Rousse Regional Museum of History
"All that I experienced afterwards had already been in Roustchouk". Elias Canetti
The Tomb at the Village of Babovo

DeyanDragoev, CuratorattheArchaeologyDepartment

Mausoleum tomb, known in the past as Babu-Buyuk tepe, is located 30 km to the east of Rousse and 0.5 km to the east of Babovo (to the south of the ruins of the antique Appiaria). In 1981 with the aim of experimenting some of the new geophysical methods for localization of archaeological sites, began the research of the mound under the direction of D. Ivanov from the Museum of Rousse and P. Donchev and N. Nenov from the laboratory of Geotehnics at the Bulgarian Acadmy of Science.

It represents a large tomb in the geometrical center of a tumulus (7 m high and 41 m in diameter at the base), which consists of four interconnected structures - an antechamber, a dromos, a second antechamber and a burial chamber. Their total length is 22.50 m. All four structures are rectangular in form and are orientated SW-NE. They are situated at different levels. The construction is of stone and brick in opus mixtum at the foundation of the walls. The semi-cylindrical vaults are built of bricks only and bound with mortar with broken bricks. The entrance of the tomb is in the N wall of the first antechamber. It is sealed by a two-wing door. The height of the chamber is 4.72 m and it is covered with a gable roof, on a one-row brick semi- cylindrical vault arch. A decorative brick frieze, known as "wolf's tooth" is formed on the outside. The floor of the antechamber is reached by means of four steps with a total height of 1.08 m and is covered with bricks. The dromos is 7.20 m long. Its vaulted arch is semi-cylindrical, built only of bricks. Its height is 1.80 m and its floor has a slope to the S with a displacement of 1.32 m at both ends. The second antechamber and the burial chamber, divided by a stone wall, have a total length of 12.5 m and width of 2.54 m. The chambers are 2.80 m high. They are almost entirely dug into the ground (2.67 m deeper than the antique floor level). The antechamber is 7.20 m long and is built in opus mixtum at the foundations of the walls. Its floor is of bricks over mortar padding. The burial chamber is additionally built of polished stone blocks. Its semi-cylindrical vault arch is built of trapezium shaped segmental blocks. The floor is slated with stone plates. The tomb had already been plundered in Antiquity. As a terminus post quem we have a bronze onion- shaped fibula and a silver belt buckle, discovered inside the burial chamber, as well as a follis of emperor Licinius, discovered inside the second antechamber. Based on the bilateral fibula, discovered in the pile of rubble around the entrance, the building of the tomb-mausoleum can be set to the period between the second half and the end of 2nd c. and was used until the beginning of 4th c., when it has been looted and abandoned.