Ancient Thracian treasures dating back to the time of Alexander the Great have been unearthed in Bulgarian tombs. Scientists believe the artefacts could be linked to the Macedon king’s family.
The discovery was made in the biggest network of Thracian tombs in northern Bulgaria included horse trappings, a tiara with animal motifs, four bracelets, rings and golden buttons dating back to the late fourth and early third century BC. The treasures must have belonged to the Getae tribe that was in close contact with the ancient Greeks.
“These are amazing finds from the height of the rule of the Getae,” the head of the archaeology team on the site Diana Gergova says.
Gergova and her team expect to find much more in the tomb complex near the village of Sveshtari, some 400 km from Sofia. The riches discovered show the site could be a major ritual burial place, possibly linked to the burial of Getic ruler Cothelas, said Gergova, a renowned researcher of Thracian culture with the Sofia-based National Archaeology Institute. They also believe the funeral site of the Gath ruler Kotela, one of the father-in-laws of Alexander the Great's father, Philip II of Macedon, could also be discovered nearby in the future.
Gergova says such an important find has never before been made in Bulgaria. Local authorities have arranged to display the treasures at the National Archaeological Museum in Sofia.
One of the tombs in the complex, known as the Tomb of Sveshtari, is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The Thracians inhabited the lands of modern Bulgaria along with parts of modern Macedonia, Greece, Romania and Turkey between 4,000 B.C. and the 7th century A.D, AP reports. Most of the artefacts which explain their culture were found in Bulgaria's Thracian tombs in recent decades.