Home » Exhibit of September 2021: Terracotta – toy. Suhindol, Veliko Tarnovo, 2nd – 3rd c.
Exhibit of September 2021: Terracotta – toy. Suhindol, Veliko Tarnovo, 2nd – 3rd c.


The terracotta represents a horse with a four-wheeled cart and a seated human figure. Made in a mould, with the details added afterwards by hand. The terracotta is of purified clay, with an even ocher colour. It originates from the region of Suhindol town, Veliko Tarnovo province and dates to the 2nd – 3rd c. (Филов 1915, 277, fig. 161). 

The four wheels of the cart are well preserved. The spokes, hoops and hub are presented in relief. The horse's head is modelled symmetrically. The eyes are almond-shaped, outlined with incised ellipses. Elements of the horse trappings are presented in relief between the eyes. Such are preserved on the neck of the horse. Part of the mane is visible as well, again in relief. The human figure is sitting, covered with a cloak attached to his right shoulder. The facial features and hair are schematic.  

The terracotta from the National Archaeological Museum finds parallels among other examples mainly from Northern Bulgaria: Devetaki (Цончев 1930-31, 250, обр. 177), the area of the town of Svishtov (Вълов 1965, обр. 11 а, б), the ceramic centre near the village of Butovo, where molds for the manufacture of such were discovered as well (Султов 1962, 31, обр. 4, 5; Sultov 1985, fig. 222, 223), Kunino, Vratsa region (Nikolov 1968, fig. 100), Galovo village, Oryahovo region (Филов 1911, 275, обр. 9), Yablanitsa (Агре 2002, 16-18), and Slokoshtitsa village, Kyustendil region (Филов 1911, 286, обр. 21). The terracottas served as toys. Most of them originate from children's graves (Бръчкова 1960, 57-58). 

The artefact is part of the permanent collection of the National Archaeological Museum, and is on display in the museum’s Central Hall. 


Агре 2002: Д. Агре. Тeракотова играчка от могила край град Ябланица. – Археологически вести 2002, 2, 16-18. 

Бръчкова 1960: M. Бръчкова. Детските играчки в древността. – Археология, 1960, 1, 57-59. 

Вълов 1965: В. Вълов. Антични некрополи от Свищовско. – Археология, 1965, 1, 27 – 34.  

Султов 1962: Б. Султов. Един занаятчийски център от Долна Мизия. – Археология 1962, 4, 30 – 34. 

Филов 1911: Б. Филов. Глинена играчка от Галово. – Известия на Българското археологическо дружество, 1, 1911. 

Филов 1915: Б. Филов. Новооткрити старини. – Известия на Българското археологическо дружество, 5, 1915. 

Цончев 1930-31: Д. Цончев. Антични предмети от Ловчанско. – Известия на археологическия институт, 1930-31. 

Nikolov 1968: B. Nikolov. Archäologishes Museum Vraza. Sofia, 1968. 

Sultov 1985: B. Sultov. Ceramic production on the territory of Nicoplis ad Istrum (2nd-4th c.) – Terra Antiqua Balcanica, 1985, 1.