Bulgarian Archaeologists Stumble Upon 14th Century Silver Treasure

Archaeology | August 4, 2010, Wednesday // 15:23|  views

A view of what is left above the ground of the fortress wall of Kastritsi. File photo

A team of Bulgarian archaeologists has discovered a treasure of 166 silver coins during excavations at the medieval fortress of Kastritsi on the Black Sea coast.

The archaeologists led by the Director of the Varna Regional History Museum Valentin Pletnyov have found a jar hidden in the floor of one of the medieval homes in the fortress.

The jar, which contained the 166 silver coins, is dated back to the 14th century. The coins are said to have originated in the Second Bulgarian Empire during the Reign of Tsar Ivan Alexander (r. 1331-1371 AD) and his son Mihail Asen, who was declared a “Co-Tsar” or “Young Tsar” by Ivan Alexander in 1331 upon his assumption of the Bulgarian throne. Mihail Asen died in a battle against the Ottoman Turks near Sredets (today’s Sofia) in 1355 AD.

The team led by Pletnyov has also discovered medieval pottery and weaponry at Kastritsi, and hopes to find more treasures.

The medieval fortress Kastritsi is located right on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast to the north of Varna, close to the Evksinograd (Euxinograd) residence of the Bulgarian government. It used to be a thriving trade center in the Middle Ages trading with faraway places such as Egypt. However, the fortress was raised to the ground and the entire population was slaughtered by the invading Ottoman Turks as testified by skeletons of men, women, and children found after the start of the excavations on the spot in 2007.

In 2009, Pletnyov’s team found a 14th century medallion with Christ in Kastritsi.

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Tags: archaeologist, archaeology, Varna, fortress, medieval, Second Bulgarian Empire, Kastritsi, Jesus Christ, medallion, excavation, Valentin Pletnyov, Ottoman Turkey, Tsar Ivan Alexander, Tsar Mihail Asen, Byzantine Empire


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