Mogilanska mound – A Burial of a Thracian princess

Mogilanska Mogila (The Mogilan Mound)

The Princess Golden crown

Mogilanska Mogila is a half destroyed mound in the town of Vratza which was located in the yard of a house in the very centre of the old part of the town. For the most people it was just an elevation but the archaeologists knew that there is a tumulus on this place and in1965-66 they began excavations. 3 tombs were found. One of them was robbed in antiquity and the other two were relatively preserved. Most interesting are the findings in the second tomb. A chariot with two horses in harness killed at the time of the burial are found in it. Furthermore, behind the chariot, there was a skeleton of another horse probably intended for the chariot’s driver. On the horse remains they found a silver-plated bridle, silver appliques, part of the horse trappings decoration. Next to the horse the archaeologists found the skeleton of a young woman without ornaments, and it is supposed that this is a servant girl, killed during the burial ritual to be laid next to her mistress. In the west part the experts unearthed a precious find. KnemidaThey found the skeleton of a young woman, about 1.50 m (59 inch) high, with a golden crown of laurels on her head and 47 golden appliques on and next to her head. It is supposed that the woman had a veil over her face decorated with these golden appliques. On her ears she had 2 exquisite golden earrings. The remains of a man were found near her. He was probably a warrior for his arms were next to him. The archaeologists found a silver knemida (greave, worn by horsemen to protect the lower leg from knee to the ankle) with many decorations and partially plated with gold, 88 spear points, a sword and a bronze shield. There were also four silver phialai, a silver jug, a rhyton-shaped amphora, 50 clay figures and other findings. The girl’s head was decorated by a golden crown of laurels. The pure gold weighed 205 g (0.45 lb). She also had massive golden earrings, whose bottom side was decorated with sphinxes and floral ornaments. Especially valuable is the mirror in her left hand. In the third tomb, partially robbed in antiquity, the skeletons of a man and a woman, golden and silver jugs, golden jewellery, clay items and iron-pointed arrows were unearthed. Two riding Thracian chariots with four horses each, driven by men in armour, are depicted on the golden jug.

The rich finds in Mogilanska Mogila confirm the assumption that it is a royal tomb, connected with the dynasty of the Tribali, who inhabited the territories of the contemporary region of Vratsa in the 4th century BC.

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