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Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Byzantine Fortress Investigated in Bulgaria

Friday, November 9, 2018

SOFIA, BULGARIA—According to an Archaeology in Bulgaria report, Ivan Hristov of Bulgaria’s National Museum of History and his team have uncovered evidence suggesting the Early Byzantine city of Chrisosotira may have been sacked and burned by the Slavs and Avars in the early seventh century A.D. The excavators investigated the remains of a large building situated near the harbor side of the fortress that may have been part of a large commercial complex. Its roof collapsed when it burned, preserving fragments of amphoras, pots, and jars; intact stacks of roof tiles probably intended for roof repairs; iron farming tools; and parts of a bronze scale. Three coin hoards found in the building helped the researchers to date the fire. Most of the 100 bronze and 10 gold coins found in the hoards depict Emperor Heraclius and his son, Constantine III, the latter of whom ruled for just four months in A.D. 641. The researchers also found traces of the fortress’ southern wall, made from stones and mortar containing crushed ceramics measuring more than five feet wide and surviving more than three feet tall. The placement of the wall indicates that the city was larger than previously thought. To read about another recent discovery in Bulgaria, go to “Mirror, Mirror.”

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