Ancient Ceramic Centre Pavlikeni (BG)

This Roman Era archaeological site is an open-air museum with part for experimental archaeology. It is a villa, which was one of the largest ceramic production centres in the province of Lower Moesia on the Balkans.

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It is called the Ancient Ceramic Centre near Pavlikeni - a town in Northern Bulgaria. The site was made an open-air museum in the 70-es of 20th century by its first excavator - Bogdan Sultov. There you can see in situ exposed Roman kilns and buildings. An archaeological campus made of shards of Roman bricks, tiles, slag, is the only one of this kind. There is also a part for experimental archaeology with a reconstruction of potter's workshop and kilns. A museum building at the same site shows artefacts, found during the excavations.

The Ancient ceramic centre near Pavlikeni is an archaeological site in Bulgaria was found by chance in 1971 and excavated by archaeologist Bogdan Sultov since the same year until 1979. He studied one of the largest centres for production of Roman red-slip and greyish-black ceramics (vessels, toys, cult ceramics, etc.) ever found in the provinces of Lower Moesia and Thrace. Parallel with his excavations he made the site one of the first archaeological open-air museums in Bulgaria. He conserved in situ the remains of the Roman Villa and some of the kilns that he had found. By pieces of Roman bricks, tiles and slag he made an impressive archaeological campus - the only one in Bulgaria and in South-eastern Europe. Next to it there is a part for reconstructions of the ancient ceramic process. There are basins for floating the clay, a reconstruction of a potter's workshop, made from stone and wattle and daub and reconstruction of kilns. A ceramic master from Troyan (a town with traditions in ceramic craftsmanship) made reconstructions of the same ceramic shapes, found during the excavations. There is also a site museum with artefacts at the same place.

Unfortunately after the death of Bogdan Sultov in 1982 the site suffered certain decline, but fortunately in the last few years it revives again as a project for conservation, restoration and socialization. Two years ago the local municipality together with the Museum of History in Pavlikeni started a project for conservation, restoration and socialization of the site. Now it is in better condition.

A professional ceramic master - Anna Spassova shows children how the ancient Roman made their ceramics on a fast wheel. With her help they made their own vessels.


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