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Thracian Tomb with Wall Paintings beside Alexandrovo village

Date of Submission: 14/09/2004
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iii)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
National Institute for Cultural Monuments 16, Knyaz Dondukov Blvd - Sofia
Coordinates: 41°58'48,3" N / 25°44'23,6" E
Ref.: 1949

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The tomb beside Alexandrovo village, discovered in December 2000, is a unique example of the domed Thracian tombs. Its construction was preliminarily dated from middle IV century B.C. and the wall painting decoration - from the second half of IV century B.C. (G. Kitov, 2001). It is situated under a mound of 60 m diameter and around 15 m high. It has East-West orientation, the entrance is from the East side and is composed of a dromos of above 9 m length, a rectangular antechamber with width of 1,85 m, length of 1,20 m, and a round camera with diameter of 3,30 m and 3,30 m height. The type of construction is stone one with a dry joint (dry walling). Particular decision represents the long dromos, covered with stone plates, and the low entrances to the antechamber and the chamber. The vault arch of the antechamber and the dome of the round chamber are of “artificial vault” type with console protruding stone quadrates. All the premises were entirely decorated with wall paintings. From the wall-paintings in the antechamber separate fragments remained, but the decoration of the round chamber is very well preserved. The decoration scheme is elaborated in horizontal zones of alternating monochrome sections, ornamental friezes and figural compositions, thus the system of decoration shows elements of the so called structural style. On the precise hewed stone construction a double layered lime plaster is impasted and smoothed up. The monochrome zones are performed in “stucco lustro” technique and their plaster surface is precisely polished. The painting technique can be determined as “fresco”. The differences in the line and proportions between the painted figures in the antechamber and in the dromos are most probably due to the participation in the painting process of at least two masters. The decoration of the round chamber is the richest one. From below upwards it consist of a figural frieze, a monochrome girdle, a high plinth in a Pompeian red, a drip with three elements – a cima lesbos, a meander and a cordon, second figural frieze with four groups of hunt-scenes, a belt of cima lesbos, above which the dome is painted in ochre. The plate in the zenith is divided in four colored sections. The low-situated figural frieze is considerably damaged. Of great interest is the very well preserved upper figural frieze. The painting represents four realistic and dynamically decided scenes of boar and deer hunting, which give rich information about the Thracians’ way of life, of their physical appearance, arms, horse-trappings etc.