Starosel Thracian Tomb

The area of Starosel in Hisarya Municipality, Plovdiv District in the Sredna Gora Mountain, was the second most important center of the Thracian political and religious life after the Kazanlak Valley. There are six temples built in the Starosel tumuli where several royal graves were discovered. The tomb in Nekova tumuli has an inter chamber and a chamber of unknown amphitehatrical cover. The temple in Roshava tomb features a rare trapezium-shaped cover and an antechamber, propped up by two columns. The temple in Horizont tomb is the only one that has a colonnade of 6 facade and 2 side-way stairs. The temple in Manyov dol is beehive and its rectangular room has an unique semi-cylindrical cover of interchanging vertical and arched grounds. It is reduced replica of the most magnificent temple in the religious center of the Chetinyova tomb. The tomb hill was surrounded by an impressive sacred fortifying wall called crepida which thanks to its round shape can be assumed to have symbolized the sun. At the southeast of the fortifying wall there is an intervening space, from which a front stairway with nine steps begins and take us to the ritual landing, where dances and rituals were performed. A corridor which is 10 meters long and 5 meters high leads to an elegant facade made from subtly leveled blocks of volcanic tuff. The first room of the temple is rectangular with the tunnel vault. There is a frieze of metopes and triglyphs decorated in light blue, dark blue and red. Ten semi-columns have colorful decoration on the capitals.

It is assumed that the temple was built in the second half of the 4th century BC by the Thracian king Sitalces, the third ruler of the Odrysian state /445-424 BC/, who was possibly buried here in 424 BC. 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 /5th-3rd century BC/. It was destroyed during the rise of the Macedonian state of Philip II in 342-341 BC. Starting in early June 2011, the expedition led by Dr. Ivan Hristov excavated the fortified residence of the Thracian kings southeast of the Kozi Gramadi mount. The last Thracian states were conquered by Romans in 46 AD. The most famous Thracian in human history is Spartacus, the man who led a rebellion of gladiators against Rome in 73-71 BC.