Earlier Bronze Age prehistoric gold ornaments in the
Balkans
by Lolita Nikolova
© 2009 International Institute of Anthropology
© 2009 Lolita Nikolova, PhD
Created: 8-30-09.
Last updated: 3-17-09.
Distribution

Necklaces

Dubene-Balinov gorun. South Bulgaria. Gold.
Reference: Nikolova 2005.
Comments to Gold treasure (online):
1. According to the Hristov's first report in the Archaeological Discoveries and Excavations (in Bulgarian), the site of Dubene-Balinov Gorun
was first discovered by treasure-hunters. This information does not corresponds to what I was told personally by Vassil Nikolov in Salt
Lake City on 16 April 2005. It looks like there is a real story about a woman with gold necklace who was seen in a story, but this story was
used repeatedly for mythologization of the discovery of Dubene treasure. On (I believe 17th April 2005) Bozhidar Dimitrov also told me on
the phone that he was completely convinced to support the excavation after hearing the story about the woman with the necklace public
appearance. Vassil Nikolov did not talk about this story on 16 April 2005. I was told that some people visited him at the Archaeological
Institute but he did not have money and referred them to Bozhidar Dimitrov at the National Museum of History.
I learned for the first time from the cited website that it was during In the spring of 2004, near the town of Sopot, when an archaeological
expedition was conducting an excavation "in a Roman roadside service station, located on an old Roman road that passed nearby." This
piece of information needs to be proved with very solid data. According to Bozhidar Dimitrov, the two archaeologists were Vassil Nikolov
and Martin Hristov (Conference in Karlovo Municipality, 2006).
2.  "She told them that her husband came across it while ploughing a field in Dabene. The man showed them the place and soon after
that the archaeologists started their excavations."
L.N.: The story of ploughing was told by a Dubene resident at the Conference in Karlovo (2006). He explained that the field of Balinov
Gorun was not ploughed for years because there were cultivated strawberries. They started in abt 1999. In this period I did not have
excavations at Dubene-Sarovka. There was a break in 2008-2009. The last season at Dubene-Sarovka was in 2000 when we excavated
together with Veliko Turnovo students. We were not told about any gold finds discovered around.
3. "In the period 2004-2007 over 20 000 gold jewellery items from 18 to 23 carats were found – beads, necklace rings, earrings, spirals,
hairpins, little golden amulets in the form of an adze and other exquisitely wrought ornaments – the smallest are with a diameter of 1,5
mm."
L.N.: We do not know the author of this website, but there is very new information that means it is coming from a very well informed person
it there is a replication of a very well informed person. But some evidence make us believe there is a manipulative goal. 1. We do not know
exactly what was reported before April - May 2005. When Vassil Nikolov realized at the table of Olive Garden in Salt Lake that I my strong
opinion was that finds should be in Karlovo museum, he "called" Martin Hristov (now it looks to me a fraud call) and learned "from him" that
he discovered thousands of finds. A month later was published the article in Duma about discovered treasure (see Dubene and media at

Rupite. Southwest Bulgaria. Gold.
Reference: Marazov 1998: 211.


Spiral adornments

Simple spirals

Most of the discoveries in Bulgaria are analyzed in Nikolova 1999 (especially Goran-Slatina and Turnava).

Lockenrings

Dubene-Balinov gorun. Southern Bulgaria (Nikolova 2005a, 2005b; Hristov 2008).
Comment: See Nikolova 2005b for the controversial discoveries that make ambiguous any further publications.

