The Red Kaganate

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March 2, 2003

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Norman J. Finkelshteyn

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Khazar Belt

The main photograph was taken by Alexander Lemeshko at the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.
Detail images are portions of the same image provided at higher resolution.

The only information I have is that this set of plates is from the Khazar period (VII - X or XI cent.).

Plate set as it is layed out in the Hermitage Museum display
Note the surviving leather belt fragment at the lower left.
The belt was 4 centimeters wide (over 1.5 inches) -- substantially wider than the other Khazar belts listed here.

Double Bird plates
Two birds of prey with wings open and heads facing to their backs and away from center. They frame a human face in the center.
The bar to the left is a section of the leather belt -- added to image for scale comparison.
Note oval hole at the bottom of the plate (the triangular shape inside the hole is a museum fastener). At a guess, these three "double bird" plates were used as the main belt supports of pendant straps.

Single Bird plates and Strap End
Note object with the bird. Mr. Lemeshko states that these are the remains of a corpse.

Vegetal motiff on strap end.
This strap end is too narrow to match with these bird plates but seems to be a good match in both size and decoration for the four small round plates at the left of the full display. These may have formed a pendant strap or may be the decorations of a purse (compare with the Salovsky belt set).

Small Plates with Vegetal Motiff
The bar at the right is a section of the leather belt -- added to image for scale comparison.
The four smallest plates are the likeliest match to the strap end in the above image.

Large "Lilies" plate and small plate with ring
The bar at the right is a section of the leather belt -- added to image for scale comparison.

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