Zhaba Mogila Cult Complex near the town of Strelcha

On 28 July 1976, the archaeological expedition of Dr. Georgi Kitov found a subtumular construction in the southeastern periphery of the 20 m high Zhaba Mogila tumulus. It is built of perfectly hewn stone blocks and consists of two chambers: a round chamber with tholos vault and a rectangular one with the so-called Galatian vault. The entrance is decorated with an Ionian frame stained in some places with red and blue.

The construction, which had been plundered and partially destroyed already during the Antiquity, was defined by the archaeologist who found it as tomb-mausoleum. A chariot with four wheels, the skeletons of two draught horses and of one riding horse, as well as nine large ceramic vessels placed with their mouths down, were found in situ in front of the façade.

In 1977, another subtumular construction built of similar stone blocks, with three chambers having L-shaped plan and double-eave roofs in different directions, was unearthed in the northwestern periphery of the tumulus. Dr. Kitov defined it as a sanctuary. The façade is almost entirely destroyed. The better preserved of two lion reliefs (1 and 2), which was part of the pediment of the tomb-mausoleum, was found in it, as well as other fragments of its sculptural decoration. Colouring in red and blue is preserved on most details.

The two buildings, which are most probably synchronous, are dated to the 4th century BC and were built after a part of the ready tumular embankment was removed. After they were used for some time, they were partially destroyed and completely piled up with earth. The architectural details (1 and 2) from one of the buildings found in the other one are indicator only of the sequence of their demolition: the destruction of the tomb-mausoleum apparently preceded that of the sanctuary.


Diana Dimitrova


Kitov, G. 1977: Le tombeau-mausolée thrace près de ville de Streltcha. – Obzor 39, 85-93.

Kitov, G. 1979: Die Anmendungder geophisischen Erdausgrabung und anderer Technik zur Erforschung der Grabhügel unweit der Stadt Strelscha und deren Bedeutung für die Thracologie. – Archaeologica Baltica 3, 63-75.

Китов, Г. 1977: Тракийска гробница-мавзолей край град Стрелча. – Векове 1, 12-21.

Китов, Г. 1977: Тракийските надгробни могили. – Тракия 4, 167-175.

Китов, Г. 1979: Тракийските могили край Стрелча. София.

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Китов, Г. 1994: Тракийските могили в България. – В: Годишник на Департамент Археология –НБУ I. София, 67-85.

Китов, Г. 1999: Форма, съдържание и предназначение на тракийските могили. – Старини 1/1, 47-56.