The Thracians and Their Neighbours in Antiquity

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2 ON HUMAN SACRIFICE IN THRACE (ON ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE) MILENA TONKOVA (Sofia Bulgaria) Keywords: Thrace, human sacrifice, archaeological evidence One of the most important results of the excavations of pit-sanctuaries in Thrace 1 was the discovery of human skeletons or parts of them. Found in nonburial context they can be interpreted as archaeological evidence about practising human sacrifice 2. The most numerous examples originate from the fifth and fourth century BC sites. Such are found in two sanctuaries near Gledacevo 3 and at the newly discovered sanctuaries at the village of Malko Trunovo 4 and Yabulkovo 5, situated on both banks of the Maritsa River. Other publications, mention human skeletons or parts of them found in sanctuaries at Staliiska mahala Bagachina site 6, Dourankoulak 7, Debelt 8, Drama 9, Polski Gradets 10, Glavan 11, Svilengrad 12, Mirkovo 13 and Koprivlen 14 (cf. Fig. 1). 1 On the subject of the pit sanctuaries in Thrace south of Danube see Георгиева 1991; Бонев, Александров 1993; Балабанов 1999; Tonkova 1997; Tonkova 2003; Vulcheva 2002; Burrow 1994; Todorova 2007, ; Varbanov, Dragoev 2006; Нехризов, Цветкова In the present study the clearly distinguished as a meaning terms human sacrifice and ritual killing (Hughes 1991, 1) are being used as interchangeable since archaeological data only rarely allow more confident interpretation of the addressee and the nature of this ritual act. 3 Tonkova 1997; Tonkova, Savatinov 2002; Tonkova 2003, The site is divided into two sectors: Eastern and western, investigated under Milena Tonkova and Anelia Bozkova respectively. On preliminary results see: Bozkova, Tonkova Тонкова Бонев, Александров 1993; Бонев, Александров 1996 and unpublished results, based on data provided by A. Bonev. 7 Burrow 1993, 340; Burrow 1994, Балабанов 1983, II, кат. 350; Балабанов 1999, Lichardus еt al Information supplied by the researchers Rumiana Georgieva and Krassimir Mikov (cp. Tonkova, Savatinov 2001, 102). The Thracians and Their Neighbours in Antiquity. Studia in Honorem Valerii Sîrbu, Brăila, 2009, p

3 504 Similarly to the sanctuaries at Gledachevo and Malko Trunovo, pits, which contain human bones, are, as a rule, an exception from the practices in these complexes. The first category of pits with human remains includes those with skeletons or parts of skeletons in anatomic order. They are the ones that provide evidence for human sacrifice in Thrace 15. A fifth - fourth century BC pit sanctuary was excavated in the locality of Kumsala, located at about 800 m northwest of the centre of the former village of Gledachevo, region of Radnevo. Over a hundred pits were explored 16. Pit 9/sector III made a sensation, although at first sight it looked like a standard pit. The pit diameter at the opening was 2 m, it was 0.9 m deep and it narrows downwards. The first (at the opening) layer was of black soil containing small pieces of charcoal; in the second layer the soil was mixed with ashes and pieces of charcoal. At this level the skeleton of a young female individual (age of 16) was discovered in abnormal posture: face and chest faced the ground, lower limbs were folded under the body, right arm bent in the elbow was found under the chest, while the left arm was extended to the side. Left hand and right foot were missing. Location of the right hand is worth noting: it was holding the right shoulder (Fig. 2; Fig. 2 a) 17. A rock of 30/10/8 cm was found on the left part of the chest. Clay vessel fragments (from three Thassian amphorae, gray bowls, etc.), pieces of a grinding stone and a stone idol were scattered on the skeleton. Those objects seem to have immediately been placed on the body as grave goods as there was no soil between them and the bones. The third layer was of brown colour and did not contain any finds; the fourth one was of sand. No human bones were discovered in the rest of the pits at Gledachevo. Yet on the excavation ground, Pit 9 was identified as a human sacrifice. Later, Dr. Slavi Cholakov s observations rendered further support to this identification: according to him the position of the right hand and fingers closed on the shoulder could have only been the result of a conscious or convulsive gesture. This means that the woman had been placed or thrown in the pit face down, or on her knees, while still alive. Her hand holding the shoulder must have been her last movement in an attempt to protect her. Most probably she was 11 Китов, Агре 2002, 84-85, обр Нехризов, Цветкова Милчев 1961, Vulceva 2002, The present article is a supplemented and extended version of a study published in a collection of papers on the problems of the Thracian culture (Тонкова 2005) in Bulgarian. 16 Tonkova, 1997; Tonkova 2003, The skeleton was examined by Dr. Slavi Cholakov from the Institute of Morphology and Experimental Anthropology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia.

