Archaeology: Three silver Venetian coins found at Bulgaria’s Rusokastro Fortress

Excavations at Bulgaria’s Rusokastro Fortress site have revealed three silver Venetian coins in very good condition, the Regional Historical Museum in the Black Sea city of Bourgas said.

These are coins known as “matapan”.

Two of them were minted during the rule of the Venetian doges, Raniero Zeno (1252 – 1268) and Giovanni Soranto (1312 – 1328). The third coin is lined, which makes it difficult to determine its exact dating.

One side of the coin depicts Jesus sitting on a throne and the other St. Mark, the patron saint of Venice, together with a Venetian Doge holding a long-handled flag.

The coins were discovered during examination of a building, the purpose of which is not yet known, which was found during the current archaeological season at Rusokastro.

Currently, the valuable coins are being cleaned in a restoration workshop.

The excavations of the medieval town of Rusokastro are managed by the Regional Historical Museum Bourgas, and are financed for a consecutive year by the municipality of Kameno and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Rusokastro is the largest mediaeval fortress in southern Bulgaria, similar in size to Tsarevets, Trapezitsa, Cherven and Kaliakra. The walls are more than five metres high. The Rusokastro mediaeval fortress was built at a strategic location, with a complex fortification system, meant as an impregnable defence of the border with Byzantium.

(Photos: Regional Historical Museum Bourgas)


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The Sofia Globe staff

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