2,500-Year-Old Ancient Thracian Wooden Sarcophagus Displayed in History Museum in Bulgaria’s Belitsa
A wooden sarcophagus of an Ancient Thracian aristocrat which is 2,500 years old, and is one of its kind, is on display in the Belitsa Museum of History, in the town of Belitsa, Blagoevgrad District, in Southwest Bulgaria.
The Ancient Thracian wooden sarcophagus is known as the “Horseman’s Sarcophagus”, and is one of the most interesting archaeological items on display in the Belitsa Museum of History, reports the Bulgarian state news agency BTA.
Its popular name stems from the fact that the Thracian aristocrat was buried in it together with his horse so that the horse could serve him in the afterlife; respectively, the archaeologists who discovered the wooden sarcophagus found inside it both human and horse bones.
“The Horseman’s Sacrophagus is the only one of its kind in the Balkans. As far as I know, another similar wooden sarcophagus was found in Bulgaria long ago but it was in a very bad condition, and could not be preserved or restored,” says museum curator Isidor Bankov.
The wooden sarcophagus in question was discovered in an Ancient Thracian grave in an area called Belishka Chuka, which is situated 3 km away from the town of Belitsa in Southwest Bulgaria.
The Belitsa Museum of History also features archaeological finds from a Neolithic settlement located in an area called Raven, the Thracian shrine in the town of Babyak (Babyashka Chuka), and several other archaeological sites in Belitsa Municipality.
The Belitsa Museum of History, which also features a large ethnographic collection, was first started in 1968, and was moved to a new building in 1995.
Belitsa Municipality is otherwise famous as the location of a special zoo-like park rescuing brown bears seized from Roma clans – the so called “dancing bears” which were brutally exploited by their captors – the keeping of bears was outlawed in Bulgaria about 15 years ago.