Bulgaria’s National History Museum Extends Exhibition of 2018 Archaeological Discoveries

Bulgaria’s National History Museum Extends Exhibition of 2018 Archaeological Discoveries

The treasure from the Tatar Plunder treasure pot discovered in Bulgaria’s Black Sea fortress Kaliakra in August 2018 contains near 1,000 coins and jewels, and has been displayed for the first time by the National Museum of History in Sofia in its 2018 Archaeological Discoveries exhibition. Photo: National Museum of History

Bulgaria’s National Museum of History in Sofia has extended by one month its exhibition showcasing for the first time artifacts discovered by its own archaeologists during the 2018 archaeological season.

The exhibition entitled “Archaeological Discoveries of the National Museum of History. Sites, Treasures, and Researchers in 2018" is curated by Prof. Ivan Hristov, Deputy Director of the Museum.

It was originally scheduled to run from December 13, 2018, until January 13, 2019. However, the Museum has now announced it is extended for another month because of the great public interest, and will be available to its visitors until mid-February 2019.

Many of the artifacts in question will probably be also showcased in February 2019 at the National Institute and Museum of Archaeology during the annual Bulgarian Archaeology exhibition, which traditionally displays the most intriguing artifacts found in all of Bulgaria, by researchers from all museums and research institutions in the country.

The exhibition of the National Museum of History, which is located in Sofia’s Boyana Quarter, in a former residence of Bulgarian communist dictator Todor Zhivkov, has shown to the public for the first time the treasure pot with Tatar plunder from ca. 1400 discovered in August 2018 in the Kaliakara Cape Fortress on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast.

The treasure pot with Tatar plunder from Bulgaria’s Cape Kaliakra fortress has been exhibited for the first time since its discovery by the National Museum of History in Sofia. Photo: National Museum of History

The Tatar plunder treasure pot from Cape Kaliakra was discovered by the team of Assoc. Prof. Boni Petrunova, Director of the National Museum of History since 2017.

It contains 957 archaeological artifacts from the 14th century, including 28 gold coins, 873 silver coins, 11 gold appliques and buckles, 11 gold earrings, 2 rings, one of which is gold, four beads made of gold and precious stones, and 28 silver and bronze buttons.

Its composition testifies to the decline of the Second Bulgarian Empire and the Byzantine Empire ahead and during the Ottoman conquest.

Another especially intriguing artifact from the 2018 excavations of the National Museum of History in Sofia is the lead seal of Yolande of Montferrat, Empress Irene of the Byzantine Empire, the second wife of Byzantine Emperor Andronicus II Palaeologus (r. 1282 – 1328), discovered in the medieval fortress Lyutitsa near the town of Ivaylovgrad.

The exhibition shows the most interesting from among over 400 artifacts found by the museum archaeologists in 2018, while information about the archaeological is presented with specially made posters.

The Museum has said its teams’ 2018 discoveries have been especially rich thanks to its lead archaeologist: Assoc. Prof. Boni Petrunova, Prof. Ivan Hristov, Assist. Prof. Mariela Inkova, Dr. Margarita Popova, Ph. D. candidate Violina Kiryakova, Martin Hristov, Pavlina Devlova.

During 2018, the archaeological teams of the National Museum of History in Sofia have explored a total of 21 archaeological sites, 17 of which have been excavated. These include settlement mounds, Antiquity and medieval fortresses, burial mounds, and settlements.

The sites in question are located all across Bulgaria: on the Black Sea coast, in the Rhodope Mountains, in Central North Bulgaria, in Northwest Bulgaria, in the Plana Mountain, in the Vitosha Mountain, in the Karlovo Valley, in the Upper Thracian Valley, and in Sofia.

The researchers from the National Museum of History in Sofia have explored a total of 21 sites in 2018. Above is the Bukelon Fortress near the town of Matochina,in Southern Bulgaria; below is the St. Thomas Island off Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast. Photos: National Museum of History

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