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Bulgaria: Silver-gilt pitcher from a Thracian tomb

The Rogozen Treasure, discovered in 1985-6 in northwest Bulgaria (ancient Thrace), is the largest single collection of ancient tomb riches ever found in southeastern Europe. It included 165 silver vessels, mostly in the form of pitchers and phialai or shallow bowls decorated with elaborate designs in repousée (hammered foil) style. About 20% were also gilded. These finely decorated items had been created over a period of about 150 years by artisans from Anatolia, eastern Greece, and Thrace, before being assembled in the grave offering at Rogozen. Many of the phialai are inscribed in Greek with punched lettering, with a variety of place names showing their sites of manufacture.

This drawing shows a silver-gilt pitcher from the Rogozen tomb dating from the time of Alexander the Great (ca. 330 BC).

[Fig.1: Silver-gilt pitcher from a Thracian tomb at Rogozen (drawing: E. Tsenova; Vratsa Museum of History)]

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