Asian Armor

This coat of stone armor was found in the tomb of the first Qin emperor, Qin Shihuangdi (d. 221 BCE), and is currently on display in the Museum of the Terracotta Warriors in Xian, Shaanxi, China. It may have been a burial or ceremonial suit for an important person. For more information on Qin Shihuandi's tomb and his terracotta warriors see:

The following photos of various Mongolian and Yuan Dynasty armor pieces are from the Asian collection at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, England.

The Mongols ruled China duing the 13th-14th centuries CE, with an empire that spanned from China to the Danube and from India to Russia. You can see a similarity to the other Chinese armor styles; note also the Persian influence of pointed top and hanging chailmail on some of the helmets.

These two suits of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 CE) armor are on exhibit in the Great Wall Museum at Badalang. These very flexible lamellar styles are designed to protect cavalry from archers where there is less likelihood of swords cutting the external lacings on the sleeves and skirting.

These Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 CE) pieces, also at the Great Wall Museum, are primarily ceremonial coverings for armor made of silk with metal studs. The various colors represent the Manchu Banners to which the wearers belonged.

Click on any photo to see a larger view
all photos by Steve Moorhouse and Jana Russ © 1998, 2000, 2002