An exhibition of 600 finds from the necropolis of Trebenishte is on at the National Archaeological Museum in Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia until March 24 2024.
One of the most spectacular archaeological discoveries that have survived from Classical Antiquity – the discovery of the necropolis of Trebenishte, was made in the closing months of the First World War.
The necropolis, at the site which is in what is today the Republic of North Macedonia, is dated to the end of the sixth century BCE.
The artefacts found in the graves of Trebenishte have proved to be of particular importance. Among them is a bronze volute-krater from Grave I, one of the masterpieces of ancient toreutics.
The rim and the volutes in the upper part of the krater are richly decorated with plastic bands of tongues and beads. In the upper part of the neck, a guilloche is added to the decoration, and a broad band of engraved tongues cover the shoulders.
On each side of the neck, three solid figures of cows were applied, pacing to the right with the head facing front. The lower parts of the handles are shaped like winged Gorgons, from the waist down splitting into two snakes that crawl on the krater’s shoulders.
The bodies of the Gorgons are covered with scales arranged like scale armour. The chest is covered with a short-sleeved garment. The broad faces with bulging eyes, stretched lips, and the tongue sticking out are framed by locks that wind symmetrically into volutes and long curls to the chest. The tall moulded foot of the krater is decorated with beads and lotus flowers in relief.
The exhibition, in the National Archaeological Museum’s Treasure Hall, is accompanied by a poster display presenting the history of the survey, as well as printed materials in Bulgarian and English.
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