Treasures from Earth's bowels

The annual exhibition Bulgarian Archaeology presents the most interesting artefacts discovered in 2018

A quiver and an arrow from the village of Pokrovnik.

For the 12th year in a row, the National Archaeological Institute with Museum (NAIM) is organising the temporary exhibition Bulgarian Archaeology. The show traditionally presents the results of explorations conducted over the past season of archaeological fieldwork, putting on display some of the most interesting finds, along with extensive illustrations.

The exhibition features 250 items from 23 sites dating back to periods ranging from the Palaeolithic (40,000 years BC) to the Middle Ages. Contributions to the exhibit include exquisite glass vessels, marble statues, ceramic anthropomorphic figurines and vessels, silver and bronze adornments, bronze figurines, etc.

Co-organisers of this year's event are 19 historical and archaeological museums in the country, contributing finds from their collections - the National History Museum, the regional museums of history in Blagoevgrad, Veliko Tarnovo, Vidin, Dobrich, Pazardzhik, Pleven, Razgrad, Sofia, Stara Zagora, Haskovo and Yambol, the Archaeological Museum “Ancient Nessebar” and the museums of history in Belogradchik, Dryanovo, Panagyurishte, Petrich and Sevlievo.

The selection of exhibits on show represents sites that will continue to be researched in 2019, including the Kozarnika and Bacho Kiro caves, the prehistoric mounds of Yunatsite, Durankulak, and Kozareva Mogila, the late Bronze Age necropolis at Baley, the ancient cities of Apollonia, Heraclea Sintica, Serdica, Philippopolis, and Ulpia Oescus and the medieval Bulgarian capitals of Pliska and Tarnovo, etc. Impressive results and interesting finds came from the large-scale rescue excavations at the ancient site of Pokrovnik, Blagoevgrad region, along the Struma highway route.

Some of the most impressive finds showcased in this year's exhibition are an engraved bone awl, found in the Redaka Cave and dating back to the late Palaeolithic; bone tattooing needle from the Durankulak mound; richly decorated urns from the necropolis at Baley; a well-preserved glass amphora from Pokrovnik; the head of a marble statue of a female from Heraclea Sintica and a statue head depicting Emperor Aurelian from Ulpia Oescus; a bronze figurine of Venus bearing a gold torque from the ancient Philippopolis; glassware and jewellery from the necropolis of Augusta Traiana (present-day Stara Zagora); and gold reliquary cross from Trapezitsa, Tarnovo.

The exhibition also presents posters of nearly 50 sites, which were also explored in 2018. The 2018 Bulgarian Archaeology exhibition can be visited at the NAIM halls until 14 April.

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