MAIASP. 2023. No. 15

L.A. Bobrov (Novosibirsk, Russia), O.M. Agatay (Astana, Kazakhstan)

A Moghul or early Kazakh helmet of the 15th early 17th century from the collection of Zaisan Regional Museum of Local History

DOI: 10.53737/4288.2023.68.82.026

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Pages: 687697

An iron helmet from Zaisan Regional Museum of Local History (ZRMLH; inv. No. 2669) has been studied. In spite of the fact that the headpiece has already drawn scholarly attention, it has never been subject to a targeted research. The aim of the study was to elaborate a detailed concept of the place and conditions of its discovery, as well as of the helmets size and construction, with an eye to specifying its date and cultural attribution. Results. It was 1989 when the helmet was found in Burkit Uya (Eagles nest) location south-east from Zaisan city (East Kazakhstan). The upper part of the helmet is conical, and its lower part is cylindrical. The dome is riveted of nine iron sheets which are joined together with bronze and iron overlays and crowned with a combined top consisting of an apple and a ladder-like spire. Latest additions are nasal and ornamented bronze hoop. The typological analysis suggests that the headpiece was made in the 15th early 17th century and may be ascribed to a set of armament of the Moghuls, the Kazakh or, less possible, the Oirat warriors of that time. The helmet might have been forged either by steppe armorers or craftsmen from a Central Asian city. The design of the helmet indicates that the artisan was inspired by the images of high cylindrical and conical helmets of Western Asia, especially those of Iran, but used local technology. The high scholarly importance of the headpiece from ZRMLH is that it is considered to be one of the earliest late medieval helmets ever found in Kazakhstan.

Key words: Moghulistan, body armour, helmet, the Moghuls, the Kazakhs, the Oirats.

Received August 14, 2023.

Accepted for publication August 31, 2023.

About the authors:

Bobrov Leonid Alexandrovich (Novosibirsk, Russia). Dr. habil. (History), Novosibirsk State University


Agatay tkirbay Mıltıqbayulı (Astana, Kazakhstan). Research Institute for Jochi Ulus Studies of the Science Committee of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan