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Famous Bulgarian Archaeologists

thracian tomb

Spanning thousands of years, the history of Bulgaria is full of stories about great ancient civilizations that occupied its lands in different epochs. The Bulgarian soil has kept plenty of old treasures that stir the curiosity of Bulgarian archaeologists as well as historians and urge them to search for more
relics buried by the people of antiquity. A few people may know but this is the country that is ranked third in the long list of countries that have the most significant archaeological discoveries on their territories. Still though, none of those ancient finds would have been known without the professional and excellent work of local archaeologists and their teams of renowned experts.


Undoubtedly one of the greatest archaeological names in Bulgaria is that of Prof. Dr. Georgi Kitov (1943-2008). Some compared him to the German archaeologist and discoverer of Troy, Heinrich Schliemann, while others often called him the Bulgarian Indiana Jones

Most of the people, however, link him to excavation missions in different tumuli in The Valley of the Thracian Kings and ascribe to him remarkable findings such as the unique Teres

Golden Mask (discovered in Svetitsa mound);

the bronze head of a man, supposedly representing the Thracian king Seuthes III (discovered in Golyama Kosmatka mound);

and a good number of ritual objects, funerary gifts, and other relics made in gold, silver, bronze, ceramics, and iron.

Known as the European “Grande dame of archaeology”, Prof. Henrieta Todorova (1933-2015) is another name worth mentioning. She is famous for her thorough research regarding the prehistory of Europe, specifically the south-eastern parts. Prof. Todorova wrote more than 150 scientific publications and 18 case studies in several languages, including Bulgarian, English, Russian, Italian, French, and German. Following traces of prehistoric life lead her to the excavations in Topolnitsa- Promachonas and helped her discover exemplars of Neolithic cultures in other locations in Northeast Bulgaria like Tsonevo, Ovharovo, Koprivets, and Usoe. Another prominent archaeologist in Bulgaria is Assoc.

Dr. Luydmil Vagalinski

Part of his most renowned archaeological missions include the excavations of Iatrus Fortress Krivina situated on the Lower Danube. The fortress was built during the 4 th century and was one of the most important Roman military centres. Since 2007, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vagalinski has been leading the excavations of the ancient city of Heraclea Syntica in Rupite near Petrich.

Prof. Dr. Totko Stoyanov

One of the most well-known names linked to Thracian archaeology is Prof. Dr. Totko Stoyanov. He is managing the research of the Thracian city of Helis, the capital of the Getae, dating from the Hellenistic era.

No doubt that there are so many archaeologists in Bulgaria. After all, ruins of prehistoric cities and treasures that belonged to some of the world’s most intriguing ancient civilizations are scattered all across the lands of this eastern European gem.

Of course, the list containing famous Bulgarian archaeologists is long and it includes other names such as Dimitar Ovcharov (the head of numerous archaeological excavations, especially recognized for those in the old Bulgarian capitals Pliska and Preslav), Vasil Mikov, and many more.

Author: Thrace Foundation