bells in Europe
are of the classic A type.
In November 2011 Dmitri
Timoshenko from Tver, in Russia (Russian Federation,
150 km north of Moscow)
reports the find of two tiger bells in a potato field near Tver,
capital of the Tver region which is part of Russia. He writes the
I found the bells
myself. I was searching in a potato field with metal detector
for "treasure " :-) when I found the first bell. It
was already damaged and did not hold a pellet inside. The second
bell was found on the next day, just 20 meters away from the first
one. The second is in a much better shape and even has a pellet
inside. Around the bells I found a lot of things - from a silver
coin of Tsar Ivan the Terrible (1534-1584) to modern coins lost
by local farmers.
The potato field
itself is located on the right bank of Volga river, 50 km west
of Tver city. This field is one of my favorite places for treasure
hunting with the metal detector. Just last summer season I found
in this field a large amount of objects: 9 Russian silver coins
(1613-1711), 5 silver coins (1800...1900), almost 100 copper coins
(1676-1956), bronze and silver Christian crosses, rings, earrings...
and by the end of the season: those tiger bells
This is a highly
unusual amount of findings for a simple potato field. I tried
to find out what was there before... Possibly the field has been
used for a very long time as a place for a fair, but this is just
my impression. I could not find any information on this in local
...My local friends
who go treasure hunting have never seen bells like mine in the
European part of Russia. So I feel kind of proud to be the first
person to find "the first ever tiger bells"in Europe
do not know the age of the tiger bells. But when I noticed the hieroglyphs
on the bells, the first idea that jumped to my mind was - "Wow,
this goes back to the Mongol Invasion era of Russian history (13
century)!". However, I understand that my bells could have
arrived much later...
The tiger bells; the
bell on the right was found first, the other bell one day later at
distance of 20 meters from the first bell.
The bells, turned around.
Top view of the two
bells. Although heavily worn, the outline of the floral motives and
one or two groups of lines and curves, possibly Chinese characters,
are still visible.
This is one of six reports
of an archeological find of the tiger bells (the other reports are
from Sumatra, Indonesia (2 cases),
Wales, (Great Britain), Vietnam
and Kazakhstan. Apart from the bells
in Malta and Wales this is the most western
location the bells have reached. The variety of objects found in
the potato field indicates that the location was a meeting place,
a market, or a fair ground, in use for many, possibly hundreds of
years. Mr. Timoshenko's association with the Mongol
invasions is supported by a quote in the book The Silk Roads
by Peter Frankopan (publ. in 2016 by Bloomsbury Publishing). The
city of Tver is mentioned together with Rjazan an Kiev as one of
the cites that were plundered and destroyed during the raids by
the Mongols in the 13th century. This event has led to further investigation
in that direction; see the paragraph on the Mongol Invasions.
and photographs are copyrighted,
for information please contact F.
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