The Ordos culture refers to groups of nomadic
that inhabited the southern Mongolian Plateau as
as the Shang Dynasty. Though they lived along
western and northern perimeters of the main
Dynasty settlements, they retained a distinctive
culture more alligned with the Scythian peoples
Steppes than their Chinese neighbors. They are
primarily through their metalwork. Many of the
plaques, horse gear, and weapons that have been
depict scenes of animals in combat. Such
linked to the ancient Near Eastern tradition.
the Han Dynasty, the Chinese formulated peace
with the Xiongnu peoples who were the
of the Ordos region at this time. Xiongnu tombs
been excavated in Mongolia that contained
luxury goods such as silk and bronze mirrors
their own bronze works. This bronze belt plaque
perfect example of the Ordus style. A scene
a pair of animals in combat decorates the front.
mythological beast that may well be a dragon
what appears to be a ram, biting it on the neck.
is likely that this work was originally gilt, though
the surface now has a lovely patina that testifies