A cross made of iron, coins, bronze bracelets – and a container dating from the 12th to 13th century on which is inscribed, “Lord, help Veronica”. All of these and more are among finds made by archaeologists during the summer 2014 dig at Bulgaria’s ancient sacred site of Perperikon.
Professor Nikolai Ovcharov, who has been overseeing archaeological work since 2000 at Perperikon – a site where human habitation dates back to about 5000 BCE, on a rocky hill 15km from the town of Kurdjali in southern Bulgaria – unveiled the finds at a news conference on September 28 2014.
He showed a coin from the reign of Tsar Ivan Alexander of 1343, which he said indicates that at the time there was a Bulgarian military campaign in the Eastern Rhodopes, aimed at taking back lost lands. Read more.
A total of 18 gold coins minted by medieval Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Alexander (r. 1331-1371) have been discovered by the team of renowned Bulgarian archaeologist Prof. Nikolay Ovcharov.
The coins were found during excavations of the medieval fortress Urvich near Sofiaby the archaeologists led by Prof. Ovcharov and Prof. Boni Petrunova from the National Archaeological Institute.
The coins were described as the “treasure of the Shishman Dynasty”, which ruled Bulgaria from the ascension of Tsar Ivan Alexander to the throne in 1331 AD to the demise of his sons – Tsar Ivan Shishman (r. 1371-1395) and Tsar Ivan Sratsimir (r. 1371-1396) in the hands of the Ottoman Turks when the Ottoman Turkish Empire conquered the Balkans in the 14th century.
Ovcharov admitted that it is an overstretch to speak of a “treasure” when only 18 coins are available but he insisted the term should be used as a reference to what was believed to be the treasure of Tsar Ivan Shishman that he buried at the fortress of Urvich where he made a stand against the invading Ottoman Turkish forces in the 1370s and 1380s. Read more.