|The largest Thracian shrine was discovered near Plovdiv
The largest Thracian temple on the Balkan peninsula has been discovered
by archaeologists from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences near the village
of Starosel in the district of Plovdiv. A stone staircase and a 15-metre
long and 6.25-metre wide corridor lead to the inner rooms. The side staircases
which lead to the corridor were described as unique. According to the well-known
archaeologist Georgi Kitov the temple consists of two chambers - a rectangular
one 3.75 metres wide, and a round one with a diameter of around 6 metres.
No other temple this big has been discovered in the lands of the Thracians so far, claim the archaeologists. According to them the building dates to the end of the V c. BC. Kitov suggested that it was the burial place of some of the powerful Thracian kings. The relief ornamentation at the entrance to the shrine coincides with that from the Panagjurishte golden treasure.
This fact speaks that the treasure might have been produced by local craftsmen and not imported from Asia Minor as was the predominant view until now. The shrine at Starosel is the most imposing monument of the Thracian cultic architecture ever found. The mound is around 20 metres high and 90 metres in diameter.
It is surrounded by a monumental 240-metre long stone wall. The recovered
earthenware, coins, arrow-heads and cult object are also among the worthy
artifacts. Another 50,000 levs (=50,000 DM) are necessary for the complete
investigation of the ancient Thracian shrine.