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THE ROGOZEN TREASURE

This treasure was found in the centre of the village Rogozen, District of Vratsa, in two separate parts and contains 108 phials, 54 pitchers, 2 cups and 1 scyphos. There total weight is 19.91 kg. One hundred and thirty-one of these vessels have gilt on them. There are many hypotheses on the origin, amassing and the reason to have this treasure buried where it was found. The nature of the treasure and the pattern of events as known to us allow for making the following definite observations to be made:

- inscriptions on the neck place 13 of the vessels as property of the Odryses' King Kotys I (around 383-360 BC) and his successor Kersebleptes (359-340 BC). These vessels have undoubted parallels in findings from the Mogilanska Mogila, Alexandrovo, Borovo and Adzhigyol, where on four phials and 3 rhytons the name of Kotys I can be read;

- in an inscription on the mouth of a vessel the name Satokos can also be read; there is only one Satok whose name may stand on a vessel like that: Prince Satokos/Sadokos, son of Sitalkes (431-429 BC). On the mouth there is another inscription: "Kotys, son of Apollo";

- the second name from the inscriptions on vessels' necks is that of settlements where they were manufactured (formulas "To the man named so-and-so, from there-and-there" and "Made/assembled by so-and-so to so-and-so" - ΔΙΣΛΟΙΑΣ ΕΠΟΙΗΣΕ ΚΟΤYΟΣ ΕΓ ΒΕΟ meaning "Disloy made/assembled to Kotys, from Beo";

- according to inscriptions, workshops in Apri, Beo, Argiske/ Ergiske, Geysti and Saythaba worked for the Kings of Odryses. It is disputable whether these settlements were at the same time residences of Odryses' royal families but more than likely they were privileged communes of the kind the 'emporium' Pistiros near the village Vetren (District of Pazardzhik). The most important of these communes was Beo: its central settlement was located by the 'Diagonal Road' from Central Europe to Asia Minor and, judging from the periplus by Pseudo Skylax from Kariadna, corresponds to the town of Peo(n);

- Rogozen vessels have no parallels in burials in the necropolis at Douvanliy and the findings from villages Daskal Atanasovo and Dalboki dated the end of the 6th to the third quarter of the 5th centuries BC;

- The treasure contains only pitchers, phials and cups and lacks the typical for other treasures collection of vessels, components of parade armaments and applications for horse harness. Therefore, it can be assumed that this is a part of a treasure, which has been shared: the fact that the value of the vessels is equivalent to 4000 Athenean drachmas (silver equivalent).

It is a known fact that, after the death of Kotys in 360 BC, the Macedonian aggression into Thrace had started. In 340 BC Hieron Teichos was captured and most likely it was there that the royal treasury was kept. Shortly after that Philip II the Macedon was called to help the Scythian King Ateas who had some accounts to square with the Triballs. In the summer of 339 BC, he set off for today's Dobrudzha taking along part of the Odryses' treasury. Ateas, however, refused the aid from the Macedonians and finally it came to an overt conflict in which the superannuated Scythian King was killed. Phillip set off for Macedonia crossing the lands of Triballs who demanded from him a share of the loot. The Macedonian King underestimated there military power and turned down their demand. In the battled that ensued Phillip was wounded and became lame for the rest of his life, while Triballs took away the Macedonian supply train. According to the practice of those times, the loot was shared. The map of the certain (inscribed) vessels from Odryses' treasury outline territories encompassing almost the whole of today's North Bulgaria, and also Adzhigyol to Krayova (Romania) and the region of Iron Gates (Serbia). It is quite possible that some of the Odryses' vessels (from Adzhigyol for instance?) to have been donated by Phillip II himself, who carried with himself a part of the Odryses' treasury.

Two shares of the Odryses' treasure fell into the hands of a Triball ruler who buried them: most likely during Alexander III the Great campaign against the Tribal King Syrmos, which took place in 334 BC. In this way, the chronological limits within which the Rogozen treasure was amassed seem to have been the last decades of the 5th century BC and 339 BC. The inception date of amassing (save the disputable name of Sadok) could be determined at least from the Rogozen phial with "two labryses", which undoubtedly are a royal symbol of the Odryses' King Medokos or of Amadokos the Old.

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