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The Thracians

The Thracians were an ethno-cultural community (comprising about 90 tribal groups)  of indo-european origin, which inhabited the territories of present-day Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Northeast Greece, Northwest Turkey, East Serbia and part of Macedonia from the middle of II millenium BC  till VI  C. AD.
They were tall and slender people with golden or copper-coloured hair, milk-white skin and blue eyes. Tattoos reproducing religious symbols and carried primary by the women were typical of this people. Jewelry of unsurpassed exquisiteness and ornamentality were the characteristic male accessory.
Ahead of the Thracian family stood the husband.

The most powerful tribe which emerged to dominate the Valley of Kazanlak was called Odrysae.  Evidences of their grandeur are constantly being discovered, but the most remarkable of them are the portraits of  Seuthes III and his predecessor – Teres. During the rule of the mightest monarch of the Odrysian kingdom - Seuthes III the city of Seuthopolis , founded by him, became the major center of the kingdom.
Nowadays the ruins of it are lying submerged  under the waters of the Koprinka
Dam.

The Thracians were famous warriors. Because of  their untraditionally organized army and unusual way of combat – with many ambushes and tricks, they appeared frightening for the ancient Hellenes. As per Homer’s  “Iliad” thracian tribes took part in the war for Troy  (around 1250 B.C.) under the leadership of King  Resos, who was killed by Odysseus and Diomedes

The Thracians did not have their own script and they used the Greek alphabet. Several stone inscriptions with Greek letters in Thracian language have been preserved.  Some of the thracian religious elements can be seen in the Christian rituals  others being changed by the time, have become a modern folklore tradition nowadays. In the Calendar of Christian festive days and in the national traditions details of the antique pagan rituals can be traced.

The Thracians were famous masters of metalwork. We judge for their skill by the funeral gifts: jewellery, applications, pottery made of noble metals, etc. The exquisite forms and the geometric decorations were characteristic for the early monuments (the best example is the Vulchitrun gold treasue). Real and imaginary animals were often depicted. “A lion attacking a bull” was the most favourite scene performed by the thracians. In the middle of 1st millennium BC the human image appeared as well, mainly in hunting scenes.