2,500-Year-Old Helmet Found That Terrified Ancient Warriors

By Jeffrey Rapaport | Published


Unearthed in a burial mound in Croatia, an astonishing archeological find: a 2,500-year-old element from the ancient Illyrian culture. The piece of headwear was found in pristine condition and clearly would have struck equal parts awe and fear into the hearts of those facing off against its wearer in combat. Crafted from solid bronze, the helmet features a unique, distinctive crest and cheek guards, both of which are dramatically enlarged and heightened for an imposing appearance. Moreover, it boasts a highly reflective surface, capable of dazzling, blinding, and terrifying enemies in the sunlight. 

Ancient Advanced Tech


The helmet is also a marvel of advanced ancient craftsmanship, a degree of mastery that would have projected and signified the wearer’s lofty status and martial prowess. The combined result is an overwhelming blend of visual intimidation and projection of invincibility. 

The team of archeologists fortunate enough to nab the find worked out of the Croatian Institute of Archaeology, laboring over an excavation of a burial mound near the village of Zakotarac on the Pelješac Peninsula. 

Don’t Worry, No Evil Spirits Have Been Released


We know, we know: in any decent horror movie, digging up the helmet would unleash an undead phalanx of Illyrian warriors. However, the discovery comprises a world-class addition to archeology and ancient historical studies.

The site divulging the discovery dates back to the fifth century BCE, roughly two and half millennia ago, and has relinquished a wealth of other, similarly exciting artifacts. 

However, the Illyrian headgear emerges as a singularly significant discovery. Its unusual design constitutes a hallmark of the Illyrian style, popular in this region of modern Croatia during the early Iron Age.

The helmet’s design was not only aesthetic but symbolized its owner’s ascendant status and talent in martial skill, while also obviously serving a vital protective function. 

Designed To Unnerve Enemies

Additionally, of course, the relic’s imposing appearance was also by design, disquieting enemies and radiating an aura of pronounced pugnaciousness.

Because of the special rank the headwear doubtlessly represented, experts think it probably belonged to a high-ranking warrior, maybe even a chieftain buried with full military honors. 

After all, the burial mound also contained other high-value grave goods, such as weaponry, pottery, and personal ornaments, which suggests elite stature of one or more of those buried therein.

Sophisticated Technology For The Time

The ancient helmet also offers a window into the sophisticated metalworking skills enriching ancient Illyrian civilization. The headwear sports intricate design and top-notch craftsmanship, implying advanced techniques unheard of in other nearby cultures, evidencing undeniable technological prowess. 

The archeological relic is no mere piece of mere military equipment, testifying as it does to the fruitful cultural and historical heritage of the Illyrians.

A culture inhabiting the western Balkans and thus close regionally to Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman polities, the Illyrians were famed for their warrior culture. Indeed, the culture’s pronounced militarism—comparable in ways to the Spartan’s—significantly shaped the history of the region. 

The Relic Is Being Protected

Eventually, like so many other cultures in the Mediterranean, however, the Illyrians were absorbed by the greater Roman empire.

All of which occurred more than two thousand years ago, yet emerges as if anew today, via the marvel of archaeology.

The helmet’s preservation is remarkable, considering the considerable stretch of time between its advent and today. Thankfully, earnest conservation efforts are underway, ensuring the priceless relic remains intact for future generations. 

Source: LiveScience

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