Flattened copper helmet and skull found in the Royal Tomb at Ur
|The most vulnerable part of the soldier in battle was his head, so the search for protection by some form of helmet goes back to the earliest times.|
Helmets were purpose-built to protect the wearer against the specific weapons he faced. At first, ancient helmets seem to have been pointed at the top, to deflect the downward force. When the ax became popular as a weapon, the shape of the helmet was modified to counter the cutting edge of a downward-falling blade.
Stele of Vultures circa 2500 BC. King Eannatum of Lagash leads a phalanx of soldiers with metal helmets, armed with spears and socketed axes. They are trampling over the bodies of their enemies.
|The technology of armor was constantly evolving. By 3,000 BC metal workers were making helmets of copper. 500 years later the Sumerians had bronze helmets, spears and axes. |
Egyptian soldier in the act of killing a warrior of the 'Sea Peoples' in the Medinet Habu temple relief
The Helmet of Agighiol is a Geto-Dacian silver helmet dating from the 5th century BC.
Sutton Hoo helmet reconstructed
The Golden Helmet of Coţofeneşti
|This 2,600-year-old bronze helmet was discovered in the waters of Haifa Bay, Israel in 2012. When it was made Greek colonies dotted the Mediterranean coast, stretching from the Black Sea to southern France. |
This warrior was likely one of Egyptian pharaoh Necho II's mercenaries, which he sent through Israel accompanied by a fleet of ancient ships. The pharaoh was involved in military campaigns in the region for nearly a decade, operations in which this warrior and his group likely were involved.
Bronze Helmet from Ancient Greece, around 460 BC
Roman horseman's helmet, found in the Netherlands
Greek Spartan Crest Helmet
Spanish morion (helmet)
Helmet covered in heavy gold florets with spike top, visor front. Chou Dynasty, Emperor Wu Wang tomb complex at Laoyang, circa 1020 BC.
Japanese helmet, circa 1590–1640.
Helmet of a Yuan Dynasty officer
Chinese chichak-style helmet, Ming Dynasty
Helmet from 7th century Viking boat grave
|A common myth about the Vikings was that they wore horned helmets in battle. Archaeologists have found no proof to say that their helmets had horns. The reason their helmets didn't have horns was because they would have gotten in the way in battles and may have ended up injuring the wearer.|
Real Viking helmets had protective metal down and around the ears and some helmets found in burial mounts had a metal mask in front.
German helmet by famous armorsmith Jörg Seusenhofer ca. 1540