4 On Human Sacrifice in Thrace (On Archaeological Evidence) 505 killed with the big stone which was the largest discovered in the sanctuary. The body was covered with the grave goods, among which the stone idol, also a unique find at the sanctuary, emphasized the ritual act. Another pit sanctuary of the same period was discovered in the immediate vicinity of the field of pits at the locality of Kumsala: only km to the southeast, in the centre of Gledachevo (the Dvora site) 18. More than 120 pits were excavated. A human skeleton was discovered in Pit 12/I (Fig. 3). It was found near the wall, at the depth of 0.9 m under a layer of ashes and finds. The individual lay on his back with his knees folded in higher position than the torso. Body position did not betray traces of violence as was the case with the young woman ritually killed in the neighbouring site of Kumsala. Nevertheless, the finding context of the skeleton (in a pit with similar stratigraphy to the rest of the pits at this site) gave us grounds to interpret this situation as a human sacrifice as well. The neighbouring pit 29/ sector I, situated just one meter away from Pit 12, yielded the remains of two more human sacrifices. There, at the depth of 0.9 m skeletal parts of an adult individual (male, years old) were discovered: two lower limbs in anatomic order (however, the tibiae, fibulae, and the feet bones were missing), a part of the pelvis and the rib cage (Fig. 4). Just beneath these bones the remains of a child s skeleton lay in anatomic order (Fig. 5). According to the studies of Dr. Bronimira Dimitrova 19, the skeletons in Pits 12 and 29 belong to adult male individuals and a child, most probably a boy, at the approximate age of eight. After recording this situation, the skeletons and parts of skeletons unearthed add up to three in the two neighbouring synchronous pits, most probably forming a common complex. The latter was possibly of great importance for the sanctuary as no human bones were found in the rest of the 78 pits investigated. The hypothesis advanced was supported by the documented concentration of a number of "rich" pits around Pits 12 and 29. Among the studied complexes the situation in Pit 40 is especially informative concerning the rituals performed. In the pit there were discovered a human and a horse skeleton, these, according to the Thracian beliefs, were the closest living beings in the value hierarchy. The human skeleton is that of a year old child found in anatomic order (Fig. 6). The body was laid down near the pit bottom on a layer of charcoal, organic matter (among which single wheat grains under the skull) and pottery fragments. In fact, this was the first action performed after the pit had been dug. On the small body numerous fragments of clay vessels were thrown/placed, among which a big bowl sherd covering part of the skull. The child s body was covered with a layer of black soil full of pieces of charcoal and sherds. Many animal bones were found there as well, being the 18 Tonkova 2003, An anthropologist at the Institute of Morphology and Experimental Anthropology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia.

