Тhe crescent-shaped and semi-circular pectorals from Тhrace, 5th century ВС: origin and distribution


  • Desislava Lyubenova Department of Thracian archaeology, National Institute of Archaeology with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 2 Saborna Str., 1000 Sofia


Crescent-shaped Pectorals, ancient Thrace, Asia Minor, Scythia


This study is focused on the origin, development and distribution of the crescent-shaped and semicircular form of pectorals, widely spread on the territory of Asia Minor, ancient Thrace, Scythia and single examples from ancient Macedonia and Etruria.
The crescent-shaped pectorals on the territory of Thrace are presented only of two gold examplе – Golyamata mound, from the necropolis of Duvanli, Plovdiv region and Yakimova mound, near the village Krushare, Sliven, from the middle of the 5th c. BC. Later this form passes or is replaced by the semicircular pectorals, that are found in the graves from Bashova mound, from the necropolis of Duvanli, burial mound near the village Dalboki, Stara Zagora and Tumulus no. 1, near Chernozem, Kaloyanovo, from the second half or the end of the 5th c. BC. These small groups of crescent-shaped and semicircular pectorals are found in graves together with weaponry (probably graves of warriors) in the Odrysian territories and can be defined as a part of ceremonial armor in Thrace. The similarities in their forms suggest that they are influenced by a common prototype. Iv. Venedikov is the first one that traces possible influences and connections between Thracian pectorals and that of Asia Minor.
The origin and development of crescent-shaped pectorals is very well attested in different parts of Asia Minor. They are made of gold, silver or bronze plates. The main part of crescent-shaped or semicircular pectorals comes from the territory of Urartu, dated in 8th –7th c. BC. At the same time are dated the pectorals from the territory of Etruria, which are probably influenced by some eastern motifs. Pectorals from Assyria are rare, and according to the researches, they may be also associated with the culture of Urartu. Probably the crescent-shaped pectorals are accepted in the territory of Scythia no later than the second half of the 7th c. BC, due to some earlier contacts with different parts of Asia Minor, and are used to the 4th c. BC. On the territory of ancient Macedonia there is only one example of crescent-shaped or semicircular form – the gold pectoral from Trebenishte, from the second half of 6th c. BC.


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