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Quilted armor? Helmets?
#1
Some of you here may now familiar with the Total War Rome II game, if you are not it is fairly irrelevant to my question anyway. One of the features of the Egyptian units are these strange quilted (linen?) armors, not of the tube and yoke variety. As well as what appear to be quilted linen helmets. Help me out here, what are these? Any additional evidence for them? Picture below


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Zack Looney
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#2
I'll leave the expert advice to the actual historians, but stuff like that is not uncommon in history; some kinds of gambesons were quilted, after all. I've never heard of cloth helmets(unless you argued that an arming cap is a helmet....doubt it), so maybe part of it is artistic license.

Compare that to this:
http://www.levantia.com.au/military/infantry.html
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#3
I agree that it is occasionally seen. But during the Hellenistic era? In Egypt? Every other Unit in the game matches up, mostly, to what I've seen and read about them. Just don't get why they would go out and make up something for this specific one. Hopefully there is some evidence out there I'm just not seeing!
Zack Looney
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#4
I can think of a number of organic helmets I don't see any reason why textile wouldn't be possible, but I think the images are largely what people expect to see..

"The almost complete disappearance of the formulae of ancient
Egyptian art in these stuffs seems at first hard to explain. But
some idea of the extent to which Greek life had penetrated into
Egypt before the advent of the Romans may be gained from the
brief historical summary already given. For three centuries before
Egypt submitted to Alexander the Great, Greek merchants had
found their way far into the interior, and flourishing Greek settlements had been established. Alexandria, founded by the conqueror, soon became the greatest city of the Eastern Mediterranean region. Other cities, where wealthy Greek merchants resided,
received Greek names, and Greek culture and taste spread among
the native population. For another three centuries after Alexander, Egypt was ruled by a dynasty of Greek origin, and the advent of the Romans did little to interfere with Greek life and art as established in the country."

From: Coptic textiles from burying-grounds in Egypt vol1
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
The first part of the body to be armoured is the head. If a soldier doesn't have a helmet, there is no way that he will have any kind of body armour. Regarding the Egyptians, it depends on the time period. In the Bronze Age the infantry wore no armour of any kind. Only charioteers wore armour and that was scale armour - both hide and bronze.

In any case armour was only worn by the wealthy - even leather and cloth. Textile armour consisted of multiple layers of cloth quilted together. Even the lightest armour consisted of 12-15 layers. That is enough cloth to make 12-15 tunics. How many peasants could afford to own 12 sets of clothing? The only exception is when the state provided the equipment such as with the Assyrians and the Macedonians and the Romans. Even then it was usually only the front ranks of infantry and officers who had armour.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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#6
But as far as you guys know, no specific examples exist regarding these particular helmets/armor from Egypt? Or the Hellenistic world at all?
Zack Looney
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#7
The only extant examples of Egyptian armour I know of are in the form of scale armour. A few date to the Bronze Age and one dates to the Roman period. I can't think of any extant Egyptian helmets of any kind.

Even if there were surviving examples of this kind of quilted armour, it would be completely inappropriate to depict regular rank and file infantry wearing it. It would only have been worn by more wealthy fighters.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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#8
I mostly agree with Dan, but I think there is some evidence that scale and perhaps quilted linen armour was worn by some of the infantry and company and platoon leaders. More here:
http://z8.invisionfree.com/Bronze_Age_Ce...ry22009096
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#9
Thanks a billion for the link Todd. I've never see. Those depictions before, very interesting indeed!
Zack Looney
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#10
Quote:I mostly agree with Dan, but I think there is some evidence that scale and perhaps quilted linen armour was worn by some of the infantry and company and platoon leaders. More here:
http://z8.invisionfree.com/Bronze_Age_Ce...ry22009096

How do you know the "armour" was woven linen or even quilting? pleated/ribbed textiles in the form of shirts and dresses are known..... does the illustration of the Army Corps represent "armour" or pleated/ribbed clothing?

Is the Crocodile skin "Armour" a religious/festival costume or Burial rite connected with Sobek who was still revered in Ptolomaic Egypt?

I would agree though that some may well be wearing some kind of armour or protective headdress... woven Papyrus was commonly used for sandals/shoes and woven helmets are known elsewhere from antiquity why not from Papyrus or similar?....

The Ptolmaic Egyptian troops were said to be equipt in Macedonian fashion , though I dont remember the exact wording...
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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#11
Quote:Is the Crocodile skin "Armour" a religious/festival costume or Burial rite connected with Sobek who was still revered in Ptolomaic Egypt?
This is very unlikely to be armour; it is completely open down the front.You'd need to spend all of your time with your back to the enemy to get any kind of protection from it. It is more likely some kind of religious costume. In any case, crocodile hide makes lousy armour. It would need to be a lot thicker than this costume to stop spears and arrows.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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#12
Quote:The Ptolmaic Egyptian troops were said to be equipt in Macedonian fashion , though I dont remember the exact wording...
It makes sense that the Egyptians would have been trained and equipped in Macedonian fashion after Ptolemy became ruler of Egypt.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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#13
Crispianus, I do think we are seeing a mix of linen clothing and armour in the depiction from Thebes. The lead archef is apparently wearing a linen shawl and the pleats are visible. Patterns for Egyptian garments are pretty well known, and can be seen in Vogelsang-Eastwood's work. What are not civilian garments are the torso-covering items with horizontal lines and the little sleeves (not a common pleating pattern really), and the tasseled head coverings with the horizontal lines. I think these items are quilted linen or hide scale armour. The tasseled helmets, identical to those from Medinet Habu depictions, I think are likely "plaited helmets" or perhaps (pure speculation), hide scale helmets. The armour worn by the soldiers in the Thebes depiction looks suspiciously like Tut-style corselets. Tut's armour might be the most sophisticated leather scale armour extant, and I am becoming convinced there were different grades of workmanshio put inti different grades of armour, depending on who would be wearing them, as with the various types from the Nuzi material.

I think the BM mighthave that torso armour backwards; the scales on the back need to cover the chest. I think there are other examples of crocodile armour and they are oriented this way. I think the bony scales could be good against slashing blows. Of course the depiction might not be crocodile OR armour :-)
There are other depictions of warriors wearing this type of item though. I'd like to get a closer look at it. Crocodiles were sacred and at the same time a deadly nuisance. Plenty of hides around.

That the protective power of layers of linen was appreciated by the ancient Egyptians can be seen in Tut' cuirass where painted sealed rawhide scales are sewn to SIX layers of fine linen. Quilting linen layers makes for better armour, and depictions in the tomb of Ramses III probably show armour similar to that given by Amasis; they have an embroidered overlayer covering the quilting..
LOVE this armour from Sudan:
http://www.google.com/search?q=sudanese+...KICh0p8A2f
Now, Dan probably thinks I should be institutionalized :|
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#14
Here is another crocodile armour:
http://web.prm.ox.ac.uk/weapons/index.ph...-africa-5/
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#15
It is fine against slashing blows but pretty much anything will stop a sword cut. It won't stop an arrow or spear thrust which was the primary threat during the time in question. Leather armour designed to stop these weapons is multi-layered. Two-three layers was common but up to seven layers were used for weaker leather. Crocodile hide makes weak leather and pretty crappy armour, though I've had no experience with croc rawhide.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
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