An extract from The British Museum Quarterly|
“A Seljuk Hoard from Persia” by Basil Gray
The two series of belt plaques are of greater interest from the point of view of style (Pl. XXXII a, b). As with other nomad peoples the belt was of considerable importance to the Turks, and was, in fact, an emblem of rank. Each series consists of a pair of larger plates (in one case round, in the other square) with four openings which would allow the passage of two bands passing at right angles. They are not clasps. The remaining plates are long and narrow, and with the exception of two furnished with rings for suspension are provided with tags in pairs at the back for fixing in the leather. This form of plate is commonly met with in finds of silver trappings in South Russia after the Gothic period. Arne considers that the type originates with the Khazars about the seventh and eighth centuries A.D. Examples in the Museum are shown in the Iron Age Gallery. Niello is used only in the find from the district of Kiev presented to the Museum by Mr Pierpont Morgan in 1907, and attributed to the eleventh and twelfth centuries A.D., where it is employed in the decoration of ear-rings and bracelets.
B. Gray, “A Seljuk Hoard from Persia”, The British Museum Quarterly 13, 1939, pp. 73-79.