Ελληνική ιστορία και προϊστορία

Ελληνική ιστορία και προϊστορία
Ελληνική ιστορία και προϊστορία

Σάββατο, 13 Ιουλίου 2019

Panagyurishte treasure - The famous Thracian gold of ancient Greece

The Thracians were a group of Northern Greek tribes inhabiting a large area in Central and Southeastern Europe, centred in Bulgaria, Northern Greece and Eastern Thrace in Turkey. They were bordered by the Scythians to the north, the Celts and the Illyrians to the west, the Southern Greeks to the south, and the Black Sea to the east. The Thracians either had skillful craftsmen themselves, or access to Greek craftsmen. They made beautifully ornate golden and silver objects such as various kinds of vessels, rhytons, facial masks, pectorals, jewelry, weapons, etc. These show strong, and increasing, influence from the neighbouring cultures, especially the Southern Greeks. They used to bury rich hoards of precious objects both to hide them in times of enemy invasions and unrest as well as for ritual purposes. To date, more than 80 Thracian treasures have been excavated in Bulgaria.
Ancient Greek and Roman historians agreed that the ancient Thracians, who were of Indo-European stock and language, were superior fighters; only their constant political fragmentation prevented them from overrunning the lands around the northeastern Mediterranean. Although these historians characterized the Thracians as primitive partly because they lived in simple, open villages, the Thracians in fact had a fairly advanced culture that was especially noted for its poetry and music. Their soldiers were valued as mercenaries, particularly by the Macedonians and Romans. The Greeks founded several colonies on the Thracian coasts, the most notable being Byzantium. Others were on the Bosporus, Propontis, and Thracian Chersonese peninsula. On the Aegean were Abdera near the Néstos delta and Aenus near Alexandroúpoli. Farther north on the Black Sea’s Gulf of Burgas, the Milesians founded Apollonia (7th century BCE), and the Chalcedonians founded Mesembria (end of the 6th century BCE). Most Thracians became subject to Persia about 516–510 BCE. Members of the Odrysae tribe briefly unified their fellow Thracians into an empire that in 360 BCEsplit three ways and was quite easily assimilated (356–342) by Philip II of Macedon. The Thracians provided Philip’s son, Alexander the Great, with valuable light-armed troops during his conquests. In 197, Rome assigned much of Thrace to the kingdom of Pergamum, though the coastal area west of the Maritsa was annexed to the Roman province of Macedonia. In the 1st century BCE, Rome became more directly involved in the affairs of the whole region, and dynastic quarrels among the local Thracian rulers, who had by then become client kings of Rome, prompted the emperor Claudius I to annex the entire Thracian kingdom in 46 CE. Thrace was subsequently made into a Roman province. The emperor Trajan and his successor, Hadrian, founded cities in Thrace, notably Sardica (Sofia) and Hadrianopolis (Edirne). About 300 CE, Diocletian reorganized the area between the Lower Danube and the Aegean into the diocese of Thrace.
The Panagyurishte treasure is by far the richest and most brilliant gold hoard yet discovered which was unearthed by accident by three brothers Pavel, Petko and Michael Deykovs in 1949, during clay digging near the town of Panagyurishte. Town of Panagyrishte is located 90 km east of Sofia, 80 km northwest of Plovdiv and only 35 km distant from the Temple of Thracian cult in Starosel village. The Panagyurishte gold has been dated to the 4th century BC. The Panagyurishte find consists of nine solid gold vessels of highest and most sophisticated perfection in craftsmanship, decorated with different zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figures, including seven rhyta, a rare amphora-rhyton and a phiale. The amphora-rhyton, the four rhyta shaped like animal heads/fore-parts and decorated with mythological scenes of the Scynthian-Sarmatian cultures, the three jug rhyta shaped like women’s heads, and the phiale decorated with representations of warrior men’s heads and acorns are all pieces of a ceremonial tableware drinking set for feasts that belonged to a Thracian king (presumably Seuthes III), from the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd centuries BC. The inscriptions on the phiale and on two of the vessels refer to the town of Lampsak on the Dardanelles as the place where they had been made. The origin of the Panagyurishte treasure and the interpretations of the scenes on the vessels, however, still remain disputable among researchers.
Panagyurishte is a town in Pazardzhik Province, Southern Bulgaria, situated in a small valley in the Sredna Gora mountains. It is 91 km east of Sofia, 43 km north of Pazardzhik, and 37 km south of Zlatitsa. The town is the administrative centre of the homonymous Panagyurishte Municipality. As of December 2009, it has a population of 17,959 inhabitants. The root of the name, "panagyur", comes from the Greek πανηγύρι, panēgýri, a festival or fair. Eastern Rumelia (Ανατολική Ρωμυλία, Anatoliki Romylia) was an autonomous territory in the Ottoman Empire, created in 1878 by the Treaty of Berlin and de facto ended in 1885, when it was united with the principality of Bulgaria, also under Ottoman suzerainty. It continued to be an Ottoman province de jure until 1908, when Bulgaria declared independence. The population in Eastern Rumelia was mainly Christian Orthodox (Greek and Slavic) with Ottoman minorities. The artificial name, Eastern Rumelia, was given to the province on the insistence of the British delegates to the Congress of Berlin: the Ottoman notion of Rumelia refers to all European regions of the empire, i.e. those that were in Antiquity under the Roman Empire (Rum=Roman, Byzantine). According to the Treaty of Berlin, Eastern Rumelia was to remain under the political and military jurisdiction of the Ottoman Empire with significant administrative autonomy. The law frame of Eastern Rumelia was defined with the Organic Statute which was adopted on 14 April 1879 and was in force until the Unification with Bulgaria in 1885. According to the Organic Statute the head of the province was a Christian Governor-General appointed by the Sublime Porte with the approval of the Great Powers. The legislative organ was a Provincial Counsel which consisted of 56 persons, of which 10 were appointed by the Governor-General, 10 were permanent and 36 were directly elected by the people. The first Governor-General was the Bulgarian prince Alexander Bogoridi (1879–1884) who was acceptable to both Bulgarians and Greeks in the province because his parents were Greek or Bulgarian. Panagyurishte was part of Eastern Rumelia.
Panagyurishte is overshadowed in tourism by nearby Koprivshtitsa, which has a much larger collection of restored Bulgarian Revival style houses. Like Koprivshtitsa, Panagyurishte has a picturesque location in the Sredna Gora mountains, and is one of the towns associated with the historic April Uprising in 1876. Panagyurishte also gained fame for the "Panagyurishte gold" treasure discovered there in 1949 and the Apriltsi National Memorial Complex erected in 1976 in honor of the 100th anniversary of the April Uprising. It is situated on the historic hill above the town known as Manyovo Bardo. It is also near the mineral water spas of Banya, and recreational facilities in Panagyurski koloni (Panagyur columns).
The Panagyurishte treasure is unique not only for its weight in gold a total of 6.1 kg, but also for the originality of its shapes and ornamentation, as well as for its exquisite craftsmanship. The Panagyurishte treasure combines the artistic tastes of the Greek world and the Orient, blending Eastern forms with imagery of Greek origin. The archaeological finding indicates the emergence of the Hellenistic style in the scenes of Aphrodite, Athena, and Hera before the judgment of Paris and demonstrates the significant role played by the Thracians. The Panagyurishe golden artifacts reveal the virtuosity of the ancient goldsmiths, who have reached the pinnacle of arts. The Panagyuristhe treasure is a witness to a particularly brilliant civilization and impress with their decorative richness. The Panagyurishte Treasure confirms the stories of ancient Greek writers and historians that the Thracians, besides the horses and wine, loved gold ornaments and jewelry most of all. The golden Thracian treasure from Panagyurishte has been touring the world for years, making the civilization of the Ancient Thrace famous all around the globe. It was exhibited in numerous towns and capitals London, Rome, Paris, New York, Moscow, Budapest, Tokyo, Mexico, Montreal, Madrid, Boston, Detroit, New Delhi, Helsinki, Berlin, Prague. Permanent place of display of the Panagyurishte Thracian gold is the National History Museum on Sofia. The perfect original copy of the Panagyuristhe Thracian gold is exhibited in the History Museum in Panagyurishte.
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