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 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.