Fifteen Treasures From Bulgarian Lands

By Dimiter Ovcharov
December 2003
National Museum of Bulgarian Books & Polygraphy
ISBN: 954-9308-06-5
91 pages, Illustrated, 7 " x 10 "
$65.00 Paper Original


The word treasure is among the first in the vocabulary and the mind of small children. It comes from fairy tales about great treasures, acquired by villains and hid in secret places. One never forgets the words of one's grandmother and grandfather about Ali Baba and the 40 bandits, who hid in an unknown cave the riches taken from peaceful people. In popular speech we have the word imane, which expresses correctly the sense of the notion - imam 'have'.

This gives rise to a special group of people - the so called imanyari 'treasure seekers', who were poor and hard-pressed people and went about mountains and plains to find, with indescribable difficulty, hidden treasures. They have almost disappeared today and have been replaced by the modern treasure seekers, who dig up the land with modern machinery and destroy valuable historic monuments. The most valuable items they sell to collectors here and abroad.

The damage they inflict is beyond imagination. The treasures hidden in the earth for various reasons are of two kinds: those that have material value only and those that are invaluable products of art. The discovery of the latter, their study and presentation to the public is the work of archaeologists - well-educated historians of ancient culture. Bulgaria is extremely rich in such finds from different periods - prehistory, ancient period, and the middle ages. This makes it difficult to select the most valuable among them.

Art History

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