Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari. You Gotta Go Here!

In the year 1982, the Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari was discovered. It was one of the most spectacular 20th century archaeological discoveries. The artistic achievement of the Thracian civilization was once again testified through the half-human half-vegetable caryatids that were found enclosed in the tomb. The fact that the polychromy maintained its orchre, blue, brown lilac and red colors for all that time and thus maintained its bewitching charm is something that many historians cannot reconcile.

The tomb is an illustration of the culture of the Getae people, a subgroup of the Thracians that lived in the north of Hemus, and who were in constant contact with the Greeks and the Hyperborean world.

The tomb is located near the town of Razgera, a region declared as an archaeological reserve. It is nestled between the villages of Sveshtari in Isperih and Malak Porovetz in a river canyon and on the hills around. The tomb is dated to the 3rd century BC, a period that is associated with great prosperity in political, economic and cultural spheres of the Thracian tribe of Getae. The rich decoration and perfect architecture points to the awe with which the ruler of the people had, as well as his political and economic might.

The layout of this tomb is quite different from the layout of the tombs in the Thracian regions and is more similar to the Hellenistic model of Macedonia, Asia Minor and Egypt. It consists of a corridor and three square chambers including the antechamber, lateral chamber and the main burial chamber. The decorations in the tomb were contemporary Hellenistic, with the entrance being flanked with two rectangular columns known as the antae. Above the columns was the architrave plate featuring a frieze in relief. Of all the statues that are in the tomb, perhaps the most interesting is that of the female caryatids that were dressed in long sleeveless dresses tied with thin belts below the breasts.

This tomb again points to the rich Thracian cultural heritage, which the modern day Slavs inherited. The tomb and the archaeological site in general is a place that you would want to visit over and over again. It sure is not your regular tomb…


by Kennedy Runo on 06/18/2015 in Culture & History