The Valchitran golden treasure was unearthed in 1925 in the village of Valchitran, Pleven., The biggest golden treasure known to the Bulgarian archaeology – 12,5 kg of pure gold with natural alloys of silver, copper and iron was found by chance while digging up a vineyard. It consists of 13 items:
- seven of them are lid-shaped objects of different diameters and an extended handle in the middle (very much like the percussion instruments, called cymbals).
- Four deep one-handle cups with their handles bent upwards (one of the cups is much bigger than the other three);
- A bowl characterized by its high swung handles, weighing over 4 kg (9 lb);
- A triple vessel, consisting of three almond-shaped pieces connected to each other with tubes, and with a handle with three branches forming a system of interconnected vessels.
Not only the shape of this vessel itself, but also its intended purpose is very interesting. It is supposed that the Thracian king-priests used the vessels for religious rituals. More specifically rituals related to god Dionysus, worshipped by the ancient Greeks, as well as by the Thracians. The triple vessel allows three different liquids to be poured in it, for example wine, honey and milk, or only two different liquids to be poured in the side (right and left) almond-shaped pieces, and when they mix thanks to the tubes a certain result becomes visisble, a «result» used by the priests to tell the fortune watching the middle piece of the triple vessel. We can only guess what the purpose of the cymbal-like items was. Were they really cymbals or were used as lids for another vessels? Is their shape related to the sun cult or has another merely practical explanation?
A very interesting fact regarding the small cups is that the master goldsmiths made them in such a way that they would stand in upright position only when filled with liquid. Probably we will never find out the right answers to these questions but the Valchitran golden treasure gives us the opportunity to touch on antiquity in a unique and mysterious way. The treasure dates back to the end of the Bronze Age, i.e. to the 16th – 12th century BC.