Leonardo's Notebooks

2 Comments »
The great artist Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks probably started out as just a way for him to improve the quality of his paintings. He studied anatomy to portray the human body accurately. He studied plants and rocks to make them authentic for his paintings. Somewhere along the line, however, the books became more than that. They became a record of his life-long fascination with nature and his genius for invention.

At the time of his death in 1519 Leonardo was known as a great artist, but his capabilities as an engineer, scientist and inventor were less appreciated. After his demise, his notebooks fell into the possession of his favorite apprentice Francesco Melzi. Melzi held onto most of them and kept them safe until his own death in 1579. Melzi heirs had less respect for the material, however, and sold pages off to collectors or gave them away to friends.

In 1630 Pompeo Leoni, a sculptor in the Court of the King of Spain, got a hold of much of the material and tried to organize it by subject. This unfortunatley resulted in the books being taken apart and the original order, which might have told us much about Leonardo's thinking, was lost. Each of the new books created by this process was a Codex.


One of Leonardo's anatomy drawings probably done from a dissection.


In many of his books Leonardo employed a backwards form of writing that could only be read with a mirror. It is unknown why he did this. Some historians speculate he did it to keep his writings private, others think that because he was left-handed he just found it easier and faster to write this way.

Clearly the notebooks were written for his own personal use. The organization is minimal. The lettering is quick, sloppy and often without punctuation. There is some indication he employed a personal shorthand, making the content confusing to read. In many places the pen seems to race along trying to keep up with the revelations of the mind.

Much of the books appear to be lab notes. Leonardo used the scientific method before the scientific method had been invented. In one revealing passage he states, "First I shall make some experiments before I proceed further, because my intention is to consult experience first and then by means of reasoning show why such experiment is bound to work in such a way. And this is the rule by which those who analyze natural effects must proceed; and although nature begins with the cause and ends with the experience, we must follow the opposite course, namely (as I said before), begin with the experience and by means of it investigate the cause."

Over time most of the notebooks have found their way into various museums, archives or libraries around the world. Only one is in private hands. Two were totally unknown until 1966 when they were found by chance in the National Library of Madrid. Presently there are ten known codices containing Leonardo's sketches and notes.


A flying machine that works by flapping its wings.


Codex Atlanticus - This document contains information on mathematics, geometry, astronomy, botany, zoology and the military arts. It is held by the Biblioteca Ambrosianain in Milan, Italy. There are some 1,119 pages in this work spread over 12 volumes. This sketchbook contains some of Leonardo's most famous drawings and notes.

Of particular interest are the pages on gliders and flying machines. Most of Leonardo's aerial machines were designed after he studied birds. For this reason they generated their forward motion by mechanisms designed to flap the wings. In his notes he recorded, "the bird is an instrument functioning according to mathematical laws, and man has the power to reproduce an instrument like this with all its movements."

He built a working model of one of his flying machines and on January 2, 1496, he recorded in his notes that he was going to attempt to fly it the next day. It is unknown whether he didn't try or if the flight was a failure. Later on he did make a note to himself to try any more flying experiments over a lake where he would be less likely to be injured in a landing. Atlanticus also contains a design for a parachute which might have been conceived to allow for the safe escape of any pilot from a flying device.


A giant crossbow found in Codex Atlanticus

Leonardo's man-powered flight designs, though ingenious, would never have worked. A man cannot generate enough energy with his muscles to lift himself and a flying machine off the ground without the use of very high efficiency designs and materials made possible by modern technology. If Leonardo had concentrated more on building a glider, rather than a powered flying machine, he might have been much more successful in getting off the ground.

Atlanticus also contains a number of military designs including those for a giant crossbow and a compact version of a wooden spring catapult designed to hurl boulders. There were also siege machines created to defeat city walls and span moats and designs for castles and fortifications.