Ovchartsi. Gold ornament. Lockenring.
References: Alexandrov 2008.
Comment: The ring is secondary female inhumation grave of an elderly woman (age ca. 65) together with other metal finds and wheel
made matt ornamented amphora. According to Alexandrov (2008), "a general assessment of the grave from Ovchartsi shows that it is not
typical of the burial rites of the Bronze Age in Bulgaria". However, the burials with gold ornaments had become typical of the Bulgarian
lands since Early Bronze II (Nikolova 1999 and ref. cited there), then, Ovchartsi followed the tradition of those burials known from Plachidol,
Goran-Slatina and Turnava groups of the Pit Grave culture in Northern Bulgaria, as well as of a series of graves in Southern Bulgaria
including the region of Maritsa-Iztok, and to west - Dubene-Balinov Gorun and Rupite.  The Lockenring ornament from Ovchartsi is a simple
variant of what we know from Dubene-Balinov gorun (Nikolova 2005; Christov 2008) and is in organic connection with the goldsmith from
Early Bronze Age in Thrace developed in the ares of two chiefdoms - Ezero-Gulubovo and Yunatsite. The Matt-painted amphora may
connects the find with the Middle Helladic pottery although we need a special analysis of this pottery, which would be the most significant
for dating of the grave.

Pietroasa Mica. Monteoru culture. Burial context (Motzoi-Chicideanu 2000).


Bibliography

Alexandrov, S. (2008). Golden jewellery from a 2nd millennium BC tumulus grave at Ovchartsi, Radnevo district. Aegeo-Balkan Prehistory.
Published on 4 May 2009. Retrieved from
http://www.aegeobalkanprehistory.net/article.php?id_art=15

Bass, G.F. (1966). Ur and Troy. Gold links between two ancient capitals. Expedition, Summer 1966, 27-39.  Retrieved from http://penn.
museum/documents/publications/expedition/PDFs/8-4/Troy.pdf

Christov, M. (2008). Preliminary observations on the gold spirals from the ritual structures near Dubene, Karlovo Region. In Kostov, R.I.,
Gaydarska, B., & Gurova, M. (Eds.), Geoarchaeology and Arcahaeomineralogy. Proceedings of the International Conference, 29-30 October
2008 (pp. 222-224). Sofia: Publishing House “St. Ivan Rilski”. Retrieved from
http://mgu.bg/geoarchmin/naterials/44Christov2.pdf

Gold treasure (online). Gold treasure from Dabene. Ancient Civilization from 3th millennium BC.
http://ancient-treasure.info/ancient-civilizations-treasures/dabene-civilization.html/comment-page-1#comment-311

Marazov, I. (Gen. Ed.). (1998). Ancient gold. The Wealth of the Thracians. New York: Harry N. Abrams.

Motzoi-Chicideanu, I. (2000 [2001]).
Observations concerning the Bronze Age cemetery of Pietroasa Mica. Retrieved from http://apar.
archaeology.ro/imc_artrjaeng.htm

Nikolova, L. (1999). The Balkans in Later Prehistory. BAR International Series 791. Oxford: BAR.

Nikolova, L. (2005a). Dubene (Dabene) gold finds. Early Bronze chiefdom in Western Thrace. Retrieved on October 10 from
http://www.
iianthropology.org/Dubenegoldeba.html

Nikolova, L. (2005b). Dubene (Dabene) Early Bronze gold objects in the world-wide media. Retrieved on October 10 from http://www.
iianthropology.org/Dubeneinthemedia.html

Nikolova, L. (2005c). Dubene (Dabene) Gold from Karlovo Valley, Bulgaria. Published on August 22, 2005. Retrieved on October 10 from
http://dubene.blogspot.com/2005/08/dubene-dabene-gold-from-karlovo-valley.html  


Internal links
Copper Age gold ornaments and small objects in the Balkans
http://www.iianthropology.org/Copper_age_gold_ornaments
Gold and Pre-and Early History
http://www.iianthropology.org/archeurasiagold
Anthropology of gold
http://www.iianthropology.org/anth_of_gold.html
Early Bronze Age. Troy (Anatolia).
Early Bronze Age. Rupite, Southwest Bulgaria.
Early Brozne Age. Dubene-Balinov gorun
(South Bulgaria).
See also The value of gold in prehistory and today published by examiner.doc