Tombs at Rigio
© Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
Outside the settlement of Rigio, to the east of Didymoteicho, two subterranean tombs built into two grave tumuli were found destroyed and plundered. The monuments date to the 4th century BC.
The tomb of the first tumulus was originally covered with horizontal slabs and its walls were made with soft limestone slabs arranged in two horizontal courses. The entrance stands to the east side and consists of a doorstep, antae and a lintel, while a specially carved stone served as a door. In front of the entrance of the tomb, two small walls form a small passageway resembling the well-known “dromos” (entrance passageway) of the Macedonian tombs. The nucleus of the tumuli was formed by rocks and earth mounted up around the tomb.
The construction of the tomb in the second tumulus is similar, yet more elaborated. The tomb consists of a chamber, a sort of a passageway and an antechamber, while the entrance contains a doorstep, antae and a lintel, just like the previous one. The chamber, which was covered with large rectangular slabs, is made with elaborated corner blocks and the floor is also paved with slabs.
In the region of Evros, research has been carried out in a great number of grave tumuli (Dikaia, Loutro, Ampelakia, Rigio, Lade, Spilaio, Rizia, Kyani) dating from the 6th/5th centuries BC to the 2nd century BC. Most of them date to the Roman era (1st-3rd centuries AD), when Thrace was a province of the Roman Empire. A great quantity of animal bones and grave goods were collected during excavations at the tumuli that throw light to the burial customs and the funerary rituals of the region of Evros in antiquity.