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The New Iron Age

The collection consists of archaeological finds from regular and saving archaeological excavations made by the National Museum of History as well as of archaeological materials – the receipt of state institutions, juridical and physical persons. It comprises various groups of objects, made of different materials, that dates from the 6th century BC to the 1st century BC.
The group of offensive and defensive armaments, harness parts and decorations, adornments and belt appliqués, household objects, cult objects, tombstones and epigraph monuments are of great importance.
 
The period from the 5th century BC to the 4th century BC was indeed boom years for the political, economic and cultural development of the ancient Thracians. The strong Odrysian kingdom became an important state on the Balkan Peninsula. The objects placed as grave offerings during the burial of a member of the royal family that were discovered in the Tumulus of Golyamata Mogila near the villages of Malomirovo and Zlatinitsa dates from this period: wreath, signet – ring and appliqués, made of gold; rhyton, phialae, greave and harness appliqués, made of silver; bronze vessels and ceramics attract many visitors. Very impressive objects from the same grave are bronze helmet decorated with snake – shaped ornaments; iron armour that consists of dozens of thousands of iron scales sewn on leather base; iron spearheads that impress the visitors with their dimensions and a fragment of decorated cloth, made of silk and hemp and dyed with ancient purple. The museum collection includes gold pectorals – insignia of power, exquisite silver vessels – one of them belonged to the Thracian king Kotys I, gold and silver fabulae that were found in rich graves of Thracian aristocrats. The armaments from this period include: bronze helmets of Corinthian, Chalcidice and Thracian type (one of them with silver appliqués), two parts bronze armor; iron spearheads and curved combat knives, bronze arrowheads and lead balls for a sling. The collection also includes works of the Thracian toreutics: silver and bronze harness appliqués as well as die, used to shape the decoration of a silver vessel.
 
The collection preserves a considerable number of archaeological monuments that dates from the end of the 4th to the 1st century BC (the Hellenic period). The most interesting complex of archaeological finds is from a tumulus near Sinemorets in the Burgas area. A funeral of a Thracian gentle-woman cremated that dates from the middle of the 3rd century BC was discovered. The rich grave offering include: a gold wreath, a gold tiara with a filigree inscription, gold earrings that are superb exquisite pieces of craftsmanship, silver appliqués and cult objects made of fired clay. The armaments of the collection is displayed by: long iron Celtic swords, spearheads, omphaloses (central bosses) of shields, reins, bride – bits and spurs that are typical for the period. The collection includes an impressive full set of battle equipment of a warrior: entirely preserved iron helmet of the Thracian type, a sheathed sword and a shield with a rare shape of omphalos  (central boss). His funeral was discovered under a tumulus near Sheynovo in the Kazanlak area and three bronze torques (bracelets around warrior’s neck) and two bronze fabulae testify to the high status of the buried man – a noble warrior. Models of a specific Thracian weapon – rhomphaia – are very interesting. They are long iron swords with a fine edge that continues in a narrow solid base with a grip at the end.