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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 August 2005, 12:32 GMT 13:32 UK
More treasure found in Bulgaria
Golden necklace found near Dabene, Bulgaria
The golden jewellery dates back to the third millennium BC
Bulgarian archaeologists have unearthed a huge haul of golden royal jewellery dating back around 4,000 years to the Thracian civilisation.

It is the second major find of treasure in Bulgaria announced in recent weeks.

In July, archaeologists discovered the treasure-filled tomb of what is thought to be a Thracian king near the south-eastern town of Zlatinitsa.

Excavations of other burial mounds in the country have also uncovered hoards of gold.

The most recent treasure was found in a tomb near Dabene, a village in central Bulgaria.

It dates from the Thracian civilisation, which extended from the Caucasus to south-western Europe from around 4,000BC to 300AD.

The jewellery is made of almost pure gold and pre-dates most finds in Bulgaria.

National Museum of History director Bozhidar Dimitrov said the pieces were remarkable for their craftsmanship.

Prof Dimitrov described them as "objects of exquisite regal ornamentation".

Golden necklace found near Dabene, Bulgaria
Archaeologists hope to find even more pieces at the site

"In the whole of Europe and the Near East there is only one find that rivals these extremely well crafted pieces - the golden treasures found in ancient Troy," he told the AFP news agency.

"The large number of golden objects and the expert craftsmanship in their making lead us to question Troy's supremacy as the biggest ancient centre for goldsmiths."

He said it was likely more pieces would be found at the site, which lies 120km (75 miles) east of the capital, Sofia, and may have been a centre for gold mining and production.

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