Archaeology: Medieval residential area found at Bulgaria’s Assen’s Fortress (video)

21/9/11 .- / http://medievalnews.blogspot

A team of more than 20 archaeologists that has been clearing vegetation on the eastern side of Assen’s Fortress in Bulgaria’s Rhodope mountains has uncovered the remains of a medieval residential area adjoining the fortress.

Excavations at the site began after a nearly 15-year lull, after the Culture Ministry allocated 30 000 leva, television station bTV said.

Rositsa Moreva, who has been supervising the current study of the site, said that the residential premises appeared to have been for soldiers and their families. The garrison was at the fortress to guard the strategically-important point of access to a route to the Aegean.

The remains of an armoury also were found, as were large numbers of coins dating from various eras.

Current excavations will continue for a further month.

Assen’s Fortress is on a steep hillside about two km outside Assenovgrad, close to the left bank of the Assenitsa River. Fortifications on the site date back before the 11th century, going by the records of the nearby Bachkovo Monastery, which mention a fortress there before that time.

A church on the site, St Mary Petrichka, is said to date to the 12th century. The site, covering about 1.5ha, is a popular attraction for tourists visiting the Rhodopes.

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