The abstracts are arranged alphabetically after the family name of the first author and numbered consecutively. Their numbers appear also in the list of authors.


1.      Once again on EIA Chronology at the Lower Danube

Sorin-Cristian Ailincai

EIA at the Lower Danube is best known due to the research from the mid 20th century at sites ascribed to Babadag culture (in Dobrudja, southern Moldavia and eastern Wallachia). This cultural manifestation, defined by Dr. Sebastian Morintz, was dated from the end of 11th century to the late 8th century/early 7th century B.C. The dating was subject to many discussions and theories regarding its ”ties” with the Late Bronze Age cultures (Coslogeni, Noua, etc.) and with the first Greek colonists who arrived on the west coast of the Black Sea in the middle of the 7th century B.C. The new archaeological investigations at sites like Babadag or Enisala-Palanca, supported by modern dating methods (C14), have brought new signficant data regarding the evolution of the human communities at the Lower Danube in the Iron Age.


2.      Reinvestigation of Vize A Tumulus in Southeastern Thrace (poster)

Zeki Mete Aksan

The tumuli excavated by Arif Müfid Mansel in southeastern Thrace more than 80 years ago, have been reinvestigated as part of my doctoral thesis in 2015. Architectural remains and grave goods within Vize A tumulus in Bizye, the capital city of the Thracian Kingdom in the Roman Period, all point to a kingly burial, making the burial prominent among others.

There are several targets of this paper. First of all, it is aimed to present the burial in Vize A tumulus which contains a sarcophagus within a burial chamber. Function and meaning of the artifacts both in and out of the sarcophagus will be discussed and cultural influences will be determined based on archaeological data. Suggestions will be made regarding the owner of the burial based on archaeological evidence and also historical data. The problems of interpretation of the burial within the tumulus will also be discussed.


3.      Baley Necropolis and the Problems of the Appearance and Development of the “Grooved” Decoration in the Western Part of the Lower Danube Region

Stefan Alexandrov, Georgi Ivanov, Tanya Hristova

The second millennium BC necropolis at Baley revealed so far 61 cremation graves and 3 features connected to the mortuary practices. The main ritual was cremation outside the boundaries of the necropolis. Four chronological groups in the necropolis have been established: Middle Bronze Age; Late Bronze Age - 1; Late Bronze Age - 2; Late Bronze Age - 3/Early Iron Age. The mortuary practices presented at groups 2 and 3 include only amphorae used as urns while the graves included in group 4 show a particular change in the ritual – with adding large bowls (up to 3 in number), and even double vessels used as containers for the burnt bones.

The pottery from that group is decorated exclusively with grooves. In both necropolis and settlement a gradual development of the “grooved” decoration techniques and patterns is to be observed. This gradual development is connected to a gradual change of the pottery shapes as well. Levels III-II from the settlement (related to the Encrusted Pottery Culture) and the respective features from the necropolis show a co-existence of “rounded” and “squared” cups/kantharoi decorated with both encrusted patterns and fine grooves as well as the appearance of some new forms like bi-conical amphorae. Level Ia and the last group of graves ceramic assemblages demonstrate an affiliation with “Bistreţ type” finds and, most of all, with “Vârtop” ware that are generally accepted to represent the end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age, respectively.


4.      Memories in Stone: Figured Grave Reliefs from Aegean Thrace in the Late Hellenistic and Roman Eras

Dimitra Andrianou

The body of funerary reliefs found in Aegean Thrace, between the Nestos and Hebros rivers, unravels the codes which molded the representation of the dead from the first century B.C. to the third century A.D. Morphological, typological, iconographic and epigraphic analyses provide evidence regarding the social history of the monuments, namely social roles, status and cultural identity, revealing ideas that shaped aesthetic predilections and the choice of self-representation, and provide important evidence concerning the synthesis of the population and the degree of integration of the Thracian substratum. The scientific analysis of the type of marble used for the production of these reliefs points towards centers of manufacture and locally available sources.The surviving decorated funerary stelai from the first century B.C. and the second or third century A.D in Thrace are more numerous than in earlier periods of time. The decoration is drawn from two main themes, namely the funerary banquet, common in Asia Minor and the coast of west Pontos, and the Heros Equitans, a motif widely spread throughout the rest of Thrace. Male figures in the so-called Normaltypus are rare. When inscribed, decorated funerary reliefs preserve Thracian names, either in the purely Thracian onomastic formula or with the adoption of a Roman name as an individual name. In terms of iconography and architectural typology these reliefs conform to types used by the rest of the population (stelai and plaques) and thus no particular decoration or architectural type may be assigned to the Thracian substratum. Themes popular in the Roman repertoire, such as portraits and imagines clipeatae, are not to be found east of the Nestos River. Roman influence is, however, noted along the Hebros River, a route that connected the coast to the hinterland, in the presence of gladiatorial reliefs and one important relief that might have belonged to a cavalryman from an auxiliary troop.


5.      The Power of Images and Ancient Royal Portraiture: a View from Thrace

Zosia Archibald

The discovery, in 2004, of a magnificent bronze portrait head, close to the entrance of the chamber tomb of Golyama Kosmatka tumulus, north-west of Kasanlak, which nestles in the foothills of the Stara Planina range, provided scholars of ancient Thrace with a potentially new type of evidence relating to royal power in the region. The close resemblance between the features of the bronze head, and portraits of Seuthes III on the king’s copper alloy issues, became quickly apparent. Yet, at the time of its discovery, it was by no means easy for students of Classical antiquity to accept all the claims made about this extraordinary find. Original bronze sculptures from the Classical and Hellenistic periods are extremely rare. The best authenticated pieces have been recovered from shipwrecks. Finds from excavations have more often consisted of small fragments of sculpture; rarely of portrait heads. Not surprisingly, there were doubts about the authenticity of this portrait.

Scientific analyses (Lombardi 2009; Saladino 2012-13) have now vindicated many of the claims made by the object’s discoverer, Georgi Kitov. The iconic use of this portrait head in the recent exhibition at the Musée du Louvre seems amply justified. Close study of the artefact’s manufacture and design provide a foundation on which we can begin to consider this sculpture in the context of other, contemporary royal portraits, as well as coin portraits of earlier and later Thracian princes.

The existence of such a royal portrait nevertheless raises many historiographical and semantic questions that have not been asked before. If the bronze head really is a portrait of Seuthes III, which was deliberately cut from a full body representation and buried in the entrance to the king’s own tomb, was the portrait in fact a religious dedication, and the burial of the head a religious act? In view of the probable date of this portrait, should we see any analogies between the divine portraits of Antigonos Monophthalmos or Demetrios Poliorketes, or the Alexander portraits on the silver of Lysimachos (Kroll 2007), and this head of Seuthes III? Should we also reconsider the portraits of earlier Thracian kings and princes in this light? This paper will provide some preliminary answers to these questions.

Kroll, J. 2007. The emergence of Ruler Portraiture on Early Hellenistic Coins. The Importance of being Divine, in: P. Schultz and R. Van den Hoff, eds, Early Hellenistic Portraiture. Image, Style, Context, Cambridge.

Martinez, J.-L. ; A. Baralis, N. Mathieux, T. Stoyanov, M. Tonkova, eds, 2015. L’Épopée des rois thraces, des guerres médiques aux invasions celtes, 479-278 av. J.-C. Découvertes archéologiques en Bulgarie, Paris, Musée du Louvre, 2015, 119, Cat. 82.

Lombardi, G. 2009. The casting core composition and provenance of the Goljama Kosmatka (Bulgaria) bronze head, Journal of Archaeological Science 36, 520-27.

Saladino, V. 2012-13. Il ritratto di Seuthes III. Con un appendice di Edilberto Formigli, Jahrbuch des deutschen archäologischen Instituts, 127-128, 125-206.


6.      A Thracian Tomb in Egypt? (poster)

Vessela Atanassova

For more than twenty-five years the Franco-Egyptian mission has excavated the Persian fortress of Tell el-Herr in Sinai in north-eastern Egypt. According to their research the use of the site continues for nearly a millennium: from the 5th century BC to the 5th century AD. Two fortress walls enclosed a 2,16-ha area which housed a large number of residential and storage buildings. The first fortress wall was built in the early 5th century BC in a period when Egypt became an Achaemenid satrapy. It was built probably by the Achaemenid rulers to control the new Egyptian satrapy or to quell riots at the end of the reign of Darius I. The second wall was erected shortly thereafter (at the end of the 5th century BC).

In 2010 the research mission encountered unusual building called by its discoverers the "Hypogeum" and dated to the first half of the 5th century BC. The building is oriented north-south and is about 20m long. It consists of a round room with a dome almost entirely dug into the ground and a long staircase of two parts separated by landing. The displacement between the top of the stairs and the floor of the domed room is nearly 5m. The entire building was constructed in a pit dug in the sand. The walls are built mainly of rectangular gray unbaked bricks and deprived of any mortar. There are no traces of a burial. Despite this the archaeologists of the site compare the building with the famous Thracian tomb near the village of Mezek because of its long corridor and round domed room. We know that Thracians were employed in the Persian army and reached Egypt. So, is it possible that Thracian commander who settled in Sinai while serving the Persian army built the Hypogeum?


7.      Das Heiligtum der Hera/ Kybele und des Asklepios als zwei bedeutende Kultplätze der Stadt Heraion Teikhos

Neşe Atik

Heraion Teikhos liegt an der Propontis (am Marmarameer) und gilt als eine thrakische Stadt. Durch archaeologische Ausgrabungen wurden auf der Akropolis zwei Kultplätze lokalisiert, die eine groβe Bedeutung für das Odryssenreich getragen haben muss.

Das ältere Heiligtum liegt im Nordostteil der Akropolis, am höchsten Ort der Stadt und war der Hera/Kybele-Kult geweiht. Nachdem das Heiligtum der Hera/Kybele ihre Bedeutung verloren hatte, verbreitete sich das Heiligtum des Asklepios, das ein Kult- und Heilplatz war, auf der ganzen Akropolis.

Der Kult und die Rituale des Heiligtums der Hera/Kybele in Heraion Teikhos ist mit Hilfe der archäologischen Gegenstände rekonstruierbar. Die Architekturreste und die Kleinfunde lassen sich ab dem 7. Jh. v. Chr. Bis zum 2. Jh. v. Chr. nachweisen. Vor der Auswanderung der Griechen war die Göttin-Kybele, die wichtigste Gottheit in Anatolien. Jedoch wurde die Stadt Heraion Teikhos, die bereits vorher gegründet wurde, wie ihr Name bereits hindeutet, etwa im 8/7. Jh. v. Chr. erneut besiedelt, also während der griechischen Kolonisationzeit durch die Samier. Aus diesem Grund müsste die Urgöttin in Anatolien mit der Hauptgöttin der Samier in Berührung gekommen sein. Die Thraker, wie schon bekannt, übernahmen etwa in selber Zeit viele griechische Götter bzw. Göttinnen aus dem griechischen Pantheon, darunter Hera. Es fehlen allerdings schriftliche Belege darüber, ob die Thraker die Göttin Hera der eigenen Muttergöttin gleichgestellt haben.

Die Muttergöttin der Stadt Heraion Teikhos ist mit tönernen Figuren vertreten. Stehende, sitzende bzw. thronende Göttinnen weisen formenmäβig auf anatolische und griechische Göttinnen hin. Wie hellenistische Exemplare, die auf dem Schoβ der Figur mit Löwen dargestellt sind deutlich machen, so setzt sich inhaltsmäβig die Muttergöttin in Anatolien vermutlich fort, die seit dem Neolitikum bekannt ist.

Der anatolische/griechische/thrakische Hera/Kybele-Kult in Heraion Teikhos weist, wie die Funde belegen, thrakische Kultrituale auf dem Kultplatz nach. Wie z.B. Essenvorbereitung bzw. -verteilung im Ort und auf dem Platz. Da thrakische Sitten und Bräuche und  die Praktizierung der thrakischen Rituale anders als zeitgenössische Kulturen sind, weihen die Gestaltung der Architekturreste bzw. der Bauphasen das Heiligtum der Hera/Kybele alle bekannten anatolischen/griechischen Heiligtümer ab.

Nachdem das Heiligtum der Hera/Kybele ihre Bedeutung in der Stadt verloren hatte, wurde das Heiligtum des Asklepios etwa im 1. Jh. v. Chr. gegründet. Das Heiligtum lag im westlichen Teil der Akropolis. Im Laufe der Zeit, spätestens in der Zeit des Kaisers Nero, breitete sich die Anlage auf der ganzen Akropolis aus. Die Ruinen des Heiligtums der Hera/Kybele, die durch eine Brandkatastrophe zerstört worden waren, dienten als Räumlichkeiten zur Medizinherstellung. Die Medizinherstellung, sowie medizinische Geräte und die Weihgaben in Form der Organe zeigen, dass das Heiligtum des Asklepios, sowohl ein Kult als auch ein Heilort war. Wie lange der Kult des Asklepios für die Stadt bzw. für die Umgebung eine Rolle gespielt hat, ist unklar, weil die Akropolis in moderner Zeit zum Teil zerstört worden ist.

Ähnliche Beispiele der Weihgaben und der medizinischen Geräte waren in der Antike zwar sehr verbreitet, jedoch werfen die Benutzung von Murex-Muscheln und die dazugehörigen Murex-Öfen im Heiligtum des Asklepios ein neues Licht auf den thrakischen Alltag und deren Glaube.

Heraion Teikhos war durch den Handelsverkehr eine wohlhabende thrakische Hafenstadt und bildete ein wichtiges Zentrum in Bezug auf Kultrituale. Die Ausgrabungen auf der Akropolis der Stadt Heraion Teikhos im Rahmen der obengenannten Kultplätze sind von großer Bedeutung für die Forschung hinsichtlich des thrakischen Religions- und Kultwesens. Jedoch fehlen die wissenschaftlichen Forschungen, aus dem türkischen Teil Thrakiens. Aus diesem Grund hat die vorliegende Arbeit das Ziel der Frage nach nachzugehen, ob neuere Erkenntnisse durch die Ausgrabungen auf der Akropolis der Stadt Heraion Teikhos gewonnen werden konnten, in welcher Hinsicht Parallelitäten oder Unterschiede in den beiden Heiligtümern Hera/ Kybele und Asklepios festzustellen sind und wie sich bestimmte Kultrituale oder die die Zubereitung der Arzneimittel näher erklären lassen.


8.      Preliminary Results of the Research Project “Attic Vases in Thrace”: Shapes, Iconography and Findspots

Amalia Avramidou, Despoina Tsiafaki

The research project “Attic Vases in Thrace” began in 2015 with the initial collaboration of the Democritus University of Thrace and the "ATHENA" Research Center, and the subsequent participation of more archaeologists from Greece and beyond. The preliminary results presented here are based exclusively on published painted Attic pottery of the 6th through the 4th c. BCE from sites located in the area that once comprised ancient Thrace. The next step of our research includes the study of unpublished Attic painted vases, as well as the imported black-glaze Attic pottery and its local imitations.

Our preliminary research of Attic black- and red-figure vases allows us to observe certain preferences regarding the shapes, usage, and quantity of pottery discovered at every site. Even though our analysis is at an early stage, we can still create an outline of the types of Attic painted pottery imported into each region, from Thasos and its peraia to Samothrace and the coast, and from the Black Sea colonies to the Thracian inland. The study of vases attributed to well-known Attic vase-painters vis-à-vis their findspots is also instructive because they may contribute in projecting distribution patterns from the coastal colonies to Thracian inland sites, while the perspective of iconography is equally revealing.


9.      A treasure of gold appliques of horse harness from Primorsko

Petar Balabanov, Daniel Pantov

In 2016, as the result of massive looting, rescue archeological excavations have been conducted of the Thracian burial mound in the “Silahlar” area.

The level of the antique terrain has been diligently leveled using clay mixed with pebbles. Below the geometrical center of the mound, a heap of crushed and well-processed stones has been discovered, likely originating from a destroyed orthogonal premise. Quadrae were found among the crushed stone, along one of the surfaces, the line plastering of which has been preserved. An alley covered with a single line of stones continued eastwards. Fragments of human skull and bones scattered over a large surface area have been found on top of them. In the eastern section of the mound, below a large heap of crushed and processed stones, the foundations of a rectangular premise have been uncovered. The floor of the premise has been constructed out of a layer of ceramic fragments, poured with mortar. The preserved parts of the northern and the western walls, and in some places from the ground level, have collapsed in depth due to the settlement of the embankment.

In the course of examining the structure, a total of 40 gold appliques for decoration of a horse harness have been discovered below the floor. Among them are 32 small appliques, in a semi-cylinder form, decorated along its foundations with protruding edges, covered with a belt of notches. The large appliques are 8 in total, four of which are round and are decorated with fretwork, moldings and pseudo-filigree. The decoration of two appliques with elongated form is similar. The central part is a shield covered with ornaments, to which the head of an eagle is attached. A round applique was also placed above the nose of the horse, decorated with moldings.

Together with the gold objects below the northeastern corner stone of the premise, a fully-preserved clay lamp has been found, according to numerous analogies, dated in the period 320 – 280 BC.

In its characteristics, the treasure is closely analogous to similar sets from Ivanski and Sboryanovo. A series of specific features are the evidence of individuality in the creation of the treasure from Primorsko.


10.  The Afterlife Reality. The Early Iron Age Funerary Contexts from Bacea (Romania) (poster)

Ioan Alexandru Bărbat, Cătălin Cristescu

The recent salvage archaeological excavations on the A1 motorway led to the discovery and research of some funerary contexts in the point Sărături near Bacea village, Ilia commune, Hunedoara County. They consist of a cremation urn grave and a cremation grave in a large pit, surrounded by a stone ring. The architecture of the features, the graves’ inventory, as well as the composition of the assemblage allow the dating of the respective findings at the final of the Transylvanian Early Iron Age, towards the end of the 6th-first half of the 5th centuries BC. The present paper explores the significance of the burial complex regarding the identity of the deceased, as revealed by the funerary structures and several details of the rituals performed inside them. We presume that the discoveries from Bacea testify the practice of multiple steps burials at the end of the Early Iron Age in south-western Transylvania.


11.  Thracian sanctuaries' myths and realities

Maguelone Bastide

Anyone getting interested in sanctuaries in Iron Age Thrace, will be struck by the contrast between Greek and Bulgarian literature on that subject. The discrepancy can be explained by the tendency in Northern Greece to study areas around Ancient Greek cities, whereas Bulgarian projects focused on sites without any Greek material are numerous. This opposition is even more striking as we consider cult archaeology. There isn't any study on indigenous cult places in Aegean Thrace, whereas in Bulgaria, several works were recently published addressing that subject, and a database is in the making. We would like to show, through a historiographic study, how contemporary administrative limits came to match with such an archaeological border. We will also suggest other criteria to analyse the local archaeological sites, hoping to enrich our understanding of cult practice, and, more widely, of settlements' dynamics in Iron Age Thrace.


12.  Clay portable hearths/altars in the valley of Chepino (Northwestern Rhodopes) in "Tsepina type" decoration (poster)

Dimitar Bayrakov

The article studies specific clay equipment discovered in the Western Rhodopes during the last few years. It is about so called portable clay hearths/altars for which in Bulgarian archaeological literature have been expressed different views. It is supposed that some of them are used as а permanent inventory in cult practices of many sanctuaries, which is the main reason for calling them "portable altars". On the far side, some of these facilities were found in places in the same area, the character of which is still unclear (villages, shrines), and this poses numerous questions to their researchers.

In the present text the clay equipment is studied as a part of a wider group linked to the static clay altars (decorated or undecorated), but in their opposition they have mobile character and can be moved from one place to another which makes them special and probably is related to their functional qualities.
The geographical context of the examined finds is a limited number of sites in the Western Rhodopes, some of which are nominated as sanctuaries, while others as settlements. The article focuses on the finds from Chepino valley area (Northwestern Rhodopes), which emerged as a specific and special center of their production and probably of their distribution.

The clay equipment has a number of distinctive characteristics in terms of shape and decoration, which permits to classify it in the cultural group "Tsepina" known in the literature under the name "Thracian cult pottery." The examined equipment has a full range of ornamental schemes and application techniques outstanding for the ceramics in this group. Their use in many sanctuaries combined with the rich decoration of various solar signs and symbols indicates that probably in certain areas of the south Thracian lands the religious consciousness of the population facilitates the emergence of specially designed vessels exclusively used for ritual practices, comparable to so called "paraphernalia" in the Crete island sanctuaries or to the Christian church plate. To this type of equipment the portable clay hearths/altars with closed or open cylindrical bottom and sometimes sculpted top with zoomorphic image on top and incised decoration "Tsepina type" have to be added. On the other side, their interpretation uniquely as religious practices items would be problematic when they are found within settlements.


13.  Lykourgos of Thrace, the king of Edonians

Bartłomiej Bednarek

This mythological figure, although quite shadowy, was clearly well known at least to well-educated ancient Greeks of all periods. This results from the popularity of his iconography and brief mentions about him in various literary sources form Homer to Malalas. Most notably, he is mentioned in the fourth stasimon of Sophocles' Antigone and in the Iliad 6.130-40. These two passages are in my opinion crucial to the understanding of the whole Antigone and the Iliad 6. At the same time, the story of Lykourgos is also extremely important for our understanding of Dionysus, since it is the oldest attested story about him. In spite of the fact that many scholars analysed the myth under discussion (as a part of research on the literary texts in which it is incorporated or on Dionysus), no profound and exhaustive study of the figure has been proposed. Moreover, each scholar seems to notice only one (either religious or literary) dimension of the narrative, completely ignoring the other. My overarching goal is to propose a multi-layered survey of the subject matter, starting with a narratological analysis of the Lykourgos passages contextualized within the texts to which it belongs.

At the conference I would like to share with other scholars some parts of my work in progress, focusing on the question as to what degree the mythical Thracian king was actually Thracian. My working hypothesis is that only in the period of Roman domination this figure was adopted by Thracian people, becoming one of possible focal points of their group identity (or identities). Before that time it can be said to have been an exclusive part of the Greek culture. This means that (1) the myth of Lykourgos may have had no Thracian sources, and that (2) the characteristics of the mythical figure derive only from a stereotypical image of the Thracians and as such have only little to do with Thracian cultural reality.


14.  Recent research concerning to the end of the first Iron Age – Early Latène period in the South-Eastern region of the Upper Tisza

Ioan Bejinariu

Our paper presents a series of phenomena, archaeologically found in Upper Tisza region at the final period of a first Iron Age – Early Latène period. It is a period of about two centuries preceding the appearance in this area of the first Celtic artifacts.The findings are mostly from recent research carried in the South-Eastern extremity of the Upper Tisa area, in Salaj county territory. The most complex archaeological site was investigated at Porț (com. Marca) at "Paliș" point. This archaeological site is located in the area of an important natural pass on the Barcău river; the older findings demonstrated that this has been one of the pathways of penetration of Celtic population groups in Transylvania.

The new research enabled us to obtain important information regarding products and evolutions and changes in habitat landscape, probably because of the threat of Celtic raids. Important new data were obtained on the funerary customs of peoples who lived in area. In Upper Tisza region at this chronological stage, pottery on the potter's wheel appears for the first time, and the latest excavations enhanced the areal of this phenomenon toward south-east, to the area connected to Transylvania. It is worth to underline that the pottery realised on the potter's wheel from Porț site is not limited to imitations of local forms (certain forms of bowls and cups) but imitations of Greek pottery were also discovered. The latest discoveries lead us to a reassessment of potential factors which led to an early production of pottery on the potter's wheel in the Upper Tisa region. The so called "Scythian" artifacts found in the latest archaeological sites investigated are also reviewed, however these are restricted in number compared to the findings from Vekerzug culture sites identified in this area.

Finally, we propose to research in which way the newest findings can be integrated in cultural manifestations, previously defined for this area of Upper Tisa region (Vekerzug culture, Sanislău-Nir cultural group).


15.  Thracian Presence and Balkan Identity in Northwest Anatolia

Engin Beksaç

The aim of the paper is to present information on some cult monuments along with the other archaeological and historical data about Thracian presence and Balkan identity in Northwest Anatolia.


16.  Considerations regarding the Dacian discoveries from the Mureş Corridor

Cristina Bodó

The archaeological finds from different periods argue that Mures Valley represented, throughout history, one of the most important roads linking the intracarpathian region and Pannonia or Western Balkans. The advantages of the territory were exploited in the Dacian period also (2nd century BC – 1st century AD), if we consider the repertoire of the localities with such discoveries.

In this paper we will analyze the Dacian findings in the area that geographers call Mureş Corridor, bordered by Apuseni Mountains (North), Poiana Ruscă Mountains and Lăpugiu hills (South) and comprising Brănişca gorge (8 km in length), depression Ilia (22 km long and 4-8 km wide), Lăpugiu corridor and Tătăreşti – Zam gorge (8 km long). In this area were situated the Dacian fortresses from Câmpuri Surduc and from Bretea Mureşană, on the hill Măgura (dominant position at the entrance in Brănişca gorge). The abundant coin finds – drachmas issued by Dyrrhachium, Dacian coins of Hunedoara type, tetradrahmas from Thasos – should also be mentioned. Ceramics specific of the Dacian era are known from Zam and Răduleşti. Most of the discovered finds known so far date back to the 2nd and 1st centuries BC.


17.  A Small World and Middle Grounds in Ancient Thrace

Jan G. de Boer

The development of models in archaeology progressed significantly during the last few decades. Although most of these were applied to prehistoric archaeology, the Greek archaic period was recently treated by I. Malkin using the historic “middle ground” model combined with the overall used network model. As there are several resemblances between the development of Greek maritime colonisation in the Archaic period and Hellenistic, mostly river orientated, inland settlements, it would be interesting to apply the above mentioned models to the region of Middle and Eastern Thrace during this period. However, the fact that these trade networks in Thrace are attributed to Greek traders probably needs revision, as so-called “Middle Grounds” were probably more numerous, then earlier considered, casting doubt on the overall ethnicity of the traders. Among others, amphorae and amphorae stamps are the remains of the package of products used by both the Greeks and the Thracian elite in this area, they can be used to prove or dismiss the possibilities of these models. This paper should be seen as an onset for this kind of research.


18.  The rock sanctuaries in southern Thrace – traditions, rituals and continuity

Borislav Borislavov

During the Second millennium BC a new phenomenon appears in Thrace – rock sanctuaries on mountain peaks. Although this problem has periodically attracted the attention of Bulgarian archaeologists many questions remain unanswered. None of the sanctuaries are completely studied yet, but there is enough archaeological data for some preliminary conclusions. This article aims at presenting the complex and multiple aspects of research of the rock sanctuaries in Southern Thrace. Sites located in Sakar and the Rhodope Mountains which were studied mainly during the last twenty years – some of them by the author, will be discussed. The ritual practices and structures visible in the archaeological records will be presented along with the organization and structuring of the sacred space. The offerings, sacrifices and the way of deposition of the remains will be analyzed. Changes during the Bronze and Early Iron Age will be marked. Special attention will be attributed to the cases in which topographic and ritual continuity is demonstrated. The significance of rock sanctuaries in the settlement system, especially during periods of transition, is great because such shrines remain the only constant structural element in this system.


19.  Sitalcas / Seitalkas extra finis Thraciae

Dilyana Boteva

Surprisingly enough, the characteristic name of Sitalkas, well known mostly due to the famous king of the Odrysian Basileia, appears also in Rome and in Laodicea ad Lycum. This intriguing information has been left without attention for almost a century. The present study is aiming at initiating a discussion on these two personalities, despite the scanty information about them which has come down to us.


20.  Pour une chronologie du IVème siècle av. J.-C.

Anelia Bozkova

La communication avance un examen des complexes funéraires du IVème siècle av. J.-C. en Thrace du point de vue des caractéristiques de leur contenu, surtout en ce qui concerne leur position chronologique. À la base de la présence des objets qui permettent une datation plus précise comme la céramique grecque peinte ou à vernis noire et les amphores commerciales on a essayé d’arranger dans un ordre chronologique plus exacte et authentique un nombre de contextes archéologiques parmi les plus remarquables de cette époque en Thrace, surtout du temps du roi odryse Kotys I et de ses successeurs. Les similitudes existantes entre le mobilier funéraire de certaines sépultures thraces du IVème siècle permet l’établissement de quelques groupes de contextes synchroniques, ce qui mène à l’élaboration d’un arrangement chronologique général.


21.  An Odrysian “speaks” of Bendis: some observations on her significance

David Braund

On the island of Paros, amidst its famous marble quarries, stands an extraordinary bas-relief, which was cut in the natural rock. The large and simple inscription that has been cut in the rock beneath the relief declares, in Greek: Adamas, an Odrysian, (dedicated this) to the Nymphs. This remarkable creation has been known to scholars since the 15th century, at least, when it was recorded by Cyriacus of Ancona. The image is now badly worn and damaged, but we have good drawings by Stuart and, particularly, by LeBas, which help our understanding of the image today. In the early 1970s Bodnar realised that a figure shown in a Phrygian cap is most likely not Attis (as had been supposed), but Bendis. Although the image is often overlooked in discussions of Bendis, more thorough treatments of the goddess recognise that here on Paros we do indeed have Bendis (notably e.g. Gocheva and Popov, LIMC).

My paper first considers Adamas’ choice of “Odrysian” as an ethnic. It is exceptionally precise in a Greek world. Further, his inclusion of Bendis in the image offers support to the modern tendency to see the Athenian adoption of her cult as part of a larger diplomatic effort towards the Odrysians. For it shows an Odrysian including Bendis in his religious act(s) on Paros. However, Adamas’ choices do not make that kind f interpretation much more plausible. The Athenians’ interest in Bendis goes far beyond their Odrysian diplomacy, as we may infer from the survival of her cult at Athens into the hellenistic period, or Plato’s decision to begin his Republic with her festival. We should understand her in a much broader, religious way.


22.  Contractual Minting of Coinage on the Aegean Coast of Thrace, c. 490-475?

William Bubelis

This paper offers a possible solution to an old problem concerning a sharp disparity in minting activity across Thrace’s Rhodope littoral c. 525-475 BC. Located upon the Thracian side of the Strymon River’s mouth, Eion produced an abundant civic coinage in silver and occasionally in electrum, commencing as early as c. 525, and struck mainly in small denominations like the hemihekte on the Aiginetic weight standard. In contrast, the so-called Thraco-Macedonian tribal groups such as the Derrones and Bisaltai produced their own coinage much later in time (**c. 490-475) and did so with relatively brief series of exceptionally large denominations. Some groups, such as the Mygdones and Krestones, appear to have also issued fractional coinage in moderate quantities. However, these coins also appear to have been struck upon Eion’s earlier civic standard and bear remarkable similarity to the coins of Eion with respect to certain, key aspects of their style and fabric.

This paper will explore whether Eion served as the mint not only for its own coinage but also that of the tribal groups who required coinage but perhaps did not wish to establish their own mints. The arrangement would thus be one of contract minting, whereby representatives of the tribal groups would pay an extra fee to some mint for it to transform silver bullion into finished coin. Another advantage of such an arrangement would be immediate proximity to coastal markets where coinage of reliable purity and weight would be preferred, if not required.

