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Triumphal Arch Uncovered in Bulgaria

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Bulgaria ArchPLOVDIV, BULGARIA—Archaeology in Bulgaria reports that the foundations of a massive, first-century A.D. triumphal arch have been uncovered in the ancient city of Philipopolis. The bases of the structure were discovered on either side of a Roman road measuring about 23 feet wide, near an inscription glorifying Roman Emperor Diocletian that dates to A.D. 303. So far, the excavation team, led by Elena Bozhinova of the Plovdiv Museum of Archaeology, and Kamen Stanev of the Cyril and Methodius Scientific Center, has uncovered one side of the structure to a depth of about six feet. “The building material is sandstone because at the time the Romans had not started to process the local syenite,” Bozhinova said. Large holes in the blocks held cramp irons covered in lead that held the stones together. Architectural fragments recovered earlier in the dig are now thought to be part of the arch’s upper elements. The arch is thought to have collapsed during an earthquake, and its large stone blocks reused in a building set in the middle of the Roman road. Bozhinova said the remains of this arch are in better condition than the arch built at the ancient city’s Eastern Gate. To read about another discovery in Bulgaria, go to “Thracian Treasure Chest.”

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