The images of Dionysus are some of the most popular in Greek vase painting. The diversity of this god is a result of the complexity of his character and his different faces with which Greek painters present him on vases. Descriptions of his appearance, clothing and attributes are short and occur sporadically in archaic and classical written sources. Dionysus is one of the most popular and diverse deities represented in Thrace. The analysis of the god’s images on vases, discovered mainly in the Greek colonies along the Black Sea coast as well as in the neighbouring regions, shows that all aspects of the Dionysian imagery existed in Thrace and evidence the main iconographic trends in the Greek vase painting in the Archaic and the Classical period.
Lead sling bullets are often inscribed with the personal names of military commanders of a unit of slingers. Archaeological sites that have yielded such projectiles provide an opportunity to link the names attested with historical figures known from literary sources. A classic example presents the city of Olynthus that was besieged and taken through treachery by the troops of Philip II of Macedon in 348 BC. Irrefutable evidence of this is provided by the hundreds of sling bullets bearing his name, along with those of several commanders from his army, such as Hipponikos, Potalos, Kleoboulos and Anaxandros. The present article evaluates the significance of inscribed sling bullets as a basic source in reconstructing historical events related to the Macedonian expansion in Thrace during the reign of Philip II. Through the discussion of a number of examples from Thrace, Macedonia and Northern Aegean, including previously unpublished finds, I argue that these objects can serve as a reliable marker of Macedonian mobility abroad. As a major source on the subject I further analyze the primary data generated as a result of the recent archaeological excavations of the Thracian fortified complex near Kozi Gramadi, located in south central Bulgaria. On a broader level, the present survey aims to reinforce the value of sling bullets as a necessary object of study which on account of their multi-layered nature should invite the application of an integrated approach towards antiquity by combining data from archaeology, history and epigraphy.
The archaeological excavations at the medieval settlement near the village of Zlatna livada, Chirpan municipality, provided important information about the character of the pottery assemblage in Thrace in the Early Medieval period. They provided evidence suggesting that the first inhabitants settled on the eastern part of the excavated area. The pottery which can be related to the earliest structures in this part of the excavated area is very uniform. The jars are of the most common shape. Most have marks indicating that the vessel were turned on a slow wheel without centering and throwing. Two pots differ from the rest and their characteristics undoubtedly indicate that the vessels were made by throwing. Some of the pots are covered by a thin mica coating. In contrast to the opinion that there were no such jars in the Byzantine pottery assemblages, a similarity to jars discovered in present-day Greece and Turkey is found. Similar jars were found at other sites in Thrace as well. The pottery group from Zlatna livada is dated to the 9th–10th century AD based on parallels and stratigraphic observations. The technological and formal characteristics of the pottery found at Zlatna livada provide evidence that it was manufactured by people who had long adopted and assimilated the experience, the skills and the technical competence of the Byzantine pottery makers. The presented pottery group, and in particular the observed technological changes and some typical features of the later 11th–12th century AD pottery can be regarded as an indicator of continuity between the pottery production of the Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages on the territory to the south of the Balkan.