A warrior's skirt made from rings: Early mail armour or a collector's vision?

Martijn A. Wijnhoven*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle

Abstract

An Italic bronze belt in the collection of the Louvre Museum contains an unusual feature: A mesh of bronze rings hangs from it, forming a mail skirt. The belt itself dates to the 4th century BC. As for the skirt, it has been suggested that it may be one of the earliest occurrences of mail, or possibly an ancestor of mail armour. However, closer examination demonstrates that the belt and skirt do not belong together and were married in the 19th century. The skirt does not concern mail armour, nor an ancestor. Analysis of similar finds shows that the skirt is an 8th-7th century BC hip ornament from a female burial in southern Italy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-70
Number of pages26
JournalGladius
Volume39
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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Keywords

  • Armour or ornamentation
  • Female burials
  • Iron age in south Italy
  • Italic bronze belt
  • Origin of mail armour

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