5 506 remains of offerings of domestic animals and game: those of cattle, pig, sheep/goat, dog, pheasant and crane. On the same level the body of a 9-year old mare was thrown whose lower limbs were missing (Fig. 7). Only the lower part of the front left leg was preserved 20. Its spine was broken, possible when the animal was thrown into the pit, falling down from a 1.80 m height. Besides skeletons in anatomic order, a human skull in a pit was discovered in another sector of the Dvora - Gledachevo site. The pit was very rich in finds: numerous pottery fragments, spindle whirls, replaced remains of fire rituals, ashes, charcoal, charred seeds, etc. More instructive examples of human sacrifices were yielded by the large and very rich in prestige offerings pit sanctuary in the locality of Kuzluka near the village of Malko Trunovo, region of Chirpan 21. The sanctuary also functioned from the fifth to the early 3 rd century BC. Four complexes were discovered containing human remains and the fifth century BC finds. A contracted human skeleton was found in a pear-shaped pit at a depth of 0.50m. Rocks of average dimensions of 20х20х14 were placed on the skull and the pelvic bones (Fig. 8). Fragments of an iron fibula were found next to the left shoulder bone and under the hands. The soil below and above the skeleton, as well as that of the same level, was black and loose, containing a lot of charcoal pieces and a great number of charred seeds: the most numerous (over a hundred completely preserved or halves) being those of acorns, small fragments of walnuts and a cornel-cherry stone 22. Fragments of portable hearth (andiron) of unbaked clay were recorded near the knees. The skeleton was laid face down and a little to the left. The knees were folded and closely pressed against the body. The skull was found higher than the lower limbs. Elbows were bent and the hands overlapped against the face. According to the anthropologist Dr. Bronimira Dimitrova who examined the human remains on the spot, the closely bent body was not the result of placing it purposely in a hocker position, but was caused by the attempt to arrange the body in too small a pit (at this level the pit is circular with a diameter of 1.20 m). That is why the head was discovered at a higher level. This special arrangement of the body (position of the hands) suggests that it was laid down in the pit immediately after death or much later, after post mortal stiffness. 20 Results obtained by the archaeozoologist Georgi Ribarov. 21 The described complexes belong to the East sector of the sanctuary. An Early Iron pit with human remains was discovered in the West sector. On preliminary results see: Bozkova, Tonkova According to the results obtained by Dr. Tsvetana Popova, a palaeobotanist at the National Archaeological Institute with Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, who studied the floral remains in the pit.

6 On Human Sacrifice in Thrace (On Archaeological Evidence) 507 Discovery of remains of children s skeletons in three ritual pits attracted a lot of attention 23. Pit А in sector І of the Great Ditch was pear-shaped. Near the bottom of the pit in a layer of gray-blackish sticky soil there was a child s skeleton whose pelvis and lower limbs were missing. The pit also contained the remains of a dog cut into three, bones of a lamb and a calf, as well as fragments of two black-glazed kylikes, one of them being ritually severed into two equal halves. According to the anthropological examination the child was two year old. No less interesting was the situation in Pit 197. Again, in the bottom layer remains of more than five children s skeletons, aged 2-3 up to 14-15, were discovered. Two skulls of children, aged 6 and 14-15, were found next to the northern side of the pit. One was facing down, the other up. A rock was placed on one of the skulls without damaging it (Fig. 9; Fig. 9 a). Attached to the skull were the first three vertebrae, which, according to Dr. Victoria Rousseva, mean that it had been placed in the pit while facial and neck soft tissues were still in place. A piece of human jaw was discovered in the ritual ditch (the so-called Great Ditch), again of a teenager. These cases supplemented archaeological evidence for human sacrifices in Thrace and provided further arguments in favour of the pit sanctuaries being their ritual zone 24. Our statement that human sacrifice was only rarely practiced, as an exception, and probably in crucial moments for the community has further been proved: human remains were found only in four pits among the 250 pits excavated in the Eastern Sector of the sanctuary at Malko Trunovo. Sacrifices of children under 6 are of great interest as such skeletons are missing at the necropoleis either because they were considered dangerous, or because they were dealt with in another way 25. Discovery of bones of such young children in several contexts at the sanctuary at Malko Trunovo suggests new trends in further research 26. Significant results were obtained from the exploration of yet another pit sanctuary of Classical and Early Hellenistic age near the village of Yabulkovo, region of Dimitrovgrad, on the right bank of the Maritsa River 27. There, five pits with human remains were discovered from a total of 40. The relatively high ratio of these special complexes might be related to the sanctuary location near a ford. It was probably just there that the rites aimed at contacting the mighty river had been performed, and in critical moments a human sacrifice was required. 23 Anthropological examination of the human remains in the other three complexes was performed by Dr. Victoria Rousseva. 24 Тонкова Georgieva 2003, This ritual practice is evidenced as early as the Early Iron Age (Нехризов, Цветкова 2008). 27 Тонкова 2006.

