The Kazanlak tomb was discovered accidentally on April 19, 1944 by soldiers while digging an anti-aircraft shelter. It is built at the level of the surrounding terrain and is oriented in a north-south direction with an entrance from the south. It consists of a corridor, a rectangular tomb and a round burial chamber.
The corridor is made of untreated stones and measures 1.84 x 2.60 m. From the facade in the southern direction its walls are gradually lowering and were closed with a partition wall 0.7 m high. Both chambers are made of bricks welded with mortar, and their walls and floors are covered with three-layered plaster, on which wall-paintings in tempera and fresco techniques are applied.
The burial chamber has a rectangular shape and measures 1.12 x 1.96 m and a height of 2.25 m. The mural ends with a figural frieze with military scenes. The center of each scene is highlighted by a pair of warriors, joined on both sides by armed infantry and cavalry. The scenes are associated with events in the life of the deceased or with commemorative games in his memory.
Through a rectangular entrance formed by 4 stone blocks passes into the dome chamber. There was once a single-leaf metal door on the inside. The domed room has a diameter of 2.65 m and a height of 3.25 m. It has a beehive-bell-shaped shape, closed at the top with a keystone. The lower half of the walls is occupied by alternating fields of black, white and red. On the architrave are presented alternating twelve four-leaf rosettes and twelve bukranii / bull heads / decorated with garlands. Above is a lesbian nod, above which the main frieze with the scene of heroization unfolds.
Three figures occupy a central place - the noble Thracian crowned with a golden wreath sitting on a low wedge, his wife with a tiara on her head covered with a veil, sitting on a high chair and a large straight woman in peplos approaching them with a tray in her hands. The plot is interpreted as a funeral feast. A procession is marching on both sides of this group. Behind the woman in the peplos is a young man carrying a cup and jug in his hands. He is followed by two musicians in long chitons. Two warriors lead the saddled horses. To the left of the aristocrat is a woman in a long chiton, carrying in one hand a box with a gabled cover, and in the other - a rectangular chest. Behind her walks a second with a light blue cloak in her hands. They are followed by a young man leading four horses in a cart. Above the frieze are Ionian cornice, jagged ornament, cord and red ribbon with eleven lion heads. On the top part of the dome there is a race with chariots pulled by two horses /bigi/. The keystone was decorated with an eight-leaf rosette.
The burial in the tomb was robbed in ancient times. In the round room were found a transport amphora, fragments of local and imported pottery, elements of a clay wreath with gilding, gold round appliques and gold threads probably from clothing decoration, bone objects, parts of weapons and bridle, pieces of wood and iron nails, probably from a burial bed, as well as bones from two individuals. A clay oinohoe and bones from a buried horse were found in the burial chamber.
On both sides of the tomb at a height of 1.2 m in the embankment were found two hearths with traces of sacrifices - many animal bones and ceramic fragments. Two clay ascos, a silver jug and fragments of local and imported vessels were placed in the eastern hearth. At the same level, but on both sides of the round chamber, two pithos were found.
The plan, construction, style and technique of the frescoes, as well as the found objects enable the Kazanlak tomb to be dated to the first half of the 3rd century BC.
The common concept between architecture and frescoes, the unique style and mastery of the artist make the tomb near Kazanlak one of the masterpieces of Thracian art and ancient cultural heritage. In 1979 it was declared a monument of world importance and protected under the auspices of UNESCO.
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