Могилата като сакрално място за траките (въз основа на проучванията в Югоизточна България)

The Mound as a sacred place for the Thracians (based on the studies in southeastern Bulgaria)


  • Daniela Agre National Archaeological Institute with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 2 Saborna Str, 1000 Sofia https://orcid.org/0009-0005-2762-6104


Mound reuse, ritual pits, non-funeral rituals, hero cult


The article examines various aspects related to the unconventional use of mounds in Thrace during the Late Iron Age. The first case examines a ritual that involves reusing mounds built in the Bronze Age to bury Thracian rulers or aristocrats during the Late Iron Age. The author interprets this ritual as a means of ensuring necessary continuity between generations, connecting the current ruler with the previous rulers of the land (possibly with the first ancestor king). By considering three other examples, the author focuses on potential reasons for constructing mounds without human burials, where specific “non-funeral” and “non-commemorative” rites are observed.
The proposed interpretation is that in such cases, the mound serves as a home for the hero, and the rituals conducted nearby aim to invoke the hero’s protection for his heirs and assist their offerings to the gods. The gods’ gifts are placed in pits with the purpose of beseeching for various goods, help, protection, etc., and to ensure their safe and speedy delivery to the gods.


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