Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Bulgarian Valley of Kings

A four-wheeled wooden chariot, its intricately carved bronze plating and fittings, plus the skeletal remains of two horses and a dog have been preserved in situ instead of being removed to a museum. Thracian chariots were often buried with up to eight horses and their elaborately decorated bridles. Thracians established a powerful kingdom in the fifth century B.C.

The capital was thought to be Seutopolis, whose ancient ruins lie under a large artificial lake near Shipka, in an area dubbed 'the Bulgarian Valley of Kings' for its many rich tombs. It is believed that there are over 1500 funeral mounds in the region, with only 300 being researched so far.
The Kazanlak Tomb was found accidentally on 19 April 1944 by soldiers who were digging for entrenchment against aircraft. It dates to the first half of 3rd century BC.
The Svetitsa mound revealed a spectacular gold mask, which was laid on the face of the deceased person. It was made of a solid 673-g gold plate with individual features - thick hair, beard and mustache, the eyes half-closed. This is one of the earliest and richest tombs discovered in the Valley.