The monument was opened in 1888 during the construction of the new church in the village of German, erected next to the old one. It is believed to have been carved as a memorial by King Samuel in memory of his parents and brother.

Gifts of symbolic burial

Gifts of symbolic burial,
Belish village, Troyan municipality, end of the XNUMXth–beginning of the XNUMXth century. BC,
National History Museum, inv. No. 42539 – 43311

The objects were discovered by chance in 2000 in a small mound, part of a mound necropolis consisting of 12 mounds in the town of "Manastirski Talason", east of the village of Belish. The assemblage of ornaments includes bronze bracelets, fibulae, belt appliqués, spiral strings of various diameters, amber cores and beads of mountain crystal, an iron ax and a ceramic vessel placed within the boundaries of the burial facility below the mound embankment. Although no skeleton was found in the grave, the objects were arranged in a way that marked their places on the clothing or body of the "buried". Where the head should have been, and slightly to the side of it, are placed an iron ax and a small ceramic vessel; around the neck is a bronze spiral string and a string of pierced amber cores with two mountain crystal vertebrae; to the sides of the shoulders and arms are the bronze fibulae and bracelets, and around the waist are the bronze belt appliqués, the buckle with a round tip and fragments of a spiral cord. The two bundles of fragmented multi-helix bracelets mark the placement of the feet.

The objects described are part of the decoration of ceremonial, representative clothing. The size, shape, and placement of the iron double-edged ax in the grave (at the level of the "head") attest to its function as a scepter, an insignia that marked the position of a presumed priest-ruler from the region of the northern slopes of the Central Hemus. The presence of amber cores, which, according to laboratory research, originate from the Baltic region, marks the ancient road from the Carpathians through the present-day Troyan pass to the Rhodopes for the White Sea, called the "amber road". The data from the archaeological researches and the written information of ancient Greek and Roman authors (Tacit., Germania,45; Plin. Hist. Nat, XXXVII, 32-53) testify that in antiquity amber was sufficiently known and probably used as an attribute of priests in healing and magical rites. All this makes them an extremely expensive imported product, whose use as ornaments was probably a privilege of the representatives of the Thracian aristocracy.

Author: Iv. Hristov/ed. L. Konova
Translation: S. Tsaneva/L. Konova
Photos: T. Dimitrov

References:
– Hristov, Iv. Thracian jewelry treasures 2002th-6th centuries BC. Sofia 60, pp. XNUMX-XNUMX.
– Hristov, Iv. Thracian jeweled treasures (IX-VI centuries BC) from the fund of the National History Museum, Notices of the National History Museum, item XIV. pp. 43-67.

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