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Object of the Month: Boar Tusk Helmet

Updated: 4 days ago

Discover one of the most ancient forms of armour, supposedly used by the ancient Greeks in the time of the Trojan War!

Boar-tusk helmet dating from the 14–13th Century BCE, currently in the National Archaeology Museum of Athens. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

When we think of ancient Greek armour, we usually think of flashing bronze helmets with majestic horsehair crests. But did you know that in Greece, between 1600 BCE and 900 BCE, it was common to see not horse hair crests on helmets, but boar tusks?

Wild boars were fearsome creatures in the ancient world, and are often described as savage, destructive animals in the stories of the Troy. For example, take a look at this quote from The Iliad 9.538–542, where Artemis takes out her anger against Oeneus by sending a wild boar:

And Artemis, enraged, sent upon them a fierce, white-tusked wild boar,

Who brought much evil, wasting the land of Oeneus.

He tore up the trees by the very roots and hurled them to the ground.

Boar tusk helmets would have been worn at the time of the legendary Trojan War – during the age of Mycenaean Greece. So when you imagine the heroes of the Trojan war, you can imagine them in something like this!

At the Hellenic Museum, the Heroes and Hoplites exhibition displays a wide collection of authentic and reproduction helmets, including a boar tusk helmet, as well as authentic armour and weaponry from ancient Greece.

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