Padea-Spahii-Panagiurski kolonii group; North Thrace; Burnished pottery. Between 1959 and 1963 four important sites were partly excavated by Prof. At. Milchev near the villages of Valchedram – “Pechina mogila” and “Armului”, and Yakimovo – “Gradishteto” and “Nad Urvata”. All of them provide materials that can be dated in the end of the Iron Age or the beginning of the Roman period (II/I c. BC – I c. AD), now kept at Sofia University. The most characteristic of the sites is the rich collection of burnished gray ware, published and commented on by Assoc. Prof. L. Vagalinski and later by Kr. Luka. Besides them they are more finds that can also be dated in the period II/I c. BC – early I c. AD. The most fascinating site is Yakimovo-Gradishteto where a coin hoard of Roman denarii (IRRCHBulg 71), hidden after the Actium battle (2 September 31 BC), which was discovered several years before the excavations of At. Milchev. In the vicinity of the same modern village (in “Livadeto” location) a treasure of silver and bronze vessels was discovered in another II-I c. BC site, at least according to some scholars. It should be noted that all of this finds correspond well with the written sources about the first campaign of M. Licinius Crassus. According to Cassius Dio, when the Romans were following the Bastarnae, they besieged and stormed a “moesian” rampart, probably somewhere on the left bank of “Ciabrus” River.
This report aims to gather the current data about the end of the Iron Age (II/I c. BC – I c. AD) mostly in the region of Tsibritsa (anc. Cebrus), but some important sites to the east as far as Ogosta River (anc. Augusta) are also included. The region provides extremely vigorous data about the time around the Roman conquest and the establishment of the province Moesia – graves from the so called “Padea-Spahii-Panagiurski kolonii” group, but mostly pottery from different sites which were never fully systemized and commented on. The area around these rivers provides the richest collection of burnished gray ware from modern Northern Bulgaria. Beside them, other specific for the period II/I c. BC – I c. AD categories of pottery can pointed out – hand made vessels with polished surfaces, coarse ware with specific relief, incised decoration and common gray pottery on wheel. All of them find many analogies in the Carpathian-Danube area which might be explained as a phenomenon of stereotypization, caused by the strong cultural unification and intensive contacts between the Northern Balkan tribes.