Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Aspis Construction Method
#16
I'm sure you are aware of the "Vatican Shield" and it's characteristics.

Why do you think the glued together blocks would weigh "375-400 pounds" before the cutting started?

Also, the wood blocks could also have been roughly pre-cut before gluing therefore eliminating a considering amount of the wood from the center prior to the final cutting. No proof of this, but it makes a lot of sense.
Reply
#17
(07-08-2016, 01:19 AM)rocktupac Wrote: A block of wood (poplar or willow) that was required for a smallish-sized aspis would have been roughly 375-400 pounds.

Your not turning steel blocks Big Grin my estimate is 50ibs for a circle of poplar(20% moisture content air dried and 31lbs a cubic foot) 30 inches in diameter and 4 inches thick and a total volume of 1.635 cubic feet, 6 inches would be 75lbs, 8 inches 100lbs...... and thats the high end... the block of wood itself would act as flywheel when turning, so the only thing you'd have to do in keep it turning at a suitable speed, it might be an idea to look up George Lailey a "green wood" turner and his techniques....

Article on Pole Lathes and wood turning:
https://www.academia.edu/7511378/The_Anc...Woodturner
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
Reply
#18
Two people could handle transport of my "butcher block" to the wood turner I hired.  Two guys were needed to mount it vertically once the metal hardware to turn it was attached.  There is (or was - I can't find it now) an image of a shield maker sitting in front of a horizontal turntable/lathe somewhere on the internet.  It is from an ancient Greek pot.  My block was less than 100 pounds (45kg) before turning,  about 16 pounds after.  We should have thinned it more, but decided not to risk starting over.
Cheryl Boeckmann
Reply
#19
(07-06-2016, 12:31 PM)Dan Howard Wrote: They were turned on a lathe, reinforced across the grain on the front with thin wooden laths, and reinforced on the back with leather.

(07-08-2016, 10:39 AM)Crispianus Wrote:
(07-08-2016, 01:19 AM)rocktupac Wrote: A block of wood (poplar or willow) that was required for a smallish-sized aspis would have been roughly 375-400 pounds.

Your not turning steel blocks Big Grin  my estimate is 50ibs for a circle of poplar(20% moisture content air dried and 31lbs a cubic foot) 30 inches in diameter and 4 inches thick and a total volume of 1.635 cubic feet, 6 inches would be 75lbs, 8 inches 100lbs...... and thats the high end... the block of wood itself would act as flywheel when turning, so the only thing you'd have to do in keep it turning at a suitable speed, it might be an idea to look up George Lailey a "green wood" turner and his techniques....

Boy was my math wrong!!! My apologies. This is still a large volume of wood and substantial mass.

I still haven't seen any evidence for a shield being turned on a lathe in the ancient world. All evidence points to small and lightweight items. Lathe-turned shields are a theory -- speculative at best and the evidence highly inconclusive.
Scott B.
Reply
#20
OK then, how do think they were made?

Keep in mind these were made by the tens of thousands over several centuries and were adopted by other peoples besides the Greeks.
Reply
#21
"I still haven't seen any evidence for a shield being turned on a lathe in the ancient world. All evidence points to small and lightweight items. Lathe-turned shields are a theory -- speculative at best and the evidence highly inconclusive."


Theodorus of Samos who lived in the 6th century BC is a potential candidate for the invention of the Lathe, but likely the truth is somewhat different, but as with other things he is said to have invented it may have been a new method rather then a completely new idea....
I'm no expert on any of this and I certainly couldnt tell you what evidence exists.... there is evidence though that the Romans at least used a true Lathe not necesarily from wooden objects which rarely survive, but from metal pots and plates as well as metal spinning and reconstructions have been made based on this evidence, often its only by doing something that you find out how it could have been or indeed was done....
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
Reply
#22
There is more evidence for turned shields than your glued linen armour.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
Reply
#23
Any help from an actual academic would be greatly appreciated.
Scott B.
Reply
#24
Scott, I know what you are searching for, it's what we are all searching for...certainty.

It this case it does not exist, and there are no academics who can tell you an aspis was made in such and such a way with 100% certainty. The information provided here is what there is, and pretty good. And frankly Academics talk to other other Academics on Academic forums, not here. This is a much friendlier place to post a question than any Academic forum.  

I've done a quick check of what I have on hand by Kagan, Viggiano, Van Wees, Snodgrass, Krentz, Schwartz, Matthew and of course Hanson and nothing has come up yet regarding how the shield was made. They are generally more interested in how it was used. I am curious myself so a deeper dive into the published literature may be on hand.

I can only think of two ways to make the shield, by turning from a large glued block or pre-cutting the pieces and gluing them together, and my opinion is for the turning method based on the scant evidence provided. Any other ideas?
Reply
#25
How about thin, glued strips laid over a domed form, scutum-style?
Pecunia non olet
Reply
#26
The Vatican shield wasn't constructed like that.

The Mycenaean wooden basin was large enough that it was mistaken for a shield when it was first found. It has a central hole that had been plugged. What manufacturing method other than turning leaves a hole in the centre?
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen & Sword Books
Reply
#27
(07-06-2016, 12:31 PM)Dan Howard Wrote: They were turned on a lathe, reinforced across the grain on the front with thin wooden laths, and reinforced on the back with leather.

(07-09-2016, 07:28 PM)Creon01 Wrote: Scott, I know what you are searching for, it's what we are all searching for...certainty.

It this case it does not exist, and there are no academics who can tell you an aspis was made in such and such a way with 100% certainty. The information provided here is what there is, and pretty good. And frankly Academics talk to other other Academics on Academic forums, not here. This is a much friendlier place to post a question than any Academic forum.  

I've done a quick check of what I have on hand by Kagan, Viggiano, Van Wees, Snodgrass, Krentz, Schwartz, Matthew and of course Hanson and nothing has come up yet regarding how the shield was made. They are generally more interested in how it was used. I am curious myself so a deeper dive into the published literature may be on hand.

I can only think of two ways to make the shield, by turning from a large glued block or pre-cutting the pieces and gluing them together, and my opinion is for the turning method based on the scant evidence provided. Any other ideas?

Thank you for the informative response! While certainty would be nice, at this point I'm more out to collect information in all forms. And before making a judgment or rigidly defending a possible theory, I'd rather gather as much information and evidence as possible. I accept that there are things we will never know for sure. What I refuse to do is hold a position and be unwilling to waver from it based on such little evidence. If I have a theory about something and indisputable evidence appears that proves me wrong, I would gladly welcome it; I'd much rather know the truth about something than be stuck defending my ego and get a reputation for an unwillingness to change and adapt. New ideas are welcome!

Ultimately, I would like to test a few different construction methods and see which seems most likely. I think that would give us somewhat of an insight into how these shields were constructed. Theories I would include: a block of glued-together wood turned on a lathe; a block of glued-together wood chiseled out by hand and finished into a bowl shape; thin strips of wood glued and laminated together, overlapping to increase thickness. There may be a few other methods to try, and I'm just brainstorming, but this could be a good place to start.
Scott B.
Reply
#28
The thin strips glued and overlapping like plywood has been done and yields a decent shield. The only evidence we have of this is one depiction on one vase. This is my old shield that was modified by it's current owner to be more accurate. http://www.larp.com/hoplite/Chigiaspis17.jpg

But everyone agrees that this in NOT how later hoplons were constructed as there are no other depictions of this type and thousands of the "standard" type.

If you are going to build a shield by hand to see how it could have been made, unless you use the same ancient hand tools it won't yield much useful information. The lathe as a tool hasn't really changed much since ancient times, just the way it spins (slave power vs motors). Also keep in mind that we know shields were made on an industrial scale in ancient Greece so being able to make one decent one in a month's worth of labor is also problematic.

Good luck.
Reply
#29
(07-05-2016, 03:29 PM)rocktupac Wrote: I have read about a couple extant shields with a bit of wood remaining, but I can't seem find a ton of information on them. Does anyone have any suggestions? Any insight would be appreciated!

Thank you!
If I were going to start a project like this, I would read things like:

Archaeological
- Appendix 3.1 of Philip Henry Blyth's PhD thesis http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=u...hos.450089
- Philip Henry Blyth's article "The Structure of a Hoplite Shield at the Museo Gregoriano Etrusco" http://shop.museivaticani.va/kkshop/Boll...2/2_363.do
- The volume on Argivische Schilde in the Olympische Forschungen series from Walter de Gruyter
- There are a couple of chapters in the Men of Bronze conference proceedings with relevant bibliography
- Connolly's Greece and Rome at War for its painting of the shield in the Vatican musuem
- Giannis' photos of the shield in the Vatican Museum
- Depending on your team's background, there are probably good archaeological reports in French, Greek, or Turkish ...

Iconographic
???
The CVA Online

Comparative
- Anything on Greek shipbuilding eg. Morrison and Coates or Lionel Casson's big volume.
- Richard Underwood's chapter on Anglo-Saxon shields in The Cutting Edge
- Jan Kohlmorgen, Der Mittelalterliche Ritterschild

Good luck!
Nullis in verba

I left this forum around the beginning of 2013, but I hope that these old posts have some value
Reply
#30
Thank you very much, Sean!!! Very helpful.
Scott B.
Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Making an Aspis - Ring Method (Visual Aids) Chris B 112 47,090 10-03-2010, 11:06 PM
Last Post: M. Demetrius
  Hoplon ancient method of construction Idomeneas 41 9,963 03-18-2007, 12:10 PM
Last Post: Peter Raftos

Forum Jump: