Archaeologists Fail to Find Necropolis in Rescue Excavation of Late Medieval Grave in Bulgaria’s Yambol

Artifacts found in the grave in downtown Yambol. Photo by

Artifacts found in the grave in downtown Yambol. Photo by

Despite some expectations no necropolis has been unearthed in the rescue excavations of a grave from the Late Middle Ages which was found by accident by construction works 3 months ago in the downtown of the city of Yambol in Southeast Bulgaria.

The late medieval grave dates back to the 16th century AD, local archaeologists from the Yambol Regional Museum of History have concluded.

At the time of the discovery, they originally said the bones might be from an earlier time – the 14th-15th century; the original announcement also said two graves had been found.

In a few days, the Yambol archaeologists are going to wrap the rescue excavations they started in February 2015 when the construction workers came across the funeral from the Late Middle Ages, reports the Bulgarian National Radio.

The rescue excavations had put on hold a BGN 5 million (EUR 2.55 million) project for the reconstruction of the downtown of the city of Yambol, which is now set to continue.

The local archaeologists conducting the excavations have not discovered a necropolis as they originally expected. The only finds remain the initially discovered human bones and some pottery.

They have also found traces of residential buildings from the 16th-17th century destroyed in a large fire.

“The bones that the construction workers came across turn out to be from a single grave which is why they don’t warrant larger-scale excavations,” explains Stefan Bakardzhiev, Director of the Yambol Regional History Museum.

Seeking to assuage popular discontent over the delay of the construction works for the rehabilitation of the Yambol downtown, he adds that a commission from Bulgaria’s Ministry of Culture is expected soon to evaluate the results of the rescue excavations, and give a green light to the construction.