Thracian tomb of Aleksandrovo

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Coordinates: 41°58′47″N 25°44′17″E / 41.97972°N 25.73806°E / 41.97972; 25.73806

Hunting scene on the main chamber fresco

The Aleksandrovo tomb is a Thracian burial mound and tomb excavated near Aleksandrovo, Haskovo Province, South-Eastern Bulgaria, dated to c. 4th century BCE.

On December 17, 2000 the tomb was accidentally uncovered by an earth-moving machine.[1] Looters subsequently entered the tomb, damaging some of its frescoes. In 2001 Bulgarian archaeologist Georgi Kitov led a rescue excavation of the tomb, discovering a round chamber of about 3 meters (9.8 ft) in diameter, accessible through a small antechamber and a tunnel, approximately 6 meters (20 ft) long. Both the antechamber and main chamber are decorated with well-preserved frescoes that reflect the artist's knowledge of Late Classical and Early Hellenistic art.[2] The fresco in the main chamber depicts a hunting scene where a boar is attacked by a mounted hunter and a naked man wielding a double-axe. The double-axe is interpreted as representing royal power,[1] the naked man as representing Zalmoxis,[3][4] the Thracian solar god corresponding to Zeus.[3][4]

A graffito in the chamber inscribed with the Thracian name Kozemases indicates either the tomb's noble patron[2] or its artist.[5]

The Thracian tomb of Alexandrovo is dated at early 4th century BC.[6] Wall paintings exhibit the change in appearance due to Greek influence.[6] In the wall-paintings beards, tattoos, cloaks, boots, hats, top-knots have disappeared.[6] Greek footwear replaces their boots.[6] The tomb may be that of Triballi.[7]

Also other changes are seen such as Thracians wearing gold or bronze torcs around their necks (usually three).[6]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Webber, Christopher. "The Alexandrovo Tomb and other Recent Discoveries", Slingshot 216, July 2001, pp 47-50
  2. ^ a b Theodossiev, Nikola, "The tholos tomb at Alexandrovo: Thracian funerary paintings in a broader context" Archived 2008-04-02 at the Wayback Machine., 2005
  3. ^ a b Hans Wagner Die Thraker Eurasisches Magazin, 30 August 2004
  4. ^ a b Kalin Dimitrov Thracian tomb of Aleksandrovo, Cultural Heritage Activities and Institutes Network, 12 September 2008
  5. ^ Petrov, Irko. "The Thracian Tomb in Aleksandrovo" Archived 2011-07-06 at the Wayback Machine., Haskovo, 2007
  6. ^ a b c d e The Thracians 700 BC-AD 46 (Men-at-Arms) by Christopher Webber and Angus McBride, 2001, ISBN 1-84176-329-2, page 19
  7. ^ The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 6: The Fourth Century BC (Hardcover) by D. M. Lewis, ISBN 0-521-23348-8, 1994, page 463