Armor and Weapon Comparison: Europe, Asia and others

Oct 2013
5,898
Planet Nine, Oregon
#11
I think you are generally right. The scale armour above with the patina and helmet --is a fake, but it looks pretty good; I was initially taken in by it too. Strange thing, some of the earlier Egyptian scale armour from the 17th century BC and armour from Nuzi already was designed to be laced to scale rows above and below:
Oriental Armour
...and piles of corroded metal staples were also found at Nuzi, so later scale is not always more like lamellar. Note on the same page from Robinson the much simpler and later scale armour from the tomb of Sheshonq.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#12
Plate armour is not new; from the Dendra armour forward there was plate armour, used right alongside scale armour.
The articulated plate armor of medieval Europe was rather new. Previous "plate" armor lacked the completeness and mobility of medieval plate armor. For flexibility, you had to go to lamelar if you wanted the same degree of flexibility.:party:

Some of the earliest armour appears to be lamellar armour of bone and also probably of wood; the technology to beat out large plates of bronze took a while to appear. Scale armour arose in in the middle east among the Hurrians perhaps in the 17th century BC., though it possibly arose independently in other places. The seams and joins of any armour where it requires articulation are weak points; even in Egypt the weak points of scale corselets were the armpits and neck, where you can see arrows entering in depictions. The horses were armoured at an early period, e.g. Egypt, where they needed to be protected from the powerful bows as they pulled chariots. Scale armour is heavy, as is textile armour; much heavier than medieval steel plate armours, unless it is made from hide or leather --it is then quite light, but not as protective as metal armour.
But how does scale compare with mail armor? Is it hea I don't think the switch for medieval plate armor was because it was lighter. Plate does have the advantage that not all the weight of the armor hung from your shoulder as was the case for mail. Since lamelar was more rigid, I wonder if that armor could shift some of the.weight off the shoulders

Mail is more flexible than scale and lamelad armor, but could it be also be not as hot, and breath better than scale and lamelar? All the holes of ma armor would seem to allow more air for cooling than scale or lamelar, or plate.
 
Oct 2013
5,898
Planet Nine, Oregon
#13
But how does scale compare with mail armor? Is it hea I don't think the switch for medieval plate armor was because it was lighter. Plate does have the advantage that not all the weight of the armor hung from your shoulder as was the case for mail. Since lamelar was more rigid, I wonder if that armor could shift some of the.weight off the shoulders
Yeah, the medieval steel armour's weight was evenly distributed over the body and quite light for the highest amount of protection. Scale is heavy. Mail is generally better than scale though there are many kinds of it, but harder to produce; it was of course used right alongside scale over the centuries. Medieval plate armour is the apex of armour functionality

Mail is more flexible than scale and lamelad armor, but could it be also be not as hot, and breath better than scale and lamelar? All the holes of ma armor would seem to allow more air for cooling than scale or lamelar, or plate.
Scale is hot and heavy, lamellar probably similar, though it depends on materials; bronze scale armour is very heavy. Mail would seem to provide better ventilation, but not if it had an arming garment underneath.
 
Jan 2019
89
Southeast Asia
#14
The source for weapons and armor could be from specimen, painting, statue, relief, writings and so on.

Sometimes examples like European plate armor have pretty much all of the above sources we can draw from. Others like Byzantine and Russian armor have unreliable depiction in paintings and reliefs, but we can at least deduce what they wear with writings or fragments. Sometimes examples like Japanese armor between the Kofun Period to the Heian Period are lacking in specimens, artistic depictions and writings.

I try to use historical examples to depict what they might wear.

I would start with the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age as the starting point. My knowledge about this period is a bit lacking, so I would probably left large gaps. There are certainly armor made before this period, but I wouldn't include them as there are few examples I could find.


1500 BC - 1000 BC

Europe

Mycenae, 1450-1400 BC

Dendra Panoply, weight 18 kg. Used by charioteer.

Armor Greek Mycenae Dendra Panoply 1400 BC 2.jpg
Armor Greek Mycenae Dendra Panoply complete.jpg

This the foot soldier.

Armor Greek Mycenae soldiers clearer.jpg

Mycenaean shield could be hourglass in shape.

Armor Greek Mycenae shield 2.jpg

Africa
Egypt

Tutankhamun's armor

Armor Ancient Egypt Tutankhamun armor 1.jpg

Tutankhamun in battle

Armor Ancient Egypt 1327 BC Pharaoh Tutankhamun destroying his enemies copy.jpg

East Asia
China

Shang Dynasty helmets

Armor China Shang Dynasty helmet bronze.jpg

Mask
Armor China Shang Dynasty mask 3.jpg

Probable bronze body armor

Armor China Shang Dynasty breastplate 1.jpg

Modern depiction of possible armor and weapons of Shang Dynasty soldiers.

Armor China Shang Dynasty soldier 2.jpg

The Ge is used as a warpick at this time.
 
Jan 2019
89
Southeast Asia
#17
1000 BC-500 BC

Now this period is really interesting. It is easier to find visuals of armor than before and not only that in my opinion this the period where armor start to be very sophisticated.

At the beginning, the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean is experiencing the collapse, some like Mycenaean Greece and Hittite Empire fell, some that has existed for centuries or millenia before like Egypt and Assyria remain strong and continue to exist for several centuries, yet by the end of this time, Greece is a functioning civilization again and the old powers of the Middle East is conquered by a new power, Persia. Mesopotamian civilization and Egypt will never regain their place again.

