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The Znepole region of Thrace: Burial mask of a goddess

Thrace's Znepole region contains a number of settlements, villages and necropoli from the Greek, Thracian and Roman eras, along with ancient Roman villas and sanctuaries, medieval castles, and orthodox churches. In the past, many incidental discoveries were made during the course of plowing or other farming activities. On the ridge of a hill which dominates the surrounding flat area, some 18 centuries ago a native aristocratic warrior was buried with magnificent ceremony. According to the ancient Thracian custom, he was interred in a small (3m high) burial mound.

Among the grave goods  were seven bronze masks of deities, placed in the same pit as the burial. Three may be of Dionysos, while the others show diademmed goddesses. One mask, shown in fig.1, has been variously identified as Demeter, Persephone, or Aphrodite.

[Fig 1: Mask of a goddess from the warrior's mound burial at Znepole (photo:R. Giorgev).]

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