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Курсът на дискурсите за българските съкровища
The Course of Discourses on Bulgarian Treasures

Panagyurishte Gold Treasure “At Home”

Author(s): Tsvete Lazova
Subject(s): History, Anthropology, Social Sciences, Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology
Published by: Пловдивски университет »Паисий Хилендарски«
Keywords: Panagyurishte Gold Treasure; anthropology; archeology
Summary/Abstract: This analysis is provoked by an event which turned the opening of the “new” home of the treasure found by chance in Panagyurishte in 1949 into a media spectacular performance on Easter (16.04.2012). The problematization of treasure discourses has entered the anthropology agenda as a result of the increased interest in everyday forms of popular historicization. Therefore the focus of the text is on the social life and cultural biography of the most famous Thracian treasure which acquired the status of national icon. It studies the processes of knowledge production about the Thracian-ness of these nine gold vessels from the moment of their discovery to their spectacular return „at home”. They reveal how people understand their remote past through getting in touch with ancient treasures which make them feel ancient and historical. In terms of archaeological ethnography the media representations of the “treasure mania” are just part of multi-layered documentation of the academic knowledge produced by the “official” archaeology. As basic artifact the Panagyurishte treasure enters the Thracian exhibitions organized in a number of world famous museums offering it as a cultural capital and an identity marker associated with the “Bulgarian lands”. Proclaimed as a national value it took a part of the international cultural economy as a cultural currency.The place of its discovery provoked and activated local imagination which triggered local value policies. As a result of pressure from “below” the local institutions enter into institutional arrangements negotiating the return of the Panagyurishte Gold Treasure “at home”. The newly produced two golden copies are placed at the National Museum of History and in the newly built underground treasure exposition in Panagyurishte. Every year in April the original of the treasure is exposed in the city to respond to the local need of feeling authentically ancient. The negotiated national and local imagination of authenticity, the sacred objects contribute to the local tourist industry as well.

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