REHABILITATION OF EPISCOPAL CENTER NEAR PERPERIKON, NEWSPAPER „NOV ZHIVOT”, 29.11.2009.2009
Archaeologist Nikolay Ovcharov and architect Konstantin Peev presented yesterday a restored medieval district's administrative center. It dates from the IX - XII century and is situated in the area of Klise Bash, near Chiflik village, in the Kardzhali area. According to archaeologists, the complex has housed the administration that ruled the Eastern Rhodopes region in the period from the IX to the XII century. The study began in 2001 when there was only a field with traces of the treasure hunters’ work.
Restoration and conservation have lasted for four months. Approximately EUR 300,000 of the EUR 2,5 million fund have been invested, allocated under PHARE program for restoration and conservation of the medieval town of Perperikon. Rehabilitation has been performed on the foundation and part of the wall of a medieval church with two chapels, as well as several rooms, including the Bishop’ treasury, said Nikolai Ovcharov. Most interesting is the room where the archive of the regional center is situated. Records found proves that the room was used as an archive - more than a hundred lead seals - a kind of business card to the Middle Ages, giving details of their holders.
During excavation works, a silver key from the treasury of the district center and a bronze cross-relic were found, which contains, archaeologists suggest, particles from the cross of Christ, held today in the monastery complex "Uspenie Bogorodichno" in the Kardzhali district "Gledka".
According to surveys, during IX - XII century Perperikon was a military fortress, and life was flourishing in the administrative center of the Eastern Rhodopes region - Achridos. This center had a connection with the monastery complex of “St. John the Precursor “in Kardjali and with Perperikon. By studying the lead seals it may be concluded that there were four bishops. Surrounding the church there were also excavated graves, in which nobles are likely to have been buried. According to Nikolai Ovcharov, this is the first such center opened in the Byzantine Empire. It existed until the XII century, and was abandoned afterwards.
Author: Valya Asenova