Monday, 21 January 2013

Archaeologists Excavate Ancient Greek Trade Center in Bulgaria

Archaeologist and professor Mieczysław Domaradzki likely made one of the great discoveries of his life when, in 1990, he and his colleagues uncovered, at a site along the banks of the Maritsa River in Bulgaria, an ancient stone Greek inscription.  The inscription, today known as the Vetren Inscription (named after the nearby town of Vetren), revealed the site as the location of the ancient Greek trading center, or emporion, of Pistiros.

But the inscription revealed more than this. It afforded a rare glimpse into the special relationship that the Pistiros Greeks had with their Thracian hosts, as Pistiros sat deep within the territory of the 5th - 3rd century B.C. Thracian Odryssian kings:
If a merchant brings suit against another merchant (in Pistiros) they shall be judged among their kinsmen and with regard to whatever is owed to the merchants by Thracians, there shall be no cancellation of these debts. All land and pasture owned by the merchants shall not be taken away from them. He shall not send holders of estates(?) to the merchants.
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