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Magin Hard




Location: Netherlands
Joined: 25 Oct 2010

Posts: 37

PostPosted: Sun 08 May, 2011 1:25 pm    Post subject: Migration Helmet         Reply with quote

Looking for some good links and information about specific helmet types and constructions of helmets during the Migration Period (300-500 AD).

Maybe people have some archeological information about helmets found in the Saxon areas like northern Germany, Frisia and southern denmark? I always have a specific interest when it comes to these areas!

And please feel free to post your own Migration Period helmets! I need inspiration.. want to make a helmet from leather Happy

Thanks!

'The cruels and threachery of civilization, that is barbaric!', said the free Frisian to his son..
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Scott Woodruff





Joined: 30 Nov 2005
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Posts: 601

PostPosted: Sun 08 May, 2011 5:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Is this helmet meant to be purely decorative? I recently made a couple of leather helmets for a Vikings Vinland event, one fairly light and sewn, the other heavier and riveted. Neither provided much protection against blunt re-enacting swords, and both were easily penetrated by arrows (from a 15lb bow!) A sword with a fairly sharp edge cuts through them like butter. They did look pretty cool though. As far as I know, there is little to no evidence for leather helmets during the migration period, not surprising considering how inferior they would be. A naalbound wool hat provides much better protection. I would suggest steel spagenhelm constreuction. A quick google search should provide plenty of inspiration.
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Myles Mulkey





Joined: 31 Jul 2008

Posts: 250

PostPosted: Mon 09 May, 2011 3:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would suggest, for accuracy's sake, that you try it in steel. Dishing equipment is not hard to make, and steel sheet is pretty inexpensive. Give it a try!

But if you really want a leather one, maybe something like this? http://theinnerbailey.com/helmsetcanglosaxon4.jpg
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Myles Mulkey





Joined: 31 Jul 2008

Posts: 250

PostPosted: Mon 09 May, 2011 3:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Or perhaps something like this instead? http://theinnerbailey.com/helmsetcspangensix2.jpg
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Arek Przybylok




Location: Upper Silesia
Joined: 16 Jan 2007

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Mon 09 May, 2011 5:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In the first type Baldenheim (primarily 6-7th Century)
http://www.maineantiquedigest.com/stories/prci2867.jpg
Then, findings from Koln (I do not remember dating)
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/534/colognei.jpg/
Maybe some late Roman helmet, like Burgh Castle,Berkasovo, Ridge, Deir el Medineh ?
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Magin Hard




Location: Netherlands
Joined: 25 Oct 2010

Posts: 37

PostPosted: Mon 09 May, 2011 6:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

@ Scott: thnx for the advise. I'm suprised that the leather has come so bad out of the tests. Would not have expected that! However, I do wanna give it a try to make a very nice leather helmet.. like you say, they can look awesome. But has to be used too and not only for decorative use to answer your question. Do you have pictures of the helmets you made?

@ Myles: I'm very good with leather but not with metal. Maybe you've got some tips for the making of and iron helmet? And thnx for the pictures

@ Arek: thnx for the info. Like it! Late Roman helmets can indeed be a very good one for a helmet type. Maybe anybody has some nice late Roman helmet types that could be used by the northern Germanic tribes?

'The cruels and threachery of civilization, that is barbaric!', said the free Frisian to his son..
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Arek Przybylok




Location: Upper Silesia
Joined: 16 Jan 2007

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Mon 09 May, 2011 7:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Captured probably all used in the appropriate area:)
Baldenheim (typical German helmet VI-VII century) comes from the eastern Roman cavalry helmets. The Romans took it from the Sassanid. Everything is connected. And remember that the late Roman army is the most German.
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Robert Rootslane




Location: Estonia
Joined: 06 Aug 2007

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Mon 09 May, 2011 8:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well last year in Wolin some guy had a leather helmet. maybe he had somekind of metal construction inside the leather, i didnt ask him, but anyway, in case it was leather, he was taking part in a full contact fight with that helmet.

perhaps boiled leather with enough padding will do the trick?
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Arek Przybylok




Location: Upper Silesia
Joined: 16 Jan 2007

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Mon 09 May, 2011 8:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And there is any evidence of the leather helmets? If they behave leather shoes, bags, belts, why not have a helmet?
Wolin is Lord of the Ring live. Archaeology vs "Vikings"...
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Magin Hard




Location: Netherlands
Joined: 25 Oct 2010

Posts: 37

PostPosted: Mon 09 May, 2011 8:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes Arek, afcourse. Nice posts, thanks. That's the reason... leather had to be a special product with lot of potential in that time. And I believe that a leather helmet is better as nothing. Afcourse, the evidence is always a problem because it doesnt stay very well preserved in the ground, hehe.
But as Robert say... I think leather can be made very strong.. with more layers and also when you look at raw-hide leather. And even better, when you have a metal construction? That would be ideal right? The metal is just so strong and the leather can make the last protection to it to make it so strong and even durable.

'The cruels and threachery of civilization, that is barbaric!', said the free Frisian to his son..
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Robert Rootslane




Location: Estonia
Joined: 06 Aug 2007

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Mon 09 May, 2011 10:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Arek Przybylok wrote:
And there is any evidence of the leather helmets? If they behave leather shoes, bags, belts, why not have a helmet?
Wolin is Lord of the Ring live. Archaeology vs "Vikings"...


Wolin may be what it is, but it wont change the fact that in case that helmet was pure leather it was at least useful in blunt steel combat.
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Scott Woodruff





Joined: 30 Nov 2005
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 601

PostPosted: Mon 09 May, 2011 10:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Magin, I might be able to find some of the shreds of leather left from them, but most got used making grey tannin and iron dye for my wool hosen. Like I said, they didn't hold up very well. They were basically disposable helmets for an event I was helping my friend with. The riveted leather helmet was cut out, riveted and hot-water hardened inside about 2 hours. The sewn one took a little longer but was still finished in one afternoon.
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Arek Przybylok




Location: Upper Silesia
Joined: 16 Jan 2007

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Mon 09 May, 2011 11:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The potential is not important to me. In work i draw from the ground a few hundreds of years old hat, shoes, bags. The fabric, felt, thin leather. There are no written sources and absence of finds of large, tanned skin: for me is important.
But the helmets of Koln and Benty Grange were made ​​of metal and horn.
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 683

PostPosted: Mon 09 May, 2011 2:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't think there is any evidence for leather helmets whatsoever.

Given the rarity of finding helmets in even the very wealthy graves, I think most people didn't wear them, either because they were too expensive, but more probably because they were just not that popular.

Also, a helmet would not allow a hair knot as was popular among many Germanic tribes.
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Magin Hard




Location: Netherlands
Joined: 25 Oct 2010

Posts: 37

PostPosted: Mon 09 May, 2011 2:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmm good one Paul. I do like it most not to wear anything on my head.. but with some events and fights the actually order you to wear a helmet because of safety reasons. So now I am watching for a helmet and as I like to work with leather, that seemed a good idea.
'The cruels and threachery of civilization, that is barbaric!', said the free Frisian to his son..
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Scott Woodruff





Joined: 30 Nov 2005
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 601

PostPosted: Tue 10 May, 2011 7:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A leather helmet disguised as a hat would provide a tiny bit of protection against incidental taps and be more historically accurate than a bare leather helmet. The guys at Viking Vinland encouraged us to wear hat-helmets, so we would not look like an army composed entirely of kings. If you want real protection though, you really need a steel helmet or a steel secrete or skullcap under a hat.
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