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Timothy Taylor

Hoard comprising 165 silver and silver-gilt drinking vessels, dating to the late 5th century bc–4th, dug up in a garden in the Vratsa district, north-west Bulgaria, in 1986. The hoard contains vessels of Persian, Greek, Thracian and ‘Thraco-Getic’ manufacture and appears to represent a collection of known value, buried at a time of unrest and never recovered. The historical context is perhaps the incursion south of the Danube by the Celts at the time of their meeting with Alexander the Great in 335 bc. Vickers (see Cook) considered that the total weight of the hoard (19.91 kg) represented exactly 3600 siglos coins (i.e. the Persian weight standard for silver that was common in Thrace at this time). Taylor (see Cook) noted that this round figure is obtained despite considerable damage (and hence weight-loss) to individual vessels, thereby indicating that the hoard was a tribute payment. Thucydides (History of the Peloponnesian War...