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Horses Buried Upright in Bulgaria
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Horses Buried Upright in Bulgaria

Last year, the remains of a Thracian carriage and two horses were uncovered in Svestari, a village in north-east Bulgaria. The remains were uncovered by a group of archeologists. What is surprising about the discovery is that the horses seem to have been buried upright. It is estimated that the remains are 2,500 years old. The carriage is a two-wheeled one and was found along with the horses and some decorations in a Thracian tomb.

Prof. Diana Gergova, member of the National Archeology Institute of the Bulgarian Institute of Sciences led the dig. As per her, the carriage is unlike any other of the Thracian era that has so far been unearthed in the country.

Sofia News Agency reported that it was a surprise that the carriage was discovered at the site. Ancient mounds all over this region have been plundered by treasure hunters in a bid to find gold, even though UNESCO put a prohibition on this activity. The carriage and the horses were found next to the mound of Khan Imurtag. This is the mound where the same research team found a large horde of gold a couple of years ago.

In 2010, researchers also unearthed a Roman chariot with the remains of two buried horses in the village of Borissovo. The latest find is similar to the find in Borissovo, although the find of 2010 is considerably younger in age.

The chariot in Svestari in Bulgaria is thought to have belonged to Thracian nobility of the 1st century AD. This estimation is made because imported goods were also found in graves nearby. The mound at Svestari had two pits and seven burial structures. The decorated chariot and the horses were found in one of the pits. It is believed by the experts that the horses were allowed to pull the chariot through a sloping hole until it came to rest in the final position. The horses were then killed. Because of this position, the horses were buried upright. Small metal discs on the horses’ heads indicate that they were wearing harnesses.

Stones supported the chariot at Borissovo so that it could stay in its place. The researchers could also study the vehicle and discovered that the chariot had a boot which held bottles, grill and a bronze ladle and pan.

The skeletal remains of a dog chained to the chariot were also unearthed at the site. The grave of the chariot owner was nearby, complete with armor, swords and spear along with an inkwell and medication. It is presumed he was an educated man.

Veselin Ignatov, an archeologist, was involved in the discovery of another chariot at Karanovo, a south-eastern village in Bulgaria. As per him, more than 10,000 Thracian mounds, some of them in ornamental stone tombs, are scattered all throughout the country. 90% of them have been plundered and the most precious objects have been smuggled out of the country.

The chariot with the two horses buried upright in Bulgaria has revealed more about the Thracian mounds. It is expected that more such mounds would be discovered soon and we will get to know more about those times.

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  1. Brenda Nelson
    Brenda Nelson
    Poor horses, a cruel burial ritual of the past.

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