Friday, September 24, 2010

The Tomb of Orpheus

"Akamas led the men of Thrace with the fighter Peiroös,
all the Thracians held within the hard stream of the Hellespont.
Euphemos was leader of the Kikonian spearmen,
son of Troizenos, Keas' son, the king whom the gods loved.
Pyraichmes in turn led the Paionians with their curved bows,
from Amydon far away and the broad stream of Axios,
Axios, whose stream on all earth is the loveliest water." -- Homer, poet, Iliad, Book II:844-850, 8th century B.C.

"Orpheus of the intricate music, son of Calliope." -- Terpander, poet, Fragment 15, 7th century B.C.

"The son of Oeagrus, Orpheus of the golden sword." -- Pindar, poet, Fragment 139, 5th century B.C.

"The very converse, thine, of Orpheus' tongue:
He roused and led in ecstasy of joy
All things that heard his voice melodious;" -- Aeschylus, playwright, Agamemnon, 458 B.C.

"And yet we sister Muses do special honour to thy city, thy land we chiefly haunt; yea, and Orpheus, own cousin of the dead whom thou hast slain, did for thee unfold those dark mysteries with their torch processions." -- Euripides, playwright, Rhesus, 450 B.C.

"Ah! If I had the tongue and song of Orpheus so that I might charm Demeter's Daughter or her Lord, and snatch you back from Hades, would go down to hell; and neither Pluto's dog nor Charon, Leader of the Dead, should hinder me until I had brought your life back to the light!" -- Euripides, playwright, Alcestis, 438 B.C.

"Give me no gold within my halls, nor skill to sing a fairer strain than ever Orpheus sang, unless there-with my fame be spread abroad!" -- Euripides, playwright, Medea, 431 B.C.

"... take Orpheus for thy chief and go a-revelling, with all honour for the vapourings of many a written scroll ...." -- Euripides, playwright, Hippolytus, 428 B.C.

"... or haply in the thick forest depths of Olympus, where erst Orpheus with his lute gathered trees to his minstrelsy, and beasts that range the fields. Ah blest Pieria [Dion]! Evius [Dionysus] honours thee, to thee will he come with his Bacchic rites to lead the dance, and thither will he lead the circling Maenads, crossing the swift current of Axius and the Lydias, that giveth wealth and happiness to man, yea, and the father of rivers, which, as I have heard, enriches with his waters fair a land of steeds." -- Euripides, playwright, The Bacchae, 410 B.C.

"Well, but I know a spell of Orpheus, a most excellent one, to make the brand enter his skull of its own accord, and set alight the one-eyed son of Earth." -- Euripides, playwright, The Cyclops, 408 B.C.

"And from these first rings, which are the poets, depend others, some deriving their inspiration from Orpheus, others from Musaeus; but the greater number are possessed and held by Homer." -- Plato, philosopher, Ion, 380 B.C.

"... some, of hierophants and prophets, as Orpheus and Musaeus...." -- Plato, philosopher, Protagoras, 380 B.C.

"But Orpheus, the son of Oeagrus, the harper, they sent empty away, and presented to him an apparition only of her whom he sought, but herself they would not give up, because he showed no spirit; he was only a harp-player, and did not-dare like Alcestis to die for love, but was contriving how he might enter hades alive; moreover, they afterwards caused him to suffer death at the hands of women, as the punishment of his cowardliness." -- Plato, philosopher, Symposium, ~370-360 B.C.

"Why, yes, my friend; and if things had always continued as they are at present ordered, how could any discovery have ever been made even in the least particular? For it is evident that the arts were unknown during ten thousand times ten thousand years. And no more than a thousand or two thousand years have elapsed since the discoveries of Daedalus, Orpheus and Palamedes-since Marsyas and Olympus invented music, and Amphion the lyre-not to speak of numberless other inventions which are but of yesterday." -- Plato, philosopher, Laws, Book III, 360 B.C.

"For some say that the body is the grave (sema) of the soul which may be thought to be buried in our present life; or again the index of the soul, because the soul gives indications to (semainei) the body; probably the Orphic poets were the inventors of the name, and they were under the impression that the soul is suffering the punishment of sin, and that the body is an enclosure or prison in which the soul is incarcerated, kept safe (soma, sozetai), as the name ooma implies, until the penalty is paid; according to this view, not even a letter of the word need be changed." -- Plato, philosopher, Cratylus, 360 B.C.

