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Beauty in the Bronze Age: Minoan and Mycenaean FashionThe ‘Ladies in Blue’ fresco is a recreated fresco from the Palace of Knossos on the island of Crete. It shows three women richly dressed and lavishly bejeweled depicted against a blue background. This fresco (or rather, fragments of it) was discovered during the excavation of the site by the British archaeologist Sir Arthur John Evans at the beginning of the 20th century. Subsequently, the fresco was recreated by the Swiss artist and archaeological Émile Gilliéron. However, the validity of his reconstructions has long been debated. Neopalacial period, 1600 – 1450 BCE. Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, Crete. / Photo by Carole Raddato, WHE, Creative Commons
Mycenaean fashion was heavily influenced by its Minoan predecessor.
By Georgia McDonnell
History of protective gear that is worn by soldiers, civilian and law protection agencies, security guards, body guards and private citizens goes back all the way to the earliest times of our modern civilization. With many types of basic natural materials being capable to protect our bodies from bladed, blunt or ranged weapons, our ancestors started developing a steady stream of upgrades that touched all the areas of body protection – hand shields, head protection, limb protection and body armors.
In the beginning, armors were made from simpler and lighter materials such as hard cloth and leather that was intentionally hardened, mixed with other materials (pieces of cloth, animal fur, horse hair) and created in multi-layered design that could stop smaller bladed weapons. However, arrival of bronze metallurgy between 3rd and 1nd millennia BC enabled several early civilizations to start producing protective gear that was much more durable and able to withstand blows from larger and more powerful bladed weapons, blunt attacks and ranged weapons (arrows).
According to current historical findings, the earliest examples of metal armors come from Greek Mycenaean Era, whose armorers in 1400 BC managed to create exquisite bronze metal plate armors that protected chest, back, neck, shoulders, upper arms and upper legs of the soldiers. Similar designs continued to spread across Greece, leading to the large popularization of the Corinthian-style bronze helmets, figure of eight or rectangular “tower” shields, and hoplite round bowl-shaped shields that were made from wood and reinforced with bronze. These “Aspis” hand shields became the staple of Greek military history, being remembered as integral part of Spartan military technique of forming their legendary Phalanx formations.
Seeing successes of Greece, Macedonian and Egyptian armies, Rome managed to surpass them all by utilizing next generation of armors that were based not only on leather or single-piece metal gear, but segmented armors that provided soldiers with great protection against hand or thrown weapons, but will added ability of easier movement and flexibility. After Rome managed to spread across Europe, North Africa and Middle East, its fall in 5th century AD managed to leave space for new countries to start developing their own new protective gear. Fueled by the constant warfare, Medieval Europe played an important role in the history of armor and protective gear. It was there where many new body armor types were implemented and tested in centuries-long warfare, including of course and development of new weapons that could be used against soldiers who wore chain, mail, scale, ring, plate, enhanced leather and even full suit of armor that enabled knights to wear around 30 kg of metal from their heads to toes (sometimes even more in case of fully armored cavalry).
Incredible history of Medieval and Renaissance warfare in Europe and warfare in Asia where elaborate armors were created everywhere from China, Korea to Japan came almost to the complete end with the introduction of the modern and high-powered gunpowder warfare. Simple gunpowder hand cannons, crossbows and Arbalest put some pressure to heavy armors, but guns made all those armors totally obsolete. It was only with World War 1 that regular use of metal helmets was standardized as integral part of soldier gear, and during WW2 metal bulletproof vests were used only in very limited situations and by small amount of units. Before WW2, many types of silk armor were tested both officially and unofficially (mostly by gangsters in the US), but they were not effective against stronger bullet cartridges. After World War II, much more advanced and durable industrial materials such as ceramic plates, plastic and of course Kevlar which today represent the basis of almost all modern armor gear.
Agamemnon, son of King Atreus, mighty King of Mycenae, commanded the united army of
Achaeans that sailed to Troy. The expedition, ostensibly to avenge the abduction of Helen by the
Trojan Prince Paris, was probably a strategic move to control the straits to the Black Sea.
Agamemnon’s battlefield achievements and heroic deeds can only be compared to those of the
demi-god Achilles. Both are depicted by Homer as lions and destructive fires, invincible and
indefatigable, spreading fear among the Trojan rank and file who run to escape. The king is the only
Achaean warlord who does not need divine intervention to assist or save him in battle, a proud
warrior resplendent in military virtue.
Αccording to the Homeric epic the panoply of Agamemnon was a royal gift sent by the Cypriot
τόν ποτέ οἱ Κινύρης δῶκε ξεινήϊον εἶναι.
πεύθετο γὰρ Κύπρονδε μέγα κλέος, οὕνεκ᾽ Ἀχαιοὶ
ἐς Τροίην νήεσσιν ἀναπλεύσεσθαι ἔμελλον·
τοὔνεκά οἱ τὸν δῶκε χαριζόμενος βασιλῆϊ.
Iliad. XI, 20-23
Presumably, due to the Near East origin of the diplomatic gift this particular panoply would have
been a composite one with overlapping scales as the dominant element, a very common feature of
Eastern armies (but also known, if less common, to the Achaean arsenal). Homer refers to
Agamemnon’s main (Iliad.Xl, 24-25) as having 44 rows (10 of gold, 12 black and 20 of tin) a factor
that obviously increases the complexity of the whole panoply.
Inspired from both military traditions (Mycenaean and Eastern Oriental) the artistic synthesis
incorporates elements of both. The pauldron shoulder guards are made of plate bronze
complementing the composite main armour and the result is astonishing. For this reconstruction
other sources besides the Iliad were used: existing archaeological findings, armour scales from
Kanakia Salamina, contemporary iconography, pictorial representations, relevant artifacts which
undoubtedly depict scale corselets (ivory carvings) etc.
The main body of the armor consisted by two long flexible elements, the frontal and the dorsal.
Both elements cover not only the main torso of the wearer but also the abdomen and the lower legs,
reaching just under the knees. The linen surfaces have been covered with hundreds of individually
handcrafted bronze and copper scales of two different types: smaller scales for the torso and bigger
ones for the rest of the body. At the bottom fringe of the upper (torso) cuirass there is a leather zone
to which are attached two pairs of scaled ‘curtains’ (two frontal and two shorter dorsal ones). The
‘curtains’ are attached with leather cords in an effort to achieve additional flexibility. The fastenings
include eight pairs of loops (three under each armpit, one for each shoulder joint) from which hang
leather cords holding together the two major elements of the armor. For shoulder defense there are
two extra-large composite pauldrons made of bronze designed to cover the upper arm in accordance
with the prevailing fashion of the Late Helladic era. The two oversized pauldrons ‘wrap’ entirely the
upper torso creating an intriguing cultural mix between the Aegean and the Orient.
Agamemnon’s helmet is made of bronze as well and it consists of a two-piece dome, two
anatomical cheek guards and two impressive decorative crests. One of these is conical shaped and
placed atop the helm with a blue woolen plume attached while the second one is placed further
back, supported by a crane-like bronze base. Two pairs of decorative motifs (floral and star-like
appliques) adorn the helm, with a pair of natural horns placed towards the front. Finally, handstiched
purple leather on the rims completes the appearance of the helmet and woolen padding
lines all the inner surfaces. A helmet for a high ranking military warlord truly designed to instill fear
unto his enemies, according to Homer (Iliad XI, 41-42)!
κρατὶ δ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἀμφίφαλον κυνέην θέτο τετραφάληρονIliad. XI, 41-42
ἵππουριν· δεινὸν δὲ λόφος καθύπερθεν ἔνευεν.
Mycenaean Quilted Linen Armor
I've been collecting linen and cutting out body panels for a Mycenaean "armor tunic" of layered, quilted linen. Got 26 panels so far, for 13 layers (front and back!). Got a Roman tunic whose lovely clavi ran in the wash (ack!) which will probably be sacrificed for 2 more panels, and the outer layer will be fresh white linen. Total 15 layers, I think that will do. Seven layers are pieced together from all kinds of accumulated scraps, hastily machine-sewn together.
Bought a couple rolls of red waxed linen cord for the quilting. I'll probably mark the quilting lines with tape, to avoid any stubborn chalk or pencil marks. The quilting is straightforward and should only take a couple weeks, and THEN I'll sew the front and back panels together.
Connolly shows a couple with vertical quilting, but I like the look of this better.
Alongside my scale armor and Thebes cuirass, this will give me a pretty good spread.
Description [ edit | edit source ]
Several elements of body armour (body cuirass, shoulder guards, breast plates and lower protection plates) from the late Mycenaean period have been found at Thebes, some bronze bands have been also found at Mycenae and Phaistos. Ώ] Bronze scales were found at Mycenae and Troy scale armour, the oldest form of metal body armour, was used widely throughout the eastern Mediterranean and the Near East. In May 1960 ΐ] Swedish archaeologists discovered the earliest example of a beaten bronze cuirass at Dendra, dated to the end of the fifteenth century BCE. Α] It forms part of the Late Helladic (LHIIIa) Dendra Panoply, which consists of fifteen separate pieces of bronze sheet, held together with leather thongs, that encased the wearer from neck to knees. Β] The panoply includes both greaves and lower arm-guards. The arm-guard is unique but greaves, probably made of linen, are often depicted in late Mycenaean art. The few bronze examples that have been found only covered the shins and may have been worn over linen ones, as much for show of status Diane Fortenberry has suggested, Γ] as for protection. Although we have only this one complete panoply to date, armor of similar type appears as an ideogram on Linear B tablets from Knossos (Sc series), Pylos (Sh series) and Tiryns (Si series). Δ]
The panoply’s cuirass consists of two pieces, for the chest and back. These are joined on the left side by a hinge. There is a bronze loop on the right side of the front-plate and a similar loop on each shoulder. Large shoulder-guards fit over the cuirass. Two triangular plates are attached to the shoulder-guards and gave protection to the wearer’s armpits when his arms were in the raised position. There is also a deep neck-guard. The Linear B ideogram depicting armour of this type makes the neck-guard clearly discernible, and protection by a high bronze collar was a typical feature of Near Eastern body armour. Three pairs of curved plates hang from the waist to protect the groin and the thighs. All these pieces are made of beaten bronze sheet and are backed with leather and loosely fastened by ox-hide thongs to allow some degree of movement. The complete panoply thus forms a cumbersome tubular suit of armour, which fully protects the neck and torso, and extends down to the knees. It appears that lower arm-guards and a set of greaves further protected the warrior, all made of bronze, as fragments of these were also found in the grave at Dendra. Slivers of boars’ tusks were also discovered, which once made up a boars’-tusk helmet.
The figures on the Warrior Vase (Mycenae, ca 1200 BC, National Archaeological Museum, Athens) Ε] are wearing body armour. However this armour is different. It may be either an embossed waist-length leather corslet with a fringed leather apron that reaches to mid-thigh and possible shoulder-guards, very much like that worn by the Peoples of the Sea depicted on the mortuary temple of Ramesses III (died c. 1155 BC) at Medinet Habu, Lower Egypt, or, alternatively, the body armour may be a ‘bell’ corselet of beaten bronze sheet, a type also found in central Europe at that time.
Minoan 2600–1200 BCE
Bronze dagger | Minoan | Middle Minoan III-Late Minoan I | The Met
Evans, Arthur J. 1921. The Palace of Minos: A Comparative Account of the Successive Stages of the Early Cretan Civilization as Illustrated by the Discoveries at Knossos, Vol. 1. p. 195, fig. 142b, London: Macmillan & Co
The Greek Age of Bronze - Armour
Greek Bronze Age. This kind of two-headed blade from about the 16th century BCE found at Agios Onoufrios near Phaistos, Crete, was interpreted as a fish spear.
Ci Type sword from Knossos detail of the grip with the gold rivets and the upper knob also fixed with a small gold nail Crete 1400 BC
The Minoans: The Common People
Detail of the crowd of commoners surrounding a grove and priestesses, from the Sacred Grove miniature fresco The history of the island is often simply the history of deposited objects. These objects can explain the mind of their bearers, as elaborately decorated pottery serves to illuminate the evolving thought process within local aesthetics. More often than not, this sequential series of artifacts leaves out the rest of the potter. Models often given intricate views into personal lives…
 Zutterman, C. , The bow in the Ancient Near East. A re-evaluation of archery from the late 2 nd Millennium to the end of the Achaemenid empire, Iranica Antiqua Vol XXXVIII, 2003, p. 122.
 Yadin, Y., The Art of Warfare in Biblical lands in the light of archaeological discovery, Weidenfeld and Nicolson publishing, London 1963, p. 47.
 McLeod, W.E., Egyptian Composite Bows in New York , American Journal of Archaeology Vol. 66, No. 1 (Jan., 1962), p. 136.
 Howard, D. , Bronze age military equipment, Pen and sword military publishing, 2011, . p29.
 Brecoulaki, H., C. Zaitoun, S. R. Stocker, J.L. Davis, A.G. Karydas, M.P. Colombini, U. Bartolucci, An Archer from the Palace of Nestor: A New Wall-Painting Fragment in the Chora Museum, Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens Vol. 77,No. 3 (Jul. – Sep., 2008), p. 376.
 Evans, A, ‘The Ring of Nestor’: A Glimpse into the Minoan After-World and A Sepulchral Treasure ofGold Signet-Rings and Bead-Seals from Thisbê, Boeotia , The Journal of Hellenic Studies Vol. 45, Part 1 (1925), p. 22.
 Watchsmann, S. , Aegeans in Theban Tombs ,Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 20, Uitgeverij Peeters Leuven 1987, p. 89.
 Davis, A. Archery in Archaic Greece , Phd Thesis, University of Columbia, p. 11.
