The Adaptation of Greek Architectural Decoration in Monumental Thracian Tombs in the Kazanlak Valley Open Access

McManus, Rebecca Leigh (2013)

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The lasting monuments to the ancient civilization of Thrace are the tombs hidden under the tumuli that speckle its landscape. The Classical and early Hellenistic tombs of the Kazanlak Valley, in the vicinity of the Hellenistic Odrysian capital city of Seuthopolis, were excavated in the second half of the twentieth century and attest that Odrysian Thrace produced monumental funerary architecture with strong visual associations to that of Greece. While these tombs have been studied individually, no study has been conducted that compares the tombs as a group to each other or to those of surrounding cultures. In this thesis, I would like to consider the tombs of the Kazanlak Valley in this context. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is fourfold: first, to determine the degree to which Greek architectural decoration influenced that of the monumental Thracian tombs in the Kazanlak Valley and to identify the Greek antecedents of those influences; second, to explore ancient Greco-Thracian artistic hybridity as displayed in these tombs; third, to identify possible avenues of cultural transmission between Greece and the Kazanlak Valley during these periods; and fourth, to hypothesize about possible motives for adapting Greek decorative elements to a Thracian context.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction: Thrace and the Thracians 1

Chapter 1: The Kazanlak Valley and Its Tombs 5

Chapter 2: Decorative Methods and their Application 15

Chapter 3: The Adaptation of the Masonry Style 18

Chapter 4: The Influence of Ordered Architecture 30

Chapter 5: Connections with Greek Iconography 39

Chapter 6: The Transmission of Ideas and Practices 46

List of Figures 51

Works Cited 55

Figures 59

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