The images you'll see as you scroll down to the current text are all part of the story telling in my novel, Realms of Gold:Ritual to Romance.

Bianca Caldwell, pen name, Bianca Fiore, is a writer for an art magazine. In each of her monthly stories she describes an object used in ancient ritual.

Thracian Gold: Panagyurishte Gold Rhytas

The golden treasure from Panagyurishte was found in 1949 two kilometers to the south of Panagyurishte. It is dated back to the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd century BC . The treasure consists of an extremely beautiful set of Rhytas with rich decorations and ornaments. It was used in feasts or in libations and rituals related to the Thracian mythology. It consists of 9 vessels made of pure gold, weighing over 6 kg (13.2 lb).

Four of the rhyta are shaped as animals’ heads or torsos – ram, goat, and two of them have fallow deer heads.

The upper part of the rhyta is decorated with scenes and heroes from the Greek mythology.

Rams Head

Goat Torso

The Rhyton is with antler”s head and very elaborately modeled big horns.The handle end is with the body of a lion whose forepaws rest on the mouth rim.The decoration on his neck illustrates the popular story from the Greek mythology about the Judgement of Paris,also known by the name Alexander, which caused the burst of the Trojan War.

The importance of the event is emphasized by using the typical for the Thracian art solar disc on the animals forehead.The hero was supposed to choose among three goddesses: Athena ,Hera and Aphrodite,in order to ward the most beautiful one with the golden apple, Paris chose the goddess of love and beauty who gave him as reward Helen of Troy to be his wife. This kindled not only the war but also the wrath of the two neglected goddesses. With the exception of the awarded Aphrodite, all the figures are seated. Their clothing is depicted in great detail,with all natural curves, jewellery and typical for everyone attributes. Even though easily recognizable,there is a dotted inscription about their names.The handle ends in the lower part in the shape of beautiful woman”s head.

On one of the rhyta are depicted god Dionysus with Ariadne (a Cretan princess) on the feast on the occasion of their wedding. Three of the vessels are jugs with Amazon heads. Their handles are formed as mythological creatures with animal figures and human heads.