Thracians

THE SILVER TREASURE FROM THE VILLAGE OF BOROVO

The treasure was discovered by sheer luck in 1974 on the territory of the village (today the town) of Borovo (Ruse Province) in the Sivri Tepe locality. According to one of the most widespread hypotheses, the reason for his burial is related to the devastating earthquake which destroyed the capital of the Getae - Helis. It is believed that they have placed the precious objects in the ground as a sacrifice with the aim of appeasing the natural disaster.

Another theory, stated by Prof. Ivan Marazov, supports the claim that the burial of the treasure has a ritual meaning related to the transfer of power in Thrace. The objects were hidden in order to be found, but not by anyone, but only by the chosen one who had the necessary qualities to become king.

The Borovo treasure consists of five silver vessels – a wide bowl, a jar and three zoomorphic rhytons. They compose a ritual set. On three of the objects – the jar and rhytons with the horse and sphinx motifs - there are inscriptions in Greek, which are an abbreviated version of the following: [The vessel is the property of] Cotys, [donated] by the city of Beo[s]. Archaeologists and researchers believe that the treasure was donated by Thracian king Cotys Ist to an allied ruler of the Getae tribe.

The jar is egg-shaped and was used in the same fashion as a rhyton. This is supported by the traces at the top of it, where there are debris and a small hole, drilled at the bottom, from where the liquid was poured. On the jar, the wedding of the god Dionysus with Ariadne is depicted.

The silver bowl is of authentic size, gilded on the upper edge. The base of the massive handles was crafted in the shape of mythical creatures’ heads from Dionysus’ entourage – the satyrs. The bowl embodies what one gets as a result of their tireless work.

Horse protome rhyton: This richly decorated vessel is shaped in the fore legs and head of a horse, masterfully crafted and decorated with stylized ornaments.

Rhyton with a bull protome: It is also exquisitely crafted. It is different from other rhytons with its simpler decoration and shorter horn. The bull symbolizes a man's power, great wealth and success.

Rhyton with a Sphinx Protome - An exquisite object ending with a winged sphinx protome. The figure of the female lion is superbly detailed. The face is crowned by hair gathered in a bun, while the breasts are covered with feathers. The figure bears a necklace of beads and leaf pendants on its neck. The Sphinx is a symbol of dignity, royal authority, wisdom and power.

 The Thracians believed that by drinking ritual wine purified through the mouth of the rhyton, they would acquire the qualities that these animals and mythological creatures depicted on them possessed.

Guests and visitors of Historic Park can discover the replicas of the famous Borovo treasure u close. With them, they will be able to take part in the restoration of ancient rituals related to wine drinking and brotherhood, and thus feel the might of the ancient Thracians .

5/12/2020