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Belt Sets of “Hungarian Sryle” from the Perm Ural

Bellavin Andrei Mihalovih1, Krylasova Natalia Borisovna2* and Podosenova Ylia Aleksandrovna2

1Perm State Humanitarian Pedagogical University, Perm, Russia

2Perm Scientific Center of the Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Chief Researcher at the Department of History, Archaeology and Ethnography, Perm, Russia

*Corresponding Author:
Natalia B Krylasova
Associate Professor
Perm Scientific Center of the Ural Branch o
f Russian Academy of Sciences, Perm, Russia
Tel: 79222441891
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: January 09, 2017; Accepted Date: August 12, 2017; Published Date: August 21, 2017

Citation: Mihalovih BA, Borisovna KN, Aleksandrovna PY. Belt Sets of “Hungarian Sryle” from the Perm Ural. Global Media Journal. 2017, 15:29.

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Perm Urals in the middle ages was inhabited by numerous tribes due to a large number of resources in the region, in particular, furbearers. Therefore, this region has developed rapidly as an important trading center. One of the tribes inhabited the territory at that time were Hungarians. Currently, the attention of many researchers studying the material culture of Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages, turned to the so-called “Artefacts of Hungarian style”, among which a special place is occupied by belt sets’ elements. In the Perm region, which is regarded as one of the hypothetical outcome places of the Hungarians into the territory of Pannonia, we found a relatively large number of such artefacts; based on detailed technological analysis of the most expressive sets, there are attempts to identify features that are typical for this style. Based on the analysis of “Artefacts of Hungarian style”, which were in sepulchers of Perm Urals, there were determined the main features of these findings. These features include gold planting of ornament, decorative floriated elements, edging by means of border ornament patterns.


The middle ages; Perm Urals; Belt sets’ elements; Hungarian style; Inprocess control test


Perm Urals is one of Eastern Europe territories, where can be find sufficiently large number of items related to material culture of the Hungarians of IX-X centuries: whole belt sets of silver or bronze and their elements, silver funerary masks of different types, Taska belts (leather belt set with drop bags) decorated with silver plates and swords’ points, parts of horse bridle. The most numerous findings are belt sets and their parts. They can be find both in sepulchers of Perm Urals (sepulchers Rozhdesnvensky Plesinsky, Bayanovsky, Ogrudinsky and others) and in various settlements of IX-X centuries, and as part of the socalled "treasure". Some scientists suggest that Hungarians have inhabited this area in this period, before they moved to the West, to their current territory [1].

Perm Urals in the Middle Ages was characterized as a resourcerich region, especially with the furbearers – a financially expensive resource [2,3]. In this regard, the region industrialized and economically developed. Therefore, some researchers believe that the large number of archaeological finds in the region is related to trading activities of merchants, and do not believe that this territory was inhabited by the Hungarians [4].

Currently, there is a number of publications in Russian archaeological literature that describes the culture of the Perm Urals and Hungarian influence on it [4-6]. In the description, scientists often operate with such definitions as "Artifacts of Old Hungarian Origin", "Artefacts of Hungarian style", artifacts with "Magyar figurative elements" [7].

Summarizing all descriptions of belt sets available in Russian archaeological literature, there can be determined the following signs of "Magyar" style:

− Edging by means of border ornament patterns – alternating ovals and circles (or other variations);

− Tied edge;

− Artefacts with the central element of three- or four-leafed rose;

− Artefacts with the central element of bud ("lotus decoration");

− Artefacts with zoomorphic and anthropomorphic ornamental motifs;

− Trefoil ornament;

− Gold planting of ornament background or the entire surface.

The certain artifacts, such as drops, toreutics items, facial pads in bags and some details of belt sets, have additional characteristics:

− Palmetto ornament;

− Filling the pattern background with circle ornament.

Features of manufacturing technology are not mentioned be the researches. There can be selected only the following from the description [8]:

− Pressing (is used to describe the belt pads, probably assumed manufacturing of products with a predetermined die and soldering pins);

− Manufacturing by means of casting;

− Gold planting of ornament background or the entire surface by amalgamation;

− Calking.

