Bulgarian Archaeologists Conduct Rescue Excavations of 8 Archaeological Sites along Maritsa Highway Route

(L-R) Lead archaeologist Stanimir Stoychev, Bulgaria's Regional Development Minister Lilyana Pavlova, and Road Infrastructure Agency head Lazar Lazarov viewing the rescue excavations along the route of the Maritsa Highway in the background. Photo: Bulgaria's Regional Development Ministry

(L-R) Lead archaeologist Stanimir Stoychev, Bulgaria’s Regional Development Minister Lilyana Pavlova, and Road Infrastructure Agency head Lazar Lazarov viewing the rescue excavations along the route of the Maritsa Highway in the background. Photo: Bulgaria’s Regional Development Ministry

A team of 92 archaeologists and workers have started rescue excavations of the planned route of Lot 1 of the Maritsa Highway in Southeast Bulgaria researching eight archaeological sites, Bulgaria’s Ministry of Regional Development has announced.

The rescue excavations are conducted by archaeologists from the National Institute and Museum of Archaeology of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in accordance with 3 excavation contracts signed by the Institute and Bulgaria’s Road Infrastructure Agency.

Bulgaria’s Regional Development Ministry says the excavations along Lot 1 of the Maritsa Highway, which runs between the towns of Orizovo and Dimitrovgrad and is 31.4 km long, have started in early April.

The archaeologists are currently reported to be excavating an archaeological site from the Late Middle Ages even though its location and name have not been revealed.

Lead archaeologist Stanimir Stoychev from the Shumen Regional Museum of History has assured Regional Development Minister Lilyana Pavlova that the rescue excavations will be completed by May 20, 2015, at the latest.

Lot 1 of the Maritsa Highway running from the Trakiya Highway in Southern Bulgaria to the border with Turkey is supposed to be completed by the end of September 2015.

Bulgarian archaeologists are currently also conducting rescue excavations along the route of the Struma Highway in Southwest Bulgaria.

In 2014, they discovered there an 8,000-year-old prehistoric city near the town of Mursalevo which keeps yielding exciting finds such as the recent discovery of an Ancient Thracian ritual pit with 2,700-year-old child sacrifice.

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