THRACIAN HERO, 2nd century A.D.
High relief in limestone
31.5 x 35 x 10 cm
Date of entry at UNESCO
Country of origin Bulgaria
Donating country Bulgaria
Donation made to UNESCO by the Republic of Bulgaria on the occasion of the 1300th Anniversary of the founding of the Bulgarian State.<br><br>
© Photo: UNESCO/J.C. Bernath
All rights reserved

The number of Thracian funeral reliefs uncovered continually increases, today exceeding 3500. These funeral or votive reliefs represent the ‘Thracian Horseman or Hero’. The cult and veneration of this divine and anonymous hero, depicted as a hunter and horseman, reached its height during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Reliefs dedicated to the Thracian horseman are found everywhere in Thrace, which explains the extremely diverse iconographic schemes. In 1938, Gavril Kazarov established a categorization method consisting of three main groups, which is still used today. According to this classification, the Thracian Hero in UNESCO’s collection is an example of type A: this group includes all reliefs representing a horseman riding off to the right, towards an altar behind which stands a tree with a snake upon it, facing the arriving horseman.

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