THE SITE - history and significance




Seuthopolis is the most famous underwater archaeological site in Bulgaria it is the only completely studied Thracian city in Bulgaria. The city is not only unique as an archeological and historical site, but its also a treasure-house containing vast knowledge for the everyday life of the Thracians. The city was completely uncovered and studied between 1948 and 1954, during the construction of Koprinka dam, near Kazanlak. The research team was led by prof. Dimitar Dimitrov, thoroughly studied and photographed the site, before it was covered by the waters of the Koprinka dam.


After many years of work, a team of archaeologists stumble upon an amazing discovery the ruins of an ancient Thracian city. This is why Seuthopolis becomes the first and only uncovered Thracian settlement of urban type in Bulgaria. The site was completely uncovered, together with three tombs from its burial complex. Then the mane of the city was discovered. 


Seuthopolis was founded by the Thracian ruler Sevt III in the heart of Kazanlak region in 323 B.C. The city quickly developed into a political, economical and cultural center of the Thracian state. The city was capital of Sevts state until 270 B.C.


The archaeological excavations revealed that the city consisted of fortified settlement on an area of 5 hectares and several suburbs. The city was build over the ruins of an older palace complex and a Thracian settlement. The Tundzha river (then called Tonezus) surrounds it from three sides. Seuthopolis was also encircled by a wall, witch was 890 m long. From the two city gates from which spread two wide streets, which crossed at a 90 degree angle in the city center and formed the square next to which was situated the temple of Dionisos. The city was inhabited by around 50 families, which were the core of the Thracian aristocracy. In the palace archeologists discovered a record from the office of Sevt III, in Greek, witch stated: This record to be carved on two tablets and to be made in Seuthopolis, in the temple of the great Thracian gods .


The palace of Sevt III had two storyes with a 40 m long, posh facade. From the numerous rooms of the palace, one stood out, with its beautiful decoration with multicolor plaster, witch resembled marble. 


Seuthopolis was full of many architectural monuments; just some of them were: the palace-temple complex, the temple of Dionis and the Temple of the great Thracian gods. 


The incredible scale of the construction of Seuthopolis is testimonial to the economical might of Sevts capital and its political significance for the region. According to the opinion of the archaeologists, in the city planning of Seuthopolis stand out the principles of the Greek city of the same era. But the city planning had many specifics, which made the city different than the other ones in Thracia - the wide use of bricks as a building material.


The vivid economical and cultural relations of the city with the great urban centers in the Greek world and the highly developed of indigenous crafts made Seuthopolis the most significant center of the Thracian economy and culture in the region of Kazanlak. Many elements of the Greek culture can be noted, but Seuthopolis retains a number of special features, distinctive for the Thracian culture.


Sevt III was the Thracian ruler who started producing Thracian coinage. During the research of Seuthopolis were discovered 2000 coins of witch 800 have the face of Sevt.


The archaeologists also discovered many luxurious Greek ceramic vessels, jewels, fragments of stone statues, amphoras and other precious artifacts.



Seuthopolis, the city of Sevt III, capital of the Odris state from the late IV century - beginning of III century BC was discovered and studied between 1948-1954 during the construction of Koprinka dam near the city of Kazanlak.



There was another city...

There is a hypothesis that Seuthopolis is contructed upon the remains of another older city which was demolished and burned. The hypothesis says that it was at the Northern part of Seuthopolis. After the fall of the city - 320-323 BC Sevt returns gloriously and puts the foundations if the future Thracian capital.



Authentic images from the first excavations


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Authentic images from the first excavation - high resolution

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