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Klibanion. Byzantine lamellar armor. Reconstruction of lamellar plates on the basis of a finding from the Great Palace of Constantinople- dated 2nd half of 12th century (probably the last quarter).  Lamellar plates reforged by hand and blackened in the hearth. Fluting on each plate was also incused by hand. Lining made of vegetable tanned cattle leather, the strap as well (cut by hand). The holes in the lining burned. Wrought-iron buckles. The whole item preserved with linseed oil. Examples of this type of lamellar plates can be seen on the fresco of  warrior saint of Timotesubani (12th century) Pavnisi church as well as on the fragment of a steatite icon from Traianopolis (12th century).

“The ruins of the Great Palace of Constantinople were explored in excavations carried out in 1935-38. Found in the debris covering the paved street. A quantity (more than 200 pieces) of fragments of strip armour. Large numbers had been fused together by fire, and in the process of cleaning a coin of Manuel I (A.D. 1143-80) was found sticking to a group of fragments.”1

Similar lamellar plates were discovered in the area of Russia- they are also dated 12th century. 




Reconstruction photo.



Photo of the finding2, 3.

I. Fragment of a steatite icon from Traianopolis, dated 12th century.
II. Warrior Saint of Timotesubani and Warrior Saint of Pavnisi4, - about 12th century.



1  Brett, Macaulay and Stevenson, The Great Palace of the Byzantine Emperors,  1947, pl.58.
2  Ibidem.
3  Літописний Дорогобужвперіод Київської Русі. Доісторіїънаселення Західної Волинів X-XIII, Прищепа Б.А., Нікольченко Ю.М., 1996.
4  M. Tsurtsumia, The Evolution of Splint Armour in Georgia and Byzantium, Lamellar and Scale Armour in the 10th-12th Centuries, BYZANTINA ΣΥΜΜΕΙΚΤΑ 21 (2011), p. 65-99.

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