Monday, August 24, 2015

Word of the Day -- Scale Armour

Scale armour is an early form of armour consisting of many individual small armour scales (plates) of various shapes attached to each other and to a backing of cloth or leather in overlapping rows. Scale armour was worn by warriors of many different cultures as well as their horses. The material used to make the scales varied and included bronze, iron, rawhide, leather, cuir bouilli, seeds, horn, pangolin scales and, in ancient China, paper. The variations are primarily the result of material availability.

Scale armour is armour in which the individual scales are sewn or laced to a backing by one or more edges and arranged in overlapping rows resembling the scales of a fish/reptile or roofing tiles. Lorica squamata is an ancient Roman armour of this type and gyorin kozane is the Japanese (samurai) name for this type of scale armour. Other types of armours made from individual scales but constructed in a different manner have their own separate names such as lamellar armour where the individual scales are perforated on several or all edges and lashed tightly to each other in straight ridged rows and do not need to be attached to a backing. The Romans also had a variant called lorica plumata in which the scales were attached to mail.

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