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Culture Archaeology Monuments Tombs Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Prefecture of Evros Municipality of Orfeas

Rock from the late Copper Age or Early Iron Age (1100-990 B.C.)
(Photo: D. Triantafyllos 'Ancient Thrace' 1994)
Prehistoric tumulus with crepidoma
(Photo: D. Triantafyllos 'Prehistory in Western Thrace' 1984)
Iron Age vesel found within a tumulus at Roussa
(Photo: D. Triantafyllos 'Ancient Thrace' 1994)
Megalithic tumulus dated back to the Iron Age
(Photo: D. Triantafyllos 'Ancient Thrace' 1994)

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Topics
Churches
Fortresses
Buildings
Macedonian Graves
Tombs
Aquaduct
LOCATION
Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
Municipality of Alexandroupolis
Municipality of Didimotihos
Municipality of Kyprinos
Municipality of Orestiada
Municipality of Orfeas
Municipality of Soufli
Municipality of Trigono
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02/12/2007
Roussa

Aikaterinh Balla
Source: C.E.T.I.
© Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
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At the position of Skopiá between the villages of Mikro Dereio and Roussa were found funerary monuments dating to the Early Iron Age (9th – 8th centuries BC). The tombs are made with slate stone slabs carved on the tumuli crepidoma. Some of them are of large dimensions and considered as dolmen (megalithic monuments). They all bear a lateral opening on the chamber or the antechamber, which is a typical feature of these monuments. The deceased's cremation ashes were either stored in big vessels or simply placed together with the grave goods in the interior of these monuments. Several graves were also uncovered in the area, though of smaller dimensions, but made with the same material dating to a later period than the megalithic monuments. Furthermore, research has been carried out on simple pit cremations at the region of Roussa. According to the grave goods found here, these cremations date to the end of the 7th century BC and bear witness to the arrival of a new tribe.
The vertical slabs of a four-sided megalithic tomb are preserved in the area, while the horizontal slab was found broken. The slab of the eastern narrow side bears traces of a semicircular hole that might have served in funerary ceremonies. The monument is surrounded by a shallow round crepidoma built with irregular slate slabs that form the boundaries of the tumulus. The tomb, oriented W-E, was found plundered and dates between 900 and 800 BC.
The pottery of Roussa includes different types of big urn vessels, mostly amphorae, decorated with a variety of geometric patterns as well as smaller drinking cups (kantharoi). The inlaid decoration of the vessels is more common here than the incised.
In the position known as “Ypsoma Chilia” near the village of Roussa were traced rock paintings depicting engraved reptiles, birds, stellar bodies, human figures in various postures as well as dance scenes and several symbols, possibly of the sun and the moon that pointed towards the east. Undoubtedly, all these magic and apotropaic representations are associated with religious beliefs of that time. The rock paintings that date to the same period with that of the megalithic monuments of Roussa bear witness to the the existence of open-air sanctuaries with rock-cut structures (niches, basins, altars and discs) set together on the rocky hilltops.