 Surnin, V. , Hieroglyphs of the Phaistos disc. History and full text translation, Volume I , Rostov on Don 2013, pp. 113-115.
 Evans, A, The palace of Minos. A comparative account of the successive stages of the Early Cretan civiliszation as illustrated by the discoveries at Knossos. Volume 2, Part 1 Fresh lights on origins and external relations, Cambridge University press, New York 1928, p. 50.
 Heltzer, M., E. Lipinski, Society and economy in the eastern Mediterranean (c 1500 – 1000), Orientalia Lovaniensia Analekta 23, Uitgeverij Peeters Leuven 1988, p. 66.
 LUJÁN, E. R., A. BERNABÉ, Ivory and Horn Production in Mycenaean Texts [in:] Nosch, M-L., R. Laffineur (eds.), Kosmos. Jewellery, Adornment and Textiles in the Aegean Bronze Age. Proceedings of the 13th International Aegean Conference/13e Rencontre égéenne internationale, University of Copenhagen, Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre for Textile Research, 21-26 April 2010, AEGAEUM 33 (2012), p. 636. ,
 «και τα μεν ασκήσας, κεραοοξόος ήραρε τέκτων» Homerus Epic: Ilias, Book 4, line 110.
 Chadwick, J. The Mycenean world, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1976, pp. 164-171.
 Drews, R, The end of Bronze Age” .Changes in Warfare and the catastrophe ca 1200BC, Princeton University Press, Princeton 1993, p. 124.
 “αυτίκ’εσύλα τόξον εύξοον ιξάλου αιγός αγρίου”. Homerus Epic: Ilias, Book 4, line 105.
 “νευρήν μεν μαζώ πέλασεν, τόξω δε σιδηρόν. αυτάρ επεί δη κυκλοτερές μέγα τόξον έτεινε” Homerus Epic: Ilias, Book 4, line 124.
 Balfour, H. ,The Archer’s Bow in the Homeric Poems, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland Vol.51 (Jul. – Dec., 1921), pp. 302 -303.
 “Ευρύμαχος δ’ήδη τόξον μετά χερσίν ενώμα, θάλπων ένθα και ένθα σέλα πυρός”. Homerus Epic: Odyssea, Book 21, line 247.
 “εισορόων Οδυσήα. ο δ’ήδη τόξον ένωμα πάντη αναστρωφών , πειρώμενος ένθα και ένθα μη κέρα πες έδοιεν αποιχομένοιο άνακτος”. Homerus Epic: Odyssea, Book 21, line 395.
 Rose, J.H. , Odysseus’ Bow and the Scolytidae, Classical Philology Vol. 29, No. 4 (Oct., 1934), pp. 343-344.
 “ένθα δε τόξον κοίτο παλίντονον ΄ηδ φαρέτρη ιοδόκος, πολλοί δ’ένεσαν στονόεντες οιστοί”. Homerus Epic: Odyssea, Book 21, line 11.
 “αλλ’άγετ’ οινοχόος μέν επαρξάσθω δεπάεσσιν ,όφρα σπείσαντες καταθείομεν αγκύλα τόξα”, Homerus Epic: Odyssea, Book 21, line 263.
 “πη δή καμπύλα τόξα φέρεις, αμέγατε συβωτα”. Homerus Epic: Odyssea, Book 21, line 362.
 Balfour, H. ,The Archer’s Bow in the Homeric Poems, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland Vol.51 (Jul. – Dec., 1921), p. 302.
 “Ως φατ’ Αθηναίη , τω δε φρένας άφρονι πείθεν, αυτίκ’εσύλα τόξον εύξοον ιξάλου αιγός ”. Homerus Epic: Ilias, Book 4 line 105
 “ένθεν ορεξαμένη από πασσάλου αίνυτο τόξον αυτώ γωρυτώ , ος ει περίκειτο φαεινός”. Homerus Epic: Odyssea, Book 21 line 54
 Howard, D. , Bronze age military equipment, Pen and sword military publishing, 2011, p. 57.
 Hulit, T.D. , Late Bronze Age scale armour in the Near East : an experimental investigation of materials, construction, and effectiveness, with a consideration of socio-economic implications, Department of Archaeology University of Durham ,Volume 1 of 1, Ph.D. Thesis 2002, pp. 123-133.
 Kelder, J, The Egyptian interest in Mycenaean Greece , Annual of Ex Oriente Lux (JEOL), 2010, p. 125.
 Watchsmann, S., Aegeans in Theban Tombs ,Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 20, Uitgeverij Peeters Leuven 1987, p. 90.
 Hussein, M.A. , Minoan Goat Hunting: Social Status and the Economics of War , Intercultural Contacts in the Ancient Mediterranean, Duistermaat , Regulski (eds.), OLA 202, 2011, p. 559.
General Systems Collapse Theory
As a bit of an aside, it’s probably worth mentioning here General Systems Collapse theory as pioneered by Joseph Tainter, amongst others. This theory puts forward the idea that social declines are inevitable with rising levels of complexity, and these social declines inevitably lead to collapse and disintegration of what had previously been a common culture/society — into simpler, separate, ones.
Certainly not really a new idea, but a simple clear way of wording what many people know intuitively about complex systems and hierarchies — disintegration of common function/identity occurs, and discontinuities/resentments tend to build up, until the whole thing fractures completely or ceases to “work”.
Also, resources — whether physical/material, cultural, or psychological — tend to get used up and/or overstretched as systems grow in complexity. Which leads to greater fragility, and decreased resilience and flexibility.
Bronze Age Armor
Bronze Age Armor - Greek Bronze helmet originally of Corinthian type, but modified in antiquity to a hybrid Illyro-Chalcidian type.  Bronze Age Armor - Hittites - group of peoples that made successful use of chariots.  Bronze Age Armor - Early Italic warriors of the seventh or sixth century b.  Bronze Age Armor - Organic Armor: amazing headdresses and armor pieces made from lightweight and flexible latex.  Bronze Age Weapons and Armor : Bronze Age campaigns can feature all the weapons and armor of a Stone Age campaign, as well as items made of bronze and gold. 
The second is the Bronze Age, where metal weapons appear but iron and steel have not been mastered or are rare.  Bronze is too weak to be used for two-handed weapons made entirely out of metal, and cannot typically be used to craft polearms, with the exception of the rhomphaia, which is provided in the section on Bronze Age equipment.  Many weapons of the Middle Ages make their first appearances in the Bronze Age, though the materials of the age cannot form blades much longer than a short sword and most polearms are unheard of.  One of the most famous sword types of the Bronze Age, and possibly one of the first swords designed, was the Sickle Sword, so named for the curved blade which gave it the appearance of being a cross between a sword and a grain harvesting tool. 
