Reenacting the Archaic and the Long Sixth Century
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Reenacting the Archaic and the Long Sixth Century

For Plataia 2021, a lot of people are interested in the material culture of a particular period of history. Greek archaeologists call it the Archaic and end it in 480 or 479 with Xerxes’ invasion and the battles of Thermopylae, Salamis, Plataia, and Mykale; Assyriologists call it the Long Sixth Century and end it in the second year of Xerxes King of Lands (484 BCE) when most of the cuneiform archives in Babylonia end.

Academics and museums have some information which can help, but it has not yet been ‘boiled down’ into a few affordable books with good illustrations. So this page is a guide to some of the most useful books and articles. I hope that people trying to write a guide to how to make a good-enough kit find them helpful, but I have not made enough of these things to give that kind of advice.

Of course you don’t have to read all of this! You can get advice from friends if you prefer. But even flipping through some photos of objects in museums before you buy can save you a lot of money, and the more people who have read the same things, the easier it is to have conversations “I read A and B, and based on this evidence I think …” “well I read C, and she argues that B misinterpreted …” rather than just shouting matches. The best living history groups I know employ a divide and conquer strategy: one member focuses on clothing, another on painting, a third participant on woodworking, a fourth reenactor reads texts in the original language and excerpts the juicy bits, a fifth solves craft problems where the other four get stuck and a sixth handles the paperwork.  Its fine to just pick one topic to research, as long as you share the results somewhere they can be found in 10 years and ask an expert if you have not studied a topic!

Table of Contents

  1. Getting Started
  2. Textiles
  3. Clothing
  4. Sashes
  5. Hats and Caps
  6. Pins and Fibulae
  7. Cloak Weights
  8. Jewelry and Seals
  9. Hide Products
  10. Shoes and Sandals
  11. Sacks, Pouches, and Purses
  12. Load-Bearing Equipment (in progress)
  13. Basketry
  14. Wood
  15. Camp Furniture (in progress)
  16. Painting (in progress)
  17. Knives, Axes, and Other Edgetools and Replica Edgetools
  18. Firestarting
  19. Glassware
  20. Cooking, Eating, and Drinking
  21. Recipes
  22. Bedding
  23. Shelters
  24. Grooming and Sanitation
  25. Washing
  26. Games
  27. Sports
  28. Music
  29. Writing
  30. Reckoning
  31. Arms and Armour (‘hard kit’)
  32. Spears (very sketchy!)
  33. Bows and Arrows
  34. Horses
  35. Other Animals
  36. Bibliography
  37. Edit History


more to come …

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The man in this grave was buried wearing shoes and clothing, but these were not very well described by the excavator. McCown, Nippur I, pl. 160 A

Most belts and girdles in this period seem to have been made of rope or textile and knotted not buckled. When Xenophon Cyropaedia 6.2.32 speaks of the need for straps (ἱμάντες) he is talking about load-bearing equipment not what holds in your tunic. Curtius Rufus, a Roman from a buckle-wearing culture, read a description of the Persians knotting their belts and declared that this was effeminate (Historia Alexandri Magni 3.3.18). Roman men in his day sexualized the sash like 20th century Americans sexualized the bra (Catullus, Carmina, 2; cp Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, vii.156).

The sculptures at Persepolis have great depictions of knotted Persian belts!

Adult male burial IB 134 at Nippur: “adult male medium contracted on right side, oriented northeast; cloth shroud, cloth sash at waist, traces of leather perhaps indicating shoes, breeches, shirt and cap … a burial (Pl. 160 A) in which traces of leather shoes, pants, and head covering suggested the type of dress worn by the Medians or certain far-eastern subjects of the Achaemenians”: McCown et al., Nippur I, pp. 128, 146, pl. 160a; Potts, “Disposal of the Dead” p. 269

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Hats and Caps

… the broad, shallow-crowned Greek and Macedonian petasos sun-hats with a double drawstring, pilos bullet-shaped felt caps …

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Sacks, Pouches, and Purses

In Mesopotamia all leather products were made by the leatherworker ({lu2}AŠGAB/aškāpu) who also dyed skins.

