What Did Ancient Egyptian Soldiers Wear?

Although soldiers at the beginning of Egypt's New Kingdom period wore no armor, they began to wear bronze or leather helmets and armor after they defeated Hyksos. Around the same time, they went from using primitive weapons to more effective weapons like spears, swords and daggers.

A soldier's rank generally factored into the type of armor that he would wear. A senior commander was protected by bronze armor, while other lesser-ranking soldiers wore heavy cloth patches called sporrans in front of the genital area and were protected by only light shields made from animal hides.

The lowest-ranking of all men in the Egyptian army were conscripted into service by the pharaoh against their will. These men were often armed with just a spear, and they went into battle wearing only a pair of sandals and a tunic.

The Egyptian army was broken up into distinct ranks, and there were 50 ranks in all. The highest of all ranks were not earned but were instead passed down from a father to his son. Divisions of the army were broken into groups of 5,000 men who were led by a general. The divisions were broken down further into companies numbering 200 men and then finally into platoons of 10 men. The banner of the local god would fly above the division.