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Late Roman belt
Theres no reason to limit yourself in materials or technigues, lost wax is good for castings with undercuts effectivly there would be no seams but is time consuming for complex objects unless you can produce the waxes by casting them, for mass production the moulds themselves may have been two piece and used more then once for some items(clay moulds are no good for casting wax), see Tortoise brooch moulds in "Ribe Excavations 1970-76"(again early Medieval but some mention is made of similar iron age moulds)
Masters could be made for press moulding in any easily worked material, any kind of metal although lead/alloy is the most obvious, any finished bronze item without undercuts could act as a master, some kinds of wood, bone, Antler(including moulds), some kinds of wax, some types of stone, soapstone is good for some basic shapes(also for basic moulds)
In more recent times slate was used for moulds for highly detailed white metal flats(two dimensional toy soldiers), this method is at least as old as the Viking age town of Birka... and not forgetting cuttlefish bone...
But some materials are obviously more suited to the work depending on their availability, what you want to produce and what is known to exist in the archaeology.
Ivor

"And the four bare walls stand on the seashore. a wreck a skeleton a monument of that instability and vicissitude to which all things human are subject. Not a dwelling within sight, and the farm labourer, and curious traveller, are the only persons that ever visit the scene where once so many thousands were congregated." T.Lewin 1867
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As I'm beginning work on a Late Roman belt, I thought I would put forward my conclusion in regards to the belt plate placement. I know there has been much said over time regarding their placements etc., however I do believe that the key in this whole matter are the rivets attached to the plates (to determine leather thickness). This IMO can give one some logical plate placements, and easily eliminate other layouts that have been presented in the past. both here on RAT, at museums and literature. Part of the difficulty has been a lack of recent work on these belts, and access to complete sets with the majority of their rivets intact (many are found without the rivets)

Interestingly enough my conclusion that the belt plates were placed to the right of the buckle based on my analysis of an original set of plate rivets, was ultimately and coincidentally supported with prior independent research. I noticed that many sources on Late Roman belt plate were referencing material written by Horst BOHME "Geranische Grabfunde Des 4. bis 5. Jahrhunderts" . I picked up this book, and although in German it has an extensive study of this period, and has a large section on these belts. The argued reconstruction is as follows:

[attachment=6180]Belt-reconstruction.jpg[/attachment]

When I looked further at the references for that reconstruction I found that it was based on a detailed study of a large number of grave finds and belt pieces by J.YPEY "Zur Tragweise fruhfrankische Gurtelgarniturn auf grund niderlandische befunde" 1969. YPEY used a detailed analysis of the length of the rivets on the belt plates to make a logical reconstruction.

Up to this point, this along with my own research was the only material I found that actually tried to support the layout with some empirical data. Everyone else seemed to simply copy museum layouts, other authors etc.

Below is a long winded, yet detailed explanation of the analysis of the rivet lengths(and therefore leather thickness) of an original belt set (as seen in the photo below).

Analysis

When the two triangular plates are laid out on this belt set, they clearly indicate thicker leather than the main buckle piece. Also the one end of one triangular plate has very small gaps in the rivets (more than 1/2 as thick).

This can be logically explained by a system where by the main leather belt goes around the body and has the main buckle plate attached at one end.

Near to the part where the leather ends would join again, a second piece of leather is added. This leather piece runs along in behind the second and continues to act as a "backing" to the where the two belt ends join at the buckle.

The first triangular buckle attaches through both these two layers of leather (4 rivets). The second triangular plate attached through both layers (2) at the beginning (2 rivets), and then only through the top layer, which has now been cut and shaped to the plate and forms the long tie section with the attaching decoration tip. This section then feed through the opening in the buckle plate (from behind) and then continued on through the vertical slide then looping over/around the main belt as in sculptural/pictorial evidence suggests.

I also suggested a division in the top layer of leather between the two triangular belt plates, which differs slightly from YPEY reconstruction. I did this because I felt that the curled over end portion would interfere with attaching to the leather, if they did not overhang the edge, like the main buckle plate rounded end does. This I believe would also allow a natural crease to occur at that location allowing for the belt to curve to the rounded mid section. I also proposed that the original belt plates I looked at had the one triangular belt plate 2 end rivets only go through the first layer of leather (due to the rivet thickness). I think this would also allow that section to flex outward from the belt, again increasing flex in feeding that thin strip through the buckle.


[attachment=6181]BeltSetupdiagram.jpg[/attachment]


I'll let you know how my reconstruction follows once I work on having belt plates made.....


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Markus Aurelius Montanvs
What we do in life Echoes in Eternity

Roman Artifacts
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Good research is obviously underway. Looking forward to seeing how this all works out. Do you need sources for the belt plates and stiffeners?
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
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Quote:Do you need sources for the belt plates and stiffeners?

I think I'm good right now. I'm going to try and copy the original belt plates in the image above, as they are a little different than most out there. I'll probably try and make the stiffeners after this example from the British Museum.
[attachment=6213]AN00568600_001_l-6.4cm.jpg[/attachment]


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Markus Aurelius Montanvs
What we do in life Echoes in Eternity

Roman Artifacts
[Image: websitepic.jpg]
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Very nice! If you decide not to make them yourself, I have a number of spare belt stiffeners like the ones below. They are made of silvered brass.

[Image: Shiledandsword004.jpg]
[Image: wip2_r1_c1-1-1.jpg] [Image: Comitatuslogo3.jpg]


aka Paul B, moderator
http://www.romanarmy.net/auxilia.htm
Moderation in all things
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Very interesting study Markus! My belt is a mirror image of that drawing, but with different solutions for the plate attachment. But yours looks like it could be the more practical one, indeed.
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
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Markus, your belt is going to be a real show piece. Looking forward to seeing the completed object. Are you commissioning the belt stiffeners, or are you making them yourself?

Caballo, I really like your slitted leather for the sword attachment. Simple and effective.
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
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Found this picture of a nice set of plates with interesting stiffeners, from Salzburg. Don't think I've seen them before.



[attachment=6374]Salzburgbelt.JPG[/attachment]


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"Medicus" Matt Bunker

[size=150:1m4mc8o1]WURSTWASSER![/size]
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Just came across this other original example of a Late Roman chip carved belt. It is clear as well on the placement of the plates, and mirrors the previous original examples shown, and corresponds to the measurement of the rivet lengths.

Anyhow ,IMO this provides some clarity on the placement of these plates and should help provide some evidence for the wide range of ways these plates have been placed on reproductions.
[attachment=8905]LaterRomanbelt.jpg[/attachment]


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Markus Aurelius Montanvs
What we do in life Echoes in Eternity

Roman Artifacts
[Image: websitepic.jpg]
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Thinking of Late Roman Belts, here is mine, reconstructed using plates I purchased from Raymond's Quiet Press:

[attachment=8925]DSCF0096.JPG[/attachment]

[attachment=8921]DSCF0098.JPG[/attachment]

[attachment=8922]DSCF0100.JPG[/attachment]

[attachment=8923]DSCF0097.JPG[/attachment]

Unfortunately it came with split rivets; I didn't know that, but as nobody is ever going to see the back of the belt, I don't see a problem for the most part.

[attachment=8924]DSCF0101.JPG[/attachment]

I am considering drilling them out and replacing them with some solid rivets, but time is an issue here.

@Markus

Any images of your reconstruction? How's it coming so far?


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Quote:Any images of your reconstruction? How's it coming so far?

It still in the starting stages. Have been side tracked with putting together a Spatha and possibly a Spangenhelm.
Markus Aurelius Montanvs
What we do in life Echoes in Eternity

Roman Artifacts
[Image: websitepic.jpg]
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Ooh, looking forward to that!

Thinking of Spathae, what kind is it?
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Quote:Thinking of Spathae, what kind is it?

I'm probably going to make two and sell one. Liebenau sword will probably be the first one, on a nice 4 bar twisted pattern welded blade, second one I'm not sure yet, but the blade will be a 4 fuller one with a nice 2 bar twist pattern weld. They will take some time to complete, but it will be a fun project.
Markus Aurelius Montanvs
What we do in life Echoes in Eternity

Roman Artifacts
[Image: websitepic.jpg]
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