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Vratsa Treasure from Mogilanska Mound

Vratsa treasure
Vratsa treasure

Vratsa treasure
(4th century BC)

The treasure of Vratsa from the Mogilanska mound comprised three tombs which were yielded, during 1965-66 excavations in the heart of the city. Two were plundered back in antiquity, and the third contained a funeral of a man and a woman, one of the richest to be discovered in Thrace. There are several striking artifacts among the multitude of gold and silver objects intended to serve the deceased in the next life.

A silver cone-shaped pitcher suggests that the dead were initiated into the Dionysian cult, since the cone was a symbol of Dionysus.

The gold laurel wreath and earrings show remarkable sophistication and craftsmanship.

The  gold pitcher is interesting with its handle fashioned like a Herculean knot which is right over the plume-ornamented bodies of the two chariots drawn by four horses each.

Since the chariot is always a symbol of the sun god, many scholars believe that the chariot driver is Apollo - the principle god of the Tribally. Here a unique knee-piece with a female head figure was found. Knee-pieces were part of ancient warriors' protective armor and were intended to protect legs.

A perfectly symmetrical, framed by an intricate coiffure and crowned with a gilded ivy wreath human face covers the kneecap. There are bird-shaped earrings, with two serpents outlining the face in the background. In the lower part, their bodies blend into those of roaring lions, whose heads lock right under the chin. Another two serpents on the knee-piece have promotes that blend into griffin lions.

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