Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Goddess Gate and the Bashtin Kamuk

A touristy feature article from the Sofia Echo.  When you see the "Gate" I think you'll realize why it's called the Goddess Gate.  What I found intriguing was the mention of  Bashtin Kamuk nearby (never located by the explorers in the article) which is apparently either one or more phallic-style megaliths.  Kamuk - Kamak - hmmm...

The Goddess’ Gate
Fri, Aug 06 2010 10:04 CET by adem

"The Goddess Gate,"  Bouzovgad, Bulgaria. Photo by Adem.
Between the northern slopes of Surnena Sredna Gora and the Toundja River valley, lies the village of Bouzovgrad. It is five km south of Kazanluk and attracts tourists with one of the most ancient Thracian shrines – the Megalith (The Goddess’ Gate), a cult complex built from massive, oddly arranged stone pieces. The name alone calls to mind images of ancient sacrifices and rituals, so, in an adventurous mood, we hit the road to Kazanluk and the Valley of the Thracian Kings.

The landscape alternates between thick beech woods and empty spaces, which allows us a view to the hill-top and the gathering storm clouds. The rain starts, just enough to cool our sweating bodies and to freshen up the air. The path has several detours but is well marked. We also see signs showing the direction to other, unknown places – Bouzovo Kale and Bashtin Kamuk.

Our question about how far the Megalith is and whether it’s near the Bashtin Kamak gets evasive answers from the first people we meet. Their embarrassment seems to grow when we ask the next question: "What does Bashtin Kamak look like?" There follows a string of explanations like "Hmm, well, they’re big stones with a very characteristic male shape", embarrassed laughter and eventually detailed directions on how to get there.

Huge rocks form a massive structure with something like a window in the middle. According to the information on a big bilingual board, the Megalith was used for watching the sunset on the summer equinox (June 21), it was built around 1800-1600 BC by the ancient Thracians who used it also for astronomical research and calendar purposes.
From another source I learn that "Bashtin Kamuk" means "The Father's Stone."  

I also came across this tiny bit of information: the megalithic observatory in Kokino [Macedonia], known as Tatichev Kamen (Father's Stone). 

Again there is that kam** which seems to be a root word for father or old man.  Hmmm....  I surmise that the languages in Macedonia and Bulgaria may be distantly related (or perhaps closely related) and therefore would have in-common root words.  But to find that kam**root in the Koriak Indian word kamak on the other side of the world, and that it seems to have a similar meaning, now that is interesting. 

More information on and photos of "The Goddess Gate" (also called the "gate to the universe") at Balkan Mysteries.  I was not able to locate any further information or photographs of the Bashtin Kamuk.

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