Eion’s proximity to Mt. Pangaion would also provide easy access to major silver stocks, and its abundant civic coinage demonstrates its capacity to mint large quantities of coin therefrom. Much the same arrangement might also have been employed at Argilos (across the Strymon from Eion) and possibly several other coastal mints. Questions of sovereignty were not necessarily a barrier, since we do not know if the tribal groups attached the same value to the minting of one’s own coinage as did the coastal Greeks, and even the Greeks on occasion might share minting facilities or capacity [e.g. the fifth-century treaty of Mytilene and Phokaia to alternate their striking of electrum at a single, shared mint (IG XII.2, 1, with revised text of A. J. Heisserer ZPE 55 [1984], 115-32)]. Even if most tribal groups preferred only very large denominations for their customary use, by having those coins struck at coastal mints they would have ample access to the low denomination civic coinage of mints like Eion to stand in for or to supplement any low-denomination coinage they needed. In other words, Eion’s (or any mint’s) own coinage would have supplied the smallest denominations that would perhaps be as critical to commercial exchanges in a Greek emporion as irrelevant in a tribal society that greatly preferred denominations many dozens of multiples in value.


23.  Selected House-Inventories of the Late Bronze Age (Mining-) Settlement at Ada Tepe – A Preliminary functional interpretation

Laura Burkhardt, Barbara Horejs

The Ada Tepe Mountain lies next to the modern village of Krumovgrad in the eastern Rhodopes and is up to now the only known prehistoric goldmine in Europe to be excavated. Due to the high gold concentration, which is embedded in quartz on the surface in the upper part of the hill, this section is going to be mined by a modern mining company. For this reason excavations by H. Popov and his team of the National Institute of Archaeology with Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Science (NIAM – BAS) took place between 2005 and 2013. They provided evidence of remains of Late Bronze Age open cast mining structures (around the hilltop), waste heaps (which are situated in broad areas on the slopes of the hill) and two settlements. One on the peak and one on the north-eastern slope – both are connected with the mine. Our presentation is focusing on the north-eastern settlement and its functional aspects. This settlement quarter consists of nine houses, which are situated in two rows along the hillside. The evaluation of the house inventories and their broader contextualization is the key aspect of our contribution. Regarding the description of the ceramics, not only its shape but also its paste/fabric were analysed macroscopically. With this approach, in context with the archaeological structures of the settlement, it is possible to get a basic understanding of its function.


24.  Reflections about how the Roman paid their Thracian auxiliaries. Number of hoards, numbers in hoards (Thasos, Maroneia, Macedonia First meris, Aesillas, Roman denarii, Dyrrachium and Apollonia)

François de Callataÿ

The amount of coin hoards buried in late Hellenistic times on the modern territories of Bulgaria and Romania is gigantic and, as far as Greek coin hoards are concerned, without any comparison for another area or period of time. Out of the c. 5,000 recorded Greek coin hoards, more than 500 were then buried by owners who are supposed to have served as auxiliaries in the Roman army. Are here concerned two types of coinages: the “Greek” tetradrachms in the name of the Thasians and the Maronitans, the tetradrachms of the first meris of Macedonia and those in the name of Aesillas, as well as the “Roman” coinages of Dyrrachium and Apollonia and, to be sure, the Roman Republican denarii themselves, being struck in Rome or not. A close look to the deposits of “Greek” tetradrachms indicates an interesting peculiarity: a substantial number of these hoards are made of a round number, a multiple of 20 (40, 80, 200, 400, etc.). This has to be checked with the composition of the deposits of denarii and assimilated issues. As it seems, the owners came back home with what was paid to them at the end of their military time... and in many cases didn’t use this money at all for transactions. If so, such a pattern calls for two questions: were these coins still “all purpose money”? And what kind of circumstances could explain that these precious savings were not recovered in so many cases?


25.  Das Münzbild als Instrument zur Volksidentität: Liebe und Tod am Beispiel der Darstellungen von Orpheus und Eurydike und von Hero und Leander auf kaiserzeitlichen Münzen Thrakiens

Francesca Ceci

Dieser Beitrag stellt ein paar Themen vor aus dem reichen ikonographischen Programm der provinzialrömischen Münzprägung in Thrakien, mit einer zeitlichen Spanne von der Gründung der kaiserlichen Provinz unter Claudius im Jahre 46 n.Chr. bis ins 3. Jh. n.Chr.

Die provinziellen Münzen zirkulierten hauptsächlich in den unterworfenen Regionen selbst und standen unter direkter Kontrolle Roms. Sie zeigen jedoch eine größere kreative ikonographische Freiheit und konzentrieren sich bewusst auf die Verherrlichung des Nationalstolzes der annektierten Gebiete, dargestellt durch lokale Gottheiten, besondere Kultformen, Gebäude und Landschaften.

Die Bildthemen auf den Münzen des römischen Thrakiens zeigen neben den üblichen Göttern des römischen Pantheons auch heilige Orte, Befestigungen, Figuren lokaler Mythen, die bestimmt an die Geschichte Thrakien gehoren. Die Städte Thrakiens wählten für ihre Prägebilder mythologische Gestalten wie Orpheus (Philippopolis), Hero und Leander (Sestos), Apollon-Kendrisos (Philippopolis), oder berühmte Tempel und Heiligtümer wie das Heiligtum von Asklepios und Hygieia (Pautalia).

In erster Linie wollen wir hier die Ikonographie von Münzen untersuchen, die Orpheus zeigen, wie er durch seinen Gesang die wilden Tiere betört. Auch der romantischen Geschichte von Hero und Leander war in antiker Zeit weitverbreiteter Erfolg beschieden und auch sie hört sich an wie eine "nationale" Angelegenheit und wird dementsprechend auf den Münzen dargestellt.

Die Stempelschneider der lokalen Prägestätten wussten auf kleinstem Raum die wichtigsten und berühmtesten Szenen darzustellen, die in der ganzen antiken Welt bekannt und damit Symbole der kulturellen Identität des antiken Thrakiens waren.


26.  La question de l’interprétation ethnique des monuments du VIIème – IIIème siècles av. J.-C. de l’espace entre le Prut et le Dniestr

Andrei Corobcean

L’espace entre le Prut et le Dniestr pour le Ier millénaire av. J.-C. est abordé dans l’historiographie comme une zone de contacte entre les monde thrace (thraco-gète) et scythe. La possibilité de la corrélation des données archéologiques avec les sources écrites a soulevé la question de l’interprétation ethnique des monuments du Ier millénaire av. J.-C. de la région entre les Carpates et le Dniestr. L’attribution ethnoculturelle de ces monuments est réalisée par des catégories concrètes des vestiges, qui se conceptualisent comme des critères «ethniques». Un rôle distinct dans ce sens appartient au caractère des pratiques funéraires (le rite et l’inventaire), parce que ce domaine est lié avec une sphère plus traditionnelle de la culture. Aussi, d’une grande importance, dans les attributions ethniques, est le style céramique. La variation stylistique peut suggérer des aspects sociaux et des particularités d’habitat. Cette sphère est très relevant pour la conception de la différence entre les Gètes, considérés sédentaires, et les Scythes nomades. La corrélation des données archéologiques avec les sources écrites restent un argument principal pour la reconstruction ethnoculturelle. L’ambiguïté des analogies historique-archéologiques a déterminé une diversité des opinions sur le caractère de l’information ethno-géographique des sources anciennes et la relevance «ethnique» des catégories archéologiques.


27.  The Dacian walls of Covasna – Fairies Fortress (Covasna County, Romania)

Viorica Crişan, Paul Pupeză

The archaeological site Covasna – Fairies Fortress is located in the south-east of today Transylvania, Romania. The Dacian fortress found here is an important power center of the Dacian Kingdom. The fortress oversees a rich metallurgical and agriculture area and controls the trade route across the Carpathians.

As a result, the site, placed on top of the mountain, was heavily fortified: 700 m of stone walls with wooden palisade on top. The walls defend and sustain three large terraces and an acropolis (covering approximatively 8000 m2). Inside the fortified area were discovered traces of dwellings, workshops and temples. The walls were made of stones summarily processed, bounded with clay, a characteristic technique of this area of the Dacian Kingdom. Along the walls, especially near the access road, quadrilateral towers were raised. The fortress had an obvious military role and it was destroyed in the Dacian wars with the Romans in the beginning of the 2ndcentury AD.

This military main function of a fortress, to control and protect a territory, cannot outline the whole picture of its significance. The fortresses are rather an expression of peace and prosperity than the consequence of a conflict. The constructive effort mobilization, the work organization and development cannot be made in wartime or in conflict periods of any kind. The resources concentration for such large projects can take place only in the absence of immediate military pressure.

Apart from the functionalist point of view, from an abstract angle, the Dacian fortresses, like the one from Covasna, were symbols of power, a direct result of an elite ideology. Materialized in different forms (walls, temples, roads) this ideology should be visible in order to transmit a distinctive message. The fortifications location in visible places from nearby, close to an access road, amplifies this message. So the fortresses have to see a territory but also to be seen from a territory.


28.  Hand-made Pottery in the Greek Colonies in the Black Sea: The Case of Apollonia Pontica (poster)

Margarit Damyanov

The hand-made pottery of non-Greek shapes in the Greek colonies in the Black Sea has been subject to extensive discussions, mostly in Northern Pontic context, with opinions ranging from equating it to the presence of non-Greeks to totally denying any possibility for ethnic attribution – replaced with a socio-economic interpretation. Due to state of research and lack of interest, so far the Greek cities on the present-day Bulgarian littoral have been absent from these discussions. The intensive investigations in Apollonia Pontica (present-day Sozopol) in the last decade provide the opportunity to partly fill that gap. Without claiming to be exhaustive, the present paper will present finds of hand-made pottery (almost exclusively coarse jars) from various sites and contexts – from the Archaic temenos on the Island of St. Kirik, from the sanctuary of Demeter on Skamni Promontory, from domestic contexts in the ancient city, and from the Classical and Hellenistic necropolis. Although not numerous, these materials cover a period of at least three centuries and illustrate the use of these specific vessels for a variety of occasions and purposes.


29.  Between Myth and Reality: 45 Years of Thracology in Bulgaria

Peter Delev

In 1972, the First International Congress of Thracology was held in Sofia. In the same year, an Institute of Thracology was established by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. So, even if Thracian studies were launched long before both internationally and in Bulgaria, 1972 can be viewed as the birth year of thracology under this name as a multidisciplinary effort for the study of ancient Thrace and the Thracians. The paper attempts a general evaluation of the development of Thracian studies in Bulgaria both (briefly) before and (in more detail) after 1972. Notice is made of some delusions and disillusions, of state involvement and disinvolvement, of collective efforts and personal contributions. The effects of looting, collectorship and the market of antiquities on the Thracian cultural heritage in Bulgaria will also be discussed, as well as the role, functions and capacity of the institutions devoted to its investigation and preservation. The establishment of fields of study like thracology can be viewed as a logical reaction to Graeco- and Romano-centric attitudes to the ancient world, but – as many new developments – it has also often been prone to pretention and exaggeration; the balance between thracologia and thracomania has been (and still is) a difficult one. With all its follies and deficiencies however, Bulgarian thracology has contributed to a considerable advance of scientific knowledge.


30.  Ancient Thrace in the Roman Encyclopaedists

Ioannis Deligiannis

The first two centuries of the Roman Empire experienced a passionate interest in collecting and classifying information on a variety of issues and objects to be used as exempla mostly at the schools of rhetoric and for educational purposes. Two of the most acclaimed Roman authors who engaged in this sort of writing were Valerius Maximus and Aulus Gellius. The paper will focus on the reception of Thrace and its peoples by the aforementioned authors within the framework of what may be called Roman Encyclopaedia. Among the questions addressed in the paper will be the following: 1) What kind of information on Thrace they included in their writings? 2) How much were they informed about Thrace? 3) Where did they get their information? 4) How accurate or inaccurate this information might have been? 5) What was the purpose of this information? 6) Was it factual, historical or mythological? 7) Are there are references to the topography, characters, modes of life, and/or specific people of the area?


31.  The Thracian language and the epigraphical evidence

Peter A. Dimitrov

Although considered an ill-attested language belonging to the group of the “fragmentary languages” with short inscriptions that have no agreed-upon interpretation, Thracian is also to be traced in many Greek literary sources, as well as in Latin ones.

As long as it goes about facts written in Thracian language there are some epigraphical texts as well as genuine texts that are seemingly bilingual in essence in Thracian and Greek. This is the way to be explored.

It is hard to apprehend the geography of the habitat of the Thracians through the ages. This fact is due to lacking comprehensive evidence on the history of the populous Thracian ethnos, being among the oldest Indo-Europeans that settled in Anatolia most probably at the end of the 3rd millennium BC.

In this paper, in a specific fashion the evidence of a long-time extinguished language such as the Thracian is presented. The reader should have in mind that language is not a means to determine whether an ethnos or people that once spoke the ancient Thracian is, ethnically speaking, by all means Thracian. And I would like to underline this particular statement limiting my observations to the linguistic side of the question. I think that there is no way of determining the inner aspects of the culture of the ancient Thracian ethnos as far as one is informed in many ways only partially of the totality of the story.

Therefore, I tend to present evidence pertaining to one specific language system with its specific features within the sphere of the material obtained from different sources but mainly onomastics.

Among the many questions that might arise as a result of scrutinizing the few texts that seem to be written in the Thracian language there is this along general lines logic one: How do we know that this is in Thracian? On one hand, the fact is that there are but two longer inscriptions, the Kyolmen one on a reused stele and the Ezerovo one on a gold ring. Both are our longest and oldest evidence of the Thracian antiquity ever to be found on proper Thracian territory (beside some short inscriptions on gold rings and objects). Those two inscriptions were found in what is now Bulgaria. This mere fact was used for political purposes over the last century. The reader of this text has to be aware of it in trying to comprehend the multifarious history of scholarship involved. I am puzzled with this strange situation, and am fully confident that there is a possibility of other inscriptions in the Thracian language existing outside of present-day Bulgaria to be found.

The archaeological site of Mesemvria/Zoni on the Aegean coast in north Greece has produced some interesting evidence on clay sherds of vases; a bilingual text on a stele is said to have been found in the late eighties of the past century. Unfortunately, the long awaited publication of these materials is being delayed.


32.  Thracian sanctuary in the region of Angel voyvoda village, Eastern Rhodopes

Zdravko Dimitrov

In the summer of 2016, for the first time were conducted archaeological excavations of one of the most attractive archaeological sites in Haskovo region. The area of "Hasara", near the village of Angel Voivoda, in the foothills of Mechkovets ridge, Eastern Rhodopes is studied by the surveys of colleagues Dimtcho Aladzhov, Irko Petrov, Georgi Nekhrizov and Zharin Velichkov. They reported materials, ceramic pieces and coins from the late Bronze Age, Iron Age, Hellenistic period, Roman era and late Antiquity. On top of the site lie a fortress of late antiquity (IV-VI c. AD) and an earlier Thracian sanctuary.

Most interesting are the cult complexes carved into the rocks, which are scattered over a large area and are extremely diverse in their nature.

On top of the archaeological site is a tomb, carved into the bedrock. This construction is the closest analogue of the sarcophagus-like chamber of Tatoul, Momchilgrad region. The “grave bed" is located under the open sky on the most highly expressed cliff dominating the whole area. In 2016, we were able to confirm the presence of several rock altars and sharapans. In the site near the village of Angel voyvoda we documented over 50 niches with different forms and parameters. They are located on different rock formations on the slopes of "Hasara." Among the most interesting objects is a famous rock sundial from the area called “Ak Kaya”.

The focus of this presentation will be on the description and analysis of the cult rock ensembles of Angel Voyvoda, which have not been presented to the wider international scientific community. The dating of these complexes also raises interest, because their chronology could vary from the Late Bronze Age to the Roman Imperial Era.


33.  Odrysian 5th – 4th century BC Burial Rites Along the Big Turn of the Toundzha River

Diana Dimitrova

The present-day municipality of Sliven covers a territory clearly defined to the north and to the east by the big turn of the Toundzha River to the south which marks the boundary between its upper and middle flow. On the basis of the several tumuli excavated in the 1970s, as well as in the last decade, peculiarities of the Odrysian 5th – 4th century BC burial rites in the area could be specified. Rich inhumations in which parts of the skeletons were missing or were not placed in anatomical order furnish the major features. Unlike the territory of the Kazanluk Valley to the west, here, along the Toundzha turn, monumental constructions – tombs where the Odrysian aristocrats were buried are almost completely missing. Instead, pits dug in the ground and primitive tombs were used. One could suggest that here the transition occurred from the rich graves in pits, which prevailed in the southern Odrysian lands near Elkhovo – Bolyarovo, to the exquisite ashlar constructions of different plans and roofing in the area of the Valley of the Thracian rulers in the Kazanluk area.


34.  KOΣΩN – Cotisoni – Cotiso

Stoyanka Dimitrova

Some оbservations on data of KOΣΩN – Cotisoni – Cotiso and a new attempt to identify the dуnasts and to restore the events in North Thrace after the death of Burebista, during the civil war in Rome (44-42 BC) and strengthening the authority of Octavian Augustus.


35.  Reconstructions of the Early Iron Age women’s costume in the West Rhodopi Mountain (Bulgaria) (poster)

Yana Dimitrova

According to recent studies, clothing is a form of nonverbal communication. Its accessories are the archaeological signs of status and belonging, as they indicate the adaptation of fashion influences and the formation of local styles in the material culture. Previous research on the subject distinguishes some of the characteristics of the female costume of the specified area, based on data mainly from chance finds and destroyed graves. The focus is on the analysis of separate elements (accessories and jewelry), their typological diversity, prototypes, their dating and distribution (the biggest diversity of types in the 8th – 7th c. BC).

The recent archaeological research of Early Iron Age necropoleis in the West Rhodopi Mountain has produced a good database for the creation of hypothetical reconstructions of the costume, based on the information about the location of its elements in the excavated graves. 38 complexes allow the determination of the typological diversity of the elements, and in 24 of them the precise location is determined, which allows the hypothetical reconstructions (as also the comparison with costume reconstructions in other territories). The data for the materials of the clothing are indirect – the instruments for their production, textile remains in neighboring and more distant territories, and the scarce data from the previous periods.


36.  The Pistiros inscription – new investigations and comments

Lidia Domaradzka, George Bevan, Stefka Pristavova

In the past three years a series of interdisciplinary analyses have been carried out to further shed light on the provenance of the Pistiros inscription, aimed at localising the source of origin of the stone slab on which the inscription was carved. Petrographic analysis was carries out in the laboratories of the University of Mining and Geology ‘St. Ivan Rilski’, polished samples and thin sections were studied by SEM-EDX. On the basis of the analysis carried out, their chemical and compositional features, but also based on presently known data about the rocks from the region, has been arrived at a conclusion about the source of the rock fragment from the Pistiros inscription.

Furthermore, extended investigation of the surface of the Pistiros Inscription was made, using photogrammetric techniques. A high-quality 3D data was processed in the open-source Cloud-Compare software to reveal small surface variations difficult to detect with the naked eye. Using a process called “an adaptive depth-mapping” a high-contrast image of the inscription was produced, so that the ambiguous characters could be clearly seen, corrections to the text made by the carver and thus far not observed by epigraphers could now be inferred.

The aforementioned research allows us to draw conclusions about the provenance of the stone slab, as well as to make in-depth observations about the creation process of the inscription, including notes on mistakes, made during the inscribing process and then corrected by the carver; re-assessment of contentious parts of the inscription in light of the new data collected; and a definitive resolution to hypothetical readings of certain unclear sections of the Pistiros inscription, made by various scholars since its discovery.


37.  A zoomorphic vase handle of the Classical period in the Kanellopoulos Collection: rethinking the impact of Achaemenid material culture in the West

Helena Dominguez del Triunfo

This presentation deals with a previously unpublished handle belonging to a vessel of Achaemenid typology. This is an opportunity to re-examine the evidence of this type of vessels in the Achaemenid world and possibly add one more piece to the repertoire of Achaemenid toreutics in Europe. With typological parallels in Thrace, it should also be an opportunity to review the question of diplomatic gifts in the Achaemenid Empire, as well as the impact of Achaemenid material culture in Southeastern Europe.


38.  The Coinage of Apollonia Pontica (Vth – Ist c. BC): Iconography (poster)

Dimitar Draganov

Apollonia Pontica is one of the earliest and most famous Greek colonies on the Black Sea coast. It is believed to have been founded by Milesian colonists (together with some Phocaeans and Rhodians) in the end of the 7th c. BC.

Apollonia produced a very interesting and large scale siver and bronze coinage using several weight standards during the Classical and Hellenistic ages. This coinage was characterized by a certain degree of conservatism featuring the city’s parasemon – an anchor – on almost all coin types. Some other characteristic depictions on pre-Roman issues were: rosette, swastika, crayfish, gorgoneion, head of Apollo - on silver coins; head of Apollo, Apollo on omphalos, figure of Apollo Iatros – on bronze coins.

This presentation includes all iconographic types and denominations of Apollonia Pontica during the pre-Roman period. It is based on the study of the large collection of Apollonian coins – that of the Numismatic Museum Ruse – as well as a number of specimens kept in other museum and private collections.


39.  The Upper Tonzos Valley with or without Celts (poster)

Juliy Emilov

The poster will illustrate two case studies in the Upper Tonzos Valley during the Early and the Middle Hellenistic period (3rd-early 2nd century BCE) – Seuthopolis and Cabyle. Examining the question: how urban communities along the course of the Tonzos river “survived” the Celtic invasion, focus on the available evidence of contact and interrelations of newcomers to local groups.

Seuthopolis and Cabyle provide examples of different strategies of adaptation and resilience in inland   Thrace during the turbulent times of the 3rd century BCE. In the case of Seuthopolis it seems plausible to allow a small mercenary unit of Thracian Galatians attached to the local elite. Cabyle case raises the topic of Cavarus short-term political domination in the third quarter of the 3rd century BCE. “Byzantion model” (tribute to “barbarian menace”) serves as reasonable explanation of Cabyle silver issues in Cavarus name, but this short-term solution to potential Celtic danger (or financial silver-to-coin operation?) points to “without Celts” historical scenario about the urban community at the great bend of the Tonzos river.


40.  Cult Studies at Turkish Thrace : Understanding the Thracian Religion – New Approaches

Zeynep Erdem

The researches of the cult areas on Turkish Thracia are at the beginning stage. In the light of the recent studies such as excavations and surveys help to understand the several features of these cultic areas, the cult practices and the belief system of the Thracians.

Turkish Thracia has always been in transition and interconnection region between the Balkans, Anatolia, Aegean and the Black Sea. The new archaeological findings have revealed the connections between them.

The cult areas on the summits which were connected with the mother goddess, the cult places on the rocky areas resembling the Phrygian region and also the cult places in the settlements reflect the diversity of the sacred areas on the region.

In our presentation the recent findings from the cult areas which were revealed during the surveys on the Southeastern part of Turkish Thracia – conducted at Tekirdağ Province and at the Gallipoli Peninsula (Thracian Chersonese) since 2008 – and the new approaches will be presented.


41.  On the linguistic attribution of some geographical names in Thrace

Alexander Falileyev

In this paper I am planning to consider geographical names in Thrace, the linguistic attributions of which remain disputable in the history of scholarship. I will concentrate on a number of methodological points which may contribute to a discussion of this difficult and questionable layer of ancient onomastics.


42.  Depositions of Ceramic Pots in the Bronze Age. A Discovery from Transylvania (poster)

Cristinel Laurentiu Fantaneanu

The archaeological discoveries processed in this paper are coming from the rescue archaeological excavations carried out in 2014 and 2015 on the Lot 3 Sebes – Turda highway (Romania).

Geographically, the settlement is located on the left bank of the Mures river, on the first terrace, near the northern part of the Gambas village (belonging to the municipality of Aiud, Alba County, Romania).

“The vessel deposition” was deposited into a pit and contains eight ceramic pots. The biggest pot was deposited upside down covering three vessels. The other vessels were scattered on the bottom of the pit. Among them was found a double bowl.

Chronologically, the archaeological complex which is the subject of our paper, belongs to the second phase of the Wietenberg culture.


43.  Lowland Dacians’ cult practicies in south-western Transylvania at the end of the Second Iron Age

Iosif Vasile Ferencz, Marius Gheorghe Barbu

The end of the Iron Age in south-western Transylvania (Romania) is characterized by the so-called ”Dacian horizon” (between ca. 190/175 BC and AD 106). This chronological interval is characterized by open settlements and plane or tumular graves. Beginning in the first century BC hillforts with stone walls were built on some hill tops. In this geographical area there are walls which were built in Hellenistic manner.

Concerning the religion, even if we have few data about this topic, there are to be pointed out the monumental buildings made of stone and wood interpreted as temples, found in connection by hillforts.

On the lowlands cult manifestations were archaeological identified as pits with depositions. Their inventories suggest a dedication to some deities.

This paper is proposing to take into consideration some pits recently investigated on a lowland first century AD settlement in Tărtăria, Romania.


44.  Culte héroïque dans la Thrace – images littéraires grecques ou images réels du chevalier-héros thrace

Valeria Fol

Les contactes entre les colonies grecques sur le bord de la mer Noir et nord-égéen et les thraces sont habituellement explorés du point de vue économique et politique. Mon travail examine comment les renseignements quant à la vénération des chevaliers dans la Thrace sont-ils arrivés jusqu’aux auteurs helléniques en résultat de ces contactes. La question principale est si l’information concerne un culte réel et un ritualisme honorant des héros, ou bien, s’il s’agit d’une transformation littéraire des histoires issues des habitants de la Thrace.


45.  Bioarchaeological perspectives on subsistence economy and land use during the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age in South-eastern Bulgaria

Delphine Frémondeau, Elena Marinova, Bea De Cupere, Plamen Georgiev, Ivanka Hristova, Lazar Ninov, Krassimir Nikov, Hristo Popov

From the Late Bronze Age onwards, ancient Thrace underwent major social and economic changes: increased stratification of society, intensification of production and the establishment of a market economy, which resulted in a large human impact on the natural environment. All this likely brought about the necessity to adapt agricultural economy and animal husbandry practices, and affected the landscape and its use by humans. This paper aims at investigating past husbandry practices and their evolution in modern southeastern Bulgaria over the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age, by integrating the results from archaeobotanical, zooarchaeological and stable isotope analyses. We will address questions such as domestic plant or animal species preferential choice, crop manuring and watering, or livestock feeding management and scale of animal husbandry; and their change through time within their environmental context.


46.  Bithynian Funeral Steles of the Hellenistic Time: Some Historical Considerations

Oleg Gabelko

The so-called Stockwerkstelen, discovered on the territory of historical Bithynia and dated mainly by the IInd c. BC, are, as a rule, well-executed tombstones, often with the depictions of battle-scenes, and could be estimated as an extremely important category of sources which throw light on the ill-documented history of the Bithynian kingdom. They were thoroughly studied during the last decades by several specialists (M. Cremer, H.-L. Fernoux, T. Corsten et al.), but still present rich possibilities for a complex analysis. In this paper the following aspects of these monuments are examined: 1) the peculiarities of territorial distribution, regional specifics of the iconographic style of these reliefs and their place in the corpus of the Hellenistic steles with military scenes as a whole; 2) the character of names on the stones and their relations to the Thracian onomastic massive as well as the kind and degree of Hellenization; 3) the possibility to connect the steles with the military-political context and, if possible, with concrete events in the history of the Bithynian kingdom and its neighbours, known by other evidence.


47.  Thrace and the Thracians in the Speeches of Demosthenes

El-Sayed Gad

The importance of Thrace to ancient Greece and to Athens in particular is a well established fact. Not only did strong relationships between Athens and Thrace go back to the mid-sixth century BC, but it also continued through the mid-fourth. This paper studies the references to Thrace and the Thracians in the speeches of the fourth century Athenian politician, Demosthenes. It argues that these references demonstrate most clearly the strategic importance of the region to Athens and mainland Greece, visible all along from the age of Pisistratus.

The fact is well illustrated and succinctly summarized by the Athenian politician in one of his earliest speeches, Philippic I, where he states that the main lines of defense against Philip II of Macedon lay, interestingly enough, up in Thrace. As it turned out, Athens' decline to follow this advice deprived it of the Thrace's valuable resources and, moreover, paved the way to Philip's advancement further south. The paper also aims to continue the important study of Matthew A. Sears, entitled "Athens, Thrace and the Shaping of Athenian Leadership," on the relationship between Athens and Thrace in the archaic and classical periods.


48.  The Thracian phenomenon of the Lower Dnieper/Bug area

Nadiya A. Gavrilyuk, Mykola P. Timchenko

  1. There are two Thracian (Saharna, Şoldăneşti) groups of handmade pottery (HMP) in the burials of the later pre-Scythian period (9-7 c. BC).
  2. The Thracian ceramics of so-called "southern" group had dominated in HMP of Borysthenes and its near hinterland (settlements of Bolshaya Chernomorka 2, Beykush, Shyroka Balka, Victorovka) in the Archaic period (7-6 c. BC).
  3. The quantity of HMP of Thracian form among the materials of Olbia and its near hinterland was sharply reduced in the classical period but didn’t disappear completely. A possible reason for this was the strategic dominance of the nomadic Scythian ethnic component in the Northern Black Sea area.
  4. In the post- Scythian (Late Hellenistic) period there was a steady presence of the so-called "northern" group of Thracian pottery in the hillforts of the Lower Dnieper. At the same time there was an increasing intensity of the presence of HMP of Thracian forms in the hillforts of Zolota Balka, Velyka Znamenka, Gavrilovka versus hillforts located downstream of the Dnieper: Annovka – Great Lepetikha, Konsulovka – Gornostaevka, Zmievka – Cairy, KrasnyLighthouse – Lyubimovka.
  5. Besides HMP of Thracian forms, other Thracian ethno-cultural components, including building remains of dwellings with cultic places, household structures and other constructions were surely fixed in the post-Scythian (Late Hellenistic) period in the hillforts of the Lower Dnieper
  6. The presented archaeological evidence from settlements of the Low Dnieper/Southern Bug area confirms the ideas of a strong Thracian impact on the components of the Scythian nomadic culture which were already stated repeatedly before (e.g. by A. P. Mantsevich).
  7. The archaeological evidence not only indicates the continuous presence of Thracian components on the sites of the Lower Dnieper/Bug area but also shows that the general line of development of the Thracian world was synchronous to the manifestations of the phenomenon of Thracian culture in the studied region.


49.  The Investigations of the Elitarian Getic Necropolises in Sboryanovo: Society, Beliefs and Politics

Diana Gergova

The advanced studies of the Hellenistic necropolises of the Getic spiritual and political Centre "Dausdava – Helis" in the Sboryanovo Natonal reserve reveal a specific planning in clusters of tumuli of different construction and functions; extreme diversity and hierarchy of tombs architecture, corresponding to a hierarchy of a remarkably diverse burial rites, cult facilities, sacrifices and gifts.

They contribute to the more precise characterization of the Getic burial “rites of immortalization”, and allow to establish the specific Getic cults to some gods in the context of the Pythagorean and Orphic ideas.

The multiethnic population of the area, including Celts, Greeks, etc., raises the question about the character of the relationships between locals and foreigners.

The identification of the burials of two of the most famous Getic rulers from 4th - 3rd century BC gives ground to discuss their policy in the period of the apogee of the Getic state.


