Abstract: Reconstructing and Testing Ancient Linen Body Armor: The Linothorax Project

For nearly 1,000 years, one of the most common forms of protection used by ancient Mediterranean warriors, including the armies of the Greeks and Alexander the Great, was the linothorax, a type of body armor apparently made out of linen.  Due to the perishable nature of its material, however, no examples have survived, and today it is poorly understood, and is known only through fragmentary descriptions in literature and images on pottery and in sculpture.  Employing only the materials and techniques that would have been available to the ancient Greeks, the Linothorax Project at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is investigating this mysterious armor by reconstructing and wearing examples of the linothorax, as well as subjecting test samples to attack with ancient weapons in order to determine the characteristics and protective qualities of this type of armor.   This presentation will not only describe the project’s findings, but will also display a reconstructed linothorax and test samples for the audience’s examination.
Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:
Linothorax Project website:  http://www.uwgb.edu/aldreteg/Linothorax.html

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