7 508 The situation in Pit 1, trench H39, is of a special interest in view with the performed rituals in the sanctuary. A pear-shaped pit was excavated whose filling contained numerous organic remains, fragments of clay vessels, as well as of plastering, andirons, loom weights, spindle whirls, etc. Pit bottom was covered with charcoal pieces, ashes, finds and fragments of a ritual hearth, enclosed by a stone circle and plaster. On them there were placed the upper parts of an adult individual cut apart at the shoulders with a heavy tool or weapon (an axe or a sword) (Fig. 10; Fig. 10 а) 28. The chest was missing, but the place it should have been remained empty. Lower limbs which also bore traces of single heavy cuts were in anatomic order. In the same place remains of another individual were found. The adult remains were covered with pieces of the ritual hearth on which the skeleton of a child aged eight were arranged in anatomic order. The irregular position of the limbs suggests that the body had been thrown into the pit. A rock was placed on the chest in addition to plaster pieces and the body was covered by fragments of a ritual hearth. Fragments of clay vessels, a spindle whirl and a loom weight were found around the skeleton. In the same area of the sanctuary the remains of several more human skeletons were discovered in two pits. The remains of a male adult wеre found in a weird sitting position (Fig. 11). His head seemed to have been resting on the edge of the pit. Fragments of the thigh bones, as well as the bones below the knees, the feet and the left wrist were missing. The available limb bones are big and with well expressed relief which testify to well developed muscles while living. The piece of the right thigh bone ends with a cut produced by a heavy sharp tool while the soft tissue had still been in place. In the neighbouring pit parts of three individuals were discovered accompanied by pottery fragments and animal bones. According to the anthropological examination by Dr. Bronimira Dimitrova two groups of bones can be assigned to two adult individuals (adultus). The second group comprises small fragments of a child s skull, two fragments of clavicles and pieces of three milk molars. They all belonged to a child in the first infant age (infans I), about a year old. Remains of a pig were found around the human skull. In the same pit bovine and sheep bones were identified. Still another pit containing a human skeleton was found 10 m east of the above complex. A woman belonging to the age group of matures (age 50) seemed to have been thrown into another pit face down (Fig. 12). Besides the above discussed examples from Gledachevo, Malko Trunovo and Yabulkovo, similar remains were found in some pits in the great sanctuaries at Debelt, Dourankoulak and Drama. The most instructive situation seems to be that described by P. Balabanov: in Pit 19 at Debelt, a fourth century 28 Conclusions reached by the anthropologist Branimira Dimitrova who examined the remains on the spot.

