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.