ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS NEAR THE VILLAGE OF GORSKO NOVO SELO (Iordan Aleksiev – firstname.lastname@example.org, Konstantin Dochev) An area of c. 600 sq. m was excavated. Materials related to the destruction of the church were found: cut stones, blocks, bricks, tegulae, imbrices, fragmentary mortar, and four-leaf terracotta appliques, between 6 cm and 13 cm in length, from the façade of the church. The interior of the church was filled with stones, bricks, fragmentary mortar, fragments of the wall-paintings and segment-blocks from the arches and the barrel-vaulted roofing. The main western entrance of the church is 1.12 m in width. The threshold of the entrance between the narthex and the nave, and a second entrance from the south, 84 cm in width, situated against the niche in the northern wall, were also discovered. The floor was paved with stone slabs. The interior painted decoration of the plinth consists of black and red lines and is almost entirely preserved. Images of saints are presented on the northern wall of the church and on the wall, which separates the narthex and the nave. Only the lower parts of the bodies, below the waist, are preserved. The human figures depicted in the niche on the northern wall wear red mantles and red shoes and step on a red cushion. They represent a Bulgarian royal couple. Standing funeral stelae were discovered outside the church. There is a two-line inscription in Middle Bulgarian on a funeral slab: ‘The souls (are) beneath the marble. God rest (them).’ Most likely, the church belonged to a rural aristocratic domain and the founder of the church had close relations with the royal court in Tarnovo. The construction of the church could be dated to the mid 13th century. Coins minted by Andronikos II and Michael IX Palaeologos and by Andronikos III Palaeologos, a silver clasp for a book and a silver earring were found during the excavations.
- Veliko Tarnovo Branch of the Archaeological Institute and Museum
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