The Red Kaganate

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March 2, 2003

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Norman J. Finkelshteyn

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Cuman Belt Mounts
Materials provided by Justin Dragosani and are published at his site:
Belt mounts from Felsoszentkiraly find. From Andras Paloczi-Horvath, Pechenegs, Cumans, Iasians: Steppe People in Medieval Hungary. Budapest, Corvina/Kultura, 1989.

Buckle with plate
Gilded Silver.
Length including buckle - 13.9 cm
Cast buckle-frame, external width - 5.1 cm
Strap End
Gilded Silver.
"Sheath-like" - the belt strap would be inserted.
Length - 10.6 cm
Possibly from a different belt.
One of a number of plaques with various "heraldic devices".

NOTE: by Norman Finkelshteyn
The "checkerboard" pattern on the plaque has been suggested (by Mr. Dragosani, presumably quoting Paloczi-Horvath) to be European heraldry.
However, similar checkerboard designs are common in the Middle East and their rise in Europe is commonly attributed to borrowing by Europeans during the Crusades period
(other originally Middle Eastern patterns commonly thought of as purely European include the "Fleur de Lis").
Thus, as cultural flow from the Middle East to non-Muslim Eastern Europe is uncommon, the pattern may be of Turkic origin -- having came to the Middle East (like warrior belts and other cultural details) first with the early Turkic invasions and subsequently with the flow of Turkic slaves from Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Of course, the flow of this pattern may also have been Middle East to Europe to the Cumans. Certainly more information on the apearance of similar designs is necessary.

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