"What would not a man give if he might converse with Orpheus and Musaeus and Hesiod and Homer? Nay, if this be true, let me die again and again." -- Plato, philosopher, Apology, 360 B.C.

"A tragedy, then, to be perfect according to the rules of art should be of this construction. Hence they are in error who censure Euripides just because he follows this principle in his plays, many of which end unhappily. It is, as we have said, the right ending. The best proof is that on the stage and in dramatic competition, such plays, if well worked out, are the most tragic in effect; and Euripides, faulty though he may be in the general management of his subject, yet is felt to be the most tragic of the poets." -- Aristotle, Poetics, Book II, Chapter XIII, 350 B.C.

"...the earth Demetra, which as antiently called Gen Metera, or the mother earth, as Orpheus attests...." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.

"For they say that Orpheus, after he came into Egypt, was initiated into the sacred mysteries of Bacchus or Dionysius, and being a special friend to the Thebans in Boeotia, and of great esteem among them, to manifest his gratitude, transferred the birth of Bacchus or Osiris over into Greece." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.

"In after-times, Orpheus, by reason of his excellent art and skill in music, and his knowledge in theology, and institution of sacred rites and sacrifices to the gods, was greatly esteemed among the Grecians, and especially was received and entertained by the Thebans, and by them highly honoured above all others; who being excellently learned in the Egyptian theology, brought down the birth of the ancient Osiris, to a far later time ...." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.

"For many of the ancient customs of the Egyptians that are most to be admired were not only allowed by the natural inhabitants, but were greatly admired by the Grecians, so that every learned man earnestly coveted to travel into Egypt to learn the knowledge of their laws and customs, as things of great weight and moment: and though the country antiently forbade all reception of strangers, (for the reasons before alleged), yet some of the antients, as Orpheus and Homer, and many of later times, as Pythagoras the Samian, and Solon the lawgiver, ventured to travel hither. And therefore the Egyptians affirm that letters, astronomy, geometry, and many other arts were first found out by them...." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.

"Having now given an account of these things, it remains we should declare how many wise and learned men among the Grecians journeyed into Egypt in ancient times, to understand the laws and sciences of the country. For the Egyptian priests, out of their sacred records relate, that Orpheus, Musaeus, Melampodes, Daedalus, Homer the poet, Lycurgus the Spartan, Solon the Athenian, Plato the philosopher, Pythagoras the Samian, Eudoxus the mathematician, Democritus the Abderite, and Oenopides the Chian, all came to them in Egypt, and they show certain marks and signs of all these being there. Of some, by their pictures; and of others, by the names of places, or pieces of work that have been called after their names." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.

"For it is certain that by Ceres the antient poets and other fabulous authors meant the mother earth: and agreeable hereunto are those things that are delivered in the verses of Orpheus, and which are exhibited in the celebration of the sacred mysteries, which it is not lawful for any ordinary person particularly to speak of." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.

"Oeagrus the son of Tharops, succeded his father in the kingdom, being instructed by him in the same mysterious rites and ceremonies. Oeagrus afterwards taught them Orpheus his son, who being eminent for his learning and ingenuity, changed many things in the Orgia. Hence those rites and mysteries first instituted by Bacchus were afterwrds called Orphea." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.

"He [Dionysius] says that Linus was the first that invented rhimes and music in Greece: and that Cadmus brought letters out of Phoenicia, and was the first who taught the Grecians how to pronounce them, and gave them their several names, and formed their distinct characters: hence these letters are generally called Phoenician letters, because they were brought over out of Phoenicia into Greece: but they were afterwards called Pelasgian characters, because the Pelasgians were the first that understood them after they were brought over. He says that this Linus, being an excellent poet and musician, had many scholars, amongst whom there were three that were the most famous, Hercules, Themyris, and Orpheus. Hercules learnt to play upon the harp, but was very dull and unapt to learn, insomuch, that he was sometimes boxed and beaten, at which he was at length so enraged, that he killed his master by a blow with his harp." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.

"Of Orpheus, the last of his [Linus's] scholars, we shall speak more particularly when we come to what concerns him. This Linus (they say) wrote in Pelasgians letters, the acts of the first Bacchus, and left other stories in his writings behind him. Orpheus, likewise, it is said, used the same characters, and Pronapides, Homer's master, an ingenious musician." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.

"And because we have now occasion to mention Orpheus, we conceive it will not be amiss here to give a short account of him. He was the son of Oeagrus, and by birth a Thracian, for in the art of music and poetry far excelling all that were ever recorded. ... and being naturally studious, he attained to an extraordinary degree of knowledge in the antient theology. He improved himself, likewise, very much by travelling into Egypt, so that he was accounted to excel the most accomplished person among all the Grecians for his knowledge both in divinity and sacred mysteries, in music, and in poetry." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.

"Some affirm, and amongst those Euphorus, that the Idaei Dactyli had their origin from mount Ida in Phrygia, and passed over with Minos into Europe; and that they were conjurors, and gave themselves to enchantments, and sacred rites and mysteries; and abiding in Samothracia, greatly amused and astonished people of the island: at which time it is said, Orpheus (who was naturally of a prompt wit to music and poetry) was their scholar, and the first that brought over the rites and ceremonies of their mysteries into Greece." -- Diodorus Siculus, historian, The Library of History, 1st century B.C.

"Hercules was taught to drive a chariot by Amphitryon, to wrestle by Autolycus, to shoot with the bow by Eurytus, to fence by Castor, and to play the lyre by Linus. This Linus was a brother of Orpheus; he came to Thebes and became a Theban, but was killed by Hercules with a blow of the lyre; for being struck by him, Hercules flew into a rage and slew him. When he was tried for murder, Hercules quoted a law of Rhadamanthys, who laid it down that whoever defends himself against a wrongful aggressor shall go free, and so he was acquitted." -- Pseudo-Apollodorus, historian, Library, 1st century B.C.

"Now Calliope bore to Oeagrus or, nominally, to Apollo, a son Linus, whom Hercules slew; and another son, Orpheus, who practised minstrelsy and by his songs moved stones and trees. And when his wife Eurydice died, bitten by a snake, he went down to Hades, being fain to bring her up, and he persuaded Pluto to send her up. The god promised to do so, if on the way Orpheus would not turn round until he should be come to his own house. But he disobeyed and turning round beheld his wife; so she turned back. Orpheus also invented the mysteries of Dionysus, and having been torn in pieces by the Maenads he is buried in Pieria [Dion]." -- Pseudo-Apollodorus, historian, Library, 1st century B.C.

"Orpheus, son of Oeagrus and the Muse Calliope, Thracian, from the city which is on Mount Olympus near the river Enipeus, prophet, player on the lyre." -- Gaius J. Hyginus, author, Fables, 1st century B.C.-1st century

"The Lyre was put among the constellations for the following reason, as Eratosthenes says. Made at first by Mercury from a tortoise shell, it was given to Orpheus, son of Calliope and Oeagrus, who was passionately devoted to music. It is thought that by his skill he could charm even wild beasts to listen. When, grieving for his wife Eurydice, he descended to the Lower World, he praised the children of the gods in his song, all except Father Liber; him he overlooked and forgot, as Oeneus did Diana in sacrifice. Afterwards, then, when Orpheus was taking delight in song, seated, as many say, on Mt. Olympus, which separates Macedonia from Thrace, or on Pangaeum, as Eratosthenes says, Liber is said to have roused the Bacchanals against him. They slew him and dismembered his body. But others say that this happened because he had looked on the rites of Liber. The Muses gathered the scattered limbs and gave them burial, and as the greatest favour they could confer, they put as a memorial his lyre, pictured with stars, among the constellations. Apollo and Jove consented, for Orpheus had praised Apollo highly, and Jupiter granted this favour to his daughter. Others say that when Mercury first made the lyre on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia, he made it with seven strings to correspond to the number of Atlantides, since Maia, his mother, was of their company. Later, when he had driven away the cattle of Apollo and had been caught in the act, to win pardon more easily, at Apollo’s request he gave him permission to claim the invention of the lyre, and received from him a certain staff as reward. When Mercury, holding it in his hand, was journeying to Arcadia and saw two snakes with bodies intertwined, apparently fighting, he put down the staff between them. They separated then, and so he said that the staff had been appointed to bring peace. Some, in making caducei, put two snakes intertwined on the rod, because this seemed to Mercury a bringer of peace. Following his example, they use the staff in athletic contests and other contests of this kind. But to return to the subject at hand. Apollo took the lyre, and is said to have taught Orpheus on it, and after he himself had invented the cithara, he gave the lyre to Orpheus." -- Gaius J. Hyginus, author, Astronomica, 1st century B.C.-1st century

