Second Sensational Discovery in Croatia: 2,500-Year-Old Greek-Illyrian Helmet

Greek-Illyrian Helmet 2500 years old

Archaeologists discovered a helmet dating back 2,500 years that belonged to the Greek-Illyrian era. The helmet was found during excavations at the Gomila area of the Zakotorac town on Croatia's Pelješac peninsula.

The team that discovered the first Greek-Illyrian helmet in 2020 has now found another one in the same location. Preliminary analysis suggests that the newly discovered helmet is even older than the first one. The initial helmet was found in a grave alongside iron weapon pieces, indicating that it likely belonged to a member of the warrior elite.

Archaeologists believe the newly discovered helmet may have been a votive offering, given its location in a dry stone-walled addition to a tomb.

Marta Kalebota, an archaeologist from the Korčula City Museum and a member of the excavation team, announced this sensational discovery last Wednesday morning.

"Hrvoje lifted the stone and started shouting that he had found a helmet, too! It's an understatement to say it's a phenomenal feeling," Kalebota exclaimed. "I am very excited, an amazing find, and for the second time! This helmet was found ten meters away, as the crow flies, from the location where the first one was unearthed. It's slightly different, distinguished by details that lead us to believe this one dates back to the 6th century BC, meaning it's older than the first. However, further research is needed for specifics."

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Second Sensational Discovery in Croatia: 2,500-Year-Old Greek-Illyrian Helmet 1

Professor Hrvoje Potrebica, who works at the Department of Archaeology at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb, made a comment regarding the discovery. He said, "It's truly fascinating to see two different types of helmets in the same location. This indicates the continuity of power within the community. It's interesting to note that these helmets have always been used as symbols of status and authority."

Two helmets were discovered at the same site, and they have distinct styles and dates. The first helmet, which was found in 2020, is a typical type used in Greece and Illyria during the 4th century BC. It has an open face with a rectangular cut-out and decorative edges. The second helmet, which is believed to be from the 6th century BC, is exceptionally rare. It is also a Greek-Illyrian helmet. Finding two different Greek-Illyrian helmets at the same site is unprecedented.

This discovery significantly expands our understanding of Illyrian funeral practices.

Cover Photo: Dubrovnik Museums



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