III. The legacy of Pliska
The first examples of these interesting type of pictorial monuments came into light as early as in 1899-1900. They were cut with a sharp point mostly in soft blocks from the fortress walls. In most cases it was made prior to their embedding into the wall, more rarely afterwards, so that what we see now comes mainly from the exposed inner surfaces of the walls (the Throne Palace). The subject-matter is relatively repetitive. Horses, mounted warriors and mounted hunters, animals and, more rarely human figures, predominate. Similar drawings are found in the other centres of the First Bulgarian kingdom.  Pliska also contains several rare subjects. A triumphal rider-ruler is represented on a stone block  Other blocks contain the scenes of a mammals being torn by a prey, of a clash between two riders, of griffins.  The origin and the meaning of these graffiti have been variously interpreted. Some think they represent the personal experience of their authors hunters, warriors, common folk. No doubt some of the drawings have such origin. Others certainly reproduce official images of art stone reliefs, images on metal and cloth.  It is especially probable regarding the images of phantastic animals and the triumphal rider, whose archetype must have been the Madara horseman .
Horn with symbols. ZAladzhov, p. 66
Graffiti from a limestone block. SVaklinov, p. 103
Sketch of an eagle and symbols on a clay vessel.
Procession of gryphons from the western fortress wall.
ZAladzhov, p. 60
Drawings on a brick. SVaklinov, p. 235
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32. One part of the Pliskas drawings were included in: OVCHAROV D. Bulgarski srednovekovni risunki-grafiti. S., 1982.
33. For references on the questions see: GEORGIEV P. Prabulgarska kultova ceremoniya vurhu risunka-grafit s nadpis ot Pliska. Problemi na prabulgarskata istoriya i kultura. 2. S., 1991, p. 198-208.
34. DONCHEVA-PETKOVA L. Razkopki na zapadnata krepostna stena v Pliska. Pliska-Preslav 4, 1985, example 28, plus excavations by T. Balabanov (unpublished data).
35. RASHEV R. Za hudozhestvenoto i kulturno-istorichesko znachenie na risunkite-grafiti ot IX-X v. Problemi na izkustvoto 1991, 1, p. 49-55.