Bulgarian Archaeologists Discover Ancient Town Hall near Petrich
Archaeologists discovered a town hall in the ancient Greek city of Heraclea Sintica near the town of Petrich in southwestern Bulgaria.
A crew of archaeologists under the guidance of Associate Professor Lyudmil Vagalinski, who is director of the National Archaeological Institute with Museum to the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAN), has been carrying out excavations at the ancient site for several years.
Until 2014, US archaeology experts and students participated in the excavations works as well, but this year only Bulgarian archaeologist are involved at the site, daily Standart informs.
The find represents a unique and large public building dating back to the early Hellenistic period, 3rd-4th century BC, and has been in place since the foundation of the settlement.
As it was composed of large blocks, which were carefully and specially treated, this was not an ordinary building and was most probably part of the northern end of the agora.
It could have been the seat of the ruler of the settlement or the building where the council of the elders gathered.
According to archaeologists, this is one of the few valuable and sizable finds from the early Hellenistic period in Bulgaria.
Archaeologists established that two fires had raged at the site, the first one dating back to the second half of the 4th century BC during the flight of local tribes from invaders.
A thick layer of clay was put and a new building was erected on the same site, but a hundred years later, a second fire raged in the second half of the 3rd century BC.
Archaeologist are working to reinforce the site in order to prevent it from getting covered by collapsing upper layers.
Later a special project will be devised in order to preserve the site and make it accessible and visible to tourists.
Last year, the archaeologists discovered two shops dating back to 3rd-5th century AD, which were located in the northern part of the Roman forum, where many coins and archaeological details were found.
Among the finds were marble and ceramic decorations as well as theatrical masks, which were most likely sold in the shops.
Terracotta figures and masks, stone figurines, lamps, coins, moulds, fibulae, cups and plates as well as a votive tablet depicting the face of the goddess of divine retribution Nemesis, were among the finds.
Also different armaments, such as arrows and leaden weights used with slings, were found at the site.
The finds are dating back to the period between 4th century BC to 5th century AD.
The historical museum in Petrich displays a coin depicting the Roman Emperor Flavius Marcianus.
The town was founded by the ancient Macedon leader Cassander around 300 BC and was inhabited by the Thracian tribe of the Sintians.
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