Archaeologists Uncover Large Votive Relief of Zeus in Bulgaria
A team of Bulgarian archaeologists have unearthed an unusually large votive relief of the ancient Greek God Zeus near the Bulgarian village of Starosel.
According to the National History Museum for the Bulgarian News Agency Focus, the research team, led by Dr. Ivan Hristov, found the relief while excavating the Kozi Gramadi mount in the Sredna Gora Mountain. They believe that the bigger-than-normal relief formed the central part of an ancient temple.
The archaeological site of Kozi Gramadi, often referred to as ‘The Bulgarian Machu Picchu’, includes several monumental buildings surrounded by a wall. It was built between the 5 th and 4 th century BC and used to be the capital of an ancient Thracian tribe living in central Bulgaria. The main building was the residence of the ruler of the Kingdom of Odrisses. After Macedonian expansion on the Balkans (359 BC), the fortress became a ‘victim’ of Alexander the Great.
Excavations on the site began in 2005 and a treasure trove of artefacts and building remnants have already been uncovered including more than 20 temples, stone tombs, coins, fragments of gold breastplates and double ax-labrys, which is typical for the martial equipment of the Thracians. The latest discovery of the Zeus relief shows that there is much more to be uncovered.
During the excavation work to recover the votive relief, archaeologists noted a large rock eagle hovering above the team, interestingly the exact symbol used frequently to depict the Greek god Zeus.