The Great Sveshtari tumulus

”Sboryanovo” / Thracian tribe – Getae.

The tomb of Sveshtari – a unique monument of Thracian culture

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The tomb of Sveshtari – a unique monument of Thracian culture.

Many resemblance of the structure constructions and cultural life is the similarity to the archaeological monuments of Ukraine and Romania.

One of the finest Thracian tombs in Bulgaria is to be seen near Sveshtari village, Isperih municipality. It is part of the Sboryanovo history and archaeology reserve. The tomb is the burial site of a royal couple from the Thracian tribe of the Getae and is on the UNESCO world cultural heritage list.

Mounds of all sizes abound in Sboryanovo reserve – until recently, locals called the area the Land of Hundred Mounds. Erecting a mound was a tiresome and time-consuming enterprise. The ones higher than 15 m needed between two and six months to take shape.

Thracian tombs in Bulgaria

“It was a grand discovery,” says Elena Dimitrova ( guide ) further. “The treasure was found in the big Sveshtari mound, the same Thracian necropolis where the Caryatid tomb (sculpted figures of women) is located. This means they belong to the same culture and add to our knowledge of the Thracian tribe of the Getae and their culture, of life in these lands and a civilization that was well advanced, leaving evidence of its existence that has come down to us in our day.”

It has been open to the public since 2000.

The caryatids in the chamber of the Sveshtari Tomb
The caryatids in the chamber of the Sveshtari Tomb probably represent the Great Goddess. They look the same, yet their faces are unique, as if to illustrate once again the idea of the many faces of the Great Goddess

”The Thracian tomb from the Sboryanovo archaeology complex includes a fortified Thracian centre, necropolises, sanctuaries that go back to the start of the first millennium BC. But it was at its zenith in the 3rd-4th century BC; the tomb itself dates back to the beginning of the 3rd century BC and was, in its time, a unique monument of Thracian cult architecture. What makes it unique is the combination of architecture, sculpture and paintings that is to be seen in no other Thracian tomb.”

Sboryanovo was a name that came into the spotlight when the team of archaeologists headed by Prof. Diana Gergova discovered a gold treasure.

Thracian God Rider, Sveshtari Tomb
The fresco in the burial chamber depicts the Great Goddess giving immortality to the owner of the tomb, on horseback. Riders had a key position in Thracian religious beliefs. A mounted man was often depicted in votive tablets, funeral art and expensive harnesses. Sometimes he personified the Thracian God Rider, and sometimes, as is the case with the Sveshtari Tomb, he represented a deified king or an aristocrat.

A caryatid, with traces of colouring, from the sculpture decoration of the Sveshtari Tomb, the turn of the first and second quarter of  the 3rd Century BC
A caryatid, with traces of colouring, from the sculpture decoration of the Sveshtari Tomb, the turn of the first and second quarter of the 3rd Century BC

Sources: http://www.vagabond.bg/ http://bnr.bg/

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