THE THRACIAN TOMB NEAR KAZANLAKDxO08960cor+r.jpg

is created by :

Vencislav Naydenov

Ivo Karaivanov


1. Introduction
Until the middle of the last century, when the Thracian Tomb acquired its renown, the town of Kazanlak was known to the outside world only by its oil-yielding rose. As for the inhabitants proper of the town, they took pride in the “Pirostiya” located in the local park “Tyulbeto” .It was only the archaeology that made Kazanlak a world-wide famous town and Valley of Roses is now better known as the “Valley of Thracian Rulers
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2. Location
This town of Kazanlak park is located just above the oldest of the town quarters, the Koulenska Mahala. The archaeological materials indicate there was a medieval Bulgarian settlement, while from the feet of the mound came findings from an ancient Thracian settlement.
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3. The story of the archaeological sensation
On April 19, 1944 a Kazanlak garrison detachment was assigned the task of finding an appropriate location for an anti-aircraft gun. The gun position was selected behind the “Pirostiya”, at the southern end of the mound where later, during the excavation works, archaeologists stumbled across the tomb entrance. They called for the director of the local museum, Mr.Dimitar Hristov Chorbadzhiyski better known under his writer’s pen-name of Choudomir.
He assessed the importance of the discovery and immediately notified the eminent Bulgarian archeologists. The archaeological research showed the tomb was robbery were gathered and stored in the museum (a whole piece of the amphora, fragments of a ewer, askos and other ceramic vessels). A magnificent, gilt on silver pitcher along with about a hundred small gold buttons have also reached our times, all of these articles suggesting woman’s presence in the funeral rite. In the thick layer of dust on the floor archaeologists found remains of decaying bones, heavily corroded nails and almost completely rotten remains of wooden grid on corroded nails and almost completely rotten remains of wooden grid on which, oriented east-west, the bodies of the buried had been laid.
4. Architecture
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The relatively small tomb in view of usual Thracian dimensions built in the southern part of the mound is a domed one. It consists of an anteroom, corridor and burial chamber in the shape of a skep. The tomb is brick-built, bricks cemented with mortar. There is also a protective stone wall.
Before executing the frescoes the walls were plastered with stucco made by mixing cream of lime with marble dust. In the anteroom the plaster was laid on clay base and because of that it was almost completely destroyed by the humidity in the tomb.
The Kazanlak Tomb dating from the end of the 4th – the beginning of the 3rd century BC marks a new, third stage in the Thracian tomb architecture. At this stage instead of stone slabs and hewn stones the use of new building materials and applying of new technology had started. However, it was not the remarkable architecture but the forty square meters of frescoes that were the reason the Kazanlak Tomb to become a world monument of culture under the aegis of UNESCO. The paintings in the tomb are of decorative and story-telling nature. They were made by applying the technique of dry and wet fresco, paints having been made of natural clays in four basic colors: white, red, black and yellow, out of which the various color schemes had been developed. The painted decorations presents information not only on the very essence of Thracian funeral tradition but also on the Thracians clothes, kitchen utensils, arms and other aspects of the life of Thracians.

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The autors: Ivo (on the left) and Vencislav (on the right)