"The city Dium, in the foot-hills of Olympus, is not on the shore of the Thermaean Gulf, but is at a distance of as much as seven stadia from it. And the city Dium has a village near by, Pimpleia, where Orpheus lived." -- Strabo, geographer, Geography, Book VII, Fragment 17, 7

"At the base of Olympus is a city Dium. And it has a village near by, Pimpleia. Here lived Orpheus, the Ciconian, it is said — a wizard who at first collected money from his music, together with his soothsaying and his celebration of the orgies connected with the mystic initiatory rites, but soon afterwards thought himself worthy of still greater things and procured for himself a throng of followers and power. Some, of course, received him willingly, but others, since they suspected a plot and violence, combined against him and killed him. And near here, also, is Leibethra." -- Strabo, geographer, Geography, Book VII, Fragment 18, 7

"In the early times the soothsayers also practised music." -- -- Strabo, geographer, Geography, Book VII, Fragment 19, 7

"Orpheus had power to bend the ruthless lords of the shades by song and suppliant prayer, when he sought back his Eurydice. The art which had drawn the trees and birds and rocks, which had stayed the course of rivers, at whose sound the beasts had stopped to listen, soothes the underworld with unaccustomed strains, and rings out clearer in those unhearing realms." -- Lucius A. Seneca, philosopher statesman, The Madness of Hercules, 1st century

"Among other prodigies that attended the departure of his army, the image of Orpheus at Libethra, made of cypress-wood, was seen to sweat in great abundance, to the discouragement of many. But Aristander told him [Alexander] that, far from presaging any ill to him, it signified he should perform acts so important and glorious as would make the poets and musicians of future ages labour and sweat to describe and celebrate them." -- Plutarch, historian, Alexander, 75

"Now, Linus was the teacher of Hercules, but Hercules preceded the Trojan war by one generation; and this is manifest from his son Tlepolemus, who served in the army against Troy. And Orpheus lived at the same time as Hercules ...." -- Tatian, theologian, Address to the Greeks, Chapter XLI, 2nd century

"Between Taletum and Euoras is a place they name Therae, where they say Leto from the Peaks of Taygetus ... is a sanctuary of Demeter surnamed Eleusinian. Here according to the Lacedaemonian story Heracles was hidden by Asclepius while he was being healed of a wound. In the sanctuary is a wooden image of Orpheus, a work, they say, of Pelasgians." -- Pausanias, geographer, Description of Greece, Book III: Laconia, 2nd century

"The roughly quarried stones, laid along the tomb of Amphion at its base, are said to be the very rocks that followed the singing of Amphion. A similar story is told of Orpheus, how wild creatures followed him as he played the harp." -- Pausanias, geographer, Description of Greece, Book IX: Boeotia, 2nd century

"Later than Olen, both Pamphos and Orpheus wrote hexameter verse, and composed poems on Love, in order that they might be among those sung by the Lycomidae to accompany the ritual. I read them after conversation with a Torchbearer. Of these things I will make no further mention." -- Pausanias, geographer, Description of Greece, Book IX: Boeotia, 2nd century

"Other tales are told by the Thebans, how that later than this Linus there was born another, called the son of Ismenius, a teacher of music, and how Heracles, while still a child, killed him." -- Pausanias, geographer, Description of Greece, Book IX: Boeotia, 2nd century

"By the side of Orpheus the Thracian stands a statue of Telete, and around him are beasts of stone and bronze listening to his singing. There are many untruths believed by the Greeks, one of which is that Orpheus was a son of the Muse Calliope, and not of the daughter of Pierus, that the beasts followed him fascinated by his songs, and that he went down alive to Hades to ask for his wife from the gods below. In my opinion Orpheus excelled his predecessors in the beauty of his verse, and reached a high degree of power because he was believed to have discovered mysteries, purification from sins, cures of diseases and means of averting divine wrath." -- Pausanias, geographer, Description of Greece, Book IX: Boeotia, 2nd century

"Some say that Orpheus came to his end by being struck by a thunderbolt, hurled at him by the god because he revealed sayings in the mysteries to men who had not heard them before." -- Pausanias, geographer, Description of Greece, Book IX: Boeotia, 2nd century

"The Macedonians who dwell in the district below Mount Pieria and the city of Dium say that it was here that Orpheus met his end at the hands of the women. Going from Dium along the road to the mountain, and advancing twenty stades, you come to a pillar on the right surmounted by a stone urn, which according to the natives contains the bones of Orpheus." -- Pausanias, geographer, Description of Greece, Book IX: Boeotia, 2nd century

