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Helmet

Kranea/kassidia.1 Reconstruction of a Byzantine helmet discovered in the fortress of Braničevo and dated last quarter of 12th century. The helmet is forged by hand and soldered with copper, the iron belt buckle (A) is welded and made on the basis of a finding from the same place of origin, dated 12/13th century.2 The mail coif made of riveted and punched wheels. Straps made of vegetable tanned leather rubbed with linseed oil.

In house no. 4 built during the reign of John I Komnenos, two conical helmets of the Phrygian shape were found. They were probably stored in a chest, one of them had gold-plated brown handles. As a result of a conflict of 1182-83 the house was burned down. This is a unique finding considering the poor archaeological material from that period. It is also an invaluable proof of the relations and trade developed between Braničevo and the central regions of the Byzantine Empire.3

The helmet of the Phrygian shape stems from antiquity; in the 12th century its shape revived throughout the Mediterranean, regardless of cultural boundaries.4

 

  branicevo

branicevo

Reconstruction photo.
(Helmet made by A. Maziarka)

 

helmet profil  

branicevo

Photo of the finding (profile, front, back)

 

buckle  

 Photo of the finding (A).

 I. Manuscript, Vat. Gr. 746, 12th century.
II. Saint Mark's Basilica, Venice, ca. 1200 A.D.
III. St. Demetrius, Wolkomysk, 12th century.

 

 

 

 

 

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Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Edited by ALEXANDER P. KAZHDAN, Oxford University Press 2005, p. 183.
2  M. Popović, Grad Braničevo u srednjem veku (Braničevo - cité médiévale), Starinar. 39, 1988 (1989), p. 139.
D. Spasić-Đurić, A Note on New Archaeological Explorations in Byzantine Braničevo, Belgrade 2016, p. 114-115.
4  T. Dawson, A.McBride, Byzantine Infantryman Eastern Roman Empire c. 900-1204, p. 21.

 

 

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