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Medieval Cemetery Unearthed in Bulgaria

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Bulgaria Medieval JewelryRADNEVO, BULGARIA—Archaeology in Bulgaria reports that nails from wooden coffins and glass, bronze, and silver jewelry have been recovered from a twelfth-century Christian necropolis in southern Bulgaria by a team of researchers led by archaeologist Plamen Karailiev of the Maritsa East Archaeological Museum. Artifacts were found in 27 of the 326 graves excavated so far. One woman was buried with glass bead necklaces, glass bracelets, bronze bracelets, and silver temple pendants. Other burials held glass bead necklaces, glass bracelets, and earrings made of copper wire. Traces of coffins have been found in 25 graves, he added. “With some small discrepancies, the individuals were buried almost one on top of the other,” Karailiev said. “There are sectors [of the cemetery] of which we can presume that they were family or clan [burial] plots.” Earlier excavations at the site uncovered fragments of a mural painted on a mud-plastered wall thought to have been part of a medieval church at the necropolis. The nearby settlement, which was part of the Byzantine Empire at the time of the burials, was occupied as early as the Neolithic period, some 7,000 years ago. Many of the graves were damaged by the construction of an irrigation canal. To read about a fragment of a Byzantine ivory icon unearthed at the fortress of Rusokastro, go to "Iconic Discovery." 

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