BTA News News from member agencies

Large Marble Statue of Deity Discovered in Ancient City of Heraclea Sintica near Petrich

Archeologists have discovered a large marble statue of a deity during excavations in the ancient city of Heraclea Sintica near Petrich (Southwestern Bulgaria), the head of the team, Prof. Dr. Lyudmil Vagalinski, told the media. The statue is well preserved and rises above human height, he added.

Prof. Vagalinski noted that the discovery was made in the Cloaca Maxima sewer, where archeologists hardly expected to find anything.

“My main concern in this area, where the big sewer is, is how to preserve the ancient structures we uncovered six years ago,” he said. In Prof. Vagalinski’s words, this is a private area, and the municipality cannot carry out permanent conservation and restoration activities as it would on municipal ground. He noted that since these structures and walls erode, they had decided to check on them by opening up the sewer grates that they had put in for safety. “While sweeping the walls very carefully in order to establish their condition, we saw marble,” Prof. Vagalinski said, adding that the statue surfaced as they proceeded with the clean up.

“Work is currently underway to fully uncover the figure. After that, it will be taken to the History Museum in Petrich,” he added. Prof. Vagalinski said that the inhabitants of Heraclea Sintica had most likely kept the statue in the sewer because it was found propped up against the wall. This season’s excavation in the ancient city will last between three and four months, he noted.