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THE TOMB OF SEUTHES III



The shrine and the tomb of Seuthes III were discovered in 2004 in the Golyama Kosmatka mound, south of the town of Shipka. We may say that the tomb is unique, belonging to an identified Thracian king, probably Seuthes III (end of 4th - beginning of 3rd c. B.C.), founder of the capital Sevastopolis, situated about 10 km off the mound (today at the bottom of the Koprinka dam). An alley of 25 m leads to the shrine and from its centre starts a 13-metre long corridor. The shrine itself consists of successive rectangular and oval rooms of large granite blocks connected with iron braces laid in lead and chamber resembling a sarcophagus, engraved in an enormous stone piece, covered with a second roof-shaped one. Inside there is a ritual bed and a ritual table. In the chamber are arranged weapons, decoration for horse-trappings, vessels, etc. The leather armour of the ruler is decorated with a gold application of the head of a furious lion and exquisite plant ornaments. There are three clay amphoras (on one of them is a seal from the 3rd c. B.C. - the time of Seuthes' death), two bronze vessels with decorations on the handles, a silver jug and a phial with lavish gold ornamentation - the exact replica of a pearl oyster. The complete set of the horse-harness made of pure gold, with human and animal images, a cylix, an oak royal wreath and other objects weigh more than 1 kg. The body of the diseased was probably cremated since only four teeth have been found of him. In the first room was performed the sacrifice of a horse. There is a bronze head - a fragment of a statue of the ruler (probably Seuthes III), ritually buried some 7 m off the facade. The findings are dated back to the second half of the 4th c. B.C.

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