Views on the Analysis of Belt Sets’ Finds

Here is a description and analysis of a number belt sets’ finds of "Hungarian style" of some treasures and sepulchers from Perm Urals. As a source, there have been involved belt sets of Redikor treasures from the modern Cherdyn district of the Perm region. Redikor village is famous for its treasures and archaeological sites [9,10]. Near the village and in the village itself, there is located a Redikor settlement and a sepulcher of the same name, and Redikor and Gorbunov Ancient Settlements of the Middle Ages. In 1883, near the Redikor village and Gorbunov Ancient Settlement there was found a treasure consisting of a silver cauldron with 34 silver torques of "Glazov" type (IX-X centuries.) [8,11,12]. In 1949, a monetary treasure was found not far from Redikor Ancient Settlement. The treasure consists of 216 Samanid dirhems of IX-X centuries. In 1929 during the renovation of road, about 1 km north from Redikor sepulcher, there was discovered a treasure of copper-bronze idols of Perm animal style (33 copies). The largest treasure was found in 1908 while plowing new field near the Ridikor village [2,3,13]. The treasure consists of a large number of silver and bronze jewelry (earring, rich belt sets, a large number of beads and noisy drops), in 1909, it was distributed among a number of museums; a number of subjects, including belt sets, is stored in the State Hermitage Museum [14]. It is likely that treasures, except idols, are either clan or merchant treasures or are traces of pagan sanctuaries.

Fettih N. directly attributed the belt sets’ elements of Redikor treasure to the objects of "Old Magyar Group of Monuments" [1].

Artifacts are represented by two types of pads (the State Hermitage Museum Fund, Redikor treasure, 1909, accession number 535/39, 535/40) [15].

The first type of Redikor pad is represented by three silver gold planting belt pads of arched shape with a rectangular slot in the bottom (Figure 1/13-15). The artifacts are floriated (shamrock), there is a border pattern on the edge of the pad – alternating ovals. On the back of the artifact, there are pins to fix the pads with leather. The artifacts are casted in double-fold loam molds on product or model reprint. The front side of the pad is gold planted by means of amalgamation [16-21].


Figure 1: Belt sets’ elements of Redikor treasure.

Nineteen silver gold planting belt pads of sub-triangular shape (Figure 1/1-12) represent the second type. Artifacts are floriated (shamrock there is a border pattern on the edge of the pad – alternating ovals and double circles. The back of each pad is arranged with three pins to fixing with leather belt. Pins of certain artifacts have small plates that were cut from a thin sheet of silver and planted on the pins to fix the pads with leather belt better. The pads were cast in double-fold loam molds on product or model reprint. The front side of the pad is gold planted by means of amalgamation [16-21].

Representation of Belt Sets of "Old Hungarian Circle"

The following belt sets attributable to "Old Hungarian Circle" come from the Bayanovsky sepulcher [7,8].

The first one is discovered in a burial 279, dated by the first half of the X century [7]. The burial belonged to a man, who died at the age of 20-30. Belt set consists of a buckle, two types of pads and a belt tip (Figure 1).

Buckle is compound, gimbaled with a frame and prong; the frame is lyre-shape, decorated with geometric ornament. Buckle front has an ornamented of alternating ovals at the edge and a number of alternating rectangles. In the center is floriated. All the elements of the buckle are casted in double-fold loam molds made of sweeps or product reprint.

The belt tip is U-shaped with shamrock ornaments or ornithomorphic elements (Figure 2/28). The border is decorated with border ornament patterns – alternating ovals and double circles. The belt tip is unitarily casted in double-fold loam molds made of sweeps or product reprint. The background of shamrocks and ornithomorphic elements is gold planted by means of amalgamation. On the reverse side of the tip, there are five pins to fix the artifact to leather.


Figure 2: Belt sets’ elements of burial 279 of Bayanovsky sepulcher.

Cover plates for belt decoration are of two types. The first type (Figure 3/2-13; 16 copies) – belt pad of oval shape, floriated at the bottom with a loop for a ring to hang. The second type (Figure 3/14-27; 17 copies) – floriated pentagonal pad. These artifacts have stylistic similarities. Pads’ border of these types is decorated with alternating ovals without a core. The central part of a pad is floriated in a same way – symmetrically. Background of floriated ornaments on the front of pad is gold planted. The back of each pad is arranged with three pins to fix the pads with leather.


