Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Bulgaria: Archaeologists Finally Put Date on Ancient Starosel Tomb   
16 March 2010 | A team of archaeologists from the Bulgarian National History Museum, with the help of a German lab, has finally managed to estimate the time of the construction of the largest underground temple on the Balkan Peninsula, the Thracian Starosel tomb to the fourth century BC.

In the summer of 2009, the archaeological team, led by Dr. Ivan Hristov, took samples from a stake in the middle of the tomb where gifts to the Greek goddess of the hearth Hestia were laid, reported recently.

The sample underwent radio carbon dating analysis in Dr. Bernd Krommer’s laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, which showed that the stake was burned in the period after 358 BC, when the temple was constructed, and the earth was heaped on top of it to form a burial mound.

Based on the analysis of the lab results and events of the time, Dr. Hristov concluded that the temple in the village of Starosel, in the so-called Chetinyova Mound, and the nearby Thracian ruler’s residence under Mount Kozi Gramadi were built during the reign of the Thracian King Amatokos II (359-351 BC) of the Thracian Odrysian state (fifth to third century BC).

Another testament to this theory are the images of a labrys - a symmetrical double-headed axe, which were discovered on several items, including Thracian coins, around Starosel. The family coat of arms of King Amatokos was a labrys.

Before the analyses of the lab in Germany and of Dr. Hristov, researchers of Ancient Thrace believed that the Starosel tomb and underground temple complex were built by King Sitalces (445-424 BC), the third ruler of the Odrysian State.

The Thracian objects in the region of Starosel, it was discovered, were also in operation during the reign of King Teres II (351-341 BC).

Archaeologists believe that the region was the power center of Ancient Thrace in the fourth century BC, before it was destroyed during the rise of the Macedonian state of Philip II in 342-341 BC.

As reported in 2008, the Starosel site was discovered and researched by prominent Bulgarian archaeologist Georgi Kitov, who died of a heart attack while excavating the site in September of that year.

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