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The skeleton of Borov dol - mystery and reality

D. Sivrev, M. Minkova, N. Dimitrov, I. Ivanov

Abstract

Borov dol is a narrow valley situated between the hills Patrahilets and Kupelaritsa, west of the road Stara Zago­ra-Kazanlak. Until 1979, a 2-meter high monastery remnant, part of monastic complex named Boruj Mala Sveta Gora stood in this location. At the time of archeological excavations, which began in 2014, the area of the monas­tery has revealed a grave with a preserved skeleton. Bones were in an anatomical order, so it could be assumed that it was a single primary funeral. The skeleton was in a stretched position lying on the back. The arms were paral­lel to the body, but the right forearm was placed in front of the body. The left forearm, feet and part of the crani­al bones were missing. The skull was turned to the right, the lower jaw was in its normal position, almost in the occlusion position, being slightly distant (1-2 cm) from the base of the skull. Perhaps this departure was due to shifting terrestrial layers or has occurred during discovery of the skeleton and its cleansing of the earth. The chest and upper thoracic vertebrae were curved to the right (the spine was curved around its axis), but it was not clear whether the corpse was placed in this position or it occurred after the burial. This was a male individual, probably a representative of the Caucasian race with a height of 173-175 cm and a presumed age of about 50 years. He was of an average to tall stature, combined with a small face and a narrow skull. Our hypothesis is that he was a monk (probably a left-hander), accused of vampirism, so the feet and his left forearm were cut off.





DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14748/ssm.v49i0.4857

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About The Authors

D. Sivrev
Trakia University
Bulgaria

M. Minkova
Trakia University
Bulgaria

N. Dimitrov
Trakia University
Bulgaria

I. Ivanov
Trakia University
Bulgaria

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