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Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari

Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari

Discovered in 1982 near the village of Sveshtari, this 3rd-century BC Thracian tomb reflects the fundamental structural principles of Thracian cult buildings. The tomb has a unique architectural decor, with polychrome half-human, half-plant caryatids and painted murals. The 10 female figures carved in high relief on the walls of the central chamber and the decoration of the lunette in its vault are the only examples of this type found so far in the Thracian lands. It is a remarkable reminder of the culture of the Getes, a Thracian people who were in contact with the Hellenistic and Hyperborean worlds, according to ancient geographers.

Tombeau thrace de Svechtari

Découvert en 1982, près du village de Svechtari, ce tombeau thrace du IIIe siècle av. J.-C. illustre les principes fondamentaux de construction des bâtiments religieux thraces. Le tombeau présente un décor architectural unique avec ses cariatides polychromes mi-humaines mi-végétales et ses peintures murales. Les dix silhouettes féminines réalisées en haut-relief sur les murs de la chambre centrale et le dessin graphique de la lunette de sa voûte sont les seules décorations de ce type découvertes jusqu’ici sur le territoire thrace. C’est un témoignage remarquable sur la culture des Gètes, population thrace qui fut au contact des mondes hellénistique et hyperboréen, selon les termes de la géographie antique.

الضريح التراقي في سفيشتاري

اكتُشف هذا الضريح التراقي الذي يرقى إلى القرن الثالث قبل الميلاد في العام 1982 بالقرب من بلدة سفيشتاري، وهو يعكس المبادئ الأساسية لتشييد النصب الدينية التراقية. يتميّز هذا الضريح بتصميم هندسي فريد في نوعه يظهر من خلال مجموعة الأعمدة المتعددة الألوان التي تتخذ شكل امرأة في نصفها الأعلى وشكل نبتة في نصفها الأسفل وكذلك من خلال رسومه الجدارية. ولعلّ التماثيل النسائية العشرة المنحوتة بشكل ناتئ على جدران الغرفة الوسطى والرسم التخطيطي على فتحة القبة هي الزخرفات الوحيدة من هذا القبيل التي تم اكتشافها على الأراضي التراقية حتى يومنا هذا. ويعطي هذا الموقع شهادة واضحة على ثقافة الشعب الدجيتي، وهو شعب تراقي عايش العالمين الهليني والشمالي، بحسب تصنيفات علم الجغرافيا القديمة.

source: UNESCO/ERI

斯韦什塔里的色雷斯人墓

这个遗迹是1982年在保加利亚斯韦什塔里村附近发现的。这座公元前3世纪的色雷斯人古墓体现了色雷斯人宗教建筑的基本结构特点。古墓内有独特的建筑装饰、多彩的半人半植物女像柱和各种壁画。中央墓室墙上雕刻的10个女神雕像和拱顶的弦月窗式装饰是至今为止在色雷斯岛上发现的唯一一处。这个遗迹证明了盖塔人的文化,根据古代地理学,当时的色雷斯人与古希腊人和居住在北方的民族有着联系。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Фракийская гробница в Свештарах

Обнаруженная в 1982 г. около села Свештары эта фракийская гробница, датируемая III в. до н.э., отражает основные принципы построения фракийских культовых сооружений. Гробница имеет уникальное архитектурное оформление многоцветными кариатидами (в виде полулюдей – полудеревьев) и стенными росписями. 10 женских фигур, выполненных в высоком рельефе на стенах центральной камеры, и украшения люнетов ее свода являются единственными образчиками такого рода, обнаруженными к настоящему времени во фракийских землях. Гробница - значимое свидетельство культуры гетов и фракийцев, находившихся по представлению географов древности в контакте и с эллинистическим, и с северным (гиперборейским) мирами.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Tumba tracia de Svestari