8 On Human Sacrifice in Thrace (On Archaeological Evidence) 509 BC pit. It is pear-shaped, 2.2 m deep. Its filling was heterogeneous and four layers were distinguished. A skeleton in an abnormal position was found at a depth of m. Head and shoulders were resting against the wall of the pit, right hand was under the pelvis, while left hand was lying on it. Bones below the knees were missing. Numerous finds of the same period were scattered under and above the skeleton in the filling: over 1400 fragments of Greek amphorae and other vessels, animal bones and pieces of plastering 29. Human remains were discovered in Hellenistic sacrificial pits at Durankulak. Four pits yielded human skeletons with abnormal position of the heads or arms, or with detached lower limbs. In one case a knife blade 12 cm long was found under the ribs suggesting that the man had not died a natural death 30. Some complexes with human skeletons, which have been supposed to be human sacrifices, were found in the pit sanctuary at Drama 31. The following arguments are proposed in favour of the assumption that the above archaeological situations provide evidence for human sacrifices. The most important fact is that human remains were discovered in non-burial context, even more so if a sanctuary had been the place of the ritual killing. These circumstances recur in all pit sanctuaries where relatively large areas have been explored: human remains were found in all of them. The pits containing human skeletons did not significantly differ in location, shape, construction and filling from the rest, except in extraordinarily rich goods in some cases (Debelt), specific votives (the Gledachevo anthropomorphous idol) and numerous vegetation offerings (Malko Trunovo). Another solid argument is provided by the posture of the skeletons: abnormal position of the body, irreconcilable with a regular burial, as was demonstrated by the archaeological situations at the sites of Gledachevo, Debelt, Durankulak and Yabulkovo. The fact that the young woman had been thrown in the pit at Gledachevo while still alive further supports the above supposition. Data on the way of death are no less valuable: the big rock on the back of the young woman at Gledachevo, the stones on the skull and pelvis of another young woman in the sanctuary at Malko Trunovo, or the knife in the chest of the body at Durankulak. Of great importance is the ascertainment that two of the male skeletons bear traces of saber/disjointing with a single strike with an axe or a sword. When possible (at Gledachevo, Malko Trunovo and Yabulkovo), the anthropological examination of the bones showed that sacrificed humans were: an old woman (age 50), often male adults, young women aged 16-25, children at the age of 8-14, as well as children under six and babies. Often skeletons are found face down, a position typical of the so-called 29 Балабанов 1983, II, cat. N 350; Балабанов 1999, Burrow 1993, 340; Burrow 1994, Lichardus 2000, 143.

9 510 dangerous dead 32. In other instances parts of the limbs were missing. As a rule, body position is irregular. What was their physical and mental state, social status or ethnic belonging remains an open question, e.g. the reason for them in particular to become ritual victims would stay hypothetical. Human remains have not been discovered in other non-burial context, while they seem typical of pit sanctuaries. Thus, it can be assumed that it was just in pit sanctuaries where human sacrifices were practiced. On the other hand, human skeletons or single bones were rare in pit sanctuaries: in the above mentioned examples human remains were discovered in one pit out of a hundred excavated. It seems that human sacrifice was special, extraordinary and a ritual performed only under unusual circumstances. Besides the above discussed examples, single human bones, without any evidence of anatomic order, were found in other pit sanctuaries in Thrace. They could have been both parts of a body and bones of an already decayed body. The examples can be divided in several groups. One includes the cases of bones of different individuals without clear anatomic order coming from a number of pits in sanctuaries at Polski Gradets 33, Glavan 34 and Koprivlen 35. Those can be arbitrarily supplemented by a pit with human bones from the Levski neighbourhood in Sofia 36. The pits containing only a human skull or a part of a skull, coming from the sanctuaries at Debelt 37, Koprivlen 38 and Bagachina 39 and certain pits from the sanctuaries at Gledacevo Dvora site and Yabulkovo form another group. In the description of the ritual pits at Mirkovo some "burned 32 The excavations at the Motroninska fortress revealed an extremely interesting example of a double sacrifice of a man and a woman in a ritual pit dated to the fifth century BC. One of the bodies was facing the ground (see: Бессонова, Скорый 2001, 8). 33 According to information by the researchers R. Georgieva and K. Nikov, six human skulls and parts of bodies dismembered in advance were identified in a shallow pit, along with stones and pottery. The pottery fragments were scattered around and under the bones. 34 A ritual pit with human and animal bones was discovered under the filling of the "Pozarnata" tumulus at Glavan (Китов, Агре 2002, 84-85, Fig. 12). 35 A skull and bones of three individuals were found at different places and levels in the double Pit No 5a-b (Vulcheva 2002, 111). 36 Preliminary report describes a big pit with human bones of individuals. The pit is defined as a ritual one (Агре 2002, 63). This is the earliest pit amongst the so far known complexes. Its nature is likely to be different since there are not direct data for its belonging to a pit sanctuary. 37 Балабанов 1999, Vulceva 2002, Human jaws were found in two pits. Unpublished results, based on data provided by A. Bonev.

