Nikola Theodossiev, born in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1964. Ph.D. from Sofia University ‘St. Kliment Ohridski’. Assistant Professor at the Department of Archaeology, Sofia University ‘St. Kliment Ohridski’.
Mellon Fellow (1 February 2003 – 30 June 2003)
In the middle of the first Millennium B.C. some tribes in the Northern Balkans, consolidated politically, achieved economic prosperity and formed strong supra-tribal communities under the rule of local kings. In the period of tribal state formation, the Thracian aristocracy began to look for cultural media through which to display its political power and religious authority in society. My research investigates two similar media groups. The first includes gold and silver vases and other artefacts from the Late Classical and Early Hellenistic Age, showing various icons related to the heroic figure of the Thracian king and the image of the Great Goddess. Their study in a broader comparative context may change many older concepts, especially those stating the ‘local origin’ or ‘unique character’ of the finds. The second group includes the monumental tombs of ancient Thrace, which date from the same periods. These funerary monuments are among the most representative elements of Thracian culture. Up to now, they have been not studied in detail and closer examination indicates that these tombs should be considered as cultural phenomena, not isolated in Thrace, but closely related to the ancient funerary architecture in Greece, Macedonia, Asia Minor and Italy. My present research will result in a book and a monograph and several articles, all to be published in the West.