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Roman Helmet Evolution 2: "Screw you Baldenheims" Boogaloo

A thread:
First: sorry the edges are cut off slightly, my scanner was being a pain.

As you may have guessed today's rant is brought to you by the recent late 5th century finds from Tsaritsyno and the fact that the Gultlingen helmet was in use from 460 to 480. But we'll get there in a bit.
In my last thread I outlined some of my thoughts on Roman helmet evolution, and I'll probably repeat them here.

Let's start at the beginning, because I'll probably do Ridge helmets first. The earliest known segmental helmet is that from Andreyevsky Kurgan 50 (Andreyevskogo Mogil'nika) and dates to the late 1st century. The original is in fragments, so this reconstruction may be flawed.
What's notable about it is that it's similar in construction to the later 10th century Khazar helmets, moreso than spangenhelmets. They have four piece bowls riveted directly to each other, rather than reinforced with metal strips like proper spangenhelmets of the Leiden-type.
The 3rd century helmet from Breda provides further evidence of this method of construction, and the evolution of these helmets on the steppes. It's believed to be a Sarmatian import and as far as I know, it hasn't been re-dated.
I've got an arrow from the lamellar helmet from Isakovsky pointing to Breda because I sort of consider both of these to fall into a family of "open-tipped" helmets. The hole created where the plates meet isn't closed on either example.
But on to how this is relevant to ridge helmets: meet Rozhdestvensky Grave 235, dated loosely to the second half of the third century AD. It's of roughly the same construction as the aforementioned helmets - four piece bowl directly conjoined.

But notice the cheekpieces?
This might be evidence that the fourth century ridge helmets inherited their cheekpieces from a steppe style. It's a likely possibility, as we know the ridge style itself comes from the Sassanid empire (via the Dura Europos Tower 19 Helmet).
You'll notice the line running from bandhelmets to ridge helmets. The fundamental similarity of their construction suggests that bandhelmets must have had a role in their development. But we don't have any proper bandhelmets from before the 5th century AD.
Again, the Kurganinsky Pseudo-Illyrian Helmet (1-4) seems to be the earliest evidence for something resembling what might develop into a bandhelmet. Pseudo-Illyrians and Pseudo-Chalcideans seem to be the same type as those on Trajan's column, but there are still missing elements.
Again, we're just missing evidence. The earliest helmets we have are the Gorodskoy graves 1, 6, 8, and 10 helmets. These evolve eventually into the Tarasovsky 1784 helmet.
At about the same time the first known Bandhelmet - Turaeovo - appears.
Then the question becomes the evolution of Spangenhelmets out of early finds like these. The Sassanian riveting pattern is easy to spot - dense in a single row up the sides, rather than the Roman triple-river cluster or the Germanic low-density single-row up the sides.
Turaeovo really doesn't have it, but you can see the Sassanian and Steppe riveting styles much better in the Tsaritsyno 1 helmet.
And of course, the late 5th century helmet from Kuyunjik Hill (reconstruction by "The Hammer" workshop) shows the Sassanian riveting pattern quite clearly. As a result it's pretty easy to guess that the Tarasovsky 1784-type helmets may have been Sassanian manufactured.
Meanwhile the bandhelmets seem to have not been - the riveting pattern on them isn't quite the same as the Sassanian style although it's clear they have marked influence from the Sassanian style. They must have been Pontic in origin.
It's also again worth noting the shape of the Kuyunjik Hill reinforcing bands - they form the "teardrop" shaped openings where the primary bowl plates go, and are almost of the same style as the Baldenheim. (Baldenheim reconstruction by Matt Amt).
The question remains: where is the Baldenheim/Mesopotanian-type precursor? It lies partly in the Bandhelmet and Kreuzbandhelms of Tsaritsyno I and Voivoda. But these are late 5th century - contemporary or even later than the first proper Baldenheim.
Gultlingen dates from 460 to 480, maybe deposited as late as 510, so we know the proper Baldenheim had to have developed by that point. It also contradicts the assumption that the four piece baldenheims date earlier to the six piece ones.
There are only three other Baldenheims from this period. Two are fragments only, from the Pontic steppes, one of which is housed in the state museum in Moscow. The only near-complete one is the Tsaritsyno 2 helmet.
It's immediately clear that Tsaritsyno has precursor elements, yet was probably manufactured in the Roman Empire. The riveting pattern is obviously not Sassanian, but Romano-Germanic. Yet the tip of the bowl is affixed in the same manner as Tarasovsky, with a single large rivet.
The Tarasovsky method of affixing the bands at the top of the bowl isn't the only one, note also the *internal* base ring. Just like on the Ridge helmet. That makes it rather clear that ridge helmets had an impact on Baldenheim development.

