Conservation and Restoration of Molybdobulls from the Fund of the Archaeological Museum "Veliki Preslav"
Alexander Gorchev, Dimitar Dimitrov
pp. 245 - 251
Title: Conservation and Restoration of Molybdobulls from the Fund of the Archaeological Museum "Veliki Preslav"
Authors: Alexander Gorchev, Dimitar Dimitrov

Abstract: Archaeological Museum "Veliki Preslav" has over 110 years of history. It was founded as part of the Archaeological Society "Ticha" on October 26, 1906 and lasted in this form until 1949. Then the museum was provided with a large building next to the church monument "St.St. Cyril and Methodius", not far from the Preslav Palace. In 1981, the museum was moved in a new purpose-built building, where it still welcomes history lovers from around the world. At the permanent exhibition you can see epigraphic monuments that testify to the spread of literature, as well as examples of artistic crafts, showing the rise of the Bulgarian state. The most striking examples of this are the Preslav golden treasure and objects of the Preslav white clay pottery. More than 35,000 objects are stored in the museum funds, 1700 of which are presented in the exposition hall. The most significant Preslav samples have been included in dozens of international exhibitions, in hundreds of scientific publications, film and media productions. Today Veliki Preslav has its own archeological museum with a magnificent exposition, visited annually by tens of thousands of Bulgarian and foreign tourists. The museum's collections most fully present the phenomenon of the Golden Age and illustrate the place of Simeon's capital as a leading center of Slavic writing, art and art crafts in Southeast Europe in the ninth and tenth centuries.
More than 570 sphragistic monuments are stored in the museum's fund. For most of them there is accurate information about their location, which makes them full sources for Bulgarian history from IX - XI century.
In 1978, a team of archaeologists led by Ivanka Akrabova-Zhandova, exploring the area in the southeastern part of the inner city of Preslav, discovered a building with massive foundations and preserved squares of construction, which plan resembles a pagan temple or shrine. As a result of the excavations, which continued in the following years, more than 500 molybdobulls, 250 lead cores and three molds for their casting have been discovered. These findings testify to the administrative nature of the building, in which not only the correspondence was stored, but it was also sent. Therefore, we are talking about an chancellery that served the local Byzantine strategists. Thanks to the seals found there, we found the names of 17 strategists of Preslav in the period 971-1059. The molybdobulls also present the names of persons who wrote to the local strategist. Almost all social groups in the empire are represented - from the emperor himself to the common spatary.
In 2019, 50 lead seals were included in the exhibition "At the Gates of the Royal Court. Treasures of Veliki Preslav", which was opened at the Archaeological Museum in Sofia. In 2020, the project "Conservation and restoration of molybdobulls from the Strategy in Great Preslav" was completed. This project was implemented by the Archaeological Museum "Veliki Preslav" in partnership with National Archaeological Institute with Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. 100 of the most affected molybdobulls have undergone conservation and restoration.
Restoration activities are a necessary step that must be carried out before the digitalization of the sphragistic fund.

Keywords: Conservation; Restoration; Molybdulls.

Received: 02-04-2021     Accepted: 30-11-2021     Published: 07-12-2021

Citation: Gorchev, A., Dimitrov, D. (2021). Conservation and Restoration of Molybdobulls from the Fund of the Archaeological Museum "Veliki Preslav". Cultural and Historical Heritage: Preservation, Presentation, Digitalization (KIN Journal), 7(2), ISSN 2367-8038, Institute of Mathematics and Informatics – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 245–251. DOI: