helens_daughter: (Default)

A few examples of Mycenaean armor survive, none more famous than the Dendra panoply found in an Argive tomb near Midea in 1960.  It is constructed from fifteen separate pieces of bronze, which would have been padded inside with leather, and held together with leather thongs.  It looked something like a barrel when worn, and would have been quite cumbersome.  The cuirass was formed of two pieces, and was hinged on the left side.   When worn, the armor would have protected the wearer from the neck to the knees; the wearer would have supplemented this protection with greaves and arm guards.   Even with this supplemental protection, however, the back of the heels were still vulnerable.  So the legend of Achilles' heel might have some truth behind it.

Armor of this type dates to around 1400 B.C., and was inventoried at Pylos, Tiryns, and Knossos, with the Linear B symbol 𐂫.  It would not have been widely worn, except by the elite, and perhaps only on ceremonial occasions.  By the time of the Trojan War, in 1250 B.C., warriors would have worn bronze scale armor, leather, and/or laminated linen for protection.

helens_daughter: (Default)

An image featuring two gentlemen in reproduction Mycenaean armor.  You can buy the armor and helmets here, though the weapons and clothing are not for sale.

Mycenaean war gear was not uniform, and basically consisted of whatever the wearer could afford or scavenge.  High-class warriors, such as Achilles, would have put on a gaudy show to impress and intimidate both friend and foe.


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