The first casting mould for a ‘Syrian Bottle’ from Lipnik, Bulgaria
The following article presents the first mould ever discovered for casting a so-called “Syrian Bottle”, a distinctive vessel type that originated in Mesopotamia around the mid 3rd millennium BC and soon after spread to Anatolia, the Aegean and Southeast Europe, as imports and local derivatives. A few examples were made from precious metals and lead, the most notable one being a golden globular bottle, part of “Priam’s” Treasure A” from Early Bronze Age Troy. The mould from Lipnik seems to have been intended for the production of small metal bottles of ‘Syrian’ shape, and supportive agents like a green sand core applied for the production of such a complex item. The mould, however, was obviously never used. A review of associated manufacturing details like pegholes, riser and vent show that although these fea-tures were particularly prominent in the 2nd millennium BC, moulds from earlier (Anatolian) contexts do possess such characteristics as well. This currently unique, locally produced example is therefore dated to the latest 3rd or ear-liest second millennium BC, coinciding with ever-growing interaction between distant cultural entities stretching from Mesopotamia to Southeast Europe and beyond, and allowing for the exchange of ideas, fashions and technol-ogies.