S.S. Matrenin, A.A. Tishkin
Belt Buckles Used by the Altai Nomads in the Xiongnu Period: Classification and Typology
Archaeological materials that were obtained during the excavation of the monuments of the Altai territory in the Xiongnu Period (II century BC — I century AD), make it possible to undertake a systematic analysis for each category of artifacts. This paper is directed primarily at the comprehensive presentation of the results of the belt buckles research. The collection of artifacts under study currently includes 19 specimens. The classification of these objects distinguishes 10 types of belt buckles. Typological analysis of these objects allows defining details of their dating and genesis. Comparative study of material tends to show that development of belt buckles from the Altai nomads was influenced by the practice and style of the belt headsets design in Central Asia. Iron buckles with a movable pin were complete copies of the Xiongnu samples. It is also important that the samples of the fourth type were made later than others (I century BC — I century AD). The iron buckle of the Xiongnu period eventually provided the basis for making local modifications in the subsequent period (II–V centuries AD). Bronze buckles with a fixed peg in the whole complex of samples appeared as singleton. It tendency does not demonstrate any facts of continuity and development in the material practice in the material culture of the Bulan-Koby population of Altai in the Xianbei-Zhuzhan period. Among these objects were allocated the artifacts with an openwork figure of a lizard (type 9), the original Chinese buckle with a movable latch on the swivel (type 7), and the buckle which is made from composite materials with a fixed peg with the image of a horned dragon (type 10).
Key words: Altai, Bulan-Koby culture, belt buckles’, gear, chronology, classification, typology, Xiongnu
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