ARTS Sunday, 4 September 2005 


Bulgarian Edition
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Coin Proves That Orpheus Was a Bulgarian

"A unique bronze coin dating from the 2nd-3rd century AD proves that Orpheus is of Bulgarian not Greek origin," said Prof. Nikolay Ovcharov, head of the team which makes the excavations of the Thracian sanctuary in the village of Tatul - Momchilgrad region (southeastern Bulgaria). The coin was minted in Philippopolis. The image of Roman Emperor Caracalla decorates its adverse. On the reverse there is an effigy of a god clad in tunic with a Thracian hat on his head. He is sitting on rocks which symbolize the Rhodope Mountains, playing the lyre, rested at his left knee. According to Prof. Ovcharov, there's no doubt that this is the image of Orpheus. "The find is a proof that during the Roman age the Thracian singer was included in the pantheon of gods in the Eastern Rhodopes," the expert says. A treasure-hunter found the coin 18 years ago. The president of Derony company bought it and then gave it to Ovcharov who donated the find to the Museum of History in Kardjali.
Galina Stefanova

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