Bulgarian Archaeologists Rescue Thracian Treasure from Hwy Construction

Archaeology | October 19, 2012, Friday // 10:39|  views

Recent discoveries of Thracian archaeological sites along the route of the Struma Highway threatened to delay its construction, irking PM Borisov and his Cabinet. Photo by BGNES

A real archaeological treasure has popped out underneath the "Struma" highway construction works in western Bulgaria.

Archaeologists at the site have managed a last-minute rescue operation, pulling "under the nose" of waiting construction workers and machinery gold soldier breastplates, gold earrings and hairpins, and a number of silver and amber items, the Bulgarian Standard daily writes Friday.

The finds came from an unseen so far in size Thracian necropolis in the vicinity of the village of Dren, near the town of Radomir. They have been unearthed in the spring of 2012, after flooding in the area, but were kept secret in order to prevent their pillage from illegal treasure hunters.

Now, after the necropolis is buried underneath highway asphalt, the treasure will be on display for the first time Friday in the western city of Pernik on the occasion of its official day, according to Standard.

The unique necropolis dates from 7-8th century BC. It includes an area of 5 825 square meters, and is over 300-meter long. Bulgarian archaeologists are quoted saying it has no analogue worldwide and it belonged to local Thracian aristocrats since they were the only ones allowed to wear gold.

At the beginning of the year, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov treated local archaeologists in a surprisingly offensive fashion with respect to an archaeological site found during the construction of the southwestern highway "Struma".

Borisov and his Cabinet have reiterated a number of times their discontent over the fact that the very recent discoveries of Thracian archaeological sites along the route of the Struma Highway might delay its construction. In December 2011, Borisov accused the archaeologists of "racketeering" the state.

It was reported just days ago that the government plans to introduce legal amendments in order to be able to pressure archaeologists legally over speedy highway construction.

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Tags: excavations, archaeological excavations, archaeological, archaeologist, archaeologists, archaeology, treasure, necropolis, Cabinet, Boyko Borisov, Prime Minister, construction, highway, Struma, archaeological, Thracian, discoveries, excavation


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