The study explores jewellery from the so-called “Byzantine–Oriental” group, distributed in Bulgaria and Great Moravia in the 9th–10th c. The analysis offered is aimed at showing the close link between the political context in both countries and the penetration of Byzantine production and cultural influences in the middle of the 9th c.
The increased number of findings from the early and mid- 9th c. marks a new phase. It is characterized by the introduction of mass production of “Byzantine” – like jewellery in Bulgaria. One of the factors influencing jewellery production in Bulgaria may be associated with the resettlement of tens of thousands of prisoners into the country after the massive military offensive of the Bulgarian troops in Eastern Thrace in 812.
Jewellery production flourished in Bulgaria in the second third of the 9th and the 10th c. (fig. 8). An important factor for this is, undoubtedly, the political transformation that occurred after the conversion of the ruler and the whole Bulgarian population in 865–866. In the context of the Byzantine cultural influence in Eastern Europe, Cyril and Methodius’s mission played a very important role in 863–868, and marked the culmination of the Byzantine political, cultural and economic influence in Great Moravia.
Exploring the topic of jewellery in Bulgaria and Great Moravia in the 9th–10th c. helps clarify some issues of the cultural and historical development of both countries. The common processes of Christianization placed Bulgaria and Great Moravia under the direct influence of Byzantium, which had a strong impact both on the spiritual life and the material culture. As a result, “Byzantine” type of jewellery got broadly spread in both countries in the middle of the 9th c.