Construction of a Luxury Hotel is Continuing in Sofia Despite the Discovery of an Ancient Roman Necropolis
Work was in full swing at the building site of the first Hyatt hotel in Bulgaria, in the centre of the capital, Sofia, on Monday, Balkaninsight reported.
While numerous machines laid concrete and strengthened the foundations of the future 190-room five-star hotel, a team of archaeologists with an excavator was carefully digging a rare find out of the ground.
They recently discovered an ancient Roman tomb – part of the eastern side of the necropolis of the Roman city of Serdica, which lies under Bulgaria’s capital – which could soon be buried under the luxury new hotel.
The same fate has already befallen six other tombs discovered at the construction site in April.
They were recently covered up by the construction company, Tera Tour Service, sparkling public outrage.
Pictures of the ‘’burial’’ of the ancient remains flooded social networks, drawing calls for the resignations of the authorities.
The Inspectorate for Preservation of the Cultural Heritage at the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria confirmed to BIRN that following archaeological research, the site was “freed for construction”.
It added that the investor then encountered a new tomb, which is currently being uncovered by archaeologists and about which they immediately informed the authorities.
The archaeologist explained that the Ministry of Culture, which holds the rights to determine the fate of excavations, as state public property, issued a conservation order for one of the tombs.
This will be moved out of the construction site and exposed at a suitable place.
Large parts of the centre of Bulgaria’s capital lie above the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Ulpia Serdica, which flourished between the 1st and 6th centuries AD. Parts of the ancient city have been revealed. Among the most important attractions of ancient Serdica are Decumanus Maximus, the main road of the Roman city, as well as the amphitheatre, one of the largest in the Eastern Roman Empire.
The amphitheatre was discovered by accident in 2004 during the construction of another high-end hotel in central Sofia, which is currently named Arena di Serdica and has parts of the archaeological remains exposed in its lobby.
The necropolis of Serdica occupies large parts of Sofia’s downtown, including the space under the building the National Assembly and the area of the Alexander Nevski Cathedral and Sofia University.
Remains of the ancient burial area can be seen exposed in the St Sofia Basilica.The remains discovered at the Hyatt construction site are located at the further eastern periphery of this necropolis, formed between the second and third centuries AD, where the tombs are of a lower density.
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