… RlA s.v. Leder(industrie), Chehrābād sack, Elephantine bag, leather purse full of silver in a grave from Uruk (the {kuš}hindu in BM 41663 + 41698 + 41905 lines 16′, 28′ / Holtz, Trial Records p. 139? CAD H pages 192, 193 under <himtu>, provided to Aramean troops in SAA 19.17) …

{kuš}LU.UB2 (luppu: CAD L page 252, CTMMA IV No. 100:10: can hold gold or a GUR (180 L) of produce)

mē nādi “water from a skin” (Old Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh)

Cloth bag of beads from Nippur V (Neo-Assyrian period: McCown, Nippur I, p. 98)

Greek θύλακος “bag, purse, ball”

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The gorytus is the Greek name for the quiver-bowcase worn at the hip.

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Fibulae and Pins

Various sizes of fibulae (aka. broaches or safety pins) were popular from the Aegean to Media. Large straight pins were also used. Most reenactment metalworkers can make you some for a price in the low tens of dollars/Euros if you give them some measurements, photos, and drawings out of books, catalogues, and articles like:

  • C. Blinkenberg, Lindiaka 5: Fibules grecques et orientales, Historisk-filologiske meddelelser 13.1 (Copenhagen, 1926) {not available in Innsbruck but supposed to be the foundational study of Greek and Near Eastern fibulae}
  • David Stronach, “The Development of the Fibula in the Near East,” Iraq, Vol. 21, No. 2 (Autumn, 1959), pp. 180-206
  • Muscarella 1988 pp. 45-47
  • Oscar White Muscarella, “Phrygian or Lydian?” Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 30, No. 1 (Jan., 1971), pp. 49-63
  • Friedhelm Pedde, Vorderasiatische Fibeln von der Levante bis Iran. Abhandlungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft 24. Saarbrücken: Saarbrücker Druckerei und Verlag, 2000. {more illustrations than Stronach’s article, but covers a wider period and one reviewer thinks the author needed to try casting and forging some bronze}
  • … Kalapodi report …
  • Cecile Brons article in ‘Greek and Roman Textiles and Dress’
  • What did they do with brooches? (2021)

Men and women from the Levant to Persis were often buried with ‘bow’ or ‘elbow’ fibulae but we don’t know what they fastened with them:

Cloak Weights

Jewelry and Seals

… stamp seals
… roll seals
… bracelets
… anklets
… necklaces
… torcs
… finger rings
… earrings

… bezants such as and some finds from Sardis


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Glass in this period was formed around a core or cast and cut; glassblowing was a later Syrian invention. We have a series of texts with recipes for glassmaking from Nimrud. The ancients often saw glass and similar substances as imitations of precious stones like lapis-lazuli and rock crystal. Unfortunately, glass is a fragile material, and decays in wet contexts.

  • A. Leo Oppenheim, Robert H. Brill, Dan Barag, and Axel von Saldern, Glass and Glassmaking in Ancient Mesopotamia: An Edition of the Cuneiform Texts Which Contain Instructions for Glassmakers: With a Catalogue of Surviving Objects. Corning, NY: Corning Museum of Glass, 1970 (reprinted 1988).
  • Despina Ignatiadou, “Achaemenid and Greek Colourless Glass.” In J. Curtis and J. Simpson (eds.), The World of Achaemenid Persia, pp. 419–26. London: British Museum, 2010
  • Despina Ignatiadou, Διαφανής ύαλος για την αριστοκρατία της αρχαίας Μακεδονίας. Υπουργείο Πολιτισμού και Αθλητισμού. Αρχαιολογικό Ινστιτούτο Μακεδονικών και Θρακικών Σπουδών Δημοσιεύματα, 13. Thessaloniki: Αρχαιολογικό Ινστιτούτο Μακεδονικών και Θρακικών Σπουδών, 2013
  • Katharina Schmidt, Glass and Glass Production in the Near East during the Iron Age Period: Evidence from Objects, Texts and Chemical Analysis. Oxford: Archaeopress, 2019
  • And an honourable mention to Ancient Glass: Blog of The Allaire Collection {most of their collection is later but it still gives an overall feel for ancient glass}

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Xenophon recommends that an army preparing for a hard campaign bring plenty of clothing but not too much bedding because it is more useful to carry the same weight of provisions (Xenophon, Cyropaedia 6.2.30). His Socrates teases a man who carried nothing but a cloak while his slave staggered along with heavy bedspreads and baggage (Xen. Mem. 3.13.6). Alcibiades’ compromise was to sleep in bands of fabric hanging from the beams of his trireme rather than on the hard deck (Plutarch, Alcibiades, 16.1).

