Red Marble Pillars and Early Bulgarian Communion Spoon Discovered in Excavations

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Red Marble Pillars and Early Bulgarian Communion Spoon Discovered in Excavations

August 04, 2015 (Source:

A stone inscription in Greek has been discovered by the archaeologists excavating the ruins of a Christian bishop’s basilica in the Roman and Byzantine fortress of Zaldapa, which is located in Krushari Municipality, Dobrich District, in Northeast Bulgaria.

According to the initial reading of the stone inscription made by archaeologist Yoto Yotov from the Dobrich Regional Museum of History, it expresses gratitude for God, and was probably a gravestone inscription placed in the foundations of the bishop’s basilica in Zaldapa, reports local news site Top Novini Dobrich.

In addition to the inscription in Greek, which is yet to be examined further and dated, thearchaeologists from the Dobrich Regional Museum of History have also found a stone with adepiction of a flower which they believe was used for decoration.

The archaeologists, who have been working on the excavations of the bishop’s basilica in theAncient Roman and Early Byzantine city of Zaldapa since 2014, have also another pillar of red marble, the so called Breccia Carolina, after one red marble column was found in the first full-fledged archaeological excavations of Zaldapa in 2014.

“Red columns are typical of the temples where emperors were crowned. What we have found so far makes us hope that we will also find green marble pillars which were used as decorations for the throneof the patriarch or, in our case, the bishop. We also think we might find the home of the seniorclergyman,” says Kostadin Kostadinov, Director of the Dobrich Regional Museum of History, as cited by the Bulgarian daily Standart.

The city of Zaldapa was the birthplace of Byzantine general Vitalian (d. 520) who in 513 AD led arebellion against Byzantine Emperor Anastasius which grew into a 5-year civil war.

Because of the discovery of the red marble pillars the Dobrich archaeologists believe the bishop’s basilica in Zaldapa might have been the place where the rebellious general Vatialian might have been crowned Emperor of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire.

It is precisely Vitalian’s attempt to become the Emperor of Byzantium that explains the presence ofr ed marble pillars in Zaldapa, the archaeologists reckon.

Another interesting discovery is a bronze spoon which is believed to have been used for Holy Communion during the Late Antiquity.

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