10 On Human Sacrifice in Thrace (On Archaeological Evidence) 511 human bones" are mentioned 40, which will be discussed in a separate group. These cases supplement the picture of the spread and the form of human sacrifices in Thrace and they deserve an additional study and a special commentary. Their interpretation could possibly be analogous to that of another group of archaeological sites where single bones were found associated with the so-called irregular burials, widely documented in Thracian necropoleis and recently discussed exhaustively by Rumyana Georgieva 41. Most of the already documented pits, which contained human bones, date back to the fifth and fourth century BC, at least those located to the south of the Balkan Range. Тhe later ones in the complex at Dourankoulak, date to the third century BC. This practice was known in the Early Iron Age as well, although the examples of the period are not so numerous. The exploration of a pit complex on the right bank of the Maritsa River near Svilengrad yielded the most representative results: there human remains, mainly children s, were discovered in 10 ritual pits. Most of them belong to the Early Iron Age 42. The only known earlier case is that of the two embraced skeletons found in a Late Bronze Age pit at Doyrentsi 43. It is worth noting that in later publications of the same complex the possibility of it being a burial has not been ruled out 44. This ritual is attested in the Thracian lands to the north of the Danube as well. The data is substantial and widely discussed by Valеriu Sîrbu against the background of human bones discovered in non-burial context 45. The secondfirst century BC materials originating from cult sites at Orlea, St. George, Sighişoara-Wietemberg, Moigrad-Măgura are of great significance for the present study. They are agglomerations of pits, located beyond any other monuments (buildings, settlements and necropoleis), and also considered sanctuaries 46. Human skeletons and bones found at these cult sites, similar to the discussed complexes in Thrace south of the Balkan Range and those in the southern lands of the Lower Danube, although dated two centuries later, confirm the conservatism of Thracian beliefs and ritual practices on both sides of the Danube. Data for such ritual practices come also from ritual pits in the North Pontic area 47. Ancient authors undoubtedly attested Thracians performing human sacrifices: the ritual death of the messenger to Zalmoxis, the story of King 40 Милчев 1961, 418. This fact gives grounds to the author to suggest that all of the pits could be both of ritual or funeral nature. 41 Georgieva Нехризов, Цветкова 2008, Китов, Павлов 1985, Kitov, Аlexandrov 1999,1. 45 Sîrbu. 1993, 31-36; Sîrbu 1995a, Sîrbu 1995b, Бессонова, Скорый 2001, 8 and note 13.

11 512 Diegylis sacrificing two Greeks; the custom according to which the favourite wife accompanied her husband in death 48. The examples, already numerous, of human sacrifices in pit-sanctuaries seem to support the ancient written sources and pose many new questions about the interpretation of that authentic archaeological evidence. They illustrate the written sources about Thrace in two aspects. On the one hand, archaeological data confirm the presence of human sacrifice in Thrace, and, on the other, it shows that human sacrifice was not a common practice but an extraordinary act, practiced perhaps only in special occasions and with special persons. The ritual places were pit sanctuaries, possibly associated mainly with agricultural cults, providing fertility. Human sacrifice, accepted and practiced by the ancient as an act, which meaning was to ensure the natural cycle 49 further supplement the arguments in favour of this hypothesis. It is also possible that those were not human sacrifices offered to divinities but rather ritual killings as magic. Plinius in his Natural History dealing with magical healing rituals lists human sacrifice in a line of unusual rites 50. Translation into English by Maya Vassileva National Archaeological Institute with Museum Sofia Bibliography Агре 2002: Д. Агре. Спасителни археологически разкопки на една могила в м. Подуенски герен в София. Археологически открития и разкопки през 2001 г., София, 63. Балабанов 1983: П. Балабанов. Тракийският хинтерланд на Аполония и Месамбрия (V-І в. пр. н. е.), а dissertation. Балабанов 1999: П. Балабанов. Тракийски ритуални ями край с. Дебелт, Бургаска област - Археология, XL, 3-4, Бессонова, Скорый 2001: С.С. Бессонова, С.А. Скорый. Мотронинское городище скифской эпохи. Киев-Краков. Бонев, Александров 1993: А.Бонев, Г. Александров. Багачина - тракийски култов център. - Археология, 1, Попов 1989, 66-67; Popov 1997, ; Sîrbu 1993, Eliade 1992, 89-92; Попов 1989, 67; Sîrbu 1993, Grottanelli, 2000, 277.

