archeological heritage

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Artifacts from Haskovo region


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    The Archaeological Heritage of the Museum in HaskovoIrko Petrov

    Municipality of Haskovo

  • The Regional Historical Museum in Haskovo has 80-year long history. In 1927 a group of intellectuals from the town founded an Archaeological Committee. It was transformed into an Archaeological Association in 1935. A building for the museum exposition was given to the association. Only within two decades, with the help of donations and purchases, a fund of 2000 exhibits was collected. At the end of the 20-ties and the beginning of the 30-ties of the last century the first archaeological research in the region was conducted. With the help of archaeological excavations the most monumental Thracian Tomb at the village of Mezek, one of the best-kept medieval fortresses near the same village, some village hills and dolmen were explored. In 1952 a state Historical Museum was founded in the town. Five years later in 1957 an Archaeology Department was established in it. Massive archaeological research was initiated, the museum fund was enlarged and work over the formation of an archaeological map was started. The first archaeological excavations of the newly-established department were made on the mediaeval fortress near Haskovo. It was built in the IX th century and during the next X th century it spread and turned into a typical medieval town with massive fortress walls fortification. In the year 2000, at a distance of 12 km north-east of Haskovo, near the village of Aleksandrovo a unique Thracian tomb with wall-paintings, built in the IV th century B.C. was found. It is expected that this tomb is included in the list of the World Cultural Heritage. At present, with the support of the Japanese government, a large museum and a research center are being under construction there. Over 60 sites, situated in the surrounding areas of the town and the region, have been surveyed under archaeological excavations so the archaeological map of Haskovo region comprises more than 1500 sites now. The fund of the Archaeological Department keeps more than 41 000 movable monuments from the Pre-historic period, the Antiquity and the Middle Ages, including 22 700 ancient and medieval coins. The following objects of Art can be recognized as unique: the silver cup (potyr), made for the coronation of Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora, the Thracian silver pots and decorations from the horse ammunition, dating back to V th-IV th century B.C., the gilded glass jug from the end of IVth century and the beginning of V th century, the ceramic rhython in the shape of a footprint from the Bronze Age and a lot of other objects. Special attention should be paid to the collections of ornaments from the Pre-historic period, the Antiquity and the Middle Ages, to the miniature plastics and other. The silver and gold coins in the numismatic fund of the Department number over 2 700 samples. A collective find of silver tetra drachms from the II nd-I st century B.C., found in the village of Mezek, including more than 200 coins can be highlighted. The thousand-year history of the region from VII th millennium B.C. to the XIV th century is reflected in the wealth of the exhibit funds of the Archaeological Department of the Regional Historical Museum in Haskovo. It is a history of significant social and political events, of economic and cultural prosperity.

  • Neolithic Age

    (VII - V millennium B.C.)

    The oldest traces of life found on the territory of nowadays Haskovo region date from the Neolithic age (VII th - V th millennium B.C.). It was a period when the population on these lands began to be occupied with agriculture and cattle-breeding. The first villages appeared. Labor instruments were made mainly of stone, bones and wood. It was the time when the first ceramic pots appeared. The cult of the goddess - mother, reflected in many idols, found during the archaeological excavations, became widely spread then. A significant increase of the population, reflected in the development of the village system, could be marked.

    A Zoomorphic potCeramicsHeight - 14,4 cm.

    A model of a dwelling-placeCeramics

    Height - 7 m.

    A pot of painted decorationCeramics

    Height - 7,7 m.

    A bottle-like potCeramicsHeight - 35,4 m.

    An anthropomorphic figureCeramics

    Height - 7,7 m.

  • Copper and Stone Age

    (V th - IV th millennium B.C.)

    During the next Copper and Stone Age (V th - IV th millennium B.C.), the population on our lands learnt the methods of extraction and processing of copper and production of things from this metal. Stone was still a basic material in the making of labor weapons but the production technology was improved. New forms and decoration elements appeared on pottery. New contacts were established with the lands around the Aegean Sea. In some villages from this period (near the village of Orlovo) ornaments made from Mediterranean shells as well as materials for their production, were found. A change in the anthropomorphic plastic arts is noticed. The images of men became more common.

