The lands of this place are also the centre of the most ancient European stock-agricultural community – the Thracian: according to the “father of history” Herodotus it was the most populous in the world next to the Indian. The Thracians formed 90 “tribes”, the biggest part of which tried to unite the kings of the Odrisian dynasty under their scepter.
It was founded in the 6th century BC by King Teres I and the following centuries his proud subjects carried on the traditional of creating many architecture works: rock sanctuaries and complexes, menhirs, dolmens and beehive tombs. The Thracians have raised about 150 000 funeral tumuli, many of which overlaid big sub-tumulus temples.
The first special male communities, connected to the cult to the kings, priest and God Orpheus “the brilliantly celebrated”, performed their mysteries and secret rituals in there. Some of the royal tombs have preserved marvellous sculptural decoration up to the present while the walls of other tombs are covered with unique paintings.
As for the tomb of Alexander it preserves maybe the most ancient known self-portrait, signed 2400 years ago with “Kodzhimases Chrestos”. Together with the deified remains of high-born Thracians many marvellous creations of Thracian masters have been buried in the tomb and the sub-tumulus complexes, among which the exceptional gold and silver vessels from the Odrisian royal services and the shiny horse accoutrements of the heavily-armed Thracian aristocracy are to be distinguished.