7th Century BC
- 8 figuren in 4 standen
- 4 paarden + 2 chariots in 4 standen
The chariot was a fundamental part of Assyrian armies for centuries, but by the 7th century BCE, the last of the Assyrian Empire, its use was in decline as the obvious advantages of horsemen meant the cavalry grew in importance. The model in this set is of a large chariot with four horses and four crew, and represents the final appearance of the Assyrian chariot, i.e. the 7th century BCE.
The four-man Assyrian chariot carried a driver, archer and two shield-bearers. In this set the archer is drawing his bow but not looking where he is pointing it. Perhaps he is still drawing it, or perhaps the target is so large (i.e. a large body of men) that aiming is not necessary. The two shield-bearers are, well, bearing shields, although one has also drawn a sword. Since having two shield-bearers might suggest they were meant to protect from both sides, we might have expected one to hold his in the right hand, although we do not know whether this actually happened. The obvious omission in this set is a driver – no one is actually steering the vehicle, yet the horses are clearly at full gallop. Instead we are given a fourth man holding a spear.
Our evidence for the appearance of chariots is a small number of carvings, from which it would be unwise to assume that we know how all such chariots would have looked. However the model here matches those drawings well, and is entirely reasonable, although there seems to be some debate over whether the reinforcing bar down the middle was still used by this date. However since this is a separate piece the customer can leave it off if desired.
The men are all heavily armoured, much like the heavy infantry, so this would be designated a ‘heavy’ chariot. Their costume and weaponry are fine, and they fit into the crowded cockpit area thanks to pegs on their feet that slot into holes on the chariot floor. There are several of these holes, apparently distributed fairly randomly, so the customer has some flexibility in arranging the figures, although of course by cutting off the pegs and gluing the feet the men can be put anywhere.
Caesar Miniatures 011