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1075
Rubric: History Pages
Section: History

The Wolf’s Armor

There is hardly a boy who would not go for making weapons from any materials at hand, and so was Yury Filippovich, a historian and reconstructor from the Humanities Research Laboratory, Novosibirsk State University. However, unlike his ten-year-old peers, who were playing with self-made wooden swords, he "reconstructed" his first helmet and coat of armor of steel and aluminum.

When studying at the university, Filippovich made his first historical reconstruction—a mediaeval lamellar coat of armor—upon a request of his peer, Leonid Bobrov, as a visual aid for students. Now his collection includes over 30 historical reconstructions of the armor and weapons used by nomadic peoples in Central Asia, South Siberia, and the Far East.

Today, historical reconstruction is a very promising area of research in military history as well as a most serious and interesting modern hobby, which developed in the second half of the twentieth century from the so-called role-plays. Historical reconstruction of the military equipment of various ethnic groups and historical periods, as well as the technologies for their manufacture, takes its root in a profound study of written and visual sources and a detailed analysis of artefacts from archaeological sites. By studying the functional properties of the reconstructed weapons, historians understand the features of warriors of different ethnic groups, trace the stages in the development of their offensive and defensive weapons, and identify the reasons for the changes

The history of war and of the art of war of ancient and medieval nomads of the Eurasian steppes attracted the attention of ancient and medieval chroniclers from the very time they appeared on the stage of world history; it has also attracted the attention of modern military historians. In recent years, thanks to enthusiasts engaged in the reconstruction of weapons and armor, it has become possible to study military equipment “in practice” and to understand the characteristics of the art of war of ancient nomads

This work is dedicated to the memory of M. V. Gorelik (who died prematurely), a specialist in armor studies
and reconstructor of weapons and armor of Eurasian nomads

HOW TO BECOME A RECONSTRUCTOR I first got to know military history at the age of three when my great grandfather gave me a Russian Armor set of postcards as a gift.
As a schoolboy, I used to sculpt Russian warriors, Mongolian-Tatar batyrs and knights of the Teutonic Order, using modeling clay. While my friends played with ready-made or self-made wooden weapons, I made my first helmet and coat of armor of steel and aluminum when I was nine or ten. My mother taught history at school, so we had many books in our home library, including books on military history. My father, a mechanical engineer, taught shop; my grandfather was a professional carpenter and wood worker. So, the workshop and the library, the most necessary things for a novice reconstructor, were in my possession. I was deeply impressed by the series of popular articles published in Soviet Warrior magazine, with illustrations by M. V. Gorelik, a legendary person among fans of weapon history.
Then there were university years (Novosibirsk State University), archaeological expeditions, and courses by Yu. S. Khudyakov, our key specialist in the field of archaeological history of weapons. Leonid Bobrov, one year older than me, was already actively involved in historical reconstructions. It was he who asked me...
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