Impressive Late Antiquity Female Gold Jewels Found in Bulgaria

The set of a Late Antiquity lady’s gold jewels consists of a necklace and two earrings. Photo: National Museum of History

An impressive set of female gold jewels from the 5th-6th century AD has been turned in to Bulgaria’s National Museum of History in Sofia.

The intriguing archaeological find has been made public by the Museum in a laconic statement which reveals no details about where and how the Late Antiquity jewels have been discovered. It has only confirmed that the find did originate in Bulgaria.

The Museum specifies that the gold artifacts are no donation but had been brought with the suggestion that the Museum should buy them for its collection.

“An extremely valuable monument has been brought for purchase to the National Museum of History – a set of adornments of a lady from the Antiquity Age (5th-6th century AD),” the statement says.

The jewelry set consists of a golden necklace and two gold earrings, all of them decorated with red precious stones.

The Museum says the necklace is “the most beautiful” of them, being made up of a gold chain with Hercules knot (also known as reef knot or square knot) elements.

“The [jewelry] set is unmatched among the [known] Late Antiquity adornments [found] in Bulgaria,” it concludes.

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The gold necklace features Hercules knots (seen in the photo above) as decoration. Photos: National Museum of History

The National Museum of History in Sofia has not revealed the price that it is going to pay for the Late Antiquity jewelry set, nor is it going to investigate the origin of the find.

“I am not a policeman to investigate that… That’s why I have made this release so the police can do that if they wish,” the Museum’s controversial Director Bozhidar Dimitrov has told news site Offnews.

This is hardly the first time that the National Museum of History in Sofia has issued releases with scant details announcing archaeological artifacts had ended up in its possession after having been discovered by accident and “donated” to it, or after having been seized from treasure hunters by the police.

In October 2016, it announced it had received as a donation a head from an ancient stone sculpture believed to depict Ancient Greek, Thracian, and Roman god Apollo wearing a wreath. Allegedly, it had been found in a potato field near the southern Bulgarian city of Stara Zagora, the modern-day successor of the Ancient Roman city of Augusta Traiana and the medieval city of Vereia.

In August 2016, the Museum announced a Late Antiquity amphora still containing palm oil had been discovered by a diver off the coast of Bulgaria’s Black Sea resort of Sozopol.

In 2015, in three separate instances, it received a marble bust of Roman Emperor Gordian III, an Ancient Roman sacrificial altar dedicated to Jupiter Dolichenus, and an Ancient Roman gravestone and a five seal of Tsars of the First Bulgarian Empire (632/680-1018) – all said to have been seized from treasure hunters or antique traffickers.

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The earrings, as well as the necklace, are decorated with red precious stones. Photo: National Museum of History