Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Heritage by Country / Bulgaria

Thracian Tomb

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Thracian Tomb

About the site

Corridor: Diagonal Road
Country: Bulgaria, Alexandrovo, Haskovo
Type: Ancient Site
Epoch: Antiquity
World Heritage:
AntiquityAncient Site

This tomb has been discovered near the village of Alexandrovo, about 18 km away from the town of Haskovo. It dates back to the 5th c. and consists of a long corridor (dromos) and two rooms (chambers) – the one rectangular with trapezium-shaped roof, the other round with a dome. The tomb is orientated in east-west direction.
The tomb in Alexandrovo and the tomb in Kazanlak are the most remarkable examples of ancient wall painting in Bulgaria. There are images found at the end of the dromos and in the two chambers - one-colour belts, floral and geometrical ornaments, and figural decoration. Of exceptional interest are the four preserved scenes at the end of the corridor and in the first chamber, depicted in two friezes. The lower frieze presents a bull oblation with men and women participating around tables, piled with dishes and golden vessels. The upper frieze – at eye-level, is better preserved, and presents four hunting scenes with horsemen, wild boars, deer and dogs, most probably illustrations from the life of the Thracian ruler, buried in the temple. The images are realistic, original and executed with perfect technique. Men and women with unknown garments, weaponry and decorations for horse ammunition could be seen.
In the round chamber, on a red-coloured belt, against the entrance could be seen a profile of a young man with a two-line inscription above – Kodsimases crestos. The name is Thracian. Some epigraphs interpret the byname as “Master”. It could be assumed that this is the profile of the mural painter, and the name and byname belong to him. If this is confirmed – we are facing one of the earliest self-portraits in Antiquity and a definite proof for the existence of Thracian school in ancient wall painting.

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