Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thracian Gold

David Beard's Archaeology in Europe page just published a link to an article about a 2,400 year old horde of golden jewelry recently found by archaeologists in Bulgaria.

The find appears to be a cremation grave. It consisted of the remains of a wooden box containing charred bones and ash--and a large number of pieces of golden jewelry dating from the end of the 4th century BCE and the beginning of the 3rd century BCE.  The items appear to have been wrapped in a cloth that was woven with gold (judging by the gold threads that were also found in the vicinity. According to the article:
They include four spiral gold bracelets, and a number of intricate applications like one which shows the head of a female goddess adorned with beads, applications on horse riding gear and a forehead covering in the shape of a horse head with a base shaped like a lion head. ... The precious find also contains a ring, buttons and beads.
The golden items together weigh approximately 1.5 kg, and excavations continue.  Professor Diana Gergova of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, who is in charge of the excavation, believes that the grave may be part of a large burial ground "related to the funeral of the Gath ruler Kotela, one of the father-in-laws of Philip II of Macedon."

Hopefully, this excavation is just the beginning of an avenue of research that should substantially increase our knowledge of burial customs and costumes worn by wealthy leaders of a Thracian tribe known as the Getae. I intend to keep an eye out for further information about this astounding and unique find.


  1. Hi Cathy,
    Here's a link to a few pictures. Excellent quality preservation and workmanship, both!

  2. Hi, Mae Ling! Welcome! And thanks; the pictures on the National Geographic site are great!