MAMONTOV V.I. On the Weapons Used by Sarmatians in Close Combats


Vladislav I. Mamontov

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor, Professor of Department of History of Russia and Local-History Education, Head of Scientific and Industrial Laboratory of Archaeology and Restoration,

Volgograd State Socio-Pedagogical University,

Prosp. Lenina, 27, 400066 Volgograd, Russian Federation

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Abstract. The Sarmatians used swords, bows and arrows, spears, darts in combats. A rider dropped from a horse, or a simple warrior, could protect themselves from the enemy by a fighting knife, ax, mace or a battle-flail. These weapons are discovered in the burials of Sarmatian soldiers. The paper describes the similar finds from the Volga-Don region. The Sarmatians could use every-day items as weapons in the combats. The combat knife (more than 15 cm in lenght) was tied with a leather cord to the right arm of the warrior. This item was found in the burial mound Verbovsky I, mound 5, burial 1. The findings also include a dagger (22 cm), two combat knives (more than 35 cm in length), a small wooden shield covered with leather, an ax on a long wooden handle, a heavy tip of “scrap” (the burial mound Pervomaisky VII, mound 40, burial 5), a wedge-shaped ax (the burial mound Verbovsky I, mound 5, burial 1), an iron ax (the burial mound Pervomaisky VII, mound 9, burial 3), an iron hook with a bushing (the burial mound Ilyevka, mound 12, burial 1). The military burials of the Sarmatians in the Volga-Don interfluve contained separate items of weapons that could be used in close combats: a stone mace-battle-flail with a hole in the center of the ball, a long iron rod- battle-flail with a ring on a narrow side. The leather belt was threaded through a hole or a ring, held in the hand for swinging and striking with a heavy object. The findings of melee weapons in the burials of the Sarmatians confirm the views of researchers that the the Sarmatian warriors were represented by both riders who used specific ranged weapons, and foot soldiers – the prototype of a future well-armed infantry.

Key words: Sarmatian warrior, melee weapons, combat knife, dagger, celt, stone mace, battle-flail, hook.

Citation. Mamontov V.I. On the Weapons Used by Sarmatians in Close Combats. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4, Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2018, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 153-158. (in Russian). DOI:

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On the Weapons Used by Sarmatians in Close Combats by Mamontov V.I. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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