Rare Gold Reliquary Cross Found in Medieval Bulgarian Fortress

Society » ARCHAEOLOGY | November 10, 2018, Saturday // 09:27| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Rare Gold Reliquary Cross Found in Medieval Bulgarian Fortress

Bulgarian archaeologists have discovered a rare gold reliquary cross during excavations at a medieval stronghold dating back to the Second Bulgarian Empire, reports Reuters

The 12th century cross was found in a recently unearthed church at Trapezitsa Hill, one of the two main citadels of Veliko Tarnovo. Then called Tarnovgrad, Veliko Tarnovo was the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185-1396), one of the biggest countries in Europe.

“The finding is extremely rare; it is of utmost importance,” said Konstantin Totev, who leads the team of archaeologists in Veliko Tarnovo, some 220 kilometres east of Sofia, Bulgaria’s modern capital.

 

“It is a gold cross, an encolpion - a work made to hold relics,” he said. “It is unique because the vast majority of such crosses have been made by bronze and silver.”

The cross was dug up near an altar pillar at the 23rd Orthodox Church at Trapezitsa, he said. The church was near the imperial palace, which covered almost 3,000 square metres, about three-quarters of an acre.

 

The well-preserved relic, 11 cm in length and weighing 75 grams, which was made in Byzantium, depicts Christ on the cross, his mother, Mary, and a few saints. It is decorated with niello and several palmettes.

Encolpion crosses, crafted in studios in Byzantium, were also known as “Russian enclopion crosses” because they were copied and distributed widely in Russia from the 12th to the 14th century.

After their conversion to Christianity, the Vikings also imported many of them to Scandinavia.

Archaeology » Be a reporter: Write and send your article
Advertisement
Advertisement
Expats.bg All Are Welcome! Join Now!
Please, log in to post a comment.
» To the forumComments (0)
Bulgaria news Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria