Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tomb of Ancient Athlete Found In Bulgaria

"A team of Bulgarian archaeologists unearthed Tuesday an ancient stone tomb, dated back to the 4th century BC, Darik News reported.

The team, lead by Krastina Panayotova, stumbled upon the tomb during the annual archaeological excavations on the Harmani beach of the Black Sea town of Sozopol.

A man, probably an athlete, had been buried in the tomb because the team found an object used by athletes in antiquity.

Just a day earlier the archaeologists came upon the grave of another man, probably a gambler. The grave was full of dice, backgammon pieces and coins.

Last week the same team unearthed a tomb of a citizen, who lived in the ancient city of Apollonia, which is today's Sozopol.

The team of Krastina Panayotova is working on the Harmani beach of Sozopol, a site which archaeologist have been exploring for many years now.

Sozopol is one of the oldest towns on Bulgarian Thrace's Black Sea coast. The first settlement on the site dates back to the Bronze Age. Undersea explorations in the region of the port reveal relics of dwellings, ceramic pottery, stone and bone tools from that era. Many anchors from the second and first millennium BC have been discovered in the town's bay, a proof of active shipping since ancient times.

The town, at first called Antheia, was colonized by Anaximander. The name was soon changed to Apollonia, on account of a temple dedicated to Apollo in the town, containing a famous colossal statue of the god by Calamis, 30 cubits high, transported later to Rome by Lucullus and placed in the Capitol. At various times, Apollonia was known as Apollonia Pontica (that is, Apollonia on the Black Sea, the ancient Pontus Euxinus) and Apollonia Magna."