Battlefield Archaeology: Ancient Warrior Helmets and Head-Gear

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Complete combat equipment of the ancient Roman warrior lie on a box of wooden boards. (Fxquadro / Adobe Stock)

Battlefield Archaeology: Ancient Warrior Helmets and Head-Gear

Books, text, manuscripts and oral histories of most ancient cultures abound with heroes wielding an array of ancient weapons including endless famous swords, spears and supernaturally charged armor that were often gifted to the warriors by gods. However, while such weapons of war thrive in historical fictions they are no less prominent in the real world of battlefield archaeology. In this sub-discipline of archaeology, the tangible remains of battlefields are considered against the landscape of ancient blood-stained topographies that hosted training camps, skirmishes, sieges, and all out wars.

Close examination of these locations offers archaeologists insight to what tactics were deployed, what weapon modifications were adopted and which battle formations and strategies had occurred in any given feud, but within this discipline is a niche area of study that does not often get much publicity - the helmets and headgear of ancient combat.

The Boeotian bronze helmet discovered in the Tigris river in Iraq, was used in Ancient Greece during the Classical and Hellenistic periods, as well as in Ancient Rome. Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. (Gts-tg/ CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Boeotian bronze helmet discovered in the Tigris river in Iraq, was used in Ancient Greece during the Classical and Hellenistic periods, as well as in Ancient Rome. Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. (Gts-tg/ CC BY-SA 4.0)


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