Home » Exhibit of May 2022: Helmet, Chalcidian type, Peychova Tumulus
Exhibit of May 2022: Helmet, Chalcidian type, Peychova Tumulus


Bronze, silver
First half of 4th c. BC

Discovered in 2000 in a sarcophagus-like grave with a rich inventory in Peychova Tumulus, Starosel necropolis, Municipality of Hisarya, Plovdiv Province. The helmet is cast and finished by forging. The calotte is oval and has an elongated frontal outline. It is separated from the lower part by an indentation with a clear-cut edge, outlining a high pediment by means of smooth arcs. The nose guard is short, leaf-shaped. The eyebrow arches and the entire contour of the cutout of the cheek pieces are shaped as convex edges by forging from the inside. Below the edge of the calotte, in the temples area, there are embossed stylized locks with a triangular contour. They end with volutes, curled forward to the face. The nape guard is high, with the lower thickened end curved outwards and with oval lateral extensions curved downwards with a periphery curved outwards and continuing above the cutouts for the ears and the back periphery of the cheek pieces.  

Above the top of the pediment, there is a silver embossed аpplique depicting a serpent-like deity. The body has a triangular outline and the arms are symmetrically raised to the sides. Тhe lower part of the figure consists of two symmetrical pairs of snakes and a small palmette between them. The deity holds the heads of the snakes from the upper pair.  

On both sides of the helmet, over the edge of the calotte, on the line of the back edge of the cheek pieces, the places of soldering of tubular elements for additional decoration of the helmet with plumes are preserved. A part of such element is preserved – with a round opening and a hexagonal cross-section.  

А double axe is scratched on the right extension of the nape guard.  

The entire helmet displays large areas badly damaged by high temperature (pyre?). Parts of the top of the calotte are missing, as well as parts of the cheek pieces and the right extension of the nape guard. There are cracks on the pediment and the calotte. Larger areas of the original bronze surface with a deep yellow color are preserved on the back of the calotte and the nape guard.

The artefact is currently on display in the Treasury Hall of the Museum as part of the temporary exhibition The Panoply of the Thracian Warriors.


Китов, Г. 2003 Тракийски култов комплекс Старосел. Второ преработено и допълнено издание. Варна, Славена, 2003. 

Kitov, G. 2003a The Thracian Cult Complex near Starosel. Chetinyova Mogila in Light of the Investigations in 2000. – In: Nikolova, L. (ed.) Early Symbol Systems in Prehistory, BAR intern. ser. No 1139, 2003, 505–518. 

Kitov, G. 2003b Thracian Cult Center Starosel, Varna.