Bulgarian Archaeologists Carry Out 'Rescue' Digs Close to Greek Border

Archaeology | July 27, 2010, Tuesday // 18:38|  views

The construction of the Makaza Pass road has been delayed by the need to build several tunnels especially on the Greek side of the border. Photo by BGNES

Four teams of Bulgarian archaeologists are taking up “rescue excavations” of a large area in the Rhodope Mountains slated for the construction of an international road.

The area of 2 hectares includes four archaeology sites from different time periods, and is in the way of the long-expected road to the Makaza Pass located right on the Bulgarian-Greek border which is going to open the shortest route between from the Danube River to the Aegean Sea.

The excavations will be the largest archaeological campaign ever to take place in the District of Kardzhali, and are funded with BGN 200 000 by the Bulgarian Roads Agency, announced archaeologist Georgi Nehrizov.

Nehrizov is in charge of the excavations of an early Bronze Age settlement near the village of Sedlare, close to the town of Momchilgrad. The settlement is located on 5 decares, but only a section of 25 meters in width and 200 meters in length lying on the route of the future road, is to be excavated.

Some of the prehistoric structures will be left in place because they are found at a depth of 1.5 meters, and the road construction will leave them intact. Most of the finds, however, will be researched, documented, and moved in order to pave the way for the road construction.

Archaeologist Yavor Boyadzhiev will be in charge of researching another site along the future road – a prehistoric village near today’s village of Varhari. The plot to be excavated is 500 km long, and has a total area of 12 decares.

The other two archaeological sites are smaller – the teams of archaeologists Katya Melamed and Ana Raduncheva will be studying medieval structures in the area.

“It is too early to speak about great finds but I think that these sites are very promising,” said Georgi Nehrizov.

The road to the Makaza Pass is supposed to be part of the Pan-European Transport Corridor No. 9 leading from Helsinki, Moscow and Kiev to the Greek port of Alexandroupolis on the Aegean.

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Tags: archaeologist, archaeology, Makaza Pass, Rhodopi Mountains, greece, Corridor 9, Georgi Nehrizov, Road Agency, excavation


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