Two-headed dogs on the armor of a notorious Thracian warrior
Ever since the discovering of grave 2 in one of the biggest mounds on the territory of Bulgaria – Roshava Dragana, Stara Zagora municipality, there is no doubt about the high status of the horseman, buried at the end of the 1st – beginning of the 2nd century. The restored silver -plated helmet mask, found there, became the focus of several exhibitions, but there were ambiguities about the other parts of the armor. And one of the most interesting publications in this year’s 1st issue of Archaeologia Bulgarica journal gives answers to the questions, related to the noble Thracian warrior. The authors of the article ”Armor of a cataphract from a funeral in the Rosava Dragana mound” Andrey Negin and Maria Kamisheva think there are two or even three types of armor – first, because there were found pieces of ring mail, flake mail and plate armor. And second, because only silver-plated helmet mask is Roman. The other parts of the armor are of Sarmatian or Parthian origin.
The tamgas on the golden edge of a sword and on a bronze buckle, as well as the images of two-headed dogs on the large plates of the armor are of particular interest. They h
ave parallels in Sarmatian territory. Especially the two-headed dogs direct the researchers to the region of Pantikápaion (northern Black Sea), where such decorations have already been found.
The article also refutes a hypothesis of the archaeologist Hristo Buyukliev, who revealed the funeral. He interpreted the hoard of metal plates as parts of “armored trousers”, which the Thracian warrior of Roman service brought as booty after a battle on the Lower Danube. Now it is certain, that it is about upper body armor. His assumption of trophy is otherwise confirmed.
It can be assumed one of the most powerful man during that time south of the Lover Danube – Titus Flavius Dinis, son of Skeles from the Quirina tribe, archiereus of the Thracian koinon – was buried in Grave 2. It is believed that his family owned the Roman villa excavated in Chatalka locality, Stara Zagora municipality, South Bulgaria. There members of this noble Thracian genus were buried.