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Composite Belt Ornaments with Bear Claw Pieces in Medieval Men’s Costume of the Perm Region, Western Urals

https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2021.49.1.078-084

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Abstract

Longstanding excavations at the Boyanovo and Rozhdestvenskoye medieval cemeteries in the Perm Territory revealed a new type of belt ornament—pendants with arch-shaped pieces carved from dorsal plates of bear claws. Each piece has two drilled holes in the central third, and they were strung on two cords in a “rope ladder” fashion. Pieces made of bear claws were interchanged with bronze beads or pipes. At the ends of strings, bells or pendants were attached. Such ornaments were worn exclusively by boys and men of all ages (from two to sixty). Silver artifacts and other “elite” items, suggesting that they were markers of high social status, accompanied the ornaments. The use of bear claws might indicate an apotropaic function. The available facts point to the use in funerary costume only, but the difficulty of manufacturing such ornaments obviates the possibility of a one-off use. Previously, such an ornament was found only at Zagarye, a cemetery dating to the final stage of the Lomovatovka culture. The pendants, then, were used during the late 9th to the late 11th centuries.

About the Authors

N. B. Krylasova
Perm State Humanitarian Pedagogical University; Perm Federal Research Center, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Chief Researcher, Perm Federal Research Center, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences; Professor, Perm State Humanitarian Pedagogical University

Sibirskaya 24, Perm, 614990; 
Lenina 13a, Perm, 614990, Russia

 



A. V. Danich
Perm State Humanitarian Pedagogical University
Russian Federation

Researcher

Sibirskaya 24, Perm, 614990, Russia



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For citation:


Krylasova N.B., Danich A.V. Composite Belt Ornaments with Bear Claw Pieces in Medieval Men’s Costume of the Perm Region, Western Urals. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2021;49(1):78-84. https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2021.49.1.078-084

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ISSN 1563-0110 (Print)