While the number of Early Iron Age mounds excavated in the Western Siberian forest-steppe is considerable, due to the fact that most burials have been looted, as a rule only separate belt parts have been preserved. Therefore, the remains of woven belts found in mound 7 at Chepkul-5 burial ground in the Tobol River basin are highly relevant to the study of such artifacts. In the present article, the belts are described within the context of the entire assemblage and the planigraphy and stratigraphy of the fi nds are assessed. The burial rite and the artifacts recorded suggest that the woven belts as well as the entire assemblage should be attributed to the Sargat culture and dated to within the 3rd century BC – 1st century AD. Samples of textile were analyzed using science-based methods, and the technology of their manufacture reconstructed. The comparison of the Sargat assemblage with other Iron Age burials makes it possible to assess the signifi cance of the belt in the costume of buried women and to give a detailed description of the appearance of such belts at the time of burial.
Keywords: Chepkul-9, Sargat culture, ancient textile, woven belts, pileless carpet kilim, wool, vegetable fi bers.