The Roman theater

  The earliest traces of human occupation in present-day Plovdiv date back to the Neolithic period in the 6th millennium BC. Later on, during the 1st millennium BC the area was occupied by the Thracians. According to some Greek sources, the name of the Thracian town that existed on that place was Eumolpia, after the name of Eumolpos, a mythical Thracian king. In 342 BC, the Thracian town was conquered by Philip of Macedon who reconstructed and enlarged the urban area, built monumental fortification walls, settled a Macedonian military garrison there and renamed the settlement to Philippopolis, or “the Town of Philip” in his own honor. The local Thracians called the town Pulpudeva, which was the Thracian translation of Philipopolis, a name later inherited by the Bulgars in the Early

Rafail Popov

  In the late 19th century, several local archaeological societies were founded in different Bulgarian towns and in 1901 the Bulgarian Archaeological Society was established, immediately becoming an important center of the archaeological studies that further strengthened the institutional backbone of the Bulgarian archaeology.   After the liberation from the Ottoman Empire, there was a significant interest in the mediaeval archaeology of the First and the Second Bulgarian Kingdoms, given that the new Principality of Bulgaria was considered as their political successor. Thus, in the 1880s archaeological excavations were carried out in Veliko Tarnovo, the last mediaeval Bulgarian capital, and in 1899 – 1900 excavations in Pliska, the first mediaeval Bulgarian capital, were launched by Karel Škorpil. In that period the interest of the foreign scholars in the Bulgarian archaeology


  Almost every year Bulgarian archaeologists are making sensational discoveries which attract the attention not only of most Bulgarians, but also of international scholars and the public worldwide. People usually know only about the recent archaeological endeavors in Bulgaria, so in several consecutive articles I will try to present the entire exciting history of archaeology in Bulgaria, from its early beginnings up to the present day. Many readers would be surprised to learn that the first excavations in the Bulgarian lands occurred in the late 16th and 17th centuries, when Bulgaria was part of the Ottoman Empire and long before the study of the classical world became an actual academic discipline distinct from early modern European antiquarianism. The earliest record was given by Reinhold Lubenau, a German pharmacist and traveler