Municipal authorities have ordered a temporary stop of work on a construction site in the area of a protected archaeology site along Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast.
The ongoing rapid construction was apparently started just ahead of Sunday’s early general elections in Bulgaria, and raised among an outcry among environmentalists and the general public.
The site appears to fall within the area of the Yaylata National Archaeological Reserve, located in a scenic area near the village of Kamen Bryag.
Monday Bulgaria’s Ministry of Environment announced it has found that the ongoing construction does not comply with the construction permit issued.
The permit refers to “Reconstruction of a roof and masonry of a fisherman’s hut,” while builders have already erected two stories of a massive concrete building. Read more.
Environmentalists in Bulgaria have alarmed of scandalous illegal construction going on in a protected archaeology site on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast right as Bulgarians go to the polls for parliament Sunday.
The reports - which are documented with photos - say that rapid construction of a massive building is under way in the Yaylata archaeological reserve near the village of Kamen Bryag on Bulgaria’s northern Black Sea coast.
Yaylata is home to over 100 cave dwellings from around 4,000 BC, as well as remnants from a Thracian settlement and a Byzantine forests.
Proclaimed a National Archaeological Reserve in 1989, Yaylata (area of 45.3 hectares) also boasts rich seaside habitats and high scenic rocks. Read more.
Bulgarian archaeologist Nikolai Ovcharov said on March 21 that he the recent political upheaval in the country threatened to delay the start of this year’s archaeological digs at the Perperikon site.
Speaking to Focus news agency, Ovcharov, a professor of archaeology and one of the country’s most prominent archaeologists, said that a total of 1.25 million leva were promised by the previous government, which has now been replaced by a caretaker cabinet.
“Until 15 or 20 days ago, we had some idea about the archaeological digs season would go. I do not know now, for the simple reason that I do not know anyone in the caretaker government and whether they know what has been done so far,” Ovcharov said. Read more.
In a claim certain to prick the interest of followers of archaeology and mythology everywhere, the head of Bulgaria’s National History Museum has said that an ancient temple to the Greek god Priapus has been found in the Black Sea town of Sozopol.
National History Museum chief Bozhidar Dimitrov, who hails from Sozopol, said that archaeologists had found a clay phallus inscribed “to Priapus” during a dig in the Black Sea town, which in the past 24 months has boasted everything from the finding of the purported hand bones of Christian saint John the Baptist to a temple to Poseidon.
Dimitrov reminded local media of the legend of Priapus and a donkey having disputed who was the better-endowed, with the donkey losing the dispute and its life into the bargain, ending as a sacrifice to the god. Read more.
One of the buildings excavated in the Bulgarian Black Sea town of Sozopol appears to have been a temple to Poseidon, going by the discovery of a large and relatively well-preserved altar to the Greek god.
This is according to Bozhidar Dimitrov, director of Bulgaria’s National History Museum.
Archaeologists found the building in front of the medieval fortified wall of the seaside town, Dimitrov said.
He said that the numerous pieces of marble found during excavations indicate that after the declaration of Christianity as the office religion of the Roman empire in 330 CE, the emperor’s order to destroy the temples of other religions was carried out, followed by the building of houses of worship dedicated to Christian saints, with iconography with features similar to that of the ancient gods. Read more.
A team of archaeologists have unearthed additional evidence of what may have been Europe’s first civilization at a site located near the town of Pazardzhik in southern Bulgaria. Known as Yunatsite, it is a Tell (mound containing archaeological remains) about 110 meters in diameter and 12 meters high, rising above fields next to a small Bulgarian village by the same name. The Tell contains remains of an urbanized settlement dated at its earliest to the early fifth millenium BC.
Directed by Yavor Boyadzhiev of the National Institute of Archaeology and Museums, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, excavators have unearthed artifacts such as weapons, Spondylus jewels, decorated fineware pottery, shards marked by characters/pictograms, and evidence of structures dated to 4900 BC, including fortifications and a recently discovered wooden platform that was likely the floor of a building that had been destroyed by fire. Read more.
Archaeologists in Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia have found a basilica said to date from the time of emperor Constantine the Great in the area of the West Gate of Serdica, as the city was known in Roman times.
The basilica is 27 metres wide and about 100m long, according to Yana Borissova-Katsarova, head of research at the site. It featured multi-coloured mosaics. Further exploration of the find will be difficult because of its location under the modern city.
Sofia deputy mayor in charge of culture, Todor Chobanov, said that the discovery of the basilica may be proof that Constantine intended to establish the city as a centre of Christianity.
Constantine, who ruled from 306 to 337 CE, was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. Sofia, as Serdica, was under Roman rule from 29 BCE and remained under Roman and later Byzantine rule, with some interruptions because of Hun invasions and destruction, for a number of centuries. Read more.
A necropolis with over 100 burials has been unearthed during archaeological excavations near the village of Marten in northern Bulgaria.
The discovery was made by the archaeologist from the Archaeology Museum in the Danube city of Ruse, Deyan Dragoev.
The necropolis is on the path of the future gas connection between Bulgaria and Romania.
The site includes tombs from the Thracian times to the times of the First Bulgarian Kingdom. The oldest ones date from the 5th – 4th centuries B.C. Some reveal very interesting rites such as the tomb of a decapitated soldier, whose head was laid on his lap, while others have been buried with gold and silver jewelry or with their dogs. Read more.