Archaeological Researches (2010)

In 2010 within the framework of the project BG0041 archaeological researches have been done by a team led by Maya Martinova-Kjutova, Milena Rajcheva (assistant) and advisor Prof. L. Vagalinski PhD.

By exploratory probing in front of the outer face of the fortification wall, a wall built out of boulder and mud with a length of 1.20 meters and an adjoining ground level of stamped clay was studied. The building technique is typical for the Pre- and Early Roman traditions. These findings mark the earliest building on the site. The substructure of the Markus-Aurelius fortification wall with a construction out of syenite crude blocks, bonded with white mortar was prospected at the south part of the probing right in front of the outer side of the fortification wall. The wall is founded in a sterile layer of yellow-brown dirt and terraced, according to the configuration of the terrain. There is no apparent berm which marks the borderline between the substructure and the superstructure. The superstructure was made of cut syenite blocks ranging in size, fitted step-like along the batter of the terrain above the substructure. The stone blocks were placed alongside and connected by iron cramps. Some of the blocks are rusticated.

The vaulted passages are made out of marble and sandstone cut blocks and their ground level is out of slabs. Similar stones form the street, which is bordered with curb blocks and has a drainage along its axis.

With the probings of that sector it is established that the substructure of the western curb blocks of the street is in contact with the internal face of the fortification wall, ergo the traces of the street and the fortification wall intersect. This evidence is enough to assume the existence of a gate or a tower within close distance to the fortification facility. The surface of the street is with a batter towards the track of the stadium and the drainage has an opposite batter – this original engineering facility drained the whole stadium. An earlier ground level out of fine crushed stone, bonded with white mortar at 30 centimetres under the pavement of syenite slabs is uncovered under the vaulted passage. The substructure of the eastern curb blocks of the street and the construction of one of the pillars from the aqueduct are explored.

A sector of the substructure of the cavea – a massive blockage of crushed stones, bonded with white mortar, terraced step-like in its upper end, where the marble seats were arranged is uncovered at the probing west of the ancient street. Next to the inner face of the fortification wall remains from pre-Roman construction – a wall out of boulder on mud and fragments from clay coats with traces from spikes are discovered. The drainage systems are cleaned-up; their structure and stratigraphic position in the complex is studied.

Maya Martinova-Kjutova, archaeologist