Bulgaria Unearths Acropolis-Rivalling Ancient Sanctuary

Society | July 20, 2006, Thursday // 00:00

Bulgarian archaeologists have continued their amazing streak at the ancient sanctuary of Perperikon, unearthing a temple five times larger than Athens' Acropolis.

A bronze cross containing relics of the Holly Cross was also discovered at the site close to the southern city of Kurdzhali, and is the first preserved woodchip from Jesus' cross found in Bulgaria.

The Acropolis-rivalling temple dates back to the Bronze Age and is the biggest on the Balkans. The whole complex is spread over 7.5 square kilometres and covers the whole Perperikon peak. People came to pray at that spot for a period of over 2,000 years, archaeologists believe.

The complex is checkered with metallurgy workshops and the team discovered many awls, and axe moulds. The discovery represents a success for the archaeologists because it is the first complex of its kind ever found on the Balkan Peninsula. The only site that resembles it has been uncovered at the Island of Crete.

Finders of the bronze cross were thrilled as well, as it dates back to the IX or X century A.D. Its sacred contents were very well preserved, because it was hermetically sealed. The cross, bearing Jesus' image on the front and the Holly Mother's on the back, had to spend over a month in a special solution before scientists could pry it open.

The ceramics found near a tower at the newly unearthed sanctuary are similar to the pottery from ancient Troy. This evidence brings new support for the hypothesis that the Troy Homer had described was founded by the Thrace.

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