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MEZEK, SE Bulgaria.

A village near Svilengrad, important for the presence of numerous Thracian funerary tumuli. Excavations have uncovered two grandiose chambered tombs. The tomb of Mal Tepè, built entirely in squared stone blocks, has an access corridor 21 m long, two quadrangular chambers, and a large round chamber with a cupola. The latter is 3.3 m in diameter and 4.3 m high. In it were found in place a bronze door and a stone bed. Among the funerary material, particularly noteworthy are the jewelry, a bronze candelabra with a statuette of a dancing Hellenistic satyr from the end of the 4th c. B.C., decorated bronze vases, and coins. The tomb of Kurt-Kalè is constructed in the same technique, but without a dromos. It is composed of a quadrangular chamber covered in a singular way with squares and rhomboids fitted one to the other, communicating with the tholos. These Mycenaean architectural techniques still in use in the Classical age, when Greece had centuries before abandoned this type of construction, suggest a more ancient indigenous tradition that remained popular under direct Mycenaean influence, as is also indicated by much Thracian decorative art.


O. Hamdy, “Le sanglier de Mezek,” RevArch (1908) 1-3; B. Filov, “Die Kuppelgräber von Mezek,” Izv. Bulg. Arch. Inst. 11 (1937) 1-116; I. Welkov, “Die Ausgrabungen bei Mezek und Svilengrad,” ibid., 117-70; A. Raschenov, “Die Festung von Mezek,” ibid., 171.


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