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Perperikon is a rock palace and the oldest Tracian capital, a millennium older than the settlements found in the Valley of the Tracian Kings near Kazanluk. This is about the 13th-12-th Century BC, when there was no written text. In the last six years alone, the area of about 600 sq m, or 6,500 sq ft on different levels, was unearthened by the archeologists.
Here is also found the earliest chirch dating from the mid-5th Century, the time when Christianity was adopted in the Rhodope mountains. It was also a major military stronghold and a city existed here until the 14th Century, when the Turks invaded the area in 1362. Perperikon is also famous for its gold production. The largest gold mine in Antiquity and the Middle Ages is located only 3 km, or 2 miles, away. The royal palace was probably put up in the late Bronze Age and functioned until the late Roman Age. In its northwest end you will discover the reason for its existence - the largest megalith sanctuary of the 14th Century BC.
The sanctuary is an oval hall roughly hewn in the rocks. It has a stone altar bearing traces of the numerous fires lit there. This is the sanctuary of Dionysus, or rather of Zagreus (the Thracian name of this Greek god), a site archeologists have spent 100 years searching for.

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Last update: Wed, 22 August, 2007 17:05