Archaeological complex “Perperikon”
Archaeological complex “Perperikon” is a large megalithic sanctuary. It is supposed to be the famous ancient sanctuary of Dionysus. It is located in the Eastern Rhodopes, 15 km northeast of the town of Kardzhali. Its area is about 12 square kilometers.
The large-scale excavations led by archaeologist Prof. Nikolay Ovcharov revealed the Palace and the Acropolis. Other interesting places unknown to the public until then were also found. It got to the point that CNN covered the complex as an event in its reports. A large rock city appeared, whose heyday was in the Roman era. Its history began several millennia earlier. The powerful development of cultic facilities on the hill during the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages made Perperikon a spectacular sanctuary. The magnificent finds make it possible to state the hypothesis that the oracle of the god Dionysus was located there. A wine-fire rite was performed on a special altar and the power of the prediction was judged by the height of the flames.
According to legend two fateful prophecies were made from the altar of Perperikon. The first predestined the great conquests and glory of Alexander the Great. The second made a few centuries late. It heralded the power of the first Roman emperor, Gaius Julius Caesar. The ancient inhabitants of these lands believed in the Sun God. They settled on the big rock, because of the lack of vegetation and the convenient location. From this location, they can easily watch the rising sun every morning.
With the development of cutting tools, highly used during the Bronze Age, people were allowed to work with stone. They began to carve out various cult niches, sanctuaries and tombs. Thus Perperikon began to change his natural appearance. In some of the niches, numerous votive vessels related to the cult of the Sun God were found. Read more…