Hellenistic Net-Pattern Vessels from the Territory of Bulgaria
Keywords:Hellenistic pottery, Black-glazed pottery, Hemispherical silver bowl
The present paper discusses a small group of imports found within the territory of Bulgaria during the last few decades. The so called net-pattern vessels are mostly represented by ceramic hemispherical cups decorated with a network of incised lines. This type of decoration can also be observed on other shapes, such as askos or inkwell. While net-pattern cups are usually wheelmade, there are also moldmade bowls, and such made of glass and silver. It is considered that the pentagon net decoration is inspired by the style of toreutics and that the ceramic vessels imitate the metal ones. Unfortunately, the metal specimens are often without a clear context, which could otherwise help for the identification of their chronology. This type of vessels is widespread over vast territories of the ancient world, but it is comparatively rare in principle, as is the case with the finds from Bulgaria. Up to the present, three whole examples are known - one ceramic and one silver bowl, as well as fragments from a glass vessel.
The analysis of the material indicates that from the second quarter of the 3rd c. to the 1st c. BC a group of vessels with net-pattern decoration made of clay, silver, and glass were spread in the whole Hellenistic world, including Thrace.
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