Wednesday 27 March 2024

Hallaton Helmet Recreated Thanks to LAHS Funding

The 2000-year-old Roman cavalry officer's helmet has been recreated thanks to a grant from Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society.

The Hallaton Helmet alongside the new replica © Leicestershire County Council Museums.

Working alongside the British Museum conservators who excavated and conserved the assemblage, staff and volunteers at Leicestershire Museums studied the helmet to produce reconstruction drawings with illustrator Debbie Miles. The resulting designs have been realised in 3D to recreate the helmet as it may have looked when it was new with the aim of reaching new audiences.

Rajesh Gogna, a Leicestershire-based silversmith and senior lecturer and practice-based researcher at De Montfort University produced a replica helmet by creating a CAD model which was 3D printed in SLA resin, electroformed, silver-plated and gilded. Rajesh hand finished at various stages including the brass elements like rivets and the pins which attach the cheekpieces to the helmet bowl. The interior of the helmet bowl and cheekpieces have been tarnished to give the impression of the helmet’s iron bowl onto which the intricate decoration was applied.

Using this contemporary approach to silversmithing, Rajesh was able to make two identical helmets – one for Harborough Museum, Market Harborough and Hallaton Museum. The Association for Roman Archaeology also made a contribution to Hallaton Museum’s replica.

Harborough Museum’s replica is now on permanent display alongside the real helmet and previously un-displayed objects from the helmet pit from which the helmet was excavated at the Late Iron Age ritual site at Hallaton.

Another replica helmet, created by archaeologist Francesco Galluccio using traditional techniques is also displayed as well as interactive 3D prints and audio-visual material to tell the incredible story of the Hallaton Helmet.

For further details of the project visit Leicestershire Museum Collections.

Visit our Grants and Prizes page if you think we could help to fund your project.

The real helmet displayed for the first time with the other helmet parts which were buried alongside it at the Late Iron Age Hallaton ritual site © Leicestershire County Council Museums..

The two identical replica helmets created by Rajesh © Leicestershire County Council Museums.

Rajesh with Debbie Miles's helmet iconography reconstruction illustrations in the background © Leicestershire County Council Museums.

Silver-gilt replica Hallaton Helmet by Rajesh Gogna © Leicestershire County Council Museums.