Home | ContactsSite map     Български
                                          Archeological sites |  Remarkable places |  Museums

  Archeological sites  
Harman Kaya

From the sanctuaries documented so far in the Rhodopi mountains Harman Kaya is the most impressive one. It is located in the region of village Dolna Chobanka, Momchilgrad County. The site has been registered more than 60 years ago (Mikov 1941). The sanctuary developed on a not-very-high plateau around a 7-meter long, small natural cave. In front of the cave on the surface of the terrain is located the largest heaping of ceramic fragments. The earliest ceramic fragments date from the late Chalcolithic epoch, and the latest - from the 1st-2nd c. AD. Trapezoid niches are hewn in the vertical rock located next to the cave's entrance. There is another karst cave located at the foot of the plateau. It is 20 meters long with traces of cultivation.
The plateau where the cave is located is crowned with rocks. It dominates over the environment and is naturally fortified. The inner sacred space includes the rocky top with the cave. One entered the sacred space through a cleft between the rocks which was secondarily designed as an entrance. The entrance was closed with a door the threshold and grooves of which are still recognizable in the rocks. The terraces cut in the rocks and defined also for sun observation usage, the foundations of chambers, stairs, sacrificial pits, altars, basins (probably including purificational ones) are located in the outer sacred space. The rain water was directed outside the chambers via outfalls cut in the horizontal rocks. Rocks with hewn in trapezoid niches and sacrificial altars rise in this outer sacred space.
Two grounds, evened out, with diameters respectively 10 and 15 meters, are located in this space (Fol, V. 2000; 2003). The first one, marked as northeastern, has an oval shape tilted slightly to the North. 6 concentrated semicircles separated by 0.3-1.4 meters are formed through hollowing the rock. Their diameter, of course, constantly increases. A throne, turned east-northeast is hewn in the rock in the western end of the ground. The second ground has an almost circular shape. It is marked as southwestern, and has 11 concentric semicircles. The ground itself is slightly inclined south. A throne is hewn in the northern side of this ground and is turned northeast.
According to the sanctuary's discoverer, Prof. V. Mikov, the remains of "the biggest Thracian city" are apparent at Harman Kaya's foot. Not only the outlines of the chambers are obvious, but also the streets and the squares. The masonry, according to the author, has no mortar, and the ceramics which he discovered at the terrain, dates between the 6th and the 1st c. BC.
A tomb is hewn in the rocky slope above the river, next to the cult place. For now there are no data the cult complex Harman Kaya functioned in the Middle ages, thus diferring from other rock-cut cult locations.
The archaeo-astronomical research of the two terraces hewn in the rocks (one of them being circular), shows that they likely served for measuring the yearly cycle and for establishing of the summer and winter solstices. Research proves that the rock mega-complex intended for such solar observations was created around 2000 BC. (Stoev, A. and others 2003)