The marble head of Heraclea Sintica is probably connected to an ancient ritual
Traces of coloring with ocher were found on the hair of a masterfully sculpted head, found couple of days ago during the excavations of the ancient city of Heraclea Sintica near the village of Rupite, Petrich municipality. There will be more analyzes, before it can be guessed who might have been the high class blond lady, sculptured by quality marble during the Roman Empire era. It may be synchronic with the male headless statue, discovered in August again by the team of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lyudmil Vagalinski (NAIM), under another building from the forum.
Both artifacts were carefully laid down under later buildings, which points to the hypothesis of some ritual. “It is not about reusing them as building material. On the contrary – both the head and the statue are buried with respect, such as a funeral. It is possible that the inhabitants of Heraclea Sintica believed that they protect the buildings from natural cataclysms and barbarian raids – Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lyudmil Vagalinski commented. – I remember a similar case in the Greek-Macedonian city of Heraclea Lyncestis (near Bitola). There was also found a marble statue under a later wall.”
Among the first visitors of heraclea Sintica, who had the opportunity to admire the beautifully crafted marble head, was the National Assembly Chairman Mrs. Tsveta Karayancheva. The artifact was then transferred for further cleaning and conservation in NAIM’s laboratories. The head of Heraclea Sintica will be among the highlights of the National Archaeological Exhibition, which is traditionally opened on February 14th in Sofia. It will then be displayed in the permanent exhibition of the Petrich History Museum.