12 On Human Sacrifice in Thrace (On Archaeological Evidence) 513 Бонев, Александров 1996: А. Бонев, Г. Александров. Багачина. Селище от късната каменно-медна епоха и тракийски култов център (ІІІ-І хил. пр. Хр.), Монтана. Георгиева 1991: Р. Георгиева. Обредни ями в Тракия (края на ІІ-І хил. пр. н. е.) - Археология, ХХХІІІ, 1, Китов, Павлов 1985: Г. Китов, П. Павлов. Тракийски могили при Дойренци и Смочан, Ловешко. Археологически открития и разкопки през 1984, Китов, Агре 2002: Г. Китов, Д. Агре. Въведение в тракийската археология. София. Милчев 1961: А. Милчев. Археологическо проучване в околностите на с. Мирково, Пирдопско. - Сб. Изследвания в памет на К. Шкорпил, София, Нехризов, Цветкова 2008: Г. Нехризов, Ю. Цветкова. Ритуални ями от желязната епоха при Свиленград. В: В. Николов, Г. Нехризов, Ю. Цветкова (ред.). Спасителни археологически разкопки по трасето на железопътната линия Пловдив Свиленград през 2005 г., Велико Търново, Попов 1989: Д. Попов. Залмоксис. Религия и общество на траките. София. Тонкова 2005: М. Тонкова. Проблемът за човешкото жертвоприношение в Тракия. в: Г. Китов, Д. Димитрова (ред.). Земите на България люлка на тракийската култура, том ІІ, София, Тонкова 2006: М. Тонкова. Тракийско ямно светилище от втората половина на V- началото на ІІІ в.пр.хр. в м. Карабюлюк при с. Ябълково, Димитровградско. в: В. Николов, Г. Нехризов, Ю. Цветкова (ред.). Спасителни археологически разкопки по трасето на железопътна линия Пловдив-Свиленград през 2004 г., Велико Търново, Bozkova, Tonkova 2007: A. Bozkova, M. Tonkova. Le sanctuaire thrace a fosses de Malko Tranovo dans la plaine de Maritsa. L Archéologue, No 90, Burrow 1993: J. Burrow. Durankulak. Vorbericht über Ausgrabungen 1991 und AA, Helt 3, Burrow 1994: J. Burrow. The Different Types of Ritual Pits in Durankulak and their Contents. - Thracia Pontica, VI, 1, Eliade 1992: M. Eliade. Le sacré et le profane. Ed. Gallimard, Georgieva 2003: R. Georgieva. Sepultures insolites de Thrace (fin du IIe-Ier mrll. av. J.-C. - Thracia 15, Grottanelli 2000: C. Grottanelli. Ideologie del sacrificio umano. - St. Verger (ed.) Rites et espaces en pays celtes et méditerranéen. Rome, Kitov, Аlexandrov 1999: G. Kitov, St. Аlexandrov. Late Bronze Age Complex under a Barrow Near Doirentsi of Lovech. - Археологически вести, 1.