"There is also a river called Helicon. After a course of seventy-five stades the stream hereupon disappears under the earth. After a gap of about twenty-two stades the water rises again, and under the name of Baphyra instead of Helicon flows into the sea as a navigable river. The people of Dium say that at first this river flowed on land throughout its course. But, they go on to say, the women who killed Orpheus wished to wash off in it the blood-stains, and thereat the river sank underground, so as not to lend its waters to cleanse manslaughter." -- Pausanias, geographer, Description of Greece, Book IX: Boeotia, 2nd century

"In Larisa I heard another story, how that on Olympus is a city Libethra, where the mountain faces, Macedonia, not far from which city is the tomb of Orpheus. The Libethrians, it is said, received out of Thrace an oracle from Dionysus, stating that when the sun should see the bones of Orpheus, then the city of Libethra would be destroyed by a boar. The citizens paid little regard to the oracle, thinking that no other beast was big or mighty enough to take their city, while a boar was bold rather than powerful. But when it seemed good to the god the following events befell the citizens. About midday a shepherd was asleep leaning against the grave of Orpheus, and even as he slept he began to sing poetry of Orpheus in a loud and sweet voice. Those who were pasturing or tilling nearest to him left their several tasks and gathered together to hear the shepherd sing in his sleep. And jostling one another and striving who could get nearest the shepherd they overturned the pillar, the urn fell from it and broke, and the sun saw whatever was left of the bones of Orpheus. Immediately when night came the god sent heavy rain, and the river Sys (Boar), one of the torrents about Olympus, on this occasion threw down the walls of Libethra, overturning sanctuaries of gods and houses of men, and drowning the inhabitants and all the animals in the city. When Libethra was now a city of ruin, the Macedonians in Dium, according to my friend of Larisa, carried the bones of Orpheus to their own country." -- Pausanias, geographer, Description of Greece, Book IX: Boeotia, 2nd century

"But those who attribute its [philosophy's] origin to them [barbarians], introduce Orpheus the Thracian, and say that he was a philosopher, and the most ancient one of all." -- Diogenes Laertius, historian, Lives and Opinions of the Eminent Philosophers, Introduction, 3rd century

"... tradition relates that he [Orpheus] was murdered by women; but there is an inscription at Dium [Dion] in Macedonia, saying that he was killed by lightning...." -- Diogenes Laertius, historian, Lives and Opinions of the Eminent Philosophers, Introduction, 3rd century

"Orpheus requires no tomb." -- Rainer M. Rilke, poet, Sonnets to Orpheus, 1922

"Thus the more ancient philosophers, such as Orpheus, who were closer to the true philosophy, held that gravity was a direct result of the exercise of divine power." -- J.E. McGuire and P.M. Rattansi, historians, Newton and the 'Pipes of Pan', Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, Volume 21, Number 2, Pages 108-143, Dec 1966

Orpheus' Grave Discovered in Bulgaria, Sophia News Agency, Jul 2005
Bulgarian archaeologists say that they have discovered Orpheus' grave near the village of Tatul.

The archaeologists unearthed the entry to the Thracian temple in the Tatul sanctuary. The temple preserved the remains of a ruler that has been deified after his death.

For a second year now the team of Professor Nikolay Ovcharov continues its work at the Tatul sanctuary. It is believed to be a unique temple of mythical royal descendant and artist Orpheus.

Continuing excavation works come to confirm preliminary suggestions by archaeologists that the sanctuary at Tatul has effloresced for more than two thousand years in ancient times. It is probably the largest temple after the sanctuary of Dionisos in Perperikon, also located in the Rhodopes Mountain.
Orpheus' Tomb Discovered?, News Bulgaria, Jun 2007
Orpheus sanctuary in Rhodope mountains is with thousand years older than the Egyptian pyramids.

The sensational discovery was made by an archaeological expedition which investigated the temple of the Thracians near the village of Tatul, informed BNT.

The scientists found 6000-year old buildings with preserved tools made of semi-precious stones, crockery, animal remains. According to the archaeologists now it can be claimed that this is the Tomb of Orpheus, which has been visited of thousands of pilgrims from around the antique world.

The sanctuary is one of the oldest in the world and can be compared only with cult complexes as Stonehеnge.

The Egyptian pyramids were built 4500 years ago. 1500 years earlier in the Rhodope mountains the Thracians construct their rock sanctuaries. This was proven by the archaeologists who for third successive year examine the Orpheus Tomb.

