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Brass Balsamarium Discovered in Ancient Thrace

Friday, September 27, 2019

Bulgaria Roman BalsamariumSOFIA, BULGARIA—Live Science reports that an 1,800-year-old figurative jar that may have held balms or perfumes was discovered in a grave in southeastern Bulgaria. Archaeologist Daniela Agre of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences said the grave was part of a large burial mound thought to have belonged to an aristocratic family. The jar was shaped like the head of a wrestler or boxer with a broken nose and goatee. Its presence in the grave, along with a type of blade used to scrape sweat and dirt from the skin, suggests the 35- to 40-year-old man buried in the grave was a sports enthusiast. The figure on the jar also appears to be wearing a cap made from the skin of a panther or leopard—a possible allusion to the Roman myth in which the hero and god Hercules defeated with his bare hands a lion that attacked the city of Nemea. Read the original scholarly article about this research in the American Journal of Archaeology. For more, go to "Thracian Treasure Chest."

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