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Dec4-05, 04:36 PM
Astronuc's Avatar
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While visiting Bulgaria, I got to see some old Europan history going back almost to 0 CE. However, I also learned that there is a Thracian legacy, which is truly amazing.

In the last 10 years or so, an effort has been made to explore several ancient tombs at Starosel, Kazanluk, Alexandrovo and Perperek (near the southern Bulgarian town of Kurdjali). There may be more. (make sure popup killer is working)
On December 17, 2000 a 4th century BC Thracian tomb-mausoleum was discovered immediately to the south-eastern end of the village of Alexandrovo. Very well preserved wall-paintings of high artistic value were found inside.

The tomb has not been investigated archaeologically. It is so far established that it has a 10 m-long corridor and two rooms: one quadrangular, the other round. The entrances are short, about 1.2 m, so the visitors had to bend down to enter the construction. After standing up again inside, humble and feeling insignificant, the worshipper was stunned before an unknown world, imposing with the variety of colours, figures and scenes.

The diameter of the central chamber is 3.4 m, just equal to its height. It is more spacious than the Kazanluk tomb and even larger than the one at the near by Mezek.

Its walls are divided into 16 horizontal bands from the floor to the top of the dome, which is finished by a horizontal slab, a key-stone.

Its decoration is symbolic: a grey-whitish (silver?) double axe, a labrys, a sign of power in the Thracian society. The artist possibly intended to suggest the remains of a ruler rested in the room. The axe is inscribed in the circle of the key-stone, a symbol of the sun, the source of life and the object of the major cult in the Thracian religion.

The hunt was a privilege of the Thracian aristocracy, while boar hunting was almost a divine occupation, characteristic of the heroes - rulers, who were posthumously deified. - pictures of Thracian artifacts
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