Bulgaria's National History Museum has prepared a special treat for its visitors - a display of the priceless treasure unearthed recently.
The 160 gold and silver objects that have probably accompanied a priestess on her trip to the underworld were exhibited for the first time in Sofia on Monday.
Archaeologists date the exquisite treasure back to the 3rd Century B.C. and are astonished by a tiny golden plate engraved with the cryptic words "Demetrius made..."
Such a plate has never before been unearthed in Bulgaria and experts have only seen a piece that resembles it on the grave of Alexander The Great, hence their excitement of the fresh findings.
The priestess has most likely been ritually burned to death, Daniela Agre, head of the excavation team revealed. Archaeologists believe that the ceremony may have been in honour of Dionysus.
A very nice photo accompanies the original article ...
". . .experts have only seen a piece that resembles it on the grave of Alexander The Great, hence their excitement of the fresh findings."
Huh? Someone needs to point out to them that Alexander's grave has never been found!
"The priestess has most likely been ritually burned to death . . . "
Again I say, huh? Surely this is a translation error and they mean "burned after death"?
Amyntoros (from Pothos)
UPDATE: this just in from the IHT:
A 2,200-year-old set of gold jewelry was unearthed from a Thracian burial mound on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast, the archaeologist who led the excavations said Monday.
Daniela Agre said her team in late August found dozens of tiny jewelry pieces in the tomb of a woman, most likely a Thracian priestess, near the resort of Sinemorets, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) southeast of the capital, Sofia.
The discovery included two earrings, crafted like miniature chariots, as well as parts of gold necklaces, one decorated with a sculpture of a bull's head.
A tiny plaque that appears to be the necklace's fastener bears a Greek inscription, saying "made by Demetrius," Agre said, suggesting this could have been the name the nobleman who ordered the jewelry.
The artifacts were unearthed Aug. 25-27 during urgent recovery works at the Sinemorets mound, which was half destroyed, allegedly by a local hotel owner who thought the pile of earth was an ugly sight for tourists.
Most of the more than 160 finds, including gold and silver accessories and pottery, were badly damaged because the woman's body had been cremated, an unusual practice for this region, Agre said.
The Thracians were an ancient people that inhabited the lands of present day Bulgaria and parts of modern Greece, Turkey, Macedonia and Romania between 4,000 B.C. and the 6th century A.D., when they were assimilated by the invading Slavs.
About 10,000 Thracian mounds — some of them covering monumental stone tombs — are scattered across Bulgaria.