Georgi Kitov: Excavated Thrace, Dies at 65

Historians in the News

Georgi Kitov, a Bulgarian archaeologist whose discoveries helped illuminate the culture of ancient Thrace, but whose methods — especially using bulldozers and backhoes — appalled his more meticulous colleagues, died Sunday in Starosel, Bulgaria. He was 65.

The cause was a heart attack, said the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Bulgarian state news agency reported.

Mr. Kitov gained fame for making one sensational discovery after another about the ancient people of Thrace and helping scientists develop a sharper picture of the kingdom, a confederation of tribes around the juncture of southern Europe and Asia from the fifth century B.C. until A.D. 46, when it was conquered by Rome.

Mr. Kitov’s bailiwick was dozens of mounds in what became known as the Valley of the Thracian Kings, in central Bulgaria. He found ancient graves at Strelcha, a religious complex near Starosel and the tomb of King Seuthes III, near the town of Shipka. He collected Thracian jewelry, weaponry and sculpture, including what many consider his finest discovery, the bronze head of a man with eyes of semiprecious stones.

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