The following weapons are also available in Bronze Age campaigns.  The greatest military advancement of the Bronze Age was not a weapon at all.  In Northern Europe and Scandinavia, the Bronze Age inspired the use of elaborate metal helmets adorned with long, menacing horns.  This type is basically Late Bronze Age, from central Europe, and is presumably an ancestor of the Villanovan type shown below.  The Villanovan culture was a Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age culture in central Italy from which rose the founders of Rome in the 8th century BC.  The Bronze Age quickly gave way to the Iron Age as metalworking techniques advanced, but in a fantasy world, races with an aversion to iron might well use bronze weapons indefinitely.  Once the smelting of ore into metal appears, however, the culture moves into the Bronze Age or beyond.  Thanks to our friend Andrea Salimbeti at the Bronze Age Center, we now know that more of the original helmet survived than we thought! There is indeed a central bronze strip, apparently made from 2 parallel pieces, so that is what I have approximated here.  Currency in a Bronze Age campaign is the same as the standard Pathfinder RPG currency, though platinum pieces do not exist.  Prior to the Bronze Age, swords were not practical in combat and only a few flint swords appear among archaeological records.  Illustrations created in 1910 portraying warriors based on archaeological finds from the Bronze Age.  Suddenly, Bronze Age people could move at incredible speeds, a feat quickly employed by military leaders who wanted to move equipment and troops quickly.  More than the skirmishes of local tribes of the Stone Age, the Bronze Age brought us professional armies, battle tactics, and new tools for combat.  The Bronze Age brought the first professional armies to the world.  Archaeologists believe humans created the wheel sometime between the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age by attaching wooden circles to either end of a rod beneath a cart. 
Archaeologists in Siberia have unearthed Bronze Age armor crafted from bones in an outfit that George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy character "Rattleshirt" might have worn.  Pre-Civilization Bronze Age - Play on Armor Games Your browser is no longer supported and an update is recommended! Install the newest version for the best gaming experience. 
Interestingly, an unpublished Late Bronze Age armor plate (T97) from Tayinat in the Amuq also belongs to the Taurus groups. 
Most likely it belonged to an elite warrior and would have offered protection from Bronze Age weapons such as bone and stone arrowheads, bronze knives, spears tipped with bronze, and bronze axes.  A complete Bronze Age sword (top) with hilt and leaf-shaped blade (c.1100BC), and a large bronze spearhead (bottom) from 700BC. These Bronze Age socketed axes were used as both domestic tools and close-quarter combat weapons.  The following short study will brief on details and insight about four experimental reconstructions of Mediterranean Bronze age exotic weapons and three panoplies (armour) that KORYVANTES Association has worked on since 2011, as well as provide a brief on experiences from testing them as part of the bronze age Warrior armour system(s).  A few people worldwide have rebuild quality bronze age armour and weapons and got significant practical expertise in the field.  There is a quite a few quality material on Bronze age warfare and weapon tactics.  Hulit, Thomas David (2002) Late Bronze Age scale armour in the Near East : an experimental investigation of materials, construction, and effectiveness, with a consideration of socio-economic implications.  Bronze Age Mycenaean technology was capable of producing highly effective plate and scale armours for the Warriors in massive numbers, as Mycenaean and Minoan logistics documents reveal. 
With respect to this, there are no representations in Western Asia and Egypt in the Late Bronze Age to suggest that the light chariot was ever used to charge infantry (Moorey 1986: 203).  In the later Bronze Age, swords were cast in one piece, including the grip and pommel (the knob at the top of the handle or hilt).  Distinctive flint swords have been found from this date in Denmark and northern Europe, including riveted bronze swords with triangular blades from the early Bronze Age.  He is owner of the presented Sea People panoply, as well as owner of total 2 Bronze age and 2 Classical Era Panoplies.  Nick Thorpe, head of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Winchester, raised an interesting question: Why isn't there more evidence for bronze weapons, given that this was the Bronze Age? "Instead," he told Discovery News, "most of the evidence is of people being dispatched with wooden clubs, which may imply that the dead are mostly victims of a post-battle massacre.  Another important military innovation of the Bronze Age Mesopotamian armies in the Middle East, and one that would have an enormous impact on future battlefield warfare, was the introduction of the socketed axe.  The history of Dendra began in the early Bronze Age, and many important discoveries were made there.  During the Bronze Age, the region was inhabited by animal breeder members of the Krotov culture.  The earliest probable evidence for a large-scale battle, described in the latest issue of Antiquity, reveals in gory detail what warfare was like during the Bronze Age. 
Greek weaponry and armor underwent a continuous evolution in design from the Bronze Age to the Byzantine period.  The few bronze armor scales known from Late Bronze Age and Iron Age Greece are interpreted as evidence of an adoption not of a new type of weaponry, but rather of rituals using such objects either as pars pro toto dedications or as devices with apotropaic significance.  I do agree that there was not a lot of bronze body armor in most places during the Bronze Age! In fact I strongly suspect that many of the "Bronze Age" cuirasses that survive from Western Europe are actually Iron Age in date.  As far as bronze armor goes it wasn't as common in the bronze age as people think. 
The Greeks of the Archaic and Classical eras (including the Spartans we all know and love) were well into the iron age and had steel weapons, but used bronze almost exclusively for armor and other items.  Interestingly, during the Iron Age, the actual amount of bronze in use for weapons, armor, and domestic items went up dramatically, so it wasn't like bronze was "rare" or prohibitively expensive. 
Many discussions on bronze age vs iron age weapons assume that bronze is so weak that even the hard shield s the Greeks used would be cut in half like butter by a Scottish claymore or smashed apart by a medieval war hammer.  I notice on the internet and even a few TV shows like Deadliest Warriors there is a notion that bronze age weapons are so inferior that an Viking-age longsword or American Civil War saber would simply slice a bronze sword upon contact, if not outright shatter it into -tiny glass pieces.  In Bronze Age Europe, even the historical accounts of war were lacking, and all investigators had to go on were weapons in ceremonial burials and a handful of mass graves with unmistakable evidence of violence, such as decapitated bodies or arrowheads embedded in bones.  Melanie Schwinning and Hella Harten-Buga, University of Hamburg archaeologists and engineers, took into account the physical properties of bone and Bronze Age weapons, along with examples of injuries from horse falls.  Early Greek armour and weapons, from the end of the bronze age to 600 B.C.  "When it comes to the Bronze Age, we’ve been missing a smoking gun, where we have a battlefield and dead people and weapons all together," says University College Dublin (UCD) archaeologist Barry Molloy.  There are also some specifically bronze age weapons listed.  Yes copper and tin are less common than iron but iron is harder to extract from it's ore and in the bronze age it was as expensive as gold because of this.  The Bronze Age was the time when men learned how to mine and smelt copper and tin to make bronze weapons and tools.  This network moved tons of copper and tin during the Late Bronze Age and was revealed in the spectacular results of the underwater excavations at Uluburun Kas and Cape Gelidonya (Bass et al. 1989 Maddin 1989).  Current understanding of Hittite metallurgy comes from metal assemblages excavated from several Late Bronze Age sites such as Bogazköy, Masat, and Alaca Höyük.  While the metal objects from Late Bronze Age sites highlight sophisticated metallurgical skills, their very existence at this level points to a hidden production technology which operated at industrial strength in the mountain source areas.  It is this industry that is mostly missing in the archaeological record for the Hittite, though such industrial operations were already in operation in the Early Bronze Age as evidenced by the metal processing site, Göltepe, and the tin mine, Kestel (Yener and Vandiver 1993).  The well-preserved bones and artifacts add detail to this picture of Bronze Age sophistication, pointing to the existence of a trained warrior class and suggesting that people from across Europe joined the bloody fray.  Ancient DNA could potentially reveal much more: When compared to other Bronze Age samples from around Europe at this time, it could point to the homelands of the warriors as well as such traits as eye and hair color.  In any case, after just a few years, the palace at Pylos was destroyed, circa 1180 BC. Soon after, most of the other Mycenaean sites and settlements were also destroyed - and this sudden eclipse of a thriving Bronze Age culture is still one of the puzzling mysteries of time yet to be solved by historians.  In any case, from the historical perspective, like many things Mycenaean, such helmet types were probably inspired by the advanced Bronze Age Minoans.  To that end, the earlier Mycenaean artworks, architectural patterns, and military arms, circa 1600-1450 BC, are very much similar to the contemporary Minoan styles - so much so that many early historians presumed the southern part of ancient Greece to be a colony of Bronze Age Crete.  Probably more bronze armour used in the Iron Age than in the Bronze Age.  In Neolithic times (before the Bronze Age), people had made tools out of stone and hunted and gathered their food.  At about the same time that Stonehenge was rising in England and Abraham was framing the principles of Judaism in the Middle East, a Bronze Age culture was developing in China that in many respects was seldom equaled and never surpassed.  By the time of the Bronze Age this culture was characterized by a strong centralized government, urban communities with stratified social classes, palatial architecture, a distinctive system of writing, elaborate religious rituals, sophisticated art forms, and bronze metallurgy. 
An iron throne was given to the earlier Middle Bronze Age monarch, Anitta the King of Kanesh, while iron blooms, lumps, and iron smelting (?) hearths are mentioned in Hittite texts.  Two examples from the Middle Bronze Age are a bronze spearhead engraved with inscriptions of Anitta the King and a sword dedicated to the god Nergal (Güterbock 1964).  A silver specimen from a Middle Bronze Age silver hoard at Acemhöyük and a fragment from a Late Bronze Age silver hoard from Tell el-Qitar in Syria correlate strongly with the Taurus ore from Aladag.  Correlations with a number of artifacts from Late Bronze Age sites and Trabzon ores suggest that both the Taurus and the Pontic mines were potentially exploited for critical raw materials.  Along with this, I make some suggestions for sourcing the ores which were exploited from the Chalcolithic period to the Late Bronze Age in the south-central Taurus mountains.  In addition a number of artifacts from the southern frontier of the Hittites, such as Cilicia and the Amuq, ranging from Chalcolithic to Late Bronze Age, have been analyzed.  More relevant to the Hittites is the exploitation of the Taurus source in the Middle and Late Bronze Age.  Elsewhere, the team found human and horse remains buried a meter or two lower, about where the Bronze Age riverbed might have been.  "Most people thought ancient society was peaceful, and that Bronze Age males were concerned with trading and so on," says Helle Vandkilde, an archaeologist at Aarhus University in Denmark.  In the Bronze Age people learned how to farm and produce enough extra food to feed other workers such as miners, bronze-smiths, weavers, potters and builders who lived in towns and to feed the ruling class who organized and led society.  In many ways society in Bronze Age China resembles society in Medieval Europe.  The Bronze Age Chinese held extraordinarily different ideas about kingship and religion from Medieval Europe.  Northern Europe in the Bronze Age was long dismissed as a backwater, overshadowed by more sophisticated civilizations in the Near East and Greece.  A number of Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age artifacts from the Amuq in southcentral Turkey correlate well with the ore groups of the Taurus.  The discovery of an Early Bronze Age tin mine at Kestel (Moorey 1994:300-301) makes these early alloys all the more important technologically.  The cultural and military exchanges between these Bronze Age power-centers were evident from the employment of "exotic’ Egyptian and Nubian mercenaries in Mycenaean armies (and vice versa).  He came upon an ancient Bronze Age tomb with a myriad of grave goods, including gold, silver, ivory and ceramic artifacts (including the famed golden " Mask of Agamemnon "). 
Vector - French Armor and Weapons During the Younger Bronze Age, vintage engraved illustration.  This is an important age in human history for it is the age in which people started making weapons and armor out of bronze. 
Entering the Bronze Age, people began to add lead and tin into copper to make the alloy Bronze and slowly, stone weapons declined.  When we consider the beauty of Bronze Age warriors and their weapons, we must not forget the terror of the victims and the effects of war on their communities.  Add tags for "Early Greek armour and weapons, from the end of the bronze age to 600 B.C."  In terms of the additions, the newest weapon that was added to humanity's arsenal in the Bronze age was the sword.  The bronze age would eventually come to an end, and weapons would be made of iron as the following era's name suggests, the Iron Age.  Swords and shields of bronze were introduced in the bronze age, and they completely modernized warfare, since swords had never been used before.  Of course, this article is about the Bronze Age and not about medieval warfare, but the discovery of the bronze sword and shield pulled at me with this interest.  UC's Sharon Stocker stands in the shaft tomb of a wealthy, Bronze Age warrior buried alone in about 1500 BC. His intact tomb, discovered by a UC-led international team, contained one of the most magnificent displays of prehistoric riches discovered in mainland Greece in the past 65 years.  Following scene-setting chapters on the definition and suggested causes of warfare, the nature of the evidence for prehistoric warfare (weaponry, trauma, defenses, artistic representations, and the "warrior"), and warfare in the Neolithic (mostly Beaker) period, Harding provides a significant review of Bronze Age warfare in Europe (excluding the Aegean).  Harding concludes by suggesting that warfare in the Bronze Age was a regular part of life for some people, that it was a pervasive social factor, and that times of environmental and economic stress may have led to higher levels of conflict.  The Bronze age was a time of change in terms of warfare however, what changed was not necessarily tactics or how wars were fought, but instead a change of arsenal.  During the Bronze Age, most of the helms are made of leather. 
The Dendra panoply or Dendra armour is an example of Mycenaean-era panoply (full-body armor) made of bronze plates uncovered in the village of Dendra in the Argolid, Greece.  Several elements of body armour (body cuirass, shoulder guards, breast plates and lower protection plates) from the late Mycenaean period have been found at Thebes, some bronze bands have been also found at Mycenae and Phaistos. 1 Bronze scales were found at Mycenae and Troy scale armour, the oldest form of metal body armor, was used widely throughout the eastern Mediterranean and the Near East.  Armor : Bronze can be used to create any medium or light armor made entirely of metal or that has metal components.  Having decided that I need more armor, but not having enough large pieces of bronze for a solid cuirass, I have turned to scale armor. 