Lee, Greek Army, p. 119 (the words στιβάς for a matress, sleeping mat, or pile of rushes/straw and στρῶμα for bedspreads come up)
Xen. Anab. 5.4.13, Aeschines the orator 2.99 στρωματόδεσμον “a bag for holding bedding”
Plato, Theaet. 175e (where a philosopher may be ignorant of manual work like filling the stromatodesmon or preparing side dishes)
Mats in graves at Uruk …

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Greek armies don’t seem to have brought much in the way of tents with them; it was easier to cut down the local greenery, move a couple of rocks, and build temporary shelters from spare textiles or mats. The owners of event locations rarely approve of felled saplings and most people today are not as resistant to the Boeotian sun as people in the long sixth century BCE! Very few pictures or descriptions of tents and temporary shelters are known, especially before Alexander the Great. Beware translators who render the vague word for “shelter” (σκήνη) or “place to lie down” (κλισίη) as “tents”! Most translators are not trying to communicate material culture, and some translations were written before much had been published on the practicalities of life in antiquity.

  • Anderson, Theory and Practice, pp.61, 62
  • Karunanithy, The Macedonian War Machine, pp. 195-196 {the tents of Alexander’s infantry}
  • John Lee, A Greek Army on the March, pp. 121-123 {the tents of the Ten Thousand}
  • Spawforth, Anthony (2007) “The Court of Alexander the Great Between Europe and Asia.” In Anthony Spawforth (ed.), The Court and Court Society in Ancient Monarchies (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge) pp. 82-120

In contrast, the Neo-Assyrians proudly displayed their tents with a central pole and a framework of branches reaching towards the walls, and Greek writers lovingly described the tents of Persian kings and generals (supposedly, the 50 × 70 meter Odeion in Athens was copied from the tent of Xerxes, Pausanias 1.20.4). Xenophon’s Cyrus the Great has tents made for each company of 100 men, which implies something quite elabourate.

Aside from the Bedouins, today’s pastoral nomads in the Near East practice a way of life learned from Turks and Mongols in the last thousand years (and communities have often moved back and forth between nomadism, village-based herding, and farming as the political economy demanded). The first solid evidence for pastoral nomads in Iran is Herodotus (Potts, Nomadism in Iran) and we do not know what kinds of tents and shelters these Iron Age nomads used. Nomads in recent times use a variety of forms, and the Assyrians show Arab tents as the same kind their own soldiers live in. Some boats also had a tent, presumably shelter for the crew on deck. Tents in cuneiform texts are made of leather, woollen cloth, or goat-hair, with ropes and wooden components (poles and rafters?) but most of these texts come from urban contexts.

Akkadian zaratu (plural zarātu): RlA L p. 541, CAD Z p. 66
Akkadian kuštāru, (h)uroatu, zaratu, maškanu
Neo-Assyrian reliefs
RlA s.v. Zelt
Andrews, Peter Alford (1997) Nomad Tent Types in the Middle-East. 2 volumes of a planned four-volume series (Wiesbaden: Ludwig Riechert)

… Scythian …
David Stronach, “On the Antiquity of the Yurt: Evidence from Arjan and Elsewhere.” The Silkroad Foundation Newsletter Vol. 21 No. 1 pp. 9-18

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Grooming and Sanitation

Even in the squalor of an army camp, people try to keep clean.

… combs (not just for Spartans!) Ur Project category 33,
… earspoons/earscoops (2 bronze from Kalapodi (pp. 208, 357, Taf. 8), 2 silver from Golyamata Mogila, 1 silver from Chehrābād Saltman 1) … kohl sticks … tweezers (1 bronze from Nineveh, 17 bronze or iron from Kalapodi p. 206, 1 iron from Karaburun IV (Mellink 1972)) … toothpicks? razors? brushes? shears?

Ur Project Category 36 Toiletry Kits “This category includes objects used in personal hygiene, with a case surrounding the instruments. The instruments include a pointed rod, possibly a khol stick, a lancet, or stiletto, a flattened spatual object, and a pair of tweezers. These are encased in a metal cone known as a reticule.” Mccowen, Nippur I, p. 108 calls them “toiletry kits.”

Mirrors (of bronze): Curtis, Late Assyrian Metalwork, pp. 123; U-15449; Moorey, Deve-Hüyük
Washbasins and Ewers: not just for Pontius Pilate, in Neo-Assyrian letters silver washbasins were common diplomatic gifts!

Mirrors in the long sixth century were usually discs of polished bronze with a tang and a handle. The back often had decoration, ranging from concentric circles to elaborate engravings. They seem to have been very common, and they were important to women in many cultures. “Most [Etruscan bronze mirrors] were slightly concave, so that held at arm’s length much of the upper body would be in view” (Judith Swadding, Corpus of Etruscan Mirrors): medieval glass mirrors also bulge outwards for the same reason.


As starving students or devotees of Hans Rosling talks know, washing clothes and dishes by hand is sweaty, time consuming work. Soldiers don’t always have a change of clothes, but dishes, cookpots, and underwear still need washing, and the outer garments needed brushing and de-licing now and then.

… the cuneiform text for a clothes washer
… Rosalind Hall, Egyptian Textiles pp. 48-56
… Odyssey on Odysseus and the Phaiatian princess with her maidservants

… The verbs ἐκπλύνω and πλύνω “to wash” in Theophrastus, Characters, 22.9 (the mean man), 30.10 (the avaricious man) as well as γναφεῖς or κναφεύς “fuller?” in Theophrastus, Characters, 10.14 (the penurious man), 18.5 (the distrustful man)

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We remember Herodotus’ description of the Laconians exercising and combing their hair before battle (7.208), but not his description of Peisistratus charging the Athenians while they were napping or dicing and routing them (Hdt. 1.63). Assyrian soldiers scratched a game board into the floor of the palace gate.

  • Cities: Max Nelson, “Battling on Boards: The Ancient Greek War Games of Ship-Battle (Naumachia) and City-State (Polis).” Mouseion, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp. 3-42
  • polis and naumachia:
  • The Game of 20 Squares – the royal game of Ur Finkel, Irving L. (2007) “On the rules for the Royal Game of Ur.” In Ancient Board Games in Perspective: Papers from the 1990 British Museum Colloquium, with Additional Contributions. London: British Museum, 2007, pp. 16-32.
  • unknown game with a 7 by 10 grid from late Ur …
  • six-sided die (κύβος): Takht at Persepolis, U. 18850
  • knucklebones (astragals) in bone or other materials: van Ess and Pedde, Uruk: Kleinfunde II, pp. 187, 188; Woolley, UE 9 p. 78 grave P-160 (9 knucklebones)

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… discus javelin running swimming archery wrestling ball games …
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Anyone recieving pay or buying and selling was wise to learn arithmetic and check weights and measures rather than trust the seller. While in some places coins with a known silver content were used, there were all kinds of tricks to turn 20 drachmas into 21, so it was wise to check the weight for any important transaction. Studying ancient arithmetic can be a good way for people who are not interested in rhetoric or religion to understand how very different familiar aspects of life were in antiquity.

stones for a counting board like the Salamis tablet: acrophonic numeral, finger computation, and finger reckoning can be good keywords. There is a picture of a Persian official using a counting board on the Darius Vase from fourth-century Apulia (Museo Archaeologico Nazionale, Naples, H3253).

?weights and a balance? McCown, Nippur I, p. 102 fn. 105 “Two bronze balance pans (e.g. Pl. 153:3) were found near the hands of the skeleton in TA III burial 1B 209 (see p. 133). Above the knees were a bronze “nail” (Pl. 153:5) and a bronze sleeve (Pl. 153:4) containing traces of wood and a bronze ring (PI. 153:6). All of these items probably constituted elements of a balance. Perhaps the “nail” pierced the center of the balance arm with its hooked end pivoting on the ring. The ring could have been suspended from a horizontal peg set in the upright member of the balance, around which was the sleeve. The sleeve thus would have served no functional purpose. The partially preserved flare at its broken end may be due to malformation. This suggested reconstruction is based in part on a large balance pictured in an Assyrian relief (Bruno Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien I [Heidelberg, 1920] Fig. 209, right). Our balance, of course, would have been portable.”

In a world without universal literacy and printed labels, there must have been ways to negotiate prices across a language barrier. In Roman times there was a system of hand signs which could be used for computing: it shows up in Bede, and another one in one of the Arab archery manuals. Just how old it is is hard to say, but see the article on “Roman Elementary Mathematics” by J. Hilton Turner.

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Arms and Armour (‘hard kit’)

In the past fifty years, Greek and German archaeologists have published quite a bit of information that is not in the older books by Snodgrass or Connolly. The best overview I have seen is an article by Peter Krentz which he summarizes in his book on Marathon:

  • Krentz, Peter (2010) “A Cup by Douris and the Battle of Marathon.” In Garrett Fagan and Matthew Trundle (eds.), New Perspectives on Ancient Warfare (Brill, Leiden) pp. 183-204 {summarized here}
  • Krentz, Peter (2010) The Battle of Marathon. Yale University Press: New Haven.

Neither is illustrated to Connolly, Osprey, or Museum of London standards, but they describe spears, swords, shields, helmets, cuirasses, and greaves all in one place, and everything they say is based on surviving objects and high-quality reconstructions.

A lot of nonsense has been written in English about Greek swords (no, they were not all 40-70 cm long; no, extremely short ones were not just for Laconians; no, the single-edged ones were not ponderous and heavy; yes, there are metallurgical studies). Matthew Amt has a section on swords on his site and he flips through sketches and photos of finds. If you read German and have access to an academic library, track down books and articles by Holger Baitinger, Imma Killian-Dirlmeier, Effi Photos, Hans-Otto Schmitt, and Marek Verčík; whether you do or you don’t, read books and sites by people experimenting with low-tech iron production like Lee Sauder and Darrell Markewitz. Ask around, and look for people who have examined swords found in Greece or read these books by German and Greek archaeologists. A Greek-style sword or cleaver from Spain or Italy is not necessarily the same as one from Greece.

Paul Bardunias’ book Hoplites at War {review} has the most accessible information on Greek shields. An article by Philip Henry Blyth and a PhD thesis written in Greek by Stamatopolou have the technical details on Argive shields (“hoplite shields”).

I have heard good things about Eo Jarva’s book on Greek helmets and body armour, but I have never been able to obtain a copy. The standard reference for helmets is Petros Dintisis’ Hellenistische Helme. The Olympische Forschung volumes Emil Kunze, Beinschienen (1992) and Heide Frielinghaus, Die Helme von Olympia (Vol. 33, 2011) are also essential. A fourth-century BCE scale armour from Golyamata Mogila in Thrace is worth studying.

I have not seen Randall Hixenbaugh’s Ancient Greek Helmets: A Complete Guide and Catalogue. Hermann Historica auction #49 (October 2005) has weights and photos from many helmets from the Axel Guttman collection. Guttman seems to have acquired most of his helmets very late in the 20th century (he died in 2001), so most of them were probably looted within my gentle readers’ lifetimes.

Helmets and armour from the Persian empire are known from Olympia (but just one! National Archaeological Museum, Athens, B 5100), Sardis, Gordion, the Palace of Apries in Egypt, Tell Dafana / Daphnae in Lower Egypt (British Museum EA 23983 c/o Joe Balmos), Deve Hüyük on the Euphrates, Pasargadae, and Persepolis. Cylinder seals and grave monuments from Anatolia are the art most likely to depict them. The Gadal-iama contract is the only text from the empire which definitely mentions iron armour and helmets. Dan D’Silva has an article Armoured Bruiser and I talk about the archaeological evidence for armour in chapter 5 of Armed Force in the Teispid-Achaemenid Empire (= chapter 5 of my PhD thesis).

U-17392 (iron dagger with mineralized wood on blade), U-20042 (iron sword 53 cm long with mineralized wood on grip and blade), U-20044 (iron dagger blade with x-ray) …

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Bows and Arrows

… the archaeological evidence from antiquity vs. the heavy-draw-weight enthusiasts and archery in 16th century Eurasia …
… Hulit, McEwan on Tutankhamun, and the parallels between the Akkadian bow and Late Bronze Age triangular composite bows …

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Carolyn Willekes, The Horse in the Ancient World: From Bucephalus to the Hippodrome

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Other Animals

Donkeys and oxen did most of the hauling. Herodotus describes convoys of supplies carried on zeugea ‘yokes (of oxen).’ Some squads of 4 or 10 soldiers in Babylonia were issued a donkey or money to buy one (eg. Dar. 253).
… mules …
… Bactrian and Arabian camels: Hdt. 1.80, 3.103, 7.25, some Red Figure vases, absence in Xen. An., and Bulliet, The Camel and the Wheel, Columbia University Press 1990.

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  • Aali, Abolfazl et al. (2012) “Ancient salt mining and salt men: the interdisciplinary Chehrabad Douzlakh project in north-western Iran”
  • Aali, Abolfazl / Stöllner, Thomas (eds). (2015) The Archaeology of the Salt Miners: Interdisciplinary Research 2010-2014. Metalla: Forschungsberichte des Deutschen Bergbau-Museums 21.1–2/2014 (Deutsches Bergbaumuseum: Bochum) {available from the Bergbaumuseum online shop}
  • Anderson, John Kinloch (1970) Military Theory and Practice in the Age of Xenophon (University of California Press, Berkeley and LA)
  • Blyth, P.H. (1982) “The Structure of a Hoplite Shield at the Museo Gregoriano Etrusco.” Bolletino dei Monumenti Musei e Gallerie Pontifice 3 pp. 5-21
  • Blyth, Philip Henry (1977) The Effectiveness of Greek Armour Against Arrows in the Persian War (490-479 B.C.): An Interdisciplinary Inquiry. PhD Thesis, University of Reading, January 1977.
  • Boon, George C. (1991) “Tonsor humanus: razor and toilet-knife in antiquity,” Britannia 22 pp. 21–32.
  • Černenko, E. V. (2006) Die Schutzwaffen der Skythen. Prähistorische Bronzefunde III/2 (Stuttgart: Steiner) {if you can’t read Russian but can read German, this is the bible of armour from graves in the Eurasian steppes. Many detailed line drawings and some small B&W photos}
  • Davis, Todd Alexander (2013) Archery in Archaic Greece. PhD Dissertation, Columbia University.
  • van Driel-Murray, Carol (2000) “Leatherwork and Skin Products.” In Nicholson and Shaw eds., Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology (Cambridge University Press, 2000) pp. 304-306
  • van Ess, Margarete, and Pedde, Friedhelm (1992) Uruk: Kleinfunde II. Ausgrabungen in Uruk-Warka, Endberichte Band 7. Philipp von Zabern: Mainz am Rhein.
  • David Fleming, “Eggshell Ware pottery in Achaemenid Mesopotamia,” Iraq, vol. 51 (1989) pp. 165-185
  • Godehardt, Erhardt et al. (2007) “The Reconstruction of Scythian Bows.” In Barry Molloy (ed.), The Cutting Edge (Tempus: Stroud) pp. 112-133.
  • Greenewalt Jr., Crawford H. (1997) “Arms and Weapons at Sardis in the Mid Sixth Century B.C.” Arkeoloji ve Sanat 19.79 pp. 2-20
  • Greenewalt Jr., Crawford H. / Heywood, Ann M. (1992) “A Helmet of the Sixth Century B.C. from Sardis.” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 285 pp. 1-31
  • M. Hadian, I. Good, A.M. Pollard, X. Zhang and R. Laursen, “Textiles from Douzlakh Salt Mine at Chehr Abad, Iran: A Technical and Contextual Study of Late pre-Islamic Iranian Textiles.” Intl. J. Humanities (2012) Vol. 19 No. 3 pp. 152-173
  • Hixenbaugh, Randall / Valdman, Alexander (2019) Ancient Greek Helmets: A Complete Guide and Catalog (Hixenbaugh Ancient Art Ltd: New York, NY, 2019) 738 pages (275 color pages), 8 1/2 x 11 in, ISBN 978-0-578-42371-5, USD 450 (hardcover)
  • Berenice R. Jones, Ariadne’s Threads: The Construction and Significance of Clothes in the Aegean Bronze Age. Aegaeum series no. 38 (Peeters: Leuven, 2015)
  • Gabriele Körlin and Thomas Stöllner (ed.), Streifzüge durch Persien: 5500 Jahre Geschichte in Ton. Deutsches Bergbaumuseum: Bochum 2008. {an overview of pre-Sasanid pottery through a private collection, the kind of book you can give to a potter to get ‘in the spirit of’}
  • Kramell, Annemarie et al., “Dyes of late Bronze Age textile clothes and accessories from the Yanghai archaeological site, Turfan, China: Determination of the fibers, color analysis and dating.” Quaternary International 348 (2014) pp. 214-223
  • Krug-Ochmann, Julia Barbara (2014) “Achaemenid and Sassanian Trousers. A short technical description from Douzlakh Salt Mine at Chehr Abad, Iran.” Archaeological Textiles Review 56 pp. 60-64.
  • Donald Eugene McCown, Richard C. Haines, and Donald P. Hansen (1967) Nippur I. Temple of Enlil, Scribal Quarter, and Soundings. OIP 78. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. {layers TA … V to TA … I are Neo-Assyrian to Achaemenid}
  • D.E. McCown, R.C. Haines, and R.D. Biggs (1978) Nippur II. The North Temple and Sounding E: Excavations of the Joint Expedition to Nippur of the American Schools of Oriental Research and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. OIP 97. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. {layers SE III and SE II are Neo-Babylonian and Achaemenid}
  • Miller, Margaret C. (1997) Athens and Persians in the Fifth Century BC: A Study in Cultural Receptivity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Moorey, Peter Roger Stuart (1975) “Iranian Troops at Deve Hüyük in Syria in the earlier 5th century B.C.” Levant 7 (1975) pp. 108-117
  • Moorey, Peter Roger Stuart (1980) Cemeteries of the First Millennium BCE at Deve Hüyük, near Carchemish, salvaged by T.E. Lawrence and C.L. Wooley in 1913. British Archaeological Reports 87 (Oxford).
  • Nosch, Marie-Louise. “Linen Textiles and Flax in Classical Greece: Provenance and Trade.” In Kerstin Droß-Krüpe (ed.) Textile Trade and Distribution in Antiquity/Textilhandel und -distribution in der Antike. (Harrasowitz-Verlag: Wiesbaden, 2014) pp. 17-42
  • Polosmak, Natalia V. (2015) “A Different Archaeology: Pazyryk culture: a snapshot, Ukok, 2015.” Science First Hand Volume 42, Number 3 (2015)
  • Potts, Daniel T. (2014) Nomadism in Iran: From Antiquity to the Modern Era (Oxford University Press: Oxford)
  • Schmidt, Erich F. / Matson, F.R. (1953) Persepolis I: Structures, Reliefs, Inscriptions. Oriental Institute Publications 68. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Schmidt, Erich F. (1957) Persepolis II. Contents of the Treasury and other Discoveries. Oriental Institute Publications 69. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957.
  • Schmidt, Erich F. (1970) Persepolis III: The Royal Tombs and Other Monuments. OIP 70. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Sono, Toshihiko / Fukai, Shinji (1968) Dailaman III: The Excavations at Hassani Mahale and Ghalekuti, 1964. The Tokyo University Iraq-Iran Archaeological Expedition Report 8 (University of Tokyo, Institute for Oriental Culture: Tokyo) {for more on this series of excavations see EncIr ‘Japan v. Archaeological Missions to Persia’}
  • Steinkeller, Piotr (1980) “Matresses and Felt in Early Mesopotamia.” Oriens Antiquus 19 pp. 79-100 {idenfies the Sumerian word for felting, tug2-du8, and lists crafts in which their work was employed}
  • Stamatopolou, Basilike G. (2004) Οπλον. Η Αργολικη Ασπιδα και η Τεχηολογια της (PhD thesis, Aristotle University Thessalonike)
  • Zutterman, Christophe (2003) “The Bow in the Ancient Near East, A Re-Evaluation of Archery from the Late 2nd Millennium to the End of the Achaemenid Empire.” Iranica Antiqua 38 pp. 119-165

Donald Strong and David Brown (eds.), Roman Crafts (London: Duckworth, 1976) {I have not seen this, suggested methods for reproducing a wide range of Roman artifacts, UVic has it as NK680 R64}

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Edit History

Since this page is still in flux, changes from 24 May 2019 to 20 December 2021 were not recorded.

  • 2021-12-21: moved Load Bearing Equipment, Textiles, and Hide Products to their own pages, added a link to JoAnn Scurlock’s article on leather
  • 2021-12-23: expanded section on Writing with a bibliography on writing boards from the Late Bronze Age to the 14th century CE.
  • 2022-01-20: moved Getting Started, Writing, and Camp Furniture to their own pages. Added a Greek word for ‘purse’ under sacks and bags. Added Theophrastus’ Characters to the section on washing.
  • 2022-02-01: added the book by Berenice Jones to the bibliography
  • 2022-02-02: updated the link to P.R.S. Moorey’s book after chat with librarian