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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Scale and Lamellar Reply to topic
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Raymond Deancona





Joined: 04 Mar 2004

Posts: 429

PostPosted: Mon 11 Aug, 2008 6:37 am    Post subject: Scale and Lamellar         Reply with quote

Does anyone have any good pictures of actual scale or lamellar armors? (historic or recreated armor is fine) I am interested in seeing the shoulder area specifically to understand how the plates were attached to cover this area without sticking up or being uncomfortable to wear.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Mon 11 Aug, 2008 7:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Then check this page:

http://www.levantia.com.au/military/armour.html
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Raymond Deancona





Joined: 04 Mar 2004

Posts: 429

PostPosted: Mon 11 Aug, 2008 2:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like the site, However, I can't make out any details of the shoulder area - either covered with a coif or pauldron masking the curve of the shoulder showing any detail of attachment. Still a really good site, and much better quality pics. Don't know why Osprey did not use these color photos in their warrior series Byzantine Infantryman!
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Mon 11 Aug, 2008 3:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

reconstructed from one of the wisby finds.


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lamellae-wisby2.gif

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Raymond Deancona





Joined: 04 Mar 2004

Posts: 429

PostPosted: Mon 11 Aug, 2008 5:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan, Thanks for the attachment of the Wisby find. Looks like separate attached pieces for the shoulder. Do you have any practical experience of wearing this kind of armor? Does the should piece become too rigid? Do you have any scale armor pics? The closest I've seen is a Roman scale armor, but again, there is no "overhead" shot of the shoulder area. My concern, is how these armorers kept the shoulder area flat without scales sticking up at odd angles, as the row marches back past the shoulder before switching over to lay flat against the back.
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Raymond Deancona





Joined: 04 Mar 2004

Posts: 429

PostPosted: Mon 11 Aug, 2008 5:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I found some nice shots of lamellar armor made in the Ukraine.
Intersting how they have put the armor together:



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Raymond Deancona





Joined: 04 Mar 2004

Posts: 429

PostPosted: Sat 16 Aug, 2008 5:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Still looking for some shots of scale armor, especially at the shoulder crest.
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 408

PostPosted: Sat 16 Aug, 2008 9:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Try poking around the Bronze Age center for some reconstructions: http://z8.invisionfree.com/Bronze_Age_Center/index.php?

There are also some good reconstructions of Roman armour on www.romanarmy.com.rat

For books, Robinson's Oriental Armour and Niccole's Medieval Warfare Sourcebook have some good sketches and photos of examples.

The shoulder section is a tricky part, and the world-wide conspiracy of artists to fudge it or hide it with cloaks doesn't help![/url]
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Hisham Gaballa





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PostPosted: Sat 16 Aug, 2008 3:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Raymond Deancona wrote:
Still looking for some shots of scale armor, especially at the shoulder crest.


Check these out:
http://www.larp.com/hoplite/scales8.jpg
http://www.larp.com/hoplite/scales9.jpg
http://z8.invisionfree.com/Bronze_Age_Center/...id=6570479
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Nikodem Czechowski




Location: Torun, PL
Joined: 25 May 2008

Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2009 4:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And what about usage of lammelar outside of Byzantine empire? Im trying to reenact a mercenary warrior from IX-X century, and I'm thinking about a lammelar instead of mail, but will it be historicaly acurate?
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2009 7:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nikodem Czechowski wrote:
And what about usage of lammelar outside of Byzantine empire? Im trying to reenact a mercenary warrior from IX-X century, and I'm thinking about a lammelar instead of mail, but will it be historicaly acurate?


From what area your "mercenary warrior" would be? As it makes huge diference in what would have been avaliable for him.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2009 3:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nikodem Czechowski wrote:
And what about usage of lammelar outside of Byzantine empire? Im trying to reenact a mercenary warrior from IX-X century, and I'm thinking about a lammelar instead of mail, but will it be historicaly acurate?

If Asia or Russia then yes. If Western Europe then no.
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Nikodem Czechowski




Location: Torun, PL
Joined: 25 May 2008

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PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2009 10:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Nikodem Czechowski wrote:
And what about usage of lammelar outside of Byzantine empire? Im trying to reenact a mercenary warrior from IX-X century, and I'm thinking about a lammelar instead of mail, but will it be historicaly acurate?

If Asia or Russia then yes. If Western Europe then no.


I'm thinking Viking (they found some lamellae pieces in Birka) or maybe a Varangian (and use a lammelar of Byzantine origin).
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Romulus Stoica




Location: Hunedoara, Transylvania, Romania
Joined: 26 Oct 2006

Posts: 124

PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2009 11:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are some pictures from Densus Church in Hunedoara County, Transylvania, Romania, dated XIV or XV century, with some interesting scale and plates armor. The pictures are not so good but I will take a trip there to make better ones some day. The shoulders area seems to be made like late roman armor.
http://www.medievistica.ro/texte/arta/pictura/Densus/7.jpg
http://www.medievistica.ro/texte/arta/pictura/Densus/9.jpg
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct, 2009 12:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nikodem Czechowski wrote:
I'm thinking Viking (they found some lamellae pieces in Birka)
Which has been shown to be of Eastern origin.
Quote:
or maybe a Varangian (and use a lammelar of Byzantine origin).

Varangians served in the Byzantine Empire. No evidence of lamellar or Varangians in a Viking context.
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Maurizio D'Angelo




Location: Italy
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct, 2009 4:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Regarding the period and foreign influences:

"Although foreign influences - especially Italo-Norman and Turkish - were considerable by the 12th century, Byzantine equipment portrayed in contemporary pictures retains several distinctive characteristics, most notably the leather fringes and pteruges at waist and shoulders. Though lamellar and scale armour remained in use until at least the 14th century, mail armour predominated.
Corselets came in various styles, usually with short sleeves but sometimes long-sleeved or sleeveless.
Lighter-armed men generally wore a hip-length leather corselet instead, this invariably having a horizontal breast-band, the purpose of which may have been to secure the two halves of the cuirass in place (though this does not explain why such breast-bands also occur in conjunction with mail corselets)."

by Jan Heat - Byzantine Armies
I hope it is a little help Happy
Ciao
Maurizio
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Nikodem Czechowski




Location: Torun, PL
Joined: 25 May 2008

Posts: 12

PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct, 2009 10:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Nikodem Czechowski wrote:
I'm thinking Viking (they found some lamellae pieces in Birka)
Which has been shown to be of Eastern origin.


How was that shown? I'm just curious, because several people told me that, but no one [u]proved[/] that. Whatsmore - they could be of eastern origin (and they probably are), bur they could be used by Vikings.

Dan Howard wrote:
Quote:
or maybe a Varangian (and use a lammelar of Byzantine origin).

Varangians served in the Byzantine Empire. No evidence of lamellar or Varangians in a Viking context.


When I wrote Varangian I thought about a Rus/Viking, serving in the Byzantine Empire.

Apart from the link in the second post I have not found any useful information about Byzantine lamellar reconstruction. Can anyone help?
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct, 2009 12:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nikodem Czechowski wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
Nikodem Czechowski wrote:
I'm thinking Viking (they found some lamellae pieces in Birka)
Which has been shown to be of Eastern origin.


How was that shown? I'm just curious, because several people told me that, but no one [u]proved[/] that. Whatsmore - they could be of eastern origin (and they probably are), bur they could be used by Vikings.


Well there are several reasons to think it was not used by Vikings:
1)it is unique find with no contemporary descriptions or depictions anywhere else in the "Viking area"
2)it was found as parts of dismantled armour (persumably, for repairs) in the building which is belived to be an armourers workshop - so it was not a complete set thatw as worn by someone in Birka
3)it is doccumented that eastern merchants where present in Birka, and closest archaeological analogue to Birka lamellar are from kurgan 11, Balyk-Sook, Altai (Kubarev 1998). This comes from the excelent analysis of the armour by Niklas Stjerna.
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Nikodem Czechowski




Location: Torun, PL
Joined: 25 May 2008

Posts: 12

PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct, 2009 3:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Artis Aboltins wrote:
Nikodem Czechowski wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
Nikodem Czechowski wrote:
I'm thinking Viking (they found some lamellae pieces in Birka)
Which has been shown to be of Eastern origin.


How was that shown? I'm just curious, because several people told me that, but no one [u]proved[/] that. Whatsmore - they could be of eastern origin (and they probably are), bur they could be used by Vikings.


Well there are several reasons to think it was not used by Vikings:
1)it is unique find with no contemporary descriptions or depictions anywhere else in the "Viking area"
2)it was found as parts of dismantled armour (presumably, for repairs) in the building which is believed to be an armourers workshop - so it was not a complete set thatw as worn by someone in Birka
3)it is doccumented that eastern merchants where present in Birka, and closest archaeological analogue to Birka lamellar are from kurgan 11, balyk-Sook, altai (kubarev 1998). This comes from the excelent analysis of the armour by niklas stjerna.


1 - True, but on the other hand this isn't showing anything. Lamellar could be just rare (like, generally, any other armour in those days).
2 - Not only. Several lamella were found in graves AFAIK. Whatsmore several archeologists claim that this is due to the fact that lamellar armour was very expensive, so only a small part was put into the grave OR it was a part of a helmet (used instead of mail)
3 - Yes, they were present, but this isn't proving anything IMHO, or even more - they could sell lamellar armour to the Vikings (they were merchants after all).
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct, 2009 3:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nikodem Czechowski wrote:

1 - True, but on the other hand this isn't showing anything. Lamellar could be just rare (like, generally, any other armour in those days).
2 - Not only. Several lamella were found in graves AFAIK. Whatsmore several archeologists claim that this is due to the fact that lamellar armour was very expensive, so only a small part was put into the grave OR it was a part of a helmet (used instead of mail)
3 - Yes, they were present, but this isn't proving anything IMHO, or even more - they could sell lamellar armour to the Vikings (they were merchants after all).


We know that Europeans traded with the Japanese. By your logic you can have viking ninjas running around. FWIW lamellar was one of the cheapest forms of metal armour available. That's why it was issued to the Byzantine rank and file. Anyone with wealth in Europe during the viking era would have worn mail. Which, by the way, would include veterans of the Varangian Guard.
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