What is described as a spectacular archaeological exhibit focusing on Bulgaria's Thracian heritage opened Wednesday at Rome's Palazzo del Quirinale.
The exhibition, entitled The Treasures of Bulgaria from Neolithic to Medieval Times, includes pieces uncovered during the past two years at the so-called Valley of the Thracian Kings, a 60-mile forested region in the center of Bulgaria, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.
Organizers say the exhibit, which runs to March 15, reveals how Thracian warriors helped spread the civilizing influence of the Greeks to more western and northern parts of Europe.
The Thracians lived in parts of what is today Bulgaria, Romania, northern Greece and Turkey from around 4000 B.C. They are featured in Homer's "The Iliad" as allies of the Trojans. History's most famous Thracian is probably Spartacus, the head of the 73 B.C.-71 B.C. slaves' revolt against Rome.
The exhibit includes solid gold burial masks, bronze sculptures, finely decorated equestrian equipment, armor, necklaces, signet rings and other jewelry, ANSA said.
Most of the approximately 60 pieces on display have never before been seen by the public.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International