Western Gate of Serdica

I am Angel Ignatov and work at the Western Gate of Serdica in the city center of my home city, Sofia, Bulgaria. I originally study Computer science and Mathematics in the Universty of Edinburgh, but I have passion for archaeology and try to dedicate some of my time during the summer to participating in digs. 

IMG_0424About the project: Serdica was the capital of the Roman province Dacia Mediterranea. The city subsequently expanded for a century and a half, which caused Constantine the Great to call it “my Rome”. In 343 A.D., the Council of Sardica was held in the city. The fortress is buried under the modern city of Sofia and parts of it have been explored since the beginning of the 20th century. The Western gate itself was investigated 30 years ago, but the excavations were renewed in 2011. For the past four years the team has examined about 100 meters of the wall, one 3-angled tower and the major 5-angled tower, which flanked the gate. One of the most spectacular discoveries was made in 2012 when a 20sq. m. of a mosaic was discovered in, probably, a big representative building. 

I work on the field mainly as an assistant. I participate in the documenting of the artifacts, which we discover. In addition, I do various measurements of the structures we discover,  and, of course, participate in the digging. This year we are trying to localize the borders of the external defensive wall of Serdica and to identify the size of the city’s Customs office. We have discovered more than 100 coins and many other artifacts, such as fibulae (ancient brooch), clasps and different types of pottery.

I like my work on the field very much because this is an active way to learn history. The members of the team are great people and excellent experts and always answer my questions enthusiastically. Thus I learn something new about the ruling of some Roman emperor or about the customs of the ancient people.