Archaeological season begins at Bulgaria’s Aquae Calidae

The 15th archaeological season has begun at the Aquae Calidae site, one of the most significant Roman-era spa centres in the Balkans, near Vetren in Bourgas, the Bourgas Regional Archaeological Museum said.

Excavations will continue throughout the month of June and the beginning of July. The work being done in 2022 is fully funded by Bourgas municipality.

In 2021, archaeological research was concentrated in the northeastern sector and went through several stages, the museum said.

The first two stages were related to the construction of building № 3 (Archaeological Museum and Bath – a replica of a Roman bath).

During these excavations, two ancient aqueducts and an open-air facility for open-flowing cold water and several graves, part of the Gothic necropolis, were discovered.

The final stage is the study of the northeastern apoditerium of the early, fourth century, Byzantine bath, where traces of a fire have been found, associated with the Gothic destruction of the Roman bath.

Pottery from the third to fourth centuries, and coins from the reign of Constantine the Great and his successors, were found.

The scope of the research also included the discovery of the outer eastern face of the Eastern building of the early Byzantine bath, more than 14m long and a well-preserved height, in places up to three metres, two ancient ceramic water pipes and a control shaft.

During the archaeological season of 2021, many materials were discovered, the museum said. These included more than 400 coins, most from the fourth century, a considerable number from the 13th century, as well as mediaeval seals from the 11th century; and two inscriptions.

In 2022, archaeological research will focus on the interior of the Roman and early Byzantine baths.

The idea is to trace the northern part of the northern wall of the early Byzantine bath, found in 2021.

(Photo: Bourgas Regional Archaeological Museum)

The Sofia Globe staff

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