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Comments on the interpretation of the so-called supports for phialae from the town of Brezovo, Plovdiv region

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Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, National Archaeological institute with Museum, 2020.
This report discusses and analyses two ceramic objects defined as supports for a pair of phialae discovered together with other artefacts in a tumulus located in Radnev geran area near the town of Brezovo, Plovdiv district. The presence of objects similar to the supports, dated at the Middle Ages, provide grounds for a debate on their interpretation and chronology. The supports are stored at NAIM – BAS, recorded in the inventory books under a common number – No. 1714. They are triangular in shape and the end parts of each of the shoulders are ectangular/rectangular- oval in shape and with a trapezoid cross-section. Their thickness is 1.1 cm and 0.9 cm, respectively. On one side, the surface is flat and their even part is carelessly smoothed with visible oblique/diagonal linear traces. On the other side, pyramidal low feet are modeled at the ends of the stilts. On the tips of one of the objects, there are visible traces of fired glaze, while on the other, in individual places, there are traces of present-day chipping – also at the tips of the feet. On the inner surface of the shoulders, there are noticeable shallow grooves and edges which stop before the zone of the feet and show that they were moulded. Objects from the Middle Ages are similar to the supports under review. In literature these objects are known as „трикраки подставки/столчета“ (tripod supports/stools), „триноги/триножки“ (tripods), “tripod-stilts”/“props” or “earthenware supports”. They are characteristic of the lands of continental Greece where they first appeared, and the territories of the Balkan Peninsula and Transcaucasia. These finds are widespread in Bulgarian lands. There are well-known examples from Vidin, Melnik, Veliko Tarnovo, Shumen fortress, Cherven, Veliki Preslav, Varna, Sultantsi, Markovcha, Sozopol, and Nesebar. The presented data about the stilts from Brezovo and their Medieval analogues from the present-day lands on the Balkan Peninsula, Asia Minor and Transcaucasia, as well as the presence of glaze on the surface of the legs of one of the tripods allow their more certain dating at the beginning of the 13th c. at the earliest.
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