Thracian Tomb Mezek – Mezek, Bulgaria

The Mezek Thracian Tomb is located near the Mezek (Neoutzikon) Fortress in the town of Mezek, Bulgaria. It dates to the 4th century BC. It consists of a round burial chamber shaped as a beehive and containing a stone sarcophagus, two rectangular antechambers, and a covered 20-meter passage. With a combined length of 32 meters, it is said to be the longest tomb on the Balkan Peninsula. The archaeologists have found traces of six burials of Ancient Thracian aristocrats in the Mezek Tomb whose inventory included gold, silver, bronze, iron, glass, and pottery artifacts that are now part of the collection of the National Institute and Museum of Archaeology in Sofia. Another smaller Thracian tomb badly damaged by treasure hunters is located under Mount Sheynovets, the so called Sheynovets Tomb. The Mezek Tomb was first discovered in 1908 when a local man found a life-size sculpture of a wild board weighing 177 kg. Today the find is kept at the Archaeology Museum in Istanbul, Turkey, since in 1908 the region of Mezek was still part of the Ottoman Empire. A replica of the Ancient Thracian boar sculpture is exhibited at the Haskovo Regional Museum of History. The Mezek Thracian Tomb itself was discovered by accident in 1931, and was excavated the same year by Bulgarian archaeologists Prof. Bogdan Filov and Prof. Ivan Velkov. The Mezek Tomb is one of the largest Mycenae-style Thracian tombs in Bulgaria. It is covered with a burial mound measuring 15 meters in height and 90 meters in diameter. The archaeologists believe that the Mezek Tomb was used as a heroon – a shrine dedicated to a Thracian, Greek, or Roman hero, and used for his cult worship.

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