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Helmet
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Unknown
Greek, South Italy, 350 - 300 B.C.
Bronze
11 x 7 7/8 x 26 1/8 in.
93.AC.27

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This helmet, with its unusually elaborate decoration, is a variation of the Chalkidian type of helmet made in South Italy. The Chalkidian helmet was lighter and less cumbersome than other Greek helmets and is distinguished by its hinged cheekpieces.

The decoration of this example includes a griffin protome on the crest, flanked by wings above the ears. The spring-like coils just inside the wings originally would have held feather plumes. The helmet's brow depicts a diadem and the locks of hair surrounding it. The cheekpieces, although damaged, are decorated with strands of beard and an animal, perhaps a goat.

Helmets with griffin protomes are usually associated with gods and heroes. This extensively decorated helmet probably was not used as battle armor; instead, it may have served a ceremonial function.