Belt card

Belt

1966.353
Villanovan girdle, probably had leather backing, but now preserves only the bronze front panel. Still bent from being fastened around waist of a body. Girdle is widest at front, tapering to ends; one end tapers to a thin point curved into a single hook, the other widens into a rectangle, the upper and lower edges of which are rolled to the back (probably crimped over the leather backing). The rectangular end has two round holes arranged vertically, thus not corresponding to the hooked end, which presumably fastened to a lost leather or other segment. The edges of the girdle, except for the ends, are everted to the front surface which is covered in decoration: three vertical, central rows of three small bosses, and a single boss at each end. Incised decoration appears to have been executed before the bosses were beaten up from the back: concentric circles around each boss, outlines around the edges of the belt, and assorted borders (wolf's teeth, irregular step meander, herringbone) forming panels which contain swastikas of assorted sizes, and crosses with points attached by parallel lines, forming a diamond figure. Bronze girdles such as this are common in women's burials of the Villanovan II period; the bronze panel covered the front of the costume and leather or cloth was used to finish the belt in the back. At Veii, excavators found that lozenge-shaped belts were not usually fastened on the body for burial, but were laid over or beside it, or placed inside the urn for burial.