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Collections / Ricerca / Etruscan Collection: Villanovan phase (900-680 B.C.)

Bronze belt plaque

These belt plaques are rarely attested within the female graves of Bologna; in fact are objects particularly refined, more frequently attested in Southern Etruria and perhaps produced at Veio.

More info

The function of belts in female clothing as a sign of prestige is clearly attested by ancient sources. Homer made broad use of the epithet “with a smart belt”, mentioning goddesses and noble women. Apart from highlighting the rank of the wearer, this ornament presumably drew attention to the fact that he or she was in a particular status. The solar disc, along with stylised heads of birds, is the predominant motif of the decoration, which is mostly geometric. This motif symbolises the boat pulled by waterfowls that brought the Sun across the waters of River Ocean back to the place where it was to rise again. These adornments with a sacred connotation, in all likelihood, were intended for protection.

Provenance: Bologna, Benacci Necropolis, tomb 543
Datation: 800 - 760 B.C.
Material: Bronze
Dimensions: Lenght: 47,5 cm.
Inventory #: 15014

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