Codex Arundel - This book resides in the British Library in London and is one of the ones created by the cutting and pasting of pages from other works. Most of the material deals with the study of geometry, weights and architecture and the pages seem to have been authored between 1480 and 1518. Among other items, the Arundel document contains a design for a primitive tank that resembles a flying saucer as well as plans for an underwater diving bell.

Codices of the Institute of France - These are twelve documents (referred to as A-M) of varying sizes that cover a variety of areas including hydraulics, military art, optics, geometry and bird flight. One of Leonardo's most well known-designs, a primitive helicopter, is included


A man-powered helicopter designed by Leonardo da Vinci


in manuscript B. The device was designed to be operated by four men. The men would never have had the strength necessary to create sufficient lift, but if a suitable engine had been substituted it might have actually gotten off the ground.

Codex Trivulzianus - There are only 55 pages in this document currently held in Milan. The subjects of this collection include religion, architecture and literature. It is thought the pages in this work were composed between 1487 and 1490.

Codex "On the Flight of Birds" - This short work of only 17 pages is a very careful study Leonardo did in 1505 on the mechanics of flight and the movement of air.

Codex Ashburnham - This is actually composed of two documents held by the Institute of France. It primarily consists of pictorial studies drawn between 1489 and 1492.

Codex Forster - These are three different documents held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. They are composed of studies about geometry, weights and hydraulic machines. Written between 1490 and 1505,


An early version of a tank found in Codex Arundel.


Codex Leicester - This manuscript was in the news when it was purchased by Bill Gates in 1995 for $30.8 million. It contains 64 pages mostly dedicated to Leonardo's theories on astronomy, the properties of water, rocks and fossils, air and celestial light. It is currently exhibited in the Seattle Museum of Art.

Windsor Royal Documents - These pages are part of the royal collection at Windsor Castle. The subjects include anatomy and geography, horse studies, drawings, caricatures and a series of maps. There are about 600 unbound pages created between 1478 and 1518.

The Madrid Codices - These manuscripts were found in the archives of the National Library of Madrid. There are two volumes bound in red morocco leather and contain 197 pages on geometry and mechanics.


The Secret of Leonardo Da Vinci

2 Comments »
A recent spate of books and articles have suggested that Leonardo Da Vinci was the leader of a clandestine society and that he hid secret codes and messages in his art work. Is this true? In addition to his role in history as a famous painter, scientist and inventor, was he also the keeper of some vast secret to be passed down through the ages?

Ciphers and Encryption

Leonardo was certainly no stranger to the use codes and encryption. His notes are all written backwards with "mirror" writing. It is unclear exactly why Leonardo did this. It has been suggested that he may have felt that some of his military inventions would be too destructive and powerful if they fell into the wrong hands, therefore he protected his notes by using this reversed writing method. Other scholars point out that this type of encryption was is fairly simple to break. One needs only to hold to hold the paper up to a mirror to read it. If Leonardo was using it for security, he probably was only concerned about hiding the contents from a casual observer.

Other researchers have suggested that he used this reversed writing because he found it easier. Leonardo was left-handed and this would have made writing backwards less difficult for him than for a right-handed person.

Recently Leonardo has been credited by many people with inventing a device dubbed a cryptex. A cryptex is a tube constructed with a series of rings with letters of the alphabet engraved on them. When the rings are turned so that certain letters line up to the cryptex's password, one of the end caps can be removed and the contents (usually a piece of papyrus wrapped around a glass bottle containing vinegar) can be removed. Should someone try and get at the message by smashing the device, the glass bottle will break and the vinegar will dissolve the papyrus before the message on it can be read.

As ingenious as this device is, and as much as it sounds like something Leonardo might have invented, the cryptex is a fictional device created by Dan Brown and credited to Leonardo in his popular book, The Da Vinci Code. There is no evidence that Leonardo actually conceived or built such a device.

Mystery of the Mona Lisa

One popular idea is that Leonardo painted secret symbols or messages into his artworks. People have analysed his most famous painting, The Mona Lisa, and have found all kinds of hidden meanings and techniques in it. It is certain that Leonardo used some of his best artist's tricks to create the painting. Many people find the portrait's smile particularly haunting. They say it seems to change, even though the paint on the surface of the painting obviously does not.

Professor Margaret Livingstone of Harvard University makes the argument that Leonardo painted the edges of the portrait's smile so they would appear slightly out of focus. Because of this the edges of the smile are more easily seen by a person's peripheral vision rather than by looking directly at them. This may explain why some people report that the portrait seems to be smiling more when they are not directly looking at her.

Another theory proposed by Christopher Tyler and Leonid Kontsevich of the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco says that the smile seems to change because of variable levels of random noise in human visual system. If you close your eyes in a dark room you will notice that everything is not perfectly black. The cells in your eyes generate a low level of "background noise" (which you see as tiny light and dark dots). Your brain usually filters these out, but Tyler and Kontsevich suggest that when viewing the Mona Lisa, these little dots can change the shape of the smile. As evidence for their theory they imposed several random sets of dots over a picture of the Mona Lisa and showed them to people. Some of the sets made the portrait look very happy, others seemed to sadden it. Tyler and Kontsevich argue that the noise which is inherent in the human visual system has the same effect. As someone views the painting, the noise of their own visual system adds to the image and changes it, making the smile seem to change.

So what is the Mona Lisa smiling about in the first place? Through the years people have speculated that perhaps she was pregnant. Others have found the smile to be sad and have suggested she was unhappy in her marriage.




A copy of the Mona Lisa made more happy and less happy by the introduction of noise.


Dr. Lillian Schwartz of Bell Laboratories has come up with what seems an unlikely, but intriguing idea. She thinks that the subject is smiling because the artist has put a joke over on the viewers. She contends the painting is not of a pretty young woman, but is actually a self-portrait of the artist himself. Schwartz noticed that when she used a computer to line up the features of the Mona Lisa with a portrait that Leonardo had done of himself, they matched up perfectly. Other experts note, however, that this may simply be the result of the two pictures being painted by the same artist using the same techniques.

The Last Supper

Dan Brown in his popular thriller The Da Vinci Code suggests that Leonardo's The Last Supper has a number of hidden meanings and symbols. In the fictional story there is conspiracy by the early church to suppress the importance of Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus' followers (the story suggests - to the distress of many believers - that she was his wife). Supposedly Leonardo was the head of a secret order of men who knew the truth about Magdalene and attempted to preserve it. One of the ways Leonardo did this was to leave clues in his famous work in The Last Supper.

The painting depicts the last Passover dinner Jesus shared with his disciples before his death. Leonardo attempts to capture the moment when Jesus announces he will be betrayed and that one of the men at the table will be his betrayer. The most significant clue left by Leonardo, according to Brown, is that the disciple usually identified as John in the picture is actually Mary Magdalene. Indeed, a quick look at the painting seems to confirm this. The person to Jesus' right has long hair and smooth skin with what might be regarded as feminine features compared to the older, rougher-looking apostles around them. Brown also points out, through the characters in his story, that Jesus and the figure to his right together form the outline of the letter "M." Does it stand for Mary or perhaps Matrimony? Are these clues left by Leonardo about his secret knowledge?

Despite our first impression that the figure in the picture is feminine, the question is whether the figure would have looked feminine to a viewer of the era in which Leonardo painted it. Probably it would have not. John was considered to be the youngest of the disciples and as such he was often portrayed as being a beardless youth with soft features and long hair. We translate this today as being female, but back in Florence in the fifteen century, which was a different culture with different expectations of what it is to be feminine and masculine, that wouldn't necessarily have been the case. Leonardo was only one of a number of artists, including Ghirlandio and Andrea del Castagno, who pictured St. John in this manner. In his Treatise on Painting, Leonardo explains that characters in a painting should be depicted based on their types. These types might include a "wise man" or an "old woman" each with their own characteristics: beard, wrinkles, short or long hair. John as pictured in The Last Supper is a "student" type: A protégé who has not yet matured. Artists of this day, including Leonardo, would have portrayed this "student type" as a very young man with soft features just as we see in the painting.




The figure to the left of Jesus (to the right in this image). Is it John or Mary?


As for the outline of the "M" in the picture, this is a result of the way the artist composed the picture. Jesus, at the time he announces his betrayal, sits alone in the center of the painting, his body in the shape of a pyramid and the disciples in groups on either side. Leonardo favored this pyramid design and often used it in his works.

The Priory

Supposedly Leonardo was the leader of a secret group called the Priory of Sion. According to The Da Vinci Code, it was the Priory's mission to keep the secret of Mary Magdalene and her marriage to Jesus alive. While The Da Vinci Code is fiction, it is based on theories from a controversial "non-fiction" book entitled Holy Blood, Holy Grail written by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln in the early 1980's.

Holy Blood, Holy Grail cites the evidence for Leonardo's membership in the secret Priory of Sion as a number of documents deposited in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. While there is some evidence that an order of monks with this name existed as far back as 1116 A.D., there is little to suggest that the medieval group had anything to do with the Priory of Sion of the 20th century.

The documents in the Bibliotheque Nationale supporting the existence of the Priory actually are there, but they appear to be part of a hoax conceived by a man named Pierre Plantard in the 1950's. Plantard and a group of like-minded friends with right wing and anti-Semitic leanings formed the Priory. By fabricating and planting the documents, including fake genealogical tables, Plantard apparently hoped to show that he was a descendant of the Merovingians and an heir to the French throne. The document purporting to show Leonardo, along with such luminaries as Botticellie and Isaac Newton as grand masters of the group, was fake as well.

It is unclear whether Plantard also tried to perpetuate the Mary Magdalene story as well. It is known that he claimed the Priory did possess a treasure. Not a set of invaluable documents as suggested in The Da Vinci Code, but a collection of sacred objects inscribed on a copper scroll found with the Dead Sea scrolls in the 1950's. Plantard told interviewers that the Priory would return this treasure to Israel when "the time was right." Experts are divided on wheather the treasure mentioned in the copper scroll ever really existed Even if it did, there is no evidence that any group has control of it today.

The fact that Leonardo wasn't the grand master of a clandestine society as pictured in The Da Vinci Code shouldn't lesson our admiration for him, however. While the inclusion of this historical personage in a work of modern fiction is intriguing, we should not allow it to cloud our vision of what Leonardo really did accomplish. His art works have been an inspiration to millions down through the centuries and contain intricacies that experts are still trying to unravel. In addition, his experiments and inventions have shown him to be an advanced thinker whose explorations went far beyond that of his contemporaries. The secret of Leonardo Da Vinci is that he was a genius that few people in his own century appreciated.

"Floating Tombstones"

0 Comments »
As impossible as it seems, the ocean once carried a fleet of ships built mostly of concrete. Concrete, a mixture of sand and gravel bonded together with a cement to form a solid, heavy mass similar to stone, seems an unlikely substance to be used in ship construction. Wood, which floats, seems a better medium for building vessels and indeed was the preferred material for ship building for thousands of years. Steel became the standard material for large vessels by the end of the 19th century because it was very strong for its weight.

During the first World War, though, steel was in short supply, yet ships had to be built. Ship builders took the idea a Norwegian inventor had patented a few years before in 1912 to use concrete instead of steel for the ship's hull. As strange as it seems, a ship of concrete will float as long as the weight of water it displaces is more than its own weight. It is a matter of density.

The density of an object is the mass of an object divided by the volume. To float, the ship must be less dense than the same amount of water. A solid, cube of concrete (and for that matter steel) is more dense than the same cube of water and will sink like a stone. When the concrete is formed into the shape of a ship, though, with much of the interior empty air, the ship's total volume includes the air. Air is less dense than water. Since the total ship is a combination of air and concrete, the density for the whole ship becomes less than the water, allowing it to float.

Should the ship spring a leak and fill with water forcing the air out, the density of the ship will become greater than that of the water, causing it to sink.

In 1917 and 1918 British builders constructed barges, tugs and fishing boats using concrete. The Americans were more ambitious, commissioning a fleet of 12 ocean-going concrete freighters costing 50 million dollars.

The concrete ships that were built followed the design of steel ships of that era, but required much thicker hulls to get the same amount of strength that the steel gave. A newly-developed form of concrete that included portland cement was used because it was relatively light (Only 120 pounds per cubic foot). Even so, the ships were much heavier than steel ships. The ship builders also found that concrete was much more difficult to manipulate than steel, making the ships more difficult to construct.

The first of these ships finished was the Polias which was launched from the Liberty Company Shipyard of Wilmington, North Carolina in 1918. It was 250 feet long with a draft of 22 feet and a beam of 45 feet. The walls of the hull were six inches thick. She required only one-third of the steel necessary for a regular freighter.

While these ships actually worked, many sailors referred to them as "floating tombstones" and did not like to serveron them. Still, some of them were used to transport troops back from Europe at the end of the first World War. Soon after the war when steel was more abundant, the concrete ships quickly became too expensive to operate. Their heavy hulls needed too much fuel to push them around and the ships became obsolete. One was turned into a casino, and another a restaurant.

In 1926 what was to become the most famous of the fleet, the Atlantis, was bought to be used as part of a dock on a proposed ferry line to be run from Cape May, New Jersey, to Cape Henlopen, Delaware. While the ship was moored near the site awaiting its fate, a storm hit the region. The ship broke loose and grounded off of Sunset beach, Cape May. Stuck fast in the sand, all attempts to move it failed. The ruins of the vessel remain there even today and have been viewed by generations of visitors. It is a reminder about a time almost a century ago when concrete ships plied the seas.

Aktivitas Vulkanik Membentuk Permukaan Planet Merkurius

1 Comments »
Aktifitas vulkanik memegang peranan penting dalam membentuk permukaan planet merkurius, kata para ilmuwan berdasarkan data yang berhasil dikumpulkan oleh satelit NASA yang lewat di atas planet yang terdekat dari matahari Januari lalu.

Ketujuh instrumen sains yang dibawa pada satelit sebesar mobil yang bernama MESSENGER ini, juga mengirimkan kembali informasi mengenai medan magnetik planet Merkurius sekaligus fakta baru bahwa planet yang ekstrim padat ini telah menyusut lebih dari yang dapat diperkirakan oleh eons.

MESSENGER mulai menguak beberapa misteri mengenai planet Merkurius, dunia yang senantiasa terpanggang oleh matahari yang berukuran kira-kira sepertiga dari bumi kita dan lebih besar sedikit daripada bulan.

1975, Mariner 10, satelit terakhir yang terbang melintasi permukaan berkawah-kawah Merkurius, mengirimkan kembali foto-foto yang menunjukkan dataran lembut yang menutupi sebagian besar permukaannya.

Tetapi ilmuwan masih memperdebatkan apakah permukaan lembut ini disebabkan oleh aktivitas vulkanis atau debu yang disebabkan oleh karena meteor yang melabrak permukaannya.

Foto-foto yang didapat dari MESSENGER pada tanggal 14 Januari lalu, menyediakan bukti yang kuat bahwa aktivitas vulkanis, memegang peranan penting dalam pembentukan permukaan merkurius, menurut geolog James Head, dari Brown University di Providence, Rhode Island.

“Aktivitas vulkanis yang dramatis dan besar, mungkin dalam bentuk aliran lava yang humongous, dan letusan yang dahsyat, mendasari fitur permukaan yang kita lihat pada foto,” kata Head.

Ia memperkirakan bahwa aktivitas vulkanis itu muncul antara 3 milliar dan 4 millar tahun yang lalu, sambil menambahkan bahwa tidak ada bukti lanjut mengenai vulkanisme pada permukaan planet.

