Archaeological complex “Tatul”

Archaeological complex “Tatul” is the Thracian sanctuary near the village of Tatul, Momchilgrad municipality. It is located only 200 m from the village and about 15 km from Momchilgrad. It is one of the most magnificent megalithic monuments discovered on our lands

The sanctuary is a rock massif, and its top is a truncated pyramid. The complex consists of two sarcophagi, a quadrangular bed for the main altar, and a three-meter-deep well. It is dated from the end of the 5th and the beginning of the 4th millennium BC. This is evidenced by the clay vessels found in the region.


The rock pyramid and the tombs around it were formed in the 18th – 11th centuries BC, when the sanctuary experienced its first great flourishing. A circle of clay altars was formed around it, on which sacrifices were made. Hundreds of cult objects were discovered – clay human idols and spindle vertebrae, vessel models, bronze objects and images of the Sun God. During the excavations in 2004-2007a part of a golden mask revealed. Its exact dating is still disputed, as materials from different eras are found. The complex consists of an ancient pagan sanctuary and a medieval fortress.

The central and highest place on the rock peak occupies an east-west oriented grave. It is cut into a massive rock, carved like a truncated pyramid. On the southern side of the majestic rock, another similar tomb is carved. It is located in a hemispherical niche. The niche is covered with an arched vault carved in the stone. A ceremonial staircase, consisting of eight steps, cut into the rocks leads to the two graves. Cult sites, steps to them, niches, systems of gutters and basins for collecting some liquid were formed on the neighboring canaries. The sanctuary is believed to date from the 12th century BC.

Tatul, in addition to being a sanctuary for offering sacrifices to the ancient Thracian deities, was certainly also a center for observing the sunrise and sunset on certain days of the year – on the day of the winter solstice, for example, when the sun rose, it fell on the “fly” of a a special rock crevice. This is also suggested by the shape of the highest part of the megalith – a hollow semicircle resembling a rising sun. Read more…





village of Glavatartsi, №1, Kardzhali