Bulgarian Archaeologists to Excavate for the 1st Time Thracian Fortress’s Necropolis on Mount Dragoyna

Mount Dragoyna is located amidst the Upper Thracian Plain in Southern Bulgaria, and features the ruins of one of the largest Ancient Thracian fortresses ever found. Photo: archaeologist Elena Bozhinova

Mount Dragoyna is located amidst the Upper Thracian Plain in Southern Bulgaria, and features the ruins of one of the largest Ancient Thracian fortresses ever found. Photo: archaeologist Elena Bozhinova

Archaeologists from the southern Bulgarian city of Plovdiv are going to excavate for the very first time the necropolis of the Ancient Thracian fortress on Mount Dragoyna near the town of Parvomay.

In June 2015, the Bulgarian Cabinet granted the Plovdiv Museum of Archaeology usage rights for the excavation of landed property on the territory of the town of Dragoynovo.

The archaeological excavations of the Thracian necropolis on Mount Dragoyna, which was first discovered in 2012, are planned to start on August 15, 2015, with 10 archaeologists and 10 workers, lead archaeologist Elena Bozhinova from the Plovdiv Museum of Archaeology has told local news site Top Novini Plovdiv.

Bozhinova has been in charge of the digs near Mount Dragoyna for the past 10 years; she will be aided by archaeologist Velina Zhakonova.

The Thracian fortress on Mount Dragoyna is one of the largest Ancient Thracian fortresses ever discovered.

Mount Dragoyna itself is not very tall – it towers at a height of 813 meters; however, because it is located in the middle of the Upper Thracian Plain, it has a diameter of visibility reaching over 100 km – from the city of Plovdiv to the west to the city of Haskovo in the east, and from the town of Chirpan to the north to the Rhodope Mountains in the south.

“The peak is visible from the entire plain, which makes an impression on everybody who passes by," Bozhinova is quoted as saying.

The Ancient Thracian fortress on Mount Dragoyna was inhabited from ca. 1,600 BC until ca. 300 BC. It represents the earlier periods of Thracian history when the Thracians interacted actively with Ancient Greece and the peoples of Ancient Anatolia.

Much of Southern Bulgaria is visible from Mount Dragoyna near the town of Parvomay. Photo: archaeologist Elena Bozhinova

Much of Southern Bulgaria is visible from Mount Dragoyna near the town of Parvomay. Photo: archaeologist Elena Bozhinova

The territory of the town of Dragoynovo also features archaeological discoveries from the Bulgarian Empire in the Middle Ages, including the ruins of churches from the 10th-14th century AD.

In 2014, the archaeologists discovered the ruins of one more medieval church, a chapel, a reliquary platform, and large fragments of medieval murals in one of the temples.

Background Infonotes: