Helmet "tang" from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City, United States). Features of Construction, Design and Operational Use

Bylye Gody. 2016;42(4):1077-1086

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Bylye Gody

ISSN: 2073-9745 (Print); 2310-0028 (Online)

Publisher: Sochi State University

LCC Subject Category: History (General) and history of Europe: History of Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics

Country of publisher: Russian Federation

Language of fulltext: Russian, English

Full-text formats available: PDF

 

AUTHORS

Leonid A. Bobrov (Institute of archeology and Ethnography of SB RASAve, Novosibirsk, Russian Federation)
Alexey V. Salnikov (Armavir socio-psychological Institute, Russian Federation)

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 4 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

The article discusses iron helmet (No. 36.25.115), which is stored in the Metropolitan Museum of art (New York City, United States). For the first time this helmet was published and analyzed by American scientists G. C. Stone and D.G. Alexander. The analysis showed that the Bowl was made by Turkish masters of the XVII century and backplate and the hoop is added to the helmet in 1781–1782 D.G. Alexander speculated that the helmet belonged to the Warrior of the Crimean Khanate. Dating the helmet does not raise objections. However, the attribution of a helmet requires some clarification. Analysis of the design of the helmet and decoration revealed that backplate, hoop and Aventail from iron rings added to Bowl in 1781–1782, were manufactured by Circassian craftsmen living in the Northern Caucasus or in Crimea. For the decoration of the helmet has been used typical Circassian ornaments: "sieve", cherkessian floral pattern, geometric shapes, triangular in shape, "gear", etc. During Assembly of the helmet were applied characteristic of Circassian gunsmiths technological solutions: using as a basis the bowl old-style helmet, tapered Finial with a ring for a decorative plume, hoop with four plates, ringed with aventail lip to protect the forehead, etc. In Circassia similar headgear worn were known as tang (from the Arabic. "Taj", i.e., the "Crown"). In the XVII–XVIII centuries. they willingly purchased representatives of Crimean Tatar nobility. Similar in design and system design helmets Circassian production belonged to the highest aristocracy of the Crimean Khanate, are stored in Museum and private collections in Poland, Turkey and the United States. The inscription "Bekmurun" on the hoop from the Metropolitan helmet suggests that it was manufactured on request of Kabardian Bekmur princely heir (Bekmurziny), which moved from Circassia in Crimea, 1737. The popularity of tang type helmets among the aristocracy of North Caucasus and Crimea were due not only to their impressive appearance and rich finish, but also high combat characteristics. Experimental test copies of such helmets have shown that they provide very reliable protection of the head and neck of a warrior from chopping and cutting the enemy strikes.