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Of the later Celtic material from Thrace, most remarkable is a dense concentration of La Têne C/D swords recorded over the last 100 years between the Timok and Iskar rivers in today’s northwestern Bulgaria (Popov 1922, 1924; Mikov 1932/33, 1933; Velkov 1957; Milchev 1958; Nikolov 1965, 1981, 1990, 1993; Alexandrov 1975, 1983; Wozniak 1975; Werner 1977; Petrov 1978; Tacheva-Hitova 1978; Domaradski 1984; Torbov 2000 with cited lit.; see also Paunov 2012). By the end of the 20th century over 60 such swords had been registered in this area of northwestern Bulgaria alone – the largest concentration of such Celtic material in Europe. From the La Têne C1 period examples include those from Popitza or Dobrolevo, which are typologically identical to Celtic swords found in northeastern Bulgaria at sites such as Dolez, Isperich, Lesicheri and Kazanlak / Seuthopolis, while examples from the LT C2 period from northwestern Bulgaria, such as those from Koynare or Enitza, are identical to examples from Scordisci territory in neighboring Serbia, and fall into the Belgrad 2 / Mokronog 2-4 category of Celtic swords (Torbov 2000). However, it is from the La Têne D period (late 2nd / 1st c. BC) that the majority of these swords date. This coincides chronologically with the period of the Scordisci Wars between the Thracian Celts and Rome, and represents further evidence of the militarization of Balkan society during this troubled period.
Material from the Scordisci Warrior Burial at Montana (n.w. Bulgaria) (RGZM – Inv. # 0.42301/01-08)
35). or Mezdra (all Vratza reg. Osen. Szabό. Sofrienovo. and at Kamburovo (Targovischte region) in northern Bulgaria (Wozniak 1974. The concentration of finds of Celtic iron swords (and other material of La Tène D type) is most intense along the valleys of the Ogosta. Examples of such in northwestern Bulgaria include those discovered at sites such as Kriva Bara. Bistrilitza. Also found in the burial was a short curved sword – machaira – examples of which have also been found in Celtic burials in Serbia (Todorović op cit. Stubel. Krivodol. Zotović 2007). App. examples from the La Têne D period are again identical to Scordisci swords found in neighboring Serbia. Croatia and Transdanubia (Todorović 1968. At the latter site 4 Celtic swords of this type were registered. Domaradski 1984.). Varbeschnitza. in this case falling into the Belgrad 3/Mokronog 5-6 category of Celtic swords (Torbov op cit). . Dobrusha. The decoration includes the split palmettes and circular tendrils and has parallels in Celtic scabbards from Slovenia. obr. Scordisci Sword Scabbard from Kopanata Tumulus (Pavolche) Vratza reg. Ostrov. after Megaw 2004) The scabbard is decorated in the Hungarian Sword Style (Megaw 2004:100) which is a product of the eastern Celtic expansion (Szabό. indicating multiple burials (loc cit). Montana (all Montana region). Skut and Vit rivers in northwestern Bulgaria. where a high density of Celtic coin hoards is also to be observed (Paunov 2012). Galiche. Petres 1992: cat # 37/41. Kruschovitza. 1 #79. (Detail.As with the aforementioned LT C2 swords. Petres 1992). Komarevo. Mizia. Tarnava. Megaw op cit). Chiren. Galatin. or Altimir.
. as with the vast majority of Celtic material from Bulgaria.W. Bulgaria (after Paunov 2012) ACCIDENTAL ARCHAEOLOGY It should be noted that these swords. It is also remarkable that in no case have archaeological excavations been subsequently conducted in the areas where this Celtic material was discovered.e. not by archaeologists. the 60+ Celtic swords from this small area of northwestern Bulgaria between the Timok and Iskar rivers have simply ‘appeared’ in the local museums (Torbov 2000). but by local ‘treasure hunters’ i. have been discovered.Distribution of Celtic Weapons in N.
or in the hands of private individuals? On this phenomenon see also: https://www. how much more Celtic material from this and other areas of Bulgaria still lies unpublished in the vaults of the local museums.The case of the Scordisci swords from northwestern Bulgaria also raises other fundamental questions.academia. have been discovered ‘accidentally’ by locals. and other weapons.edu/4136789/Celtic_Coinage_from_Bulgaria__The_Material_Evidence . If such a massive amount of Celtic swords.
(1977) Spatlatene schwerter norischer herkunft (B) Ausklang der laten Zivilisation und Anfange der germanischen Besiedelung im mittleren Donaugebiet. Открити в Северозападна България. Торбов Н. Todorović J. Budapest. Praehist Hungariae 5...Literature Cited Домарадски М. (2007) Social and Cultural Aspects of the burial ‘Krajčinovićiv’ -Slana Voda (South-West Serbia. София. Mid II c. Bratislava 1977: 367 – 401 Woźniak Z. (2012) From Koine To Romanitas: The Numismatic Evidence For Roman Expansion And Settlement In Bulgaria In Antiquity (Moesia and Thrace. (1984) Келтите на Бaлканския полуостров. – In: Hänsel B. 11-33 Werner J. Neolithikum und ältere Bronzezeit.S. Thesis. Archaeology and Religion. Beograd. ca. (1992) Decorated weapons of the La Têne Iron Age in the Carpathian Basin. Gedenkschrift für Viera Nemejcova-Pavukova. пр. 1. In: Известия на Музеите в Северозападна България. 146 BC – AD 98/117) Phd. (eds. Mac Congail . хр. Rahden / Westf. (2000) Мечове от II-I в. Inv. p. School of History. VI. Acta Septemcastrensis. (1968) Kelti u jugoistočnoj Europi.) Zwischen Karpaten und Ägäis. Megaw J. Dissertationes 7. Paunov E. 93-107. November 2012 Szabό M. BC). Cardiff University. (1974) Wschodnie pogranicze kultury Latenskiej. Petres E. Studenikova E. (2004) In the footsteps of Brennos? Further archaeological evidence for Celts in the Balkans. т. Wroclaw-Warszava-KrakowGdansk Zotović R. 28 – 2000 г.V..