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Graeco-Roman or Parthian or Sassanid(?) Leather and Cane Shield

Wood Sticks and Leather Shield
ca. 323 B.C.-A.D. 256
51 x 102 cm (20 1/16 x 40 3/16 in).
Yale-French Excavations at Dura-Europos
Culture: Dura-Europos (Syria)
Period: Graeco-Roman or Parthian
Source: Yale Univerity Art Gallery

Referenced as figure 38 in The military technology of classical Islam by D Nicolle
38. Shield or mantlet of reeds, late 3rd century AD, Sassanian (?), Dura-Europos, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven (Mes, Brow A).
Vol. 1, p235: Shields made of reed or cane had been used in the Middle East since pre-historic times. A magnificently preserved rectangular Sassanian example was excavated at Dura Europos (Fig. 38). Comparable shields may well have been used in Persia and Iraq until the time of the Muslim conquest,26 but whether the reed shields of pre-Islamic Arabia27 were of this rectangular type, or were of the probably round pre-Islamic Turkish Central Asian variety28 is not known. A rectangular version did, however, almost certainly survive among the poorer people of Iraq who reportedly made shields of rushes reinforced with pitch and sand29 in the 9th century.

26. Christesnsen, op. cit., pp. 210-213.
27, Kalus, loc. cit.
28. Rico, Ancient Arts of Central Asia, p. 121; Kalus, op, cit., p. 61.
29. Al Maʿūdī, op, cit., vol, VI, pp. 452 and 461-462.

Back to the smaller image of a Graeco-Roman or Parthian or Sassanid(?) Leather and Cane Shield, Dura-Europos (Syria)

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