AIA Lecture Series: Reconstructing and Testing Ancient Linen Body Armor: The Linothorax Project


Monday, September 29, 2014 - 2:30pm


Art Building West
Gregory S. Aldrete, University of Wisconsin Green Bay and featured AIA Joukowsky Lecturer
Monday, 29 September 2014
7:30 pm, Art Building West, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

For nearly 1,000 years, one of the most common forms of protection used by ancient Mediterranean warriors, including the armies of the Greeks and Alexander the Great, was the linothorax, a type of body armor apparently made out of linen.  Due to the perishable nature of its components, however, no examples have survived.  Today it is poorly understood and is known only through fragmentary descriptions in literature and images on pottery and in sculpture.  Employing materials and techniques that would have been available to the ancient Greeks, the members of the UWGB Linothorax Project have investigated this mysterious armor by reconstructing and wearing full-scale examples, as well as subjecting test samples to attack with ancient weapons, in order to determine their characteristics and protective qualities. This presentation will not only describe the project's findings, but will also display a reconstructed linothorax and test samples for the audience's examination. 

The AIA Iowa Society Lecture Program is supported by the Office of the State Archaeologist, the University of Iowa Departments of Anthropology, Classics, Religion, Art and Art History, and the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History  


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