    An anthropomorphic figureCeramics

    Height - 8,2 m.

    An anthropomorphic figureCeramics

    Height - 7,5 m.

    A pot of graphite decorationCeramics

    Height - 11 m.

    A necklaceVertebrae

    A necklaceVertebrae

  • Bronze Age

    (the end of IV th - the end of II th millennium B.C.)

    The name Bronze Age (the end of IV th - the end of II nd millennium B. C.) is connected with the discovery by the local population of a new material for elaboration of labor instruments, weapons and other daily articles. Because of its better mechanical qualities, bronze began gradually to take the place of stone and copper. At that time the region was inhabited by Thracian tribes. It was then that the first mound necropolises appeared defining the typically Thracian landscape.

    A pitcherCeramicsHeight - 10 m.

    A hatchetBronze

    Height - 12,2 m.

    A potCeramics

    Height - 37,3 m.

    A swordBronzeLength - 52,5 m.

    A Snake-like daggerBronze

    Length - 19,5 m.

    A Ritual hatchetStone

    Height - 15 m.

  • Early Iron Age

    (II th - VI th centuries B.C.)

    During the next Early Iron Age (II th - VI th centuries B.C.) the Thracians mastered the metallurgy of iron. This new metal had better properties than copper and bronze. The iron instruments increased considerably agricultural possibilities. The development of economy went along with important social and economic changes. The tribal system fell apart, the social popularization strengthened and state forming tendencies appeared. The archaeological data show that during this period an extended village system consisting of open villages of small dimensions and well-protected fortresses built mostly on naturally defended hills could be seen. Ore-mining occupied an important place in the economic activities of the local population and this to a great extent led to economic prosperity of the region during the ages to come as well.

    A jugCeramics

    Height - 16,6 m.

    A pot of bucklesCeramics

    Height - 20,5 .

    A jugCeramics

    Height - 11 m.

    A fibulaBronze

    Length - 10,3 m.

    A swordIronLength - 73 m.

  • Late Iron Age

    (VI th century B.C. - I st century)

    The next development stage of the lands of Ancient Thrace - The Late Iron Age ranges over the period between the end of VI th century B.C. and I st century. This was a period of a wider opening of the Thracian lands to the surrounding world. Social relations improved. New technical decisions were introduced. The territory of Haskovo municipality was included in the borders of the Odrysais Kingdom practically since its rising. In the middle of V th century B.C. The Kingdom of the Odrysai spread from the mouth of the Mesta river in Aegean Sea to the mouth of the Danube and from there to the district of Byzantium (Istanbul). During that period Thracian tombs near the villages of Aleksandrovo, Mezek, Valche Pole, the town of Madzharovo and others were built.

    A pitcherSilver, giltHeight - 12,6 m.

    A little amphoraGlass

    Height - 10,5 m.

    A scyphosCeramics

    Height - 9,5 m.

    A statuette of AphroditeSilverHeight - 4,5 m.

    A gobeleSilver

    Height - 12,7 m.

  • Thrace under Roman Domination

    (II nd - IV th century)

    In the year 45, as a result of a palace coup, the last Thracian ruler Rhoemetalces III was killed and the lands in the south of the Balkan area were proclaimed a Roman province - Thrace. This act of Emperor Claudius (year 41-45) put the end of the Thracian state organization. Series of old villages were transformed into towns and new settlements were built. A large-scale building of roads was organized. Road building was meant to make communications easy as well as to facilitate the moving of the military units. But the roads were also proper for a large trade and cultural exchange with all parts of the empire. As a whole, all these events led to the rise of the Thracian lands to the level of the Empires standards. The model of the first all-European civilization was formed.

    Polyphem and Galatea, chariot decorationBronzeDiameter - 9,6 m.

    A lampCeramics

    Diameter - 8,5 cm.

    A die of the image of DionysusBronze

    Height - 15 m.

    A lampBronzeLength - 14,5 m.

    A statu


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