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Currently shown

Ornamental Belt Plaque: Animal Combat

Location

MONGOLIA or NORTHERN CHINA

Title

Ornamental Belt Plaque: Animal Combat

Date

4th-3rd c. B.C.E.

Materials

Bronze

Dimensions

15.2 x 8.2 cm

Credits

Gift of Miss Mabel Molson, inv. 1930.Dm.1

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

This ornamental belt plaque shows a combat scene between a stag and two felines. The ungulate’s long antlers extend into sinuous birds’ head designs. Belt plaques like this one were originally created in pairs. The decoration is drawn from the iconography of the steppe nomads. During the second and first millennia B.C.E., the animal combat motif appeared in different forms throughout Western and Central Asia, from the Sarmatian region north of the Black Sea to southern Siberia, Mongolia and northern China. Drawing upon this motif from their neighbours, Chinese artisans developed a rich repertoire of animal forms, as seen in the bronze fittings they made for furniture, weapons, chariots and combat attire.

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