during the Hellenistic Period
/mid 4th – mid 1st
|Included for several decades into the boundaries of the Macedonian
Empire of Alexander the Great after the death of his proxy in
Thrace- Lizimah /year 281 BC/ Odessos reestablished its independence
and became the biggest trade center on the Western Black Sea Coast.
During that period the town realized the contacts between the Thracian
society and the Black Sea and the Mediterranean world and reached
the peak of its prosperity.
A proof of the economic prosperity of the town is the fact that
it began cutting its own coins – initially bronze ones, and later
on /after 2nd century BC/ large emissions of silver tetra-drachmas
and gold starters.
The import from the Mediterranean and the Black Sea regions
was not terminated which becomes obvious from the large amount of
black-polished ceramics, bronze decorations, lamps and amphorae. Local
production of ceramics, bronze decorations and lamps was also developed
in the town. Characteristic for the trade import from Egypt
and Pallestina are the glass and alabaster vessels.
Odessos turned into one of the most important centers for production
of terracotta statuettes. To the Varna Archaeological Museum belongs
one of the richest collections of such figures. In the showcases are
exhibited terracotta figures representing various scenes and deities
– Darzalas, Aphrodite, Demetra, Eros, satyrs, maenads, as well as
genre statuettes – dancers and musicians, actors, slaves, women and
men in the typical for the time attire, animal figures – children's
toys – a cock, a bull, etc.
The presence of a big quantity of construction ceramics – roof
tiles and roof decorative ornaments /simas and antefixes/ is a good
evidence that the architectural image of the ancient town did not
submit to the other ancient towns along the Mediterranean.
At that time a substantial change in the religious life is to
be traced in Odessos – the Thracian god Darzalas was raised as a supreme
deity in the Pantheon of the town. Evidence to the fact are the coins
of the town carrying his image, numerous terracotta statuettes, as
well as an unique miniature lead statuette dated 4th century BC. This
change in the organization of the religious life in the town obviously
was as a result of the consolidating position of the Thracian population
in the town
r c h e a e o l o g i c a l m u s e u m V
a r n a
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