Marines donned ancient Mycenaean armor and fought each other to see how well it worked

Marines donned ancient Mycenaean armor and fought each other to see how well it worked


Sixty-four years ago, a team of archaeologists discovered 3,500-year-old armor in Dendra, Greece, a few miles from the ancient Mycenaean ruins. Researchers weren’t sure whether the ornate armor, known as the Dendra Panopuri, was purely ceremonial or was meant for combat.

Now, a team of experimental archaeologists has rigorously tested replica armor on Greek marines and found that the ancient armor was indeed suitable for use in Bronze Age combat. The team’s findings were as follows: published Today on PLoS One.

“First, we analyzed Homer’s Iliad and combined the extracted information with physiological and biometeorological knowledge to create an 11-hour battle simulation protocol that recreates the daily activities undertaken by elite late Bronze Age warriors. ” said exercise scientist Andreas Floris. said the study’s lead author, a professor at the University of Thessaly, in an email to Gizmodo. “The references in Homer’s Iliad can now be seen as real memories rather than poetic fantasies.”

The actual Dendra armor.

The study authors recruited 13 volunteers from the Hellenic Armed Forces Marine Corps and conducted exercises based on battle scenes from Homer’s epic poems while wearing replica Dendra armour made from 95% copper and 5% zinc (the alloy closest to the original bronze), the team said in the paper.

When preparing the combat simulation, the team took into account aspects of Bronze Age warfare detailed by Homer, such as the environment in which the battles took place, the duration of the armies’ daily operations, the warriors’ activities throughout the day, the amount of food and water consumed by the combatants, and the actual physical characteristics of the warriors. The simulated combat actions included spear throwing and dodging blows (of course), encounters between infantry and chariots, and a “chariot vs. warrior on a ship” exercise in which participants fired arrows at close range. The research team weighed the volunteers before and after the exercise module and took urine and blood samples.

The researchers found that the Marines were not physically restrained by the armor during the combat simulations, nor did they experience any particular strain when donning the armor. In other words, it is still unknown whether the actual Dendra Panoply was used in combat, but it is certain that it was designed to be used in practice.

“Dendran armor was created for use in combat, not just for show (i.e. ceremonial purposes). This meant that at the end of the Bronze Age, Mycenaean warriors were the best equipped in the Eastern Mediterranean. He was part of a group of people who A sports scientist at the University of Thessaly said in an email to Gizmodo.

The researchers have also developed freely available software for archaeologists to create simulations of other Bronze Age battle scenarios to facilitate more insight into similar ancient conflicts.

more: An experimental future that digs into the past



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