Reconstructing Ancient Linen Body Armor
by Gregory S. Aldrete
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Released: March 1, 2013
Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
Alexander the Great led one of the most successful armies in history and conquered nearly the entirety of the known world while wearing armor made of cloth. How is that possible?
An extensive multiyear project in experimental archaeology, this pioneering study presents a thorough investigation of the linothorax, linen armor worn by the Greeks, Macedonians, and other ancient Mediterranean warriors. Because the linothorax was made of cloth, no examples of it have survived. Combining traditional textual and archaeological analysis with hands-on reconstruction and experimentation, the authors unravel the mysteries surrounding the linothorax. They have collected and examined all of the literary, visual, historical, and archaeological evidence for the armor and detail their efforts to replicate the armor using materials and techniques that are as close as possible to those employed in antiquity.
By reconstructing actual examples using authentic materials, the authors were able to scientifically assess the true qualities of linen armor for the first time in 1,500 years. The tests reveal that the linothorax provided surprisingly effective protection for ancient warriors, that it had several advantages over bronze armor, and that it even shared qualities with modern-day Kevlar.
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