50.  The Greeks between Thracians and Macedonians, the evidence of the Attic imported pottery

Filippo Giudice, Gaetano Santagati, Marco Stefano Scaravilli

This Paper is part of the Post-Paralipomena project aimed at building of the reference-framework of Attic pottery related to the 13 areas in which the Mediterranean basin has been divided. (see F. Giudice, Le rotte commerciali dei vasi attici dal VI al IV secolo, in Archeologia e Calcolatori, 4, 1993, pp.181-196). In particular, it approaches the problem of imports to Thrace in the light of the historical context and the relations between Thracians, Greeks and the Macedonians. Special attention will be reserved to the IVth century B.C.


51.  Sanctuaries, Megalithic Complexes and Settlement System in Ancient Thrace

Aleksey Gotsev

The area discussed includes the Western Rhodope Mountains and their adjacent territories; to the north it reaches the Balkan Range (Haemus) focusing mainly on the Western Sredna Gora Mountain. The plains between the mountain ranges are also considered and their natural and geographical peculiarities are taken into account. Such a distinction allows a synchronous investigation and comparisons between the mountainous area and the lower lands in between.

Recent progress in Thracian archaeology featured new problems and even created new trends in the field work. The increased interest in Thracian religious beliefs and especially in cultic places as archaeological sites, as well as the huge amount of empirical data compiled, permits launching of new hypothesis. Thus the reconstruction of Thracian antiquity would become more detailed and vivid. Now there is more confidence in the type variety of “sacred places” and their characteristics which would lead to a better understanding of the reasons for the existence of different cult centers.

At the present stage of research three major groups of Thracian sacred centers can be defined: Thracian rock-cut/mountainous sanctuaries, pit fields and the so-called megalithic complexes. Each of them displays characteristic features which objectively require a particular approach in their investigation. To understand, however, reasons for the formation of various religious centers must seek their place in the Thracian settlement system in different geographical regions.


52.  Macedonian and Thracian Relations Through Early 334 B.C.E.

William Greenwalt

This paper will first review the political and military relationship between the Argead kingdom and various Thracian polities until Alexander III left Europe for Asia.  More importantly, it will review the numismatic and archaeological evidence (the latter having mushroomed over the last generation) which demonstrates economic, social, and cultural interactions between Argead Macedon and (especially western) Thrace in general.  It is clear from the non-literary evidence that Macedonia and Thrace had a well established (albeit tempestuous) relationship from at least the beginning of the fifth century, and almost certainly earlier.  This should come as no surprise given the geographical proximity of the two regions, their comparable environments, and their common exposure to Persian dominance.  Nevertheless, when the development of Macedonia has been considered by most scholars, the emphasis has largely been placed upon contact with the Greek world.  While it cannot be denied that the Greeks came to influence the development of Argead Macedon, especially beginning with the reign of Archelaus,  the Argeads’ interaction with so called “barbaric” polities in Thrace and Illyria (but the latter is beyond the scope of this paper) dominated the early history and pre-history of Macedonia.  Both Macedonia and Thrace remained “heroic” in their ethos long after the Greeks had developed beyond Homeric ideals in daily life.  For a very long time it remained in the interests of the political elite in both Macedonia and Thrace to retain more than just vestiges of Homeric culture.


53.  Notions and Reality on the Coins of Pautalia

Lily Grozdanova

The interpretation of the ancient coins as a medium of notions and information has been a hot topic of discussions in the scientific literature for a long time. Furthermore questions as to what extend or even if at all the coins are able mirror the reality, also how can they be used for the dissemination of ideas and suggestions, are also objects of active research. Regardless of the argumentation and defended thesis the scholars agree that the coin imagery is meaningful and closely controlled. In the case of the roman provincial coinage that is even more important as our understanding of the issuing system itself is in ongoing development, due to the lack of ancient sources directly describing the process. Nevertheless the central authorization of the city minting bestowed by the emperor and his administration is most certainly the key element making the existence of the polis coinage possible.

The coins of Pautalia, a city in the province of Thrace founded in the time of Traianus (AD 98–117), are potentially capable to shed new light on the enlisted above questions. Though issuing just over seven decades in the time of the Antonine and Severan dynasties, the city mint is very active. These numismatic materials are not just opulent in quantity but the type and die design diversity is more than impressive, thus presenting the researchers with intriguing cases of reality and notion representations on coins.


54.  Crossing the Strait: A View to the Bosporian Seafarers’ Pantheon in Antiquity

Martin Gyuzelev

Following the prophecy of the Thracian basileus Phineus the Argonauts passed by the Kyaneai and the Pontus became accessible for navigation but the Thracians inhabiting the Bosporan coast were well aware of the difficulties related to crossing the Bosporan Strait itself. Thus we come across the local deities who helped the sailors and their ships. In Antiquity these deities occupied both sides of the Bosporus. The erection of the altar of the Twelve Olympians on the Asian coast was ascribed to Argonauts; and it is not a coincidence that the Hieron of Zeus Urios appeared to be at the same place.

There was even an earlier local tradition – the Old man from the Sea. He was the pilot who helped Jason and his companions to sail through the Bosporus. In the Thracian-Anatolian beliefs this sea god shows some similarities with Phineus and was commonly worshipped at a cape named after him on the European coast of the Strait. Probably the Old man from the Sea might be discovered in some aspects in the depictions on the votive reliefs of Heros Stomianos in the next centuries.

Besides the mentioned ones, there were other Anatolian and Hellenic deities protecting the sailors, such as the Great Mother of Gods, Saron, Poseidon, etc. We can trace their presence on the grounds of literary sources and artifacts that help us reveal the variety of the Bosporan seafarers’ pantheon.


55.  Condition of the surveys of the Late Iron Age in the Rhodope Mountains (poster)

Sophia Hristeva

In recent decades, interest in the Rhodope region resumed the need for new reference material and the extension of the territorial scope of the study of Thracian culture. At this stage of archaeological studies the main part of the sites carrying information about the second half of the 1st millennium BC, are the mounds, flat cemeteries and sanctuaries that have been studied methodically and thoroughly, at the expense of the settlements, the fortresses and the manufacturing centers. The lack of sufficient number of complex and interdisciplinary research is observed – in the statistical processing of data at our disposal, out of 149 sites (some of which complexes), 90 were registered in field searches, 9 in drilling studies and 50 via regular or rescue archaeological excavations. Another 147 were generally related with the Thracian period or Iron Age.

This poses many questions about the status quo of the studies of the Late Iron Age in the Rhodope region:

- To what extent we can rely on accurate dating and interpretation of the most of the objects registered and studied in the early stages of exploration of the area?

- On how many of them is conducted a repeated study to confirm or disprove the initial interpretation and dating?

- To what extent the data accumulated from field surveys are confirmed by subsequent excavations?
Are we restricted by the territorial imbalance studies? YES or NO to statistical methods?

This work aims to carry out a comparative analysis between two separate studies. The first will include the sites studied in full or via drilling, with confirmed dating and interpretation. The second will be based on the overall information we have: excavations, sampling, and field surveys of sites with uncertain dating and interpretation.


56.  Der Hügel Grifonite. Zum Aufbau wie Funktion thrakischer Tempelanlagen der klassischen und hellenistischen Periode (poster)

Hristomir Hristov

Die Anlage im Hügel Grifonite im sog. Tal der thrakischen Könige in der Gegend der heutigen Stadt Kazanlak in Südbulgarien wurde im späten 5. oder im frühen 4. Jh. v. Chr. errichtet. Sie zählt zu einer Reihe thrakischer Tempel der klassischen und hellenistischen Periode, deren Grundriss und prinzipieller Aufbau identisch mit zahlreichen thrakischen Hügelgräbern derselben Epochen sind.

Ich möchte vorschlagen, dass der Tempel in Grifonite nicht nur die Anlage im Hügel umfasst, sondern den gesamten Hügel. Dafür sprechen nicht nur die kleinen Räume, die als ein selbständiger Tempel kaum denkbar sind, sondern auch die Tatsache, dass die mit der Anlage von Grifonite etwa gleichzeitigen vermutlichen Heroon-Anlagen im Hügel Maltepe in der Nähe von Mezek und im Žaba-Hügel bei Strelča jeweils den gesamten Hügel umfassen. Eine Reihe von Kulthandlungen fand anscheinend im Gang statt, der nicht nur in Grifonite, sondern auch in den meisten anderen Fällen insgesamt mehr Raum im Vergleich zu den übrigen Bestandteilen der Anlagen bietet. Kulthandlungen wurden aber auch unter freiem Himmel – auf dem Hügel und um ihn herum –, abgehalten. Hierzu ist zu betonen, dass aus einer Vielzahl der Hügel Befunde bekannt sind, die gerade auf Kulthandlungen auf den Hügeln selbst hindeuten.

Somit würde die Anlage in Grifonite den eigentlichen Kernbereich des Tempels darstellen, der dann mit dem gesamten Hügel gleichzusetzen ist.


57.  Technological Changes and Craft-specialization in the Iron Age Ceramic Production of Southeastern Bulgaria

Rositsa Hristova, Lee Sungjoo

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the transformation processes in the ceramic production and distribution system based on the analyses of the fabrication procedures and the consumption patterns of the ceramic vessels discovered from the various archaeological contexts of the Southeastern Bulgaria from the Late Bronze Age to Iron Age. For this study, the all surface marking associated with the various fabrication procedures of the pottery samples selected from the collections of the Yambol and the Karnobat museum were carefully analyzed and recorded. According to the comparative analyses of the fabrication procedures, especially during the forming phase, of each period, it could be suggested the noticeable changes in the ceramic production systems between the early and the late Iron Age in the Southeastern Bulgaria. After the adoption of the wheel-throwing methods and the new kiln type of which firing conditions could be completely controlled, the ceramic production systems had be diversified into the different types in the levels of specialization and the intensities of production. On the base of this investigation we can give more detail information about the pottery production systems and makes it possible to trace the changes in technologies during the Bronze Age and the Iron Age.


58.  Early Iron Age household at the village of Vaskovo, Lyubimets Municipality

Stanislav Iliev, Elena Marinova, Bea de Cupere, Delphine Frémondeau, Ivanka Hristova

Studying the Early Iron Age faces various problems. It is intriguing that until recently in various parts of present-day Bulgaria, the number of the detected “sanctuaries” from the period exceeded several times the settlements. In the last few years, this somewhat peculiar model of interpretation of the archaeological record gave way to a more logical and less mystic interpretation of certain structures as settlements.

The paper offers an analytical presentation of the results from the investigations of a dwelling and the adjoining (household?) structures near the village of Vaskovo in Southwestern Sakar. The archaeological remains provide a glimpse in the everyday life of an Early Iron Age household. This approach reveals a number of problems, such as the period and the stages of its existence, the organization of the inner space, the place of the institution of the “household” in the structure of the Early Iron Age society (at least in this microregion). These questions will be discussed in the paper with the full knowledge that we cannot offer definite answers. The aim is rather to define a circle of problems for future investigations, and in the same time to present in a synthesized form our interpretation of the archaeological record.

Of particular interest is also the cultural layer of the settlement. A group of dolmens have been investigated in its immediate vicinity. Investigating a dwelling/settlement in such proximity to dolmens offers hope for closing the settlement-necropolis/ dwelling-grave relation in this microregion.


59.  Pottery on the move – geographical distribution of the Tsepina pottery (poster)

Ekaterina Ilieva

During the Late Iron Age a peculiar type of handmade Thracian pottery emerges in the Western Rhodopes. The Tsepina pottery is known for its rich incised decoration, debated function and most of all for its unclear genesis. In the years after its discovery it provoked many scientific discussions about its decorative and morphological characteristics, supposed function and even about its exact dating. But a thorough study of the geographical distribution of the Tsepina pottery still lacks, although there are a couple of successful attempts for systematization of the available data. Recently its distribution limits have changed considerably due to the intensive archaeological activity in Bulgaria. Thus the main subject of this article is to define the geographical distribution of the Tsepina pottery in the light of those new discoveries. The author aims not only to map the known appearance of Tsepina pottery, but also to track the eventual routes and diffusion specifics. Recognizing the spatial and contextual differences and similarities between the sites where Tsepina sherds are found and those, where there is no evidence for such presence, plays a key role in this study.


60.  Maron, xenia and plundering Odysseus

Petya Ilieva

The Homeric episode dealing with Odysseus’ plundering the city of the Cicones living in Ismaros and the story of his and his fellows banqueting with Maron, who also lives in Ismaros, presents us with some discrepancies and at least one anachronism more suitable for the world of heroes. The nature of the Homeric epics is a subject of long-lasting debate and it is generally accepted that they should be seen primarily as a literary construct composed around 700 BC with the Odyssey being the later one. Yet, a number of elements in the narrative present affinities to the period of their composition or slightly earlier while certain details seem to be more relevant to the Mycenaean era. Considering the plausible foundation date of Maroneia before the mid-7th c. BC the composition of the Odyssey is not that distanced in time from this event. Could, therefore, the Homeric narrative provide glimpses at an early 7th c. BC reality in that part of Aegean Thrace? The most striking discrepancy lies in Odysseus’ contrasting attitude towards the two categories of inhabitants of Ismaros as seen in his actions. On one side Maron and Odysseus develop a typical xenia-bond which serves to portray them as equals sharing the virtue of civilised life through the symbols of banqueting and gift-giving. What the poet does not tell us, however, is why did Maron and his family need Odysseus’ protection which was the prelude to the guest-friendship. On the other hand Odysseus attacks the Cicones for no apparent reason, in an act not too dissimilar to piracy where social values were not respected. Could this dichotomy reflect certain knowledge on various inhabitants of Ismaros at the time of the composition of Odyssey and their perception in the Greek world?


61.  Consequences of the "Scythian War" on the monetary circulation at Histria and Tomis

Theodor Isvoranu

The war between the Roman Empire and the coalition of "Scythian" populations lead by the Goths affected seriously for several decades the life of the Lower Danubian provinces. Histria and Tomis, two of the most prosperous cities of Moesia Inferior in the first half of 3rd century A.D., suffered significant damage, in fact confirmed by archaeologists. The loss of control of the Thracian-Moesian area by the Roman armies had the effect of their economic isolation, the slowing or cessation of commercial activities and, not least, a disruption in the supply of new currency. It can be assumed, therefore, that at certain times the local monetary market was based solely on the stock of old currency, the transactions being minimized. The chronology of events that have affected the two cities is still disputed. While the fate of Histria is explicitly mentioned in the Historia Augusta by the term excidium, the ancient sources do not provide relevant data for this period about Tomis.

In support of completing the sequence on the situation of the two cities, we appealed to the numismatic data through a comparative statistic analysis of the monetary finds in Histria and Tomis in the interval of AD 238-282. Our observations are based on two groups of coins almost equal in size but with different chronological distribution, as follows: 140 antoniniani and 32 provincial coins (Histria), face to 143 antoniniani, a denarius and 44 provincial coins (Tomis). The different percentages of their presence on the two monetary markets at certain times show a different chronological order of events, such as the financial collapse and the return to normal economic life.


62.  King Rhesus and his Mountain Cave

Milen Ivanov

The paper researches into the ancient Thracian religiousness in the perspective of a few verses from the tragedy “Rhesus”, supposed to have been written by Euripides. They tell about the anticipated posthumous being of the Thracian ruler when he will become an anthropo-daimon and a prophet of Dionysus in the caves of the Mount Pangaion. Some more literary evidence in Homer, Philostratus and Parthenius may be further added, in which the figure of the king has been related to the horse and the chariot. In this line Rhesus has been considered as an archetype of the Thracian hero from the Roman age. Philostratus’ text about Rhesus as a hero of the Rhodope mountains and his sacred place, is of considerable importance. A parallel could be drawn between the written evidence, and the iconography of the Thracian rider, emphasizing on the specific nature of the cultic topos. These sacred places, as well as other similar places, described in the ancient tradition, find their analogues in the rock topoi of faith-and-ritualism in South-East Europe and Asia Minor. At the same time, there is evidence of Apollonian type of religiousness, related to Orpheus, again in the Mount Pangaion, as well as in ancient Thrace in general. Based on interdisciplinary analysis, the paper presents one more step in the study and understanding of the ancient Thracian religiousness, considered also as a synthesis of the Dionysian and the Apollonian principles and features.


63.  Apollonia of Pontus and Thrace and the allocation of its weight standards

Hristina Ivanova

The foundation of the earliest apoikia on the Thracian coast of the Black Sea, Apollonia, is said to have been set in motion by Miletus or Anaximander. Although the stories don’t coincide chronologically, they firmly attest the importance of a connection to Ionia.

The impact of these mythoi and the link to the south are visible in both archaeological finds and various iconographical depictions. Maintaining the tradition of foreign origin, split between a span of Thrace and the Pontic coast, locates the polis in a position to develop adaptable fiscal system and respectively weight standards. Those correspond to public finance and state administration, vaguely known from this polis. A reexamination of the coin standards provides data about the orientation of the economic interest of the polis. The occurrence of changes in the weight system sheds light to references to traditional relations or historical events.

This summarized review of the weight standards of the coinage of Apollonia reveals the correspondence to and from surrounding regions. Alongside with the distribution of hoards they represent the outlines of a polis’ alliances. This leads to the answer of the question of Apollonia being attributed to the Pontic (as in the “Thoudippos’ decree”) or to the Thracian region.


64.  The Deported Paeonians in the Achaemenid Empire as kurtaš – Workers

Miroslav Izdimirski

In this article I would like to reexamine the information in Herodotus for the deportation of Paeonians in the Achaemenid Empire. I will put the evidence in the context of the mass deportations of people, and whole families like workers – kurtaš from different origin in the Persian Empire. They were war captives and worked in the Royal estates, and also in the economic structures of Persian noblemen like the satraps. The Paeonians were settled in Anatolia in one ‘kome kai hora’ as workers in Persian estates (royal or satrapal) and worked in agriculture. The ethological myth for the hard-working paeonian women clearly states that Paeonian workers were settled in the Persian provinces ‘tayaiy drayahya’ (Hellespontine Phrygia) and ‘sparda’ (Sardis, Lydia). Some of the Paeonian workers probably were settled in Persis and Elam and named Iškudra / Skudra in the Persepolis Fortification Tablets and Old Persian Inscriptions. With the ethnonym Skudrians (in Old Persian language) were described the Thracians and probably also the Phrygians.


65.  Asclepius Rasuprenos (IGBulg. III/1, 1185) – Some Notes on the Possible Reinterpretation

Michaela Jordanova

One of the witnessed appellations of the Heros Asclepius from the big sanctuary near Batkun is Rasuprenos (IGBulg. III/1, 1185). According to the interpretation of Dechev the first part of this appellation contains the personal Rhasos, as a parallel form of Rhesos. In this line of thought it makes impression also the noticed analogy between the mythologemes of Rhesos and the Thracian Heros. The first line of approximation stems from the linguistic fact that both Rhesos and Heros are not personal names but appellatives, most likely synonymous, meaning “lord”, “ruler” and from here also “king”. This conclusion creates the opportunity of interpreting in a new light the semantics of the relief images of the Heros with the help of restored structural cores of the primary myth for Rhesos. The hypothesis is strengthened by the fact that the name Rhesos in its Thracian transcription is most likely an ancient cult name. It is preserved in the epic, but it is not attested in the epigraphic monuments of the cult. Additional proof to the theses is the fact that the reliefs whose vocative part contains the formula kurios hērōs are witnessed in the sanctuaries of Asclepius Zelmidrenos located in the northern slope of the Rhodopes (Izvor, Batkun, Philippopolis), the district where, according to the belief, is the Heroon of Rhesos. According to the map of Kazarov, the Rhodopi district with its surrounding territories is the region with the highest density of findings of votive tiles with images of the Thracian Heros. Thus there is a belief for the Thracian Heros that, being powerful to take the soul of the man to the underworld, he is able also to repel every disease and mortal danger, thus getting aspects of healer, similar to those of Rhesos and Asclepius, from where most probably originates the iconographic approximation of the myth-ritual complexes.


66.  Thracian Influence in the Roman Colony Scupi and the Skopje – Kumanovo Region

Lenče Jovanova

In this paper I will examine the relations between the Roman colony Scupi, more precisely the Skopje – Kumanovo region, on the one hand, and the Thracian area that belonged to the Roman provinces of Thrace and Moesia Inferior, on the other. My analysis is mostly based on the different forms and aspects of Thracian influence recognized in the onomastic data, beliefs, funeral rituals, and archeological findings.

The presence of Thracian settlers in Scupi, i.e. in the Skopje – Kumanovo region, is evident by the onomastic data, especially the anthroponyms. In this context, of special significance is the appearance of the cognomen Bessus on a few inscriptions, as an ethnonym through which the bearers of the name highlighted their origin from the Thracian tribe of Bessi. Beside the onomastic testimonials, the presence of Thracian settlers or influences is also confirmed by the religious belief in Thracian deities such as the Thracian god Zbelsurdos (Zbelsurdus, Zbeltiurdus), and the so-called Thracian Horseman (Thracian Hero). There are a few votive reliefs from the Skopje – Kumanovo region that depict a Thracian Horseman. Votive monuments devoted to the god Zbelsurdos who is identified with Zeus or Jupiter are most often erected from the members of the military.

Various elements found in burial rites also indicate Thracian influence. This is especially evident in graves where cremation was performed. The presence of carbonized fruits, as part of the funeral rites, can also be interpreted in the same manner. Furthermore, Thracian influences can be observed in the material culture, mostly in the burial gifts found in the graves from Scupi’s city necropolis. Typically Thracian elements are recognizable in handmade ceramic, rectangular sacrificial vessels (kernoi), wooden toilet caskets, parts of dismantling chairs, and similar. I believe that all these findings confirm that the Thracian settlers did not give up on their identity and stayed faithful to the deities form their homeland. They continued to practice and respect their old customs, beliefs, and rites in their new environment.


67.  Comparing the luxurious metal vessel acquisition patterns of Thracian and Cypriot elites during the Classical period

Hazar Kaba

A burial chamber of a tomb complex that was discovered in 2005 in the necropolis of Soloi in Cyprus yielded an aristocratic family burial with a rich repertory of artefacts. This rich repertory comprised finds such as gold jewellery and metal vessels along with many other artefacts. Among the finds of this burial, dated to the mid 4th century B.C., especially a symposium set of bronze, silver and gold gilt vessels attracts attention. Owing to this symposium set, nowadays Cyprus could also be placed amongst the areas, such as ancient Thrace and Macedonia, that supply us with valuable information related to luxurious metal vessels.

This symposium set and the vessels that constitute it, points to the presence of a wide network that once stretched from Athens to Thrace and Macedonia and was used by the Solian aristocracy for obtaining luxurious symposium vessels. This paper will compare the patterns used by the Solian aristocracy for acquiring luxurious metal vessels with the known Thracian patterns. With this comparison it is aimed to contextualize the “acquisition patterns for luxurious vessel” of the Solian and Thracian elite during the Classical Period, to reveal the similarities and differences between the two patterns as well as to understand the reasons behind this conjecture.


68.  Die antike Siedlung bei Kran, Gemeinde Kazanlak

Gergana Kabakchieva, Krasimira Stefanova-Georgieva

Die Untersuchungen der antiken Siedlung bei  Stadt Kran, Gemeinde Kazanlak sind während der 80-er Jahren des 20.Jahrhundert durchgeführt. Nach der Ergebnissen der archäologischen Ausgrabungen sind drei Bauperiode festgestellt: die erste – von der hellenistischen Zeit; die zweite – von der spätrömischen Zeit und die dritte – von der spätantiken Zeit.

Die früheste Spuren von der Besiedlung auf diese Stelle sind mit einem Kultgebäude verbunden. Man datiert sie in der Blütezeit der thrakischen Kultur im Kazanlak Tal. Die Baureste und die Funde der reich verzierten Dachziegeln nehmen sich mit großem Interesse an.

Nach einer langen unbesiedelten Periode ist einer Militärstützpunkt an dieser Stelle gebaut worden, der der Weg nach dem Schipka Pass gestützt hat.  In der Regierungszeit von Tetrarchie sind hier Civilleute auch besiedelt. Damals ist eines eigenes Teil für die Soldaten erreicht.  Die Siedlung bewährt ihre militärische Funktion bis zum Ende der Antike. Durch dieser Zeit ist die Umwehrungsanlage einige Malen renoviert. Das Leben dieser Festung beendet sich in der letzten Viertel des 6. Jahrhundert n.Chr.


69.  «Thrakische Hallstatt» im Nördlichen Schwarzmeergebiet. Auf der Begriff, der Kultur und der modernen Forschung

Maya Т. Kashuba

In allen Konzepten wird Osteuropa als ein einheitlicher Raum mit gleichmäßigem Entwicklungstempo betrachtet. Die archäologischen Quellen zeigen aber ein vollkommen anderes Bild unterschiedlichen kulturhistorischen Rhythmen. Das östliche Karpatenvorland zum Ende der Bronzezeit und zum Beginn der frühen Eisenzeit von Trägern der verschiedenen archäologischen Kulturen, die aus dem Karpatenbecken, dem mittleren und dem unteren Donauraum stammen, besiedelt war. In ihren Herkunftsgebieten entsprechen sie chronologisch den Stufen HaA bis HaD. Deswegen werden sie in der rumänischen Forschungstradition “Hallstattkulturen” genannt. In der russischsprachigen akademischen Welt wurde zu der Sowjetzeit für ihre östlichen Gebiete der Begriff “thrakisches Hallstatt” verwendet. Heutzutage wird dieser Begriff nicht mehr gebraucht. Es geht in der Forschung um diese Hallstattzeitlichen Kulturen des Karpaten-Donau-Raumes und nicht um die Hallstattkultur Mitteleuropas. Die Rede ist von drei Hallstattzeitlichen Kulturen und einer Kulturgruppe. In dem Vortrag werde ich die wichtigsten Merkmale dieser Kulturen präsentieren. Die technologischen Innovationen, die die Träger der Kulturen im Nordpontikum am Ende des 2. Jt. v. Chr. gebracht haben, werden auch beschreiben (Die Forschung wird durch die Russische Stiftung für Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften (RGNF), Projektnummer 15-31-10162а(ц) unterstützt).


70.  The Sanctuary of the Nymphs and Aphrodite near the village of Kasnakovo – between myths and reality

Veselka Katsarova

New archaeological exploration (2007-2016) of the site known as the Sanctuary of the nymphs and Aphrodite, near the village Kasnakovo, revealed a large architectural complex of Roman times. It consists of seven lavishly decorated buildings with various functions (residential, religious, hygienic, etc.) and spans on an area of approximately 15 acres. Archaeological excavations took place in three of these buildings. At the current stage of research there is a conspicuous lack of artifacts or finds, related to the cult of the nymphs and to Aphrodite. The results of the investigations lead to suggestion about a private sanctuary in a villa of wealthy family with Thracian origin. Some of the features of Kasnakovo architectural complex are comparable to two of the famous examples of Roman villas in present day Bulgaria - Chatalka and Armira.

The construction activities around the spring of nymphs started not earlier than the middle of the 2nd century. All buildings are constructed according to a single concept and plan. In the middle of the 3rd century some of these buildings are destroyed. One of the residential buildings reveals multiple renovations and habitation there continued until the middle of the 4th century, when the architectural complex Kasnakovo is abandoned.


71.  The Dolmen in the Locality Kliftinova niva – 40 Years Later (poster)

Petya Kirilova, Todor Valchev

In 1973 – 1976 Prof. Ivan Venedikov and Prof. Alexnader Fol from the Institute of Thracology organized two expeditions: “Sakar” and “Apolonia – Strandzha”. The aim of the projects was to visit and report all known and preserved dolmens in the Sdrandzha and Sakar Mountains. During the two projects, 98 dolmens were visited and 5 dolmens were excavated.

One of these dolmens was situated in the locality Kliftinova niva near the village of Sakartsi, present Haskovo district. It was excavated in 1974 and 1976. The dolmen has a rectangular chamber and dromos, with huge stone blocks in front. During the excavations of the dolmen, pieces from hand-made and wheel-made pottery were found, as well as parts from two bronze fibulae.

The aim of the report is to show the results from the old archaeological excavations in a new light. Development of our knowledge about Thracian culture and megalithic monuments allows us to have a new point of view about the dolmen in locality Kliftinova niva and its place in the world of Ancient Thracians.


72.  Le passé thraco-phrygien à la lumière de l’inscription RIMA, 2, A.0.100.5, 115b-127

Slavtcho Kirov

Une nouvelle attestation du passé commun, par ailleurs connu depuis l’Antiquité, entre les peuples d’Europe et ceux d’Asie Mineure, peut être discernée à travers les Annales du roi assyrien Tukultī-Ninurta II (890-884 a.C.). La restitution du nom de la cité Pīruna, tenant une position clef au pays des Mušku, permet de souligner à la fois la proximité linguistique et culturelle avec la capitale des Maides en Thrace et au-delà d’apporter un nouvel exemple confirmant l’existence d’une entité ethnoculturelle des deux côtés du Bosphore vers la fin de l’Age de Bronze.


73.  Greek Myths, Roman Art and Thracians

Marina Koleva

Among the sculptural monuments from Moesia Inferior and Thrace occur such depicting plots from Greek mythology, associated with Apollo, Dionysos, Zeus, Artemis, and Heracles. On the one hand, these monuments provide an opportunity to study the nature of Roman art in those provinces and to compare it to the art attested in other parts of the Empire. The finds also make possible to trace the reproduction of iconography, of models current in Roman Imperial art, and featured in the two provinces. On the other hand, they present an opportunity to extract information about the provincial settings in which they functioned. The inscriptions associated with some of the depictions make known some of the makers and some of the users of those monuments, including also some of Thracian decent. By and large, this is an inquiry into the reception of Greek culture and art, redefined during the Roman Age, within a particular provincial setting.


74.  Gyne und Symbios: Die Erinnerung an die Ehefrau in den griechischen Grab- und Votivinschriften aus Thrakien

Dobriela Kotova

Als Medien der Erinnerung verfasst, leiten die Grab- und Votivinschriften ein persönliches und selektives Bild des vergangenen Lebens weiter und wecken Emotionen.

Der Beitrag setzt sich mit dem Problem auseinander, inwiefern die Grab- und Votivinschriften der römischen Zeit aus Thrakien eine Aussagekraft hinsichtlich der Familien-Verhältnisse und der sozialen Stellung der Frau besitzen. Analysiert werden vor allem epigraphische Texte in griechischer Schrift, was aber den Vergleich mit lateinischen Inschriften nicht ausschließt. Dabei ist die Frage nach der emotionalen Seite der sozialen Verhältnisse vom besonderen Interesse. Darüber hinaus ist es interessant zu untersuchen was aus der gemeinsamen Vergangenheit dem Mann, der Frau und den Verwandten wichtig war, für die Zukunft auf einem Stein festzuhalten. Im Fokus der Überlegungen stehen zwei Begriffe, die die Ehefrau und das gemeinsame Leben bezeichnen: "Gyne" und "Symbios". Im Hinblick auf ihre unterschiedliche geographische Verbreitung wird der Versuch gemacht ihren Gebrauch zu erklären und zu diskutieren, ob sie den gleichen rechtlichen und emotionalen Inhalt zum Ausdruck bringen oder auf verschiedene soziale Gegebenheiten beruhen.


75.  The Persian Conquest of Thrake and Skudra

Jeffrey D. Lerner

In c. 514-512 BCE Dareios I undertook his Pontic expedition against the Skythians as part of his plan to turn the Aegean into a Persian Lake. Once across the Hellespont, he marched through Thrake, whereupon he encountered various Thrakian tribes.

From the end of the campaign to the early years of the Ionian Revolt in 497-496 BCE, no Persian general undertook an inland expedition in Thrake. The sole exception was Megabazos, who in 510 BCE obtained earth and water from the Makedonian king Amyntas and extended Persian authority to Thessaly and some of the islands. Under Xerxes’ general Mardonios in 492 BCE the Persians initiated a program to reconquer as many Greek cities as possible in Europe that had fallen out of their hands since Megabazos’ earlier campaign.

In the immediate aftermath of Xerxes’ unsuccessful invasion against the Greeks in 479 BCE, a period of political turmoil ensued in Thrake marked by the rapid appearance in the archaeological record along with epigraphic and numismatic material of a series of tribes undergoing the burgeoning process of state formation. The process of state formation appears to mirror the degree to which Persian presence was or was not directly involved in particular regions of the country. Xerxes’ invasion seems to have stymied this trend, except for a few tribes.

The difficulty in understanding the status of Thrake in the Persian empire lies in the fact that there is no known cognate in the Old Persian texts that resembles the Greek form of the name. It is not known whether Thrake was a satrapy, province, or frontier region. The standard interpretation is to regard the country as a satrapy and denoted by the Persian name “Skudra.” Unfortunately, the only documents that we possess from the Achaemenids is a rather small corpus of inscriptions that contain the names of lands and peoples in the Achaemenid Empire.

It has long been noted that depictions of Skudrians and various Skythians are similar. Skudrians have been identified as Phrygians, and were thus “Phrygian” or “(Asian) Thrakian” who could easily have migrated to Thrake where the Persians would have recognized them as European Sakai. Others find the identity of Skudra in the Naqsh-i Rustam inscription, and conclude that the “Saka across the sea” were in Europe near the Black Sea, or should be identified as a Thrakian tribe. Still others seek to locate them in Central Asia and equate them with the Dahā mentioned in Xerxes’ Persepolis inscription. Finally, in Dareios’ lists, Skudra is often situated in conjunction with the two groups that comprise the Yaunā.

This paper will argue that a reexamination of the source tradition reveals that a qualitative and quantitative differentiation of the name Thrake/Skudra exists and should be understood as a designation of different peoples in different places at different times. In making this distinction, we also gleam some insight into how Dareios and Xerxes understood one aspect of the Persian Wars.


76.  A Bronze Spoked Wheel from Varna and It's Relation to the Early Thracian Beliefs (poster)

Lyuben Leshtakov, Stavri Topalov

The article discusses two bronze items and their relation to the Thracian cult practices during the Late Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age. A bronze spoked wheel has been found by treasure hunters in the vicinity of Aksakovo, near Varna. It was part of the so called „Kesselwagen“ or „Kultwagen“. Sometimes these artefacts were decorated with bird protomes. Such bronze protome was found again in the vicinity of Varna. It is decorated with numerous notches which depict the plumage and has a rivet at its base for fastening to another, bigger item.

These finds are unique for the teritory of modern Bulgaria. Until now there were no data about the existence of „Kultwagen“ in Ancient Thrace. However their emergence is not unexpected since similar items are known from the neighboring countries, Serbia and Romania. These finds allow us to compare some cult practises from Central or Western Europe and those in Thrace during the Late Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age. The state of research shows that such similarities exist also in other areas of the cult such as the so called „rondel enclosures“. Thus it seems that the early Thracian beliefs had some common traits with the beliefs of the other tribes inhabiting different parts of the European continent during the Bronze Age.


77.  Between the Illyrian and Thracian World: Southwestern Serbia and Northern Montenegro at the Turn of the New Era

Marija Ljuština, Jelena Cvijetić

The region of Southwestern Serbia and Northern Montenegro is generally rich in archaeological sites from late prehistory. The greatest number of tumular burials belongs to the final horizon of the First Iron Age/Hallstatt period. It is under no doubt that in the Late Hallstatt the area was an integral part of the cultural complex Glasinac – Mati. In spite of the fact that ethnic attribution of the complex was Illyrian in a wider sense, some of the graves have specific material (e. g. pottery of Basarabi style, a fibula of Thracian type) connected with the north-Thracian cultural circle. What strikes us as odd is that the latest date of the prehistoric finds from the region can be the 3rd century BC. The following centuries BC left almost no trace in an archaeological sense.

Funerary practice, epigraphic material and historical sources from the centuries at the turn of the new millennium reveal potential presence of varied ethnical entities (Celtic, Thracian). According to epigraphic monuments from this area, a significant number of Roman officials had names of Thracian origin. The presence of certain elements of Thracian funerary practices and epigraphic confirmation of Thracian personal names during the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD refers to the mines in the area of present day Northern Montenegro and Southwestern Serbia.


78.  Nicopolis ad Nestum: between Mark Antony and Trajan

Ivaylo Lozanov

This paper aims to present further arguments on the date of the foundation of Nicopolis ad Nestum on the southwest border of provincia Thracia. Complex analysis of the archaeological information and the written sources compared to recently published Roman military fleet diplomas from AD 142 strongly associate the city’s foundation with the aftermath of emperor Trajan’s victorious campaigns against the Parthae in the East in AD 116.


79.  Architectural Images on Antique Coins from Bulgarian Lands (poster)

Sasha Lozanova, Stela Tasheva

The proposed report will be focused on images of architectural objects, their features, semantics and symbolism, which were depicted on ancient coins from Bulgarian lands. The considered artefacts, stored in our museum and private collections, will cover the period between the 6th century BC and the 5th century AD.

The rich Bulgarian heritage of ancient coins is a long-standing subject of scholarly interest from thracologists, archaeologists, numismatists, historians and others. Architectural images were also being investigated in their publications, following their specific author’s perspectives. As a new approach, this report will attempt to systematize the architectural images in semiotic and functional plan and will use an interdisciplinary research mode.


80.  Ancient Thracia and the Thracians as Paradigm of Otherness and Other in Old Attic Comedy

Vanya Lozanova-Stantcheva

The paper examines the paradigm of the relation-interpretation of the ancient Thracian world and the Thracians applied by classical Old-Attic culture, and accordingly by the Old-Attic comedy in constructing the polis identity of the Athenian citizens.

The Otherness is – in general – the result of a discursive process in which the dominant group (We) constructs one or more dominated groups (They, Other) by stigmatization of difference – real or imaginary, presented as a denial of identity, but also as a motive for potential discrimination.

A conclusion is proposed that Ancient Thrace, transformed and reduced to dramaturgical and cultural topos, was interpolated in the Old-Attic comedy so as to materialise the system of otherness and to be modelled as a paradigm of otherness, but also as an effort to overcome it by constructing models of increasing closeness.


81.  Trading post at Rousse? – the evidence of the amphora stamps

Kalin Madzharov

During the excavations of the pit complex in Rousse in 1977–1978 and 2005–2016 were found 47 amphora stamps (Heraclea – 2, Sinope – 6, Rhodes – 26, Cnidus – 2, undefined centers – 2, anepigraphic – 9). They date from the first quarter of the 3rd to the second half of the 1st century BC. About 20 % of the amphora stamps, found in Rousse belong to local production centres and date to the 2-nd – 1-st century BC. The main part of the import of amphorae within the interior of Northeastern Thrace was implemented along the river Danube and its floatable tributaries. Emporia existed on important points along the riverbank, where the transportation of the amphora tare along the Danube tributaries towards the centers in the interior was organized. Such an emporium is identified at Satu Nou, and according to indirect data the existence of such redistribution centers is presumed near the mouths of the rivers Yantra and Krapinets. The recently increasing number of amphora stamps, discovered inside the basins of the rivers Beli Lom and Cherni Lom allows a precautious presumption for the existence of such an emporium in the area of Rousse, close to the mouth of the Roussenski Lom river.


82.  A discussion about understanding what pottery can tell

Andrei Magureanu

Lower Danube basin covers, from geographical point of view, the north part of Balkan Peninsula. In Late Antiquity here was the contact zone between roman world and barbarians coming from either from steppe regions, either from forest zone of the East Europe.

There were many cultural influences between those two worlds. From this point, pottery can be seen as one of most expressing one.

The hand made ceramic is seen as reflecting a tradition forgotten by roman potters. In the same time, wheel made ceramic is seen as a superior technology proving roman influences in the barbarian zone.

But a closer look to ceramic discoveries dated in Late Antiquity can tell us a lot more.


83.  Cultural exchanges in the Lower Danube area in Late Antiquity

Andrei Magureanu, Bogdan Ciuperca

Lower Danube area is a region split it between two worlds: Roman Empire and Barbaricum. Even those worlds seem to be antagonistic, as the written sources try to make us believe, in fact the situation look to be quite an opposite one.

In this paper we try to explain, from an archaeological point of view, the cultural exchanges between those two worlds, starting from the lowest level of discussion like kitchen ware (hand made pottery) till the highest level like Christianization.

From a chronological point of view, the discussion is going in the time span of 4th – 7th centuries, the time when Europe, as we know it today, was born, Lower Danube being a cradle of nations.


84.  Evidence of non-ferrous metallurgy in the Geto-Dacic extra-Carpathic area

Despina Măgureanu

In diverse sites of Latène epoch were discovered different tools used to produce non-ferrous artifacts. Moulds, crucibles, small tools like piles or anvils, usually insignificant from a typological point of view, represent the evidence for local production.

This paper tries to gather all the available data that can be useful for an understanding of the process of this kind of production, but, most of all, to reconstruct how the production area may have looked and its place in the topography of the Geto-Dacian settlement.

This kind of demarche can complete the information about the non-ferrous metallurgy and bring new hypotheses on understanding this important part of artisan activity in the time of the Geto-Dacian classical epoch (2nd-1stcentury B.C.).


85.  Craft and creativity. A dicussion on several Geto-Dacian belt buckles (poster)

Despina Măgureanu, Sebastian Matei

Several finds belonging to the costume were brought to light by archaeological research in the dava type settlement at Cârlomănești, Buzău County. Among these, belt buckles can be regarded as special items.

Our approach is intended to outline the biography of these special finds, marking the similarities and differences between them. The skillfulness and creativity of the craftsmen can be viewed by reconstructing the operational chain of making the belt buckles, by observing what materials they choose and by studying their decoration technique.

Noticed in the literature as a significant piece for the Late Latène set of clothing adornments, the belt buckles are considered, according to the archaeological context, either as a part of women dress garniture, or as a part of the warrior’s panoply.

We will try to establish if the appearance of these finds in the dava type settlements and their ornamentation can be seen as a reference to a polysemantic symbolism existing within the Geto-Dacian society in the late Iron Age.


86.  Quelques aspects des “Abdérites” par C. M. Wieland (Geschichte der Abderiten): réflexions sur la relation entre l’Antiquité classique et l’Europe moderne

Flora Manakidou

Wieland fut un penseur original et influent de la vie culturelle allemande du XVIII siècle et après, élève d’esprit de Socrate et classiciste qui produisit des œuvres inspirés par l’Antiquité gréco-romaine. Son livre sur les Abdérites (1774-1780) explore son connaissance des penseurs Grecs et Latins afin de critiquer les folies de ses contemporains Allemands. Démocrite, Hippocrate et Euripide se présentent comme un miroir du savant cosmopolite qui est obligé de se mêler avec la petitesse d’une communauté. Abdère dévient symbole d’une communauté philistine des esprits bornés, de démagogues, pénétrée de bêtise, de manipulation. Cette allégorie fondée sur le monde ancien offre une contemplation sur la nature humaine et sur le rôle du savant. La présentation se demande comment Wieland utilise l’idéal classiciste pour critiquer la société européenne contemporaine et s’il trouve dans les textes classiques un vrai soubassement pour sa propre nature d’un esprit tolérant et critique.


87.  Where did they put the akinakes? On the Late Hallstatt Ferigile warriors’ panoply starting from the recent discoveries in the necropolis at Valea Stânii

Dragoș Măndescu

The topic of this paper is firstly based on the evidence of graves with weapons discovered in the necropolis of Valea Stânii (Țiteşti commune, Argeș county, Romania), most recently investigated cemetery belonging to the Ferigile group (Late period of the Early Iron Age, 7th-5th centuries BC) in the sub-Carpathian area of Central-Southern Romania. The archaeological excavations at Valea Stânii began in 2014 and continues until today (the recent 2016 season with a generous financial support from the Ministry of Culture), six of the ten explored graves containing weapons (axes, spears, sword, arrows) as grave goods. The author extrapolates the issue of finding a common pattern of panoply on all the graves containing weapons in the Late Hallstatt cemeteries belonging to Ferigile group. An amount of 74 cremation graves with weapons were identified (sealed complexes, well documented) in nine cemeteries (Cepari, Curtea de Argeș, Ferigile, Rudeni, Teiu, Tigveni- "Babe", Tigveni- "Pietroasa", Țițești, Valea Stânii). The statistical analysis of the types of weapons and associations between them reveals the predominant role of the battle-ax and spear, according to an obvious "Tracian" pattern, and a somewhat less visible "Scythian" influence by arrowheads or akinakes type swords.


88.  Architecture and decoration of the propylon at Seuthopolis

Consuelo Manetta, Daniela Stoyanova

The aim of the paper is to present new evidence about the monumental architecture of the basileia of Seuthopolis, the capital of Seuthes III. The data about the plan of the entrance to the palace and the few preserved architectural details – a drum with the base and a capital of a Doric column – allow for the reconstruction of a monumental propylon in Doric order. In addition to the order decoration, there was also sculptural decoration, as evidenced by a fragment of a marble coffer from a ceiling with a male head in high relief. Despite its fragmentary state, the coffer finds good parallels in coffered ceilings from the Late Classical Period, especially with the coffered ceiling of the Ionic propylon of the Hall of the Choral Dancers in the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on Samothrace, and is a positive proof of the activity of Greek artists in Thrace. Although preserved only in fragments, the decoration of the propylon at Seuthopolis is of particular importance also for the possibility to determine more or less precisely its chronology, namely during the creation of the city in c. 315 BC.


89.  About the Author and the Time of the Statue of Seuthes III

Metodi Manov

One of the most significant discoveries of the archaeologist Georgi Kitov and his team in 2004 was finding the magnificent bronze head from a statue of the Thracian ruler Seuthes III, found just a few meters from the entrance of the tomb in Golyama Kosmatka mound.

This masterpiece of Hellenism caused immediately after finding it a variety of discussions in Bulgaria and abroad and still continues to cause. There have been various attempts for reconstruction of the general appearance of the statue of which was the bronze head and were presented different opinions in terms of its dating.

In the paper provided it will be confirmed my assumption that the head had been of an equestrian statue of Seuthes III rather than a conventional as most contemporary researchers consider. Moreover, in the paper will be given answers to the most important issues related to the making of this bronze statue, including who was the artist – the author of this masterpiece, who recreated with details the portrait image of the Thracian ruler Seuthes III in a very expressive style characteristic of Hellenism. In the paper will be indicated also at whose order was made this magnificent statue. The other most important issues will also be presented – the exact dating of this statue – exactly when it was made, where it was made and what exactly place this statue stood. It will be shown for what reasons and when the head has been separated from the statue of Seuthes III and symbolically buried in front of the tomb in Golyama Kosmatka mound.


90.  “Around the Hearth” – Considerations on Certain Combustion Structures in the Wietenberg Culture

Antoniu Tudor Marc, Cristina Bodó, Ioana Lucia Barbu

The site from Uroi – Sigheti (Simeria, Hunedoara County) was discovered in 2011, during the archaeological preventive investigations, by the construction of the highway segment Deva – Orăştie, and is located in the floodable area of Mureș meadow. Most complexes (housing, pits with different destinations) belonged to the Middle Bronze Age (Wietenberg Culture).

The discoveries from the Bronze Age provide interesting information regarding the spiritual life of the community here – such as pieces with special character (eg, fragments of Pyraunos-type vessels, a bird-shaped vessel, wagon models etc.), but also features with different deposits – pits with vessel deposits, fragments of a decorated hearth, a complex consisting of a succession of hearths, two tombs (one of burial and one of cremation).

We will present the complex Cx 223, found in the south-eastern side of the investigated area (probably representing the edge of the settlement from the river). It is a complex deepened about 1 m from the ground level of the time. Here they were discovered several overlapped hearths. There is a succession of hearths crusts, levels of pot shards (some of whole vessels), layers of ashes and coal. On the bottom of the pit, under the first hearth, it was found a layer of earth, with coal pigments, ashes and a large quantity of river shells.


91.  Mythological Symbols from the Thracian Megalithic Sanctuaries (poster)

Vassil Markov

The ancient Thracian megalithic and stone-hewn sacred places are full of symbols closely connected with the Thracian mythology and ancient cult practices which were typical for this area. Among them the most numerous are the huge stone-hewn human footprints, which in Bulgarian folklore were regarded as the footprints of the hero Krali Marko, who was thought of as the guardian of the people in Bulgaria. In the contemporary science studying Thrace he is believed to have been the folklore successor of the Thracian Dionysus.

Marking the sacred place with a stone-hewn footstep altar of the hero was an authentic evidence for the believers in ancient times that the god had been there in primordial mythological times. In this way, through the contact with the divine, monumental rock turns into a sacred and the place turns into a sanctuary. The raw becomes boiled, Nature becomes culture.

With the establishment of Christianity as the sole religion in the Roman Empire since 4th century, some of the Thracian megalithic sanctuaries have been abandoned. Others have been Christianized. Later, others in the Middle Ages were converted into Islamic sacred places. In this way they became permanently sacred places on the Balkans. Part of the signs-symbols in them got a new meaning in the spirit of the new religions.


92.  Les Besses et le christianisme

Boryana Markova

Le présent rapport concerne le thème de la christianisation de la tribu thrace des Besses. Les sources historiques sont peu nombreuses – deux sources écrites, œuvres des auteurs chrétiens (Paulin de Nole et Saint Jérôme) et autres cinq sources (Cyrille de Scythopolis, Théodore de Petra, Jean Moschus, Antonini Placentini Itinerarium, les Actes des Conciles de Constantinople) qui mentionnent la présence des Besses comme moines en Palestine et à Constantinople.

D’une part l’analyse des témoignages donne de l’information sur la question du convertissement tardif des Besses au christianisme à la fin du IV siècle et leur participation au monachisme oriental au V et VI siècle. Les sources parlent en faveur de l’hypothèse de la grande mobilité des Besses à l’époque de l’Antiquité tardive qui a amené à la création de plusieurs communautés des Besses en Thrace, en Palestine et en autres régions de l’Empire Romain. Cette hypothèse trouve une autre preuve dans les données qui proviennent de nombreuses sources épigraphiques qui mentionnent des Besses comme des soldats présents en Europe, en Asie et en Afrique.

D’autre part l’analyse des sources écrites ne donne aucune information sur la création d’une Bible des Besses (ce qu’on appelle la Biblia Bessica) dont l’existence est supposée par la plupart des savants bulgares. La source unique (une homélie de Saint Jean Chrysostome) mentionne l’existence hypothétique de la Bible traduite en langue thrace mais ne donne aucun témoignage d’un lien probable d’une Bible créée par les Besses ou d’une Bible qui pourrait être liée avec eux.
En conclusion on peut dire que la question des événements historiques qui font des Besses des chrétiens ou des moines est d’une grande importance  parce qu’elle concerne profondément la problématique portant sut le développement historique de la Thrace à l’époque de l’Antiquité tardive.


93.  The Mysteries of the Great Gods, Samothrace: Samothracian mythology and the reality of archaeological research

Dimitris Matsas

Samothrace in antiquity was the island of the Mystery Cult of the Great Gods; their initiation rites promised protection at sea and the opportunity to "become both more pious and more just and better in every respect than they were before." The nature of the Mysteries’ initiation rites was secret; today, their power is signaled by the deployment of a series of innovative buildings that once framed the rites within the sacred landscape of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on Samothrace, one of the most important expressions of Hellenistic sacred space in the Aegean. The archaeological research, since the mid 19th century has explored most of the details of its development without, however, having much success in connecting the archaeological findings with the associated information transmitted through the fragmentary literary tradition of the Samothracian mythology. This paper offers an overview of these rather independent sources of evidence and tries to combine them; however, neither texts nor archaeology can lift the veil of secrecy covering the mysteries and the various buildings of the Sanctuary.


94.  Processing of horn and bones in the early Iron Age in the space between the Prut and the Dniestr in light of discoveries from Lipoveni (R. Cimislia, Republic of Moldova) (poster)

Sergiu Matveev, Vlad Vornic

Archaeological research completed in the last years on the site with multiple levels of dwellings in Lipoveni (r. Cimislia, R. Moldova) has lead to the discovery of several pieces of horn and bone that are helpful in demonstrating how the industry of hard animal materials has developed in the beginning of the Iron Age. If the cultural belonging of this living level on the site near Lipoveni is one still under discussion, while both forest steppe and steppe characteristics are present, its dating corresponds largely to the early Iron Age. Namely in this period it is thought that the formation of early Thracian communities occurred.

The horn and bone landmarks site described here is composed of harnesses, arrowheads, hilts, items with unknown use, etc. The scope of this communication is to introduce these artifacts in the scientific circuit and their inclusion in typological schemes existent in the context of similar discoveries.

Typological analysis and mapping of similar horn and bone items, correlated to other item categories, especially ceramics and bronze items, would allow to make certain conclusions on chronological order and cultural background regarding the transition from the late Bronze to the early Iron Age in the space between the Prut and the Dniestr.


95.  Thracians at the foot of Pirin Mountain (poster)

Katya Melamed

Unreleased results are presented of the archaeological research in the area of Bansko. A Thracian community has left a pre-Christian sanctuary, and after the adoption of Christianity – a basilica built upon it, and a Christian necropolis.

The sanctuary is badly destroyed and still containing a good amount of pottery fragments some of them obviously brought by pilgrims coming from the Rhodopes. This assumption is based upon the pottery containing talcum – a technology known only in the Rhodopes.

The basilica is of a complicated plan with a chapel – baptistery and stained glass window probably imported from Nicopolis ad Nestum. The manner of construction reveals the Thracian tradition of unprocessed stone fixed with soil. The whole construction is far away from the Byzantine standards of church architecture but close to some other Early Christian Thracian churches in the Rhodopes.

The practices observed in the necropolis show strong memory of the old traditions. The graves are of various constructions – cists and also tile-roofed, alongside commemorative structures with fireplaces unknown so far in any other necropolises of the same time. There are not any grave-goods except for an iron umbo of a shield and a complete bronze belt set of mountings perhaps taken as a trophy of a Roman officer. The date of the necropolis is from the AD 4th – 5th c. on the grounds of the belt set as well as the specific hand-made pottery still keeping some features of the Late Iron Age shapes and decoration.


96.  Mythical Thrace in Latin poetry

Harilaos Michalopoulos

For the Romans, Thrace was a distant and exotic region. This unfriendly and rather unknown land, despite its distance from Rome, never stopped providing Roman writers with mythical stories of fear, fantasy and revenge. Various versions of mythical Thrace populate Latin literature from its beginnings up to Late Antiquity. The mythical Thrace of the Romans is not merely the warlike land of Mars run by cruel kings and inhabited by barbarous people; it is also a land of wonders inhabited by suicidal princesses, treacherous heroes, and lovelorn poets. Caught between reality and fantasy Thrace becomes much more than the conventional backdrop for mythical tales or a leitmotiv in exotic narratives. The aim of this paper is to examine the multiple transformations and poetic functions of mythical Thrace in Latin poetry. Special emphasis will be given to the work of poets from the Augustan (mainly Vergil, Horace, Ovid) and the Flavian age (mainly Martial, Valerius Flaccus).


97.  The necropolis Dren-Delyan (11th – 4th century BC). Cultural and physical anthropological analyses

Philip Mihaylov, Nadezhda Atanassova-Timeva, Borislava Galabova

The necropolis is situated in the south-eastern periphery of Radomir Valley on the left bank of the creek at the bottom of the eastern slope of Konyavska Mountain. It was discovered accidentally in 2011 and extensively excavated during 2012.

Just below the sod are detected rock aggregations of crushed stones, wedged against each other. Immediately below them chains of rectangular facilities constructed by slab stones were found. In some of them were discovered graves. Others of the facilities were probably used for burial and commemoration activities.

Two phases of existence of the necropolis were distinguished: early (11th – 8th century BC) and late (6th – 4th century BC). Cremation was the only burial practice in the necropolis. The remains of the deceased were burned outside the burial facilities. During the first phase, the bone remains were placed in urns and covered with plates. In the second phase, the graves and the ritual facilities were made of stone. The grave goods and the human bone remains were rarely placed together in the urns. The grave goods are usually found on the ancient terrain or rocks facilities.

The human bones discovered in the necropolis are very fragmented, deformed and with small dimensions as a result of high temperature combustion. That does not allow a detailed anthropological investigation. The cortical surfaces are in very poor condition. Basic osteological analysis of the individuals which includes determining of sex and age at death was undertaken.


98.  Glass beads from the Dren-Delyan necropolis (archaeological and chemical study) (poster)

Philip Mihaylov, Nikoleta Tzankova

The Dren-Delyan necropolis is among the largest ones from the 1st millennium BC in the Central Balkans. The presumed area of the necropolis is about 10 ha. Only 400 m of stone grave complexes have been studied. The necropolis has two phases – the first one from the 11th – 9th c. BC, and the second – from the 6th to the 4th c. BC. During the second phase of the necropolis, all graves and ritual installations were made of stone. This is unusual since in the area there are no stones.

The bodies were cremated outside these installations. Usually, the burned bones and gifts were deposited onto the stones and rarely put into urns. The grave goods consist mainly of ornaments and weapons. Glass beads were found only in the graves from the second stage.

Fourteen glass beads were chemically analyzed using SEM-EDS. The obtained compositions allow us to classify them, except one, as silica-soda-lime or silica/alumina-soda-lime low magnesium glass beads (LMG) produced with natron as flux. The only exception is the opaque dark green bead with beige decoration. It is characterized by high contents of K2O and MgO (high magnesium glass-HMG) which defines it as produced by different raw materials – ashes from salt-tolerant plants.

Surface SEM observations show on most of the analyzed beads phases and heterogeneous sections, dispersed in the glass mass. They are not completely melted relicts of the raw material from which the glass is made. Chemical examination of these non-uniformities, along with the chemical composition of the glass mass, enabled us to define color additives, decolorizing agents and opacifiers in the studied samples.


99.  A Middle Bronze age ceramic jug from tell Rousse (poster)

Petar Minkov

The present article is dedicated to a jug from the Middle Bronze Age, which was detected last century during rescue excavation at tell Rousse. Over the last few decades, several suggestions have been made regarding the chronology of the jug. The suggested dating varies from the Middle to the Late Bronze Age. A literature review is needed to refine the dating and to provide new information about the object.

The aim of the paper is to refine the dating of the jug and to determine its cultural context.

This purpose will be accomplished by doing the following:
- a reassessment of the archaeological context of the jug;
- a description of the pottery recovered alongside the cited object during the excavations at tell Rousse;
- a review of parallels of the jug and comparative analysis.

The main hypothesis of the study is that the jug was an import or a local imitation.

As far as known, after the end of the third phase of the Early Bronze Age, contacts with neighboring territories were suddenly interrupted or dramatically slowed down. The presence of a find like tell Rousse’s jug shows that it has been possible to change networks of communications and contacts.  It could indicate a change in location of the preferred tells from Upper Trace to north of the Stara Planina mountain range. Parts of these processes have already been discussed in the literature. The jug from tell Rousse is one of the evidence which conceivably emphasizes contact between Anatolia and Thrace beyond the end of the Early Bronze Age – precisely during the Middle Bronze Age.


100.  On the Etymology of some Thracian Glosses

Albena Mircheva, Biliana Mihaylova

In this talk some of the well-known Thracian glosses as ἄργιλος ‘mouse’; βρυνχός ‘stringed instrument, guitar’; βρῦτος ‘barley water, beer’; γέντον ‘meat’ and others will be subject to reconsideration and revision. As a starting point, the most comprehensive to date study of Thracian glosses from the book of Zh. Velkova (1986) will be used. Information available to date on the above glosses will be supplemented and updated according to the latest research of specialists in the Paleo-Balkan and Indo-European linguistics and some alternative etymological solutions will be offered.


101.  Balbus, a Roman Surveyor in Dacia (poster)

Alexandru Morintz

The poster proposes a new approach of the ancient writing Expositio et ratio omnium formarum, emphasizing on technical information contained in the text. This information will be analyzed in the context of available mathematical notions, and in particular geometry, documented by other sources for the Ist – IInd century AD.


102.  On Skudrians in the Akkadian Versions of Achaemenid Royal Inscriptions and some Late-Babylonian Texts

Kabalan Moukarzel, Miroslav Izdimirski

In this paper we would like to examine some sources about the Skudra people in the Achaemenid Empire. They are mentioned in the Akkadian versions of some Achaemenid Royal inscriptions, and also in a few Late-Babylonian documents. Our first aim is to review the passages mentioning the ethnonym itself and its social context.

Separately we investigate the mentions of Skudrians in Achaemenid royal inscriptions like dependent people of Persian crown.

All this we relate with the ethnonym Skudra as dependent people – workers in Achaemenid Royal estates attested in the Persepolis Fortification Tablets. We discuss the current state of actual knowledge about the ethnicity of this group which appears in edited and non-edited cuneiform texts from the Persepolis Fortifications.


103.  Thracians as σύμμαχοι to the Greek settlements along the West Pontic coast

Kate Mower

Diodorus Siculus mentions an alliance between the Greek settlement of Callatis and the Thracians and Scythians “whose lands bordered with their own” (Diod. 19.73) at the end of the fourth century BCE. An epigraphic source from Istros also assumes an alliance system in place between the Greek settlements of Istros and Apollonia Pontica and the Thracians and Scythians. Other than a passing remark about these alliance systems, and only in the context of ongoing battle, the political and diplomatic relations between Greek settlements on the West Pontic coast and their neighbors, the Thracians and Scythians, remain unspecified in ancient sources available today. The archaeological evidence uncovered at Callatis, Istros, and Apollonia Pontica shows that the Thracians, Scythians and the Greek settlements had cultural contact, but it also infers political and military support. This paper argues for that support using such evidence, but it also points to problems with inferring too much from the archaeological finds.


104.  Bronze biconical pitchers from Thrace. Morphology and chronology (poster)

Yana Mutafchieva

Inadequate attention has been paid in scientific literature to the bronze biconical pitchers. It is known that their form was derived from the so-called type Jacobshtal-Langsdorff, which originated from the Etruscan jugs of "beak" characteristic of the VIth – Vth c. BC. In the Vth BC the shape changed and the biconical "beak" pitchers appeared, which were popular both in Etruria and in Magna Graecia. Individual finds have also come to light in Greece, Macedonia and Scythia. In the IVth c. BC the bronze biconical pitchers were becoming quite popular in the Mediterranean.

The biconical pitchers from Thrace form a compact group of vessels found in the necropoleis of the Thracian aristocracy in the IVth c. BC. Their use continued for more than a century, which necessitates an attempt at chronological distribution. Their morphological and stylistic features permit to place them in a chronological framework. They can be divided into two types depending on the way of manufacture of the lower part of body. The first involves pitchers with a slightly concave bottom part and the second those with a markedly concave bottom part.

