New: Aramean or Chaldean light infantry!

The Aramaeans and Chaldeans inhabited the marshlands of southern Babylonia and were formed into numerous tribes. The Chaldeans were said to be more organised than the Aramaeans. By the time of the Neo-Assyrian empire the two cultures would have influenced each other quite heavily, as well as being influenced by the Babylonians and probably the Assyrians that claimed ownership of the region.

A few relief’s on show at the British museum show the Assyrian army on campaign in southern Babylon. Their opponents appear to be quite lightly armed and armoured. They all wear headbands and have some variety in dress, either with tassels hanging from their waist or decorating the hem of the kilt.The tasseled tunics are typical of Assyrian dress, but could be the fringe or pompon of the early Aramaean tribes.

As with most armies at the time, archers seem to have made up the majority of the infantry. When not fighting behind a protective screen of spearmen, archers would probably operated in loose formation units. These would have been perfectly suited to fighting in the dense marshland of southern Babylon, where rebels put up a strong resistance. They are equipped with simple composite bows and a small side arm for close quarters.