A Land lying at the intersection of civilizations: Thracian Period Cultural Treasures of Edirne City!

Thrace Region is one of the rare regions where you can track down the collapsing eras of human beings. Although the studies conducted on Thrace Region are generally limited, the data obtained from such researches are sufficient enough to provide a quite large information environment. In the light of said data, human being existence on the Thrace Region can be followed up backwards up to thousands of years from today.

Thrace Region is a cultural heaven drawing attention with its past over 750.000 years. Researches conducted in various parts of Thrace Region are also exhibiting a significant archeological potential with their data tracked down through quite early periods. As being carrying a very big importance in terms of archeology, Edirne lands located at the heart of Thrace Region constitute an absolute bridge between the civilizations and make an indelible impression on our eyes with its thousands of years of accumulated archeological data (1).

It is possible to encounter with a cultural heritage example left from Thracian Period in almost every part of the region located within the provincial borders of Edirne city today. Although the data obtained were only compiled under two studies realized in large-scaled research projects; they did not draw the sufficient attention onto this subject. However, even with their current status, these studies in terms of quality and quantity establish a significant potential on this subject. The said archeological data, even with their current statuses, constitute an important cultural tourism source today. Hence, the only thing needs to be done for now is to reveal and display this cultural heritage and to enable the necessary visiting opportunities for today’s humans. This is because, this archeological inheritance is the common treasure of whole humanity.

 

1 ) Researches conducted on Edirne city are owned by limited numbers of researchers. Although the region had drawn quite big attention beginning from the midst of 19th century; studies on this region were in fact quite delayed and the numbers of the researchers studying the Thrace region were always limited. Therefore, the scientists recognizing and who are aware of the Thrace region in real terms were always counted on the fingers of one hand. With regard the persons who call themselves expert on this subject, the significant part of such persons are mostly the ones who are groping around in the darkness to find a way. Hence, this circumstance is quite obvious for the Thracian Period.  

In this article, the data in question related with significant part of the Thracian Period archeological findings are the data brought into light as a result of the studies of the authors of this article in person namely; Prof. Dr. Engin Beksaç and Assistant Professor Şule Nurengin Beksaç. For this reason, academician authors of this article also are proud of being submitting many archeological data discussed in this article to the consideration of science world for the first time. Furthermore, the authors of this article share the pleasure and pride of proving that there are many important data regarding the Thracian Period against the persons who once argued that there were no important Thracian data in the region. Authors hereby owe a truly debt of gratitude to Archeologist Mrs. Bilnur Kurt for her contributions for realizing their studies discussed herein.  

This study would not be possible to be achieved without the valuable supports and concerns of EDESOB President Mr. Emin İnağ and General Secretary Mr. Özay Güngören who provided an opportunity for this kind of study that can be counted as the first one for the Thrace Region of Turkish Republic. Authors of this article feel appreciated of presenting their cordial thanks to all of the foregoing persons.

The existence of human being in the region existing within the provincial borders of Edirne city can be tracked down precisely back to the Early Neolithic Period. Many venues harboring the archeological findings of the said era back to 7000 B.C. were detected and determined through surface researches and explorations. Some of the archeological venues located in the districts of Edirne city such as Enez, Meriç, İpsala, Lalapaşa, Süloğlu, Centre and Uzunköprü districts are drawing attention with this regard. Among these districts, only the Hocaçeşme Mound became the scene of archeological excavation works –although not comprehensive- of which were conducted in the west of Yenice Village located within the borders of Enez district. As this mound is located right next to the highway arriving to Enez, it can be easily visited by the visitors.

Other various centers of archeological findings that can be related with Chalcolithic and Bronze Ages coming after the Neolithic Period are also encountered within the provincial borders of Edirne city.

Archeological inheritance of Edirne city had spread around not only some regions of the city, but almost in all regions of the city. These findings can be possible to be collected under four periods as follows:

1- Period before the Thracians,

2- Thracian Period,

3- Roman Period, and

4- Medieval Period.

Thracian Period is one of the periods especially represented by quite lot of sui generis examples as constituting the subject-matter of this article.

Thracian Period includes a very extensive period of time following after the Late Bronze Age, approximately between 1300’s B.C and up to 1st century A.D.

