Bulgarian fortress reveals rare coin

Excavations at Rusokastro fortress near Bourgas in East Bulgaria, revealed rare valuable finds, including an ivory icon that they believe would have belonged to an emperor and a gold coin from the time of the Byzantine emperor Phocas (547-610AD).

The gold coin (by The Sofia Globe)

According to the researchers, the recent finds prove that Rusokastro, or the Red Fortress, was still functioning in the sixth century AD. The ivory icon is believed to have been much more valuable than gold in the Middle Ages. Items such as this would have been made only for emperors. The golden coin from the times of emperor Phocas is the first and only coin ever found from the time of Phocas’s rule. The coin weighed four and a half grams and was the largest denomination in Byzantine coinage. Rusokastro is the largest mediaeval fortress in southern Bulgaria, with walls reaching five metres in height. The fortress is believed to have been abandoned the beginning of the seventh century. It was built at a strategic location, with a complex fortification system, meant as an impregnable defence of the border with Byzantium.

Ivory icon (by The Sofia Globe)

(after The Sofia Globe)

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