- Museum number
Bronze elliptical belt-plaque. The hammered sheet is almost complete, retaining a deeply curved shape, hooked terminal at one end and holes for attachment to the fabric of the belt at the other end. Broken and mended in antiquity towards one end; fragments at the edges and flanges to hold the belt in place at the attachment end missing. Embossed border of three rows of bosses encircles the whole plaque and a similar row crosses the plaque between the attachment holes and the inner elliptical area. This central area is divided into three zones; the middle zone has nine bosses, set in vertical rows of three, the central boss of the middle row has an incised border of hatched triangles, each with punched dots at the angles. The three rows of bosses are separated and bordered by hatched meander patterns. Both outer zones have a boss with central punched dot surrounded by an incised border of hatched triangles, each with punched dots at the angles. Towards each end of the plaque is an incised crested bird, with a long beak and hatched body. Smooth green to brown patina on the front; corrosion covers much of the back.
- Production date
Height: 110 millimetres
Length: 400 millimetres
Weight: 261 grammes
- Curator's comments
Sestieri & MacNamara 2007
Though embossed borders of rows of bosses are rare, the general shape and design formula of the central elliptical space of this belt-plaque is frequently repeated among EIA II examples, though with many variations; see Quattro Fontanili 1967, 213, fig. 77, Tomb Z 11-12.7, phase IIA. For hatched meander patterning in the central zone of decoration, see Quattro Fontanili 1963, 239, fig. 101.d, tomb KK-LL18-19.d, phase IIC.
Such bronze facings for belts of leather or other materials were worn to cover the front part of the waist. Of the examples from known contexts, the majority come from the graves of women (Adam 1984, 132). In 1950, Kossack listed the known examples of belt-plaques from Italy (Kossack 1950, 132–147); for additional references and discussion, see Adam 1984, 131–133.
Most of the Italian elliptical belt-plaques come from central and southern Etruria but examples are also known from the Po Valley, Picenum and Lazio as well as an example probably from Euboea (Close Brooks 1967). The form is known during the Villanovan I period but most examples with contexts come from tombs of the Villanovan II period (Adam 1984, 132; Quattro Fontanili 1986, 95, fig. 20 B, type XVII.I, phases IC- IIC).
Bibliography: Macnamara 1990, 10, fig. 7c.
cf. No. 30, MS 690 in Turfa, J. M. 2005. Catalogue of the Etruscan Gallery of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
- On display (G71/dc2)
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number