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Kasper Rind




Location: Silkeborg, Denmark
Joined: 23 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Tue 18 May, 2010 5:19 am    Post subject: chainmail 200 ac         Reply with quote

In my work I have come across some fragments of chainmail in some rather small dimensions. The rings are max 4 mm outside and the wire are some between 0,5 too 1 mm. The mail have been cleaned and kept on sillicagel. The mail originate from a grave excavated i Denmark. The grave is dated around 200 ac. I have never seen mail this small before and was wondering if anyone else have seen something like this.
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Tomas Mihalyi




Location: Slovakia
Joined: 14 Sep 2009

Posts: 21

PostPosted: Tue 18 May, 2010 5:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

was it a male warrior grave or a childs grave? if it cannot be distinguished it maybe an aristocratic childs grave....things like this were quite common throughout the whole history...
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Craig Shackleton




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Tue 18 May, 2010 5:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is interesting timing because I've just been looking at a few bascinets with aventails that appear to be made of exceptionally fine mail. The links appear in the images to be close to the same dimensions as modern shark armour/butcher's mail.

http://www.myArmoury.com/view.html?features/pic_spot_basc25.jpg
http://www.myArmoury.com/view.html?features/pic_spot_basc18.jpg
http://www.myArmoury.com/view.html?features/pic_spot_basc20.jpg

The second one is slightly less fine. There is a full-page colour version of the first image in AAotMK, p70, which says the aventail is associated (and pardon me if this is a dumb question, but that means it is original, correct?).

Is this accurate? How fine was the mail, and was it used particularly for aventails?

Ottawa Swordplay
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Kasper Rind




Location: Silkeborg, Denmark
Joined: 23 Nov 2005
Reading list: 15 books

Posts: 18

PostPosted: Tue 18 May, 2010 8:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To Craig; mail for bassinet are often quiet fine, its a common thing for the aventails. Sometimes you can see the same fine mail used on the untergarmet for plate armor, where the mail is place at the armpits and inside of the albow to protect the weak joints.

To Tomas; i'm not quiet sure of the context of the grave as to weather is was a male or a childs grave. From the same location but from another grave, there is a find a almost complete chainmail, much like the one you see as a part of the roman soldier. cant remember the name...loci... Happy
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Craig Shackleton




Location: Ottawa, Canada
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PostPosted: Tue 18 May, 2010 9:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kasper,

Thanks for the info, and you went exactly where I was going next, with regards to voiders etc. under plate.

Ottawa Swordplay
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Tue 18 May, 2010 12:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you mean by 200 ac 200 years after Christ's birth, then I guess that it's very unlikely that it was worn under plate armour. Wink

Also I don't think that children's armour would contain smaller rings then adult's armour. I don't even know whether mail has ever been associated with a child's grave in this period. In any case, a child's armour would be functioning as decoration more than as armour, so it would be logical to assume it would be cheaper, thus larger ring diameter.

My guess is that it was either a status symbol (look, my rings are smaller than yours!), or perhaps as an aventail, for flexibility.
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Romulus Stoica




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

Posts: 124

PostPosted: Tue 18 May, 2010 1:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is a finding (in Hunedoara, Romania) I know about, a few fragments of dacian mail shirt dated cca 100 AC. The rings are about 5 mm in diameter and the wire is about 1-1,2 mm but the mail was cut with a chisel and is very damaged by fire , the dacians burned their dead on a funerary pyre and it seems that the armor was ritualy "killed" before dressing it on the corpse of the warrior.
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Kasper Rind




Location: Silkeborg, Denmark
Joined: 23 Nov 2005
Reading list: 15 books

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PostPosted: Wed 19 May, 2010 12:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes Paul i meant 200 AC and I'm sure it wasn't used under plate Happy The mail and plate thing is a thing from the 15. to 16 cent. I believe. plz correct me if i'm wrong Happy

To Romulus; Thanks for the info. The small piece of mail that I have seen have been fragmented by the time sent in the grave. But I have to look into the other finds from the same grave. It might have been damaged on purpose..
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Romulus Stoica




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

Posts: 124

PostPosted: Thu 20 May, 2010 4:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have found an english version of the archeological report from Hunedoara. Here you can read it fully:
http://arheologie.ulbsibiu.ro/publicatii/ats/...rriors.pdf
Here is the paragraph about the mail shirt pieces:
"a) Chain mail shirt made of iron, cut into small fragments, probably with a chisel, as one can notice traces of cuts on one, two, three or four of sides of the pieces preserved, and only a small part of the remains, folded, were put in the nook (Fig. 5;12). The chain mail fragments were not placed on the dead at the time of the cremation, as they chain mails preserved their initial shape, which means they were not exposed to strong fire; the traces of cremated bones on some of the chain mail fragments are the result of their being deposited in nook over the still hot cremated horse and pig bones. The chain mails are short and round (D = 5.5-6mm, W. thread = 1.5mm), both in plane and in section, and the weaving is one widespread at the time."
Hmmm... It seems that the links were bigger that I thought ...
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Kasper Rind




