At the base of Sveshtari tumuli and the use of magnetic survey for the study of circumtumular areas

Petar Zidarov

The application of geophysical methods to the systematic study of the tumuli near the village Sveshtari in northeastern Bulgaria spans already five decades of history. So far, the main focus of the field studies was concentrated on the tumular embankments which were expected to cover various types of tombs and the most favoured method was the vertical electric sounding. Recent archaeological excavations have revealed extensive circumtumular dug-out features enclosing one tumulus in a manner comparable to better known ancient sanctuaries from France referred to as Celtic. As no comparable feature has been excavated in Bulgaria so far, it is often presented as a ritual monument unique on the Balkans. Closer examination of some magnetic plans of other circumtumular areas in the same necropolis and two other sites in Bulgaria suggest, however, that it is likely they were more popular in fact. Therefore, more extensive use of the magnetic method for the study of the areas surrounding the tumuli is strongly advised.

magnetometry, archaeology, tumuli, circumtumular features

X National Geophysical Conference, 4th June 2021, DOI:

Author information:
Author: Petar Zidarov
Affiliation: Eberhard- Karls Universität Tübingen, Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte und Archäologie des Mittelalters

Thanks to the team of IM-Isperih – B. Mateva, M. Nikolaeva, Hr. Uzunov, as well as K. Dimitrov (NAIM-BAS), I. Petri (German Archaeological Institute) and Y. Emilov (Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski) for their assistance, both during the field research and in the discussion of the results. Thanks to F. Fles and Fr. Lutte from the German Archaeological Institute for providing the multi-channel fluxgate magnetometer, which was used to measure the eastern necropolis of Sveshtari, as well as the management of the New Bulgarian University, for providing the cesium magnetometer G-858, which performed measurements in the western. Part of the field activities are funded by the Ministry of Culture under a program for targeted financial support of Sboryanovo.

How to cite:
Zidarov, P. (2021). В подножието на Свещарските могили или за ползите от магнитният метод в проучването на околомогилните пространства. X National Geophysical Conference, 4th June 2021, p. 88-93.