Archeology Headlines , September 2008

In this article, you will learn about a few interesting discoveries within the world of archeology, as well as have a chance for a moment of silence for an internationally known archeologist who has recently passed away.

Internationally Known Archeologist Dies at 65

The world-renown Bulgarian archeologist Georgi Kitov , known for uncovering Thracian tombs in his country , has died at the age of 65. Kitov gained game when he famously discovered a grand Thracian sanctuary located close to the southern village of Starosel. In 2000, the complex that dates back to 5th century BC was revealed, making it the largest of its kind within the southeastern part of Europe.

At that time, a collection of interesting items was found, including a golden mask of a Thracian ruler that weighed 0.6 kilograms (a little over 1 pound).  The tomb of Thracian king Seuthes III produced a wealth of jeweled artifacts. It is believed that Kitov had stumbled upon what was known as the Valley of the Thracian Kings , located near the Shipka, a town in central Bulgaria. In 2001, Kitov’s trip to the village of Alexandrovo in southern Bulgaria produced a tomb surrounded by a striking fresco that dated back to the 5th century BC as well.

In case you are wondering who the ancient Thracians are, they were known as skilled goldsmiths that lived in a region that included southwest Europe, Caucasus region, and the Carpathian Mountains. To this day, there are still many unknowns that researchers would like answered regarding this civilization.  

Mass Ancient Graves Uncovered in Greece

Athens, Greece reports that excavation work for a new metro about the northern city of Salonika has led to the finding of more than 1,400 ancient graves and tombs. Researchers have concluded that the graves and tombs date back to a time period that stretches from the 4th century BC to 4th century AD, when the Romans ruled. Some of the graves highlight varying burial methods, from simple pits and stone tombs to marble sarcophagi.

About 20% of the burial sites possessed some sort of offerings, which included Roman gold coins hailing from Persia; jewelry made out of copper, silver, and gold; delicate perfume holders, and clay vessels. In June, archeologists were pleased to have uncovered four gold wreaths, as well as gold earrings of a woman who was buried more than 2,000 years ago.

Afghanistan Produces an Ancient Buddha

Central Afghanistan is the site where the remains of an ancient “sleeping Buddha” have been discovered. Measuring 62 feet (19 meters long), the Buddha has been found for quite some time when archeologists searched around two statues that had been bombed and destroyed during the Taliban regime in the early 2000s. This is where they found the neck and right shoulder of the sleeping Buddha.

The archeological team that found the Buddha was actually in search of a different statue that measures 300 meters, but instead discovered this sleeping artifact alongside nearly 90 other relics. The find also produced coins from various eras, including Bactrian, Greek, and Islamic cultures.