Ivan Hristov is characterizing this as a ‘Bulgarian Machu Picchu’ … interesting how they get a dig in at Philip II in this one:
Bulgarian rchaeologists have uncovered a unique residence of the rulers of the Odrysian Kingdom, the state of the most powerful tribe of Ancient Thrace.
The residence is located on the Kozi Gramadi mount in the Sredna Gora mountain, close to the resort town of Hissar in central Bulgaria, at about 1 200 m above sea level.
“The residence of the Odrysian kings is a monument unrivaled in scope in Southeastern Europe. I am convinced there is no other fortress-sanctuary dating back to the 4th-5th century BC which is so well-preserved,” said Dr. Ivan Hristov, head of the archaeological team and Deputy Director of the Bulgarian National History Museum.
The Bulgarian archaeologists call the Thracian fortress “the Bulgarian Machu Picchu” because of the similarities in the organization of the two ancient cities.
The construction of the residence near Hissar is believed to have been started by the Thracian ruler Cotys I (384 BC – 359 BC)
The team led by Dr. Hristov has uncovered the remains of the palace of the Odrysian kings Amatokos II (359 BC – 351 BC) and Teres II (351 BC – 342 BC).
The latter is the last Thracian king who fought Philip II of Macedon (359 BC – 336 BC).
“Philip II of Macedon most likely also visited this fortress. It is about him that Demosthenes says that he spent 11 nightmarish months in the winter of 342 BC fighting the Thracians who inhabited the mountains,” explained Dr. Hristov.
The fortress-residence of the Thracian kings is located on a plot of 4 decares, not far from the village of Starosel, which is the site of the largest tombs of Ancient Thracian rulers.
The researchers believe that the connection between the newly-uncovered fortress and the Starosel tombs is clear.
“This is the holy mountain in the mind of the Thracians. We have various archaeological objects located on different levels – a fortress, a sanctuary, an altar of sacrifice. Therefore, the comparison with the ancient city of the Incas Machu Picchu is a good one,” said Dr. Hristov.
His team has already excavated two of the towers of the citadel, whose remains are about 2 m high.
The archaeologists’ guess is that the treasure of the Odrysian kingdom was also located in the newly uncovered residence but Philip II of Macedon most likely stole the gold kept there.
The Odrysian Kingdom was a union of Thracian tribes that existed between 5th and the 3rd century BC. The last Thracian states were conquered by Romans in 46 AD. The most famous Thracian in human history is Spartacus, the man who led a rebellion of gladiators against Rome in 73-71 BC.
UPDATE (a few minutes later): discussion on the Classics list suggests this isn’t a recent discovery; the site was actually found back in 2005; we don’t seem to have covered it but it seems connected with the Starosel tomb which has received quite a bit of coverage because of that gold mask found thereabouts, e.g.: