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“Open-air Museum “Maltepe”,
Manole village, Maritsa Municipality, Plovdiv District

1. Location

Manole village is located about 18 km. northeast of the town of Plovdiv. The connection with the other settlements is provided by bus and railway.
“Maltepe” mound is 300 m. away from the train station and about 600 m. away from the village center, where one can find the information tourist center (in the community centre), the church, the city hall and typical village houses. To the southeast is situated the so called “Small Hill” and to the South the development of an exuberant park for recreation and tertainment is planned. The area to the west has once been a farming airport, which is currently unusable. You can access “Maltepe” mound from the village is by foot, macadam road or by bike. The terrain on which the mound is located is 11 acres.

2. Landscape characteristic

Manole village is the center of vegetable production in the whole area. The landscape is flat, with fertile farmland, and it is typical for the Thracian Plain. ”Black River” passes through the village – a small tributary of the Maritsa river, and in the distance (South and North respectively) outlined are the silhouettes of the Rhodope Mountains and the Balkan Mountains.

3. Historic information

There are documents for Manole village, which date back to1488 when it was called Manul. It is named after Manol master, founder of the village, who built a large inn in this place and who was greatly respected by the Turkish authorities. The church, the “Vasil Levski” school and most of the buildings were built in 1928, after the Chirpan earthquake which was the same year.

4. Archaeological characteristic:

“Maltepe” mound is registered as an immovable cultural heritage value – an archaeological site registered in the Automated Information System “Archaeological Map of Bulgaria” under registration number: 10001496.
Located at 171 m. altitude, this is the largest mound in Bulgaria with size of 90 m diameter and height 22 m. The “Maltepe” mound is a part of a large Thracian mound/ tomb necropolis connected/associated with the history of the ancient Philippopolis for the period of I c. in .BC. – III c. AD. On the large part of the mound, in 2003, geophysical surveys were carried out by the Plovdiv Regional Archaeological Museum and specialists of the National Archaeology Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences – Sofia. As a result different types of tomb facilities were found. The mound is a complex comprising a central tomb and secondary tomb facilities, connected/ associated probably with the Thracian ruler Remetalk II, an ally of the Roman emperors, and his family. The servey, conservation, restoration and exhibition of the burial facilities in the mound will present to the Bulgarian and foreign tourists a reconstruction of ancient religious rituals connected with their beliefs and funerary practices of the Thracian rulers who governed the realms of the Odrysae and Philipopol between I – III century BC.70 m. away from the ”Maltepe” mound, in southeast direction, in year 2003, an archaeological survey was made of a smaller mound – a crematorium, in which were burned members of the royal family, whose remains were buried in the “Maltepe” mound.

5. Project Characteristic
At its first stage the project requires the preparation of a detailed architectural and photogrammetric survey of the archaeological structures – tombs, sarcophagi and ritual facilities located in the mound, which will be relocated and temporarily exposed outdoor (under shelters).
The area will be developed as a park zone with high, medium and low vegetation, alleys, places for rest and seating and a drinking fountain. A parking lot, information and exposition center, a small cafe and toilets for visitors (for disabled people too) will be built.In northeast direction an area for disposal of the soil dug from the mound is defined. Part of the authentic soil will be used to restored the mound embankment, under which the tombs will be exposed in situ. The whole area will be surrounded with a metal fence and hedges.


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