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Exhibition "Egyptian Cults on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast"

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reklamenposterOn June 2, 2022 (Thursday) at 18.30 in the Regional History Museum of Varna the official opening of the exhibition "Egyptian Cults on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast" will be held. It is organized by the Institute of Balkan Studies & Centre of Thracology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in cooperation with the Regional History Museum of Varna, New Bulgarian University and the Embassy of Egypt in Bulgaria.

The monuments presented in the exhibition originate from the ancient cities located on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast: Apollonia Pontica (Sozopol), Messambria (Nessebar), Anhialo (Pomorie), Odessos (Varna) and Dionysopolis (Balchik). They are divided into five sections according to their type: AMULETS, EPIGRAPHIC MONUMENTS, TERRACOTTA, BRONZE, NUMISMATICS. They are selected to illustrate the penetration of Egyptian cults into Ancient Thrace. Due to the communicative location of these cities, this penetration first took place here probably as early as the beginning of the 1st millennium BC. The earliest known monuments with Egyptian influence are the amulets found in the Greek colonies of Apollonia Pontica (Sozopol) and Mesambria (Nessebar).

The conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great and the coming to power of the Macedonian Ptolemaic dynasty marked the beginning of the Hellenistic era (3-1 c. BC), during which some Egyptian cults entered the Greek world as well as Apollonia Pontica (Sozopol), Mesambria (Nessebar), Anhialo (Pomorie), and later in Odessos (Varna) and Dionysopolis (Balchik). The focus of these cults was on the veneration of the divine family of Isis, Sarapis and Harpocrates, which was imposed by the Ptolemaic dynasty (305-31 BC) throughout the Hellenic world in order to establish their royal power. Although the roots of these deities are Egyptian, their appearance and nature were Hellenized, i.e. adopted Hellenic characteristics and features of Greek art. That is why there are various types of monuments associated with the cult of them and their study helps us to understand their nature.

The exhibition "Egyptian Cults on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast" come out as a result of the research "Egyptian Cults in Ancient Thrace", which is part of the project of the Institute of Balkan Studies & Centre of Thracology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences "Thrace and Egypt in the Greco-Roman world“, led by Assist. Prof. Vessela Atanassova, PhD.

The exhibition will be on display till August 15, 2022

Curator of the exhibition: Assist. Prof. Vessela Atanassova, PhD

Scientific editors: Prof. Sergei Ignatov, Sc.D., Prof. Vanya Lozanova-Stancheva, D.A.

Technical Assistant: Stefan Yanakiev, PhD

Design: Victoria Videvska

Translation: Mariana Revenska


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