An attempt of a synthetic approach to the finds of Iron-Age astragaloid belts
Покушај синтезе налаза гвозденодобних астрагалоидних појасева
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A peculiarity of Iron-Age astragaloid belts, the typological and stylistic analysis of which was carried out more than thirty years ago, is in that their use can be observed over the period from the sixth to first centuries BC. This paper deals with the published Hallstatt and La Tene material from 38 domestic sites. Having in mind the long-term use of such belts, their typological and stylistic features do not seem to be very sensitive in terms of chronology, so the classification has been based on the existing chronological assessments. To the older, Late Hallstatt type of astragaloid belts, occurring in the territory of central and northern Bosnia, western Serbia and northern Montenegro, belong the finds related to the Glasinac Srem and Dalj groups. The Glasinac group belts are characterized by having three or four astragaloid joints and a three-or five-hoop clasp with the decoration reduced to pendants attached to hoops. Analogies are to be found in Albania, within the Glasinac-Mat...i cultural complex. The Srem and Dalj types commonly have lour joints and invariable three-loop ending of the clasp. There predominate examples with ornaments executed in several techniques and a wider range of motifs. Parallels are concentrated in Danubian Hungary. The younger, La Tene group of astragaloid belts, ocurring in the Pannonian and Danubian regions and only rarely crossing the Danube-Sava line towards Bačka. Banat and Šumadija, comprises the Slavonian (Osijek) and Serbian (Belgrade, the Danube basin, Šumadija) types characterized by three or four joints in the form of an astragal and a one-hoop clasp. Besides the specimens decorated in the technique of engraving and with the favoured motif of oblique and horizontal lines, examples lacking any decoration also occur. Numerous analogies can be found in western Hungary, and sporadic in Morava. The appearance of astragaloid belts in the middle or the latter half of the sixth century BC immediately precedes that of so-called princely tombs, which manifest the peak of power of tribal aristocracies. This interval of a few decades between the appearance of astragaloid belts and that of princely tombs seems to have been sufficient for the process of the rise of tribal aristocracy to culminate in the of individuals enjoying special social status. Viewed within a broader, social context, and a narrower one, in terms of certain aesthetic and practical qualities, the use of astragaloid bells may be interpreted in the following way: during the Late Hallstatt period aristocratic women adorned themselves with them, whereas La Tene forms already reached other strata of the society. Having in mind the long use of astragaloid belts in a delimited area comprising the central Balkans and the Pannonian-Danubian regions (including sites in western Hungary), and their only sporadic occurrence beyond this area (Albania, Morava), perhaps they may be ethnically associated with the Illyrian and Pannonian women, and to a much lesser extent with those of Celtic origin.
Nivo istraženosti astragaloidnih pojaseva,kao posebnih vidova gvozdenodobne materijalne kulture još uvek ne pruža dovoljno podataka za konačne zaključke. Uočene su relativno male promene stilsko-tipoloških odlika ove vrete materijala dok je dugotrajnost njegove upotrebe hronološki procenjena pa period od preko 600 godina poslednjeg milenijuma stare ere. Razlog viševekovne popularnosti astragaloidnih pojassva svakako bi trebalo tražiti u socijalnom kontekstu gvozdenog doba centralnog i zapadnog Balkana, obeleženom odvijanjem paralelnih procesa: nastajanja većih plemenskih grupa i socijalnih diferencijacija.