New archaeological finds in Bulgaria’s Sliven, Stara Zagora
Although the archaeological digs season in Bulgaria has wrapped up, work on existing attractions has yielded new finds, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) reported on November 6.
In Sliven, central Bulgaria, routine maintenance work on a dirt road leading to the late-antiquity fortress of Tuida has revealed the entrance to an underground escape tunnel used by the citadel’s inhabitants to escape during invasions.
That such a tunnel existed has been known since the 1960s, when its exit was found, but no further investigation has been carried out since then. Local archaeologists dated the tunnel, which had wooden beams supporting the ceiling and air holes drilled to the surface, to the fifth or sixth century CE, based on pottery fragments found inside.
They also found a unique candle, made out of dark-brown substance, the composition of which will be studied by archaeologists in Sofia.
In the neighbouring district of Stara Zagora, work on the ruins of Augusta Traiana polis has yielded a cache of 40 bronze coins dating to the fifth century CE. Augusta Traiana, founded by Roman emperor Trajan in 106 CE, was the second largest city in the Roman province of Thrace, fortified with thick walls and important enough to be given the right to mint its own bronze coins.
The city played an important role in establishing Christianity as the dominant religion in the province of Thrace, harbouring numerous churches with rich mosaics and an important archbishopric diocese, BNT said.
Local authorities have been carrying out restoration works on the site of the former Roman polis, hoping to transform the ruins into a tourist attraction.
(Photo: Sascha Hoffman/sxc.hu)