Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum OR Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Philip's Macedonia also included today’s Bulgaria

Pushing aside the ongoing discussions between Greek Macedonia and the FYROM, it is time to focus on Bulgaria, which once was part of the realm created by Philip II of Macedonia.

It seems that finally the FHW (Foundation of Hellenistic Work) and the NAIM-BAS (the Archeological Institute of the Academy of Sciences in Sofia) are working together in the excavations at Halka Bunar, just northeast of Plovdiv, i.e. the city of Philippopolis founded by Philip II. In his days, the Odrysoi Thracians lived here and today’s closest big city is Stara Zagora, which the Romans called Augusta Traiana.

It is one of those forgotten corners of archeology, at least in our western world, for we have little or no idea of all the excavations that occurred and still occur in Bulgaria. Halka Bunar was discovered by accident – as usually is the case - in 1999. Since then four ceramic kilns, a series of loom weights, great quantities of ceramics both local and imported Greek and commercial amphorae (carrying wine from Knidos in today’s southwestern Turkey) were found next to figurines and coins. These coins indicate that the site flourished mainly around the end of the 4th century/early 3rd century BC since they were stamped with the effigies of Philip II, Seuthes III, Lysimachos, Cassander, and Demetrios-Poliorketes – another proof that Halka Bunar maintained constant and close contact with Macedonia and the Greek colonies in Thrace.

More importantly, Halka Bunar was located almost exactly at the crossroads of important Roman roads, which probably followed older Hellenistic or Classical routes of communication. One of these roads ran from the western Balkans to the coast of the Black Sea and Byzantium in the east, as it passed through Serdica and Philippopolis. The other road ran up from Abdera and Mesembria on the Aegean coast in northeastern Greece, crossed the Rhodopes Mountains (the backbone of today’s Bulgaria) all the way to Seuthopolis, the Thracian capital city founded by Seuthes III near today’s Kazanlak in Bulgaria.

Beside what is already well-known about the Greek colonies along the coast of the Black Sea, little do we know about the Greek influence in this part of Bulgaria and the excavation here in the area of the Odrysoi Thracians hopefully will shed some light on their Hellenization and that of the neighboring peoples.

Wait and see what this will reveal …

1 comment:

  1. My "wait and see" has not been rewarded. According to this recent article in The Sofia News Agency ( the ruins of Serdika badly need help as they are left behind, flooded and swamped, only two years after reading the great news of the above discovery! This is no way to treat the country's heritage!