OPEN CITY restored PERPERIKON, newspaper Attack, 29.11.2009
“Ataka” newspaper, November, 29th 2009, pg.24
A RESTORED TOWN NEAR PERPERIKON WAS OPENED
The restored archeological complex Achridos, located 2 km from Perperikon, was yesterday officially presented by the archaeologist Nikolai Ovcharov and architect Konstantin Peev. The complex was a regional center, which housed the administration that ruled the Eastern Rhodopes region during IX-XII century AD.
Works on the site started in year 2001, after the site unfortunately had been subjected to ruthless treasure hunters’ invasions. Among the unique findings are more than 100 lead seals from the Middle Ages, among them ten were belonging to high officials and four of them to bishops.
According to archaeologist Prof. Ovcharov, there was a connection between the regional center and Perperikon. During this period, Perperikon represented a battle fortress, but Achridos resided the regional government. Among the restored objects is a unique Christian three-nave basilica that was once richly decorated in marble. There were two chapels - one north and another south. In one of the chapels was a tomb in which priests were buried. Eminent citizens were buried in the newly excavated Acropolis - jewelry and coins are found there.
According to Nikolai Ovcharov, this is the first such center opened in the Byzantine Empire. It existed until the XII century, and was afterwards abandoned. During the excavations a unique silver key from the treasury was found and a bronze cross – a relic which is kept in the church of St. Mary in Kardzhali. In the restoration of the facility EUR 250,000 have been invested, provided by the PHARE program.