In 2004, in the Golyama Kosmatka mound in The Valley of the Thracian Kings, the team of Dr Georgi Kitov discovered one of the biggest and best preserved aristocratic tombs in Bulgaria.
The tomb has a 13-metre-long corridor and two antechambers, the second of which is round, has a 4.5-metre-high cupola and is protected by a marble door with medallions of the faces of Helios and Medusa. Following is a rectangular burial chamber hewn into a 60-tonne monolith, which contained more than 70 items: a wealth of expensive weapons and precious objects, including a beautiful gold wreath.
The words "To Seuthes," written in one of the silver vessels and on a bronze helmet found there, have led some historians to conjecture that the tomb belonged to King Seuthes III (ca. 330-300/295 BC). Others, however, dispute the identification, as Seuthes had died decades before the burial took place – around 280 BC or a while later.
Copy of the portrait of a Thracian king found at Golyama Kosmatka mound
But the most astonishing find from Golyama Kosmatka was discovered buried in the mound, not in the tomb itself. It was a beautiful bronze head of a man with an unruly beard and strong features. The head was probably an effigy of the deceased, and was cut from an actual, life-size statue. It was probably performed in a ritual that imitated the dismemberment of Dionysus.