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Medieval Town Discovered in Bulgaria

Thursday, October 15, 2020

SOFIA, BULGARIA—The construction of a natural gas pipeline in northeastern Bulgaria has uncovered a third satellite town outside the medieval city of Pliska, the capital of the First Bulgarian Empire from A.D. 680 to 1018, according to an Archaeology in Bulgaria report. While the other two known satellite towns were built around fortresses, this town, which dates from the eighth through tenth centuries, was a large settlement laid out like the capital on high ground overlooking two rivers. Andrey Aladzhov of the National Institute and Museum of Archaeology said that one large building, constructed with double-sided masonry walls more than three feet thick, was equipped with water pipes. Fine ceramics and pieces of gold jewelry were also found in the building. It may have served as a residence for nobles, Aladzhov explained. Servants are thought to have lived near the monumental building in dugout structures lined with stone. “During the winter, it gets really cold and windy here, and when you are ‘dug in’ the ground, that is a natural shelter, and the soil itself helps preserve the heat,” Aladzhov added. The town was abandoned in the early eleventh century, when Pliska was also abandoned. To read about an ivory icon fragment found at a Byzantine fortress in southeastern Bulgaria, go to "Iconic Discovery."

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