It may be either an embossed waist-length leather corslet with a fringed leather apron that reaches to mid-thigh and possible shoulder-guards, very much like that worn by the Peoples of the Sea depicted on the mortuary temple of Ramesses III (died c. 1155 BC) at Medinet Habu, Lower Egypt, or, alternatively, the body armour may be a "bell’ corselet of beaten bronze sheet, a type also found in central Europe at that time.  The Linear B ideogram depicting armour of this type makes the neck-guard clearly discernible, and protection by a high bronze collar was a typical feature of Near Eastern body armour. 
Spear points, arrowheads, and axe heads can be crafted from bronze, even those that are parts of two-handed weapons.  Bronze axes helped clear forests for fields, but also made a handy weapon.  Weapons : Light and one-handed weapons can be crafted from bronze. 
In this era, bronze, copper, and even gold take the place of bone and stone in weaponry.  For simplicity's sake, similar or component metals such as brass, copper, or even tin can use the following rules, even though in reality bronze is both harder and more reliable than those metals.  With the strength and durability of bronze, casting a cart's wheel from the new metal allowed people to move faster with less fear of broken wheels, damage, and injury. 
Bronze knives, however, could be made longer than stone knives, eventually growing so long that they became the first swords.  The stone knives gave way to longer and longer bronze knives, eventually producing swords. 
In May 1960 2 Swedish archaeologists discovered the earliest example of a beaten bronze cuirass at Dendra, dated to the end of the fifteenth century BC. 3 It forms part of the Late Helladic (LHIIIa) Dendra Panoply, which consists of fifteen separate pieces of bronze sheet, held together with leather thongs, that encased the wearer from neck to knees. 4 The panoply includes both greaves and lower arm-guards.  All these pieces are made of beaten bronze sheet and are backed with leather and loosely fastened by ox-hide thongs to allow some degree of movement. 
Samnite Bronze Helmet and Neckguard, C. 450 BC This imposing helmet is a unique hybrid of the Samnite-Chalcidian type.  Celtic helmet with coral and bronze decorations century BCE) found in a tomb at Canosa, Southern Italy.  Lower arm-guards and a set of greaves further protected the warrior, all made of bronze, as fragments of these were also found in the grave at Dendra.  This is a drawing of a Sardinian shield based on the numerous bronze figurines found on that island.  The books may cite an old article by JM Coles back in the 1960s, in which he cut up some very thin copper shields, and apparently came to the conclusion that bronze would be no better.  The strap is riveted on by two copper nails, with bronze washers.  They are the same size as the Kaloriziki bosses, but not being able to reproduce the tall conical shape of the large one I settled on a somewhat conical dome, topped by a bronze disc and a short copper spike. 
Before the advent of iron and steel, bronze ruled the world.  First the bronze must be sanded clean (my usual old brown 18-gauge scrap!), then the scales are traced and cut out with snips.  The first bronze axes were highly impractical, breaking off from the wooden handles due to the pressure of impact.  The few bronze examples that have been found only covered the shins and may have been worn over linen ones, as much for show of status Diane Fortenberry has suggested, 5 as for protection.  Probably the last full bronze cuirass I will make! This is the cuirass and accessories found in the armory at Thebes.  Actually, I need to add a few half-length bronze scales at the base of the neck hole, mostly to avoid a visual gap.  The goal is a thigh-length shirt covered with alternating rows of bronze and painted rawhide scales, and the scales themselves are based on one from Troy, as shown in Connolly.  The scales for the shoulder guards are all bronze, 2" by about 7/8", after the example from Mycenae. 
The rim actually disguises a little of the rippling or wavy edge, but the leather sticks out beyond the bronze in a couple places.  From simple bronze caps to full muscle plates dawned famously by the greeks. 
Typically only used for ceremonial weapons and armor, metal equipment made from gold is fragile, heavy, and expensive.  This easily worked metal can be used in place of steel for both weapons and armor.  Bone can be used in place of wood and steel in weapons and armor.  Other animal-based materials like horn, shell, and ivory also use the rules for bone weapon and armor.  All of the special materials listed below have their own rules and exceptions that make them function slightly differently (typically worse) than the standard materials for weapons found in the Pathfinder RPG. Some of these materials grant the item the fragile quality--a quality that can be applied to both weapons and armor.  Masterwork and magical fragile weapons and armor lack these flaws unless otherwise noted in the item description or the special material description.  Fragile armor is not broken or destroyed by critical threats that are not generated by natural 20s, so if a creature wielding a weapon with a 19-20 or 18-20 critical range scores a critical hit on the wearer of this armor with a roll of less than a natural 20, that critical hit has no chance to break or destroy the armor.  Fragile : Fragile weapons and armor cannot take the beating that sturdier weapons can. 
Stone Age Weapons and Armor : Stone Age campaigns feature standard weapons and armor made of bone, obsidian, and stone.  Gold items weigh 50% more than typical weapons or armor of their type.  Gold-plated items triple the base cost of weapons and armor and have the same properties as the item the gold is plating.  Their armor and weapons were highly effective and made for serious combat.  Sometimes these differences are hand-waved away (as in the case of most mundane gear and items), but in the case of weapons and armor, these differences are not as easily overlooked. 
Bone either replaces the metal components of the armor, or in the case of wooden shields, large pieces of bone or shell replace the wood.  Armor : Studded leather, scale mail, breastplates, and wooden shields can all be constructed using bone.  Leather, hide, padded, and wooden armor and wooden shields are also available. 
While the Greeks wore helmets and flexible armor made of overlapping plates called a panoply, Egyptians avoided using it for common soldiers.  Pharaohs, however, were often depicted wearing scale armor and helmets.  At the moment I'm leaning towards Pass Lueg, since I think that would go well with my armor, but some other crested helmet style is an option.  It protects a creature as well as steel armor does, but it has the fragile quality.  Armor with the fragile quality falls apart when hit with heavy blows.  If an attacker hits a creature wearing fragile armor with an attack roll of a natural 20 and confirms the critical hit (even if the creature is immune to critical hits), the armor gains the broken condition.  Armor : The fragile glass nature of obsidian is perfect for creating sharp points and blades, but those same qualities make it unsuitable for creating armor.  Armor : Armor cannot usually be constructed from stone, but advanced, often alchemically enhanced stone armor made by dwarves or other stone-working cultures does exist.  At the low end, some areas might barely scrape together hide clothing, flint knives, and cooking fires, while at the higher end, more sophisticated craftsmanship like wooden armor, fired pottery, and quarried stone makes an appearance. 
Armor : Gold can be fashioned into light or medium metal armor.  The softness and the weight of the metal decrease the armor/shield bonus by 2, and increase the armor check penalty by 2. 
Scale armor was also popular, especially in Egypt and the Middle East.  Well, THAT'S REAL ARMOR! That's how thick armor is, and it works just fine.  Often golden armor is gold-plated rather than constructed entirely from gold. 
