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Exhibit of June 2022: 3rd millennium BC floral head earring

06/2022

The third millennium BC was a time of astonishing creativity, the flowering of artistic development, the exchange of raw materials, ideas, and technologies, and a time of long-distance trade and contacts. All these factors impacted the emergency of civilizations and the development of jewellery production. The intensive archaeological excavations and studies in Bulgaria suggest that the territory was part of the interregional cultural contacts and interactions. 

A unique piece of jewellery – silver earring with a floral shape, is exhibited in the Prehistory Hall of the National Archaeological Museum. The ornament is a chance find from the Shumen region, Northeast Bulgaria. The adornment resembles four olive (Oliva sativa) or oleander (Nerium oleander) leaves, each decorated with a single relief midline. One end of each leaf is attached to a globule. From the globule emerges a twisted solid round wire with a tapering end. 

There is only one ornament with similar shape – the gold adornment from the Early Minoan tomb on the island of Mochlos near Crete (Heraklion Archaeological Museum). The Minoan jewellery has gold leaves decorated in the repoussé technique, attached to a silver pin. The flower motives are an emblem of the Early Minoan jewellery workshops. The local Cretan masters depicted elements from the Cretan nature. 

The Mochlos ornament from Shumen should be regarded as a direct import from Crete, presumably pointing to a trade route from Crete to the Lower Danube/Transylvania through the inland of Eastern Thrace. 

 

Bibliography: 

Chukalev: K Chukalev. Cat. 148 Floral head ornament. – In Alexandrov, S., Dimitrova, Y., Popov, H., Horejs, B., Chukalev, K. (eds.) Gold and bronze. Metals, Technologies and Interregional Contacts in the Eastern Balkans during the Bronze Age, Sofia, 476. 

Seager 1912: R. Seager. Explorations in the Island of Mochlos, Boston: – American School of Classical Studies at Athens. 

 

Снимка на обецата от Хераклион: Dimopoulou – Rethemiotaki 2005: N. Dimopoulou – Rethemiotaki. The Archaeological Museum of Herakleion. EFG Eurobank Ergasias S.A. / John S. Latsis Public Benefit.