Located in south central Bulgaria, the city of Plovdiv, known to many as the “Eternal City of Bulgaria”, is among the oldest cities in Europe, with evidence of human settlement going back 6,000 years. Established first as the Thracian settlement of Eumolpia, today its ancient remains near the city center are most often identified with the name Philippopolis by archaeologists. That was the name given to the city after it was Hellenized within the Macedonian Empire under Philip II during the 4th century, B.C.E.
But its most visible ancient remains took shape when the city was absorbed into the orbit of ancient Rome during the 1st century B.C.E. - 1st century C.E., the time period of Augustus. It was during this time when the great monumental structures, such as the Theater, Stadium, Treasury, Thermae, Odeon, and other associated structures of its central Forum, were built. Read more.
Bulgarian archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a woman that appears to have been buried pregnant 6000 years ago.
The found – described as highly unusual - was made in a newly discovered necropolis in the famous village of Svestari in north-east Bulgaria.
A total of five skeletons were discovered in the necropolis, all of them buried in unusual position – with their legs bound and their heads facing southwards, the BGNES news agency informs.
The buried woman had exquisite pearl ornaments, according to Professor Diana Gergova, who led the dig. Read more.
Bulgarian police bust a group that was illegally excavating Thracian tombs near the town of Pernik, the Interior Ministry said on December 8.
Eight men from Sofia were arrested in the December 7 operation, the ministry said. Six were arrested at the site of the archaeological site and two, alleged to be organisers of the illegal excavation, were arrested subsequently.
The group arrested included people who had previous records for theft, assault and car theft. The men ranged in age from 24 to 52. Read more.
Archaeologists working on the digs at the Roman-era forum in Bulgaria’s second-largest city of Plovdiv have uncovered a full-size statue, presumed to date back to the fourth century CE, public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television (BNT) reported.
The life-sized statue is believed to depict a high magistrate holding a scroll. This is the first find of this kind in Plovdiv, with archaeologists previously uncovering only fragments of statues, used for later construction during the medieval times.
The statue was likely erected during the last years when the Roman forum was still the focus of civic life, before the ascent of Christianity shifted the focus to churches. Read more.
Emergency excavations in the construction of the gas pipeline route between Bulgaria and Romania have yielded the latest archeological treasure.
A necropolis with 376 graves from different historical periods was unearthed near the town of Marten in northern Bulgaria.
Experts have already established that eight of the graves were dug by the Thracians; others date from the early Roman Empire and the 4th – 6th century AD. Dug-outs from the time of the First Bulgarian Kingdom with plenty of pottery have been found as well.
One of the most interesting findings, according to archaeologist Dean Dragoev, is a grave built for a little girl with masonry of bricks and tiles. Read more.
The barracks occupied by the 8th Roman legion of Augustus in the middle of the 1st century AD have been discovered by a team of researchers from the Antiquity of Southeastern Europe Research Centre, University of Warsaw, during the excavation in Novae near Svishtov, Bulgaria.
"The structure consisted of a series of segments of equal sizes. The segments consisted of one big and one small room, the dimensions of which underwent modifications in the subsequent phases of the settlement. The barrack was about 16 meters wide and 42 meters long" - explained Prof. Piotr Dyczek , head of the expedition. Read more.
Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a Thracian carriage and two horses that appear to have been buried upright.
The chariot and horse skeletons are 2,500-years-old and were discovered in the village of Svestari in north-east Bulgaria.
The two-wheeled carriage and carcasses of the horses were found in a Thracian tomb along with some decorations.
Professor Diana Gergova of the National Archaeology Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, who led the dig, said: ‘The find is unique, it is not resembling any other carriage dating from the Thracian era ever uncovered in Bulgaria.’ Read more.
Real-life vampires, giant rock vaginas, ancient sites to rival those of Greece and Rome – Bulgaria’s archaeologists are putting their country on the map of world history, but first they have to stop the mafia stealing its treasures.
The illegal diggers come at night with shovels and sacks, hunting through the places where they know the professionals have been. They’re looking for the tonnes of ancient artefacts that lie hidden in Bulgaria’s soil.
In the past two decades, Bulgarian law enforcement agencies say this plunder has turned into a €30m-a-year industry for local gangs, putting it a close third behind drugs and prostitution. Read more.