Pitchers of the first type should be defined as earlier. They can be dated to the first half of the IVth c. BC. The decoration placed at the bottom of the handle represents commonly floral ornaments, palmettes, half-palmettes, acanthus leaves and volutes.

The biconical pitchers with a markedly concave bottom should be placed in the second half of the IVth c. BC. Their decoration does not differ significantly from the previous group, but shows a decline in the quality and complexness which continued also in the early IIIrd c. BC.


105.  Some observations regarding the “skull cult” in the Thracian space

Rodica Ursu Naniu, Alexandra Comşa

Numerous archaeological find from the Thracian space had attested the custom of animal or human skull depositions in various contexts, funerary or non-funerary-ones. The practice of ritual depositions of skulls is no specific just to the Thracians, being generally found in the Indo-European range. Which were the reasons of these rituals, what beliefs had determined them and which are the possible interpretations resulting from the archaeological context of the finds is a challenge for any researcher who deals with such a situation during his fieldwork. And this in the conditions when not only the archaeological context is different, but also the treatment of the skulls (with processing traces or unprocessed), their association with other depositions, etc. A considerable role in clearing up these ritual behaviors is played by the anthropological and archaeozoological studies, which could establish the particular characteristics regarding the age/sex and even the ethnic assignment of the individual (in the case of the human sacrifices), as well as those connected to the species/age of the sacrificed individuals, in the case of the animal depositions.


106.  Rituels funéraires et non-funéraires dans l’enceinte de Stolniceni (République de Moldavie): observations, analyses, reconstructions

Rodica Ursu Naniu, Andrei Corobcean

Dans la pensée archaïque, la vie et le bien-être, tant individuel que collectif, étaient garantis par un lien particulier avec la divinité, à laquelle on portait des offrandes et pour laquelle, dans des moments critiques de l’existence, on faisait des sacrifices, dont le plus important était le sacrifice humain. Similairement, le passage dans l’au-delà ne pouvait être fait que par la prise en compte consciente de ce moment critique, c’est-à-dire par l’accomplissement de certains rites et rituels funéraires, ayant de rôle d’éloigner tout péril dans lequel pouvait se trouver non seulement le parcours de la personne décédée mais aussi la paix de la communauté.

Ces deux pratiques culturelles ont été surprises dans l’enceinte doublement fortifiée de Stolniceni, et les recherches au cours des campagnes de fouilles de 2015 et de 2016 ont fait apparaître de nouvelles particularités de la vie religieuse, particularités qui ont permis aux auteurs de formuler des considérations sur la fonction et le symbolisme des aménagements et des objets découverts, regardés d’une double perspective, celle de la vie et celle de la mort.


107.   (Sling) Bullet points on the military campaigns of Philip II of Macedon in Southwest Thrace

Emil Nankov

Scholarly research concerning the Macedonian expansion in inland Thrace during the reign of Philip II of Macedon is traditionally dominated by historians who deal exclusively with written sources. Lead sling bullets can serve as a reliable marker for mobility of armies, speaking directly through their singular function and personal names often inscribed on them. Apart from leading us in the footsteps of Macedonian commanders who ventured into the perils of mountainous Thrace on the orders of Philip II, they can help locating unknown aristocratic seats of power often nestled in the rugged terrain of the interior.

The present paper discusses a number of unpublished lead sling bullets from museum collections in Southwest Bulgaria. All items entered the museums as donations or after being seized from looters who collected them through illicit metal detecting on archaeological sites from the Middle Nestos and Middle Strymon River valleys. The sling bullets are inscribed with the names of Philip II and his generals otherwise attested on towns besieged by Philip II on the Chalcidice peninsula during the 350s and the 340s BC – testifying to the substantial reliance on light troops (slingers) at the time. The study of the bullets’ spatial distribution could help us trace the movement of the Macedonian army, thereby challenging our current perceptions of the scale of Philip’s military campaigns in inland Thrace. It is now clear that his strategy involved multiple points of entry, including the courses of not only Hebros and Tonzos, as is traditionally assumed, but also those of Nestos and Strymon.


108.  The Reality before Seuthopolis: Early Iron Age Life in the Kazanlak Valley

Georgi Nekhrizov, Nadezhda Kecheva

The report aims at characterizing the cultural development in the Kazanlak valley in the first half of the Ist mill. BC. The goal is to present the settlement system before the region transformation into a center of a Thracian state organization that happened after 4th c. BC. Main sources are the results of the systematic archaeological surveys that have been conducted since 2009 using modern methods for non-destructive surveys and application of GIS technologies. Data is also gathered from the few excavated EIA sites, isolated finds or single artifacts uncovered by the excavations of later sites. Spatial analysis using GIS technologies allows for drawing the dynamics of the settlement life in the Kazanlak valley in the period 11th – 6th c. BC. The results from the trial excavations on some EIA settlements provide data for sketching out their internal organization. The EIA burials, though few in number, allows also to infer about the funerary rites during the period and to compare with those from the LIA, attested by a numerous excavated complexes.


109.  From Bronze to Iron in Thrace

Georgi Nekhrizov, Julia Tzvetkova

The transition from the Late Bronze to the Early Iron Age is a period of multiple cultural transformations, which affected Thrace as a part of all Aegean economies. While the topic is widely studied for the Mediterranean region and Anatolia, in Thrace only the excavation from the last two decades provide more significant and well stratified data for specifying our knowledge for the period.

The investigations of sites with considerable stratigraphic accumulations made it possible to distinguish the different phases of the EIA, and the analysis of the pottery complex enabled tracing the specifics of transition from LBA to EIA. The presence of significant number of radiocarbon data allow for building the absolute chronology and the synchronization of period. Recent excavations on Gluhite kamani (East Rhodopes) reveal it as a key site for our understanding of the habitation from the period.


110.  Mining in the Thracian world: The case of Lekani Mountains in Northern Greece

Nerantzis Nerantzis, Stratis Papadopoulos

Although ancient literary sources rarely refer to the question of mining and metallurgy of the Thracians, archaeological evidence from Northern Greece and Bulgaria testify to their active involvement with such activity. Long before the arrival of the Greeks in the Thracian littoral, the processing of minerals, in particular copper, lead-silver and gold extraction was common among the native Thracian populations during the Early Iron Age. This paper discusses the issue of mining activity in the Lekani Mountains for which only scarce reference is made by ancient authors. Mining shafts and galleries, mineral processing areas and slag heaps often associated with Thracian pottery represent direct evidence for the organization and running of metal production in this region. With the foundation of Thasian colonies and emporia in the coastal zone the output in metals increased and this became possible through the involvement of Thracian manpower as they were more numerous and better suited to exploit these resources. On the other hand, the Greeks of the colonies traded finished products in exchange for raw materials. This reciprocal relation is corroborated by recent evidence deriving from the excavation in Pistyros (Pontolivado), where large volumes of slag from iron forging came to light as well as pieces of litharge deriving from the separation of silver from lead. While the evidence for primary smelting of iron ores and argentiferous lead ores exists in the Lekani Mountains, presumably in Thracian territory, the secondary processing was achieved within this fortified settlement, under control by the Greek colonists.


111.  Un trésor de monnaies et de bijoux du IIIe siècle av. J.-C. découvert en République de Moldavie

Eugen Nicolae, Aurel Vilcu, Mihai Ciocanu

Les auteurs présentent un trésor trouvé en République de Moldavie, dispersé immédiatement après la découverte. On a obtenu des informations sur deux monnaies d’or, 53 monnaies d’argent, une fibule et un bracelet d’argent. La structure du dépôt a été reconstituée presque entièrement, parce qu’il est certain qu’il ne contenait pas d’autres monnaies d’or et bijoux et seulement une monnaie d’argent est probablement restée inconnue. Le lot de monnaies inclut deux statères posthumes de type Alexandre le Grand, 43 monnaies d’argent frappées par Istros et dix imitations de tétradrachmes de type Philippe II. L’un des statères de type Alexandre le Grand, sans monogramme, est attribué à la cité d’Odessos (M. J. Price n° 1132, env. 300 – env. 280 av. J.-C.). L’autre statère de type Alexandre le Grand semble être une imitation. Selon des recherches récentes, les monnaies istriennes en argent du trésor ont été mises en circulation dans la seconde moitié du IVe siècle et la première moitié du IIIe siècle av. J.-C. Après l’examen des découvertes de la région du Bas-Danube on discute la chronologie des monnaies istriennes en argent. Les imitations de tétradrachmes de Philippe II appartiennent à la catégorie connue sous l’appellation de Huşi-Vovriești. On discute la circulation, l’utilisation et la chronologie des imitations de type Huși-Vovriești. L’établissement du moment de la clôture du trésor selon les monnaies permet quelques considérations sur la chronologie des types de bijoux associés avec celles-ci – la fibule et le bracelet en argent.


112.  New views on the formation of the material culture of the Thracian communities

Ion Niculiţă, Aurel Zanoci, Mihail Băţ

Archaeological investigations during the late 20th – early 21st centuries revealed several sites with significant material, including indicators of time, that show a link between the late Bronze Age and the early Iron Age.

Investigations at multilayered sites in the southern region of the Middle Dniester – Saharna Mică, Saharna Mare/Dealul Mănăstirii, Saharna-Ţiglău, Saharna-La Şanţ – tell us about the existence of an early layer that belongs to the horizon with incised ceramics of the Holercani-Hansca type.

Thus, as a result of archaeological investigations at the site of Saharna Mică there were found closed complexes, remains of dwellings and household structures containing objects that were typical of the Holercani-Hansca culture of the 12th-11th centuries BC.

At Saharna Mare/Dealul Mănăstirii there was found a religious complex containing ceramic material with incised and stamped decor that are typical of the Cozia-Saharna culture of the 11th-10th centuries BC. Under this complex there was a layer of 0.5 to 0.55 m thick, without signs of upheaval, which covered a hole containing pottery decorated by incision in its filling. Such a situation clearly demonstrates not only a sequence of layers, but also chronological succession of complexes. At the same site was discovered a closed complex which contained several fragments of vessels, some with the decor executed by incision or in relief, and a bronze hairpin (Ösennadel) dated Bz C2-D. Materials typical of a horizon with incised pottery have also been found in other sectors of the Saharna Mare interfluve, that indicates the existence of an open settlement there in the 12th-11thcenturies BC.

Based on the materials from closed complexes and the finds from the cultural layer, it was found that there existed a settlement of the 12th-11th centuries BC on the Saharna-Ţiglău promontory, located in close proximity to Saharna Mare and Saharna Mică.

Based on studying the stratigraphy of the sites in southern Middle Dniester region, and in particular of the settlements of Saharna Mare/Dealul Mănăstirii and Saharna-Ţiglău, it was established that the cultural horizon with incised pottery contributed directly to the formation of the Cozia-Saharna culture of the early Iron Age.

In turn, the pottery found in the Middle Dniester region corresponds by its modeling technique, firing, shape and decoration to the pottery assortment of Pšeničevo-Babadag spread north and south of the Balkans, as well as in northwestern Anatolia. The discovery of pottery decorated with geometric motifs made by incising and stamping in the strata of Troy VII b2 and Troy VII b3 might indicate the presence of a “Northwest Pontic” element in the North Aegean Basin.


113.  Correlation of anthropomorphic and animalistic styles in the Thraco-Getic and Scythian art

Ion Niculiţă, Aurel Zanoci, Mihail Băţ

A number of art samples were found fortuitously or in archaeological research in the Balkan-Carpathian-Pontic area and the northern and western regions of the Pontus Euxinus. The earliest pieces with artistic decor are luxury vessels imported from the Eastern Greek cities, which are dated between the end of the 8th century BC and the 7th century BC. The following period from the 6th to the 3rd centuries BC is characterized by the spread mainly of ornaments, toreutics items, pieces of horse harness, festive/religious arms made of precious metals.

The study of the forms of the objects, the decor content and techniques for presenting scenes as well as the ornamentation techniques reveals two distinct chronological stages. The early stage (6th – 5th centuries BC) presents the time when animalistic style was predominant, for example, representations in the form of a moose head used to decorate the tops of canopies or birds of prey claws used for decoration of Scythian quivers “goryti”, handles of swords, or as clothing items. In the second stage, which is dated in the 4th – 3rd centuries BC, both in the Thraco-Getic and the Scythian metalwork two styles were practiced simultaneously: anthropomorphic and animalistic.

The analysis of Scythian art objects made of gold, silver and, rarely, of bronze highlights the accuracy and perfection in the process of their manufacturing. This means that the overwhelming majority of works of art attributed to the Scythians were made in the workshops of the Greek poleis.

At the same time, the detailed analysis of art objects discovered in the Getic sites of the 4th and 3rd centuries BC located north of the Balkans shows that the iconographic concept usually has a coded religious-mythical nature associated with the contemplation of the periodic changes in the environment and man’s place in cosmic space. The most explicit example in this regard is the case with the presentation of Aquila (Cosmos) with a fish in its beak (Water) and a rodent in its claws (Earth), which thus represents three areas in which people carry out their activities.

In terms of material, the Thraco-Getic works of art are made of gold, silver, bronze, and, in rare cases, of iron. The products, regardless of their shape or nature of the scenes, were made in the technique of repoussage and pressing, a technique borrowed from the Achaemenid art, combined with Greek geometric style.

The clumsiness in the depiction of scenes, the ignorance of the principles of perspective, the failure to comply with the proportions in rendering anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figures, when the disproportion between rider and horse is about 1:3 in favor of the rider, reveal a primitivism which prevailed in the Thraco-Getic metalworking and point to the fact that these products were made by local craftsmen.

The mapping of the Thraco-Getic works of art outlines their area of use – the space between the Balkan Mountains in the south, the Carpathian mountains in the west, the Black Sea in the east, and the middle reaches of the Dniester River in the northeast.


114.  The Mythological Integration of Thrace into the Greek World – Various motives – various strategies

Johannes Nollé

The Greeks in the Greek Motherland as well as in Asia Minor attempted to describe both their understanding of Thrace and the Thracians and their relationship to them by telling mythical tales. Thereby a variety of aims and strategies becomes visible: Whereas some myths alluded to a former subjugation of the country by Greek heroes in order to entitle the Greeks to take possession of the land, other lore tried to state family relations between Greeks and Thracians. Finally cultural appropriation was explained and justified by myth.


115.  A New Look at the Mythological Representations of the Panagyurishte Gold Treasure, Bulgaria

Asher Ovadiah

Of the nine gold vessels of the Panagyurishte treasure, discovered accidentally in December 1949 and dated to the second half of the 4th or the first part of the 3rd century BCE, three are significant for the present discussion: two rhyta and an amphora-rhyton. On the first rhyton is represented the Judgement of Paris; the second rhyton depicts Herakles fighting against the legendary Ceryneian hind and Theseus hunting the bull of Marathon; on the amphora-rhyton, a warlike scene is depicted. Various scholars have engaged with the scene on the body of the amphora-rhyton, in an attempt to offer an interpretation. The interpretations of the scholars vary a great deal from each other. It seems plausible to consider that the three vessels are related to each other not only as part of a luxurious drinking set, but also as a cycle of close themes, forming a thematic and narrative link. Consequently, they may throw a new light upon the meaning of the warlike scene on the wall of the amphora-rhyton and the Judgement of Paris on the first rhyton.


116.  Thracian v. Dacian (Daco-Moesian). How many ‘Thracian languages’ were there spoken in the Antiquity?

Sorin Paliga

After trying to answer the question regarding the number of languages spoken in the Balkan area in the antiquity, it is perhaps high time to clarify the long debated issue regarding the ‘Thracian languages’ spoken in the antiquity. According to one hypothesis, there was a clear dichotomy Thracian proper (‘echtthrakish’) v. Dacian or Daco-Moesian. The most invoked argument refers to the distribution of place-names in -dava v. the ones in -bria and -para. I answered this question as early as 1987, by analysing seven Thracian terms referring to the urban structures: bria, dava or deva (also dova, daba, deba), dina or deina, diza (also dizos, deize), leba, ora (also oros, oron), para, also bara. There is no convincing argument, which may support the idea that there were more ‘Thracian languages’.

On the other hand, there are clear examples, which show specific dialectal evolutions as time went on, e.g. Thr. ā > a in south Thracian (‘echtthrakisch’) v. ā > u, sometimes o in the northern dialects (Dacian); or Struma (Bulgaria) and Strei and Stremț (Romania), on the one hand, v. Siret and Siriu (east Romania). We may surmise a specific evolution in these Thracian dialects, which must be associated with the idiom spoken by the Carpians and Costoboces.


117.  Strabo’s account on the 'differentia' of the Thracian ethos

Ioanna Papadopoulou

In the 7th book of Strabo’s Geographica pieces of information regarding the Thracian tribes, their mores and their ethos occur; all the passages relative to the Thracian descriptions and accounts aim to strengthen, to support and to prove the main point of the Geographer: the accuracy of Homer and Homeric poetry as a part of geographical studies. Thus Strabo provides a brief description of the Thracians’ ‘physiognomy’, in geographic and anthropological terms, emphasizing on their simple diet, the polygamy, their special relation to religion, while stressing their nomadic and just way of life.

The paper will focus on Strabo’s account of the Thracian characteristics exploiting two questions: a) Whether (and to what extend) Strabo’s point of view is in accordance with the previous, especially poetic, ancient Greek tradition regarding the Thracian tribes?, and b) Given the (partly fragmental) ancient Greek references and sources, can it be concluded that Strabo’s description is accurate or represents only an attempt to write a sort of ‘paradoxology’ about the Thracians?


118.  The inconspicuous coinage with the legend ΜΟΡΙΑΣΕΩΝ

Maria-Gabriella Parissaki, Yannis Stoyas

The rare copper coin issue under discussion (head of Zeus r. / six-rayed star, Μ-ΟΡ-ΙΑ-ΣΕ-Ω-Ν) came into notice at first with a single specimen, which was the object of a paper published in 2008 by P. R. Franke (the coin had been acquired in his collection since 1992). A second specimen, also in a private collection, surfaced in 2011. Franke’s piece was auctioned in 2014; two more specimens appeared in trade later on. In the said (and only so far) scholarly paper, Franke put forward a suggestion for a tribal issue, struck in the name of the Moriaseis, making a connection with the Thracian tribe of the Moriseni, based on a reference by Plinius. He proposed also a chronology in the first half of the 2nd century BC (rather ca. 187/6 – 168 or 149/8 BC); an assumption was made as well that the settlement area of the tribe was then in the Machtbereich of the Macedonian Kingdom and not on the Pontic coast as related by Plinius.

The present study, besides amending details regarding the coinage per se, attempts to shed more light on the crucial matters of the issue’s dating and of the minting area. A better fitting chronology is suggested through scrutinizing elements such as stylistic analysis of iconography and evaluation of letter forms of the coin legend. Taken into consideration is also whether this is a tribal issue indeed or if an alternative for an issue minted at a city is possible — the ethnic name by itself cannot preclude this option. In any case, the raison d’être of the issue is of importance and has to be framed within historical context. Furthermore, matters of historical geography are put under examination, hinting to certain connotations provided by later literary sources which may be quite telling; it appears that available clues point in all probability to SE Thrace.


119.  The inventory from the southwest chamber of the mound complex Ostrusha – new observations

Meglena Parvin

The subject of this study are the items found in the unplundered chamber of the mound complex Ostrusha – a silver set of ornaments for horse-trappings, a silver jug of the Type “White lotus”, a silver calyx-cup and a parade pectoral the“Mezek” type made of iron and a silver-gilt foil with relief decoration. The typological analysis of the objects allows for the relative date to be established.

The set of ornaments for horse-trappings belongs to a large group of such items and finds close parallels in rich Thracian burial complexes from second half of the 4th c. BC.

The jug belongs to a group of 22 similar objects found in Thrace and Eastern Macedonia. Manufacturing technique, the exquisite nature of the decoration and the overall proportions make it possible to date them during the last quarter of the 4th c. BC.

The calyx-cup is also quite popular in Thrace and Macedonia during the second half of the 4th c. BC, and even later. The specific features of the shape, the proportions and the undecorated surface provide grounds to assign it to the earlier variant of the shape and for its manufacture to be put in the third quarter of the 4th c. BC.

The pectoral, together with eight other examples (whole or fragmentary) belongs to the group of the so-called “Mezek” type. Their territorial distribution falls again within Thrace and Macedonia. Identical manufacture, similar decorative motives, and composition suggest a compact group created and used during 325-275 BC.


120.  Wreaths in Funeral Context: Chronology and Meaning in Ancient Thrace and Macedonia

Angela Pencheva

This paper analyzes the chronological distribution of the different types of funeral wreaths, and their function in the context of Late Classical and Hellenistic burial complexes from the ancient regions of Macedonia, Thrace and the neighboring Greek apoikias on the Black Sea Coast.

From the second half of the 4th century BCE onwards, different types of wreaths become a widespread grave good across the entire Greek world.

A large number of outstanding gold specimens and their gilded clay imitations were found in the necropoleis of ancient Macedonia, as well as in the contemporary burials of the neighboring region of Thrace. Crowned and wreathed figures are also represented in the wall painting scenes in some of the most famous Macedonian and Thracian chamber tombs. At the same time, gilded clay wreaths gain a particular popularity in the necropoleis of the Greek apoikia on the western Black Sea coast.

To consider the funeral wreath in its manifold representations and contextual symbolic complexity as a homogeneous phenomenon proves to be difficult for a good reason. Above all, it cannot be conceived as a custom with singular-uniform meaning in an exclusively non-Greek environment. On the contrary, the function of the wreath proves to be extremely diverse and complex. It appears to be based on different aspects of the wreath’s function in pre-Hellenistic times, which is charged with ever-new meanings and determinations.

In the period from the second half of the 4th and the first quarter of the 3rd century BCE, the number of the burial complexes with funeral wreaths increased steadily. These observations lead to the hypothesis of the existence of a normalized burial model in the two adjoining ancient regions of Macedonia and Thrace. It consisted of a selection and combination of normatively and aesthetically charged symbols in the form of magnificent tombs. The combination of these particular objects suggests that there was a "cultural code" that showed the social position of the recipient.

These burials can be associated with representatives of the Macedonian and Thracian elite, and even with royal dynasties. The number and diversity of the wreaths exhibited in some of these trench complexes are remarkable. In the case of other similar burials, the same categories are represented only by single specimens or clay replicas. The number of funeral complexes with the abovementioned features became markedly smaller from the first quarter of the 3rd century BCE, especially in Thrace, with only a few representatives of the clay examples. The technological features of the grave-good specimens became more schematic and simple. The remaining accessory categories, e.g. metal vessels and weapons gradually showed fewer and fewer specimens. Regardless of this, funeral wreaths are found in most of the central areas of Macedonia until the 1st century BCE.


121.  Coin finds and payments in the Thracian and Getic area at the end of the 4th century BC

Emanuel Petak

Recently, the numismatic collection of the Romanian Academy was increased with a new and very rare posthumous Alexander type stater (Price 202) having a bee as a symbol on the reverse left field (to the left from the figure of Athena). Discovered at the end of the 19th c. around the village of Trivale-Moşteni, Teleorman county, it belongs to a little known series from Pella, struck during the last few years of Kassandros’ reign. The single comparable issues for staters are those with ants on the reverse (Price 831-832) assigned to Amphipolis and considered to be struck in the last years of the 4th century BC. The succession of the die-links from Amphipolis staters shows that those having ants on the reverse belong exclusively to the 6th and especially 7th issues, struck around 300 BC or a little earlier. It will be a reasonable supposition that the Pella issues with a bee must also be placed in the last years of the 4th century BC. There are several coin finds in Northern and North-Eastern Bulgaria but also in the Northern part of the Danube coming from the late 4th c. BC as a result of the direct involvement of some Thracian and probably Getic contingents of mercenaries in the wars of the Successors: Codlea, Braşov county (IGCH 409), Galaţi, Galaţi county (IGCH 799), Gâldău, Călăraşi county (IGCH 774) and Todorovo (Bulgaria) – 15 km East from Sboryanovo. The most recent coins from these hoards seem to be Price 172 (Amphipolis, issue 1, Kassandros time) for Galaţi and Gâldău hoards (around 310 BC) and probably also for Codlea. Concerning the Todorovo hoard, the most relevant sample is Price 832 (issue 7 from Amphipolis), having a common obverse die with Price 3128 b (Amphipolis, issue 8, around 300 BC). The context of these inputs of Macedonian Kassandros’ time gold coins is probably linked to the fourth war of the Successors – reflecting the conflict between Kassandros and Demetrios Poliorcetes, suggesting the implication of local mercenaries in all of these conflicts.


122.  Ovid in Thrace

Aurora Pețan

Augustus’ unexpected decision to relegate Ovid to Tomis in 8 AD imposed the departure of the poet in the middle of winter on a long and difficult route. After two terrible storms at sea, Ovid continues his journey on land and crosses Thrace escorted by Sextus Pompeius. Although he describes, in the first book of Tristia, the difficulties of his journey to Tomis, the crossing of Thrace is missing from the book. However, some information and allusions to this episode full of dangers can be found in some later letters. An analysis of this data reveals some interesting aspects of Ovid’s journey in Thrace and raises the question of whether (at least) one of his letters was lost.


123.  Die Münzprägung von Philippopolis in antoninischer Zeit

Ulrike Peter

Nach den Anfängen unter Domitian und in trajanisch-hadrianischer Zeit erreichte die Münzprägung von Philippopolis unter der von Antoninus Pius begründeten Dynastie ihre erste große Blüte. Im Vortrag soll die Nominalstruktur unter den einzelnen Kaisern vorgestellt, die Münztypologie charakterisiert und ausgewählte Münzbilder interpretiert werden.


124.  Das Odrysenreich in Thrakien und Διήγυλις ὁ τῶν Θρᾳκῶν βασιλεὺς / Zisemis, Diogyridis filii, Thraciae regis

Plamen Petkov

 „Θραικῶν βασιλεύς“ ist von „Ὀδρυσῶν βασιλεύς“ nicht zu unterscheiden. Als Θραικῶν βασιλεύς kennt man Kothelas (Κοθήλας ὁ τῶν Θρᾳκῶν βασιλεὺς, Satyros ap. Athen. 13, 5), Diegylis (Διήγυλις ὁ τῶν Θρᾳκῶν βασιλεὺς, Diod. 33, 14, 1) und seinen Sohn Zibelmios (Zisemis, Diogyridis filii, Thraciae regis (Gen.), Val. Maxim. 9, 2(ext), 4) sowie Barsabas (Βαρσαβὰν τὸν Θρᾳκῶν βασιλέα (Acc.), Diod. 32, 15, 7). Unter der Herrschaft von Kotys, Seuthes' Sohn in der ersten Hälfte des 2. Jh's kann sich das Odrysenreich militärisch-politisch stabilisieren. Die römische Republik erkennt die politische Bedeutung der Odrysen durch eine diplomatische Mission an. Nach Kotys' Tod orientiert sich die odrysische Politik jedoch gegen Rom. Teres, der Nachfolger von Kotys und Bithys unterstützt  Andriskos im 4. Makedonisch-Römischen Krieg. Andriskos' Niederlage stellt sich zugleich als Rückschlag für die Odrysen heraus. Das Odrysenreich verliert seine Positionen und unterliegt der Macht der Kainen, deren Herrscher von nun an als Θραικῶν βασιλεῖς in den Quellen vorkommen. Ca. 100 v. Chr. können die Odrysen dennoch ihre politische Autorität wiederherstellen, nachdem Didius die sogenannte Kainike Chersonesos erobert. Die Regierungsgewalt der odrysischen Dynastie über Thrakien dauert daher bis zum Jahre 46.


125.  Herodotus' ethnography of the Thracians: Myth, cliché, and reality

Ioannis Petropoulos

  1. Nenci, one of the recent editors of Herodotus' Histories, book 5, describes the Thracian section of the book as ‘one of the most organic of Herodotus’ ethnographic excursi, carried out in accordance with the modern concept of ‘‘cultural area.’’’

The ancient historian (5.3 ff.) uses the familiar vocabulary and the template of descriptive ethnography: political structure, nomoi (‘customs’), in particular sexual and marital mores, means of livelihood, religion, and burial customs. In this paper I shall examine Herodotus’ key field notes and set them in the context of ancient Greek ethnographic thought with a view to disentangling clichés and literary elements from ethnographic reality.


126.  Măgura Moigradului – Ritual Sacred Area and Dacian Settlement (poster)

Horea Pop

In what fallows, we shall make a presentation of the finds that concern the civil Dacian settlement on the Moigrad knoll.

Known in the historical literature of this period, due to some finds, as having a strong ritual character that initially been interpreted as funeral monuments, the Moigrad knoll appears to us more and more as a great fortified Dacian settlement, within which-us in some other cases-there can be also identified unquestionable ritual complexes, adjoining the numerous elements which are specific to a civil settlement.

Therefore, starting from 1958, there have been discovered around 500 pits, 70 fireplaces, 20 deepened dwellings, 20 ovens and 40 so-called “ceramical platforms”. It is quite possible that some worse-preserved ovens, due to some condition, have been counted as fireplaces, but this fact will not fundamentally change the data of the problem.

Another detail that deserves to be mentioned is the fact that from among the 500 pits already discovered, at least 60 are pits of heavy stanchions for Roman buildings, or heavy Dacian stanchions, 10 are prehistorical pits. The rest could be Dacian ritual pits.

As far as the so-called “ceramical platforms” are concerned, we stand for their identification with shallow dwellings. These “ceramical platforms” include in their stock broken vessels, burnt and unburnt bones as well as some other things specific to everyday life. Their forms are irregular. They often suppose a fireplace and more frequently, pits. Such being the case, we consider them as shallow dwellings built on wood beams, because of their high level of volcanic rock, which is specific to the Moigrad knoll. These beams have left behind no archaeological traces that could have been detected.

The older researchers made some investigations which regarded especially the eastern and south-eastern part of the plateau, between 1958-1959, that was over 1 km in perimeter and surface of 7 hectares, being on an maximal altitude of 514 m.

Generally, the deepened dwellings of the Moigrad knoll have a circular plan and they penetrate the rock from about 0,3-0,4 m to 0,7 m.

The roof is made up of two slopes and it is supported by stanchions situated within this construction, which deepens even 0,6 m under the inner level of the stepping. It varies from 2,5 to 3,5 m in diameter. None of this type of dwellings has an inner fireplace. This type of dwelling is dated to the 1st century B.C. This sort of dwellings has in its stock pottery, bones, small tools and stones which had fallen from the roof very probably made of straw (or thatch).

Like shallow dwellings, which are dated in the 1st century A.D., the deepened dwellings were found in only two thirds of the whole area of the plateau of the knoll, which measures 70.000 sqm. Therefore, the 45.000 sqm used during 200 years before the Roman conquest are mostly represented by the borders of the plateau, which were sheltered from the winds due to a diminished altitude, compared with the top of the hill.

From the 70.000 sqm of the plateau, there were systematically investigated only about 10.000 sqm (aprox. 10 %), starting with 1958. In this surface there were found all the Dacian discoveries.

The actual stage of the investigation does not allow us, for the time being, to draw a final conclusion, due to the sounding-character of the archaeological inquiries concerning both the archaeological site of the Moigrad knoll, where exhaustive diggings on representative microzones are necessary.


