Wednesday 20 September 2000
Two more Thracian tombs were discovered at Starosel

Antoaneta Peteva

Two more tombs of Thracian aristocrats were discovered by the team of archaeologists of Dr. Georgi Kitov at Starosel, said the former head of the National Museum of History Prof. Bozhidar Dimitrov to "Monitor". The two are among the eight tombs in the vicinity of this village.

The first find was made at the beginning of August with the discovery of the largest Thracian sanctuary so far. 

A burial of a Thracian man, who was first cremated, was discovered in one of the new tombs. "The armour has been badly affected by the fire but a 25-gram golden ring used as a seal is perfectly preserved", said Bozhidar Dimitrov. The ring contains a depiction of a sphinx.

Among the grave goods of a Thracian aristocrat in the second necropolis were 5 silver appliqués depicting griffins. "The appliqués, around 5 cm wide and 4 cm high, decorated the leather gear of his battle horse, buried with him", elucidated Prof. Dimitrov. 

According to the archaeologists the two newly-found necropolises date to the beginning of the Vth c. BC. They indicated that next to the large temple at Starosel was the necropolis of the royal family of the Thracian ruler Sitalces.

The archaeologists suppose that his brothers and cousins were buried in the neighbouring tombs.

The team of Dr. Kitov continues with his efforts to penetrate into the central burial chamber of the large temple, later turned by the Thracians into a tomb. The chamber will be probably completely freed from the collapsed stone blocks and earth by the end of the month. At present around one third of the chamber has been made accessible. 

For now it can be seen that the outer walls of the temple contain embedded columns and that the dome is decorated with a stone frieze in red, black, green and blue colours.

Members of the Danish embassy have visited the Starosel excavations for a second time. Their coming aimed at preparing the trip of the Danish queen to the archaeological site during her visit to Bulgaria. It is expected that Her Highness Queen Margrette II (sp?) will come to our country in mid-October.