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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

Each group includes examples of men wearing the clothing and equipment generally thought of as appropriate for that type of unit. All the men in each unit would not have been equipped exactly alike, as they are in military units today.
508 compliant text links:
trigger guards
band cap
glass buttons
butt plate
firing mech


Click on shaded areas of this image to see examples of artifacts from DHR archaeological collections.

An illustrated military exercise manual entitled The Exercise of Armes was published in 1607 by the graphic artist Jacob de Gheyn II. The publication reflected military reforms that took place in the Netherlands during the last 10 years of the 16th-century.

Three groups of military exercises are portrayed in detailed engravings: the musketeers, as shown here; pikemen (as shown in our image map Pikeman); and the shot (a unit that carried a firearm called a caliver(not illustrated).

The Musketeer is holding a matchlock musket, or arquebus as it was called in the 16th-century. From his shoulder hangs a bandolier—a strap with hanging containers, each holding a measured amount of powder. Note the "match" in his left hand, which would be clasped by the serpentine — the "snake head"- shaped arm on the lock plate. Check out the buttons on his sleeves, the sword, the trigger guard, and the butt plate on the stock of the musket.

The men are shown from different views revealing objects from different angles. The de Gheyn engravings are especially useful for help in the identification of badly corroded metal artifacts recovered from early-17th-century sites in Virginia.

If you have questions or information about comparable artifacts from Virginia collections please contact
Dee DeRoche
, Phone: (804) 367-2323 ext. 134; Fax: (804) 367-2972.

Pikeman Image Map DHR Collections