127.  The Kush Kaya hilltop-settlement: An interdisciplinary attempt to explain the changes and the regularities of the economic model

Hristo Popov, Elena Marinova, Bea de Cupere, Delphine Frémondeau

The Kush Kaya hilltop-settlement is located in the Eastern Rhodopes. Archaeological investigations during three successive campaigns revealed intriguing evidence about the occupation of the site in the Late Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age. The interdisciplinary studies of the agricultural economy and animal husbandry were based on the conventional analyses of animal bones and plant foods remains, as well as on stable isotope analyses. Combining the results from the interdisciplinary investigations with stratigraphic observations and the data about the relative and absolute chronology of the site led to a number of interesting conclusions. During various periods of human habitation, the site went through major changes of the economic model of main agricultural activities and animal husbandry. The paper will comment on the specifics of these changes and will provide possible explanations about what brought them.


128.  Antonia Tryphaena and her successors. To the Thracian history in the first half of the 1st c. AD

Ruja Popova

Antonia Tryphaena who is presented in the seven inscriptions known at now as a daughter of kings, mother of kings, herself queen, used her own authority and financial potential to guarantee her successors with places dignified to their own background in a world, controlled by the Roman Empire. Tryphaena succeeded to promulgate her influence through the Black Sea, Propontis, and Aegean littoral, to present and to inculcate her fourth known children on two continents. In 38 AD Rhoemetalces (III) was appointed as a king in Thrace, Polemo (II) – in Pontus (in 38/9 AD), and Cotys (IX) – in Armenia Minor (most probably in the later 38 or in earlier 39 AD) by Emperor Gaius. Much earlier Antonia Tryphaena managed to connect her daughter Pythodoris in matrimony with the dynast, later became a king of Thrace Rhoemetalces II, son of Rhascuporis – the murderer of her husband Cotys. According to the inscriptions the couple had children. Two epigraphic documents announce the names of probably her nephews beside her name – Gaius Iulius Rhascos, son of Rhoemetalces, and Sextus Iulius [Cotys], probably also son of Rhoemetalces and Rhascuporis’ nephew. In the beginning of the 20th c. F. Hasluck connected the name of the latter with Gaius Iulius Cotys, whose name is mentioned on a coin from the emperor Titus epoch, as his brother. Obviously the story of the Antonia Tryphaena’s notable family continued even after the annexation of Thrace as a Roman province in the Claudian time.


129.  The ancient authors for Bithynians, Thynians and Mariandinians in Anatolia

Kalin Porozhanov

According to ancient authors in the 8th/7th and the 5th century BC the Thynians and the Mariandinians are fraternal ethnic groups that connect with origin on the European side of the Bosporus Strait.

In the 5th century BC Mariandinians are located between Thracian ethnonyms on the southern coast of the Black Sea (Anatolia); after them – in the west – are consistently the Thracians Thynians and Bithynians.

At the end of the 5th – beginning of the 4th century BC the Mariandinians are Bithynians/Thracians. They exist in Asian Thrace and it is beyond doubt that they are Thracians.

In the early 4th century BC the Thracians in Bithynia are the Bithynians themselves.

In the 3rd century BC are named Mariandinians and Thynians (via island Thynias).

At the end of 1st century BC – early 1st century AD Bithynians, Thynians and Mariandinians are Thracians in Anatolia.

About in the middle of the 1st century AD the Bithynians exist in Anatolia. They connect with the Thracian Thynians in Europe.

In the 2nd century AD Thynians and Bithynians are neighboring brotherly ethnic groups in Anatolia, which are associated with the Thracian prophet and king-priest Phineus or with king-priest Odrys. It is clear that both are undoubtedly based in Europe.

In conclusion, ethno-political formations of Bithynians, Thynians and Mariandinians during the 1st millennium BC are Thracian and they live in northern Anatolia.


130.  Thracians in Palaeobalkan-westanatolian community (poster)

Alexandar Portalsky

The paper justifies the use of the term Palaeobalkan-westanatolian community. The community is defined as over-lingual and culturally identifiable, but it demonstrates similarities in the political systems too.

The community becomes identifiable from the second half of the 2nd millennium BC., slightly blurred in Hellenistic and Roman period, but its strong fundamentals hold until the end of antiquity. The announcement of Constantinople as an imperial capital plays a big role for that. It, in turn, is conditioned by the existence of this core that ensures the centuries long existence of Byzantium. Late manifestations of Palaeobalkan-westanatolian community are well documented and easily noticeable. A more significant question is since when we may identify this community and what might cause its formation. It`s appearance is related with the presence of similar natural conditions and the common to a great extent religion, as well as with the eased communication around the three seas - the Aegean, Sea of Marmora and Black sea.

The community includes different languages, not all of which are ethnically close. Within the community appear some of the earliest protopoleis and cities in Europe. The Greek polis was born here too. Polis suggests a different type of culture and polity in comparison to the monarchy, but both are formed gradually and would have hardly strengthened without interaction with the other political formations in the Palaeobalkan-westanatolian community.


131.  The (Re)used Pagan temenoses in Thracia Pontica (4th – 6th century AD) (poster)

Hristo Preshlenov

The process of institutional inculcation of Christianity along the Southwestern Pontic coast takes place alongside the changing of the attitude towards pagan temples. After the imposition of the new faith, the temenoses of some pagan temples were ruined and/or utilized for a sacral purpose.

The temple of the Pontic Mother of Gods in Dionysopolis was visited up to the 3rd quarter of the 4th c. AD. The dedications to the Thracian Horseman, Apollo, Dionysos, and Pan were made. Apart from the destruction, caused by the earthquake and/or by the Gothic raid, some of the temple statues were probably desecrated by Christians as well.

In Karabizye, a Christian basilica was built between the reign of Magnentius and Arcadius. In its construction pagan dedication slabs were inserted. Originally they were put in the destroyed sanctuary of the Thracian deity Heros Karabazmos. He was also honored in the nearby Odessos, where in the 2nd c. AD the cult was mingled with Apollo. After the end of the 4th c. AD the temple of Apollo was transformed into a Christian basilica.

In Mesembria, the Christian basilica at the main gate was built on the sacred site, where the oikistai and the heroes of the polis were celebrated. Its apse was constructed over a demolished around the middle of the 5th c. AD temple of Zeus.

A sacral topographic continuity has been found on St. John’s Island, near Sozopolis. Northwest of the Christian church, which housed relics of St. John the Baptist, a Thracian sanctuary has been located. On the adjacent St. Cyriacus Island another basilica inherited the temenos(es), where dedications to Apollo, Aphrodite, and the Thracian Horseman were made.

In Deultum, at the end of the 2nd c. A.D., a temple in which  Septimius Severus’s victories were celebrated was (re)built. During the 4th c. A.D. the built-up area of the abandoned temple was reused and an impressive Domus was constructed.


132.  Les représentations du soi-disant „Cavalier thrace“ en Macédoine romaine

Nade Proeva

Le motif iconographique du cavalier chassant, largement répandu en Thrace sur des monuments votifs à l'époque romaine, est communément dénommé « cavalier thrace » : cela implique l’origine thrace du schéma et de la « personnalité » du cavalier. Le même motif, à quelques détails près, se retrouve sur des monuments funéraires, c'est pourquoi ce cavalier sur les monuments funéraires en Macédoine a été interprété comme une divinité thrace, malgré l'absence de justifications.

Les études des monuments par régions montrent une grande diversité dans l’utilisation et la signification de ce motif. Il faut d'abord faire la distinction entre les monuments votifs et funéraires, et souligner ensuite les différents aspects que traduit l’image symbolique du cavalier : le statut, le rang social ou l'héroïsation du défunt. En Macédoine en effet, ce schéma était utilisé pour exprimer l’héroïsation des défunts qui sont souvent désignés comme héros sur les épitaphes. Cela montre qu’il ne s’agit pas d’une divinité thrace mais d'un défunt héroïsé qui prend ses racines dans le culte d'un ancêtre héroïsé, en l’occurrence Makédôn. Ainsi l’ancêtre des Macédoniens est qualifié de cavalier belliqueux, Makedon hyppioharmen (Constantin Porphyrogénète), ou de héros hyppalkmos (relief de Thessalonique, II s. av. n. ère). Les auteurs anciens le décrivent comme chasseur d'animaux sauvages. Or, la prédilection de Macédoniens, surtout des notables, pour la chasse aux sangliers à cheval est bien connue, dont elle était le gentius suae more (Polyb. XXXI, 29). Sur les monnaies, les rois sont représentés en chasseurs (Amyntas/lion, monnaies impériales du Koinon makedonon) ou en cavaliers à la lance (Alexandre I, Perdiccas II, Archélaos, Alexandre le Grand, Démétrios Poliorcète). Ce modèle était en faveur surtout du temps d’Alexandre, qui était héroïsé, et on considère même qu'il s'est répandu dans les Balkans à partir de l’image d’Alexandre chasseur crée par Lysippe. Les nombreuses variations du thème du cavalier (à la lance, chassant, combattant, etc.) ont été très populaires sur les émissions monétaires de koinon makedonon jusqu’au milieu du IIIe s. de n. ère., ce qui montre bien qu’il s'agit d’un thème national des Macédoniens (O. Picard).

Cette interprétation du cavalier chasseur en défunt héroïsé est renforcée par le fait qu'il peut être représenté avec d’autres défunts dans le même champ ; ou encore par la présence d'un serpent, animal chtonien, qu'il soit enroulé sur un tronc d'arbre, ou figuré sur la queue du cheval : monnaies d’Alexandre Sévère et de Gordien III frappées par le Koinon. Une dernière particularité de l’utilisation de ce schéma en Macédoine est d'être placé dans le fronton de monuments funéraires où il représente les ancêtres héroïsés.

La prédilection du thème du cavalier victorieux sur les monnaies: cavalier nu (Philippe II, Alexandre le Grand et Philippe V), ou saluant de la main droite levée, parfois tenant une palme (Philippe II, Alexandre, Antigone Gonatas, Philippe V, Persée, sujet repris par les monnayages impériaux, avec cette différence que le cavalier est vêtu), explique l’utilisation de ce motif sur les monuments funéraires.


133.  Thassos Type Coinage in Thracia, 6th – 5th Century BC

Ilya Prokopov, Valentina Grigorova-Gencheva

The authors study all published hoards and single coins from Thracia. Two major maps are presented, created in accordance with the GIS requirements. The publication also contains analytical and quantitative tables of the coin types and nominals.

The presence of coins and hoards is studied from territorial and chronological perspectives. The authors trace the South–North circulation roads, localize important trade centres and crossroads and comment upon the “contact zone” of circulation of the large nominals. The analysis includes observations of other coin types distributed together with the Thassos type coins. In addition to the known coins and hoards, the publication presents several inedita, as well as detailed tables with photographs.


134.  New Approaches regarding the Beginning and Evolution of the Thracian Coin in the Regions Situated North of the Danube

Silviu I. Purece

The beginning of the coin minting process, in the regions situated north to the Danube, was very disputed by the researchers. Another big problem is to determine the correlations between various monetary types, very important for understanding of the political and social changes. The interconnections between the Celtic culture and the North-Thracian one, created a new social and political climate in which appeared a taste for coins. In the latest period all the scientific issues have to be retaken in discussion because of the large amount of new discoveries made by the metal detectorists. Also, new evidence about the local spirituality emerged from the study of these new discoveries. One very good example is the case of Prundu-Jiblea coin type.

In the spring of 2015, in the territory of the village Olteni, commune Bujoreni (Vâlcea County) was discovered a very important hoard for knowing the type Prundu-Jiblea. This, in conformity with the discoverer’ declaration, contained 179 ancient coins determined by us as following: 178 Prundu-Jiblea type and 1 Celtic imitation after a drachma issued by the king of Macedonia: Alexandros III. The large quantity of Prundu-Jiblea coins, which measure over half from the number of knowing coins until the discovery moment, makes the Olteni hoard very important for the study of the this coin type.

The importance of the Prundu-Jiblea coin type is especially one, in the context of the pre-roman coinage from the region situated north to the Danube. Several monetary types that follow, from the chronological point of view, have an iconography which is inspired after the Prundu-Jiblea type. This stylistic lineage can be observed over several centuries, until the end of the minting period for the local coin. The characteristic elements for this type are: the presence on the obverse of a human had with beard and curly hear and on the reverse it is represented a rider, moving towards the left, wearing a helmet with crest, in his left hand keeping a branch. The coins of the Prundu-Jiblea type seem to be present in a large area, and their origin is being intensively debated.


135.  The Thracian Gods – the puzzle of anthropomorphism

Kostadin Rabadjiev

The paper is an attempt to discuss anew the Thracian gods – the diminished possibility for a common Thracian pantheon, the imported Greek gods in it, and the concept about their anthropomorphism. The problem is the little we know about them – the late mentions of foreign observers, the absence of cult images and the silent archaeological records. So, all we could do is an inventive speculation about their names, nature and appearance.


136.  Imperial cult in private context? Some observations from Roman Thrace.

Milena Raycheva

The notion of a possible private aspect of the imperial cult has long been overlooked with the a priori assumption that emperor veneration is, after all, a political phenomenon, and an individual could not possibly perceive the ruler on the same level as the traditional gods. Very rarely does the topic of emperor worship in non-official context raise any scholarly interest, although there is literary evidence in favor of it, such as Tacitus’ account that the ruler’s portrait could be seen “in every household”.

Archaeologic evidence also confirms to some extent the information in written sources. The ruler image is attested in private environment: as decoration on personal items, everyday objects, and even furniture. This comes to show that certain individuals indeed seem to have demonstrated their personal attitude towards the emperor and/or his likeness outside the framework of official imperial cult manifestations.

The paper attempts to contribute to the study of this problem by examining evidence from Roman Thrace that may be related to emperor worship in a private circle, with examples from various cities, such as Philippopolis, Augusta Traiana, Pautalia, Serdica, Plotinopolis, etc. These examples comprise objects with imperial images that are usually found within house interiors or as funerary inventory. Due to size or quality, such items cannot be linked to the public imperial veneration. The transformation into grave goods shows that they held a special meaning for their owners. Some of these objects are luxury ones, but others are made of cheap and affordable material for the less wealthy. The paper will try to analyze the use of these objects and their role in the social and cultural context of Roman Thrace.


137.  Cultic Discoveries from the Late Bronze Age Settlement from Şoimuş – Teleghi (Romania, Hunedoara County) (poster)

Nicolae Cătălin Rişcuţa, Antoniu Tudor Marc, Ioan Alexandru Bărbat

The preventive archaeological research fulfilled on the Deva – Orăştie highway route, led us to discover a large settlement belonging to the Late Bronze Age, on the terrace of the Mureş River, at Şoimuş – Teleghi (Romania, southwestern Transylvania, Hunedoara County). Some of the investigated features from this site contain large quantities of pottery and bone artefacts. These artefacts are vessels with celestial symbolic representations, decorated hearths and portable stoves (pyraunoi) with anthropomorphic plastic applications. Among these, there are animal bones such as vertebras and phalanges, some of them processed and with intense using traces. Another category of special objects were the whole or fragmentary clay wheel models found in several pits. Despite being part of the assemblage of a clay wagon model, these items were found separately, indicating that the wheel itself had a special meaning in the imagination of the community. We consider that all those artefacts had a special function in ritual activities and also that they were probably used in shamanic practices.



138.  The Myth of the Feast. The Early Iron Age situlae from Bălata (Romania) (poster)

Nicolae Cătălin Rișcuța, Cătălin Cristescu, Ioan Alexandru Bărbat, Antoniu Tudor Marc, Ioana Lucia Barbu

The preventive archaeological research in the summer of 2014 at Bălata – Schit, Șoimuș commune, Hunedoara County, enriched the information on one of the most important terraces of the Mureș River, many historical periods being documented in this point. Among the numerous findings, fragments from at least two situlae were unearthed. The morphological characteristics, especially the “T”-shaped handle appliqués, decorated with geometric patterns, allow their dating at the end of the 6th or in the first half of the 5th centuries BC, as shown by the analogies from the neighbouring western area. Although lacking the representations of the so-called “Situla art”, the bronze recipients from Bălata reveal an unknown chapter in the archaeology of Ha D in south-western Transylvania: the feast. This paper explores the possible symbolism of the vessel deposit, bringing into discussion other Early Iron Age ritual discoveries from the mentioned region.


139.  The Gluhite Kamani LiDAR survey and its implications for our understanding of Thracian cult monuments

Lynn E. Roller

The site of Gluhite Kamani in the Rhodope Mountains in southeastern Bulgaria is well known as an important center for rock-cut cult monuments from the Thracian Iron Age. An extensive ground survey of the region around the main concentration of rock monuments near Gluhite Kamani was conducted in 2011; this survey recorded over 450 rock-cut formations, primarily trapezoidal niches.  Results were published in Thracia in 2012.  In order to determine how the rock-cut features were used and who used them, the survey team attempted to continue ground survey on foot.  However, efforts to extend the survey for more than a few hundred meters beyond the main rock panel of Gluhite Kamani were frustrated by the rough terrain of this mountainous region. Therefore a LiDAR scan was arranged to survey a larger territory around Gluhite Kamani. The airborne scan, done in spring 2015, covered a total of 21 square kilometers, and the features revealed by the LiDAR data that appeared to merit further examination were visited by survey teams on foot in late summer 2015. Thirteen new archaeological sites were noted, ranging from the prehistoric through medieval periods. This paper will present the results of the LiDAR scan and analyze its implications for expanding our knowledge of Gluhite Kamani and other Thracian sites with rock-cut monuments as centers of cult practice.


140.  Thracian studies and global history

Aliénor Rufin Solas

This communication will analyse the possible contribution of the global historical perspective as well as the comparative approach to the Thracian studies. Comparison with other warrior peoples linked to the ancient Greeks (mainly Celts, Lydians and Illyrians) will first be considered, and then the reflection will be extended to later contexts worldwide. The partition of the Thracian studies between archaeology, protohistory and history as well as its consequences will also be discussed. The objective here is to explore the relevance of some new historical research perspectives that may contribute to a better knowledge of the ancient Thracian societies and shed light on their relations with the neighboring states.


141.  Cremated human remains from the tumulus N8, village Brestovitsa, Russe region - anthropological study (poster)

Victoria Ruseva

Materials from mound N 8 present burned bone fragments, recognized as human remains from burials with cremation ritual. In the South-West sector are uncovered structures N 1 and 2, In structure N 1 are recognized fragments from diaphyses of long bones of limbs from an adult of unidentified sex. Materials from structure N 2 are in significantly high quantity, surpassing normally found in burials with cremation ritual. Parts from teeth roots, condyle of the lower jaw, fragments from a lumbar and thoracic vertebrae, from femoral heads with big diameters, from diaphyses of long bones and a rib vertebral end are recognized. One of the femoral heads presents enthesopatic changes. The vertebrae show developed spondylosis.
In two structures, located in the North and North West sectors of the tumulus are recognized two child individuals. In the South East sector are registered singular fragments from cranial bones. One of them preserves a segment from a cranial suture with advanced obliteration. It should be regarded as originating from a skull of a grown up individual at an age about 40-50 years, unidentifiable sex.
In the North East part of the tumulus a structure with sandy filling provides fragments, from an adult individual and a child. Another cremation contained remains from a grown-up individual, possibly of a female. In most cases are found also burned animal bone fragments beside human ones.


142.  Late Iron Age in south-western Transylvania (Romania): material culture as a marker of communal identities

Aurel Rustoiu, Iosif Vasile Ferencz

Throughout history, south-western Transylvania has been a well-defined geographic, cultural and economic entity. The region is naturally bordered by the southern and western Carpathians and the Transylvanian plateau, while the Mureş River is the main route of communication. Among the most important natural resources are gold, silver and copper as well as huge salt deposits. Consequently, south-western Transylvania was densely inhabited during all historical periods. The access to, and exploitation of, the aforementioned resources was a matter of almost continuous social-political and economic competition between different indigenous communities and incoming populations. These diverse interactions and their outcome are frequently revealed by archaeological evidence.

In this region the Late Iron Age was defined by two cultural and chronological horizons: the so-called “Celtic horizon” (between ca. 350 and 190/175 BC) and the “Dacian horizon” (between ca. 190/175 BC and AD 106). The first chronological interval was characterized by the arrival of some Celtic groups from the Central-Western Europe. They had cohabited more-or-less peacefully with the indigenous populations. These interactions led to the hybridization of material culture and practices: typical Central European La Tène elements were often combined with the indigenous ones. The second chronological interval is characterized by the appearance of Dacian communities in this region and the subsequent emergence of the Dacian Kingdom. The corresponding material culture is different from that of the previous period, being oriented towards the Lower Danube region.

Taking into consideration the specific features of the two successive cultural horizons, the paper is going to identify and compare the manner in which different communal identities were constructed and expressed through time in the aforementioned region. The analysis is going to bring into discussion the settlements’ internal organization, as well as their relations with the funerary areas and the surrounding landscape. Other related aspects which are going to be discussed include diet and food processing practices, styles of bodily ornamentation, commemorative practices.


143.  Discoveries of tombs and funerary inventories in southeastern Transylvania

Lucica-Olga Savu

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the whole discoveries with funeral specific, since the IV century BC until the Roman conquest of Dacia. The approach will aim to recover as much information as possible regarding the complexes that were identified in the first half of the last century and completing the repertory of discoveries with all the details that were recovered about newly discovered tombs and funerary inventories. Important information will be obtained, with reference to old discoveries, by reconsidering the double-tomb discovered in Sânpetru-Talinenberg and the tumulus-tomb found in Viscri, both in Brasov County. The complexes recently discovered which will be discussed in this paper were discovered in the same county, in administrative areas of the localities Brasov, Hoghiz and Rotbav.

In all cases, in the vicinity of discoveries with specific funeral (identified as belonging to North-Thracian as indicated by the artifacts that were recovered) were mapped contemporary civil settlements. Only the overall analysis of these findings, which take into consideration the location of residential centers in each microzone, is able to contribute to identifying the factors that had determined the development of southern Transylvania in the second Iron Age.


144.  Thracian Tribes in Southeastern Thrace

Mustafa H. Sayar

The aim of this contribution is to present new approaches to the Thracian tribes in Southeastern Thrace through the new epigraphical and archaeological finds.


145.  Rois thraces et rois perses dans la tradition grecque

Paola Schirripa, Federica Cordano

Le regarde grec sur la Thrace et sur la Perse nous consigne des traits communs et des analogies évidentes pour ce qui concerne l’image des rois et, surtout de la royauté.

Si l’on regarde la formation de la tradition grecque sur la Thrace, c’est Homère qui nous permet d’isoler des clichés plutôt précis, tels le topos de la richesse (Il. 23, 808 ; 24, 234) et avant tout celui de la royauté, du paysage hivernal et neigeux, autant que la première occurrence de l’ethnique se référant à Thamyris (Il. 2. 595: Thamyris le Thrace, puni par les Muses).

Chez l’épopée, l’image des Thraces demeure confinée dans la fluidité d’un monde où la perception de l’altérité, de la barbarie, n’est pas présente et où tous les acteurs du récit partagent les mêmes cultes, les mêmes coutumes, la même langue, la même culture. Ceci étant, il est tout à fait indéniable que la Thrace d’Homère, dans ses sporadiques épiphanies, nous présente des traits récurrents, de détails qui renvoient à une culture matérielle qu’on pourrait définir spécifique et idiosyncratique.

Encore chez Homère les Thraces figurent comme des éleveurs des chevaux, provenant de la terre “pleine de vent”, comme Rhésos, le roi thrace par excellence de l’Iliade.

Si l’image de la royauté thrace se déroule ainsi à travers des topoi fixes, tels la richesse, les chevaux, la chasse, ce sont des traits qu’on le peut détecter même dans le portrait grec des rois perses et qui demeurent lisibles dans l’ensemble des sources grecques à l’âge historique.

A travers la relecture d’Homère, d’Hécatée, d’Hérodote, de Thucydide et de Xénophon, nous allons relire et réinterpréter l’image des rois thraces et perses, à partir des activités qui viennent être leur apanage exclusif, comme la guerre, la chasse et le banquet, pour en illuminer la transmission et l’exhibition du pouvoir, tout comme les armes du contrôle des peuples sujets.


146.  Ainos – Interdisziplinäre Forschungen und mythische Vergangenheit

Thomas Schmidts

Die antike Hafenstadt Ainos (Enez, Türkei) liegt heute ca. 4 km von der Küste des Mittelmeers entfernt. Diese Verlandung wird maßgeblich durch den Hebros (Meriç / Evros) verursacht, der hier in die nördliche Ägäis einmündet. Die Nähe zur Flussmündung war auch für den Wohlstand dieser Stadt in Antike und byzantinischer  Zeit verantwortlich. Ainos bildete ein Bindeglied zwischen dem Meer und dem thrakischen Binnenland. Der Hebros war bis nach Hadrianopolis (Edirne) mit größeren bzw. Philippopolis (Plovdiv) mit kleineren Wasserfahrzeugen befahrbar. Dieser Handelsweg lässt sich auch anhand von Amphorenfunden nachvollziehen.

Ainos wurde als griechische Kolonie gegründet und war bereits in archaischer und klassischer Zeit eine bedeutende Hafenstadt, wie zahlreiche archäologische Funde und insbesondere die weit verbreiteten, hier geprägten Münzen belegen. Während die Entwicklung der Polis – möglicherweise zu Unrecht – vom Hellenismus bis zur mittleren Kaiserzeit bislang meist als Periode der Stagnation angesehen wurde, tritt die Bedeutung in Spätantike und byzantinischer Zeit deutlich zutage. Im 4. Jahrhundert wurde die Stadt  Bischofssitz und war möglicherweise auch Hauptstadt der spätantiken Provinz Rhodope.

Seit 2012 läuft ein von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft finanziertes Projekt zur interdisziplinären Erforschung von Ainos. Die Feldarbeiten werden im Rahmen der jährlich stattfindenden Ausgrabungskampagnen der Universität Istanbul durchgeführt. Zum Arbeitsprogramm zählten geoarchäologische Bohrungen, geophysikalische Prospektionen die Dokumentation von Bauresten, Geländebegehungen sowie Sondageschnitte. Im Fokus standen dabei die Identifikation der bislang unbekannten Hafenplätze, die Klärung des raumzeitlichen Verlaufs der Verlandung sowie die Siedlungstopographie in antiker und byzantinischer Zeit. Hinzu kommt noch die Erfassung von Feinkeramik und Marmorfunden der römischen und byzantinischen Zeit. Der Vortrag möchte einen Überblick Ergebnissen der laufenden Forschungen geben, insbesondere bezüglich der Entwicklung der Stadt bis zum Ende der Spätantike. Darüber hinaus soll auch – dem Motto der Konferenz entsprechend – Ainos als Schauplatz der mythologischen Überlieferung gewürdigt werden.


147.  Buridava – eine dakische und römische Ansiedlung in Nordostoltenien

Cristian Schuster, Ion Tuţulescu

Der Nordosten Olteniens war, durch seine geographisch-strategische Position und seine Bodenschätze, schon in der Vorgeschichte von Interesse für die verschiedenen Gemeinschaften. Die Daker erbauten nicht weit entfernt von der heutigen Stadt Râmnicu Vâlcea eine befestigte Siedlung, in der Fachliteratur unter dem Namen Buridava bekannt, deren Rolle den Weg entlang des Flußes Olt von der Donau durch die Berge nach Siebenbürgen zu kontrollieren, war. Das Salzvorkommen erhob weiter die Wichtigkeit der Dava. Diese beiden wirtschaftlichen und militärischen Werte führten auch die Römer, gleich am Beginn des ersten römisch-dakischen Krieges (101-102 n. Chr.), mit Gewicht hier Fuß zu fassen. Sehr wahrscheinlich fand hier die römische Eroberungsarmee ihren provisorischen Sitz, so wie uns einige Inschriften aufklären. Später wurde eine Festung gebaut und desgleichen entwickelte sich hier auch eine zivile Siedlung. Anhand der älteren und neueren Funde, der Auswertung der entdeckten Materialien wird der Versuch enternommen ein klareres Bild der zwei Ansiedlungen – dakisch und römisch – zu gestalten.


148.  The Scythian Art Horizon in Thrace from the 5th Century BC

Tatyana Shalganova

The report deals with artifacts found on the territory of the Odrysian kingdom indicative of the Scythian animal style from the 5th century BC. They testify to the complex pathways of formation of the Thracian animal style. They support the idea that there is a Scythian art horizon in the 5th century BC in Thracian culture represented by decorations for horse trappings and weapons. The appearance of some Scythian items in Thracian lands is due to the gift exchange between the aristocratic elites, to the custom of donating horses together with the decoration. Another part however appeared probably as a result of ethnic displacement and armed conflicts as well as through penetration of a group of Scythians within the Odrysian kingdom. The Scythians were probably assimilated fairly quickly in the Thracian environment.


149.  Thracarchs, archiereis, and neokoroi

Nicolay Sharankov

The paper examines the office of the presidents of the Thracian provincial council (koinon) and their relation to other officials responsible for the imperial cult in the Roman province and its cities. An up-to-date list of the holders of this office, augmented by recent epigraphic finds and corrected through re-examination of previously known texts, is presented. The scope of known thracarchs’ activities has also been enriched by new inscriptions.

According to the available evidence, the office was established in the late first century AD – most probably under emperor Domitian – as ‘archiereus of the province/koinon’, while the earliest appearance of the title ‘thrakarches’ is dated to the second half of the second century AD; the expanded title ‘thrakarches kai europarches’ was introduced at the end of the third century AD, in accordance with the new provincial system of emperor Diocletian. All early thracarchs – and many of the later ones – are proven to have been descendants of old Thracian aristocracy, and several are even explicitly noted as hereditary holders of this title. All thracarchs whose full names are preserved were Roman citizens, and some of them belonged to the equestrian order.
Another office connected with the imperial cult in Thrace, which was hitherto only vaguely known – that of the neokoroi – is now shown to have been closely related to those of thracarchs and archiereis.


150.  The Dacian standard (draco) on a clay vessel north of the Danube (poster)

Valeriu Sîrbu, Alexandru Berzovan, Alin Frânculeasa

So far, this is the only known representation of the Dacian standard from archaeological finds in pre-Roman Dacia and, as such, it is a very special item. The absence of the famous Dacian standard in the Geto-Dacian hoards of the 2nd c. BC – 1st c. AD is inexplicable, given its notoriety, highlighted by the many representations on Trajan’s Column in Rome or by the written sources.

The vessel fragment, probably from a cup, was found by V. Teodorescu in 1980, in the Dacian settlement from Vadu-Săpat-Budureasca. However, for reasons difficult to explain, there was insufficient focus on the extraordinary meaning of the representation. There was a genuine silentio stampa on the item, even the suspicion of forgery, perhaps because V. Teodorescu dated it to the 5th – 4th c. BC, which goes far beyond the accepted archaeological and historical context of this representation.

A new analysis of the item, including by means of an electron microscope, has shown that the Dacian standard was rendered on the vessel before the firing, namely on the crude paste, as there are deposits and calcifications inside the incision. Therefore, it is beyond any doubt that we are dealing with a genuine artefact and, implicitly, with a representation that, so far, is unique.

For that reason, we aim to discuss this finding anew and to bring it back into the scientific circles, accompanied by all the available data, including that offered by the new technologies. A new analysis of the discovery conditions has led us to date it, most likely, to the 2nd – 1st c. BC, and to discuss its meaning in the context of the figurative representations of the late Dacian art from that period.

