Artefacts found at the Forum West site in Bulgaria’s second city Plovdiv change the understanding of the history of the city, news website podtepeto quoted dig team head Elena Kesyakova as saying.
Kesyakova said that many architectural elements had been found, including an entire capital – the topmost part of a column – and many fragments of columns.
At a propylaeum, an outer monumental gateway forming the entrance to a temple, an inscription dedicated to the main Thracian deity, Heros, had been found. This showed that Heros protected the western entrance to the Forum, archaeologists believe.
The find was of great significance, testimony to Thracian culture during the Roman rule of Thrace.
“This culture, which we are now uncovering and wanting to show to people, is not Roman, it is from the time of Roman rule in Thrace, but it is a Thracian culture, local, and we should say Thracian-Roman, not Roman,” Kesyakova was quoted as saying.
The propylaeum itself is well-preserved and its entire depth and width are being studied.
It will be possible to restore the colonnade under which people entered the city, the report said.
There will be three columns of up to 7.2 metres, one of them completely authentic, according to restorer Nikola Stoyanov.
Large-scale archaeological excavations of Plovdiv’s Forum site began in 2012.
The Forum site, near the current modern-era central Post Office, dates from the first to second centuries CE. Overall, it covers about 11 hectares, making it arguably the largest such Roman-era forum site in Bulgaria.