Descubierta en 1982, cerca de la aldea de Svestari, esta tumba del siglo III a.C. es representativa de los principios esenciales aplicados por los tracios en la construcción de sus edificios religiosos. La ornamentación arquitectónica de la sepultura es única, con sus frescos y sus diez carií¡tides polí­cromas, mitad mujeres y mitad plantas. Estas diez figuras femeninas esculpidas en altorrelieve en la cí¡mara central, así­ como la decoración de la luneta de la bóveda, son los únicos ejemplos artí­sticos de este tipo encontrados hasta ahora en el antiguo territorio tracio. La tumba es un testimonio excepcional de la cultura de los getas, pueblo tracio que estuvo en contacto con el mundo helénico y el hiperbóreo, según los geógrafos de la Antigüedad.

source: UNESCO/ERI

スヴェシュタリのトラキア人の墳墓

source: NFUAJ

Thracische tombe van Sveshtari

De Thracische tombe van Sveshtari werd in 1982 ontdekt in de buurt van het dorp Sveshtari en dateert uit de 3e eeuw voor Christus. Het graf weerspiegelt de fundamentele principes van Thracische cultusgebouwen. Het decor van de tombe is uniek qua architectuur, met polychrome kariatiden en muurschilderingen. De tien vrouwenfiguren in hoog reliëf op de muren van de centrale kamer en de versiering van de lunet in het gewelf, zijn totnogtoe de enige voorbeelden van dit type uit de Thracische cultuur. Ze vormen een uitzonderlijke herinnering aan de cultuur van de Getes, een Thracisch volk dat in contact stond met zowel de Hellenisten als de Hyperboreeërs.

Source: unesco.nl

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Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari © Nenko Lazarov
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The Thracian Tomb near Sveshtari is an extremely rare and very well preserved monument of the sepulchral architecture containing remarkable elements in terms of their quality and style sculpture and painting. The Tomb is also remarkable for the fact that it represents local art, inspired by Hellenism, a rare case of an interrupted creative process which possesses specific characteristics.

Criterion (i): The Thracian Tomb near Sveshtari is a unique artistic achievement with its half human, half vegetable caryatids enclosed in a chiton in the shape of an upside down palmette. The fact the original polychromy has been preserved with its ochre, brown, blue, red and lilac shades adds to the bewitching charm of an expressive composition where the anthropomorphic supports conjure up the image of a choir of mourners frozen in the abstract positions of a ritual dance.

Criterion (iii): The tomb is exceptional testimony to the culture of the Getes, Thracian peoples living in the north of Hemus (contemporary Stara Planina), in contact with the Greek and Hyperborean worlds according to the ancient geographers. The Tomb is also remarkable for the fact that it represents local art inspired by Hellenism, a rare case of an interrupted creative process, which possesses specific characteristics. This monument is unique in its architectural décor and in the specific character of the funeral rites revealed by the excavation.

Integrity

The integrity of the site is consistent with its unchanged character, and the surrounding area. The monument is located within the archaeological reserve "Sborianovo", where more than 40 Thracian sepulchral mounds, various sanctuaries, ancient and medieval villages, buildings, a fortress, mausoleum and a minaret from the ottoman period, exist. The property encompasses within its boundaries all the components necessary to convey its Outstanding Universal Value.

Authenticity

The Property retains its authenticity, being preserved in its original location by a moisture-isolating protective shell when the external sepulchral mound was reinstated. The enclosing embankment also emerges as a unique element in the surrounding landscape. The general condition of the original stone figures and pictorial elements of the construction is good, and the spatial organization of the Tomb is retained unaltered. The conservation work has been completed with minimal and discrete interference. The Tomb is open for visitors whilst meeting technical conservation requirements.

Protection and management requirements

The management is implemented under:

- Cultural Heritage Law (Official Gazette No.19 of 2009) andsubdelegatedlegislation. This law regulates the research, studying, protection and promotion of the immovable cultural heritage in Bulgaria, and the development of Conservation and Management plans for its inscribed World Heritage List of immovable cultural properties.

