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Bronze hand of Sabazios

  • arheologija antika skulptura


In the classical period, what is now Srebrenica was a mining and administrative centre from which mines in two large provinces, Dalmatia and Pannonia, were administered. Srebrenica’s importance is attested to by the fact that many Roman buildings, urban settlements, mosaics, necropolises, and remains of different cults have been found in a relatively small area. 

The bronze hand found at Gradina near Srebrenica testifies to the presence of one such cult, namely the cult of the god Sabazios. Widely spread across the Roman Empire, the cult of Sabazios is categorised as an orgiastic exotic eastern cult. The worship itself included a variety of orgiastic rituals, falling into trances, and other activities. In some areas, Sabazios was equated with Zeus, Dionysius, and other deities. The cult is considered to have originated in Phrygia, from where it spread throughout Europe.

Four animals are depicted on the artefact: a turtle, a frog, a snake, and a lizard. A pinecone is depicted on the thumb. To date, this artefact provides the only evidence that the cult of Sabazios was practised within the area of modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Materials and technique:

This artefact can be seen in the Archaeology Pavilion in the permanent exhibition Bosnia and Herzegovina in Classical Antiquity.
  • arheologija antika skulptura