Ceramic vessels from the biritual necropoleis and their metal parallels


  • Lyudmila Doncheva-Petkova National Archaeological Institute with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (Retired), 2 Saborna Str., 1000 Sofia




biritual necropoleis, Early Medieval pottery, Late Avar period, metal vessels, Nagyszentmiklós treasure


The present paper aims at presenting some ceramic vessels found in the earliest biritual necropoleis in present-day Northeastern Bulgaria, which can be said to resemble metal prototypes. The vessels come from sites near the town of Balchik, the town of Novi Pazar, the vilage of Kyulevcha, and the village of Topola. These vessels are similar in shapes to Sasanian and post-Sasanian vessels, vessels from the Pereshchepina treasure, from the rich Avar graves in Hungary, from the treasures found near Vrap in Albania and Nagyszentmiklós in Transylvania. The number of vessels which can be connected with prototypes made not only of metal, but of glass and even wood, is significant. These are tablewares – jugs, amphora-like pitchers, bowls, sphero-conical cups, bucket pail cups, as well as pots and cauldrons with inner lugs.

The vessels from the biritual necropoleis in Bulgaria are early forms, brought here and reproduced through the years and decades after the settlement of the Asparuh Bulgarians, and especially in the first half and to around the middle of the 8th c. Later on, towards the end of the 8th c., they decreased in number, and after the first half of the 9th c., these forms are not found. The logical question arises therefore, whether some of them did not reproduce established specimens from the initial territories – prototypes which were passed on from one generation of potters to the next. There is no doubt that they are the work of Bulgarian potters (thrown on a tournette), whose ceramic workshops were located in the settlements to which the necropoleis belonged. An example for this are the four pottery kilns from the Early Medieval settlement near the village of Topola.


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How to Cite

Doncheva-Petkova, L. . (2021) “ Ceramic vessels from the biritual necropoleis and their metal parallels ”, Contributions to the Bulgarian Archeology | Приноси към българската археология, 11, pp. 9–38. doi: 10.53250/cba11.9-38.



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