This paper is concerned with a pointed iron helmet with decorative bronze inlay and a collection of iron fragments, also with bronze inlay, from similar or related helmets. All are now in the British Museum. The complete helmet, reconstructed from fragments (BM 22496), is clearly of Assyrian type, and the bronze inlay forms, amongst other motifs, a central design showing the king with crown-prince and attendant framed by a bud-and-garland border. This helmet was first published by Barnett in 1953, when it became possible through x-ray photography to discern some of the bronze inlaid decoration. Barnett identified the helmet as coming from Rassam's excavations at Nineveh, and as support for this suggestion cited a report to the Trustees of the British Museum by Samuel Birch referring to the arrival of a consignment of antiquities from Nineveh in July 1880 that included “an Assyrian bronze helmet”.
Almost certainly, however, Birch was referring to one of three bronze or bronze and iron “Spangenhelme” of Parthian or Sassanian date that are now in the British Museum (BM 22495, 22497–8). The two other examples were mentioned by Birch in his annual report for 1877 when he says that “two helmets from Kouyunjik” were mounted in that year. All three helmets are characterised by being made of metal plates fixed together with strips of bronze held in place by rivets. It is very unlikely, then, that the iron helmet with bronze inlay comes from Nineveh. It is much more probable that it, and the associated fragments, come from Nimrud, and they must be the fragments of Assyrian iron helmet with copper inlay registered under the numbers 48–11–4, 113–115 and described as coming from Layard's excavations in the North-West Palace at Nimrud. None of the fragments, nor indeed the complete helmet, now bears a registration number, but there seems little doubt about the identification.