Archaeology: Fragment of 13th C mural showing St Peter found at Plovdiv’s Great Basilica site

Archaeologists working at the site of the Great Basilica in Plovdiv, the largest early Christian church found on the Balkans, have uncovered a fragment of a mediaeval mural believed to depict St Peter.

The fragment is estimated to date to the 13th to 14th centuries.

It was found in the hitherto unexamined northern nave, not far from the city’s Roman Catholic church close to the intersection of Maria Louisa and Tsar Boris III boulevards.

Two pictorial layers were found, each of them thought to be the work of a Constantinople master, featuring very precise and masterly work, Plovdiv Bulgarian-language news website said.

This proves that the church was of great importance in antiquity and in the Middle Ages, archaeologists working at the site said.

Near the mural, archaeologists found a donor inscription on which the name Avram vividly stands out. The inscription is in Byzantine Greek, the report said.

The mediaeval church is thought to have served a nearby necropolis. It was founded in the 10th to 11th century.

The site has sufficient information to enable accurate dating, excavation head Zheni Tankova said.

Tankova said that the mediaeval frescoes found at the Episcopal Basilica were extremely rare, and that makes the site even more important and multi-faceted.

In the lobby at the main entrance to the house of worship, a number of depictions of beautiful birds were found, including an amazingly beautiful multi-archaeology-great-basilica-plovdiv-2coloured peacock, the report said.




The Sofia Globe staff

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