The life of Tatul has continued for 5 thousand years. The soldiers of Alexander the Great have built here magnificent antique temple of Orpheus. Four centuries later the Thracian Odrysian tribe, helped by the Roman legions, conquer and burn the sanctuary. The Romans restore it later.

Now a joint project of Bulgaria and Greece will allow for the temple to be restored and after several months it will be shown in its all its splendour.
The problem here, as I see it, is that Orpheus sailed with Hercules and Hercules lived only one generation before the Trojan War.

However, there are other tombs at the Perperikon and more likely one of them is the actual tomb of Orpheus.

Trojan Arrows and Unique Seals from Perperikon Stand Out in Archaeological Summer '08, News Bulgaria, Dec 2008
For an eighth year now, a team of archeologists led by Prof. Nikolay Ovcharov, has been exploring the grounds of the holy city of Perperikon(also Perpericon) in the eastern Rhodope Mountains.

The place acted as a cult site as early as the end of 5 and the early 4 millennium BC. Researchers have come across finds from the second millennium BC and there is evidence the city prospered during Thracian times in Antiquity. An Episcopal center was set up here in the Middle Ages.

At a press conference in Sofia Nikolay Ovcharov showed unique finds originating from different periods in the history of Perperikon. The oldest one is dated to the Trojan War, the archeologist contends.

"It is a sword with a broken handle from 12-13 c. BC. It is made of high-quality bronze. I have dated it to the Trojan War because that war was waged using precisely such swords. The fact that the sword is broken implies two things. One, that it got broken in combat. Two, that it was broken on purpose during a cult ritual. People used to lay dear objects in shrines, and swords were indeed perceived as extremely valuable. This has been the third such sword found in the Bulgarian lands, meaning it is quite a rare and inspiring find."

Nikolay Ovcharov argues that during his expeditions he is not after gold. According to him a tiny ceramic figure from 10 c. BC similar to a human body, can have a greater scientific value than an intact gold treasure. Well, the rough make of the small idol will hardly intrigue art connoisseurs.

"The idol is pierced all over - it obviously stands for some sort of illness", he adds. "Could be measles, could be plague. In any case it was a lethal disease. We know that in voodoo religion a small figure would be desecrated in a bid to transfer on it human illness or suffering. It is obvious that the small idol was used in magic in an effort to banish disease away from the body and into the object."

Apart from the ceramic item, there is also a small silver jewel found recently in Perperikon. It is a cloak fibula and has two parts.

"When the two parts of the fibula fit together the jewel displays a human face with a halo. The halo is a Christian symbol. At first glance the illustration is unsophisticated, Barbarous in style. But in fact it depicts Christ. Our research suggests that this object is part of a Constantinople fashion trend in 5 c. AD. Back then, Constantinople, the capital of Byzantium, had attracted many Barbarians. The Greek used that word to denote various Germanic tribes, mostly Goths, and Asia Minor tribes. Byzantium of that time saw quite prolific writings that condemned the Barbarian fashion trends, especially the ones brought over by the Goths. There was a period when even noblemen copied the Goths - in hairstyles, clothing and adornments. So in this particular case we have a silver jewel that was owned by a Byzantine aristocrat. Well, he could have been one of Perperikon's military leaders," archeologist Prof. Nikolay Ovcharov said in conclusion.
Top Bulgarian Archaeologist Stumbles Upon 2 Ancient Thrace Tombs, Sofia News Agency, Sep 2010
Bulgarian archaeologist Nikolay Ovcharov has discovered two tombs of Ancient Thracian rulers near the famous rock city and sanctuary of Perperikon.

The tombs are dated to 1100-1000 BC judging by the pottery and ceramics found in them, which are characteristic of the later Bronze Age and the early Iron Age.

One of the most interesting finds in the tombs is a bronze coin with the face of Emperor Alexander the Great, dated to the 4th century BC. Prof. Ovcharov believes this is a clear evidence that the tomb was venerated as a shrine by the Thracians in the Antiquity for a long time after its original creation.

The archaeological team stumbled across the two tombs as they were working on diverting a tourist path away from a spot of excavations at Perperikon, the holy city of the Thracians.

The tombs are situation in an east-west direction, with the buried notable facing the rising sun, a clear sign of a sun cult.

The excavations have revealed ritual hearths and others signs of sacrifices that were connected with the traditions of venerating the dead as godly creatures.

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