Bronze crested helmet

Southern Etruscan, about 800-750 BC

This remarkable bronze helmet was made in Etruria, but based on a type from Central Europe. One of the main workshops which produced this kind of helmet is believed to have been at Tarquinia in southern Etruria.

All the examples of this kind of helmet have been found in tombs together with other items of armour, such as broad bronze belts and breastplates, and swords. They obviously belonged to rich warrior chieftains. Often the helmet is placed on a pottery urn containing the cremated remains of the owner, serving both as a lid and as a mark of his identity and status.

The helmet is made from two sheets of bronze hammered sheet, one folded over the other around the edge and riveted together. The long rivets which project at the front and back were functional in the Central European examples and held the two pieces of metal together, but in the proto-Etruscan examples they are merely decorative, though they perhaps helped to deflect blows.

The helmet is decorated with incised and repoussé decoration of bosses, stylized birds and helmets of the same type.

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More information


E. Macnamara, The Etruscans-1 (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)

J. Swaddling (ed.), Italian Iron Age artefacts in, Papers of the Sixth British Museum Classical Colloquium (London, The British Museum Press, 1986)

S. Haynes, Etruscan bronzes (London, Sotheby's Publications, 1985)


Height: 35.000 cm

Museum number

GR 1968.6-27.1



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