Location: Silkeborg, Denmark
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PostPosted: Tue 25 May, 2010 11:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the input Romulus, looking forward to read the report Happy
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Felix Kunze




Location: Bonn, Germany
Joined: 28 Feb 2007

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PostPosted: Tue 25 May, 2010 12:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is a group of graves in Poland from about the same time where a few graves contained fragments of maille. These were mostly graves of women and the fragments were worn as talisman, sometimes together with ornamental shield of bronze or other very small ornamental weapons. I cannot remember the exact size of the rings, but they were also relatively small and formerly parts of real mailshirts. The maille is interpreted to have come from the roman army, were maille of very small ring diameter is not rare.
I also remember a maille find from Numidia (Tunisia), were the rings are also very small and there are a few other finds in the eastern part of the roman empire with very small maille, some from the pre-roman hellenistic period.
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
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PostPosted: Tue 25 May, 2010 3:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul Hansen wrote:


In any case, a child's armour would be functioning as decoration more than as armour, so it would be logical to assume it would be cheaper, thus larger ring diameter.

My guess is that it was either a status symbol (look, my rings are smaller than yours!), or perhaps as an aventail, for flexibility.


Somewhat related on a different post I did last month, some 5th to 6th century Saxon graves excavated during 2009 in England contained fully functional and sized spear heads and shields in the graves of women and children. It was interpreted as indicating that they belonged to families of significant warriors.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Kasper Rind




Location: Silkeborg, Denmark
Joined: 23 Nov 2005
Reading list: 15 books

Posts: 18

PostPosted: Wed 26 May, 2010 11:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To Felix
Is there any chance that you can give me some hints as to where I might find info on the romanarmy mail with the small ring. Happy
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Felix Kunze




Location: Bonn, Germany
Joined: 28 Feb 2007

Posts: 49

PostPosted: Wed 26 May, 2010 12:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I made a search for find-places with mail shirts or fragments were the rings are that small, maybe you can find some of them in the literature. If not, I can give you some literature next time, but I have to find them in my lists first. But maybe you can tell us the name of the grave were your sample was found.

I will start with two finds from Denmark:
Hedegard, male grave (Nr. A 4137, dated B1, ring diameter 0,5 cm
Mollegardsmarken, grave 1304, dated C2: small fragment, outside diameter 0,5 - 0,6 cm, inside 0,3 cm
Germany: Holdorf, gravefind, mail shirt, preserved in an kettle of copper alloy, not completely extracted until now: ring diameter 0,5 cm
Mainz, found in a well, fragment of 16 x 8 cm, ring diameter on the outside: 0,4 cm, inside 0,3 cm, dated to 2nd century AD
Dangstetten, roman military camp, three fragment of mail with 0,31 cm outer diameter and 0,21 cm inner diameter; two more fragments, one with outside diameter of 0,45 cm and inside 0,35, the other 0,5 cm (outside) and 0,4 cm inside.
Dangstetten is dated 15/12 - 8 BC.
Poland: Mlodzikowo, grave 57, female, small fragment of rivetted iron rings, outside diameter 0,45 - 0,6 cm, inside 0,3 - 0,4 cm (there are more finds of mail fragments, often in female graves in Poland, but the most have slightly bigger rings)
The Netherlands: Ouddorp, roman mail from rivetted and solid rings, outside diameter 0,3 cm, inside about 0,2 cm, with applied gilded bronze scales, (lorica plumata)
Chassenard, grave with roman mask helmet, ca. 40 AD, parts of a shirt with closing hooks still in place, ring diameter 0,45 cm.
Great Britain: Newstead, roman military camp, end of first, begin of second century AD: Lorica plumata with bronze rings and applied scales, outside diameter of the rivetted rings 0,5 cm, solid (stamped) rings 0,3 cm
The Lunt, Baginton: Roman army camp, small fragment of copper alloy rings, dated 60-79 AD, outside diameter 0,3 cm, inside 0,17-0,2 cm.
Algeria: Es Soumaa (El Khroub), Tower grave of king Micipsa of Numidia (before 118 BC), ring diameter of 0,3-0,4 cm, but some rings (x-rayed) also with 0,7 - 0,9 cm
Samothrake, temple find, 6 fragment of fine mail with an outer diameter of 0,3 cm (hellenistic or roman)
and finally: Turkey, grave of Vize, middle of the 1st century AD, (may be the thrakian king Rhoimetalkes III, murdered 45/46 AD, complete armour from copper alloy rings, rivetted and solid rows, diameter 0,3 - 0,4 cm with applied scale forming a bacclava pattern
When requested, I can give you some literature, by the way, how good is your German?
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