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Norman J. Finkelshteyn

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Golden Horde - Belts from the Simferopol Treasure

Materials for this article come from Fedorov-Davydov, G.A. The Silk Road and the Cities of the Golden Horde, Zinat Press, Berkeley, Ca, 2001. The book may be ordered directly from Zinat Press -
Photographs provided by Zinat Press and used by permission.

The "Simferopol Treasure" was a large "trove" of items found accidentally in 1967 in Simferopol, Crimea.
Fedorov-Davydov identifies it as the belongings of an aristocrat, likely belonging to the Jochid family.
Included among the items was a p'ai-tzu (tablet of authority) with the name Khan Keldibeg.

The following are three sets of belt plates that formed part of the treasure.
They are dated to the 14th century.
All are at the State Historical Museum, Moscow as of the time of book publication.

Of "local" style.
Per Fedorov-Davydov, these are: "a tongue, a plaque with a hook, two plaques with shackles for hanging objects, and rectangular or heart shaped scalloped plaques and frames...
framed carnelian and ...decorated with golden open-work plaques with figured grapevines, and silver plaques mounted beneath them as background." (page 59)
All attached to the belt with prongs.

Plaques with loop measure: 6.5 cm X 3.4 cm
Plate with hook measures: 12.4 cm X 2.1 cm

Museum Inventory number: 99264-12

The two following belt sets Fedorov-Davydov calls "Italian style" and believes likely that they were bought from Italian cities. He does not say whether he means Italian cities in the Golden Horde (like, for example Azov in the Crimea) or Italy itself.

Plates are cast gold with engraving and niello. Holes indicate that they were attached with rivets.
Decoration consists of rosettes with birds. A closeup of the belt-end is provided below.

Length of belt end: 4.8 cm
Length of "triangular" plates: 2.2 cm
Diameter of round plate: 2 cm

Museum Inventory number: 99264-8

The plates are cast silver, engraved and enamelled. Detail photographs below.
Note that the fastening pin of the buckle is raised. When laying flat, it undoubtedly fits the indent at the center of the buckle ring. Compare the Anatolian buckle photo provided by Steven Baker - "a number of belt plates"

Length of buckle plate: 10.1 cm
Length of belt end: 12.1 cm
Plate width: 2.1 cm

Museum Inventory number: 99264-5

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