Treister M.Yu. A Precious Belt Set from the Nomadic Elite Burial near the Village of Kosika

 
Mikhail Yu. Treister, Doctor of Sciences (History), Researcher, German Archaeological Institute
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Abstract. The paper is devoted to the study of the belt set (a buckle and a belt tip made of gold in the form of hedgehogs with inlays of color stone, glass, paste and with the use of cloisonné technique) from the ruined elite burial of the Middle Sarmatian time, discovered in 1984 in the Baer ridge near the village of Kosika in the Lower Volga region. The author comes to the conclusion that the elements of this belt set were designed especially for a nomad originating from Eastern Eurasia. According to the original idea, which was probably represented on the buckle and on the belttip from the Siberian collection, the hedgehog was only one of the heroes of the plot, who had rendered harmless the snakes biting the griffins. Later the idea was changed, and the hedgehog was now represented as a winner, with strangled snakes tied in form of the Herakles knot behind his back and reduced images of griffins depicting only their heads. The elements of decoration and castes images, peculiar of the Late Hellenistic jewelry, were inserted in the composition. Instead of the inlays of turquoise, typical for the buckles of Chinese, Central Asian and Parthian origin, those of garnets, glass and paste were used. Taking into account all these observations, it is logical to assume the fabrication of elements of the belt set from the village of Kosika in a highly specialized toreutic workshop. This was most likely to occur in the second half of the 2nd – 1st cc. BC in Iran or in Asia Minor. Taking into account the unique structure and design of belt elements, as well as their high material value, we can assume that the belt was a statusmarking object and perhaps even a symbol of the royal power.
Key words: Middle Sarmatian culture, elite burials, Kosika, Lower Volga region, Parthia, Iran, Asia Minor, Siberian Collection, images of hedgehog and snake in ancient art, belt set, Hellenistic toreutics and jewelry.
Citation. Treister M.Yu., 2018. A Precious Belt Set from the Nomadic Elite Burial near the Village of Kosika. The Lower Volga Archaeological Bulletin, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 108-143. (in Russian). DOI: http://doi.org/10.15688/nav.jvolsu.2018.1.6
 
Лицензия Creative Commons
 
A Precious Belt Set from the Nomadic Elite Burial near the Village of Kosika by Treister M.Yu. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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