Kabile (Кабиле)



Location: 3 km Northwest of Yambol, Yambol Province   Map

Constructed: c. 2000 BC

Kabile Museum Information

Open: 8am- 5pm Mon- Sun

Admission: Students and seniors – BGN 0.50
Adults – BGN 2


Tel: +359 46 66 34 03

e-mail: museum@mail.bg


Description of Kabil Archaeological Site

Kabile Archaeological Site was first settled around 10th- 6th century BC, however it seems the human presence in the early Iron Age was sporadic and not constant. Permanent settlement of Kabil Archaeological Site was established around 2000 BC. Protected by river Tundzha from the North and East it was a well chosen strategic location with rich fields and ore deposits. However it grew rapidly once it became a Macedonian colony under rule of Philip II of Macedon in 341 BC, father of future conqueror Alexander the Great or Alexander of Macedon. While subjugating and organizing sophisticated and advanced Greek states proved to be a fairly easy job, numerous tribes to the North proved to be a bigger challenge. Philip needed protection so he erected or fortified existing settlements. It was about this time that Kabil got its name from a Greek goddess of Cybele that was believed to be the embodiment of Earth. She was also believed to be the protector of fortresses, walls, mountains and caverns.
The empire that king Alexander did not outlive its creator. Soon after his death it broke apart. Some part of state were divided among his generals, others less developed and less desired fell under influence of the barbarian tribes. Kabile was largely forgotten by the Alexander's followers. But it did not loose its status. Judging by the archaeological evidence the city of Kabile carried an important political and economic significance. It was also the only city in the region that had a significant production of coins. In 280 BC the Kabile was taken by the Thracian Odrysian kingdom. Several artifacts suggest that it was a residence of Thracian tsar Spartok. Thracians, however, did not go along with Philip V of Macedon so in a series of military campaigns they quickly exhausted themselves. Celtic Kingdom of Tylis under leadership of king Cavarus did not waste much time and captured Kabile.
Roman Empire eventually reached the Balkans and in the early 2nd century Kabile was incorporated into a state united with other centres by expansive road system. Christianity made its way into a city somewhere in the early fourth century after its official legalization by Constantine the Great. Soon it became an episcopal centre. And just then you fought there will be a smooth sailing from that point on things began to go bad really really quickly. With the Great Migration came new enemies. The Avar tribes besieged and eventually conquered the fortifications of Kabile in the 6th century AD. They laid the city to waster, killing or enslaving anyone they captured.
First Archaeological digs in Kabile began in 1912. To this day Kabile offers surprises to those who venture in these lands. Unlike many other sites the city lay abandoned long enough to be covered by soil. No human structures were constructed on this site from recycled ancient stone so much of the old city is remarkably well preserved.