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.

THE TREASURE OF VALCHITRAN

The Valchitran Treasure was discovered in 1924 by two brothers who were working in their vineyard near the village of Valchitran, 22 km southeast of Pleven, Bulgaria. The hoard consists of 13 receptacles, different in form and size and is dated back to 1300 BC, at the time of the Thracians.



Not only the shape of the following vessel itself, but also its intended purpose is very interesting. It is supposed that the Thracian king-priests used the vessels for religious rituals. More specifically rituals related to god Dionysus, worshiped by the ancient Greeks, as well as by the Thracians.


The triple vessel allows three different liquids to be poured in it, for example wine, honey and milk, or only two different liquids to be poured in the side (right and left) almond-shaped pieces, and when they mix thanks to the tubes a certain result becomes visisble, used by the priests to tell the fortune watching the middle piece of the triple vessel.

We can only guess what the purpose of the cymbal-like items was. Were they really cymbals or were used as lids for another vessels? Is their shape related to the sun cult or has another merely practical explanation?



A very interesting fact regarding the small cups is that the master goldsmiths made them in such a way that they would stand in upright position only when filled with liquid. 


Probably we will never find out the right answers to these questions but the Valchitran golden treasure gives us the opportunity to touch on antiquity in a unique and mysterious way. The treasure dates back to the end of the Bronze Age, i.e. to the 16th – 12th century BC.



It seems certain that the big, wide and relatively deep gold vessels were used to dilute and mix wine: the ancients used to mix wine, honey and milk in them when they were about to make effusions in honor of Dionysos.

 It is now one of the most valuable possessions of the National Archaeological Museum in Sofia.



Priam's Treasure

 

Priam’s Treasure is a cache of gold diadems, necklaces, bracelets, rings, and assorted gold, bronze vessels and other artifacts discovered by classical archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. Schliemann claimed the site to be that of ancient Troy, and assigned the artifacts to the Homeric king Priam.

Gold Ear jewelry, rings and pendants 

Apparently, Schliemann smuggled Priam's Treasure out of Anatolia. The officials were informed when his wife, Sophia, wore the jewels for the public. The Ottoman official assigned to watch the excavation, Amin Effendi, received a prison sentence. The Ottoman government revoked Schliemann's permission to dig and sued him for its share of the gold. Schliemann went on to Mycenae. There, however, the Greek Archaeological Society sent an agent to monitor him.

Later Schliemann traded some treasure to the government of the Ottoman Empire in exchange for permission to dig at Troy again.





Despite Schliemann's myth making, the treasures have nothing to do with King Priam's Troy. They are much older, dating from around 2500 to 2400 B.C., not from the Homeric period, which was 1400 to 1200 B.C. Schliemann said he found Troy by using the Iliad, and for one famous photograph he dressed his wife, Sophia, in a diadem that he claimed had been worn by Helen of Troy.

The "big" diadem in modern exhibition
Selection of gold diadems, necklaces, bracelets, rings, and assorted gold and bronze vessels found by Schliemann at Troy. Pushkin Museum, Moscow.  - See more at: http://realmsofgoldthenovel.blogspot.com/2013/02/gold-of-troy-priams-treasure.html#sthash.zW2MaM76.dpuf
Detail from gold diadem with pendants. Sixty-four small chains, each with links interspaced by gold-leaf lozenges, are suspended from a long, narrow band with 3 holes on each end. The shorter central chains are framed on each side by seven longer chains that converge and terminate in four gold-leaf pendants.


The treasures are actually a thousand years older than Homer's King Priam of Troy, who died about 1200 B.C. They are a stunning collection of gold and silver diadems, bracelets, earrings, pendants, rings, plates, goblets, buttons, cups and perfume jars, which display the extraordinary artistry, technology and trading relationships of an ancient world.


There are 260 individually catalogued items at the Pushkin, but some pieces, like necklaces, have up to 200 beads of varying types. Counting every bead, there are believed to be some 12,000 individual pieces from the 17 separate digs Schliemann made at ancient Troy. Thirteen of those caches are at the Pushkin, with the rest scattered among some 45 other museums around the world.


This pin is part of "Priam's Treasure." Today it is maintained at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow. It ended up there when Soviet soldiers who captured Berlin, at the end of World War II, brought it and other recovered Trojan artifacts to Russia.