Archaeological discoveries in Bulgaria: September 2016 highlights
September marks the closing phase of Bulgaria’s annual archaeology season, but the month did not disappoint as digs exposed a Roman-era public building in Sofia, a 3300-year-old home in ancient former capital Pliska, a necropolis in Vratsa and Thracian votive images at the site of Abritus fortress.
|Excavations at the Sveta Nedelya site in Sofia [Credit: Sofia Globe]|
Veselka Katsarova, assistant professor at the National Institute of Archaeology, said that the building had a huge hall, wider than 15 metres. It was one of the most important in the functioning of Serdica in the Roman era, she said.
At the end of the fifth century, the building was gutted by fire, it has been established. In the course of the dig, archaeologists have found 110 coins. All the smaller finds are to be exhibited at the Sofia History Museum, in the former Baths not far from the site.
|Bronze Age vessels dating back to 1,300 BC have been found in an ancient home in Pliska proving the early |
medieval Bulgarian capital was inhabited as early as the early period of Ancient Thrace
In Vratsa, archaeologists found a necropolis, used by the rich of the time as a burial place. Bones and jewellery from the time of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom were found. The discovery was made as preparations for construction of a block of flats were being done. Archaeologists were given a month to work on the site, with a contribution of a budget of 13 000 leva from the investor in the project. So far, 16 skeletons have been uncovered.
|Lead archaeologist Alexandra Petrova from the Vratsa Regional Museum of History showing an artefact |
discovered in the “necropolis of the wealthy” of medieval Vratsa [Credit: Monitor Daily]
At the Abritus fortress site, near Razgrad, archaeologists found two votive images of the Thracian horseman, a cult worship object. Researchers say that the findings show that in the early days of the existence of the settlement it was a sanctuary dedicated to the mysterious deity.
|One of the two votive tablets of the Thracian Horseman (Heros) deity discovered by|
the Razgrad archaeologists in Abritus [Credit: BNT2]
Professor Nikolai Ovcharov, head of the archaeological excavations at the Perperikon site in the eastern Rhodope mountains, recounted to Bulgarian National Radio a round-up of this season at the ancient sacred site. He said that his target had been completion of research on the acropolis, a goal that the team had pursued for the past 17 years.
|An aerial shot showing the excavated section of the prehistoric, ancient, and medieval rock city of Perperikon|
in Southern Bulgaria, i.e. almost fully excavated acropolis [Credit: Nikolay Ovcharov]
Archaeologists aimed to unearth the northern gate of the stronghold, the last one among a total of five gates. “Now we have the entire structure of the acropolis and it is amazing”, he said. The archaeologists have also researched a large water reservoir – a cistern cut up to 4.5 m into the rocks. Not far from the cistern, archaeologists came across the remains of an impressive building. “It is made of masterfully cut huge stones, a style we call Perperikon style.” This means the use of huge stone blocks.
|The ancient Greek shrine of Demeter and Persephone on Cape Stolets in Bulgaria’s Sozopol is located near |
the ruins of a Late Antiquity fortress tower, a medieval Christian basilica, and a 19th century windmill,
among other things [Credit: BNT]
“We have explored a single-nave church on Kozi Gramadi peak which dates back to Late Antiquity. Two more basilicas have been found on the land of Starosel. We also have evidence about the existence of other two basilicas in the neighboring villages Matenitsa and Krasovo,” Hristov told BNR.
Finally, a shrine of goddesses Demeter and Persephone from the 6th century BC has been discovered during the 2016 archaeological excavations of the Ancient Greek polis of Apollonia Pontica, today’s Bulgarian Black Sea city of Sozopol.
Source: The Sofia Globe [September 30, 2016]