The cost of a bone weapon or bone armor is half the price of a normal weapon or armor of its type.  Bronze armor has the same cost and weight as normal steel armor of its type.  They wear bronze armor of various types, all common in the Italian peninsula at the time.  The use of bronze armor and helmets varied from culture to culture.  You will read in many books about how all the bronze armor and shields have been found are "ceremonial" and are so thin as to be "useless in battle". 
Early bronze swords had a blade riveted to the handle, but later weapons were cast as a solid piece, reducing the risk of breakage.  Bronze weapons do the same damage as steel weapons of the same type, and have the same cost and weight. 
The standard Pathfinder Roleplaying Game campaign takes place in a time period similar to the medieval and early Renaissance age of iron and steel.  The following weapons are also available in Stone Age campaigns.  Stone Age cultures that exist long enough often develop currencies based on materials other than metal coins, including cowries (smalls shells), carved stone money, and wooden tokens.  The first is the Stone Age, where worked metals are all but unknown.  Metal items in a Stone Age campaign are as prized as magic items in a standard campaign. 
Stone Age cultures tend to exist in a pre-currency condition, relying on barter, communalism, or the taking resources by force. 
Other campaigns might be set at the turning point of the Iron Age, with the PCs either possessing the secret of iron or fighting to survive (and perhaps steal its mysteries for themselves) against enemies wielding deadly new blades of iron and steel. 
The figures on the Warrior Vase (Mycenae, ca 1200 BC, National Archaeological Museum, Athens ) 7 are wearing body armor.  The armor/shield bonus of bone armor is reduced by 1, but in the case of studded leather, the armor check penalty is also reduced by 1 (to 0).  Bone armor has a hardness of 5 and has the fragile armor quality.  Masterwork bone armor also has the fragile quality, but magic bone armor does not. 
Bronze weapons have the hardness of their base weapons but also have the fragile quality. 
He is certain that the armour belonged to a 'hero', an 'elite warrior who knew special methods of battle' and would have 'given good protection from weapons that were used at the time - bone and stone arrowheads, bronze knives, spears tipped with bronze, and bronze axes '.  The Warrior can deliver slashing attacks to the upper body/head of the opponent using the right angles - at the same time, the big mass of the bronze axe can be used to deliver bludgeoning attacks to the lower body of the opponent with devastating effects even against heavy armour. 
The beaten bronze plates on this armor are loosely fastened with leather stripes, all in order to ease the movements of the warrior.  It is safe to assume that not all of them were made purely of bronze plates, probably most of them were composite designs of leather, linen and metal reinforcements ( detailed images of a Mycenaean composite armor reconstruction from the site of the armourer).  The result is composite armor (bronze, linen, leather) with a total weight is around 17kg.  Discovered in May 1960 by Swedish archaeologists, the discovered breastplate, and backplate made of bronze, date to the 15th century BC. These pieces are part of the Dendra full-body armor, composed of fifteen pieces, including leg protectors, arm-guards, helmet and the parts mentioned above.  When bronze gets old, and the air touches it, it corrodes (like iron rusting ) and turns green, like these Etruscan greaves (leg armor).  The armor consist of a bronze breastplate, a reinforced war-belt, 2 couples of large tassets with bronze scales (of two types) attached on linen, overlapping on vertical and horizontal axis and bronze pauldrons / sleeves with bronze scales overlapping on vertical and horizontal axis.  Pic8. the bronze scale armor is a modular design that allow for great flexibility and functionality. 
Various materials were used to build war maces (iron, bronze, stone), depending of the social status and financials of the Warrior.  After that, when new people in the Caribbean or the Pueblos or Brazil learned how to work metal, they went straight to using iron, and nobody used much bronze anymore.  By 900 AD, Ife and Hausa people in West Africa were also using bronze alongside of iron. 
As with the weapons, bronze is lighter than stone, and you can make statues in different poses with bronze than you can with stone.  You could make a much better sword out of bronze than out of stone or wood.  Early civilizations in the Middle East began to combine bronze or copper alloys to produce spears, daggers, swords and axes.  Later axes would have narrower points that could be used to penetrate bronze plate armour.  Ancient Greek infantry soldiers wore plate armour consisting of a cuirass, long greaves (armour for the leg below the knee), and a deep helmet--all of bronze.  The main body of the consist of 12 plates attached together using an internal suspension system that is based on leather straps, plus 2 optional bronze pauldrons.  For the construction we started with bronze plates, hammering was used to form all parts, no english wheel was used. 
The helmet was built using bronze scales of two types and sizes.  Together with the bronze pieces, slivers of boar's tusks were also unearthed, which were pieces of the boar's tusk helmet.  Linen grieves, reinforced with bronze elements, and a two-horned helmet decorated with a solar symbol are also part of the panoply. 
We will present the reconstruction and usage of axini (?), epsilon-axe, navmaho xisto (?) and Hittite warthog axe, as well as make a brief presentation of 3 Bronze era panoplies: Mycenaean, Hittite/Trojan, Sea People.  Once bronze got old and corroded, people usually sold it to a bronze-smith to melt down and recycle into new bronze things - that’s why we don’t have very much ancient bronze. 
Around 2000 BC, Indo-Europeans spread the use of bronze to Europe and China.  The Hyksos encouraged Africans in Egypt and Sudan to use more bronze around 1700 BC.  When West Asian smiths first began to make bronze, about 3500 BC, it was very expensive.  By 3000 BC, Central Asians and Harappans in India were using bronze, and by 2500 BC they were making bronze in the Aegean islands. 
If you mix a little tin into the copper, it becomes bronze, which is much harder and at the same time less brittle.  Immersion of the blade in water and continuous hammering to form a well-tempered blade developed a consistent surface that was less prone to fracture and breakage than bronze or copper. 
The whole system was very functional, except of the heavy shield at later stage, we repeated the same drills with a lighter wicker shield, using the same handle system and leather / bronze reinforcements, that proved much more functional and operational.  The peculiar bronze double-headed blade is dated around 16th Century BC found at Agios Onoufrios near Phaistos, Crete.  A collection of other bronze finds found in Tollense Valley appear here. 
Bronze smiths make bronze by melting two different metals and mixing them.  Soon Chinese and West Asian artists also began to use bronze to make bronze statues. 
It turned that axini was proved the weapon of preference to use against plate armor.  Armour, also spelled armor, also called body armour, protective clothing with the ability to deflect or absorb the impact of projectiles or other weapons that may be used against its wearer.  We refer to this armor as " hybrid" since it is a combination of Mycenaean plate armour cuirass and Near East scale armour tassets and pauldrons/sleeves - for the construction of the armour and helmet, 5 different types of scales have been used from Egypt, Hittite and Assyria.  There are no written evidence on how Dendra type of armor was used, but hundreds of this type of armor were commissioned from the Mycenaean kingdoms, as logistics Linear B tablets from Knossos (Sc series), Pylos (Sh series) and Tiryns (Si series) reveal.  Assuming that all parts of Dendra armor were used, there is a full coverage of the body, including neck, lower part of the face and thighs. 