This finding carries a special meaning, as it confirms the written and iconographic sources attesting the use of the draco by the Geto-Dacians north of the Danube. The meaning of the Dacian standard has been analysed by renowned specialists, such as V. Pârvan, D. Tudor, S. Sanie and M. Eliade, to name just a few.

We believe that this metaphorical creature – wolf head on a dragon/snake body – is a symbolic cross between two animals with profound meanings in Geto-Dacian mythology. The wolf is an apex predator (that is to say, an exemplary warrior) and the snake stands for regeneration (namely, immortality), thus pointing to the mythological side of their history, as M. Eliade so beautifully put it.


151.  Mortality and Ritual Practices in the Case of Dacian Children. Case study: Hunedoara – Grădina Castelului

Valeriu Sîrbu, Diana Dăvîncă

A detailed analysis – from an archaeological, anthropological and interdisciplinary standpoint – has highlighted that these vestiges reflect remarkable changes in the mortuary practices related to the sex, age and social status of the dead. This is a rare case of encountering many human bones, with a rich and diverse inventory, given the almost total absence of necropolises in the Geto-Dacian world, particularly those for common people, during the 1st c. BC – 1st c. AD.

The 34 deposits of human bones from Grădina Castelului have yielded 57 individuals, 48 of them inhumed and just nine cremated, from the period between 300 BC – 101/106 AD. Most of the inhumed were children, 38 of them under the age of seven, and 20 of them less than one year old! On the other hand, of the cremated individuals, only one was a child, but with a warrior´s inventory. There was no discernible pattern of placing or orienting the inhumed individuals based on sex or age. The number of individuals in a single deposit differs greatly, from one to six dead. Of the 48 inhumed individuals, only 25 had complete skeletons, one did not have the skull and 22 of them consisted of just isolated bones!

For all these reasons, it is very difficult to interpret the vestiges.

Was this a necropolis where the Dacian community applied, for four centuries, a strict age, sex and social status “filter” on the rites and rituals applied to the dead present here?

If this was a standard necropolis, it means that: a) in the first stage, only cremation was practiced, and the dead were warriors (including an Infans I) and b) a transition stage followed, when one practiced cremation, as well as inhumation, for adults, adolescents and children, and c) in the last stage, only children were placed here, all of them inhumed.

Or did this become in the last stage of use, namely the 1st c. AD, a sacred area where only children were inhumed, after corpse exposure/decomposing? If so, we have to ask what happened to the other dead, to those that did not meet the community’s selection criteria, which varied so much over time.

The dead originated from local communities, given that there is a fortress in the immediate vicinity of the area with human deposits and the inventory can be classified as characteristic of the Dacians.


152.  Pietroasa Mică – Gruiu Dării: a particular Dacian cultic centre

Valeriu Sirbu, Sebastian Matei

Gruiu Dării has a series of unusual features in comparison with other Geto-Dacian discoveries, first of all by the succession of the types of sites, then by certain categories of the identified complexes. By the end of the 4thand in the 3rd century BC, also in the second half of the 2nd – early 1st century BC there was on the Plateau an unfortified settlement, then a fortress in the 1st c. BC, and in the 1st century AD an important cultic place.

The archaeologists have found only two types of characteristic complexes dated in the 1st century AD – 69 deposits of the mound type and 6 isolated fireplaces. 53 of the 69 deposits of the mound type were surrounded by stone rings, while inside there were in situ fireplaces or in fragments; the other 16 deposits had no stone rings. The rings measured 0.40-0.80 m in diameter, and 0.20-0.50 m, the present height.

The deposits of the mound type display a wide range of burnt pieces of dwellings, together with a part of their inventory, brought from other settlements. As certain categories of objects are missing while others are very numerous, one could suppose a certain selection.

Deposing a rich and varied inventory, consisting mainly of artefacts already used, sometimes items with a great value or very often used, could mean a strong cultic motivation, otherwise it would be difficult to explain why they gave up such belongings. The essential remark is that no type of habitations or household annexes dating back to the first century of the Christian era has been found.

On the unfortified Terrace I, there was no inhabitation complex, but only a great number of deposits, mount type, similar to those of the Plateau, still having certain particular features, plus some fireplaces and pits, all of them dated in the first century AD.

Consequently, we could consider there is conclusive evidence to state the existence of an important sacred enclosure (temenos), a cultic centre, so far unique in its manifestation elements. By analysing the complex types and their inventory, we will try to identify the order of the rituals, then the significance of these deposits.

Gruiu Dării is an example testifying the variety of the types of known sacred zones in the 2nd century BC – 1st century AD in the Geto-Dacian world.


153.  Dacians or Sarmatians? Tamga signs in Dacia (1st c. BC – 1st c. AD)

Valeriu Sîrbu, Liana Oța

The Sarmatian presence in the territory inhabited by Dacians is a debated issue. Inhumation graves, generally dated between the middle/end of the 1st century AD and the 3rd century AD, found in Moldavia, Wallachia, Crişana and Banat, are unanimously attributed to Sarmatians. Items considered to be typically Sarmatian were found in some Dacian settlements, but their meaning is interpreted either as imports or as evidence of the presence of Sarmatians in pre-Roman Dacia.

Items attributed to the Sarmatians have been found in 13 sites, spread over a large territory – hand-made pottery, a bronze vessel, bone items and a gold-plated iron item. Without exception, all items considered to be Sarmatian were found in Dacian sites.

Up until now, tamga signs were found on 18 items from 8 Dacian sites, most of them clay vessels, as well as a few bone items, plus a gold-plated iron item. There is a contradiction here – the origin of tamgas is Sarmatian but, at least in the territory inhabited by Dacians, they are encountered mostly on Dacian clay vessels, pottery fragments or bone items. The number of Sarmatian or ‘north-Pontic’ vessels or bone items with tamga signs is significantly smaller.

Why are there no tamga signs on vessels discovered in the Sarmatian graves from Moldavia, Wallachia, and Banat? In what way did these signs spread into pre-Roman Dacia? Do tamga signs found in Dacian settlements have the same significance as those from the north-Pontic regions, or a different one? This paper will try to answer such questions.


154.  Change and continuity in the funerary practices in the beginning of the second Iron Age in North-Eastern Thrace

Valeriu Sîrbu, Magdalena Ștefan, Dan Ștefan

In the northern peripheries of the early Odrysian polities, the late Hallstatt communities reacted differently, at their each own regional pace, to the changing funerary ritual of the 5th c. BC, but, as the cemetery study indicate, it was rather a slow and gradual transition, without major disruptions, in which the main burial sites of the previous century remained in use for some time. In parallel with these older cemeteries, new burial grounds appear particularly in the 5th c. BC (a relative vaguely defined chronological sequence with the key-items spanning for long periods), novel sites that reveal a change in the significance of certain geographical areas (reflecting deeper changes in the configuration of the commercial circuits, political relations or even type of economy).

Using their results of a decade long excavation project in Northern Dobroudja, in Telița-Celic Dere (a settlement with a reinginerindu necropolis with both flat and tumuli graves dated in the 6th – 3rd c. BC, encompassing inhumations and cremations, Thracian, North Pontic elements and also early Greek imports), the authors will discuss the transition in North-eastern Thrace from the late Hallstatt funerary ritual to the emergence of the so called Getic Horizon of the 4th – 3rd c. BC. Issues followed will be: tumuli size, collective versus individual burial, secondary graves, relation between tumuli and flat graves, transition between inhumation to cremation, interventions pits in the graves, longevity of burial sites, graves with akinakes, early Greek imports.


155.  The starry sky of the Thracians on an anthropomorphic stele (poster)

Nikolay Sivkov

Cosmological ideas in antiquity were associated with the observation of the movement of celestial bodies. The monuments of that era that reflect the results of astronomical observations are quite fragmented. During the Paleolithic period those were images of astral objects among other petroglyphs in the caves.

A picture of the sky above the Balkan Peninsula in the past is reflected on a stone anthropomorphic stele from the village of Kalishte, Pernik region, Western Bulgaria.

The stone stele represents a stylized figure of a warrior armed with a sword in a sheath, and with a battle axe. The studies of the stele until today were related to its dating as an archaeological object.

This artifact of Thracian times is of interest both from an archaeological point of view, as well as from archaeoastronomical and cultural points of view. The details of the star pattern (the position of the constellation Orion, the North Pole of the world), allow us to date it to the Bronze Age (IInd millennium BC).

The mythological themes which are presented on the background of the star sky on their side allow us to consider this monument also in relation to cosmogony.

The anthropomorphic stele of Kalishte is yet another piece of evidence of the astronomical knowledge of the Thracian tribes who used to inhabit the territory along the upper and middle course of the Struma River, as well as of the Thracian mythology and beliefs during the Bronze Age.


156.  Les éléments thraces dans le bassin de la Vistule – un essai de révision

Katarzyna Skowron, Tomasz Bochnak

La question de la présence des éléments thraces dans le bassin de la Vistule était étudiée par les chercheurs polonais depuis longtemps. Nous savons que dans le bassin de la Vistule arrivaient les impulsions venant de plusieurs cercles culturels européens, et qu’elles souvent influencé le rythme de changements des cultures archéologiques locales survenus à plusieurs siècles avant l’arrivée des Slaves. Les impulsions transcarpatiques sont de grande importance sur les terrains polonaises.

Dans notre communication, nous allons rappeler et réviser quelques découvertes sur les terres polonaises considérées comme des témoignages « thraces ». Souvent le terme « thrace » désignait des éléments variés venant du sud et du sud-est, visibles dans le bassin de la Vistule à partir de la fin de l’âge du Bronze. On rapporte ce phénomène à la culture lusacienne, celle de Poméranie et de La Tène, même à la culture de Przeworsk du IIème âge du Fer. On parle de la présence de la céramique thraco-scyte en Pologne de la fin du VIème siècle avant notre ère à la première moitié du IVème siècle avant notre ère. L’afflux de cette céramique en Pologne est liée avec les influences scythes venant de l’est et du sud-est, alors est-il justifié d’utiliser dans ce cas-là le composant « thraco- » ?

Dans le cas des découvertes plus récentes il est souvent impossible de préciser s’il s’agit des influences thraces ou daces. Le problème des importations méridionales et leur origine précise reste actuel aussi pour la période préromaine. Dans notre communication, nous allons rappeler aussi d’autres découvertes d’armement de le période préromaine, considérées dans le bassin de la Vistule comme des témoignages d’influences méridionales. Notre but est de vérifier la provenance des objets pris pour des importations thraces et de présenter la dynamique des contacts avec les tribus thraces.


157.  On the Thracian Syllable

Mirena Slavova

The paper focuses on the structure of Thracian syllable in comparison to that of Ancient Greek. The theoretical model employed for this comparative analysis is the onset-rhyme arboreal projection. Describing both the onset and rhyme of the Thracian syllable, the author makes an attempt to specify the syllabification of this relict language. The prevocalic consonantal elements in the configuration of the onset position are of particular interest. As for the rhyme and its two further sub-units (the nucleus and the coda), the abiding of sonority hierarchy arch of consonantal element – vowel element – consonantal element will be discussed.

The uncovering of differences among the syllable structures in both languages, if any, especially between the consonantal cumulation word-initially and word-finally, as well as the detection of potential segments which violate the sonority hierarchy, will throw additional light on the language of Thracians.

From the very pragmatic viewpoint I will try to answer in what phonemic combinations we know that a name is Thracian and which are the phonotactic sequence constraints in it.


158.  Centralisation and autonomy in settlement patterns in Thrace (poster?)

Adela Sobotkova

This paper compares several different categories of evidence that illuminate the concept of leadership and authority in ancient Thrace. Greek historians provide us with contradictory images of Thracians as rich and powerful warriors on one hand and impoverished peasants on the other. Material evidence also provides contrasting datasets: rich mortuary material from imposing burial mounds versus simple, often transient villages with little evidence of wealth, stratification, or craft specialization. Evidence from the Tundzha Regional Archaeological Project (TRAP), a recent, large-scale landscape archaeology project in central Bulgaria, sheds further light on Thracian political unity and centralization. Spatial analysis of settlement patterns indicates that Thracian political institutions never reached the level of a centralised polity, as might be assumed from Thucydides’ account, or a cursory examination of mortuary remains. Regular spacing of Late Iron Age settlements in the Kazanlak Valley suggests that numerous autonomous communities co-existed in the valley at the time. The first signs of cooperation, manifest in the settlement growth and relaxation of settlement spacings, appears during the Roman period, coinciding with historical evidence of external authority. All in all, the power of Thracian rulers remained very individualistic and ever changing, producing an unstable horizontal coherence and weak vertical integration of the society until the Roman period.


159.  Places of Memory or Places of Power? Regional Approaches to Burial Mounds in Thrace (poster?)

Adela Sobotkova

Burial mounds are the most conspicuous and ubiquitous feature of the Bulgarian landscape. Referred to as Thracian burial mounds, these monuments have been used for mortuary and other rituals from the Early Bronze Age through the Middle Ages. Mound construction, reuse, or expansion served different needs through time. This paper applies probabilistic modelling, visibility, and spatial analysis to a regional dataset of burial mounds in order to delineate diachronic patterns in the locational behavior and purpose of mound builders. The organisation of burial mounds in space will be assessed as the reflection of both the cosmological beliefs as well as the political geography of contemporary communities in Thrace. Territorial demarcation, hostility, competition, and assertion are just a few processes that characterize interaction between neighbouring communities. Prevailing patterns, if discernible, will indicate the dominant processes that operated within the local communities at different points in time.


160.  Roman Artifacts from Albești (Constanța county, Romania) (poster)

Irina Sodoleanu

Albești, a fortified settlement in the rural territory of Callatis, ceased to function after the end of the 3rd century BC. From its very beginning (1974), the archaeological research focused mainly on the Greek fortification and the correspondent area in its proximity. There was though a campaign that focused on the archaeological situation on the western part of the plateau, about 100 meters west of the fortification. Plenty of Roman material was gathered. Therefore the plateau seems to have been inhabited in the Roman period also. The different types of pottery that were discovered demonstrate that the relation with Callatis was still vivid in the Roman period. This poster is meant to show different types of Roman artifacts discovered in the researched area and also to include this particular example in a more general situation regarding the relation between the cities situated on the western coast of the Black Sea and different settlements and populations living in their hinterland, in Roman times.


161.  Living at extremes during the end of the Iron Age. The case of Dacian tribes in Eastern Transylvania

Dan Ștefan, Magdalena Ștefan

The coldest region of Romania, with an annual average of 160 days of frost, is represented by a group of depressions positioned inside the Curved area of the Carpathian Mountains. Surrounded from all sides by high crests, the small sized lowlands, covered until mid-20th c. by major swamps and turf moors, resemble naturally fortified countries.  Despite the harsh environment, a clear land-occupation peak is noticeable for the end of the late Iron Age, in the two centuries before the Roman Conquest of Dacia: the remains of several tens of fortifications (2nd c. BC – 1st c. AD) make the Carpathian depressions of Eastern Transylvania one of the most crowded fortified landscapes of pre-Roman Dacia, raising questions about the nature and size of the reflected authority network in a moment when, like in other peripheries of the Mediterranean polities, North Danubian Thracian tribes established centralized power systems, based on the performance of collective cults in specially designed spaces and the emergence of proto-urban settlements.

Using the results of recent investigations (excavations, remote-sensing, geophysics), the authors will give a synthesis on the main cultural and material trends of the area during the Dacian period, focusing on the spatial relations between central places and open settlements, types of cultic manifestations including fields of pits and burial of silver hoards, structuring of authority as embedded in the spatial organization of sites and strategic routes, questioning at all times the local specificity versus the integration into the larger centralized trends and investigating how the extreme environment influenced the type of society developed in the region in the late Iron Age.


162.  Figurative Representations in Thracian Tomb Paintings of the 4th and 3rd c. B.C. – Themes, Iconography, Ideology

Stephan Steingräber

After a short summary of the main iconographic themes in Thracian tomb paintings I will discuss particularly the figurative representations such as animals, Gorgoneia, female heads, banquet, processions, chariot racing, horsemen, warriors and fightings, hunting and mythological figures and scenes and compare them with contemporaneous tomb paintings in Etruria, Southern Italy (Campania, Lucania, Apulia), Macedonia and Asia Minor. I will try to elaborate common elements – which could be interpreted as an expression of a cultural-artistic koinè especially in the Early Hellenistic period – and obvious differences between the various cultural areas. Special attention will be dedicated to the representations of historical character – not only in tomb paintings but also in other kinds of monuments (like vase paintings, terracotta figures etc.) and possible pro-Macedonian tendencies.


163.  Lights and shadows in cult monuments of the Thracian civilization: astronomy and calendar (poster)

Alexey Stoev, Penka Maglova, Mina Spasova

The history of astronomy in the prehistoric era is associated with observations of the horizon (so called "Horizontal astronomy"), i.e. with fixing points on the horizon from one observation point. Later, in the first appeared architectural structures, astronomical knowledge began to "embed" by observing a bright projection that extends into the interior of the facility.

In Antiquity, astronomy became a tool for embedding in architectural and religious facilities characteristic angles such as latitude, tilt of the ecliptic, etc. Some researchers are trying to establish a link between the size of the facilities and religious and speculative knowledge system for the respective culture and epoch. Knowledge of astronomy generates an interest in the general categories of space and time at a very early stage of human development. It is an undisputable fact that the first complex calendar entries appeared as early as in the Paleolithic.

Thracian tombs and temples are the only almost completely preserved representatives of monumental religious architecture in Thrace from Antiquity. Almost all of them are buried in tombs and thus were preserved until today. In Bulgaria there are over 50,000 such Thracian mounds, of which have been explored only about 500. Similar to the Thracian mounds and tombs are also found in the northern Black Sea shore, near the Caucasus, in Asia Minor and Central Asia.

The mechanism for incorporation of lights and shadows in religious monuments (mound temples and tombs) is shown in the article. Archaeoastronomical hypothesis for light calendar effects is associated with the position of the sun (or moon) on the axis of the facility, between the centers of two entrances or right on the axis of a corridor. This axis is marked by the middle of the lower outer edge of the lintel (upper threshold, which is projected) in the desired lower point – middle of the lower threshold (step or artificial marker). By selecting appropriate "foster markers" that must meet certain objective criteria, it is quite possible to detect calendar dependencies with the sun. Moreover, in certain cases, astronomical dating of the site is possible – using the height of the sun during the winter solstice.

Search for horizontal and vertical "astronomical" angles in the cult premises, often in dimentions expressed in whole numbers, represents a major difficulty in coordination with the new hypothesis for gnomon projections in the axis. At first glance, the design of bright or dark projection contradicts the very principles for planning an architectural object. Complication is associated with the prior requirement for fitting of integer number of units (along the central corridor) with the length of the horizontal projection of sunlight, in a specific calendar date, i. e. there is a theoretical and practical difficulty in fitting the measuring unit with the height of the entrance of the facility (additionally, orientations almost always are not just in the south – in the meridian, but with deviations).


164.  Megalithic and rock-cut monuments: geometry, modules, categories (poster)

Alexey Stoev, Mina Spasova, Penka Maglova

The theory of categories is a mathematical attempt to reveal the fundamental principles common to various fields of science. By definition, the category is a special class of uniform mathematical structures (groups, linear spaces, topological spaces) and the relations between them.

The report presents basic concepts and structures of the theory of categories used in the description of megalithic and rock-cut monuments. Object of the investigation is the essence of the process of formation of shapes during the emergence and development of the megalithic culture. An attempt is made to define the categories of "form" and "surroundings" of the range of megalithic monuments from the Eneolithic Age and later. The basic laws and regulations of the shapes' formation are exposed - systematization, structuring and designing the geometry of the shapes of megalithic monuments from the ancient builders.

An example of systematization and classification of shapes and spatial relations of the megalithic monuments in prehistoric times is presented. There are noted the basic principles and methods of organization and building associated with horizons of development of mathematical and astronomical knowledge of people about the world around them. Moreover, the basic rules of creating shapes made by ancient builders of megalithic structures are probably based on their knowledge of the organization of forms in living and non-living nature.

It has been defined the notion "structure of megaliths and their constructions" as a set of interconnections to ensure the integrity of the megalith and its strength and durability. Structural types of megaliths have been identified with specific structural types. It is shown that one and the same structure may be realized by various constructions - monolithic, skeletal, rock-cuts, and through a variety of ways of constructing. Proposed is the following hierarchy of megalithic structures: while the system is the quantity of items and quantity of relationships between them, the structure is qualitatively sustainable organization of the elements of a particular type of system, subordinated to certain regularities and interaction with the natural environment and the society. The structure implemented realization of its primary purpose through various modes of operation and different types of structures.
In this sense, the report proposes to understand the concept of dynamic structure of megalithic monument, which means that it is characterized not only with space but also with time parameters. Weather parameters are cyclicity and duration of existence of the megalith, its connectivity with various cults and cult practices. For those of megaliths and rock-cut monuments related to specific astronomical practices, it is necessary to add seasonal occurrences of the observed heavenly bodies (sunrises and sunsets, culminations, conjunctions) to time parameters.


165.  Crises, Brigandage and the Emergence of the „Military Men” in the Balkan Region (ca. AD 170– ca. AD 300)

Kalin Stoev

The paper incorporates some epigraphic evidence and the fragmentary, sometimes fictional historical sources in order to give light on the way in which the political conditions allowed the emergence of military men with a common provincial background from the Thracian or Moesian lands to the strategic and politically influential troops of the Roman army. It shows how the old cursus honorum, based on the background from the “senatorial” aristocracy and the top layers of the municipal or financial (equestrian) strata, had been replaced, due to the extreme inner and outer “barbarian” menace. A new career model, based on the common origin from the romanized rural or semi-rural populations in the Thracian and central Balkan provinces of the Empire and the common roots of the fellow-soldiers had been created, where the service in the local militias, was leading to positions in the bodyguard or cavalry troops. The paper leads to the conclusion about how the emergence of the new military career pattern and the cohesion among the soldiers within these units were able to set some of the remarkable men of the time (as Marcianus or Traianus Mucianus) to important military positions and to produce several emperors.


166.  Urbanization in Early Hellenistic Thrace: The case of the Getic capital Helis in North-Eastern Thrace

Totko Stoyanov

The notion about the formation and the development of towns of Classical type in Thrace is shaped mainly on the base of the evidence of the archaeological study of settlements which reveal such characteristics.

The ancient sources are sparse in such information which moreover is often uncertain in providing us with objective data about the concrete features of the mentioned towns (or settlements with probably similar physiognomy or functions). In some cases, like Seuthopolis for instance, the sources keep silent about really existing urban centres, which had had enough features according to the modern criteria to be discussed as part of the process of urbanization in Thrace.

The settlements known archaeologically today which cover the criteria to be adopted as part of the process in question remain still but a few, even if we add to Seuthopolis, Kabyle, Philippopolis and Helis (the Getic town in Sboryanovo reservation) the settlements of questionable character like these at modern Pernik and Vetren (Pistiros?).

The extent of research and especially its volume and the character of the published data for the four mentioned indisputable towns in Thrace complicate the comparison between them as well as the general analyses by uniform criteria. This is evident in the still actual monograph of Chr. Popov, published in 2003.

The paper is devoted to the interpretation of the results of the over 30 years long investigations of the town in Sboryanovo reservation in modern North-East Bulgaria, identified with the polis Helis mentioned in the ancient sources (Diod XXI. 12) obviously a residence of Dromichaetes and probably the capital of the Getic state.

The excavations in different parts of the town gradually outline the physiognomy of a powerful city – political and economic centre of a spacious territory of the Getic lands during the Early Hellenistic times. The archaeological data give us the opportunity to outline the chronological frames of the foundation and destruction of the town (the latter due to a massive earthquake), the general stages in its territorial, architectural and economic development and are a base for the interpretation of the actual urban pattern chosen (?) and developed (or developing) in that part of ancient Thrace in a period of ca. 80 or 90 years.


167.  Getae, Moesi, Daci: The Northern Thracian World?

Karl Strobel

In a general sense, the summarizing denomination ‘Thracians’ or “of Thracian stock” was used by the Greeks and by Greek authors for all the people between the Northern Aegean and the “Scythians”. At the same time, Thracian and Getic people were seen to be divided into different groups north and south of the Haemus. Contrary to these denominations the ethnic name “Dacians” and the geographic term “Dacia” were only introduced by the Romans in the middle of the 1st century BC. The relationship between the different ancient terminologies and the problems originating from these denominations in modern research and historical constructs will be discussed.


168.  Alte Kolchis: Mythos und Wirklichkeit (auf der Grundlage der uralten Fibeln) (poster)

Nino Sulava

Die an den westlichen und östlichen Küsten des Schwarzen Meeres liegenden sagenhaften Länder – altes Thrakien und alte Kolchis weisen im Laufe ihrer historischen Entwicklung eine ganze Reihe gemeinsamer Themen auf: die beiden Länder spiegeln sich in den griechischen Mythen und Quellen wider, die beiden Länder scheinen im Besitz des durch Metall, und zwar durch Gold vertretenen Reichtums zu sein, in der Geschichte beider Länder kommen Pelasger vor, das Territorium beider Länder ist von griechischen Kolonisten angeeignet worden u. s. w.

Lässt man diese Themen außer Acht und wendet sich stattdessen den archäologischen Artefakten, und zwar den uralten Fibeln zu, so stellt sich heraus, dass die genetische Verbindung zwischen den Fibeln aus Kaukasus und denjenigen aus Südeuropa und aus der ägäischen Welt derselben Zeitspanne aufgrund der Ähnlichkeiten in den morphologischen Zeichen sowie den Verzierungsmodi (einteilige Konstruktion, bogenförmige Beschaffenheit, die scheibartigen Anschwellungen auf dem Bogen, verschiedene Formen des gravierten Ornaments) bereits als nachgewiesen gelten können.

Thrakien und die Kolchis, in den griechischen Mythen und schriftlich überlieferten Quellen widerspiegelt, gehören zu derjenigen Kontaktzone aus der Spätbronzen- und Eisenzeit, die ein riesengroßes Gebiet von den Pyrenäen bis zum Kaukasus umfasst (also die ganze mediterrane Welt und das ganze Südeuropa – den Kaukasus und die daran südlich angrenzenden Gebiete mit eingeschlossen) und deren Existenz – obschon mittlerweile durch etliche archäologische Untersuchungen belegt – nun zusätzlich durch die uralten bogenartigen Fibeln nachgewiesen wird, die eben in dem besagten Raum Verbreitung gefunden haben.

Anhand der uralten Fibeln haben zunächst A. Milchev und D. Gergova auf die thrakisch-kaukasischen Kontakte aufmerksam gemacht. Demgegenüber haben wir versucht, anhand der Fibeln die Ähnlichkeiten und gemeinsamen typologischen Merkmale von kolchischem und thrakischem Material zu beschreiben. Das sind vor allem der Bogen mit dem runden Durchmesser, gekrümmter Bogen, der im Querschnitt ovaler Bogen (die Fibel mit flachem Bogen), der Bogen mit rhombischem Durchmesser.

Die Beziehungen zwischen dem an der Westküste des Schwarzen Meeres liegenden Thrakien und der an der Ostküste desselben Meeres liegenden Kolchis haben bedeutend tiefere Wurzeln (bestimmte Arten der Keramik, das Vorhandensein des Bergbaus und der Metallverarbeitung, die Verbreitung der Dolmene) und das ist auch durchaus logisch, denn beide Länder ordnen sich in den Kontaktraum ein, welcher (wie strittig dies auch sein mag) durch die Reiseroute der Argonauten markiert ist. Das die südeuropäisch-kaukasische (mitunter ach thrakisch-kolchische) Beziehungen widerspiegelnde archäologische Material (Keramik, Erzeugnisse aus Bronze, die Verwendung der Gravierungsverfahren auf den Erzeugnissen aus Bronze sowie Abbildungen auf denselben Erzeugnisse) liegt vor und es stammt aus den Zeiten, bevor die griechische Kolonisierung begonnen hat. Die Anzahl dieser archäologischen Daten nimmt täglich zu und regt zu der von Bulgarien und Georgien in Zusammenarbeit zu leistenden, konkreteren und tiefgreifenden Erforschung dieser Fragen an.


169.  About possible stages of the significance and role of monetary signs in the Western Pontic Area in the light of recent research (6th century BC)

Gabriel Mircea Talmatchi

The analyzed archaeological and numismatic finds from the last archaeological campaigns at Histria (“Temple” Sector) bring new information relevant to the selected topic. The chronological sequence of the two main typological groups of monetary signs from the Western Pontic Area became clearer as a result of a more precise dating of their archaeological contexts and the inventory identified. Consecutive stages of their role and significance in the historical evolution of the Histrian colony in the first half of the 6th century BC were noticed. Some types seem to have been originally intended for magical-religious depositions; subsequently they were intended for trade through interventions on their shape and weight. In the second stage of their evolution the monetary signs that were cast directly to serve in commercial transactions which dominated the exchange between Greek and indigenous communities in the chora before the appearance of actual currency in the area. There is also a strong correlation between the Greek colony and local power centers where the monetary signs appear to maintain the same exchange trading as manifested in the chora. Silver and bronze Histrian (and other) coins replaced the monetary signs in the local environment outside the chora from the current trade flow in the territory between the Danube and the Black Sea.


170.  Pigments used for decoration of escharae from tumuli №№ 21 and 31, Sboryanovo National Reserve, Bulgaria (poster)

Eugenia Tarassova, Mihail Tarassov, Diana Gergova, Rositsa Titorenkova

Subject of the present study are pigments used for the painted decoration of the altars – escharae, found in some dug out in the ground Getic tombs (IV-III BC) as a central and specific only for the Getic burial practices cult construction. The studied pigments are taken from two escharae found in the tombs of tumuli №№ 21 and 31, on the eastern Necropolis of the Sboryanovo National Reserve. The two escharae have the form of short truncated pyramid decorated with incised geometric ornaments colored in red, dark-blue and white. Optical microscopy (OM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) analysis and micro-Raman spectroscopy are applied for investigation of phase and chemical composition of the used pigments and binding material. On the base of obtained results, several conclusions on the provenance of the used raw materials are made.


171.  The mythological story of Tyro and some its realia in ancient Thrace (Τυρώ; Apollod. I 9,8)

Ivan Todorov

Salmoneus, the son of Aeolus, had a daughter named Tyro. She is the issue from the marriage to his first wife, Alcidice. Once the mother died, and the father suffered a punishment by Zeus – he was punished with a lightning because of his pride, Tyro’s oncle Cretheus raised her and she subsequently married him. Before that, however, and against her will, Tyro gave birth to the twins Pelias and Neleus; their father was Poseidon, “God of the Sea”. Pelias was to become king of Iolcus. As for Neleus, he drove away the Leleges from Messenia, and has been even considered as the founder of Pylos.

Sophocles keenly employed the mythological plot of Tyro in the dramas that he dedicated to her (fragments have been preserved). Apart from the literary analysis and through the scientific studies of nowadays, we link etymologically the name of Tyro to the early religious practices in Hellas and to some widely used namings and terms in the Ancient Greek language. These terms can also be used in a broader context, as they may strongly relate to the history and the culture of Ancient Thrace.