I think this image shows it best.
You can see how just inside the rim of the bowl, you have the reinforcing band (the "Base Ring"), which puts this helmet in my Bipartite A classification (Bipartite B has no Base Ring i.e. Iatrus, Bipartite C has Pseudoattic-style cheekpieces i.e. Intercisa).
The only Bandhelm that has this feature is the one from Groningen, which dates to some time between the 6th and 8th centuries. So the influence can't come from bandhelmets.
The other prototype Baldenheim is the one from Voivoda, which is a Kreuzbandhelmet by construction. I would also suggest that Quadripartite Ridge helmets impacted the development of the Kreuzbandhelm.
Or, alternatively, should the Kreuzbandhelm be considered the "Imitation Baldenheim?"

Construction of a Kreuzbandhelm, from Shorwell.
Imitations are nothing new - the Pontic Pseudo-Illyrian helmets were imitations of the proper Illyrian helmets, and in turn the Bandhelmet may have originated as an imitation of the Pseudo-Illyrian type.
There are also three known imitation ridge helmets. The most widely known is the Bieberweir-type, from Austria. Only two are known, the Fernpass/Bieberweir helmet, and a second from Sarry was misidentified as a saddle fragment, before being correctly reclassified by Matt Bunker.
The next two are the Richborough and Florence Museum helmets. The Richborough is believed to be a chopped up Niederbieber/Heddernheim-type helmet and is dubiously dated to either 280 or 390.
The Florence Museum helmet is actually a 2nd Century Weisenau (Robinson "Auxiliary E" specifically) helmet that's been repurposed into an Intercisa-type imitation.

Reconstruction by the Pustelak Brothers for the Herculani Iuniores.
My point is that these examples are proof of a desire to imitate the latest Roman standard for armor, and therefore it isn't far-fetched to assume imitation Baldenheims existed. However, I would very much hesitate before saying that the Kreuzbandhelm originated as an imitation.
Er... I just realized a slight mistake. Richborough is a chopped up Weiler-type Cavalry helmet, similar to Witcham Gavel actually.

