How did Alans look and how were they armed ?


According to different researchers, Alan warriors were wealthy estate. It was a military elite and advanced units of Khazar kingdom.

Archaeologists have been finding remains of jewelry ornaments and weapons of Alan warriors in the Saltivo-Mayaki culture’s catacombs tombs. Perhaps the most known and respected reenactor of Khazan kingdom warriors’ appearance is Oleg Fedorov, an artist and archaeologist.

The Khazar kingdom’s Alan archer
The Khazar kingdom’s Alan archer, IX – beginning of X century. Based on materials of S.A.Pletneva, Demetrius archaeological complex of Saltivo-Mayaki culture, catacomb №55. Artist – Oleg Fedorov.

According to the results of Saltivo-Mayaki culture burials studies, the Khazar kingdom Alan warriors used to have following weapons:

  • complex bow with bony plates placed into a leather case for a bow;
  • wooden or leather quiver covered by iron cramps with or without belt hanging hook with arrows inside;
  • saber (mostly straight);
  • a narrow blade (straight, double-edged);
  • czekan check ( short pole weapon with the main shock element in the form of the beak (the spike) and a hammer on the butt with a lug for securing the handle);
  • flail (weapon in the form of a short stick with metal ball on the end connected by short strap or a chain);
  • spear;
  • leather or metal helmet.

Charity Foundation “Kharkiv with you”, and the organizing committee of the festival “Slobozhanshchina Pearls: Verkhnii Saltiv. Alan origins” thank Oleg Fedorov for permission to use his drawings reconstructions in the information materials of the festival.