Warthog axe has similar usage to axini, but cannot be used to grab armor plate - nor perforate through metal plates.  The opponent is armed with a heavy axini, ideal weapon to grab the plate armor and submit his opponent.  The result is a rich armor, very effective to absorb the kinetic energy of the hits, complex to build but capable to provide extreme protection against the weapons of the era.  Reconstruction of an Hittite / Trojan armor and weapons of the Hattusa Kingdom. 
Of course, Warriors with Dendra type armor did not walk extensive distances, they were moving on chariots ( εποχούμενοι - epohoumenoi ) to the place of interest and were supported by a number of servants / followers.  The psychological effect of a number of elite Warriors with this type of armor would be tremendous.  The tactical advantage that this type of armor offer, specially if the Warriors are supported by a number of lighter units, could be decisive in the battlefiled. 
We conducted various drills to test the functionality of both panoplies, simulating the fight of Mycaenean Warlord (carrying a sacred armor of earlier times) armed with naftiko xisto against Troy Warrior (hybrid armor) armed with axini / Epsilon axe.  This was the period when Greece got its first elite warrior units, so, understandably, the first armor was made exactly in the Mycenaean era.  Thеre are examples of body armors from Mycenaean age displayed at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, but these pieces are different from the one found at Dendra.  Reconstruction of an Sea People Armour and weapons, of the Dark ages.  Apart from helmets, armour made of large plates was probably unknown in western Europe during the Middle Ages.  The third category includes the plate armour that protected the knights of Europe in the Middle Ages. 
The armor, which consists of different plates made up of small fragments of bone that were joined together, was likely buried at a place of worship.  Analysis is underway to determine what kind of animal bones were used for the armor, but it was likely assembled with bones from elk, deer and horse. 
Apart of the gorget - can be easily removed if not needed - the key issue of this armor is the weight distribution: this is a 25+kg armor that weight is only distributed on shoulders even well trained people cannot cope with this easily for long periods of time.  Homer provide a wealth of information about armor that are documented by the archaeological findings (clay tablets, metal parts, omfaloi, armor components) in Dendra, Thebes, Knossos, Pylos, Phestos and Tiryns.  Specially the clay tablets, probably accounting or logistics records (1400 - 1200 bc) of the Kingdoms depict with ideograms the heavy armor / panoplies of the era, similar to the shape of Dendra armor. 
The hybrid cuirass combines elements of Hittite / Assyrian / Egypt scale armors and Mycaenean plate armor.  We do not believe that this type of armor is ideal for duels, like the epic ones of Iliad - but we are open-minded and we can listen to any opinion.  Written proofs of the existence of similar armors are found in other places, like Knossos, Pylos, and Tiryns. 
It is designed to deliver bludgeoning attacks to the enemy, but the effectiveness against a Denda type armor has to be verified by experiments.  Detailed images of the armor and helmet from the site of the armourer.  In the 1980s the U.S. Army developed the Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops (PASGT), which was composed of a newly designed Kevlar helmet and a Kevlar vest. 
The full armor forms a heavy tubular suit and protects the entire body of the soldier.  The armor, however, resembles artifacts from the Samus-Seyminskaya culture, whose members originated in the Altai Mountain, about 620 miles to the south east, and who later migrated to Omsk.  For instance, an archer may be issued the armor without pauldrons, so that he is able to easily use his bow without being hindered.  "It is unique first of all because such armor was highly valued. 
The earliest sample of a full body armor in Greece was found at the Dendra archeological site, located in the Argolis area.  The breastplate and backplate are linked on the left side by a hinge, and together with the large shoulder protectors, these pieces consisted the upper body armor. 
Bronze armor was stronger and lighter than the leather and wood armor soldiers had worn before.  Bronze swords weren’t strong enough to cut with the side of the blade: you had to use bronze swords mainly to stab people, or your sword would break. 
To have been a warrior during the Iron Age must have been an established role, and the importance of warfare led to monumental defensive structures and further evolution of swords and shields.  35 people are known to have died during a Stone Age battle in Bavaria dating to 6300 B.C. Remains from another conflict in Germany date to 5000 B.C. 
Archaeologists working near Omsk in Siberia have discovered a complete suit of bone armor that likely belonged to an elite warrior.  This bone armor more closely resembles artifacts from the Samus-Seyminskaya culture, which originated near the area of the Altai Mountain, about 1,000 km to the south east, and who later migrated to Omsk. 
My understanding (and i'm no proffesional, I've just talked with people who know things) is that while iron makes better weapons, bronze makes better armor.  Back in 1963 there was a famous "test" of "bronze" armor and weapons by John Coles.  What's also interesting is that when cheap pilos (or "bell") helmets start to be produced in Greece, for a growing number of mercenaries and "cheap" infantry, they're all made of bronze! Greece has no copper or tin deposits, so ALL bronze had to be imported, but for some reason, what we think of as the "obvious" concept of using more local iron deposits for armor simply escaped them.  Bronze bends more often when hit (while being used as armor), and thus is better than iron as armor.  Iron is more brittle than bronze, and thus is more prone to break when used as armor.  I would say the Classical Greeks used bronze for armor and helmets simply because that was their tradition, and it worked fine.  That’s why, for example, the biblical David--a shepherd--refused to don a suit of armor and bronze helmet before fighting Goliath.  One of these armor systems consisted of a leather corselet that was reinforced with sewn bronze (or copper) scales, and it was possibly worn over a leather skirt.  Their costumes, the armor made of pieces of bronze and leather and their military gear are shown in exact detail.)  The reason, I gather, that iron replaced bronze as armor had little to do with superiority.  The impressive armor system boasted big shoulder-guards, triangular arm-pit guards, a deep neck-guard (composed of a high bronze collar) and even greaves (padded with linen).  Iron is harder than soft bronzes, but hard high tin bronzes (such as were used to make cutting weapons) are harder than iron.  For plain iron weapons, there's no real difference (and similarly, you'd use bronze for copper etc.).  As I indicated, iron was the cheap metal of choice long before the middle ages, and while copper and bronze were still very much in use, there would not be much of those on the average peasant farm.  No. Consider that bronze armour continued to be used in the Iron Age.  When iron first started to be used to make armour it is likely that this was the status symbol because bronze was more prevalent.  I may be off base on this but could the use of bronze as armour by the Greeks versus iron be a status symbol thing if bronze was in fact more costly? If you could afford hoplite equipment, bronze could make more of an impression on the plebians than plain iron.  Bronze made better armour than iron until the intricacies of quench-hardened steel were understood.  Weapons of bronze, while clearly inferior to steel items, are not nearly as bad as stone or bone weapons.  Thousands of warriors came together in a brutal struggle, perhaps fought on a single day, using weapons crafted from wood, flint, and bronze, a metal that was then the height of military technology.  What makes bronze expensive is the tin (which means that "weapons grade" high tin bronze is even more expensive than regular bronze). 
RANKED SELECTED SOURCES(31 source documents arranged by frequency of occurrence in the above report)