Gold Waist Belt from Geumgwanchong Tomb

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Gold Waist Belt from Geumgwanchong Tomb


Name: Gold Waist Belt from Geumgwanchong Tomb. Period: Silla Period. Location: Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang. Status: National Treasure No. 88

Discovered in an old Silla tomb called Geumgwanchong (“Gold Crown Tomb”) located in Noseo-dong, Gyeongju, this gold waist belt consists of square gold plaques once attached to a fabric waistband with various decorative ornaments - made mostly of pure gold.

This rare ornamental item is known to have been related to an ancient tradition wherein people carried their precious ornamental and practical objects, such as jade pendants, knives, flint and tweezers, by hanging them on their waistband. When the tradition was adopted for the court uniforms of Baekje and Silla, officials wore belts with different numbers of chain ornaments according to their status and position.

This particular belt consists of 39 plaques made of pure gold. It measures 109 centimeters (43 inches) in length, with chain ornaments as long as 54.4 centimeters. The square gold plaques are further embellished with tiny circular gold leaves attached with gold wires; most of the hanging ornaments have a symbolic pendant at the end.

Both the plaques and the hanging ornaments exhibit excellent workmanship.

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