Mosaic from Downtown Sofia

Brief (as always) item from the Sofia News Agency:

Archaeologists have discovered colorful floor mosaic from the Roman era near the so-called West Gate of Serdica in downtown Sofia.

The news was announced Monday by the Mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova, who visited the archaeological excavations in the company of her Deputy in charge of Culture, Todor Chobanov.

The mosaic has an area of 40 square meters and is located in the ruins of a Roman building discovered for the first time between 1975 and 1980 when archaeologists began exploring the site. The works were later abandoned and remained unfinished.

Serdica’s West Wall followed the current “Washington” and “Lavelle” streets to the Central Court building. Fragments of it can be seen in the yard of the largest catholic cathedral in Bulgaria “Saint Joseph.”

Fandakova said there is likelihood the mosaic is part of a large basilica, which continues under “Washington” street, adding it means archaeologists are to continue their work there to fully uncover “the wealth of Sofia.” She stressed the key importance of preserving this wealth and displaying it in the urban environment in order make the city an even more attractive destination.

“The basilica shows the standing of Serdica during the rule of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (274-337),” the Mayor concluded.

… no photos, alas.

Lamp from Dueltum

From the Sophia Globe:

Archaeologists working at the site of the Roman baths in Deultum, an ancient settlement about 17km south-west of Bourgas on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, have found a ceramic lamp in the shape of a dog, a find described as one of kind not seen before in Europe.

Deultum was founded in the first century CE as a Roman colony. It grew over the subsequent three centuries and from the second century was protected by large fortified walls. The baths are said to date from the first century and archaeologists believe they were renovated some time in the third century.

The site of Deultum, known in early medieval times as Develt, is today’s village of Debelt.

The dog-shaped ancient lamp was found in the baths part of the site, at a spot believed to date from the middle of the third century. The object is almost intact and will be restored.

Local media said that the director of the Sredets historical museum, Krasi Kostova, had checked with colleagues elsewhere in Europe and established that no similar find had been made, but the discovery elicited excitement because the dog depicted is believed to be a North African breed depicted in Egyptian papyri as a cult object, later associated with Artemis, ancient Greek goddess of the hunt.

… no photo, alas. Some of our previous coverage of finds at Dueltum … still waiting to hear about what they found in the tombs they uncovered a month or so ago:

An Archaeological Appeal ~ Colonia Ulpia Traiana Ratiaria

I’m not sure I’ve seen one of these ‘Causes’ things before, but the Bulgarian Archaeological Society is apparently seeking some assistance in regards to the site of Colonia Ulpia Traiana Ratiaria:

Here’s some info from their page:

The Bulgarian Archaeological Association (BAA) along with Association “Ratiaria” have set themselves the goal of attracting the attention of the international community and to raise funds to protect Colonia Ulpia Traiana Ratiaria. This archaeological site was one of the most important Roman and Early Byzantine centres in the lower Danube area which in the past 20 years was targeted by treasure hunters and destroyed.

Since 2008, the Bulgarian Archaeological Association carried out rescue actions on the territory of Ratiaria. For several years we have discovered 14 new Latin inscription, over 700 artifacts, more then 15 new monumental buildings, and over 20 new legionary stamps. In 2010 was uncovered the well preserved main street (decumanus maximus) of the city. All these data show that Ratsiaria is not irretrievably lost for the Roman archeology.

More here:

 

Bulgarian Coin Hoard

From Novinite … sounds like one we’ll be hearing more about (hopefully):

A team of Bulgarian archaeologists has found a coin treasure from the 3rd century BC near the southeastern-most Bulgarian Black Sea village of Sinemorets.

The coin treasure was discovered by the team of Prof. Daniela Agre excavating archaeological sites in the region in a ceramic vessel.

“We are now working, cleaning around the vessel. Once we lift it, we will be able to say how many are there. This is a treasure consisting of silver coins, a large one,” she told the Focus news agency.

Prof. Agre explained the vessel containing the coins was found buried next to a tower of the fortified home of an Ancient Thracian ruler that has been known to the Bulgarian archaeologists since 2006.

The archaeologist pointed out that there are only a few cases in which coin treasures of such scope have been found during excavations in Bulgaria.

She believes the coins in question were most likely minted by Alexander the Great or his officer and successor Lysimachus. Agre promised to provide more information later.

… if you’re keeping score of who finds what in Bulgaria, Dr Agre is the archaeologist who found that chariot burial a couple of years ago (Chariot Burial (and more) from Borissovo)

Bulgarian Lion Head

From Novinite:

Bulgarian archaeologists have stumbled upon a unique lion head stone sculpture from the times of the Trojan War.

The discovery has been made in the so-called Womb Cave in the Eastern Rhodopes.

It was German ornithologists who initially discovered the sculpture, local media inform. They stumbled upon the artifact while studying the behavior of local birds and subsequently handed it over to Bulgarian experts.

The sculpture has been dated to the Late Bronze/Early Iron Age, or approximately 2nd/1st century BC.

The lion was an extremely important power symbol at that time, archaeologist Nikolay Ovcharov has pointed out, reminding its symbolic use in Homer’s Iliad.

According to Ovcharov, the sculpture was used in a Thracian fertility rite.

At the beginning of each year, Thracian kings went in similar caves to commit animal sacrifices, he said.

The stone sculpture will be shown in the Regional Historical Museum in the town of Kardzhali.

… the original article has a photo; it’s kind of tough to see a lion there (but I’m still only slightly caffeinated) …