The Foundation of the Hellenic World (FHW) signed a five-year contract with the National Institute of Archaeology and Museum (═┴╔╠-┬┴S), of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia, for carrying out excavations at Halka Bunar in central Bulgaria, in the area where the Odrysoi Thracians lived in antiquity. The excavation is directed by Dr. Thanos Sideris, Head of the FHW’s History and Archaeology Department, and Dr. Milena Tonkova, Senior Research Associate at the National Institute of Archaeology and Museum, who has conducted all the research in the area until now.
The archaeological site of Halka Bunar lies in a distance of a few dozen metres from the spring with the same name, northeast of Philippoupolis (Plovdiv) and southwest of Seuthopolis. The closest modern big city is Stara Zagora, which is identified with the Roman Augusta Traiana. The location of Halka Bunar was accidentally detected for the first time in 1999 during agricultural works. A first examination of the site took place in 2000 and 2001 by the Archaeological Institute of the Academy of Sciences in Sofia. The results of this first research were published in the Annual of the Institute of Archaeology with Museum – BAS, vol. II (2006), pp. 148-196.
The Hellenistic site at Halka Bunar functioned probably as a commercial centre, like the nearby site of Pistiros. Until today, our knowledge about the penetration of the Greek element in the interior of Thrace remains extremely limited. That is why the FHW chose to excavate in the area of the Odrysoi Thracians, hoping to throw some light on the degree of Greek influence in the most Hellenized from all the neighbouring peoples of the ancient Greeks, apart from the already known colonies on the coasts of the Black Sea which have been intensely researched.
Excavation period 2011
Excavation period 2010
Excavation period 2009