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 Museum Explorer

Warfare in Europe

Great bascinet-1

Height: 42.000 cm
Width: 22.200 cm

M&ME OA 2190

Great bascinet

Found in: Kordofan, Sudan
Date: around AD 1430-40

This iron helmet, known as a bascinet, was made in France and then possibly sold to an African leader. It would have been worn with a full suit of armour. Armour at this time was made of several solid metal plates joined together. It was heavy and cumbersome to wear, but would help protect soldiers and knights from weapons used against them.

The bascinet has a smooth surface so that weapons such as swords or arrows would bounce off it. The front of the bascinet had a visor which is now lost. This was a piece of iron with holes in it so that the soldier could see out and breathe but still be protected. The back of the helmet is long to protect the back of the neck.