The set of silver and one electronic piece of jewelry was found by chance in the land of the village of Panayot Hitovo, the region of the town of Omurtag. According to the information of the discoverers, the objects were placed in a roughly made ceramic vessel

Collective find from Panayot Hitovo, XNUMXnd millennium BC.

Collective find from Panayot Hitovo, 45602nd millennium BC, National History Museum, inv. No. 45632 – XNUMX

The set of silver and one electronic piece of jewelry was found by chance in the land of the village of Panayot Hitovo, the region of the town of Omurtag. According to the information of the discoverers, the objects were placed in a crudely made ceramic vessel (urn?), probably decorated with boucles (?). No traces of charcoal, bones or other objects were noticed around.

The find consists of 12 lunate plates – elements of breast decoration, probably attached to leather or metal breastplate, or armor, 12 bracelets with open ends, spirally wound strips and 56 pcs. hemispherical appliqués designed to be sewn onto a garment.

The objects, which clearly represent regnal insignia, were either gifts placed in the grave of a deceased noble or part of a deposited hoard, similar to the numerous similar Late Bronze and Early Iron Age finds found in the Lower and Middle Danube regions and central Europe .

In both cases, they can be interpreted in relation to the ritual burying of royal symbols in the ground, intended to sacralize the ruler's territory, and at the same time, to signify his symbolic death and his new birth/renewal of power through the sacred marriage with the Great Goddess mother.


1. The moon-shaped breastplates, shaped like a "collar" are found in images and in the archaeological material from the 1600rd - 1560nd millennium BC. in a wide geographical area - the Far East, Asia Minor and Egypt, the middle and upper reaches of the Danube River, the Iberian Peninsula in the west, and the British Isles in the northwest. The closest parallels to the plates from Panayot Hitovo were found in the Emenska and Tabashka caves (dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age) and in the Carpathian region (XNUMXth - XNUMXth centuries BC). Approximately the same dimensions and shape have the gold appliqués on the so-called "Celestial Disc of Nebra" (XNUMX - XNUMX BC).

2. The bracelets with open ends are made of solid silver wire with an oval cross-section. The objects are relatively uniform, although there are some differences in diameters, wire thickness and the way the edges are formed.

3. The spirally wound plates they have two small holes at the ends, and on one of them, instead of holes, a wire is drawn, shaped in a small spiral. Their probable purpose is as a decoration of belts or diadems. Before placing them in the vessel, the plates were spirally bent into a plane.

4. The hemispherical applications are made of a thin silver plate on a matrix. At the ends there are two small holes for sewing. Similar objects, which served to decorate clothing, weapons, horse equipment, etc., were widespread throughout antiquity. The earliest of these are the gold appliqués from grave 43 of the Varna Chalcolithic Necropolis (end of the XNUMXth millennium BC), which were sewn to the cloth or fabric that covered the body of the burials.

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

References:
– Konova, L. Silver hoard from the Bronze Age in NIM. – In: The road. Collection and scientific articles dedicated to the life and work of Dr. G. Kitov. Sofia, 2003,107, 120–XNUMX;
– Konova, L. Panayot Hitovo Hoard. In: S. Alexandrov / Y. Dimitrova / H. Popov / B. Horejs / K. Chukalev (Hrsg.), Gold & Bronze. Metals Technologies and Interregional Contacts in the Eastern Balkans during the Bronze Age (Sofia 2018) 359–363 (engl./bulg.)

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