Scale Armor - Ontsifor (XIV century)

Discovery Location: 
Discovered in: 
14th century
Measurement of the plates mm
Length 66
Width 37-40
Thickness 1


Armory Categories: 
Scale Armor - Ontsifor XIV century (Scallagrims replica)
Scale Armor - Ontsifor XIV century
Scale Armor - Ontsifor XIV century

“…Excavations of last 10 – 13 years have shown that plate armor was widespread in pre-Mongol period among the Eastern Slavs and played an important role in the protective arms of the ancient Russian warriors.

The discovery of the real ancient plate armor in Novgorod and in 1952 (excavations of A. V. Artsikhovsky) for the first time drew the attention of researchers to the need for revision of established views on the role of plate armor in ancient Russ and was decisive in this respect. There were 40 remains of ancient plate armor of VIII – XV centuries, found during the excavations, identified by now. There is no doubt about them corresponding to images of plated armor on monuments of pre-Mongol period…”

“… Lamellar armor, as well as mail, had a relatively widespread use among Eastern Slavs already in VII – X centuries…”

“… It was found 47 large plates of three sizes and shapes. The bulk of the plates (38 pieces) are the rectangular plates with four holes on the edges of one of the narrow sides and rivet in the middle. Several pieces of these plates have one side rounded. Last ones made up the trim of the armor. All of them tightly joined with rectangular plates with iron rivets, so that the holes match them exactly. When connecting with each other, plates overlapped each other by 1 cm. Their rows were sewn onto the leather padding. After that each plate was riveted. Rivets outside of the plates have a very neat appearance of a hemispheric shape. On the inside they looked less accurate yet reliably done. It is possible to determine the thickness of leather base by looking at the rivets – it was about 3 mm thick. Leather lining was completely destroyed by fire since plates were in thick layer of the conflagration. Length of the plates – 66 mm, width – 37-40 mm, thickness – 1 mm. This armor is of particular interest not only because of the careful treatment of the plates, but also because it was discovered in the estate of famous, according to chronicles and several birch-bark charters also discovered in same location, Novgorod mayor Ontsifor Lukich. Armor dates from the middle XIV century. Most likely, it got into the ground in time during one of the worst fires that ranged in the area in 1368…”

A. F. Medvedev
(Translated by Sasha Grybyuk)