Bulgaria: Archaeological Excavations of a Medieval Monastery in Ahtopol
ARCHAEOLOGISTS FROM THE NATIONAL HISTORICAL MUSEUM REVEAL THE SECRETS OF THE MYSTICAL MONASTERY “ST. JOHN PRODROMOS” IN ACHTOPOL
For the third year in a row, a team of the National History Museum, under the leadership of the director of the museum - Associate Professor Bonni Petrunova, started the archaeological research of the medieval monastery "St. John Prodromos", Ahtopol.
Archaeologists from NHM continue to reveal the secrets of the mysterious monastery, the alleged refuge of the Metropolitan of Agathopolis, and last year two graves dug into the rock were discovered in the nave of the church, in which, in all probability, deceased metropolitans were buried. According to Associate Professor Petrunova, "this once powerful monastery was often damaged and destroyed in the past, which makes it quite a challenge in terms of research. A similar finding is also confirmed by the cannonballs found on the site, dating from the Cossack attacks in the 16th - 17th centuries. , described in an anonymous note from a liturgical book: ‘In 1623, Cossacks with seventeen Seagulls ravaged the city of Agathopolis... They tied up the monks of the monastery, took them and went to Sozopol...’ We hope that the excavations will reveal new evidence of the important historical role of the city of Ahtopol over the centuries, and this will also give an opportunity to reveal details related to the architecture and layout of the monastery, as well as the daily life of its inhabitants".
In just the first few days of this year's excavations, interesting cultural treasures have already been uncovered, such as a coin of the Byzantine emperor Leo VI (886-912). Leo VI the Philosopher (or the Wise) is known to be the one who forced Simeon I the Great to break the 30-year peace imposed by Boris I Michael. The same, under the pressure of his mistress Zoya Zautzena and her father Stylian Zautza, Leo VI moved the marketplace for Bulgarian goods from Constantinople to Thessaloniki and imposed heavy taxes on them, and then ignored the envoys of Simeon I (Rashev, 2007), as in the summer in 896, Simeon I undertook his first march to Constantinople, as a result of which Bulgaria received territories between the Black Sea and Strandzha from Byzantium (Zlatarski 1994).
/National History Museum
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