We can classify the archeological findings left from Thracian Period as follows:

1- Settlement Zones

2- Dolmens

3- Castles

4- Altars and Sacred Places

5- Tumuli

6- Obelisks and Cemeteries

Although the archeological excavation studies were not fulfilled in the strict sense, quite significant information was collected about these archeological findings through surface researches.

1- Settlement Zones of Thracian Period:

Settlement zones that can be relatable with the Thracian Period within the provincial borders of Edirne city are located on an extensively large area and they are being represented with a lot of numbers of examples. These examples appear before us especially in Lalapaşa, Süloğlu and Centre districts as well as more richly in Enez, İpsala and Meriç districts. Except the above listed districts, there were also traces detected in some areas of Keşan, Uzunköprü and Havsa districts, too.

The said settlement zones are usually distributed among plain areas and fortified villages or towns located on elevations of the region. The stoneware artifacts found in these settlement zones are particularly relatable with the Thracian Period of which can be detected with the samples of black stoneware examples belonging to the Iron Age. Among such type of settlement zones, as being the best monitored and tracked down samples; Kaynaklar Locality nearby the Yağcılı village of Süloğlu district and the area right next to Küçükdöllük village of Lalapaşa district are drawing attention as the best examples of such settlement zones in terms of disposing these areas for touristic purposes in the future.

At this point, Göztepe is also drawing attention although it is connected with a castle of which is locating in the Karaincirli shores of Enez district.

The area surrounding the Kaynaklar Locality nearby the Yağcılı village along with other places of archeological findings is determined as a venue occupied since the Neolithic Period. Fortified remains of a building found in this area also draw attention as being an example of partly military and partly religious structure that was preferred by the rulers of Thracian Period for the purpose of settlement. The stoneware artifacts along with other archeological findings found in this area during the conducted researches are also supporting this circumstance.

This settlement type, particularly with its water resources and stream bed right next to it has a quite interesting archeological feature when considered as a whole.

In another settlement zone located on a hill right behind the Küçükdöllük village, there were also other archeological findings detected left from Thracian Period. Furthermore, the wooden palisade traces surrounding this hill constitute an important evidence for the qualification of this area, in which it is obviously noticed that it is leveled out and flattened with the human intervention.

Two tumuli existing in front of this settlement zone located on a plain area displays a close relationship especially with this settlement zone.

Another example of Thracian Period settlement zones that can be utilized for touristic purposes is located in the pastureland of Dombay village of Lalapaşa district. This area currently shares its location with a watch-tower left from medieval ages. Traces of a structure left from Thracian Period are easily seen underneath of this watch-tower structure of which still exists today. Around the land where the watch-tower lies there are so many Thracian Period stoneware exist. These stoneware artifacts show us utilization of these items beginning from the Early Iron Age until the midst of Middle Age. It is possible that this settlement zone was once a settlement centre of a Thracian ruler back then.

Although it was furnished and equipped as a castle, the settlement zone located in the shores of Karaincirli village of Enez district can also be an area utilized for touristic purposes regarding the displaying and exhibiting of Thracian Period settlement. Fortified settlement zone of King Politys was detected as located probably in Enez district in the mythological records and this settlement zone is also related with Politymbria and it is located on a hill lying at the shores of Saros Gulf. Wooden fortifying works’ remains can easily be observed at this hill of settlement.

Other than the Thracian Period settlement zones, there are also many settlement zones exist within the provincial borders of Edirne city of which are belonging to Roman Period and Middle Age. The settlement zones especially related with the Middle Age are quite many in terms of numbers. Among such settlement zones, Sinanköy as a castle-city and Enez are the important examples.

As being a colony city, Enez (Ainos) was first established by the Aeolians in 7th century B.C. and it is one of the most important Antique settlement zones of Thrace Region of Turkey. The archeological excavation works have been conducted for a long time already and Enez (Ainos) is one of the important archeological centers drawing attention with its archaeological remains and findings representing both the Classic, Hellenistic and Medieval Ages.

The settlement zone of Sinanköy – original name Pravon or Pravadon / Pravadi- as being one of the significant archeological centers located right next to Sinanköy village of Lalapaşa district was first used by the Thracians as a Sacred area and then used as a settlement zone and later it was transformed into a castle by the Byzantines an settled down. This settlement zone lies on the elevations near the Lalapaşa River and consists of various parts as a large complex. In the lower part, monastery and carved rock church sit with quite interesting views.

Existence of carved rock cult unites also attracts notice as being used during the Thracian Period within the archeological site of Sinanköy.

Hadrianapolis or Adrianapolis settlement zone of which some of its traces are found out during the recent excavation works and which is located under today’s settlement zone of Edirne city also takes its place among one of the most important data of Antique Ages. Some parts of this settlement zone are opened for tourism after the completion of archeological excavation works. Other sections which provide significant information about this Early Roman settlement zone are yet not opened for tourism. However, one part of this settlement zone is available for touristic visiting due to completed excavation works.  

Hadrianapolis was founded by Roman Emperor Hadrian in the beginnings of 2nd century A.D. and Emperor Hadrian had issued coins on his name. Afterwards, the city came to prominence as being one of the most important cities of Thrace region and became a significant cultural and commercial center.

Following after the 5th century B.C. it became the kingdom of Thracians as being the dominant residences of the region and it was one of the important military bases of Odrisians as well as a settlement zone with its center in İpsala (Kypsalas) located within the provincial borders of Edirne city. Three Odrisian kings have issued their coins in İpsala and although the archeological remains are now being detected with some difficulties; we are in the opinion of obtaining important results if serious research studies are conducted in this area. İpsala is the oldest city established within the Turkish Thrace region.

As being another settlement zone recognized as Kale located in the shores of Mecidiye of Keşan district; was used as a castle and sacred place and there are also other signs that are showing that it was a settlement zone of Thracian Period most probably related with the Chiefs of Caeni / Kaeni. We detected that this place was having both the military and political functions as well as religious functions utilized by the Thracian chiefs and later, this settlement zone was equipped as a castle and used for a long period of time by the Thracian rulers.

Having an extensive area of use; this settlement zone has also a very interesting position on the Saros Gulf.

2- Dolmens:

As being the most important historical artifacts within the provincial borders of Edirne city, the dolmens generally recognized as cemetery monuments; however they are in fact a part of much more extensive religious formation. Dolmens are mostly cohere with the Cult of Goddesses and gained a meaning in the sacred and symbolic geography that they took place in. Within this sacred geography, they were completely furnished with geomantic principles by also having astronomical and astrological functions.

Edirne Dolmens located within only Lalapaşa and Süloğlu districts of Edirne city actually comprise a whole along with the dolmens located within the provincial borders of Kırklareli city and constitute an important part of much larger complex located in Rodop, Bulgaria, Sakar and Istranca (Yıldız) mountains and surroundings. Dolmens located in the Thrace region of Greece are also included within this complex. It is not possible to encounter with any other dolmens throughout the region other than this wide and mountainous area of Thrace Region.

With regard the more dense area of dolmens within the provincial borders of Edirne city; in fact Lalapaşa district comes as the first and it is possible to encounter with one or several dolmens almost in and around all villages of this district. Except Lalapaşa district, many dolmens located around Domurcalı (Demircihalil) village of Süloğlu district were disappeared in time and only three of these dolmens were preserved until today in a ruined condition located on a hill in the west direction of this village.

In fact these three ruined dolmens along with other dolmens known as ruined already a while ago show us in general that the same geographical principles were used clearly during their constructions in terms of landscaping and also they are connected with Lalapaşa district. For this reason, Domurcalı Dolmens should also be handled within the whole concept of Lalapaşa.

Currently the dolmens are mostly located at the northern part of Lalapaşa district which are adjacent with the borders of Bulgaria. It was also observed that these dolmens are connected and related with other examples located around Ömeroba village as well as other dolmens located in Kırklareli city and especially with the dolmens located in Kofçaz.

Likewise other all similar ones, it can be clearly seen that they have the same type of landscaping shaped in line with the same determined principles for those times. Dolmens were constructed fully at south-east, south and southwest directions and focused on the south horizon and they have close contact with the natural facts that they are sitting in. These dolmens have close relations with the rivers surrounding them and at the same time, they are connected with the rocks, hills and other elevations around them as representing the said natural facts.

Dolmens are observed that they have a very close relation with the Sun Cult and it is also observed that they exhibit a close relation with the equinoxes and solstices as well. In the light of currently existing data; it is apparent that dolmens are much more convenient for a perception of stockbreeding culture rather than an agriculturist calendar.

In fact, it is clearly seen that the dolmens were shaped within a similar natural environment having the same principles with the rock-altars, tumuli and even with the settlement zones.

Today, nearly 60 dolmens can be detected within Edirne city some ruined and some in a better condition. These dolmens were constructed in two types as;

1- With single room, single dromos,

2- With double rooms, single dromos

Cist type formations were ran across around some of these dolmens and most of them were identified as they do not have such cist type formations.

Materials used during the construction of these dolmens are local basalt stones.

It is difficult to note that sufficient excavation works are conducted for the dolmens located within the provincial borders of Edirne city. Only in two of these dolmens, the rescue and recovery excavations were able to be realized. Currently these dolmens are being exhibited in the garden of Edirne City Archeological Museum. In addition, the dolmen brought from Hacılar village of Lalapaşa district is also being exhibited in the Museum. Also there is another dolmen known as Lalapaşa I or Arpalık Dolmen sits right next to district center of Lalapaşa.

The data obtained during the excavation works had provided us opportunity to precisely date these dolmens in Early Iron Age.

Most of these dolmens are located in places difficult to reach and transport. However, other examples which are really close to transportation routes can be easily utilized for touristic purposes.

As an example for the dolmens which can be easily visited we can give the big one with double room-single dromos that has been exhibited in the garden of Edirne City Archeological Museum. This dolmen was found and removed from its original place located in the east part of the village road of Hacılar village affiliated to Lalapaşa district. Then t was moved to the garden of the Museum. Today there is a pit existing in the original place of this dolmen.

At the southern direction of this dolmen, there is originally another long shaped dolmen. This second dolmen is currently in a ruined condition; however it has different formation when compared with its peers. Hence, it was noticed that this dolmen had two rooms and the back room has a very long rectangular plan. Both of these dolmens were arranged according to the south direction and focused on the rocky formed elevation located just ahead of these dolmens. Furthermore, traces of other dolmens in this area can be identified.

During its transportation to Edirne City Archeological Museum, the excavation studies were conducted and the found artifacts during the said excavation are being exhibited in the Museum also. Early Iron Age ceramics as well as an urno with ashes inside and a big bead piece with blue and white colors were found during the excavations.

Another dolmen that can be easily visited and reached is Lalapaşa I or Arpalık dolmen located right next to the district center of Lalapaşa district. This dolmen has been preserved in its original place and now located inside a ruined landscape. Despite this fact, it is possible to identify the symbolic geography wherein this dolmen sits with some difficulties. This is a double room- single dromos big size dolmen and positioned according to the south horizon. In this dolmen, a rescue excavation was conducted with a rush and also recovery study was made although it was full of mistakes.

Early Iron Age archeological remains were found during the excavation works and also some human being remains and a metal needle was found during the excavation.

Once you leave this dolmen which is extremely easy to visit, on the road heading the exit of Lalapaşa district and connecting Hacıdanişment to Vaysal district, we can see Lalapaşa II Dolmen at the right part of the road in the middle of a rocky hill in north direction. This dolmen is smaller in size and it is in a single room-single dromos type. It still preserves its symbolic landscaping for now. Although its side covers are fell down, it is still in a good condition and no other archeological signs are encountered around this small dolmen.

This dolmen was placed in the middle of a rocky are focused on south horizon. In addition, at the south part of this dolmen, there are İğrek Rocks and Sun Altar. At the west part of this dolmen, there are other dolmens exist difficult to reach of which are all located behind the rocky area in the west part of the current highroad.

Once you leave Lalapaşa II Dolmen and head toward north direction, there are other dolmens existing both at the right and left sides of the road arriving to Hacıdanişment village, however it is difficult to reach those dolmens for a person who doesn’t know the area well.

On this route, Father Muhyittin Dolmens can be easily reached ad visited. In order to reach this dolmen, you need to pass Hacıdanişment village and follow the road arriving to Vaysal village. After you pass Father Muhyittin Hill, there are two dolmens existing at the right side of the road, one ruined and one in a better condition. It is possible to visit these two dolmens easily of which are located right next to the highroad.

Dolmen in a better condition with double rooms and single dromos is the best dolmen example of Turkish Thrace Region. Although it was positioned according to the south horizon, as it is now sitting in a quite heavy forest texture, it is very difficult to perceive this feature of the dolmen currently.

An interesting identification was made by Prof. Dr. Engin Beksaç regarding its dating during his studies conducted in this dolmen.

As being different from other dolmens, where mostly Early Iron Age stoneware findings are found in during the relevant studies; Late Bronze Age stoneware were also identified inside the formation of this dromos and inside the soil embankment left from unlicensed excavations of treasure hunters. These archeological findings carry the original formation date of this dolmen even before the times of the Early Iron Age.

Other dolmen located at the south direction, right ahead of the big dolmen has single room and single dromos when you look at the first sight, however it is quite ruined and therefore it is difficult to conduct a thorough archeological excavation in this dolmen. Yet, it is very easy to reach and visit.

Another dolmen which can be easily visited among the Lalapaşa Dolmens is located at the south-west of Süleymandanişment village in Cevizlik Locality. This dolmen can be easily seen even on the highroad and it has a quite easy position to reach. This is a double room-single dromos dolmen with big size. However, as the stones of front room were toppled down, only the back room and side stones of the dolmen can be seen and observed. Yet, even with its current condition, it has a gorgeous look.

This dolmen was positioned according to the south horizon and focused on a rocky area. Dolmen is in fully in a harmony with the landscape it sits on and still preserves its original formation. It can be counted as one of the most beautiful dolmens of Turkish Thrace Region. Around this dolmen Late Bronze Age stoneware were found by Prof. Dr. Engin Beksaç.

Other dolmens which are easy to reach and located at the west of Domurcalı (Demircihalil) village affiliated to Süloğlu district are currently in a quite ruined condition. Although their landscapes are in a very good condition and they were all positioned according to the south horizon.

Early Iron Age stoneware found during the studies conducted in this area had shown close relations especially with the area located between the Dnieper and Dniester rivers and with the steps of northern part of the Black Sea Region and therefore it has of vital importance with regard to revealing the relations between Thracian Dolmens and dolmens located in northern part of Black Sea and Caucasian regions.

3- Castles:

There are too many castles and watch-towers existing within the provincial borders of Edirne city. Most of these castles and watch-towers were left from Middle Age. However, there are some castles belonging to the Thracian Period. Most of these Thracian Period castles are located in places difficult to reach and therefore it is also difficult to utilize such places for touristic purposes. On the other hand, castles belonging to Middle Age are mostly located in places easy to reach and visit and therefore it is much easier to utilize these castles for touristic purposes.

Archeological evaluations of the Thracian Period castles were not realized until today. The most beautiful examples f Thracian Period castles are especially located in Vaysal and Ömeroba villages of Lalapaşa district and around the Hisarlı, Çandır and Karaincirli villages of Enez district.

4– Altars and Sacred Places:

There are many attention grabbing rock altars existing left from the Thracian Period within the provincial borders of Edirne city. Although these altars were located in various environments and with different functions, they exhibit the typical features of Thrace Region Rock Altars. Rock altars show an interesting distribution within the provincial borders of Edirne city as divided into north and south groups. Depending on this fact, some other sub-regional differences can be identified thereof.

Rock altars located at north are within the borders of Lalapaşa district and the southern altars are located within the borders of Enez, İpsala and Keşan districts. These altars display similar features like the altars located in Kırklareli city as well as other similar sacred formations located in Bulgaria and Greece with all having parallel similarities. Furthermore, these altars also have exact similarities with the sacred formations located in Northwest Anatolia and inner lands of Anatolia.

Another fact which can be noticed about the Thracian Rock Altars is that they have close relations with the historical geography of antique ages. In other words, these rock altars have close relations with the settlement policies and systems of the communities once lived in the area.

Fincankaya is an interesting monument which is located in the pastureland of Hamzabeyli village among these northern part sacred rock monuments. Fincankaya is in a close location right next to the country borders of Turkey and Bulgaria and it is sitting right under the tower of Fincankaya. As it currently exists within the military zone, it is difficult to utilize this place for touristic purposes.

Fincankaya was constructed on blocks of rocks on a slightly high elevation which is positioned towards south-east and it is a rock altar having a circle description. It is connected with Hamzabeyli Dolmen which is located beneath the altar, on a plain area within this landscape. It is apparent that this altar has relations with the Sun Cult.

