Archaeologists discover 6th-century rotunda mausoleum at ancient city of Perperikon

Photo: gov.bg

Bulgaria's leading archaeologist, Prof. Nikolay Ovcharov, and his team have found a rotunda mausoleum at one of Bulgaria's emblematic archaological sites - the ancient rock city of Perperikon.

The new site is a rotunda mausoleum rotunda of the bishops dating from the 6th century. This is the last discovery of the team of Prof. Nikolay Ovcharov in the site of Perperikon.
"We were hoping to find the rich residence of the bishops of the entire Rhodopes, whose centre in the 6th century was on Perperikon," says the archaeologist. according to his assumptions, the residence was supposed to be located at 50 metres west of the largest early-Christian church in the Rhodopes, discovered by the same team five years ago. Nikolay Ovcharov recalls that the nearly 40-metre-long church is decorated with monumental colonnades and stone sculptures.
The archaeological team came across a building with “only a few analogies in the late Roman Empire.” The plan of the monumental building is an ideal circle with a diameter of 7.50 m. Similar rotundas were designed in antiquity, but perhaps the most famous is the Pantheon in Rome. With the adoption of Christianity, this shape was mainly used in the construction of mausoleums of notable persons, and it is assumed that the rotunda of Perperikon performed these functions.
The excavations at Perperikon will continue for another month and after their completion new and interesting results are expected, adds Prof. Nikolay Ovcharov.

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