Professor Nikolai Ovcharov’s archaeological team working at the ancient sacred site of Perperikon in Bulgaria has discovered more than 80 tombs in a necropolis estimated to date from the 12th to the 14th centuries CE.
The number of tombs found, in the southern section of Perperikon, is expected to increase to more than 100, an announcement about the July 2017 find said.
Ovcharov said that in 2016, his archaeological dig team had uncovered 37 tombs, containing what he described as some very interesting finds, including earrings, other jewellery and beautiful ornaments.
Referring to the new finds, Ovcharov said: “At this stage we have not opened the graves, this year we decided to photograph the necropolis in its entirety, and later, in August, we shall open them and see what their contents are”.
The graves are close to the early Christian cathedral found at the Perperikon site in 2016, and this suggests that the people buried there were prominent people in the community.
Ovcharov said that while he could not speak with absolute precision, the necropolises show that in mediaeval times, as is known from written sources, Perperikon had thousands of inhabitants.
Around the new find, being termed the “city of the dead”, the ruins of probably the largest square used from antiquity until the fall of Perperikon in the 14th century are outlined.
This is the third great acropolis of Perperikon. The rest are on the other side of the hill, which is already well-researched and attracts an increasing number of tourists visiting Bulgaria. More than 250 000 tourists visit Perperikon every year.
The 2017 archaeological season at Perperikon will last until September.
(Archive photos: (c) Clive Leviev-Sawyer)