Archaeologists in Bourgas have unearthed the preserved remnants of an old sea port with a fortress, believed to have been built in the late Antiquity, that is said to be the city's predecessor, Tsonya Drazheva, director of the Bourgas regional museum said at a news conference on January 8 2009, Focus news agency reported.
"The find proves that Bourgas has existed on the European historical and cultural scene for close to two millennia," Drazheva has said. The fortress has long been the symbol of Bourgas and is depicted on the city's coat of arms.
Because of the significance of the discovery, the news conference was also attended by mayor Dimitar Nikolov and Todor Batkov, owner of construction company Foros Development, who is investing 300 million euro in building a residential and holiday complex near the Black Sea town of Kraimorie. Batkov is also the owner of Levski football club.
A text inscribed on a sign from the 2nd century AD sheds light on the name's origins, which, literally translated from Latin, sounds like "Bourgos." The text states that in Roman times many fortresses had been built along the frontier of the Roman colony Deultum. Deultum was established in the last years of the reign of Emperor Vespasian (69-79 AD).
During December 2008, extensive research was carried out on the southeast entrance of the fortress on Foros peninsula near Bourgas, where the massive rectangular tower that had guarded the town gates can be recognised. The outer side of the fortress wall is 2.90m wide; 15m of its length seemed to be well preserved, Drazheva has said.
On a nearby height that local people call the Church, archaeologists have unearthed the remnants of a rectangular building dating from between the 5th and 13th century. The building's plan and alleged date of construction give reason for archaeologists to believe that this was the site of St Georgi monastery, mentioned in Byzantine annals, according to Drazheva.
The archaeological digs were initiated when investment plans in the Foros peninsula area were announced, Focus news agency said.