Possible Roman Soldiers’ Burials Unearthed in Bulgaria
WARSAW, POLAND—A team led by Agnieszka Tomas of the Institute of Archaeology at the University of Warsaw excavated two graves found near Novae, a Roman legion camp in northern Bulgaria, according to a report in Science in Poland. “The people buried in the graves we discovered were probably associated with the Roman legion—perhaps even soldiers,” she said, based upon the metal parts of military belt buckles and shoe rivets found in the burials. The metal artifacts show signs of having been burned, probably during a cremation ceremony at another location. The bones were then placed in wooden boxes fastened with iron nails for burial. The archaeologists also found pottery jugs containing residue of wine, lamps, and coins bearing images of Roman emperors. “A coin was given for the way to the afterlife, because it was believed that the deceased would have to cross a river and the ferryman would expect payment,” Tomas said. The human remains and the grave offerings were finally covered with large ceramic plates that formed a gabled-roof structure. To read about another recent discovery in Bulgaria dating to the Roman period, go to “Mirror, Mirror.”
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