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Body Armour in the European Bronze Age

  • Marianne Mödlinger
Chapter
Part of the Quantitative Methods in the Humanities and Social Sciences book series (QMHSS)

Abstract

This chapter provides an overview of all classes of metal body armour from the European Bronze Age based on an interdisciplinary approach combining traditional typo-chronologies with aspects of manufacture and use revealed by scientific analysis. The earliest known specimen of metal body armour from Dendra, Greece, dates to the first half of the fifteenth century BC. However, most pieces of armour, including about 120 helmets, 30 cuirasses and 75 greaves, are to be assigned to the Late Bronze Age, c. 1200–950 BC. Metal body armour has been found in most of Europe, from Iberia in the west to Cyprus in the east and from Sicily in the south to Sweden in the north; comparable specimens are also known from the Near East. The chapter provides new insights into the manufacturing methods and uses of Bronze Age body armour by means of metallurgical analysis, use-wear analysis and a reappraisal of find contexts and chronologies. The study is grounded in the author’s original documentation and analysis of all accessible helmets, greaves and cuirasses from Eastern Europe and is further augmented by several specimens from Western Europe. This is all the more valuable considering that the sample includes finds from auction houses and private collections, which had never been examined prior to this research.

Keywords

Bronze Age Armour Metal body armour Helmet Crested helmet Cap helmet Cuirass Greave Metallography Chemical analyses SEM-EDXS Use of armour Manufacture of armour Use of helmets Use of cuirasses Use of greaves Manufacture of helmets Manufacture of cuirasses Manufacture of greaves 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marianne Mödlinger
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Excellence-Cluster TOPOIDeutsches Archäologisches Institut, Eurasien AbteilungBerlinGermany
  2. 2.University of ViennaViennaAustria

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