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The Siberian Times

Siberian historians to send replica of ancient warrior’s body armour to Vladimir Putin

By Anna Liesowska and Derek Lambie
19 December 2014

Complete with shield and intimidating helmet, President will receive gift from Novosibirsk State University in recognition of his 'iron wolf' character.

Initially he had wanted to send just a helmet but later it was decided the full replica armour would be made and given as a present. Picture: NSU

It has been a tough week for Vladimir Putin, but as he prepares to face new crises in the coming days he will at least be able to do it with his very own protective armour.

For archaeologists in Siberia have gifted the Russian President a replica of an 8th century warrior suit, complete with shoulder pads, a shield and intimidating helmet.

Made partly with expensive silver and weighing a hefty 23kg, it is a copy of unique armour worn by people in the Turkic Khaganate, an ancient state that once existed in Central Asia.

It is hoped his present will make the trip west to Moscow over the next few days and take pride of place in the Kremlin.

The gift, from the Department of Archaeology and Ethnography at Novosibirsk State University (NSU), is to mark a recent visit by the president to meet young students.

Putins shining armour


Putins shining armour

The suit being sent to Mr Putin includes shoulder pads, a shield, spear, tunic and a belt, which itself comprises 50 individual silver plates. Pictures: NSU

The idea came from Dr Leonid Bobrov, a historian who attended the meeting on November 5. Initially he had wanted to send just a helmet but later it was decided the full replica armour would be made and given as a present.

Mr Bobrov said: 'Usually to make an armour we take three, four, or five months. But this was made in just one and a half months. To do this, all masters stopped the work they were performing and all the efforts were thrown at the project.'

Paid for by NSU graduates, the armour was based on findings made at archaeological sites in the Altai and Tyva republics dating back to the seventh and eighth centuries.

The suit being sent to Mr Putin includes shoulder pads, a shield, spear, tunic and a belt, which itself comprises 50 individual silver plates.

It was made using the same original materials as those at the time it would have been worn, including silver, iron, leather, felt, and wood as well as hawk feathers.

Full sets from this period are extremely rare to find in archaeological terms because the protective garment was very expensive and was normally passed from soldier to soldier. Indeed, when a warrior died only part of their armour was buried with them.

'This set is the only one of its kind,' said Mr Bobrov. 'We reconstructed everything, even the most expensive and complex details of the silver belt. No museum or educational institution in the world has such a replica at the moment.'

Explaining why they chose to give the President armour from a Turkic warrior, the historian said it was because the soldiers of the day were known as strong 'iron wolves'.

Putins shining armour

Dr Leonid Bobrov explains the idea of the gift to President. Picture: copah.info

He said: 'We have become used to seeing Siberia as a kind of suburb, but in fact there were periods in history when it was one of the key centres of civilisation. The era of the Turks refers to those times. In the sixth century Altai was the centre of the continental empire of nomads, led by the Grand Turk Khanate.

'This state was powerful due to the art of war. The main striking force of their armies became heavily-armed cavalry, equipped with serious armour and using weighty spears and sitting on horses also covered with armour.

'They were called 'buri', or 'iron wolves'. In fact, they were our southern Siberian knights.

'Their ideas in the field of martial arts were adopted by many neighbours and later were used by the East European knights.'

Comments (2)

Cool looking armor. Kääk!
Aku Ankka, Ankkalinna
22/04/2018 04:57
0
0
A really beautiful and unique gift, I am sure he will appreciate it.
frances, usa
20/12/2014 05:11
3
0
1

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