A central Asian helmet from the Northern Kazakhstan Regional Museum

L. A. Bobrov, D. M. Ismailov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We describe a richly decorated iron helmet owned by the Northern Kazakhstan Regional Museum in Petropavlovsk. It consists of a low solid hemispherical crown, a slightly convex plate, made of copper alloy, with an opening for a (missing) tube in which the plume was inserted, a wide iron hoop, and a bipartite visor of the box type. The two last-named elements are covered with Arabic inscriptions inlaid in gold. Those on the hoop are verses from the Quran 2, 255-257, Al-Baqarah-The Cow. That on the "shield" of the visor is a prayer for protection, known as the "message of peace " read before a long journey or a difficult and dangerous enterprise, such as a battle. Such helmets were common in Central Asia between the late 16th and the mid-18th centuries. This specimen was likely manufactured in Mawarannahr, Xinjiang, or some town on the Syr Darya, for a high-ranking Uzbek, Uyghur, or Kazakh warrior. This accounts for the combination of a solid crown and a hoop with Arabic inscriptions with a box-type visor typical of helmets worn by Mongolian and Turkic nomads during the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Age. The closest parallels are found in the museums of Kazakhstan. Judging by the traces of repair and reconstruction, this helmet was used for a long time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-118
Number of pages6
JournalArchaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia
Volume47
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

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Keywords

  • Armor
  • Central Asia
  • Helmet
  • Kazakhstan
  • Mawarannahr
  • helmet
  • Mawarannahr armor

State classification of scientific and technological information

  • 03 STORY. HISTORICAL SCIENCE

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