Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The hilt of Kubrat's sword

The hilt of Kubrat's sword bears a Greek inscription and is decorated with crosses, indicating that its owner (or the original owner at least) was a Christian.

The Pereshchepina Treasure (Russian: Перещепинский клад, Bulgarian: Съкровище от Мала Перешчепина) is a major deposit of BULGARIAN, Sassanian, and Avarian objects from the period of the Volkerwanderung.

The deposit was discovered in 1912 in the village of Mala Pereshchepina (13 km from Poltava, Ukraine) by a boy shepherd who literally stumbled over a golden vessel and fell into the grave of Kuvrat, the founder of Great Bulgaria and father of Asparuh, the founder of the First Bulgarian Empire. The hoard was extracted under the supervision of Count Aleksey Bobrinsky, a renowned archaeologist, who published its description in 1914.

The hoard contains more than 800 pieces, now preserved in the Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg. There are 19 silver vessels and 16 gold vessels, including a striking rhyton and remains of another. The official website of the museum speaks about

    a staff with gold facing, a well-preserved iron sword with an end in the form of a ring and gold facing on the hilt and scabbard… gold jewellery — a torque, an earring, seven bracelets and seven rings with inlays of precious stones (amethysts, sapphires, tiger-eyes, garnets, rock crystal, and emeralds)… and square gold plaques for the facing of a wooden funeral construction".

The total weight of gold from the deposit exceeds 25 kilograms, that of silver objects — 50 kilograms.

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