Roman Ceramic Factory and Villa Estate – Pavlikeni, Bulgaria

The Ancient Roman ceramic factory near the town of Pavlikeni in Central Northern Bulgaria was found in 1971 by Bulgarian archaeologist Bogdan Sultov who excavated it for about a decade. It is the only known Ancient Roman ceramic factory in Southeast Europe. The Ancient Roman ceramic production center near Pavlikeni is located on a plot of 139 decares (app. 34.3 acres). It was part of the villa estate of a Roman military veteran, and is dated to the end of the 1st century AD. The ceramic production started at the beginning of the 2nd century AD.

Archaeological excavations have revealed a total of 52 furnaces for baking household and construction ceramics which was traded and sold in the entire region. The Ancient Roman villa estate with its ceramic factory was destroyed at the end of the 2nd century AD in a barbarian invasion by the Goths. The excavations of the Roman ceramic center near Pavlikeni were terminated in the 1982, and were resumed only in the summer of 2014 with minor funding from Pavlikeni Municipality. In 2015, the Municipality and the Pavlikeni Museum of History won a EUR 736,000 grant for the partial restoration and rehabilitation of the site. In addition to Ancient Roman buildings and furnaces, the excavations there have revealed numerous ceramic vessels, tools, jewelry, and even Ancient Roman child toys.

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