The Getae were a Thracian tribe, which inhabited the two banks of the lower Danube river in 1st millennium BC and the beginning of the 1st millennium AD. According to ancient sources the tribes of the Getae and the Dacians were of one origin, with a common language, but inhabited different territories. Those who lived near the Danube were called Getae, and those who lived in the mountains in the north near the Tissa river were called Dacians. Herodotus mentioned them in his history as “the most virile and the most just of all the Thracians”. During the military campaign of Darius the First (522 BC – 486 BC) against the Scythians (513 BC), the Getae opposed the Persian ruler, but were defeated along with the other Thracian tribes on the right bank of the Danube. After overthrowing the Persian rule, the Getae from the right bank of the Danube became part of the kingdom of the Odrysians (southern Thracians), but in the second half of the 1st millennium BC the kingdom of the Getae was already governed by strong and very well-known from the historical sources rulers. In 339 BC the Getic king Kotela made a treaty with Phillip the Second against the Scythians. To reinforce this treaty Kotela wed his daughter Meda to Phillip. The Macedonian rulers laid claims for control over the Getae territories, including those to the north of Danube, but the attempts of Alexander the Great (in 335 BC and 327 BC) and Lysimachus (310 BC) to conquer them were unsuccessful. In 297 or 294 BC Lysimachus was defeated by the Getic king Dromichaetes and a new treaty was again reinforced with a dynastic marriage. The meeting of the two kings took place in the polis of Helis – probably the Hellenistic settlement in Sboryanovo.
After the Roman conquest of the Thracian lands, the independent Getic kingdom continued to develop to the north of the Danube, with the new capital being Sarmisegetusa. Among the famous rulers of that time are Burebista and Decebalus.The capital of the Getae in the 1st millennium BC was Dausdava – the complex of sanctuaries, a settlement and a multitude of small mounds in Sboryanovo reserve. In the Hellenistic period, when the Getae reached the zenith of their political and cultural development, there were built fascinating monuments in harmony with the natural environment, which are a testimony to their extensive knowledge of mathematics, astronomy, architecture. In this period the trade and intellectual contacts of the Getae with their contemporary world, as well as the influence their beliefs had on other peoples spanned vast distances. The name of the Getae probably comes from the word “Goetes” – prophets, as many of the classical authors wrote. Their semi-mythical priest, king and god Zalmoxis preached about the immortality of the soul and according to some Alexandrian authors it was him who taught Celtic druids about immortality.
Herodotus wrote that the Getae immortalized. The mounds in the reserve that have been surveyed show that they buried the dead differently according to their social status and virtues – the reburial of the bones, accompanied by animal sacrifices, offering gifts and triple piling of mounds were practiced as burial rites for the worthiest. They also practiced laying of the body and cremation. There were different types of tombs, methods of burial and gifts in accordance with the different social status.
In Sboryanovo mounds, tombs and objects of different rank can be seen, corresponding to the social status and virtues of the buried Getae. The Getae built their mound cemeteries according to their beliefs in the astral immortality of the soul, and the separate groups of mounds represented exact constellations.
The most numerous of all the Thracian treasures are those found in the lands of the Getae. They are ritual buried gifts in honour of the sacred triad – the Great Mother Goddess and her twins Artemis and Apollo, and also in honour of the god of war Ares, whose motherland was Thrace. These treasures consist of golden, silver and clay services for ritual drinking (Borovo, the golden Pegasus from Vazovo etc.), women ornaments for the Mother Goddess (the treasure from the Large Sveshtari Mound), horse harness appliqué for the solar Apollo (the treasures from the Large Sveshtari Mound, Kavarna, Lukovit, Letnitsa etc.), buried ritual helmets or helmet appliqués for Ares (Ruse, Letnitsa). Monetary treasures were also often buried as a gift, like the one from Novite korenezhi locality.