In China, it begins with the unified rule of the Zhou that had toppled the previous regime, the Shang Dynasty, it begins with the stable period of the Western Zhou and ends with the increasingly unstable China about to enter the Warring States Period.

In India, it begins with the Indo Aryan entering India, and ends with small kingdoms that start to appear in India.


Europe

Western Europe

9th-8th century BC, France

Marmesse Cuirass, I read that this is Urnfield Culture

Armor Europe BC 9th-8th century BC France Marmesse cuirass 1 view 1 total 7 found.jpg

7th-6th century BC, Halstatt culture

Armor Europe BC 7th-6th century BC Halstatt Culture left cuirass 600-570 BC right cuirass 630-...jpg

7th-6th century BC, France,

Grenoble cuirass, weight 2900 gram

Armor Europe BC 7th late-early 6th century France Grenoble cuirass 2900 gram.jpg

Greece

8th century BC

Argos Panoply

The earliest found armor from Archaic Greece, probably the earliest muscle cuirass of Greece.

Armor Greek 8th century 720-710 BC Argos Panoply oldest Archaic armor 3.jpg

Armor Greek 8th century armor.jpg

By the 600s and 500s there are so many example of bronze armor, that I cannot possibly put all of it here. The year 700-500 BC is also probably the peak of Greek bronze armor usage and sophistication, before we have few specimen and later, wars in Greece become bigger after the Greco-Persian Wars, and armor start to become simpler until sometimes during the Hellenistic Period.

During this period, the Corinthian helmet appear and commonly worn, but I think many people would know how they look, so I wouldn't post it here.

Armor Greek Archaic Greek full armor picture 2.jpg
This picture is the ideal maximum armor worn during Archaic Period.

This far I only manage to get the painting of warriors with helmet, cuirass, thigh armor, greaves, pauldron and upper arm armor. The groin, thigh and the feet armor is from real specimen. I have never found forearm armor both in specimen or art.

If we want to be complete, the Hoplite could also have scale skirt, there is one depiction in a vase.




Middle East

Considering that the Assyrian Empire is very prominent in this period with many depiction of armor, I would only post them because I could not find artistic depiction of what others worn during this period.

Assyria

9th century BC, 859-824 BC, Balawat Gates made during reign of Shalmaneser III.

Armor Middle East Assyria 859-824 BC Shalmaneser 3 Balawat Gate palace bronze relief 3.jpg

As we can see the soldiers seem to wear long scale armor.

Armor Middle East Assyria long coat armor.png
These period of Assyrian armor seems unusually heavy for regular soldiers and archers compared to other areas.

Assyrian iron helmet 800-700 BC.
 

Attachments

Jan 2019
89
Southeast Asia
#18
Continuing the previous post

Middle East

Assyria

I found the relief with the heavy armor.

Armor Middle East Assyria 865-860 BC Ashurnasirpal 2 war relief 4 copy.jpg

Those are not beards and hair, that is the earliest example I know of helmet with aventail. Maybe they are wearing heavy armor because they are sappers?

Also note the wide belt for distributing the weight of the armor.

The Assyrian from what I heard are also the pioneer of using boots instead of sandal, although as with heavy armor doesn't mean all soldiers are wearing it, there are examples of lightly armored and barefoot Assyrian or maybe it is just a later development since the later Neo-Assyrian relief have a lot of boots showing.

These are the iron scales of Assyrian armor.

8th-7th century BC

Armor Middle East Assyria 8th-7th century BC Scale plate 1 iron 2.2 x 8.3 cm.JPG

It seems that later Assyrians of the 700s and 600s stop wearing the long coat armor that apppear in 800s BC relief.

Armor Middle East Assyria cavalry horse archer.jpg

It is also interesting that Assyrian armor seems to have armored sleeves. If it is made with iron scale, that is quite sophisticated.

In the Balawat Gates photo, there are examples of what look like trouser armor made with scales on the right.

Armor Middle East Assyria 859-824 BC Shalmaneser 3 Balawat Gate palace bronze relief 10 copy.jpg

Also I found this relief which show clearer picture of armored sleeve covering the upper arm until the elbow. 640-620 BC.

Armor Middle East Assyria 640-620 BC South-West Palace in Nineveh 2 copy.jpg



East Asia

China

Sometimes ago, I found this article about late Shang-early Zhou armor being found. It only show the photo of a greave and state that the greave and some chest armor is being found, but there are no photo on the chest armor.

The article in Chinese websites about the same topic show that this is a Western Zhou tomb 1046-771 BC.

Armor China Zhou Dynasty 1046-771 BC armor from tomb in Shigushan mountain Western Zhou period...jpg

And this is the chest armor

Armor China Zhou Dynasty 1046-771 BC armor from tomb in Shigushan mountain Western Zhou perio...jpeg

Western Zhou helmet

Armor China Zhou Dynasty 1046-771 BC Western Zhou helmet.jpg
 
Aug 2014
3,820
Australia
#20
You are wasting your time trying to do this on a forum. This approach is so haphazard and erratic that nothing can be accomplished. You need an entire book to even scratch the surface of this subject.
 

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