The line between Weisenau and Niederbieber/Heddernheim is blurry enough for mid-2nd century helmets that Florence Museum could be either.
Anyways, this chart includes a few late Roman helmet types not in the last one - the Lamellenhelm (Lamellar Helmet), the "Stacked" or "Segmental" Helmet, and the Skeletal Helmet.
Stacked helmets are limited in finds, the only ones I've ever been able to find are Itsyatsky and Khudyakovsky Grave 88 (aka Chudjaky). Itsyatsky dates to the 2nd Century, Khudyakovsky to the late 3rd or early 4th century.
The style's origin is unknown. I would suggest their transmission to the Pontic/Caspian was Alanic, but there are similar helmets in Kushan art. They may have originated in either Bactria and Sogdiana, or possibly as far back as migration out of the Hexi Gansu.
The next helmet set I have listed are the Lamellar helmets, which I belived are inextricably tied to the Skeletal helmets in their origins. There must have been some 1st Century BC/early 1st Century AD precursor that split off into both that we haven't found yet.
The earliest lamellar helmet is the Plininsky Helmet which dates to the late 1st Century AD, maybe the first quarter of the 2nd Century AD. Its cousins from Andreevsky and Kipchakovsky (image 2) are also dated to the early 2nd century AD. But the style emerged by the late 1st.
Likewise, the Stanica Tibilisskaya Kurgan 6 and Nivskogo Mogil'nika helmets also appeared by the early 2nd century AD. This particular style remains constant - the second helmet in image 2 is Suvorovsky Grave 27, which dates to the 4th century AD.
However the evidence for crossover in style between the lamellar and skeletal helmets comes from the Kispek and the Tyum-Tyumsky helmets. You can see the same method of construction as Stanica Tbilisskaya at the top of the bowl, yet they're stylistically similar to lamellenhelms.
Lamellenhelms had also started to split into different styles in the 4th century. I already mentioned that Isakovsky was notably different, using staples for construction and having no conical cap or reinforcing base ring. The main-line Lamellenhelms continued onwards, however.
You can see here that the late 3rd century Rozhdestvensky Grave 265 helmet is in some ways similar in style to Kispek and Tyum-Tyumsky, with the riveting pattern around the base of the bowl. It marks a continued forward progression in Lamellar helmet evolution.
This is about the same time as the Arch of Galerius helmets (image by Pavel Simak) and I think that regarding my older thoughts on Kalkhni, we can really narrow it down to three types of helmet on this arch now.
I think it's sufficiently obvious that one of the helmet types we see is the early 5th century Kalkhni-type Lamellenhelm, which is believed to have had cheekpieces with shaped ears, like Roman cavalry helmets.
Kalkhni would evolve into helmets like Illichevka and Khomutovka, splitting off into a "Tall" (Khomutovka) and a "Short" (Illichevka) style, both of which would last into the 8th century.
The next helmet we see on Galerius' arch is what appears to be the only known conical one-piece bowl helmet from late antiquity, the 4th Century Suvorovksy Grave 30 helmet.
Of course there still remains the debate over the "Spangenhelmets" which many assert to be of the Leiden/Novae-type. However, I now believe these may be Segmental Helmets of the Breda and/or a more conical variant of the Rozhdestvensky Grave 235 type, which I mentioned earlier.
I do want to add that I think the Breda-type helmet had an impact on the development of the Leiden/Novae-type, but the Leiden/Novae-type I think more directly came out of the Tarasovsky 1784-type.
I don't think we see the Kispek-type Skeletalhelms on the Galerius arch, but it of course can't be ruled out either. Skeletalhelms were widespread, and by the mid-3rd century they were cemented into the Germanic sphere, such as the Thorsberg example.
I like how you can almost immediately see precursor elements to the 5th century Sosdala-style even in this helmet from Thorsberg. But I digress. Thorsberg's style is one of three styles that seem to have split off from the Skeletalhelms we see in the 2nd century AD.
I think Thorsberg can be tied to the development of the Valsgarde 8/Vendel 14 Skeletal helmets (Late 6th and Early 6th Century, respectively) from its style. The central ridge and base ring also suggests a tie to the Benty Grange helmet.
However, I think Benty Grange (image 2) has a little bit more in common with the Tarasovsky Grave 782 helmet than with Thorsberg, in terms of its overall construction.
(I forgot to include Tarasovsky 782 on my chart, I need to go fix that alongside the Richborough being a Weiler-type chop job).
Finally there's the Kudahsevsky helmet, from the early 5th century. One can see the similarities to Thorsberg. I would say the Thorsberg/Kudashevsky/Benty Grange family may belong to a line separate from the Stanica Tbilisskaya family, but there's a lot of missing evidence.
And with that, well, I don't really think there's much more that can be said until new evidence crops up. I think the central theme though is that we don't give the Pontic-Caspian steppes enough credit when it comes to the influence they had on settled society.
In conclusion, though, Baldenheims are annoying. The evidence for a precursor is only indirect, and we have yet to find that precursor. I would conclude, however, that the Tsaritsyno 2 helmet should be adjusted in date to the beginning of the D3 period, c. 460.
For further reading on the Tsaritsyno helmets, see: academia.edu/35518418/Akhme…
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