- The Instructions of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Construction, Architecture, and Public Works on preservation of culture monuments and territory usage of the Historical-Archaeological Reserve "Sboryanovo" and its protection area (Letter No.RD-91-00 10/25.04.1990 of the Ministry of Culture);

- The Spatial Planning Act - (Official Gazette, No.1 of 2001 with amendments) and subdelegated legislation relates to spatial and urban planning, investment projects and buildings in Bulgaria. It also determines particular territorial and spatial protection, and the territories of cultural heritage.

Long Description

The discovery in 1982 of the Thracian tomb of Sveshtari was one of the most spectacular archaeological events of the 20th century. The tomb itself is a unique artistic achievement with its half-human, half-vegetable caryatids enclosed in chitons in the shape of inverted palmettes. The fact the original polychromy has been preserved with its ochre, brown, blue, red and lilac shades adds to the bewitching charm of an expressive composition where the anthropomorphic supports conjure up the image of a choir of mourners frozen in the abstract positions of a ritual dance. The tomb is an exceptional testimony to the culture of the Getae, a Thracian people living in the north of Hemus, in contact with the Greek and Hyperborean worlds according to ancient geographers.

The tomb is located in a region declared an archaeological reserve, near the town of Razgra between the villages of Malak Porovetz and Sveshtari in Isperih municipality, in the river Krapinetz canyon and on the hills around. The time when the Sveshtari tomb was built (mid-3rd century BC) coincided with the period of a great political, economic and cultural upsurge of the Thracian tribe of the Getae. The rich decoration and perfect architecture of the tomb demonstrate the political power of the ruler.

Under a tumulus 11.5 m high and roughly 70 m in diameter, geophysical prospecting revealed, to the south-east, the monumental entrance to a hypogeum of exceptional interest, including a dromos, an antechamber, and two rectangular funeral chambers. The layout of this Thracian king's tomb, which is very different from that of Thracian tombs with cupolas such as that of Kazanlak, fits a Hellenistic model to be found in Macedonia, Asia Minor and Egypt. The tomb of Sveshtari is, however, unique in its architectural decor and in the specific character of funeral rites revealed by the excavation.

The tomb consists of a corridor (dromos) and three square chambers: antechamber, lateral chamber, and main burial chamber covered by a semi-cylindrical vault. The plan of the building provides a new interesting example in Thracian building practice. The decoration of the tomb is executed in the spirit of the contemporary Hellenistic architecture. Its entrance is flanked by two rectangular columns (antae). Above them there is an architrave plate with a frieze in relief, consisting of stylized bovine heads (bucrania), rosettes and garlands. Ten beautiful female figures with hands raised high like caryatids are impressive. The figures are about 1.20 m tall, presented frontally, wearing long sleeveless dresses (chitons) tied with a thin belt below the breasts.

Two funerary beds, human bones and grave offerings were discovered in the central chamber. From the scattered stone details it was possible to reconstruct the facade of the tomb (aedicula), consisting of pilasters, cornice and a pediment, and closed with three stone doors. Being situated in front of the large funerary bed as a symbol of the boundary between life and death, the aedicula isolated the grave of the deified ruler (the most sacral part of the tomb) from the rest of the place. In the centre of the composition the goddess is offering a gold wreath to the ruler, depicted as a horseman facing her. On both sides of them there are processions of servants and armour-bearers carrying different gifts in their hands.

The layout of the central chamber which contained two stone funeral beds and an aedicula imitates the arrangement of a peristyle house: five half-columns and ten sculpted feminine caryatids in high relief on limestone flagstones support the architrave barrel-vaulted Doric frieze with its triglyphs and metopes spanning the room at mid-height.

In the north-west lunette, on the wall opposite the entrance, there is a painting depicting the deceased as hero, who, in the presence of several protagonists, is advancing on horseback towards the central figure of a deity extending a laurel wreath. Skeletal material found during excavation bears witness to the horse sacrifices that accompanied the funerary rites.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC