Crafts of the Proto-Bulgarians


The Bulgarians had their own artistic style and specific technique when practicing this art. The most characteristic feature of Proto-Bulgarian pottery is that it was made with the help of a potter's wheel and in specially built pottery ovens. This technical level was very advanced for the time and provided high quality results.

Stonemasonry and construction

The use of hewn stone as a building material, characteristic of the Caucasus region and the Persian empire, with which the Bulgarians had long lasting historical contacts even before settling in our lands, lead to the development and establishment of strong stone-carving traditions.

Columns with inscriptions made entirely in the language of the ancient Bulgarians should be considered as exceptional monuments, testimony of the Proto-Bulgarian stonecutter's art. They are authentic material and do not leave doubt that they are made by artisans of Proto-Bulgarian origin


The first Bulgarian capital, Pliska, has been a major centre for metalworking since its foundation. Numerous metal elements have been found in our country, which in their appearance and shape correspond to the discoveries found in other parts and regions inhabited by the ancient Bulgarians. Some specific types of hoes, that have equivalents in the territories of the Caucasus that were inhabited by the Bulgarians for some time, belt buckles ornamented with images of lions and griffins found in Pliska and Preslav, iron shoes and spurs. The extensive list of military equipment discovered during excavations in Preslav clearly indicates that the Proto-Bulgarians had their own traditions in the manufacture of metal-based protective equipment.

Leather working and shoemaking

Numerous pieces of clothing, belts and boots, and especially oriental-style belts, with lion and griffin ornaments, were found in the Bulgarian necropolises. From these finds and from the preserved paintings about the Bulgarians in various Byzantine sources, it is clear that leather was widely used by the Proto-Bulgarians for making clothes and shoes.

Manufacture of bone and felt products

The amulets made of bone, bone horns and buckle fasteners, which show the typical Proto-Bulgarian Runic symbols, prove that this craft was well developed within their society.

Another specific craft is the manufacture of felt products. The Bulgarians had long traditions in this matter, which are still preserved in some parts of the country. Felt was used to make horse saddles and harnesses, or woven cloaks with which heavy-armed Pro-Bulgarian horsemen covered their mounts. Portable Bulgarian homes (yurts) were also made of felt.