Archaeological Discovery in Bulgaria Clue to Ancient Mystery

Society | February 13, 2003, Thursday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgarian archaeologists discovered an oval ritual hall fitting the description that ancient historians gave to the Dionysus Temple in the Rhodope range famous for its splendor and mysteriousness in antique times and for the many failed attempts to determine its exact location in modernity.

During an expedition in 2002, the team of archeologist Nikolay Ovcharov unearthed the hall inside of an ancient Thracian palace, some 250km southeast of Bulgaria's capital Sofia. The temple-palace is part of the dead city of Perpericon in Bulgaria's Eastern Rhodope Mountain that was important religious and political center for centuries on end.

According to Ovcharov, the oval hall has a diameter of 30m and a round altar erected 3m above the floor in the middle. "This totally fits the description of the rituals in the Dionysus Temple in which the ancient poured wine into the altar and watched the range of the altar fire to make a prediction whether a given event will occur or not," the archaeologist said in an exclusive interview for He also outlined the fact that the main hall of the Dionysus Temple reportedly had no roof similarly to the hall his team discovered.

To shed light on his hypothesis, Nikolay Ovchrov resorts to Hellenic historian Herodotus who wrote that the Rhodope range was inhabited by the Thracian tribe of the bessies. Herodotus also said that the bessies built the legendary Dionysus Temple that was equal to the ancient Greek Apollo sanctuary in Delphi. Like Delphi's temple, the Dionysus temple had an oracle that made great prophesies such as the foretell of the victorious march of Alexander the Great of Macedonia. Later on, in the Roman age the oracle predicted that Octavius Augustus would create the Roman Empire.

The ancient Thracians inhabited an area extending over most of modern Bulgaria, northern Greece and the European part of Turkey. The Thracian tribes were ruled by a powerful warrior aristocracy rich in gold treasures.
FULL Text of the interview – Read TODAY in the Exclusive for section

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