Carthaginian Archaeology on Armour

Jul 2016
3
Hobbiton
#1
Hello, I've seen so little about Carthaginian armor and helmets especially. I do have knowledge that after Hannibal's victories, soldiers would loot Roman lorica squamata and their montefortino helmets. I'd like to see what has been found in Libya and around Carthage's lands in North Africa from the periods of 400 - 350 BC because I have rarely seen any real-life examples of what they wore to battle. Could anyone give me some information and link some nice finds of Carthaginian armour?
 
Jan 2015
2,813
MD, USA
#2
Hoo, I wish I had a better answer for you, but I've never seen *any* archeological remains of Carthaginian military equipment. And I know a few people who have been looking! There is a little artwork which shows typical Hellenistic shields, armor, and helmets, but not much in the way of solid literary descriptions. That's about it, I'm afraid!

The one thing we're pretty sure of is that Hannibal's Carthaginian infantry were *not* armed with pikes in the Macedonian fashion--more likely they were basically "thureophoroi", with oval shields and spears.

I could swear I've seen a neat webpage that sums it all up, but I don't seem to have a handy link. Doesn't seem to be on Luke Ueda-Sarson's site, he's usually a good source for this sort of thing. Rats, where was that?

Well, hopefully someone will come up with something better! Peter Connolly's old book on "Hannibal and the Enemies of Rome" is still lovable, and probably has most of the raw data, but has a few old errors as well (e.g., pikemen).

Good luck! Fascinating subject, for sure.

Matthew
 

Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,434
#4
http://www.sebastianotusa.it/testi/Royal-Tusa_Egadi_battle Curr_WArch.pdf

The article is about archaeology at the site of battle of Egadi, a 1st Punic War naval battle, and includes a couple photographs of bronze helmets recovered from the site.

One is a Phrygian style helm and probably belonged to Carthaginian. Montefortino helmets were recovered as well. The Romans wore Montefortino helmets, but it is possible they could be Carthaginian as well, since the Celts who were first to wear that style of helmet often ended up in Carthaginian service as mercenaries.

One of the Montefortino helmets almost certainly is Carthaginian, as it has an inscription that is either Punic or Celt-Iberian.

An artist's concept of a Carthaginian infantryman of the 2nd Punic War, with a Phrygian helm:

 
Last edited:
May 2015
1,299
Germany
#5
There was found a fragment of chainmail and some conical helmet in a Numidian grave (2nd century BC). Especially the helmet is of interest, since it is of ancient Near Eastern tradition and therefore very likely is of Carthaginian origin:

 
Jan 2015
2,813
MD, USA
#6
You might consider the following...

https://ospreypublishing.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=carthag

Osprey titles are good value with plentiful photographs, diagrams, and colour illustrations.
Oh, neat! Been a while since I looked at Ospreys, they're always coming out with new ones. Be forewarned, though, SOME of their bigger volumes are just compilations of several smaller ones! So don't go ordering everything on a topic, because you might be getting duplication.

And the quality of research will vary! Their photos of artifacts and artwork are invaluable, and the color reconstructions can be very inspirational, but the text is often best viewed as "introductory". That said, there are some Ospreys that are outstanding. Have to look up one or two on Carthage myself!

Matthew
 
Jan 2015
2,813
MD, USA
#7
http://www.sebastianotusa.it/testi/Royal-Tusa_Egadi_battle Curr_WArch.pdf

The article is about archaeology at the site of battle of Egadi, a 1st Punic War naval battle, and includes a couple photographs of bronze helmets recovered from the site.
Oh, very cool, thanks for the link! FASCinating! Just skimming through it, not seeing a mention of the weight of one the rams? Just curious. Got a friend who is planning to get into bronze casting, hee hee hee...


An artist's concept of a Carthaginian infantryman of the 2nd Punic War, with a Phrygian helm:

Good one, presumably from an Osprey book. Nice helmet, I've got one of those! I call it my "Santa Hat".

Matthew
 
Mar 2012
3,474
Redneck Country, AKA Texas
#8
http://www.sebastianotusa.it/testi/Royal-Tusa_Egadi_battle Curr_WArch.pdf

The article is about archaeology at the site of battle of Egadi, a 1st Punic War naval battle, and includes a couple photographs of bronze helmets recovered from the site.

One is a Phrygian style helm and probably belonged to Carthaginian. Montefortino helmets were recovered as well. The Romans wore Montefortino helmets, but it is possible they could be Carthaginian as well, since the Celts who were first to wear that style of helmet often ended up in Carthaginian service as mercenaries.

One of the Montefortino helmets almost certainly is Carthaginian, as it has an inscription that is either Punic or Celt-Iberian.

An artist's concept of a Carthaginian infantryman of the 2nd Punic War, with a Phrygian helm:

I've never seen the Phrygian helmet with that beard guard. Looks rad.
 

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