A large, well-preserved gold necklace was unearthed by researchers during excavations of the ancient city of Heraclea Sintica, near Petrich, South-western Bulgaria.
The artefact is believed to date back to the 4th century AD. The necklace was found in what had been one of the shops in the central square of the city. Apart from the necklace, however, there is no evidence to suggest that it was a goldsmith’s shop, therefore is is believed that the gold necklace was made in one of the elite ateliers in ancient Rome. According to the researchers the necklace was a typical Roman product, called istmion. It was 48cm long including the fasteners and weighed 50 grams.
The site was a Hellenistic and later a Roman city. The site is known to have been inhabited by a Thracian tribe called the Sintians. It existed for about 800 years, when it was destroyed by an earthquake. Over the centuries, Heraclea Sintica experienced several strong earthquakes, triggering the decline of the city, as shops became dwellings. It is believed that the necklace was lost in the panic during one of the violent earthquakes.
(after The Sofia Globe & BNT)