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Solar megalithic stele in the region of the rock-cut “Lilac sanctuary”

Above Babek village, to the right of the road leading to Svezhen village, towers the mountain peak Gradishteto. One can reach it after travelling around 5 km of dirt road. Before reaching the saddleback from where the ascent to Gradishteto begins, a group of rocks towers in a lilac forest. In them are carved circular basins, some of which have furrows. The area is called “Kazana” (the cauldron) and is found on the land of Rozovets village. Around 50 meters southeast to the rocks with carved circular basins, a flat stone is erected on a rocky southern slope – it is a stele. Its localization, expressed via the Global Positioning System (GPS) is 42 27 53.2 (North), 25 04 28.0 (East);the elevation above sea level – 726 m. The stele is erected in a bed, especially formed in the rock. It is shaped as a flame and is a bit over 2 meters tall. The front side of the stele is turned to the south and reveals a horizon view of the Thracian valley.

The stele is skillfully mounted in the bed carved in the rock, and is fortified with rock pieces. The smothered front part of the stele is very weathered and one cannot notice any signs of images or an inscription. A narrow platform is formed in front of the stele. The approach towards it seems to be from the West on a horizontal line, but as the terrain is weeded over with lilacs and bushes, the path formed in the rock can be seen only from the immediate vicinity of the platform. Traces of furrows can be noticed on the rocks that remain to the side and behind the stele. The “Lilac Sanctuary” with the solar stele is a typical out-of-settlement sanctuary on a mountain peak with characteristics of a place where the God-Sun was worshipped.

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