Saturday, March 26, 2011

Thracian Gold

As more and more gold treasure comes from the ground in Bulgaria, buried in the tombs of Thracian kings and nobles in the third and fourth centuries BC, it is hard to keep up with these spectacular discoveries. This web site has a spectacular collection of photographs.


David said...

That head is something. Is it genuine? It just doesn't look like I would expect an ancient piece to look; but I know little. Which site is it from?

John said...

The image is from National Geographic:

And this is what the text says:

A noble head cast in bronze, likely severed from a life-size statue, was buried in front of the entrance to a Thracian stone tomb in the late fourth century B.C. Unearthed in 2004 as archaeologist Georgi Kitov began to excavate the site, near the town of Kazanluk, the finely rendered portrait offered Kitov his first hint that he was onto something extraordinary. Inside the burial chamber lay a fabulous array of royal artifacts, many of gold-a crown of delicate oak leaves and acorns, a drinking bowl, gold fibers from a carpet, and more. Inscriptions on three artifacts identify the deceased: Seuthes III, a tribal king of the Thracians.

So the sculpture could be a Hellenistic Greek work, and in that context it is perhaps not so unusual. But it certainly is striking, which is why I included it.