-fifths (40%) of the weight. Perhaps their bronze was too soft, but the disparity nonetheless indicates that either a) glued linen was better than than layered linen or b) linen was better than bronze.

Of course, based on the above, glued linen even resists arrows as well as or better than an equal weight of hardened steel! If the two-fifth figure is accurate, the 20-layer glued linen weighs only 2lbs for 15x15in section. Steel would have been about 0.8mm to weigh the same. Based on Alan Williams's numbers, 0.8mm hardened steel would require only about 60 J to pierce with an arrow.

Quote:Williams has shown that hardened leather provides less protection than a similar weight of quilted linen. So in order for leather to provide the same degree of protection as layered linen, it has to be heavier than layered linen.

I don't see weight figures for the leather tested by Williams in The Knight and the Blast Furnace.
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#33
On the other hand, the modern steel broadhead tested penetrated all linen armor rather handily. I doubt strongly it could do the same against hardened steel. It's interesting how much a hard cutting edge appears to matter against fabric armor.
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#34
I was going to mention isn't this the same "test" where they used the historically accurate bow with bronze arrowhead on the linen, and then proceeded to use a modern compound bow with a modern steel arrowhead on the bronze armor? Because this was on Smithsonian and they showed it in the "Museum Secrets" show.
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#35
No, in the tests in the book in question they used a modern compound bow to shoot arrows with bronze and iron arrowheads at both linen and bronze armor. They did test a modern hunting arrowhead as well, but only against linen, not against bronze. It makes me wonder how well the modern hunting arrowhead would do against bronze, iron, or steel armor.

It also makes me wonder how well 15th-century English arrows made with hardened steel would do against the armor tested. I suspect they'd perform significantly better than any of the replica ancient arrows.

Now that I've looked over the book in some detail, I actually find the idea of glued linen armor thoroughly plausible. The biggest problem I see with the authors conclusions is their assessment of the power of ancient bows. I've always found Henry Blyth's figures for Persian and Scythian bows laughably low. Bows that delivered only 18-36 J up close would make mediocre hunting weapons and hardly seem suited for the battlefield. Even Blyth's high figure of 52 J initial for the Persian bow would be quite low by later standards. In 17th- and 18th- century China, authorities apparently considered bows below 70-80lbs unfit for military service - and in one case that was with Manchu bows, so such a minimum strength bow likely had an initial energy of 100+ J with the standard heavy Manchu war arrows. A wealth of evidence from China, Turkey, England, and so on indicates that good infantry archers drew roughly 120-180lbs and good cavalry archers drew 80-120lbs. While it's possible bows were simply weaker (and perhaps also less efficient) in antiquity, the reconstruction of an ancient eastern Scythian bow weighed in at 120lbs and the authors suspect the original fell into the 80-140lb range (Turkish bows from thousands of years fall into about the same range). And there are Greek and Roman accounts of arrows piercing shields and arrows.

I suspect arrows from decent ancient infantry archers would have had at least 80 J of kinetic energy. Glued linen armor as tested would still solid protection against such arrows at range, but direct shots up close would have been potentially deadly.

P.S. I've noticed a discrepancy in the book's reported thickness and weight of the supposed 1.8mm bronze plate tested. They write that it measured approximately 45x45cm and weighed 2.49kg. But bronze of the composition described has a density of about 8.7g/cm2, so a 1.8mm 45x45cm plate should weigh 3.17kg. Thus the authors erroneously reported the weight, the elemental composition, or the thickness - or perhaps the plate had a varying thickness.
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#36
Quote:P.S. I've noticed a discrepancy in the book's reported thickness and weight of the supposed 1.8mm bronze plate tested. They write that it measured approximately 45x45cm and weighed 2.49kg. But bronze of the composition described has a density of about 8.7g/cm2, so a 1.8mm 45x45cm plate should weigh 3.17kg. Thus the authors erroneously reported the weight, the elemental composition, or the thickness - or perhaps the plate had a varying thickness.
As Sean mentioned earlier, they also annealed the plate, which only makes sense if they are trying to compromise its ability to resist arrows.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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#37
If the given dimensions and weigh are accurate, the supposedly 1.8mm bronze plate was actually more like 1.4mm, which would also help explain it's relatively poor performance against arrows. I do suspect historical bronze armor performed better. Fabric armors additionally appear more vulnerable than metal armors to very sharp blades.

I am impressed by the low weight of the tested glued linen. The quilted jack tested by Alan Williams in junction with mail weighed about 77% percent more: 0.912 g/cm2 vs. 0.51358 g/cm2. Unfortunately Williams didn't test the jack alone against his arrowhead simulator, nor did he test it against like a type-16 arrowhead.
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#38
(07-16-2013, 09:14 PM)Duncan Head Wrote: The authors' favoured linen cuirass reconstruction is 10 or more layers of linen laminated with rabbit-skin glue to produce a cuirass about 10-12mm thick. Now Granger-Taylor's article in Wearing the Cloak discusses possible fragments of pteryges from Masada and a greave from Dura, both 5mm thick, produced with composite threads and a characteristic "twining" weaving technique. I can't help wondering how differently Aldrete et al would have gone about their reconstructions if they'd had available the information that you could produce at least half their proposed cuirass thickness in one layer of cloth.
Given the right thicknesses of the active and the passive part of the twined piece, even one layer of cloth could achieve a thickness of 10-12 mm.

(07-18-2013, 02:55 AM)Dan Howard Wrote: We have plenty of examples of textile armour from Europe to India to South America and none of them are made using weaves like that.
I share your view regarding the Dura Europa piece, yet I think that Granger-Taylor's article has a merit in terms of the connection between twining and armour, as said article mentions twined coconut fibre armour from Oceania. After all, armour made by using the twining technique exists. Here is an example (albeit not the one used iin Hero Grangers article):
   
The resemblance (appearance and material properties) to T&Ydepictions are remarkable.

For those asking themselves why I am resurrecting an old thread by making a post which isn't fully related to the title of the thread: Since I came across the picture yesterday, the resemblance mentioned above makes me wonder, why Granger-Taylor's twining hypothesis didn't seem to be able (at least in my eyes) to get a foothold among reenactors and the living history community.

Regards,
Thomas V.
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#39
According to Aldrete's figures, his magical glued linen construction provides better protection than a similar weight of hardened steel. It should be noted that some very well funded multi-national companies tried for decades to come up with body armour that provided better protection than hardened steel. Every combination of fibre and glue known to man was exhaustively tested and they came up with nothing until the invention of aramid (kevlar).

Quote:I share your view regarding the Dura Europa piece, yet I think that Granger-Taylor's article has a merit in terms of the connection between twining and armour, as said article mentions twined coconut fibre armour from Oceania. After all, armour made by using the twining technique exists. Here is an example
Are you sure that the weave is twined? All of the reports I've read simply say that the Kiribati coconut fibre was "woven" without anything more specific. It is hard to find a close-up photo but this one at Pitt Rivers doesn't look like a twined weave.
http://web.prm.ox.ac.uk/weapons/index.ph...eania-222/
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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#40
(01-29-2016, 05:38 AM)Dan Howard Wrote: According to Aldrete's figures, his magical glued linen construction provides better protection than a similar weight of hardened steel. It should be noted that some very well funded multi-national companies tried for decades to come up with body armour that provided better protection than hardened steel. Every combination of fibre and glue known to man was exhaustively tested and they came up with nothing until the invention of aramid (kevlar).
Well, as one of the co-authors of the book "Reconstructing Ancient Linen Body Armor," I can respond by saying that either the "well funded multi-national companies" that you speak of were either highly incompetent or your information is wrong.
Scott B.
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#41
Proper bronze, of an alloy that was used at the time, has a density of around 8.6-8.8g/cm2. A 1.8mm plate made with 8.7 density bronze measuring 45cm x 45 cm weighs around 3.17kg. How come your plate only weighed 2.49 kg? Did you not use bronze or were your scales defective? If we can't trust this figure then how can we trust the rest?
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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#42
(02-20-2016, 02:00 PM)Dan Howard Wrote: Proper bronze, of an alloy that was used at the time, has a density of around 8.6-8.8g/cm2. A 1.8mm plate made with 8.7 density bronze measuring 45cm x 45 cm weighs around 3.17kg. How come your plate only weighed 2.49 kg? Did you not use bronze or were your scales defective? If we can't trust this figure then how can we trust the rest?

Good to see at least someone is out there testing all the densities of 'proper' bronze from the ancient world. And it would do no good to continue on since, as evidenced from previous topics, you are never wrong. The bronze we used weighed what it weighed. And while so many sit in a chair in their computer room and type away furiously, others go out and actually do something. If you disagree with the armor, write a book about it. That's what I did -- it's quite popular.
Scott B.
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#43
Why did you misrepresent two articles to claim a precedent for your glued linen armour construction when Sean has shown that they do no such thing?
http://bookandsword.com/2014/02/14/did-t...-armour-2/

Layered linen has been used to make armour all over the world for three thousand years. In every instance that construction was quilted. Glue has never been used to make this kind of armour. The precedent you claim doesn't exist.

FWIW I have written a book and it includes textile armour. The wordcount on this subject is significantly less than yours because I attempted to stick to provable facts.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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#44
Given the too numerous to mention flaws in this book - including faulty, indeed outright false, data, what appears to be 'cheating' on tests, the bad methodology, misrepresentations, selective methods of information provided, the magicians 'catching bullets' type trick with the arrow shot at a person etc etc, I have a suspicion that this work may well be a deliberate elaborate hoax...... Undecided
"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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#45
In testing my spolas against spear, javelin and bow, I found the single biggest factor was sharpness.  The leather completely resisted a "factory edge" on my spear, but when I ground it to razor sharp, hot knives and butter come to mind.  This effect was less pronounced with the twinned linen I was testing.
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