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Greek Warrior's Helmet From 7th Century BC Discovered In Croatian Tomb

Greek Warrior's Helmet From 7th Century BC Discovered In Croatian Tomb

The helmet of an elite Greek warrior from the 7th century BC has been found in a tomb hewn from stone in Croatia.

The helmet - featuring the instantly recognisable open faced design - was laid into the soldier's tomb more than 2,500 years ago.

Cool, right?

The Illyrian helmet is in remarkable nick given that it's been inside the warrior's tomb for several millennia.

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It was developed by the Peloponnese during the 8th and 7th centuries BC, and has lain in this rock-cut resting place in Croatia's southern Dalmatia region since then.

Here's the tomb that the helmet was discovered in. Credit: Dubrovnik Museums
Here's the tomb that the helmet was discovered in. Credit: Dubrovnik Museums

The archaeologists who made this remarkable discovery also found a hoard of ancient weapons and other treasures of the past, as well as the skeleton of a woman wearing a bronze bracelet around her wrist.

The experts on the scene came from Zagreb University and Dubrovnik Museums, and they reckon that the grave is that of a high-ranking and well-trained member of the Greek military.

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This particular type of helmet was worn first by the Greek Etruscans and Scythians before being adopted at a later stage by the Illyrians, who gave it the name that it carries to this day.

The style was also popular among soldiers in Italy who made them out of ivory.

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Helmets such as this one later fell out of favour in large parts of Greece during the 5th century BC, and the soldiers of Illyria stopped using them about one hundred years later in the 4th century BC.

Pretty impressive, no? Credit: Dubrovnik Museums
Pretty impressive, no? Credit: Dubrovnik Museums
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It's possible that this helmet was potentially used in the Greco-Persian wars - remember the film 300? - and it is just one of a number of things found in the warrior's tomb.

The archaeologists also unearthed 15 fibulae - a type of brooch - made of bronze and silver, 10 needles and pins, a number of bronze ornaments, and a whole heap of beads that once made up a necklace.

Dr Domagoj Perkić, a curator from the Dubrovnik Museums, said: "To date, more than 30 different vessels have been defined, mainly of Greek provenance, probably from the main Attic and Italic workshops."

He added: "It has to be emphasised that these were the most expensive kinds of pots of the time, which the local population put alongside the deceased as grave goods for their life beyond the grave.

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"Whether these vessels were bought or plundered during acts of piracy cannot be known, but those who gave them were very certainly aware of their value."

A piece of a Greek vase that was also discovered. Credit: Dubrovnik Museums
A piece of a Greek vase that was also discovered. Credit: Dubrovnik Museums

The warrior must have been buried wearing his helmet, as it was found where his skull used to be before it deteriorated.

It was found as the team were restoring burial mounds in the area, which is thought to have once been a sacred place.

Featured Image Credit: Dubrovnik Museums

Topics: Science, World News, Europe, Interesting, Archaeology, History

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Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a LADbible journalist and Twin Peaks enthusiast. Despite having a career in football cut short by a chronic lack of talent, he managed to obtain degrees from both the University of London and Salford. According to his French teacher, at the weekends he mostly likes to play football and go to the park with his brother. Contact Tom on [email protected]