Thursday, August 21, 2008

Seal of Andronicus II Paleologus Found at Perperikon

Seal of Andronicus II Paleologus Found at Perperikon
20 August 2008
Bulgarian News Agency

A seal of the Byzantine Emperor Andropicus II Paleologus (1282-1328) was found during the ongoing excavations at Perperikon in Southeastern Bulgaria. It is the second seal of the same emperor ever found in Bulgaria and the tenth in the world, the reknowned achaeology professor Nikolai Ovcharov said at a news conference where he presented some of the latest finds.

Excavations at the site this season started some two months ago and will continue until September 15. The seal has a hole in the middle, an image of Andronicus on one side and of the Blessing Christ on the other. Such seals were put on important documents and have remained as something of a print of the Middle Ages, Prof. Ovcharov explained.

Archaeologists have also unearthed four silver rings which are believed to have been worn by dignitaries in the late 12th century to the early 14th century. One of the rings has "Manuil" enscribed on it. Archaeologists say it might be an indication that the ring belonged to strategus Manuil Kimica, the master of the Eastern Rhodope mountains in the 12th century.

After the excavations, the Western side of the Perperikon acropolis has emerged as a true Medieval castle like those which still exist in France, Prof. Ovacharov says. Six towers, one of them a hexagon, have been fully unearthed. The rulers' residence, too, is well visible: a three-floor building dated to the first half of the 14th century. The use of ceramics from Central Asia in the construction of the palace goes to show that the Perperikon rulers were wealthy and influential, Prof. Ovcharov commented.