Sunny Gate and the Brothers – unique and unknown megaliths in Sredna Gora Mountain

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Protodolmens in Sredna Gora

When one walks across the slopes of the Sredna Gora Mountain, there are plenty of ancient remains, related to paganism. Some of these sites are well-researched; others remain a bit unknown, while third ones sink in mysticism, still hiding their mysteries from Thracian times and pre-history. PhD in sociology with the Bulgarian Academy of Science Martin Konstantinov is one of those who have volunteered to fill in the gaps of the past. One of the sites that he has been researching is a unique, millennia-old megalith, named by the people Maiden’s Breasts also known as the Sunny Gate. The first name is related with a legend of the love between two young people that faced the strong opposition of their families. The girl was struck by their curse on this spot and turned to stone. According to some researchers, the ritual Sunny Gate was used for contact with the world beyond in ancient times. However, Martin Konstantinov says that the megalith’s main function is astronomical.

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“The western orientation of the megalith assumes its usage for monitoring the sunsets over a certain period of the year. But, as far as I am aware, studies have not yet been made to find out at what times the sun sets in the window between the two stones", Martin explains and adds:

Снимка“The megalith consists of two huge egg-shaped rocks, weighing at least 10 tons each. Balance is its most impressive characteristics. The two gigantic eggs step on the rocky ground’s real small spot and touch each other, forming a window or a door. I think it was used for observations of the sun on certain days.”

As far as the megalith’s origin is concerned – natural or artificial, Martin Konstantinov says that “it is really hard to assume anthropogenic origin, as science hasn’t explained yet the mechanism for the creation of such megaliths. In this case the nearly impossible task of lifting those extremely heavy stones was added by yet another difficulty – the following balancing of the rocks. However, this all only makes me conclude that the phenomenon is not natural, but manmade – due to our predecessors’ cult to the sun and the megalith’s western orientation. There are too many coincidences and I can’t picture the natural balancing of the rocks.” An ice age origin of the megalith is out of question, as the latest ice activity on the territory of what’s today Bulgaria covered only the high mountains of Rila and Pirin, not Sredna Gora.“Both the natural and artificial origins of the megalith seem difficult to achieve, and yet the most likely option is for it to be a human creation” Martin Konstantinov maintains. He claims that there is only one megalith similar to the Sunny Gate and it is known as The Brothers or Upright Stones. It can be found next to the village of Rozovets, Brezovo Municipality and two years ago Martin studied it alongside his colleagues.

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“The Rozovets megalith consists of two vertical stones with the height of 5 – 6 m each, that are also well balanced. We couldn’t find similar megaliths described in scientific literature, so we offered a definition for this type of sites – a pair of balanced rock megaliths. There is this additional feature of the one in Rozovets – they are parallel. We contacted many megalith fans around the globe and they all got interested by the site, but couldn’t suggest any analogue. So for the moment we have only these two megalith sites that respond to this definition.”

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In the case with The Brothers we can assume erosion, but with additional carving. “There is this so-called window or gate in between the two rocks. This passage, some 4 meters long, has been treated for sure. It is obvious that the stones have been flattened and smoothened,” Martin Konstantinov explains. According to his conclusions the monolith was used for observations of the sunrises and sunsets around the autumn and Vernal equinoxes.

English version: Zhivko Stanchev 

Photos: Miglena Ivanova and Martin Konstantinov
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