Pandangan Baru mengenai aktivitas vulkanik pada Merkurius

“Semua yang kita lihat sejauh ini, menunjukkan bahwa aktivitas di permukaan planet berasal dari paruh pertama sejarah tata surya kita daripada paruh yang terakhir,” kata Head.

Caloris Basin, dengan diameter sekitar 1544 kilometer, yang merupakan salah satu dari kawah meteorit terbesar di tata surya, yang terbentuk sekitar 3.8 milliartahun yang lalu ketika sebuah meteorit besar jatuh menabraknya.

MESSENGER mengirimkan kembali foto-foto gunung berapi tipe perisai, dengan warna oranye yang mencolok, sekitar 96 kilometer lebarnya yang terletak pada sisi barat daya dari basin ini yang mungkin menjadi sumber lava dan membentuk daratan halus di dalam basin.

Sisa-sisa ini terlihat sama dengan aliran batu basalt yang terdapat di bulan (basalt merupakan produk umum yang terkandung dalam aliran lava), tetapi terlalu sedikit mengandung besi, mencerminkan tipe batuan yang tidak biasa. Ukuran dataran ini berimplikasi atas kehadiran besarnya sumber magma pada lapisan terluar planet merkurius, kata ilmuwan.
Didalam gunung berapi berjenis perisai ini, mereka mendeteksi adanya saluran berbentuk ginjal dengan halo (lingkaran sinar disekeliling benda angkasa yang berkilauan sebagai akibat dari pantulan sumber cahaya itu sendiri) terang yang sangat mirip dengan jala yang terbentuk ketika terjadi ledakan gunung berapi baik di bumi atau di bulan.
“MESSENGER telah memberikan kita suatu pandangan baru mengenai kegiatan vulkanik di Merkurius. Hal itu sekaligus menyediakan pandangan baru tentang pembentukan dataran permukaan, dan memberikan kehidupan baru bagi apa yang sebelumnya banyak diduga (planet Merkurius, red) sebagai planet mati,” kata Head pada para wartawan.
Penemuan lain yang juga telah dipublikasikan di jurnal Science, ilmuwan mengatakan medan magnet Merkurius berasal di inti terluar planet itu, dan dihasilkan lewat pendinginan inti planet itu.
MESSENGER yang merupakan kepanjangan dari, Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging, diluncurkan pada 2004
Satelit Mariner10 milik NASA, terbang melintasi Merkurius tiga kali, memetakan 45% dari permukaannya. MESSENGER telah mengambil gambar sekitar 20% lebih, dan akan terbang melintasi Merkurius lagi pada Oktober ini, dan September 2009 sebelum memulai setahun penuh berada di orbitnya pada 2011.
Dengan banyaknya ilmuwan yang saat ini mengetahui Pluto sebagai planet kerdil, Merkurius memegang peranan penting sebagai planet terkecil di tata surya, dengan diameter sekitar 4863 kilometer.

Bulgaria: Pusat Peradaban Thracian Sebuah penemuan langka, sisa-sisa peradaban kuno

0 Comments »
Roda sejarah Bulgaria telah menggosokkan kedua tangannya belakangan ini, dengan penuh rasa antusias dan ketertarikan. Sejak beberapa bulan ini, tim arkeolog telah membuat penemuan di “Lembah Raja-Raja Thracian”, dan tempat lainnya, menemukan kembali artifak yang tidak pernah dilihat sejak jaman raja-raja Thracian.

Thrace adalah sebuah wilayah geografis dan bersejarah, dan ditonjolkan dalam mitos dan literatur Yunani.

Georgi Kitov Ph. D menggali dua dari tanah kuburan Thracian yang terletak di Timur Sliven, sebuah kota di tenggara Bulgaria. Spesialis Kitov adalah peradaban Thracian, dan mulai terkenal dengan penemuan pertamanya di area ini, di mana dia memakai cara penggalian yang tidak biasa dan kontroversial.

Pada salah satu dari 13 tanah kuburan di Lembah Kazanluk, tim peneliti menemukan bekas sebuah meja dan kursi dari abad pertama Kerajaan Romawi. Ini adalah tempat yang sama di satu-satunya kota Thracian, Sevastopolys, juga ditemukan dan diteliti. Kota tersebut adalah ibukota dari Raja Seuthes III pada sekitar 300 tahun sebelum Masehi. Kekayaan dari aktivitas Thracian di wilayah ini membuatnya dinamai “Lembah dari Raja-Raja Thracian.” Arkeolog yang terlibat dalam penggalian tersebut mengatakan bahwa mereka yakin penemuan baru ini akan memberikan gambaran mengenai gaya hidup, kebudayaan, bahkan furnitur dari Thracian.

Sebagai contoh, sebuah kuburan telah ditemukan di tanah kuburan Anguelova, di mana di dalamnya terdapat 11 tempat air minum, 3 vas, dan beberapa pot tanah liat. Karya seni yang unik, peralatan ritual, dan perhiasan juga telah ditemukan dalam penggalian tersebut. Tetapi, penemuan yang paling penting adalah empat kuburan anak-anak.

Arkeolog mengatakan bahwa salah satu dari kuburan tersebut terdapat seorang anak laki-laki atau perempuan dari “Pendeta Matahari”. Anak tersebut diletakkan dalam makam tanpa dikremasi sesuai dengan tradisi umum pada saat itu. Arkeologi akan meneliti lebih lanjut sembilan tanah kuburan di sekitar Sliven pada musim panas.


Pada tujuh kubur lainnya ditemukan berisi timbunan beragam ornamen yang berbeda: sepasang giwang emas, cincin, remukan jambang ritual, dan sebuah lampu keramik. Mereka menemukan dalam semua makam sebuah koin, sehingga yang meninggal dapat membayar biaya untuk pergi ke dunia lain, sesuai dengan tradisi mereka.

Beberapa makam yang lain telah dijarah bertahun-tahun yang lalu, walaupun banyak makam yang lebih dalam masih belum tersentuh. Pada beberapa makam mereka menemukan lagi perhiasan, gelang dari gelas dan perunggu, cincin, kalung dan tanda materai. Kitov menjelaskan bahwa banyak dari perhiasan tersebut menunjukkan kesenian yang sangat aneh. Semuanya diberikan kepada museum sejarah di Slivern, untuk diteliti lebih lanjut.

Saat Kitov dan timnya sedang melakukan penggalian di sekitar Sliven, arkeolog lain, Daniela Agre, juga menemukan penemuannya yang menakjubkan. Di daerah perbatasan Bulgaria dengan Turki, di selatan kota Yambul, dia menggali sebuah artifak tembikar, dan menemukan, di antara benda-benda lain sebuah sarkofagus yang unik dengan perhiasan emas melekat padanya, dan sebuah makam dari seorang prajurit Thracian di-kuburkan bersama dengan kuda setianya.

Para arkeolog sangat tertarik dengan artifak tembikar yang tergali — sebuah ruang kuburan, biasanya berhubungan dengan kepercayaan religius kuno dan ritual, dibuat dari lempengan batu. Dolmen telah ditemukan di Eropa, Asia, dan Afrika, terutama di sepanjang pesisir pantai. Mereka berasal dari periode Neolithikum awal, sekitar 10.000 tahun sebelum Masehi.

Salah satu dari penemuan bersejarah dari Kitov dan timnya, mungkin adalah penemuan dari sebuah kuburan yang berisi sebuah kuil Thracian yang berumur 2500 tahun lalu, dengan sebuah muka gedung setinggi 5 meter.

Banyak orang terkesan dengan penemuan-penemuan dari tim Kitov dan lainnya, dan percaya bahwa penemuan dari Thracian kuno mungkin melebihi peradaban Yunani.