A 2,600 year old bronze helmet, most probably belonging to a Greek warrior, has been found in the waters of Haifa Bay, in Israel. The exact owner of the helmet, however, remains unknown so far.
According to the principal of the Sea Archaeology Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority, the helmet is made of bronze and is covered with gold leaf and decorated with snakes, lions and a peacock’s tail (or palmette). The experts concluded that this is one of the best preserved examples of early ancient Greek military equipment ever found.
According to one theory, the helmet belonged to a wealthy mercenary that took part in the ravaging wars of the time, most probably on the side of the Egyptian Pharaoh Necho II. However, it is unclear how the helmet ended up in the Bay. One theory claims that it sank along with the ship the mercenary was aboard, while another claims it simply fell off the ship and landed at the bottom of Haifa Bay.
The helmet was discovered in 2007 by a Dutch ship during dredging operations in the Israeli bay.
The archaeologists’ work and research on the helmet showed that it was created by experts of its time with the use of a bronze leaf that had been warmed and forged into shape. With this technique, the helmet would weigh less and still be able to protect its bearer’s head.
The helmet is currently displayed at the National Marine Museum of Haifa.