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ARMOR IN CHINA BEFORE THE TANG DYNASTY

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The earliest traces of armor in China consist of bronze helmets, since body armor was made of non-durable leather. The earliest surviving body armor is of lacquered leather laminae from the Warring States period (fifth-third centuries BC). Over time, the size of the laminae grew smaller. Metal body armor appears in the Han Dynasty but lacquered leather probably remained in use for some time after that. Heavier armor and barded horses appear after the invention of the stirrup in the fourth century. Scale armor is associated with non-Chinese, and neither plate armor nor chain-mail was utilized in China. During the Tang Dynasty, a type of long rectangular lamellar armor appears to have been introduced from Iran, ending a long autochthonous tradition.

10.1163/156852300760222047
/content/journals/10.1163/156852300760222047
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2000-09-01
2016-05-25

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