This remarkable Corinthian style helmet from the Battle of Marathon was reputedly found in 1834 with a human skull still inside. It now forms part of the Royal Ontario Museum’s collections, but originally it was discovered by George Nugent-Grenville, who was the British High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands between 1832-35.
A keen antiquarian, Nugent-Grenville carried out a number of rudimentary archaeological excavations in Greece, one of which took place on the Plains of Marathon, where the helmet was uncovered.
A pivotal moment in Ancient Greek history, the battle of Marathon saw a smaller Greek force, mainly made up of Athenian troops, defeat an invading Persian army. A fierce and bloody battle, with numerous casualties, it appears that this helmet belonged to a Greek hoplite (soldier) who died during the fighting.
Today the the helmet and associated skull can be viewed at the Royal Ontario Museum’s Gallery of Greece.