With its circle-like layout arrangement, it was found right next to a stream bed of southern part of Büyünlü village of Lalapaşa district. However, as it was completely ruined by the treasure hunters, relevant studies can not be conducted on fully.

Another similar example is located on the İğrek Rocky area which is right behind the district center of Lalapaşa. When the landscape is elaborately reviewed, it can be clearly seen that the circle shaped arrangement on a flat rock which is in the middle of a large rocky area is closely related with the Sun Cult.

Another rocky monument existing within the borders of Lalapaşa district and having obvious relations with the Sun Cult is the Çöke Hill located right next to Doğanköy village. It was positioned according to the south horizon and the throne shaped arrangement owns a quite interesting shadow clock/gnomon on the relevant rock as the main focus arrangement. It was identified that this hill was used for military purposes after the Thracian Period and the pertaining data were encountered with and obtained on the plain area right behind this rocky area.

Another rock monument connected with such type of Sun Cult is located in the pastureland of Keramettin village of Süloğlu district. This formation with circle shaped table was ruined and toppled down by the treasure hunters and despite this fact, the cup marks existing on the surface of the rock can be clearly seen. The rock was arranged according to the south horizon and it has a quite interesting landscaping.

Kapankaya also draws our attention as being an interesting rock monument located in the pastureland of Yünlüce village affiliated to Lalapaşa district. The location of this monument along with dense plant texture makes it difficult to gain this monument for tourism.

Archeological site right next to Sinanköy village of Lalapaşa district draws attention in relation to its connection with Middle Age castle and settlement zone. However, at the eastern part of this large area there are interesting arrangements of a rock altar along with a water reservoir behind the geographical formation which is noticed as it is stream bed.

Other than this large area, there are many rock niches of Thracian Period located at the northeast part of the rocks underneath the plain area of Middle Age settlement zone. It can be clearly noticed that these rock niches were once used as place of reclusion during medieval period and they were used as an integral part of sacred place during the Thracian Period with close relations with the Sun Cult.

At the western slope of Sinanköy archeological site, there are some other rock altars came across on the slopes right under the castle walls. Underneath of this rocky area, the carved rock parts of monastery and cathedral are taking place.

A sacred place exists with its various sub-unites constituting a whole right behind Suakaçağı village of Center district. This area is next to Tunca River and locates above the country borders of Turkey and Bulgaria. As this area is next to the country borders and within a military zone, it is difficult to utilize this area for touristic purposes.

This sacred place consists of various parts which comprise a whole together with the main units such as Berberodası, Sinekli Mağara Cave and Delikli Kaya Rock. It is also quite obvious that this are is connected with the Sun Cult and in addition, it was noticed that Sineklimağara cave within this complex was once used as a church related with the Bogomille sect of Christianity during the Middle Age.

Rock monument known as Delikli Mağara was positioned right across other monuments and it is located at the west side of Tunca River. Together with its overall sub-units, this sacred place gives us the appearance of a wide Thracian Sacred Valley. The unit existing in the center part of this scared area known as Berberodası draws attention as being a sub-complex unit furnished with sacred cave, altars and altar pits surrounding it. Accordingly, the relations of this sub-unit with the Sun Cult can be clearly identified.

As being one of the most attention grabbing examples of altars located in the southern districts of Edirne city, Beğendik altar although it was completely destroyed by a quarry enterprise; during the studies conducted on this land Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age stoneware artifacts were encountered with. As it is likely in other similar examples, it can be confirmed that this altar was used for military purposes during the Middle Age by examining the remains of tower and tower walls built here. It was noticed that the altar was focused on the south horizon as a result of examination of the current traces. It gives us an interesting landscaping formation together with other altars surrounding it. Although the Beğendik altar is close by to Keşan district; it is actually within the borders of İpsala district.

As being another rock altar located within the borders of İpsala district, Ortataştepe or Horatepe has a great importance in terms of Thracology. This altar is located on an elevation right next to Koyuntepe village. Although it was significantly destroyed by a quarry enterprise near the altar; it still preserves its all magnificence.

In fact, it can be understood that the main altar part was not exposed to excessive changes in time and it is located on the sharp rocks above the peak of rocky elevation. Early stoneware findings were encountered with during the studies conducted around this area. Among these archeological findings, some of the identified samples show us that this altar was used even much before the Thracian Period. Stoneware artifacts belonging to Chalcolithic Period among these samples clearly sets forth that this sacred place was used since the time of very early ages.

Ortataştepe is a quite nice example in terms of landscaping it sits on regarding the cosmogonic and symbolic geographical venue formation of early ages. This rocky area existing within the swamps indicates us a typical formation of the Universe Mountain and Omphalos.

In this quite large periphery it exists, its relations with the Sub Cults due its geographical location along with its relations with other cultist approaches can be clearly identified. A small bronze made Helios figurine of which was found illegally at the beginning of 2000’s and later delivered to Edirne Museum is a very important evidence proving the close relation of this altar with the Sun Cult. Beyond its feature of being an altar, Ortataştepe is noticed that it has fulfilling the functions of a clock and calendar.

At the shores of Mecidiye affiliated with Keşan district, in the place known as Castle of Italian Castle Bay a very interesting Thracian Period formation can be seen at the first sight among the remains identified as a Middle Age castle. It is understood that this formation was actually once a rock altar and then transformed and used as a castle during the later periods. This area is located near to Saros Gulf and the traces of sacred cave and temenos walls right next to the rock altars can easily be identified. Furthermore, it was understood that it is one of the interesting examples of shore type rock altars known with rare numbers. In addition, this sacred place gives us the impression that it may be probably connected with the Caeni/Kaeni tribe, who were known as first inhabitants of this place.

Çataltepe Rock Altar existing within the borders of Enez district locates at the northern part of Enez settlement, right next to road arriving to İpsala district. As being the most interesting rock monument of Turkish Thrace Region, this monument draws our attention with its typological features which can be identified somewhere between Thrace Region and Northwest Anatolia rock altars.

Çataltepe Rock Altar is located on an upright rocky cape right next to swamp area formed by the Meriç River and its bayous. At the upper parts of this rocky altar there are altar pit and altar arrangements and at the lower part there is a sacred cave in the same level with the ground bottom of the swamp. Furthermore, it was identified that the rock altar is in a complete harmony with the landscape it exists in.

Another rock altar type existing within the provincial borders of Edirne city can only be encountered with on the wide and long valley sitting between the elevations of Çeribaşı and Yazır villages of Enez district as well as Çandır and Hisarlı villages. This monument type that can be seen only at the southern parts of Bulgaria and at the mountainous parts of Greek Thrace Region and except the foregoing regions, there is no other example of this monument type within Turkish Thrace Region. Local residences call this type of monument as the Fırınkaya of which can be represented with the examples located in Evkaya, Deliktaş, Kesikkaya, Bağlık, Eldizen and Tavşantepe localities around Yazır and Çeribaşı villages.

Among these localities, particularly Bağlık Fırınkaya and Tavşantepe Fırınkayası are the most attention drawing examples and they indicate us that once they were forming sacred places due to the landscape arrangements surrounding them. Especially the Labris relievo existing on Tavşantepe Fırınkayası and other rock altars located on a plain area right behind this altar reveals us its scared identity. When we evaluate this area in terms of symbolic and sacred landscape formations; we can easily see that it has a complete harmony with the Thracian Period settlements and megalithic monuments and this whole formation was originated from Thracian World-View as well as from its belief systems. Dolmens and rock altars that can be identified and defined with the megalithic monuments along with other sacred places were given important functions within this entire structure.

5- Tumuli:

There are too many tumuli built within the provincial borders of Edirne city within a quite large time, beginning from the period before the Thracians and continued to be built also after the Thracian Period. Today, very few of these tumuli were excavated. Tumuli are mostly distributed on the land by composing necropolis areas where several tumuli exist together. However, it can be also seen that one or more than one tumulus were distributed on the land depending upon the usage of landscape. It is observed that the tumuli within the provincial borders of Edirne city mostly located in the northern districts. Despite this fact, tumuli are also encountered with at the southern districts of Edirne city. However, the tumuli distributions in the southern districts are more rare when compared with the northern districts.

6- Obelisks and Cemeteries:

There are too many cemetery areas wherein the obelisks were built inside in Turkish Thrace Region. It was identified as a result of the conducted studies that, such obelisk areas are not related with the Thracian Period but they are connected with the cemeteries beginning from the medieval age until the midst of 20th century.