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The Boars'-tusk Helmet a recent find

  • Stylianos Alexiou (a1)

In the autumn of 1953, with the support of the Archaeological Society of Athens, work I was continued in the LM II cemetery at Katsaba east of Heracleion. Test-trenches led to the finding of four tombs (T, ∆, E, Z) cut in the rock close to the other two (A, B), which in 1951 produced the alabaster amphora of Thutmose III. One of the new tombs had been robbed, but the other three yielded many finds. Of outstanding significance was Tomb Z ; it contained three bodies in wooden coffins, and a group of vases (PLATE VII), of which the most important were a bridge-spouted jug with patterns of birds and fish, a beaked jug with papyrus-flowers, and a three-handled amphora of the Palace Style with representations of the boars’-tusk helmet (PLATE VIII). A preliminary report of the excavation is given in the ‘’ 1953. The representations of the helmet are important enough to become the subject of a separate article in ANTIQUITY.

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1 Kρητικά χρoικά, ΣT, 1953, 9 ff. cf. ANTIQUITY, XXVII, 1954, 183 ff.

1 Cf. B.C.H., LXXVIII, 1954–1, 150 f., fig. 49, 50, 51.

3 Lorimer, Homer and the Monuments, 1950, 211 ff., and more recently Xenaki-Sakellariou, B.C.H., LXXVII, 1953–1, 46 ff.

4 Wace, Chamber Tombs of Mycenae, 1932, 214. (Archaeologia, LXXXII).

5 Karo, Schachtgräber von Mykenae, 1930, Plate LXX, NO. 541-9.

6 For the crest-holder, cf. the bronze helmet of the ‘ Hospital Site ‘ at Knossos, B.S.A., XLVII, 1952, Plate 50a. The streamers explain the meaning of Homer’s epithet, Kρητνθαὶoλoς Eκτωρ.

7 B.S.A., xxv, 1921-3, Plate XXXVIIa.

8 Op. cit., 46-8.

9 Ivory from Cyprus, Murray, Excavations in Cyprus, Plate 11, No. 1340 ; ivory from Spata, Reichel, Homerische Waffen, 103, fig. 39 ; silver vase from Mycenae, ibid., 106, fig. 43a.

10 op. cit., 214.

11 op. cit., 103.

12 External and visible seams as those of the boars’-tusk helmet from Mycenae (Wace, op. cit., Plate XXXVIII), might be cut in fighting.

13 Ivory boars’-tusk helmet in relief of the Candia Museum (No. 55) ; helmet painted on the polychrome goblet from a tomb at Zafer Papoura, Evans, Tomb of the Double Axes, 27, fig. 37b.

14 Reichel, op. cit., 102, note 1.

15 ibid, 102. Lorimer thinks the felt was between the boar’s tusks and the leather straps, op. cit., 213.

16 For these attachments of the helmet see Lorimer, op. cit., 215, and Xenaki-Sakellariou, op. cit., 53-56.

17 Palace of Minos, iv, 867 ff.

18 Xenaki-Sakellariou, op. cit., 57 and 53, note 3.

19 Evans, Prehistoric Tombs of Cnossos, 67.

20 op. cit., 57.

21 P. of M., IV, 869.

22 The boar is represented on a MM 11 bronze dagger from Crete, P. of M., 1, 718, fig. 541, but this cannot be a proof.

23 op. cit., 219.

24 P. of M., iv, 868.

25 Lorimer, op. cit., 212, note 2.

26 ibid, 217.

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  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
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