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Thread: Copper mail in the Bronze Age

  1. #1
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    Copper mail in the Bronze Age

    This story (thanks to Ty for posting the link):
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060330/...ce_ajax_palace
    Has the following piece of information:

    Lolos is particularly pleased with a piece of a copper mail shirt stamped with the name of Pharaoh Ramses II, who ruled Egypt from 1279-1213 B.C.

    "This is a unique find, which may have belonged to a Mycenaean mercenary soldier serving with the Egyptians," he said. "It could have been a souvenir, a mark of honor or even some kind of a medal."
    Is this the first piece of Bronze Age mail found?

    I somehow remember seeing a discussion on Bronze Age mail on SFI, but where?
    Hwęšere žęr fuse feorran cwoman
    to žam ęšelinge. - Dream of the Rood


    "Ah, Blackadder. Started talking to yourself, I see."
    "Yes...it's the only way I can be assured of intelligent conversation."
    - Lord Melchett and Lord Edmund Blackadder

  2. #2
    It's probably a piece of scale armor, maybe even a single scale, not mail at all. Even if they'd gotten their dates right it would be about 500 years before the earliest confirmed finds of actual mail.

    Khaire,

    Matthew

  3. #3
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    If it is stamped with a cartouche of Ramesses it is hard to see it as being ring-mail and Matthew must be right with it being a piece of scale armour. INteresting whetherwhich way as there is only the scale from Mycenae and a recent find of one from Tiryns known... so this at least increases this number by 50%

    B.
    "If your bayonet breaks, strike with the stock; if the stock gives way, hit with your fists; if your fists are hurt, bite with your teeth" (Dragomiroff, c.1890)

  4. #4
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    Few writers use the term "mail" correctly - not even archaeologists. Any text you see that mentions bronze age mail is actually talking about scale. This essay outlines how the confusion arose. http://www.knightsofveritas.org/mate...ndringmail.pdf

    There are a few more finds than the two mentioned by Barry. Besides Mycenae and Tiryns, scales have been found at Crete, Hissarlik (Troy), Pylos, and the Ulu Burun shipwreck. There is another one in the Herakleion museum but I can't remember where it was found. Here is the Ulu Burun scale. http://ina.tamu.edu/images/Uluburun/tools/KW10740.1.JPG

    There are two main sizes, the longer ones as shown in the photo, and a shorter variety. Some have suggested that the longer ones were an Egyptian import and the shorter ones (eg. the one at Herakleion) were developed locally. It is more likely that the longer ones were for the torso and the shorter ones were for the arms and neck.

    Regarding the stamp, it seems to have been fairly common. Some of the scales found in the tomb of the Pharaoh Sheshonq have similar cartouches stamped on them.

  5. #5
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    Scales from Crete and Pylos? I have not seen any published as being of Bronze Age date if they come from these areas? There are the two larger plates from the Tombe de Nobili at Phaistos on Crete measuring c.40 x 50mm, admittedly that is being a bit pedantic, but they are a too large to be from scale armour in the Near Eastern mould per se, and may be the smaller plates of that 'lamelar' armour (for want of a better description) we hear of in Linear B consisting of around 30 plates of various sizes (o-pa-wo-ta).

    We could tenuously add the 9 scales from Cyprus (Alaas, Enkomi and and karpos), although Cyprus in this period was not a "Greek" entity. The Uluburun and Hissarlik ones should not be regarded as Mycenaean really though, given their context?

    B.
    Last edited by Barry Molloy; 03-31-2006 at 01:29 AM.
    "If your bayonet breaks, strike with the stock; if the stock gives way, hit with your fists; if your fists are hurt, bite with your teeth" (Dragomiroff, c.1890)

  6. #6
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    Barry, if it was stamped with a Ramses II cartouche, how can it be Mycenaean?
    Hwęšere žęr fuse feorran cwoman
    to žam ęšelinge. - Dream of the Rood


    "Ah, Blackadder. Started talking to yourself, I see."
    "Yes...it's the only way I can be assured of intelligent conversation."
    - Lord Melchett and Lord Edmund Blackadder

  7. #7
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    It wouldn't be!!! Just one more from a Mycenaean site, as there are very few, would love to find out more about its find contex though...

    B.
    "If your bayonet breaks, strike with the stock; if the stock gives way, hit with your fists; if your fists are hurt, bite with your teeth" (Dragomiroff, c.1890)

  8. #8
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    Dan, just noticed your picture there - is that Andrew Walpole's Dendra? Never followed up where that was going to after the initial announcement he was flogging it. Lucky git!!!!!

    B.
    "If your bayonet breaks, strike with the stock; if the stock gives way, hit with your fists; if your fists are hurt, bite with your teeth" (Dragomiroff, c.1890)

  9. #9
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    I had to sell every scrap of armour I had to pay for it. Now I have to build up my collection all over again. I started a thread here.
    http://forums.swordforum.com/showthr...threadid=62774

  10. #10
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    CONGRATULATIONS IS A GREAT WORK? HOW MANY TIME DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS? DO YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATINS ABOUT THE GREEK ARMOUR LINOTHORAX?

    HAVE A NICE DAY

    MARCO ANTONIO DIAZ PADILLA
    SCENIC COMBAT COLLEGE

  11. #11
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    Hi Marco,

    I didn't make the armour, Andrew Walpole did. All I did was shell out a huge wad of cash when he wanted to sell it I believe he made it with some help from White Rose Armoury. It is the closest replica of the original that I know of.
    More info here. http://s8.invisionfree.com/Bronze_Ag...?showtopic=347

    Regarding the linothorax, this is the best source of info.
    http://www.romanarmy.com/rat/viewtopic.php?t=2630

  12. #12
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    THANK YOU VERY MUCH

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE INFORMATION.

    ARE YOU A MEMBER OF ANY ASOCIATION OF RECONSTRUCTION?

    I HOPE THAT WE ENCHANGE INFOMRATION ABOUT OUR WORK.

    SINCERELY

    MARCO ANTONIO DIAZ PADILLA
    SCENIC COMBAT COLLEGE

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