Thursday, July 23, 2009

Nymph Sanctuary Discovered in Bulgaria

Archaeologists Discover Nymph Sanctuary in Central Bulgaria 23 July 2009 A sanctuary where, during Antiquity, the nymph cult was celebrated was recently found by archaeologists in the vicinity of the Nicopolis ad Istrum ancient site, located near the town of Veliko Tarnovo in central Bulgaria. The experts discovered an alley, leading to a spring and covered with limestone tiles decorated in a stand-out relief. The find is a first of its kind in the region, Pavlina Vladkova, leader of the archaeological team, told national media. Until now, she said, the only testament of the nymph cult in Nicopolis ad Istrum used to be images on coins made in the second century under the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus, as well as ancient inscriptions. Vladkova expects that her team will find the remains of a cult building where the nymph worshippers stayed. Nymph worshipping, according to the archaeologists, can be traced back to Ancient Greece, where the mythical female creatures were usually part of the retinue of a god, such as Zeus, Hera and Aphrodite. Although, planned archaeological excavations are currently taking place at the nearby Nicopolis ad Istrum ancient site, as recently reported, the sancuary was discovered by chance. According to the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency, workers came upon the archaeological remains while installing a water pipe to the village of Resen, which called for the emergency excavations to begin.
I would guess that with the presence of the spring, this place was a sacred one much further back than the Greeks, and was probably a place of worship sacred to the Great Goddess. How fitting that it is a female archaeologist who will be leading the archaeological team.

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