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ARCHAEOLOGICAL WEALTH FROM MINI MARITSA IZTOK EAD

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The rescue archaeological excavations in the energy complex area have already become a tradition as well as a responsibility for a large number of employees of Mini Maritsa Iztok EAD and the Archaeological Museum in Radnevo. Their joined efforts and co-operation have resulted in discovering unknown sides of the ethno-cultural processes in the Balkan Peninsula during bygone historical epochs.

Unique results were obtained during the studies carried out in 2005. The unearthed mass grave in the area of the former village of Gledachevo with the luxuriant golden ornaments, belt buckles and their decorations, as well as arms in mid Avarian style, typical of the 7th century AD, is worth mentioning. It is the first time that such decorations have been discovered south of the Balkan Mountains and their exact equivalents can be found in Khan Kubrat`s treasure. The type of funeral ritual and undoubtedly Byzantine make of some of the decorations provide information on the relations of the Byzantine empire with the incoming steppe tribes, some of whom laid the foundation for the formation of the Bulgarian nationality.

The preceding century has brilliantly marked its presence in the necropolis developed near the Early Christian basilica in the area of the village of Polski Gradets. Apart from the unparalleled for our lands catacomb funeral, dating back to that period, the golden, silver and bronze decorations provide information on the significant material resource of the federate population in this region and confirm the written sources telling us of the large gifts Byzantine emperors needed to give in order to keep peace on the borderlands.

As a result of these studies the history of the so called Dark Ages, namely 6th- 7th century AD, has been supplemented on an archaeological basis.

It is without any doubt that the newly - found archaeological materials resulting from the abovementioned rescue excavations will be permanently covered by international specialized catalogues, as well as by history textbooks, and will supplement the Radnevo Archaeological Museum stock.

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