Precious gold horse bling from 2300 years ago goes on display

The recently unearthedPrimorsko Gold Treasure consists of 37 horse harness appliques. Photo: Primorsko Municipality
The recently unearthed Primorsko Gold Treasure comprises 37 horse harness appliques. Photo: Primorsko Municipality

A magnificent collection of gold decorations that most likely adorned the horse of a Thracian ruler is on display in a Bulgarian museum, in an exhibition that showcases interesting finds from the country’s 2016 dig season.

The ancient treasure, dating from around the time of Alexander the Great, comprises 8 large and 29 small gold appliques that would have decorated the harness of a horse.

The items, unearthed during a dig at a Thracian burial mound about 7km from the Black Sea resort of Primorsko in southeast Bulgaria, would have been used only on special occasions, such as parades and formal religious ceremonies.

The items, dubbed the Primorsko Gold Treasure, have been dated to around 320 to 280 BC.

Archaeologists described the items as rare and intriguing finds.

They are among prized discoveries being showcased at the 10th national archaeological exhibition, entitled Bulgarian Archaeology 2016.

It is organized by the National Institute of Archaeology with the museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

Traditionally, it presents the results from the last season of archaeological fieldwork by displaying some of the most interesting finds, along with extensive illustrative material.

Contributions to the exhibition came from 13 museums of history and archaeology across the country, which are co-organizers of the event.

The exhibition includes more than 350 artifacts from a total of 18 archaeological sites of different types and eras, ranging from early prehistory to the Middle Ages.

The exhibition includes discoveries from the palaeolithic site in the Kozarnika cave, the Yunatsite and Provadia-Solnitsata prehistoric sites, the Gluhite Kamani rock complex, the Black Sea colony of Apollonia Pontica, the Roman cities of Deultum and Serdica, as well as the archaeological excavations of burial mounds at Primorsko and the village of Izvorovo.

Organizers have also created poster displays for nearly 50 archaeological sites.

The exhibition runs in the Temporary Exhibitions Hall of the National Archaeological Museum until March 19.

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