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Remains of Roman Triumphal Arch found in Bulgaria's Plovdiv


The foundations of what appears to have been a huge Triumphal Arch built by the Roman Empire in the 1st century AD in the ancient city of Philipopolis (Trimontium) has been discovered by archaeologists carrying out rescue excavations in the city of Plovdiv in Central South Bulgaria.

Remains of Roman Triumphal Arch found in Bulgaria's Plovdiv
One of the two exposed foundations of an Ancient Roman Triumphal Arch from the 1st century AD
discovered by archaeologists in Bulgaria’s Plovdiv [Credit: Plovdiv Time]
The Roman triumphal arch has been discovered in the same spot near the St. Marina (Margaret of Antioch) Church where an ancient inscription from 303 AD glorifying Roman Emperor Diocletian (284–305 AD) was found.

Remains of Roman Triumphal Arch found in Bulgaria's Plovdiv
This 303 AD inscription by the then Governor of the Roman province of Thracia (Thrace), Emilius Alexander, glorifies
Roman Emperor Diocletian. The inscription reads: “To our master, the most pious Gaius Valerius Diocletianus – a happy,
invincible Augustus. Dedicated by the overly perfect Emilius Alexander, Governor of the Province of Thracia [Thrace],
devoted to his divineness." [Credit: Plovdiv Time]
The two bases of the Triumphal Arch are preserved to a height of about 2 metres and were found on the two sides of the already excavated Roman street.

Remains of Roman Triumphal Arch found in Bulgaria's Plovdiv
One of the two exposed foundations of an Ancient Roman Triumphal Arch from the 1st century AD
discovered by archaeologists in Bulgaria’s Plovdiv [Credit: Plovdiv Time]
Numerous architectural fragments from the upper part of the Triumphal Arch, which is thought to have collapsed after an earthquake, have also been recovered.

Remains of Roman Triumphal Arch found in Bulgaria's Plovdiv
The arch foundations were built of sandstone blocks weighing about 3 – 4 metric tons each
[Credit: Plovdiv Time]
Some of the large stone blocks that it was made from were later used for the construction of a room right in the middle of the Roman street, the archaeologists report.

Remains of Roman Triumphal Arch found in Bulgaria's Plovdiv
Archaeologist Elena Bozhinova shows the width of the Roman street over which the Triumphal Arch
used to tower [Credit: Maritsa Daily]
The arch foundations were built of sandstone blocks weighing about 3 – 4 metric tons each. Large holes can be seen in the two sandstone foundations of the arch, where large clamp irons covered with lead had once been.

Remains of Roman Triumphal Arch found in Bulgaria's Plovdiv
The rescue excavations on a private property near the St. Marina Church in Bulgaria’s Plovdiv
have led to a number of really exciting archaeological discoveries [Credit: Plovdiv Time]
The arch spanned the width of the Roman street which is known to have been 7 metres wide in the 4th century AD and ran from the Eastern Gate of Philipopolis (also called Trimontium in the Roman period) to the Roman Stadium of the city.

Source: Archaeology in Bulgaria [May 12, 2018]

TANN

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