Sofia Metro Digs Unveil Precious Roman MosaicArchaeology | August 5, 2011, Friday // 12:39| views
Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova (l) and Culture Minister, Vezhdi Rashidov (right) attended the presentation of new archaeological discoveries in the very heart of Sofia. Photo by Yuliyana Nikolova, Sofia Photo Agency
A unique Roman mosaic with a stylized crown of laurels from the 4th century AD has been found by archeologists in the very heart of Bulgaria's capital Sofia.
The 30-square-meter mosaic is located underneath the central Maria Louisa Boulevard and was discovered during construction works for the Sofia subway.
The head of the archeologists, Mario Ivanov, from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, BAS, announced the find, saying the colors, at places, are very well preserved and the mosaic was the floor of the ceremonial room in the home of a wealthy family.
The archeologists are still unsure if the family was close to Emperor Constantine the Great because no written sources have been discovered, with Ivanov saying they were for sure local dignitaries who might have had connections with the Emperor.
The find was visited by Culture Minister, Vezhdi Rashidov, and the Mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova.
"Sofia will have the most modern and breath-taking metro station in Europe. We will have here an underground museum with all archeological finds on display and with passengers moving on glass tracks," Fandakova said.
The investment in the antique complex "Serdica" in downtown Sofia is estimated at BGN 16 M. It is scheduled to be completed in 2012.
"Bulgaria is standing on top of gold. We must replace the alcohol tourism with culture one," an impressed Rashidov stated.
Contemporary Sofia further has remnants from a district that was named after Konstantin, located south of the metro excavations, again the vicinity of Maria Louisa Boulevard.
The famous saying "Serdika is My Rome," is attributed to the Emperor, who adopted Christianity and is known for loving the then city and especially its mineral waters. Mosaics from his palace have been discovered as early as 1965 while the legend tells that he ruled the Roman Empire from Serdika for 13 years.
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