Archaeological Season 2023 exhibition at Bulgaria’s National History Museum

An exhibition entitled “Ancient finds. New discoveries. Archaeological Season 2023” has opened at Bulgaria’s National History Museum in Sofia and will continue until the beginning of April, according to the museum’s website.

The museum said that the 2023 archaeological season was extremely successful for it, and the finds made span almost all archaeological periods from prehistory to the Middle Ages.

Archaeologists from the National History Museum conducted archaeological field investigations at 15 sites all over the country – from the Rhodope Mountains through Sakar to the Black Sea coast, including Vitosha, Plana mountain range and the Thracian Plain. A dig at a new site in the Danube Plain also began.

The sites include ancient and mediaeval fortresses and settlements from different periods.

As a result of the regular archaeological excavations of the Ravadinovo ancient fortress in 2017-2023, evidence of a well-fortified site that existed on the territory of the Greek colony of Apollonia Pontica (now the city of Sozopol) was discovered and documented.

The most widely discovered material are the amphorae from Thasos, the Thasos circle, Chios, Mende, Miletus (dated between the first half of the fifth century BCE and the third century BCE). Another highlight among the finds are the coins minted in Aponolia Pontica, the museum said.

During rescue excavations at 7 Albatros Street in Sozopol, Skamni Peninsula, a hitherto unknown part of the ancient city of Apollonia Pontica was excavated. The main highlights of the finds include several small cult votive figurines representing parts of the human body. It was on this site that the blue bead was discovered, which subsequently became the emblem of this year’s exhibition.

Another interesting highlight in this year’s exhibition are the discoveries made during the regular archaeological investigations of the mediaeval fortress near the town of Yakoruda, in the Blagoevgrad district. Several fragments of tiles on which prints of a child’s foot were found, as well as traces of animals.

One of the very interesting archaeological studies is related to underwater research in the waters of Bourgas and the region. The early Byzantine fortress Chrysosotira near the town of Chernomorets was examined. Research also was done in the waters off the Kamchia Peninsula. An interesting highlight was the tin ingot discovered there, mined in the Roman mines of the Cornwall peninsula in Britain, further proof of the distant trade connections of the population that inhabited what is today Bulgaria.

“This summer, the archaeological excavations of the magnificent medieval capital of the Dobrudja Despotate – Kaliakra, led by Research Fellow Dr. Bonni Petrunova, director of the National History Museum, proved that the northern Black Sea coast is an irreplaceable part of the rich cultural heritage of the country with a long and history rich in finds,” the museum said.

(Photo: National History Museum)

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