Archaeologists have discovered the ruins of an ancient temple in Perperikon

(ORDO NEWS) — Bulgarian archaeologists discovered the ruins of a temple during excavations of the ancient city of Perperikon.

They managed to find fragments of walls, some of which reach a height of almost three meters, as well as an altar for making sacrifices.

According to scientists, this pagan sanctuary functioned until the spread of Christianity at the beginning of the 5th century. This is reported by the Bulgarian National Radio.

In the Eastern Rhodopes, about 20 kilometers from the Bulgarian town of Kardzhali, are the ruins of Perperikon.

The excavations of this ancient city, built on a 470-meter rocky hill, have been going on for more than 20 years.

Apparently, this place acquired a cult significance as early as the 5th-4th millennium BC, which archaeologists associate with the worship of the Sun.

However, the main finds from this monument date back to later times: the 2nd millennium BC – the 1st millennium AD.

Archaeological excavations have revealed the acropolis, a fortress wall built in the second half of the 3rd century BC, when these lands were under the rule of the Romans.

But dozens of rooms carved into the rocks attract more attention. The most famous of them is the palace-sanctuary, where a large altar was discovered in 2004.

Bulgarian scientists put forward a hypothesis that the found temple is the sanctuary of Dionysus described by ancient authors.

After the spread of Christianity in the region, apparently, Perperikon continued to be a major religious center, which, in particular, is indicated by the remains of the temple and the rotunda mausoleum.

Bulgarian archaeologists reported a new discovery made during the excavations of the ancient city of Perperikon.

So, just ten meters from the famous hall with a large altar (the supposed sanctuary of the god Dionysus), scientists discovered the ruins of another temple.

According to archaeologist Nikolay Ovcharov of the National Archaeological Institute and Museum in Sofia, who is leading the excavation of Perperikon, some parts of the walls of the discovered temple reach a height of almost three meters.

This makes the find one of the best preserved buildings of the ancient city. The researchers excavated the eastern part of the monumental structure and found an altar.

According to archaeologists, the unearthed area dates back both to pagan times and to the already Christian era.

So, in more ancient times, even sacrifices were practiced here, which, in particular, is indicated by the shape of the altar with a hole for draining the blood of slaughtered animals.

After the adoption of Christianity at the beginning of the 5th century, this pagan sanctuary, like the rest of the temples, was covered with earth and turned into a warehouse for storing clay vessels with grain.

According to Ovcharov, it will probably not be possible to complete the excavations of the temple in the near future due to insufficient funding for the work.

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