Alekseev A.Yu. Helmet of the “Kuban” Type from the Kelermes Burial Ground (Excavated in 1993)

Andrey Yu. Alekseev, Doctor of Sciences (History), Head of the Department of Eastern European and Siberian Archaeology, The State Hermitage Museum, Dvortsovaya Emb., 34, 191181 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ,

Abstract. The “Kuban” type helmet was found in the “Meotian” grave of small kurgan 15 (with the main and primary grave of the Bronze Age) in 1993 by the Kelermes archaeological expedition of the State Hermitage Museum. It is an object included in one of the components of the so-called “Scythian triad” and relates to the 7th – 6th centuries BC. The helmet has a shape that is close to hemispherical, it is corroded and in the front part it has superciliaryarcuate cuts, forming a small nose triangular plate, and a rectangular cutout in the back. On the edge of the helmet, there are 10 holes for fastening or lining of the helmet or leather earflaps. The helmet was cast on a wax model with a loss of a mould, and made of good tin bronze (Cu – base, Sn – 7–8%, As – 0.4%, Pb – 0.4%, Fe < 0.4%, Sb – traces), like many other items of this category of weapons. Regarding the origin of the “Kuban” type helmets, many of which are irregular finds, there are three versions of the origin of such helmets, which can be called the North Caucasian one, the Near Eastern one, and the Central Asiatic–North Chinese one. In the 1980s, a summary of such helmets, compiled by L.K. Galanina, consisted of 16 copies. Currently, it can be increased due to several new finds that have become known in recent decades, the area of which covers the territory of Eurasia from Mongolia to the Dnieper-river forest-steppe region. This allows to link their origin to the territory of Central Asia and North China more confidently, and typologically connect them with bronze helmets of the Western Zhou dating to the 11th – 8th centuries BC.
Key words: scythian helmets of the “Kuban” type, chronology, Kelermes burial ground, Eurasia, helmets of the Western Zhou era.
Citation. Alekseev A.Yu., 2019. Helmet of the “Kuban” Type from the Kelermes Burial Ground (Excavated in 1993). The Lower Volga Archaeological Bulletin, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 221-234. (in Russian). DOI:
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Helmet of the “Kuban” Type from the Kelermes Burial Ground (Excavated in 1993) by A.Yu. Alekseev is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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