Sakae/Sarmatian belt buckle showing a warrior sleeping under a tree

Title: Belt Plaque
Epoch. Period: Early Iron Age
Date: Sakae Culture. 5th - 4th century BC
Place of finding: Russia, Siberia
Material: gold
Technique: cast
Dimensions: 15.2 x 12.1 cm
Acquisition date: Formerly in Peter the Great's Siberian collection
Inventory Number: Си.1727-1/161

These double belt buckles were cast and decorated in chased relief, one being the mirror image of the other. The composition consists of two male and one female figures with horses under a tree. It has been variously interpreted either as a genre scene with the title Breaking the Journey or as a scene from folklore or an epic legend dealing with the return to life of a dead hero. Such detailed depictions provide a rich material for the study of ancient cultures. Analogies for the depicted figures and clothes, as well as for the bow and quiver hanging in the tree and the horses with their bridles and saddles, can be seen among the artifacts of the Sakae culture. The buckles are similar to the objects found in the burial mounds of the High Altai.
Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
Back to the smaller image of this Sakae/Sarmatian belt buckle showing a warrior sleeping under a tree, State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.