13 514 Hughes 1991: D. Hughes. Human Sacrifice in Ancient Greece. London and New York. Lichardus at al. 2000: J. Lichardus, A. Fol, L. Getov, F. Bertemes, R. Echt, R. Katincarov, I. Iliev. Forschungen in der Mikroregion von Drama , Bonn. Popov 1997: D. Popov. Zalmoxis (le dieu aux différents noms). - in: P. Roman (ed.) The Thracian world at the crossroads of civilizations 1. Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of Thracology, Bucharest, Sîrbu 1993: V. Sîrbu. Credinţe şi practici funerare, religioase şi magice în lumea geto-dacilor. Galaţi. Sîrbu 1995 a: V. Sîrbu. Sur les sacrifices humains et un rituel funéraire insolite dans le territoire thrace (découvertes archéologiques; sources écrites; interpretations historiques). - Kulturraum mittlere und untere Donau: Traditionen und perspectiven des zusammenlebens. Reşiţa, Sîrbu 1995 b: V. Sîrbu. Un nouveau type de monuments sacrés chez les Geto- Daces. - Acta Musei Napocensis, 32, I, Todorova 2007: H. Todorova. Durankulak a Territorium Sacrum of the Goddess Cybele. In: D. Grammenos, E. Petropoulos. Ancient Greek Colonies in the Black Sea 2. BAR International Series 1675 (I), Tonkova 1997: M. Tonkova. Un champs de fosses rituelles des Ve-IVe s.av.j.- C. près de Glédacevo, Bulgarie de sud. - in: P. Roman (ed.) The Thracian world at the crossroads of civilizations 1. Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of Thracology, Bucharest, Tonkova, Savatinov 2002: M. Tonkova, S. Savatinov. Thracian Culture of the Late Aron Age. - Maritsa-Iztok, Archaeological Research, 5, Sofia, Tonkova 2003: M. Tonkova. Late iron Age pit-sanctuaries in Thrace: The contribution of the studies at Gledacevo. - Thracia 15, Varbanov, Dragoev, 2006: V. Varbanov, D. Dragoev. A new Thracian Pits Sanctuary in Ruse (A preliminary Report). Istros, XIII, Vulcheva D.Vulcheva. The Pit Sanctuary. - in: A. Bojkova, P. Delev (ed.) Koprivlen, I, NOUS Publishers LTD, Sofia,

14 On Human Sacrifice in Thrace (On Archaeological Evidence) 515 Fig. 1. Map of pit sanctuaries in Thrace.

15 516 Fig 2. Human skeleton in Pit 9 in the sanctuary at Gledachevo, the Kumsala site. Fig 2a. Hypothetical reconstruction of the body position.

16 On Human Sacrifice in Thrace (On Archaeological Evidence) 517 Fig. 3. Human skeleton in Pit 12 in the sanctuary at Gledachevo, the Dvora site. Fig. 4. Part of a human skeleton in Pit 29 in the sanctuary at Gledachevo, the Dvora site: the level with the remains of an aged individual.

17 518 Fig. 5. Human skeleton in Pit 29 in the sanctuary at Gledachevo, the Dvora site: the next level with the child s remains. Fig. 6. Child s skeleton in Pit 40 in the sanctuary at Gledachevo, the Dvora site

18 On Human Sacrifice in Thrace (On Archaeological Evidence) 519 Fig. 7. Mare s skeleton in Pit 40 in the sanctuary at Gledachevo, the Dvora site Fig. 8. Human skeleton in Pit 33 in the sanctuary at Malko Trunovo.

19 520 Fig. 9. Remains of children s skeletons in Pit 197 in the sanctuary at Malko Trunovo. Fig. 9a. Two children s skulls. Detail.

20 On Human Sacrifice in Thrace (On Archaeological Evidence) 521 Fig.10. Child s skeleton and parts of skeletons of adults in Pit 1/H 39 in the sanctuary at Yabalkovo Fig. 10 a. The upper part of an adult individual cut apart at the shoulders. Detail.

21 522 Fig. 11. Human skeleton in Pit 1/H 40 in the sanctuary at Yabalkovo. Fig. 12. Human skeleton in Pit 1/I 42 in the sanctuary at Yabalkovo.