Part of an early Iron Age necropolis in Doupnitsa district in southwestern Bulgaria, in the immediate vicinity of the recently-launched stretch of Strouma motorway, has been destroyed, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) reported on August 7.
The unique archaeological find, dated to the 11th century BCE, is thought to be possibly one of the largest of its kind in south-eastern Europe.
“One of the interesting rituals we witnessed here is the placement of golden items in the middle of the grave and the two opposite copies on the periphery. All this disappears when a bulldozer goes over it; I think it is a crime to let heavy machinery with continuous tracks to pass through and destroy the vestiges of this culture in half an hour,” archaeologist Filip Mihailov from the Pernik history museum told BNT.
Zlatanov oversaw the digs last year and said that his team had to work well into the cold-weather season in order to meet the deadline for archaeological surveys before the start of construction.
BNT said that the necropolis area bore all the marks of having been used as a temporary construction site next to the motorway. A commission sent by the Culture Ministry to investigate the case concluded that “an unknown perpetrator” had damaged the archaeological site.
The findings have been passed on to prosecutors, BNT said.
(Photo: Sascha Hoffmann/sxc.hu)