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Ancient Temple and Sanctuary Zeus and Hera - Bulgaria

Ancient Temple and Sanctuary Uncovered in Bulgaria

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Archaeologists have found a Thracian temple and a sanctuary of Zeus and Hera in Sredna Gora, a mountain range in central Bulgaria.

The Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting a large area in Central and Southeastern Europe who were first mentioned in the Iliad, where they were described as allies of the Trojans in the Trojan War against the Greeks.

The discovery was made at a dig in the Kozi Gramadi region near the village of Starosel by archaeologists from the National History Museum and work is continuing to see what other historically significant findings may emerge.

They have already found the large Thracian temple and sanctuary of Zeus and Here, which covers about 50 square metres, as well as rare coins from the era of kings Philip II and Alexander the Great and from the late Roman republic, and fragments from ceramic vessels which would have been used for offerings at the sanctuary.

Another Thracian Temple Complex had been found in a village close to Starosel back in 2000 and had been the oldest ever found Thracian complex, dating back to the end of the 5 th century.  However, the latest discovery is even older and the earliest use of the site is estimated to date back from the early Iron Age, about the 8 th to 6 th centuries BC.  It is believed that the sanctuary of Zeus and Hera was destroyed in the 5 th century AD to enable Christians to build a nearby church.

Thracian discoveries are considered significant in Bulgaria since the Thracians are one of the three primary ancestral groups of modern day Bulgarians.

By April Holloway

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