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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Ancient Greek Sea Serpent Helmets

Ancient Greek sea Serpent Crested War Helmet
messapian sea monster helmet

I came across these objects while on a photo search. Like so many of these oddities I see, they were being sold as curiosities on the Antique Art market. These are some Ancient Greek helmets said to be decorated in a fashion meant to resemble Sea serpents. If that is the case it is one of the more remarkable depictions of specifically Longnecks to be shown in antiquity. I have a suspicion the design originated around the North Sea and was brought South on the Amber route.

These helmets have a striking "Periscope" illustrated facing either direction and each one with a striking jagged crest or fin (mane) down the mid-back. There may be small "Ears" (or horns) on the head but more importantly the heads and necks are in the same approximate proportion to each other as my statistical norm for modern reports (Which is also just about Oudemans' average of his reports and Dinsdale's average estimates for the Loch Ness Monster) and moreover the eyes are about midway along the top, insisted on in some reports and proper for a Plesiosaur. The arrangement is also interesting because it is anther design implying "The head end is like the tail end" by making the mirrored-head/neck the same as in the Northwest coast Sisiutl.

I am reading those odd trefoil terminations as flippers and not as the ends of short tails, although they do resemble the common stylization of "dragon's tails" more usually shown later on.

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