Figure 3: Belt sets’ elements of burial 357 of Bayanovsky sepulcher.

The second belt set is from burial 357 of Bayanovsky sepulcher, by the first half of X century [8]. The burial belonged to a man, who died at the age of 18-25. Belt set includes a buckle, buckle tip and three types of pads (Figure 3).

Two-part buckle of a belt set is small with an oval frame and without any ornament on the front of the buckle. The buckle is unitarily casted. The buckle front is mechanically modified (filing) at the edges.

The belt tip consists of two parts. Base – the outer part of the tip – the backing plate (backside of the tip) (Figure 3/15,16). Base of the tip is floriated with a shamrock in its central part. The belt border is straight. The tip is made by means of casting in double-fold loam molds on product or model reprint. After casting ornament has been improved – its contours are improved by means of a sharp object (cutter). On the reverse side of the tip, there are five pins to fix the product to the leather.

The backing plate was cut from a thin metal sheet. There were no places for pins that were tapped, but they were cut along the contour.

Pads of this belt set are represented in three different types. They are different in shape and the main central ornament. A single design border and the same sectional ornament in the form of alternating ovals and circles unite them.

The first type – 15 copies (Figure 3/1-7,19): pads of sub-triangular shape with the central element of the ornament – trefoil.

The second type – 2 copies (Figure 3/17,18): pads of semi-circular shape with a semicircular slit in the center.

The third type – 10 copies (Figure 3/8-14): two-part pads in the form of figure flap with a loop and a ring on it. Pad’s flap is decorated with anthropomorphic ornaments in the form of a man sitting with his legs crossed. The base of this two-part pad (flap with a loop and a ring on it) is unitarily casted. After casting, the ornament of certain pads was mechanically modified by means of a sharp object (cutter).

Thus, belt sets of Perm Urals attributed to the "Artefacts of Hungarian style" have the following characteristic stylistic and technical features, except the ones mentioned above:

— Casting in double-fold loam molds on product or model reprint or by means of a sweep;

— Gold planting of ornament background or the of entire front surface by means amalgamation;

— Making belt sets’ elements floriated (shamrocks) or covered with ornithomorphic and anthropomorphic elements;

— Edging belt sets’ elements by means of border ornament patterns (alternating ovals and circles);

— Ornament improvement by means of a cutter; manufacture by an alloy with a high grade of silver.


Now, it is possible to make many analogies to described belt sets’ elements from a wide area. These are single discoveries in Mordovia and Mari El Volga region, on the North Caucasus, numerous finds in sepulchers of early Volga Bulgariam in different sepulchers and settlements on the discovery" territory of Moldova and Ukraine, and in sepulchers of the Hungarian "period of homeland.

However, these analogies will concern or only the external form of artifacts, or their stylistic. To answer the questions about the place of manufacture of artifacts related to Old Hungarian history, their distribution and modification; to make a more clear definition of "Old Hungarian" style and its regional features, the method external analogies is not the only method we need. There must be a results’ comparison of comprehensive analysis (including technical and technological parallels) "similar" in style or form of artifacts made of metal attributed to the "Hungarian (Magyar) circle" from the territories of "Hungarian homeland discovery".

Concentration of belt sets finds in burial monuments of the IX-X centuries in Perm Urals indicates that this area may be included in the composition of Hungarian land before they left to the West that remained part of Old Hungarian tribes or their relatives. These areas according to the Hungarian historical tradition received the name Magna Hungaria (Great Hungary). Russian researchers relate to them the land of the South Urals (Bashkiria), the left bank of the lower Kama (Tatarstan), Southern Urals and part of the eastern side hills of the Urals; part of Hungarian researchers believe that Magna Hungaria was in the Volga-Kama basin, while others relate to them the Southern Urals.

This article may be a theoretical source for further research on the history of the Hungarians, in particular, the migration track to their current territory.


This work was supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research Grant №16-46-590325 “Medieval Hungary and the Urals (based on metal jewelry)”; Project of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation №1091 “Craft work of Perm Urals in the Middle Ages”.

The authors appreciate Ph.D. Shablavina E.A. for the opportunity to get acquainted with the objects of Redikor treasure in the funds of the State Hermitage Museum.


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