04.06.2010 -

Bulgarian museum to display winged solar disc in exhibition of new Thracian findings

© thracologia.orgCentre for Thracology Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Bulgarian media Focus News Agency features a press article concerning an interesting discovery occurred during the implementation of an activity supported by UNESCO Venice Office, as part of the sub-regional project “Cultural Heritage – a Bridge towards a Shared Future”.


The Yambol city regional history museum possesses an exponent, which was re-interpreted by a team of scientists working on the topic “Comparative research on the cult towards the God-sun in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Prof. Dr. Valeria Fol with the Center of Thracology in the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences told FOCUS News Agency.

The exponent represents a winged solar disc. It was discovered in 1973 from the expedition of Prof. Alexander Fol in the Thracian solar sanctuary Paleocastro, Topolovgrad city, and was taken inventory of in the Yambol regional history museum as a stone idol (inventory number I 1270/1974 - Antiquity collection). The scientists established that the object is, in fact, a solar disc of the Sun-God, the left wing of which had been broken. This missing wing was the reason behind the different interpretation proposed at the time of the discovery. The missing wing should still be located at the territory of the sanctuary.

In Egypt the winged disc is depicted in temples in the middle of the 3rd mil. BC. At the end of the 2nd mil. this image of the Sun-God is already known not only in Egypt, but also in Asia Minor and in Mesopotamia. The winged disc most probably personifies the rising sun. This image is propagated until the time of Constantine the Great. It is still difficult to determine whether the winged disc from the Yambol museum dates from the second half of the 2nd or from the 1st mil. BC. Herodotus, ‘the father of history’ (5th c. BC) mentions that an Egyptian Pharao from the 19th c. BC (12th dynasty) had sent an expedition to Thrace and that the Egyptian left many stones and inscriptions at certain places. Another interesting data from an authour from the Antiquity, which we have at our disposal, states that during the Roman era (1st c. AD) Egyptian masters, who had to process metal, settled in Thrace. The solar winged disc from the Yambol museum constitutes a certain proof for the cultural relationships and the transfer of knowledge and technologies in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Antiquity, as well as for the importance of the solar cult in Ancient Thrace.

The exponent will be included in the exhibition of the new discoveries in the region, which is now being prepared in the museum of the “Kabile” Archaeological reserve as part of the project “The sacred places of the Thracians on the lower stream of Tundja river”, realized with the financial support of the Venice Office – UNESCO and the Italian Development Cooperation – Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Prof. Dr. Valeria Fol – Center of Thracology – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Dr. Emil Buzov – New Bulgarian University, senior researcher, director of the Egyptology programme.
Dr. Vassil Dobrev - Institut français d’archéologie orientale, Cairo
Ilia Iliev – archaeologist, director of Yambol Regional History Museum
Strahil Panayotov – Doctoral student in Assyrian studies – Heidelberg University, and intern-assistant at New Bulgarian University.
Stefan Bakardzhiev - archaeologist, Yambol Regional History Museum
Yavor Rusev - Yambol Regional History Museum

Source : Online article dated 3 June 2010 | 09:48 | FOCUS News Agency

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