Ancient golden jewelry discovered in Thracian burial mound in Bulgaria

A 2,200-year-old set of gold jewelry was unearthed from a burial mound of Thracian noble woman 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.

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