Shield - Helmet
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Helmets have been always used by warriors in order to protect the parts of the head such as forehead, nape, nose and also neck. Helmets have been used in many different parts of the world with different designs throughout history. It is stated that the first helmets used in history were made of wood. The helmets were made of materials such as bronze, iron, steel and fiber carbon in the following years when humanity discovered these materials.
Helmet has a special place in Islamic and Turkish history. It is known that the Prophet Muhammad had two different helmets that he used continuously in wars. Some information from Chinese written sources indicates the importance of helmet use among Turks. According to these sources, it is stated that the “Turk” (Turkish in English) word comes from "tulga" (means helmet in old Turkish language). Helmets, very similar to each other, were used by Huns, Gokturk, Uyghurs, Tatars and Mongols. Some examples of these have been discovered during excavations. It has been discovered from the excavations that Gokturk cavalries resembled an Ottoman cavalries. However, some additions have been made to Mongolian helmets. Both written sources and depictions show that Anatolian Seljuk helmets are the similariest examples to Ottoman helmets.
Helmets were called with different names in the Ottoman period. It is possible to examine the helmets of the Ottoman period in three forms. The first type of them is cone helmet. This helmet has also steel or iron vil in order to protect the each parts of face. There is a space on the top of this helmet in order to attach a ring which showing the rank of the soldier. A thin fabric or feather used as a rank or position mark was attached to this ring. The second group includes helmets with visors. In these helmets, the top section is more flat and the bodies are more conical. The third group includes armored cone helmets. These helmets cover only the upper part of the head. Although other helmets were worn as a seperate part, this helmet was worn with armored shirt.
It is a protective weapon that warriors wear on their left arms to protect themselves against weapons such as arrows, ghouls, swords and spears. Shields have different shapes such as round, square or angular. Many history books state that the first shields were made of strong and durable trees. With the development of production techniques and the discoveries of new materials, shields are made of materials such as iron, steel, and copper over time.
The Turks, well-known for their warrior features, attached great importance to the production of shields, and applied new techniques in the production of this weapon especially during the Seljuk period. These techniques were learned in Iran later, and they started to produce shields just like the Turks. There were special masters for the making shields during the Ottoman period, and the masters would teach their art to young people.