The most enigmatic and artistically varied of Iron Age European coinage, the barbarian issues based on the Thasos prototype became a de facto common currency among the tribes of the central and eastern Balkans in the immediate pre-Roman period…
After more than half a century of complete academic silence, the past few years have witnessed the miraculous (re)discovery of numerous hoards of Celtic coins from the Republic of Bulgaria. This phenomenon is particularly remarkable in the Rousse area, which has hitherto yielded the highest concentration of such numismatic material, leading Bulgarian experts to conclude that, “The line from Rousse to Veliko Tarnovo, mostly along the Jantra and Russenski Lom rivers, is the central axis of this type of Celtic coinage, respectively the Celtic tribal state/organization that produced it” (Paunov 2013)….
Major progress in archaeological and numismatic science in southeastern Europe has come with the recent completion of the work – From Koine To Romanitas – by Dr. Evgeni Paunov of Cardiff University (Paunov E. (2013)From Koine To Romanitas: The Numismatic Evidence For Roman Expansion And Settlement In Bulgaria In Antiquity (Moesia and Thrace, ca. 146 BC – AD 98/117) Phd. Thesis. School of History, Archaeology and Religion. Cardiff University. November 2013). In this comprehensive study the Bulgarian archaeologist/numismatist presents for the first time an objective overview of all the available archaeological and numismatic material from Thrace relating to the immediate pre-Roman and Roman periods – evidence which fundamentally alters our understanding of the history of s.e. Europe during this period.
From the perspective of the Celtic presence in Thrace, a number of conclusions in Dr. Paunov’s work are worthy of consideration..
UD: December 2018
The recent publication of results from large-scale excavations in sub-Balkan Thrace marks an important step forward in Bulgarian archaeology, and has finally provided us with objective scientific data on the geo-political status quo and ethnic composition in this part of Europe in the late Iron Age. These extensive excavations, carried out at a number of sites in Central Bulgaria, especially in the Chirpan Heights area, has yielded material that has prompted local archaeologists to finally conclude that in the late Iron Age “this region was in fact inhabited by a Celtic (Celto-Thracian) population” (Tonkova et al 2011 = Трако-римски династичен център в районна Чирпанските възвишения Тонкова M. (ed.) София, 2011).
UD: March 2019
A number of factors should be borne in mind when dealing with the coin collections from Bulgarian museums. Since the early 1990’s attempts have been made by a number of Bulgarian and international experts to get access to information on the coin collections in the various museums around Bulgaria, and publish a comprehensive account of the information contained within. This fine work, which has resulted in catalogues of the collections from a handful of museums being published (the CCCHBulg series) has met with varying success. The philosophy of the authors of the CCCHBulg project is based ‘on the understanding that this type of information is not a personal or even a national property in perpetuity, but is above all – a universal patrimonium’.…