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  • Mal Tepe Tumulus
  • Manole
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    Credits

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    Monuments

    Periods

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    Chronology

    • 200 AD - 500 AD
    • 1080 AD - 1200 AD

    Season

      • ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXPLORATIONS NEAR THE VILLAGE OF MANOLE (Kostadin Kisyov – kostadin_kissiov@abv.bg, Sophia Hristeva) The tumulus was 125 – 130 m in diameter and 21 m in height. Sondage No. 1 was carried out in its southeastern periphery. Fragments from bricks of the Roman period were found and three ritual pits were explored. The walls of Pit 1 were burned and it was sealed with fragmentary wattle-and-daub. The pit contained sherds and a colonial bronze coin of Fulvia Plautilla minted in Nicopolis ad Istrum. The walls of Pit 2 were burned and it was sealed with fragmentary wattle-and-daub, bricks and roof-tiles. The pit contained two ceramic vessels and a terracotta spindle whorl. The walls of Pit 3 were burned and it was sealed with fragmentary wattle-and-daub. The pit contained sherds of the Roman period. Two bronze coins of Aurelian and a bronze coin of Constantius II were discovered at 70 cm to the south of the ritual pits. Sondage No. 2 was carried out in the eastern periphery of the tumulus. Fragments from bricks and roof-tiles of the Roman period were found.
      • ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXPLORATIONS NEAR THE VILLAGE OF MANOLE (Kostadin Kisyov – kostadin_kissiov@abv.bg) Sondage No. 2 carried out in 2016 in the eastern tumulus’ periphery, was widened. Six marble ashlars were discovered. Ritual Pits Nos. IX and X were explored, 1.20 m in diameter and 70 cm deep, containing sherds and bronze coins of Septimius Severus, Julia Domna (minted in Philippopolis), Claudius Gothicus, Aurelian and Probus. Sondage No. 1 carried out in 2016 in the southeastern tumulus’ periphery, was widened. Two Christian burials were discovered. A building with two rooms was explored, 8.50 m by 5.50 m in size. Its walls were constructed from clay and were 15 – 20 cm wide. Pits Nos. VII and VIII were discovered in the northern room, covered with fragmentary tegulae and bricks and containing sherds and a bronze coin of Aurelian. Two bronze coins of Aurelian, a bronze coin of Cornelia Salonina, an iron knife, a bronze hook, a glass bead, a bronze fibula decorated with stylized horse heads, sherds and animal bones were discovered on the floor of the building. Sondage No. 3 was carried out in the southern periphery of the tumulus. Two ashlars were discovered. Ritual Pits Nos. IV – VI were explored, 0.90 – 1.10 m in diameter and 40 – 50 cm deep, containing fragmentary wattle-and-daub, sherds, fragmentary building ceramics, animal bones. The finds discovered outside the building and outside the ritual pits included 28 bronze coins of Septimius Severus, Julia Domna, Elagabalus, Gordian III, Aurelian and Probus, two Byzantine bronze coins: an anonymous follis minted during the reign of Romanos III Argyros and a scyphate of Manuel I Komnenos, an iron knife, a bronze bracelet, a pendant and two bronze appliqués.
      • EXPLORATIONS NEAR THE VILLAGE OF MANOLE (Kostadin Kisyov – kostadin_kissiov@abv.bg) The excavations on the top of the tumulus continued. An L-shaped marble ashlar, a billon antonianus of Aurelian and 11 burials were discovered at 0.60 – 1.20 m depth. Nine graves (Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 13 and 14) were Mediaeval Christian burials and two graves (Nos. 7 and 8) dated to the 4th – 5th centuries AD. The grave goods in the Mediaeval burials included bronze spherical buttons, glass beads (Grave No. 4), bronze finger-rings (Graves Nos. 5 and 8) and silver earrings (Grave No. 6), which dated to the end of the 11th – 12th centuries. A pile of roughly-cut stones with mortar was discovered at 1 – 2.80 m in depth. Fragments from marble ashlars, a pile of roughly-cut stones with mortar and an antonianus of Maximian were discovered at 3.80 m in depth. The monumental pillar in the center of the tumulus was discovered at 4.40 m in depth. It measured 6.60 m by 6.60 m and was built of roughly-cut stones bonded with mortar, with corners constructed of bricks bonded with mortar. Four marble ashlars, a marble ashlar with a corner base of a column, coins of Gordian III, Valerian II and Manuel I Komnenos, and lead bars and melts used for iron clamps that held the marble ashlars together were also found. Grave No. 12 oriented north – south was discovered at the southern side of the pillar and a bronze belt buckle was found in the grave. Bronze coins of Gallienus and Aurelian were discovered on the same level. A bronze cowbell, an iron horseshoe, an iron fibula, a silver drachma (Celtic imitation of the Alexandrian Type) of the 2nd – 1st century BC and an Ottoman silver akçe of the end of the 18th century were found to the north of the pillar. The monumental stone pillar was c. 20 m high, situated in the center of the tumulus. It was built simultaneously with the construction of the tumular embankment. The sherds found during the excavations were from cups, pots and amphorae of the 2nd – 4th centuries AD.

    Bibliography

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