172.  Geophysical survey of Thracian burial mounds at the village of Bratya Daskalovi (Chirpan eminences)

Nikola Tonkov

Geophysical prospection of Thracian burial mounds in Bulgaria has already a long history. And it is quite reasonable. These are amongst the most numerous and attractive monuments remained in Bulgarian lands from antiquity. Tumulus survey is not a routine procedure since it usually requires a big depth of investigation so it lies on the boundary between archaeological and geological prospection. At this stage, the most powerful technique has appeared electroresistivity survey. For a long time the resistivity prospection was focused on the detection of big structures – tombs. The investigations were performed by mapping with a single or several fixed electrode configurations. This manner of measurement, however, allows only qualitative or at best semiquantitative interpretation of the data. This means: detection of eventual disturbing body and determination of its approximate dimensions in plan but not the depth and the vertical dimensions. Nevertheless, the resistivity prospection proved its efficacy by the discovery of such emblematic examples as the tombs in Golyama Arsenalka and Malkata mogila tumuli belonging to the necropolises of Shipka.

The rapid development of the geophysical equipment as well as the computer programs in the last decade or so allowed the technique of resistivity prospection to be improved and thus the whole tumulus embankment to be more completely and precisely examined. This enhanced technique includes the joint application of common electroresistivity and geomagnetic mapping, supplemented now by the new opportunities provided by the continuous vertical electrical sounding (CVES) and, respectively, by the two and three dimensional inverse modelling known also as two and three dimensional resistivity tomography (2D and 3D ERT). First example of successful application of this technique was the discovery of the rich built grave in Svetitsata mound of the same necropolises.

The present report will discuss the results of the geophysical prospection (and the subsequent archaeological excavations) of several tumuli from the region of the village of Bratya Daskalovi, where a great variety of archaeological structures were detected – a monumental tomb, stone krepis, burial pyre, stone heaps, etc.


173.  Black glazed pottery from the pit fields in Bulgaria (poster)

Eva Tonkova

Black glazed pottery has been commonly found in the pit fields from Bulgarian lands and especially in the Upper Thracian Plain. Several big archaeological sites of that type have been excavated, such as those at Debelt, Malko Tranovo, Yabalkovo, etc.

The present paper has the aim to examine some aspects of the distribution and typological variety of the black glazed vessels from the sites in question, most of which belong to the classical period. Different shapes, as well as the chronological ups and downs of their use will be considered and analyzed.


174.  L’orfèvrerie des Odryses à la fin du IVe siècle av. J.-C. à travers les parures du tumulus Malkata près de Chipka

Milena Tonkova

L’étude porte sur l’analyse des pièces d’orfèvrerie en or et en argent du célèbre tumulus Malkata de la nécropole thrace de Chipka-Cheinovo dans la vallée de Kazanlak. C’est une sépulture à l’inhumation datée par son riche mobilier à la fin du IVe siècle av. J.-C. La parure composite inclut deux colliers en or, l’un composé de perles avec un pendentif biconique couvert de petits cônes filigranés et un autre – collier-chaîne très fin à pendeloque d’amphore, ce dernier se rangeant parmi les chefs d’œuvres de l’orfèvrerie antique. Le défunt porta aussi une bague en or ornée d’une scène d’investiture. Les vêtements de la poitrine ont été ornés de trois chaînettes en argent attachées par des fibules de type thrace. Le lot inclut encore un pectoral en or, des bractées en forme de rosettes en argent doré et d’autres ornements miniatures.

L’examen des pièces d’orfèvrerie du tumulus Malkata montre des courants artistiques multiples dans l’orfèvrerie de la cour des Odryses au temps de la création de Seuthopolis. Ces bijoux sont probablement des œuvres d’ateliers divers. Les deux colliers en or de style différent rejoignent aussi bien la tradition des parures d’apparat des Odryses du Ve siècle av. J.-C. connue par les bijoux de la nécropole de Duvanli que la mode de l’orfèvrerie grecque de la haute époque hellénistique. Les deux chaînettes attachées aux fibules conduisent vers une liaison avec les ateliers des Tribales qui maîtrisent l’art du travail de l’argent; la pendeloque originale ornée de cônes de filigrane fait penser à des contacts avec les terres de Gètes. La troisième chainette et des détails dans le décor de la pendeloque biconique laissent supposer des influences de l’art celtique.


175.  Some Notes on Thracian Soldiers

Ivo Topalilov

The image of the Thracians as good warriors led to their enrolment into the Roman army in all its units – auxiliary, fleet, Horse Guard of the Augusti, legions and eventually the Praetorian Guard. This, undoubtedly, was reflected in their nomenclature, status in society, and the future of their progeny in various aspects, including the possibility of military career in the legions and Praetorian Guards. The specifics of each military unit, either in its nomenclature, Roman citizenship requirement or recruitment, undoubtedly had a great effect on the nomenclature of the soldiers/veterans themselves and their progeny. So, in this paper will be presented and studied some cases of veterans’ nomenclature, mostly praetorians of the late 2nd – first decades of 3rd century which would allow further comments on their origin, Roman citizenship, names etc.


176.  Contribution to the Study to Whom Belong the First Realistic Portraits on Ancient Coins (mid 5th – end of 4th centuries BC)

Stavri Topalov

It is admitted that the first portraits of actual historical persons on coins appeared at the end of 5th and the beginning of 4th centuries BC in the issues minted by Persian and Lydian satraps (Head, 1911; Zograf, 1950; Sear, 1979).

The research workers of ancient coinage considered until 1989 that the first realistic portraits of kings in world coinage appeared in the times of the Macedonian king Alexander III. This opinion was based on the viewpoint that human images of a certain person were created in Greek art at the beginning of 5th century BC (Hafner, 1981, 19).

After 1988 is was established, on the basis of a summarized examination of the images, symbols and additional explanatory legends on the coins of the early Odryssian kings, of the new arguments submitted and the conclusions drawn on the basis of the same, that the male heads shown on the most prestige types of silver and bronze coins of the kings of the early Odryssian kingdom represent in fact their realistic portraits. Such portraits were represented on three types of silver coins of Saratokos (as to this early king of the lands of Thrace arguments were submitted and a hypothesis was expressed (Топалов 1998, 172-204) that this is not a certain dynast of the lands between Thasos and Maronea, but that it is the well-known Odryssian king mentioned in the sources under his nickname of king and priest of Sitalces), on two types of two sub-variants each of silver coins of Metokos (Топалов 1989, 1-10; 1994, 11-27; 2002, 94-98; 2004, 59-64; 2007, 35-39; Topalov 1994, 13-22), on a type with two sub-variants of bronze coins of Hebryzelmis, on all types of silver coins and on two types of bronze coins of Kotys I (Топалов 1989, 1-10; easyer to find Топалов 1994, 11-27; 2004, 105-116; 2006, 62-67; 2008, 37-42). Since unknown types until 2009 of early Odryssian royal coins and as a result of their study the number of types of early Odryssian royal coins with realistic king portraits increased by one more type of Kotys I, one type of Kersebleptes (Топалов, Стоянов, 2012, 181-190; Тороманов, in print).


177.  New Types and Denominations of Thracian Tribal and Royal Coins Published in Studies of Bulgarian Collectors in the Period of 1994–2014 (poster)

Stavri Topalov, Alexander Toromanov, Svetozar Soyanov

It has been established in the investigations and studies of collectors of ancient coins in Bulgaria during the last 20 years that there are a very great number of unknown types and denominations of Thracian tribal and mostly royal coins. Photos and descriptions of several dozens of such coins having been minted in Thracian lands in the period from the end of 6th century BC to the first half of 1st century AD and published in reviews of small circulation are given in the study. Due to the existence established of coins of kings in Thracian lands about which there is no information in the sources and the epigraphic monuments it was possible to make additions in the list of Thracian kings having really existed and to get a more exact idea of the coinage of the Thracian kings already known. The results of the study of the coinage on the territory of the early Odryssian Kingdom (end of 6thcentury BC – middle of 4th century BC) are particularly impressive. On the background of 24 types of early Odryssian regal coins known 10 new types of early Odryssian regal coins have been published among which two types of anepigraphic silver coins minted in different denominations for the purpose of the domestic commercial relations on the territory of the Odryssian Kingdom. Information about the existence of some several thousands coins of kings of the early Odryssian Kingdom included in private collections and about the regions of their provenance was submitted together with the new types of early Odryssian regal coins. Owing to these studies it became possible to establish that there was in the Odryssian Kingdom a policy well considered in advance and strictly followed of selection of basic and additional images and legends, of use for the first time of constant dynastic symbols, of minting for the first time of coins using non-precious metals and of the first royal and urban bronze coins minted in towns owned by Odryssian kings. As a result of the studies of Bulgarian collectors it became possible to establish that the Odryssian kings after Teres I belonged to two kinship branches of the ruling dynasty, which were the territories controlled by both branches and the order of succession of the power by both branches of the dynasty. These studies allowed to correct the date of foundation of the early Odryssian Kingdom which is not after the withdrawal of the Persians in 480/479 BC but before the beginning of the Persian campaigns, i.e. by the end of the 6th century BC and to explain a number of events in Thracian lands which were not related in the works of ancient authors.


178.  Die Verzierung der Messer mit den geschwungenen Schneiden (II Jh. v. Chr. - II Jh.) (poster)

Nartsis Torbov

Der Vortrag enthaltet die detaillierte Beschreibung der Verzierung, die die archäologischen Funden von Bulgarien, Rumänien und Serbien besitzen. Jeder Messer ist den wichtigen Teil der Bewaffnung, die gewöhnlich im Grab entdeckt war. Nekropolen sind im breiten chronologischen Rahmen datiert – II Jh. v. Chr. – I Jh. (Bulgarien); II Jh. v. Chr. – II Jh. (Rumänien). Es gibt einen terminologischen Unterschied – in der bulgarischen wissenschaftliche Publikationen ist jeder Messer Mаhaira genannt. Die Bezeichnung ist Sika in der rumänischen und serbischen Literatur.

Die Verzierung war auf die Schneiden der Messer graviert. Sie besteht aus einigen Elementen – Kerben, Dreiecke und Kreise. Sie bilden in unmittelbarer Nähe von der Rinnen der Scheiden die selbstständigen Ornamente. Einige Messer haben die reiche und interessante Verzierung. In der Mitte der Scheide waren zwei Vögel graviert. Ein Ornament, der ähnlich der Sonne ist, steht über oder zwischen ihnen. Diese Darrstellungen haben eine symbolische Bedeutung, die unbekannt für die Wissenschaftler ist. Dieses Ornament ist mit der religiösen Vorstellungen der Krieger verbunden, die Besitzer der Messer waren.


179.  Exploring the reality through myths and archaeological evidence

Despoina Tsiafaki

Ancient Thrace has been a land considered exotic, wild, wealthy, famous for its warriors and horses. Although different from Greece, it apparently attracted the Greeks already in early times and developed close relations with them. The Greek presence there, in the form of trading spots (emporia), colonies (apoikiae) or other, is evidenced at least from the times of the colonization (apoikismos).

This Greek presence in ancient Thrace is the topic of the current presentation. The aim is to explore, through certain aspects of myth and reality, the formation of the culture in the region of Aegean Thrace in Archaic times (7th – 6th c. B.C.), a culture that was the result of contacts, conflicts, and influences on various levels (commercial, private, public, religious, mythological, etc.) and contributed significantly to the creation of the structure and image of Thrace in the following centuries (the Classical and Hellenistic Ages).

In order to achieve those goals, information coming from the archaeological research (material culture) will be included, as well as narrations from the world of myth. Those two sources will be the primary tools for the exploration of Greek presence in the region along with its interrelations with the local Thracian tribes.


180.  Der Wein und die antiken thrakischen Ortsnamen Ismaros und Maroneia: Eine literarische, linguistische und geographische Annäherung

Georgios P. Tsomis

Zwei Ortsnamen kennzeichnen in der Antike die Region der heutigen Süd-Rhodope: Ismaros und Maroneia. Handelt es sich dabei um eine oder zwei verschiedene thrakische Städte? Mit Ausnahme von Strabon und Plinius dem Älteren überliefern die meisten antiken Schriftsteller, dass es sich um eine einzige Stadt handele, d.h. Maroneia, deren älterer Name Ismaros gewesen sei. Eine etymologische und linguistische Annäherung dieser zwei Ortsnamen zeigt, dass ein direkter Zusammenhang zwischen diesen besteht. Zugrunde liegt die glänzende und klare Farbe des Weins, der in dieser Region produziert wird. Auf diesen Wein und diese Weingärten bzw. Weinberge weisen stets die antiken Texte der griechischen und der römischen Literatur hin, wenn sie sich auf diese Ortsnamen beziehen.  In der lateinischen Dichtung sind zwar die Belege dazu mehrere als in der griechischen Literatur, denn Thrakien war für die Römer ein wichtiger geopolitischer Knotenpunkt. Bis zur Spätantike zeichnete sich die Region der heutigen  Süd-Rhodope durch den Anbau von Reben, den Kult des Gottes Dionysos und des mythischen Dichters und Sängers Orpheus. Sowohl Maroneia als auch Ismaros, sei es um eine oder um zwei verschiedene Städte handelt, fungierten in der antiken Literatur  als Hauptvertreter des ganzen Thrakiens.


181.  Megalithic construction techniques in classical Thracian buildings (poster)

Lyubomir Tsonev

In terms of construction techniques and common definitions about megalithic culture the author analyzes a number of archaeological sites of the Thracian architecture from the period Vth c. BC – IIIrd c. AD. It is shown that many of these objects include some elements of megalithic character. Megalithic elements in Thracian temples and tombs are not so much an expression of anachronism as a manifestation of remarkably sustainable continuity in the traditional culture of the local population.


182.  The Tomb in Chetinyova Mogila: Architecture and Historical Context

Chavdar Tzochev

The tomb in Chetinyova Mogila, Starosel is the largest and most complex funerary monument in ancient Thrace. Built around the middle of the 4th century BC by Greek architects and stone-cutters, the tomb would have been commissioned by one of the successors of king Kotys I. The building is a significant addition to our knowledge of the so-called temple-tombs: private burial monuments designed by Greek architects for powerful individuals at the outskirts of the Greek world. Like other buildings of this kind, the tomb in Chetinyova Mogila represents a synthesis of different architectural traditions. It shows a number of innovations, including an unprecedented combination of a domed chamber and a tholos temple, and the earliest example of a Doric colonnade in the interior of a circular building. The tomb in Chetinyova Mogila is crucial for understanding the funerary traditions and power ideology of the Thracian elite. Being one of the earliest tholos tombs in Thrace, it marks a change in the way Odrysian nobles claimed legitimacy and materialized their power through burial practices. The possibility to place this change in a particular historical context – the political interplay between Athens, Macedon and the Odrysian kingdom in the mid-4th century BC – further increases the significance of the monument.


183.  Ancient Thrace: GIS and reality

Julia Tzvetkova

The modern digital age provides number of possibilities, but also challenges to the traditional historical studies. Thereby the Geographic Information System (GIS) has gained a special place in the last decades, becoming popular also in humanities. One of its main advantages is the possibilities for managing, storing, visualizing and analyzing big datasets. Comparing to the archaeology, the GIS application in ancient history is in an initial stage. What concerns modern Thracian studies the GIS application is a challenge.

The present paper is attempting to show the possibilities of such a GIS analysis with several case studies of ancient Thrace, reconstructing past geographic realities – ancient road system, site locations, political extent, etc., combining information from the ancient sources, archaeological or numismatic finds. Of course, it should be pointed out that, in such an investigation, the application of GIS is not the goal but a just another approach, a tool for analyzing the past, which is attempting to eliminate the subjectivism and put the achieved conclusions on a more unbiased ground. Though inferred from the title above, GIS cannot be equated with the (modern?) mythology of ancient Thrace. By all means, the offered reconstruction of a virtual reality demands a further discussion.


184.  Greek Art and Female Depictions of Scythia and Thracia. Distinctions and Parallels

Marina Ju. Vakhtina

Greek colonial movement reached the coasts of ancient Scythia and Thracia in the late 7th – early 6th centuries BC. The extension of relationship between the Greek colonies and the natives increased the Hellenic influence upon local cultures. The special role played cultural contacts, reflected in the art.

For both of the regions we can fix a rather early distribution in local contexts of pieces of art produced by Greek craftsmen. At the same time Greek art with its well-developed realistic tradition influenced the processes connected with the strengthening and expansion of anthropomorphic images in the art of both regions. We can state that the processes took place synchronously. The Greek influence can be traced in the diffusion of female depictions, which form a specific group of finds. While for Thracia we can distinguish a number of images produced by local workshops, for Scythia there is a reasonable assumption that the main part of the famous objects of the so-called “Greek-Scythian” toreutics were manufactured by Greek artists. The attempts of local production, imitating Greek examples, can be fixed there only by the end of Scythian epoch. While for Thracia the anthropomorphic images in art testify to an original line of development.

The masterpieces decorated by human images from Scythia are considered created in the frames of one of the branches of peripheric Greek art. On the other hand, the decorations of the so-called Greek-Scythian toreutics can also be examined as a source reflecting the beliefs and tastes of the barbarians. In the paper the pieces of art from Scythia and Thracia will be considered from the point of view of their chronology, distribution, iconography, and “degree of Hellenization”.


185.  The Cult of Apollo in Cabyle

Ivan Valchev

The cult of Apollo in Cabyle is attested since the Early Hellenistic Age. The earliest monument is the Seuthopolis inscription, informing of an altar to the deity at the agora of the city. Head of Apollo is depicted upon the averse of the autonomous bronze coins. The infiltration and establishment of the Apollo cult at Cabyle likely occurred under Macedonian influence. The deity is popular in Macedonia since the 5th century BC, and its connection to Philip ІІ is confirmed by the depiction of the deity upon the gold coins of the king.

During the Roman Age, the cult to Apollo is attested by four monuments. The earliest of those is a pedestal for a statue of Apollo Tadenus, commissioned by a centurion from the Cohors II Lucensium stationed at the Cabyle military camp. Only the pediment survives from a dedication to the God Aularhenos. Its association with Apollo is not entirely certain, but possible. Between the rocks on Zajchi vrah peak was discovered a bronze statuette of Apollo, perhaps left as a votive gift to a small rock sanctuary. The final monument is a fragment of marble rendition of a kithara, likely from a statue of Apollo Citharoedus.

The analysis of the artifacts suggests rather the absence of a link between the Hellenistic cult to Apollo and that from the Roman Age. During the Roman Age it is possible to speak of cults to different “Apollos”, arriving via different paths at Cabyle, but not of preserved Hellenistic traditions in the worship of this deity.


186.  Eros in Thrace

Julia Valeva

Eros has many aspects, and these display a tendency to change in time. In spite of being a very popular figure in ancient art and culture, and hence a subject to modern research for a long time, Eros still provokes many questions and attracts considerable attention. Eros was familiar in Thrace as well, but his symbolic connotations on local soil have not as a whole been adequately studied. His images animate the vases found in the necropoleis of the Greek colonies of Apollonia and Mesambria on the Black Sea coast. In this Greek environment the representations of Eros follow traditional Greek, and primarily Attic iconographic types, and in this respect his nature would supposedly have been that of an omnipresent deity, who overpowers even the Olympian gods. But is this also valid for the representations of Eros in a Thracian context, on art objects of local production, as exemplified by the Borovo jug-rhyton? The present paper tries to answer this question, attempting to show how the erotic of Eros was understood in Thrace, to what extend Eros was bound to life and death, and whether he was considered a primordial god in some local mystic cults.


187.  Late Hellenistic Mounds from Northern Bulgaria – the Case Study of Tumulus № 8 from the Village of Brestovitsa, Rousse Region (poster)

Varbin Varbanov

Fourteen late Hellenistic tumuli have been studied so far in the territory of Northern Bulgaria – at the villages of Brestnitsa, Gumoshtnik, Doyrentsi and Smochan in Lovech region; at the village of Tarnava in Vratsa region, and at the village of Brestovitsa in Rousse region. Their erection can be dated roughly between the middle of the 2nd century BC and the middle of the 1st century BC.

Several Thracian mound necropolises and settlements are registered In the vicinity of the village of Brestovitsa, Rousse region. Two of the mounds from the eastern group were studied recently and are dated in the period of the 5th and the beginning of the 4th century BC. The northern group has also been studied, and the mounds there are from the 4th and 3rd century BC.

The western group consist two mounds, one of which was studied in 1994. In 2014 we also studied Tumulus № 8. It was established that the mound had been piled twice, and remains of a fire were discovered in the middle of the first piling, in the center of the mound (approximately in its western section) – a thin layer of bricked clay, coals, ash and burnt human bones, as well as parts of chain-mail; there were also a highly corroded curved Thracian knife, a metal head (probably of a spear) and several pottery fragments, from which a whole wheel-made jug was restored. On site were found fragments of a pot, decorated with plastic stripe and with handles. The burning of the body was made somewhere else, and part of the funeral-pile has been transferred to the center of the mound.

In the eastern part of the mound, immediately below the fallow-land was discovered a fragmented pot with bones and three deformed bronze bracelets. Below them there were two ceramic pilings with human bones and bronze artifacts inside them, as well as fragments of a golden earring, a silver bracelet and fragments of silver fibulae. Inside the first piling were found the remains of a bowl, made by hand, three imitations of Megara bowls and one Rhodes amphora, unfortunately without stamps preserved. The second spot that contains human bones (of an infant) was covered by a piece of a pot with incised decoration. The discovered finds allow the dating of the accumulation of the mound about the end of 2nd or the beginning of the 1st century BC.


188.  Hecataeus' Knowledge of Thrace

Miroslav Vasilev

The purpose of the paper is to draw attention to all fragments from Hecataeus’ Periegesis dealing with Ancient Thrace. These fragments mention “Thracian” cities, districts, mountains, tribes etc. Based on the said fragments, one can draw conclusions as to the direction of Hecataeus’ description of Ancient Thrace (clockwise or counterclockwise), its borders, its population, the cities situated there, etc. The paper also deals with the influence which the Periegesis might have had on the authors writing after Hecataeus.


189.  Thracians and Phrygians: State of Art and Future Perspectives

Maya Vassileva

During the last two decades more and more scholars tended to neglect or even deny any Balkan/Thracian connections of Phrygian culture. Despite the doubtless affinities with Thrace displayed by the EIA archaeological material from Gordion, this venue is being less and less followed. Academic works insisted on the Anatolian nature of Phrygian culture and explored possible Neo-Hittite influences.

A number of scholars still do not accept the identification of the Mushki from the cuneiform texts with the Phrygians from the Greek sources. In the multicultural environment of the late 2nd – early 1st millennium BC Anatolia it was quite possible for people of different origin to have blended to form the Phrygian state. It is true that the late 9th century BC Citadel Mound of Gordion has no parallels in Thrace. Despite the material wealth and advanced technologies demonstrated by the Phrygians, Phrygian Kingdom differed significantly in essence from its Anatolian and Near Eastern contemporaries. The differences are best seen in the limited use of scripture in ritual context, the cult of the Kybeleian Mother and her rock-cut sanctuaries.
The linguists are among those who still speak about relations between Phrygian and Thracian (and Greek) languages. We still poorly understand the Old-Phrygian texts. Onomastics seems to offer more options for future progress.

New evidence from the so far understudied Western Anatolia (pace the Greek cities on the coast and the Bronze Age sites) could contribute to a better understanding of Thracian-Phrygian relations. Most of the Late Phrygian tumuli have not yet been published, It seems that later Phrygian material, i.e. that of 7th – 6th century BC, could possibly expose more similar features between ancient Thrace and Phrygia.


190.  Tumulus Baksy near Kerch. Cultural contacts on the Cimmerian Bosporus in the early 4th century BC

Yuri A. Vinogradov

The large mound near Baksy village (now Glazovka) in Kerch vicinities was excavated in 1882 by N.P. Kondakov. He found here a monumental crypt with a ledged vault. The author supposed that two burials of different time were made in this crypt. The special study of archives materials demonstrates that there must have been only one elite burial of the first quarter of the 4th century BC. The burial in this crypt was a typical for Greco-Barbarous rite and inventory. We can assume that a representative of Bosporus higher nobility was buried there. Chronologically, this archaeological site most closely matches Satyros I, the second king of Spartocids dynasty, who ruled in Bosporus in 433/32 – 389/88 years BC.

There are some “oddities” of the burial in the Baksy tumulus, absence of bones of the deceased in a large sarcophagus found here in particular.  Some fragments of human bones were found only in dromos, but this crypt was not robbed. We can assume that the remains of the deceased were specially removed from the crypt under certain religious rite. Very similar phenomena are observed in elite burial mound on the territory of Thrace. D. Gergova identified the essence of the ritual of extracting bones from the crypts as a manifestation of “rite of immortalization”.

In the modern science, there are four long known hypotheses of the origin of the dynasty of Spartocids: Thracian, Scythian, Sindo-Meotian and Greek. None of them has reliable evidences, but in the light of the foregoing spectrum of hypotheses linking Bosporus dynasty with the barbarian world, Thracian hypothesis seems the most probable.


191.  Les Monnaies des trois Rhoimetalkès, les derniers rois de la Dynastie Thrace

Oya Yağız

Les monnaies des trois Rhoimetalkès, les derniers rois thraces, descendants de la race des Sapéens diffèrent de la reste des monnaies, leurs contemporaines, en ce qu’elles reflètent plutôt les caractéristiques des monnaies romaines. Dans cet article seront présentées les monnaies appartenant à ces rois et provenant des excavations conduites à Heraion Teichos et aussi les monnaies des collections du Musée Archéologique de Tekirdağ.


192.  Myth and Reality in Thracian Linguistics

Svetlana Yanakieva

Studies on the Thracian language have existed as an autonomous domain for more than 120 years and have undergone several stages of development. The scarcity of the linguistic material is a prerequisite for the emergence of two opposite types of myths. On the one hand, the wish to extract the maximum possible information from that material is the reason for the emergence of myths of overestimation, and on the other – the underestimation and the insufficient knowledge of the objective research create myths that distort both the linguistic and the historical picture. Thus, in practice even in the sphere of linguistics researchers prove to be involved in the confrontation between modernism and post-modernism: between the excessive expectations from research and the new paradigms of relativism and indeterminateness, between the “exceptional passion for truth” and its fragmentation into different possible interpretations.

The paper traces both types of myths, which moreover occur both in the strictly professional circles of linguists and researchers of the antiquity from other disciplines, and in the broad circles of people who love ancient history and ancient languages, especially in view of the snowball effect of the growing information in the Internet space nowadays. The question arises: what is the adequate response to this challenge and what are the efforts needed for remaining in the sphere of realism?


193.  Foureés and barbarian imitations of the coins of Apollonia Pontica (poster)

Kalina Yordanova

Different types of fraudulent activities were registered on the Balkan Peninsula in the Classical and Hellenistic period. One understudied aspect is the imitation of original coins. There were several ways of counterfeiting coins in antiquity. The analysis of the coins of Apollonia Pontica from 10 museum collections, which includes 1036 coins in total, shows that Apollonian coins had been counterfeited. Both fourées and barbarian imitations of Apollonian coin types are now known. Foureés and barbarian imitations were minted because of a shortage of regular coins.

Fourteen coins of two Apollonian types (types AR II and AR IV) were produced in the technique of fourée. They all have a bronze core covered with thin silver foil applied through heating directly to the basemetal coin core. The weight of these coins also shows that they are ancient forgeries. Their weight is roughly 15-25% less than the standard.

Several other coins bear the characteristics of barbarian imitations. They are all crude in style. The erroneously written reverse legends on some of them are another indication that these coins were produced in unofficial workshops.


194.  Odrysian paradynast – one possible interpretation

Zhivko Zhekov

The problem of the appearance of Odrysian paradynastic areas and their genesis is a major one when considering the real dimensions of Odrysian state tradition. In the existing base the solution can be sought only in the order of some preliminary and somewhat contingent working hypotheses, but their examination and analysis is a needed basic stage.

The research investigates the appearance and structure of paradynastic Odrysian areas, the powers of the Odrysian paradynasts and their relations with the central government, the possibilities for locating specific paradynastic areas and their territorial coverage in all conventionality of such interpretations.


195.  Thracian Pottery from Nicopol and Present day North Central Bulgaria on the Eve of the Roman Conquest (II c. BC – early I c. AD)

Vladislav Zhivkov

The town of Nicopol is situated in the middle of present day Northern Bulgaria, next to the southern bank of the Danube river, close to the Thracian and Roman site near Belene (ancient Dimum). Its position near the great river and favorable geographic factors are premises for intensive inhabitance during a long period – from early prehistory (Paleolithic era), Iron Age, Roman and Medieval periods. Concerning this rich archeological heritage of the area, one should note that the end of the Hellenistic period is somewhat “neglected”, discussed only in one short article by Al. Bonev, together with the earlier materials. The present report focuses on the preserved materials from the end of the Iron Age (II c. BC – I c. BC/AD), discovered during the excavations of the medieval fortress. The period is attested only by pottery sherds that can be divided into three major groups – wheel made, mould made and handmade. Without a clear archeological context, a formal-typological approach is applied, where different sites from Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania are used as parallels.

North Central Bulgaria is situated as a border location of different tribes, which makes it a specific contact zone of their cultures – something well manifested in Nicopol.


196.  Figurative Paintings in the Necropolis of Hellenistic Maresha (Marissa), Israel

Boaz Zissu

The ancient city of Maresha (Marissa) is situated in the Judean Foothills, about 40 km southwest of Jerusalem. During the Hellenistic period Maresha flourished and became a major city.

The archaeological site consists of a Tell – the Upper City (=UC), a Lower City (LC) and a Subterranean City (=SC). A vast necropolis forms a ring surrounding the LC and includes three main cemeteries (Northern, Eastern and South-Western). The exploration of the necropolis started in 1873 and has continued up until the present day.

The cemeteries consist of more than 40 rock-cut burial chambers or hypogea. A typical hypogeum includes an elongated rectangular hall into whose walls loculi (burial niches) featuring typical gabled openings; sometimes additional chambers were cut, forming a burial complex. The loculi were used for primary and secondary burials.

Two of the tombs [nos. 1 (551) and 2 (552)], discovered in 1902 and published by Peters and Thiersch in 1905, had unique wall paintings, dating from the 3rd century BCE. The paintings are characterized by a mixture of funerary motifs, mostly of Greek or Alexandrian origin. The architectural form, figurative program and especially the animal frieze painted in Tomb 1 (551, The "Sidonian Community Tomb") is a unique document of its kind in the Hellenistic world. Following their discovery, the painted tombs attracted much scholarly attention.

The Hellenistic period hypogea of Maresha were long-term family sepulchres – cut in the soft chalk for the burial of the city residents along several generations. The tombs served this purpose throughout the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE, until the destruction of the city by the Hasmoneans, c. 111 BCE. Some of the tombs, located in the Northern and Eastern necropoleis were reused in the Roman period.

The architectural plans of the hypogea probably reached Maresha from elsewhere in the Hellenistic world. The hypogea resemble the architectural and artistic style of Ptolemaic period's tombs (mostly from the 3rd century BCE) in the Shatbi necropolis of Alexandria in Egypt.

The epigraphic evidence reflects the multi-ethnic composition of the city, combining Idumaeans, Phoenicians, Greeks, some Egyptians and possibly a few Judeans. These ethnic elements produced the outstanding social and cultural fabric of the city during the Hellenistic period.

The planned lecture will present the architecture and art of the rock-cut burial chambers of Marissa in light of comparable hypogea known from the Greek and Hellenistic world. The paper will discuss, among other issues, the wall paintings of Maresha, their Thracian parallels, and possible common sources of their figurative program.