Royal Thracian Tomb-Mausoleum near Shipka, Kazanlak Area, Southern Bulgaria Cover Image
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Царска тракийска гробница-мавзолей край Шипка в Казанлъшко, Южна България
Royal Thracian Tomb-Mausoleum near Shipka, Kazanlak Area, Southern Bulgaria

Author(s): Georgi Kitov
Subject(s): History, Archaeology, Ancient World
Published by: Институт за балканистика с Център по тракология - Българска академия на науките

Summary/Abstract: The paper presents the findings from the archaeological explorations of the Ostrousha tumulus near the town of Shipka. The mound with its impressive dimensions was са. 100 m in diameter and a little over 20 m high. A 4th century BC tomb was found in the southern part of the periphery of the tumulus, oriented to the four cardinal directions. The tomb was built over an old terrain after the tumular embankment had already been piled up and a part of it had been removed. All stone blocks had been hewn in advance and prepared for being used for construction, hence no traces of processing are noticed in situ. The total built-in area of the monument is 100 sq. m, on which there are six separate premises with entrance to the south. A stereobate is built and on it there is a sarcophagus-like burial chamber made of a huge stone block with a monolithic lid. An antechamber and four lateral built chambers were added to it. Ceramic vessels and architectural details were found in the tumular embankment (stone antefixes and an akroterion with stucco, traces of paint and plastic decoration). It is assumed that the tomb was plundered in the 4th century, which is also evidenced with finds from that time. The monolithic sarcophagus-like chamber is unique in Thracian sepulchral architecture. Inside it, a kline is hewn from the same stone block, with modelled aediculae, with imitation of legs, with plastic ornamentation and with a threshold before it. It is assumed that the kline had been additionally covered with wood or with organic matter. The chamber has a double-eave roof, with pentagonal section and imitation of beams on the eaves from the west, east and south. Inside it is coffered and by means of a modelled imitation of beams its inner surface is shaped in one round, eight triangular and 32 square image fields. The painted decoration in each of the fields is scratched and entirely or partially destroyed during the plundering of the tomb. In conclusion, the author emphasises that the tomb in the Ostrousha tumulus is part of a large tumular necropolis that needs to be associated with a Thracian dynastic centre.

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: 19
  • Page Range: 177-186
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Bulgarian