Thracian Bronze Head of Seuthes III, Late 4th-Early 3rd Century BC
Found in the Golyamata Kosmatka mound, a little over a half a mile south of the town of Shipka, Bulgaria. (map)
Seuthes III was a ruler of the Odrysian kingdom of Thrace from around 331 BC to 300 BC. After the campaigns of Philip II in 347–342 BC, a significant part of Thrace had been dependent to Macedon. After Philip’s death in 336 BC, many of the Thracian tribes revolted against Philip’s son Alexander III the Great, who waged a campaign against and defeated the Getae and King Syrmus of the Triballi. All other Thracians sent troops to join Alexander’s army. Seuthes III revolted against the Macedon about 325 BC, after Alexander’s governor Zopyrion was killed in battle against the Getae. After Alexander died in 323 BC he again took up arms in opposition to the new governor Lysimachus. They fought each other to a draw and each withdrew from battle. Ultimately Seuthes III was compelled to acknowledge the authority of Lysimachus, by then one of Alexander’s successor kings. In 320 BC, Seuthes III moved the Odrysian kingdom to central Thrace and built his capital city at Seuthopolis (Kazanlak), present day Bulgaria. In 313 BC he supported Antigonus I in the latter’s war against Lysimachus, occupying the passes of Mount Haemus against his overlord but was again defeated and forced to submit.
The Tomb of the Thracian King Seuthes III is situated in the Golyamata Kosmatka mound, at a distance of a little more than a half mile south from the town of Shipka. It was discovered in 2004. The Tomb was built in the second half of fifth century BC. Items found inside included the golden crown of the ruler, a golden kylix (shallow wine cup), knee pads and a helmet, and applications for horse tackle, all exhibited in the historical museum of the town of Kazanlak.