Sozopol / Apollonia (Bulgarie) : Remains of ancient Greek settlement


Remains of ancient Greek settlement studied on island off Sozopol

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An archaeological team headed by Dr Kristina Panayotova has found on the island of St Kirik, off the coast of Bulgaria's Black Sea town of Sozopol, remains of the first settlement in the area of Apollonia.

The first colonists came to the area from the ancient Greek city of Miletus at the end of the seventh century BCE, according to Bulgarian National Radio's (BNR) report about the finds, which included a building that was a metallurgical workshop, as well as two well-preserved streets, one of which led to the sacred site of Apollonia.

The settlement at Apollonia, the predecessor of today's Sozopol, was the most ancient of its kind in the country.

"The other Greek colonies along the Bulgarian Black Sea - Odessus Messambria, Dionysopolis and Byzone were settled later, in the areas of today's Varna, Nessebur, Balchik and Kavarna," Panayotova told BNR.

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The find on the island of St Kirik allowed a glimpse into the only truly ancient Greek colony in Bulgaria, she said.

The remains of the buildings were evidence of well-organised urban life.

During the dig, various tools had been found, including fishing gear, and spindles and loom weights. Bronze arrow points also were found.

There was evidence of rituals performed in honour of the goddesses Demeter (of grain and harvests) and Persephone (goddess of the underworld, daughter of Demeter and Zeus). These finds included small jugs, amphoras and ceramic figurines.

Rituals were performed in the area for a long time, from the sixth to the third centuries BCE, allowing archaeologists to trace the different types of pottery and terracotta figurines.

Panayotova's team will return to the site for further investigation during October.

During this past summer, a French-Bulgarian project studied the suburban area of Apollonia, probing the site of a mansion, where a stash of coins was found. Another team found the remains of three houses. The study of the area is to continue in coming years, BNR said.