Artefacts from Apollonia Pontica on show in Sofia

The exhibition is the result of a successful collaboration between Bulgaria and France

The Sofia History Museum presents the international exhibition Apollonia Pontica: In the Footsteps of Archaeologists. The exhibition tells the story of the ancient city of Apollonia Pontica (modern day Sozopol) and its adjacent territories with its institutions, architecture, everyday life, necropoleis, through archaeological studies going back more than a century. The exhibition is the result of a successful collaboration between Bulgaria and France.

Apollonia Pontica was founded around 610 BC by migrants from the ancient Greek city of Miletus in Southwest Asia Minor. The settlement had an advantageous position, being only a day's sailing away from Byzantium, and it quickly became a thriving city. In 72 BC, Apollonia Pontica was pillaged by the armies of Marcus Terentius Varro Lucullus and was forced to become part of the Roman Empire. Marcus Lucullus also took the city's prized Apollo statue back to Rome with him.

Archaeological studies of Apollonia Pontica were initiated by French diplomat Baron Julius Alexander Degran in 1904 and were continued by the most prominent Bulgarian researchers at the time. There were many excavations throughout the 20th century. Since 2002, a French team has officially joined the exploration of Apollonia.

The exhibition has over 500 artefacts organised by whether they were related to male, female or children's activities. They include a ritually bent sword, a bronze wreath with gold, golden jewels, tweezers and seashell blush container, pacifiers, dolls, figurines of various animals, and more.

Apollonia Pontica: In the Footsteps of Archaeologists includes exhibits from the Louvre, the Sozopol Archaeological Museum, the National Archaeological Museum, the National Museum of History and the Regional Museum of History in Burgas. The exposition was created with the financial support of the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture, the Louvre and the French Institute in Bulgaria.

The exhibition can be seen until 10 March 2019.

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