Antiquarium Arborense - Museo archeologico Giuseppe Pau OristanoAntiquarium Arborense - Museo archeologico Giuseppe Pau Oristano

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Antiquarium Arborense
Piazza Corrias, 09170 Oristano - Tel: 0783 791262 -

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Collection highlights: bronze helmet from Cornus

Bronze helmet from Cornus

10 maggio 2020

In 1970, the Municipality of Oristano bought the rich archaeological collection of Felice Cherchi Paba, now preserved in the Antiquarium Arborense.

The collection includes fragments of two bronze helmets from the area between San Vero Milis and Riola Sardo, in the Sinis peninsula. The most important fragments refer to an Etruscan Italic helmet called Montefortino, corresponding to the type A of H. Robinson and the type D of F. Coarelli.

The importance of the helmet is given by the area where it was found. We know from the Roman historian Titus Livius that during the Second Punic War, in 215 B.C., a battle was fought between the Sardinians commanded by Osto, son of Amsicora, and the Romans led by Titus Manlius Torquatus. The battle took place in the area south of the western Montiferru, where Cornus, the capital of the region, was located.

Maybe the find is connected to another discovery from the mid-twentieth century, which occurred by chance in the countryside of Riola, now part of a private collection. Weapons and a series of cinerary urns were found: one of these urns, identified by Raimondo Zucca, is of local production, dating back to the 3rd century BC, and mentions the name of the deceased Pu(blios) Caios, probably the name of a Latin soldier who took part in the battle of Cornus.
Both finds could belong to legionaries or socii (allies) of the Roman army of Titus Manlius Torquatus who died at the Battle of Cornus.

Moreover, a glans plumbea was found in the nearby plain of Narbolia, now kept in the Antiquarium Arborense.

However, we cannot exclude that the helmet belongs to the Punic mercenaries’ context, so Sardinian mercenaries may have brought Montefortino helmets to the island in 215 B.C. when the Romans fought against the philo-Punic Sardinians near Cornus.

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Piazza Corrias, 09170 Oristano  |   Tel: 0783 791262  | ConsulMedia 2012

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