Bulgaria may be a country that is small in size, yet big when it comes to preserving the legacy of ancient civilizations. Quite often this legacy arrives in the form of antique treasures, cultural landmarks, tombs and other archaeological findings. Undoubtedly, some of the world most valuable monuments are located on the territory of the country and one such site is the Thracian tomb and sanctuary of Tatul.
Located near the village of Tatul and about 15 km east of Momchilgrad, this is one of the most important megalithic monuments discovered in the Eastern Rhodopes, Bulgaria. But what is even more, it is considered one of the most distinctive megalithic monuments in Europe that speaks for the Thracian culture and the antique world. Dating back to the end of the 5th century BC and the beginning of the 4th century BC, the Thracian tomb and sanctuary of Tatul represents a huge rock construction with a truncated pyramid-shaped top. The religious complex includes several buildings, two sarcophagi one of which is 170 cm long, one rectangular bed suited for the main altar, and a well with a depth of three metres. One of the buildings is a temple with huge 6-meter-high walls that have been preserved up to this day.
According to historians, the tombs and the rock pyramid were formed somewhere between the 18th and 11th centuries BC. There are many different cult items discovered on the premises. Among them are various vessels used for religious rituals, clay human idols, a number of bronze objects, and even images of the Sun God. But there are other links to the sun as well. Apart from being used as a sanctuary or for sacrifice rites, the ancient Thracian tomb of Tatul was also used as a centre for observing the sunrise and sunset at certain days of the year.
Another interesting thing about the Thracian tomb and sanctuary of Tatul is that according to some archaeologists and historians, the sarcophagus, the pyramid and the side chamber form a symbolic representation of the funeral of Orpheus and that of King Rhesus of Thrace.
Currently, the site is open for visitors, attracting historians, culture lovers and archaeologists from Bulgaria and all around the world.
Found out more interesting information about thracian artifacts here: