In July, the first stage of the excavations of a fortified Hellenistic site from the II-I century BC, located on Cape Chiroza in the eastern part of the land of Kraimorie, Burgas Municipality, was completed. The studies were led by Prof. Dr. Ivan Hristov from NHM, with Deputy Head PhD Milen Nikolov, Director of RIM - Burgas. The fortification had an area of 800 square meters and was protected by a stone wall and a large moat with a depth of 1.3 m and a width of nearly 4 m.
An indicator of the dating of the site is the ceramic material. In 260 processed ceramic fragments, 40% are made of Thracian ceramics - vessels made by hand, with plastic decoration and polished surface. The other fragments are from amphorae, bottoms and walls of local and imported cups, red lacquer ceramics with embossed decoration. A reliable marker for dating the site are the handles, the bottoms of bone amphorae and ceramic fragments of supposed origin from the area of ancient Pergamum.
The discovery of the moat and the tracing, albeit in the initial stage, of the stone wall allow us to assume first that another late Hellenistic fortified center was built on Cape Chiroza, synchronous with the already known ones near the town of Primorsko (Farmakida), p. Sinemorets, the village of Brodilovo and the village of Izvor. However, it is possible that the narrow wall and the moat marked the top of the seaside sanctuary.
In the water area of the cape Prof. Ivan Hristov locates an ancient object, represented by various materials with wide dating. Thanks to the timely intervention of the Mayor of the Municipality of Burgas, PhD Dimitar Nikolov, and the Director of RHM-Burgas, funding was provided for a comprehensive study of the sites both underwater and on land.
Thus, from June 30 to July 7 in the eastern and southeastern waters of Cape Chiroza were conducted underwater searches, funded entirely by the Municipality of Burgas. As a result, archeological structures and finds on an area of 2 decares were discovered and mapped. At the same time, geophysical surveys and bathymetric surveys of the seabed were carried out, thanks to the support of the Center for Underwater Archeology - Sozopol.
Divers from the Center for Underwater Archeology and Municipal Diving Center - Sozopol, Eng. Kiril Velkovski, Dr. Bogdan Prodanov from the Institute of Oceanology in Varna, PhD Milen Nikolov - RHM Burgas took part in the research.
The following preliminary conclusions can be drawn from the conducted underwater surveys and geophysical surveys:
Several rock outcrops have been located on an underwater terrace, developing east of Cape Chiroza to a depth of 4 meters. The diving team managed to photograph many processed stone blocks of different sizes and shapes. Impressive is the discovery of a large number of fragments of Greek building ceramics (salt and calipers), Roman tegulas and imbrexes, as well as some whole late antique tiles. During the underwater inspections, the diving team managed to collect from the seabed about 100 ceramic fragments, half a stone Greek anchor rod, a stone battle ball, several relatively well-preserved amphorae.
It is assumed, at this stage of the underwater research, that the site at the foot of Cape Chiroza covered an area of 2000 sq m.
The presented underwater studies in 2020 are the second in the region in just one year. In the period 17-23.02.2020, a team led by Dr. Naiden Prahov conducted a geophysical scan and 2 diving inspections in the area of the Fishing Port in the bay of Chengene Scaffolding and at the island St. Anastasia.
In mid-August, the actual underwater excavations of the underwater site began, financed entirely by the Municipality of Burgas. They are led by Prof. Hristov and PhD Naiden Prahov, director of the Center for Underwater Archeology at the Ministry of Culture and Ch. Assistant Professor at NAIM-BAS. The general public will be informed about their results after their completion.
The studies were implemented as a joint project of RHM-Burgas and CPA, within the framework of their program for cooperation in studying the past of the Burgas coast.
We would like to express our gratitude to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hristo Popov - Director of NAIM - BAS and the leadership of the Ministry of Culture, whose administrative support for the implementation of the research was invaluable.
The excavations in the bay of Chengene scaffolding are an emblematic good example of the wonderful interaction of various scientific institutions with the Municipality of Burgas in the study, preservation and promotion of the archaeological wealth of the Burgas region.