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A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Unfinished Roman Stele Unearthed in Bulgaria

Monday, July 09, 2018

POPOVO, BULGARIA—Archaeology in Bulgaria reports that an unfinished grave stele, a pair of bronze tweezers, and more than 120 Roman and Byzantine coins were unearthed at the site of Kovachevsko Kale Fortress in northeast Bulgaria. The fortress is thought to have been built between A.D. 308 and 324 as protection for a city whose Roman name remains unknown. The stele measures more than three feet tall, two feet wide, and one foot thick. Plamen Sabev of the Popovo Museum of History said the carving on the stone depicts a woman and a powerful man wearing a toga and holding a document, in a style typical of the fourth century. The space left for an inscription is blank, however. Oleg Alexandrov of Veliko Tarnovo University thinks the man depicted on the stele may have died somewhere else, so the stone was never finished or used. To read about another recent discovery in Bulgaria dating to the Roman era, go to “Mirror, Mirror.”

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