Sunday, July 25, 2010

Classical Age ‘Palace’ discovered in ancient Thrace.

Thrace is an area of the ancient world known, amongst other things, for being the birthplace of Spartacus who was famed for leading a rebellion against Rome in 73-71BC.  
However, the real flowering of Thracian culture was between the 5th and the 3rd century BC when the tribes came together to form a union under the Odrysians.
 The Odrysian kingdom in Thrace existed as a distinct political entity until 46AD when the Emperor Claudius replaced it with the Roman province of Thracia. The heyday of the kingdom was the 5th to 4th centuries until its annexation by Philip II of Macedon in 341/340BC.
Archaeologists have uncovered a residence which they consider to be the seat of the rulers of the Odrysian Kingdom at its height. The site is located on the Sredna Gora mountain, close to the town of Hissar in central Bulgaria.
It is thought that the initial construction of the ‘palace’ dates to the time of king Cotys I (384-359BC).  Though given the name of ‘palace’ since it is thought to be the residence of the king, the construction is actually a well-built fortress.
The photograph shows the substantial stone construction of the lower courses of the walls.
Its location near to the village of Starosel, the site of some of the largest tombs in Thrace, and also near to a sanctuary site, suggest that the area may be a ceremonial capital. The archaeological team have announced the fortress to be the palace of the Odrysian kings Amatokos II (359 BC - 351 BC) and Teres II (351 BC - 342 BC) who came into conflict with Philip II of Macedon and his expansionist policy.  
Two of the towers of the citadel, which stand to circa 2metres high, have so far been excavated.  The excavation is ongoing and more information will be forthcoming.

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