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Nick Hallacher





Joined: 12 Aug 2011

Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri 09 Dec, 2011 7:26 am    Post subject: Migration period helms         Reply with quote

Hello,

I'm a first time poster, long time reader. I love this site, well met.

Now, on to my question. I'm beginning to assemble a kit, for a migration era Germanic warrior. My question seemed simple enough to be solved by a quick Google search, but no such luck, so I'll leave it open to the scholars here.

Would it be historically accurate or plausible for a Germanic warrior in roughly the 500AD-700AD(I know...its a long period, but I'm leaning more toward the beginning), to have a late roman type helmet, or maybe some other assorted equipment?

Thanks and have a great one!
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James Barker




Location: Ashburn VA
Joined: 20 Apr 2005

Posts: 365

PostPosted: Fri 09 Dec, 2011 7:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have been looking at Anglo Saxon gear lately preparing to give a demo at the National Geographic Museum in DC in another week. Here are the common helmets of this era:



http://wychwood.wikidot.com/kit-helmets

http://midgleywebpages.com/helmet.jpg

http://www.flickr.com/photos/leatherworkingre...41/detail/

James Barker
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Archer in La Belle Compagnie http://www.labelle.org/
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Fri 09 Dec, 2011 2:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The most typical Germanic helmet was perhaps the spangenhelm, or only slightly less typical the bandhelm.

Variants of both types were also used by the late Roman Army, besides other types, like the helmet from Berkasovo.

But for some reason, helmets are scarce in Germanic migration age finds. Even in high status graves with gold decorated swords and golden jewelry (who should have been able to afford a helmet) they are usually absent. Why is a matter of interpretation, but to me it does not seem impossible that many warriors didn't wear them. It's very likely that helmets were scarce among the lower classes, but even for the higher classes they seem not so important. This coincides also with the elaborate hair knots popular among the Germanics, which would be difficult to combine with a helmet.
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

Posts: 483

PostPosted: Sat 10 Dec, 2011 5:43 am    Post subject: style that stays in use         Reply with quote

I'd go with a banded helm, as they're much, much harder to pin to one particular period then even spangens. Although there is variety in styles of banded helms, you see the same designs in use from the late iron age to the high medieval.

Either that or, if you really want an 'Anglo-Saxon helmet that fits the middle/latter part of your period of interest, look at the Pioneer helm. It's a style that's in use in the 7th and 8th century and can be found not just in surviving helmets (Pioneer and Coppergate) but also depicted in stone carvings (see Aberlemno 2).

I think intercissa late roman stye ridge helms are best avoided after the 5th century.

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Lorenzo Chinaglia




Location: Italy
Joined: 28 Aug 2008

Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sun 11 Dec, 2011 7:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,

of sure this type of helmets are from different area and period and like Matthew post the style is from roman or barbarian people. Some of them are later of IX century and are very similar in form and manner at migration period piece but they are from Asia like the Avar helmets or the helmets of the curonian's tribes in the baltic area ...

some interessant link :

http://www.immaginidistoria.it/immagine2.php?id_img=503&id=24

http://metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/42.50.1

http://www.roman-artifacts.com/Helmet%20Fragm...vering.htm

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p=14661#14661

and the exemple in photos in my collection ...

regards



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migration period helmet
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Nick Hallacher





Joined: 12 Aug 2011

Posts: 23

PostPosted: Wed 14 Dec, 2011 5:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies, and for all the help. I'm leaning towards the Pioneer style helmet. I like the simplicity of it. Most of what I have been able to find from this period in Europe is either highly ornate (Sutton Hoo, Vendal, ex), and prohibitively expensive I might add. It will be fought in, and though only specific and very light blows to the head are allowed...I still wouldn't want to risk a work of art.

Thanks for the replies,

Nick
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Mark Routledge
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Location: UK
Joined: 03 May 2010

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PostPosted: Wed 14 Dec, 2011 11:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good choice, its a nice practical design Wink
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Nick Hallacher





Joined: 12 Aug 2011

Posts: 23

PostPosted: Thu 15 Dec, 2011 1:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alright well I have done some searching for a Pioneer style helmet, but it appears that I'm going to have to have one custom made. Which is fine, but I need something suitable to purpose in the interim.

What do you think on the suitability of something like this

http://kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=AH67...ovo+Helmet

Remember I'm trying to fit into the late 6th, early 7th century. I know that the cheapest and most historical route to go would be some form of spangenhelm, but knowing some of the guys in my group I would like to have something with nasal and cheek guards. I don't really want a repeat of the broken nose-broken front teeth incident.

So what do you think, too over the top? Thoughts? Ideas?
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Chuck Russell




Location: WV
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Dec, 2011 6:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

no that helmet is too early for what you are wanting
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Thu 15 Dec, 2011 8:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chuck Russell wrote:
no that helmet is too early for what you are wanting


What's the current accepted date for the Pioneer helmet, Chuck? I don't remember... But I would have guessed it was pretty good for 7th century, or even 8th? Or am I thinking of something else?

Matthew
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

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PostPosted: Fri 16 Dec, 2011 1:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
Chuck Russell wrote:
no that helmet is too early for what you are wanting


What's the current accepted date for the Pioneer helmet, Chuck? I don't remember... But I would have guessed it was pretty good for 7th century, or even 8th? Or am I thinking of something else?

Matthew


I think Chuck's referring to the late Roman ridge helm that Nick posted a link to.

Nick, as I said above, I don't think that any sort of late Roman ridge helm (Intercissa, Burgh castle, Berkosova etc) is suitable for a 6th-8th century impression. If you really want something cheap and off the peg as a stop gap until you can get something better made, you can get one of these:-

http://www.marchand-medieval.com/medieval/lan...-caro.html

They've called it Carolingian but it's just a plain 't piece' spangen. Although most examples of this type fall into the decorated Baldenheim/Morken etc style, there are surviving examples that are plain iron. It would do for the earlier part of your dateline.

Either that or get one of these and modify it a little.
http://www.ravencrest.co.uk/spangenhelm-arche...p-557.html
It's almost spot on for an early medeival banded helm. The brow and ridge band should really be seperate which isn't a big job but I've seen some post Roman/early medeival re-enactors use these as is for 5th-8th century.

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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James Barker




Location: Ashburn VA
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Dec, 2011 4:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just want to make sure I know which helmet you guys mean, the pioneer is the helmet also refereed too as the boars head helmet right? Looks similar to the copper gate with a boar fitting on top.
James Barker
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Dec, 2011 5:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James Barker wrote:
I just want to make sure I know which helmet you guys mean, the pioneer is the helmet also refereed too as the boars head helmet right? Looks similar to the copper gate with a boar fitting on top.


That's the one, see the helm that Mark's wearing in his avatar in his post above.
Also known as the Woolaston helmet (although I don't know anyone who calls it the boar's head helmet...that'd be too vague, given that the Benty Grange helm also has a boar crest on it).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_helmet

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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James Barker




Location: Ashburn VA
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Dec, 2011 5:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Matthew I just wanted to make sure I was on the same page. I have a renewed interest in Anglo Saxon stuff thanks to the Gold Hoard being in town (Washington DC) and I was familiar with the helmets design but not the name people refer to it by.


BTW are you and Mark part of Wulfheodenas? Your icons are too small to clearly make out your faces but your get ups look like those in some of the pictures.

James Barker
Historic Life http://www.historiclife.com/index.html
Archer in La Belle Compagnie http://www.labelle.org/
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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Dec, 2011 6:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Bunker wrote:
I think Chuck's referring to the late Roman ridge helm that Nick posted a link to.


Doh! Gotcha, I think I missed the link! Yup, agreed all around. Thanks!

Matthew
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Paul Mortimer




Location: England, Essex
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Dec, 2011 7:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark and Matt are both members of Wulfheodenas and both appear in the National Geographic presentation. Well spotted James.

Paul
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James Barker




Location: Ashburn VA
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Dec, 2011 10:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul

I have been following you guys on the web since you started a couple of threads here a few years ago on Vendel and Anglo Saxon where you posted some pictures. I also joined the facebook group. You guys looked great on both of the National Geographic specials. So few people would put together so much gold and silver in a kit.

James Barker
Historic Life http://www.historiclife.com/index.html
Archer in La Belle Compagnie http://www.labelle.org/
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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Dec, 2011 10:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The original poster is looking for a helmet suitable for

Nick Hallacher wrote:
a migration era Germanic warrior in roughly the 500AD-700AD


But we are discussing an Anglo-Saxon helmet. Or have helmets of the same style been found on the continent as well?

The Roman ridged helmets could be suitable for a warrior around 500AD.
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Dec, 2011 11:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul Hansen wrote:
The original poster is looking for a helmet suitable for

Nick Hallacher wrote:
a migration era Germanic warrior in roughly the 500AD-700AD


But we are discussing an Anglo-Saxon helmet. Or have helmets of the same style been found on the continent as well?


No, it was James the raised the specific subject of Anglo-Saxon gear and I wandered down that route after him. I'm easily distracted like that.

Although if you're going to claim that a 6th century 'Anglo-Saxon' shouldn't be considered to be a 'Migration Era Germanic' then I'd have to disagree.


Quote:
The Roman ridged helmets could be suitable for a warrior around 500AD.


If you mean it wouldn't be an absolute impossibility then obviously I'd have to conceded that there might still be a few antique ones kicking around, but they'd be over 100 years old and would be atypicial.
I can't think of any ridge helms from Germanic contexts dated to the 6th century, with the possible exception of the Fernpass/Bieberwier helmet (although that isn't really a ridge helm, it just looks like a 'barbarians' idea of one. It's actually a one piece bowl with a ridge applied over the top. The jury's still out on the date of that one though.)

Better (in my opinion) to go with something where you can point to examples from the right time period in the right geographical aream which is why I still recommend the banded helm. It really is the only one I can think of that could cover the whole 200 year period for North Western Europe.

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Sat 17 Dec, 2011 3:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Bunker wrote:
Although if you're going to claim that a 6th century 'Anglo-Saxon' shouldn't be considered to be a 'Migration Era Germanic' then I'd have to disagree.
Hmm, well, up to a point, I guess.

The period 500AD-700AD is fairly long and the term "Migration Era Germanic" is rather broad. It may apply to an Anglo-Saxon, a Vendel, a Frank, but also to an Ostrogoth, a Langobard or a Gepid.

Although a banded helm (or a spangenhelm) may be more or less appropriate for all these groups, I would not expect a pioneer helmet on the head of an Ostrogoth. Nor would I expect a lamellar helmet on the head of an Anglo-Saxon.

Quote:

Quote:
The Roman ridged helmets could be suitable for a warrior around 500AD.


If you mean it wouldn't be an absolute impossibility then obviously I'd have to conceded that there might still be a few antique ones kicking around, but they'd be over 100 years old and would be atypicial.


I assume that the ridged helmet would have continued in use by the West Roman army until it's fall, or at least until 450 or so. Then such a helmet would be only 26 or 50 years out of date.

And I haven't studied the matter in detail, but if Osprey's "Roman-Byzantine Armies 4th-9th Centuries" is to be believed, then the ridged helmet continued into use in the East in the 6th C.
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