Earthenware in private worship. Examples from Serdica

Керамични съдове в частната култова практика: примери от Сердика


  • Mario Ivanov Department of Classical Archaeology, National Institute of Archaeology with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 2 Saborna Str., 1000 Sofia


Censer, thymiaterion, cult practices, private worship, domestic altars


The paper presents 10 clay censers and thymiateria found in Serdica, present-day Sofia, Bulgaria, during archaeological excavations 2010-2012. All items were found in private houses which presumes their use in domestic cult rituals. According to their formal features the incense burners belong to two main types: burners with pierced walls on a flat base and ribbed conical bowls on a hollow pedestal. The clay thymiateria have different forms: with cylindrical shaft, with prismatic shaft and in the shape of a pine-cone. From chronological point of view the finds cover the entire period from the late 1st c. AD to the middle of the 3rd c. AD. Together with other items of religious practices (terracotta figurines, votive plates etc.) found in the excavated buildings they provide an opportunity to cast some light on the private cult activities and to suggest a probable location of the domestic worship places. In addition, the finds in question are good examples for the continuity of the tradition to use specific pottery items in private cult practices.


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How to Cite

Ivanov, M. (2017) “Earthenware in private worship. Examples from Serdica: Керамични съдове в частната култова практика: примери от Сердика”, Bulgarian e-Journal of Archaeology | Българско е-Списание за Археология, 7(2), pp. 245–260. Available at: (Accessed: 19 June 2024).