Stone baptismal vessel found at Plovdiv’s Episcopal Basilica site

Archaeologists excavating the site of the Episcopal Basilica in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, discovered a large stone baptismal vessel given to the basilica by a Bishop named Makedonii. The object dates to around 5th century AD.

Christian symbol on the vessel (by Podtepeto)

The excavations at the site have lasted for 10 months and have now been closed. On the course of the investigation, archaeologists uncovered hundreds of metres of mosaic flooring as well as architectural elements of high artistic value, including architraves and friezes. The newest find is the baptismal vessel. It contains an inscribed name of the bishop, named Makedonii. Archaeologists state that they haven’t yet established whether it was a bishop of ancient Philippopolis (present Plovdiv) or someone else. It is also possible that the vessel was a gift from the Constantinople Patriarch named Makedonii, who was deported and sent to Black Sea in exile in the  end of the fifth century.

Part of the vessel (by Podtepeto)

The researchers have also uncovered a rather large street section leading from the bishop’s residence to the basilica, and some boreholes. It was established that the earlier building under the basilica was also rectangular, and had been a large building, most probably a public building.

Mosaic at the Basilica (by Podtepeto)

(after The Sofia Globe & Podtepeto)

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