Roman Villa under “Arena” Stadium – Sozopol
The archaeological structure was discovered in 2014 during the reconstruction of the city stadium, connected with the construction of a training ground with a parking lot. The site is multilayered, with structures located at different stratigraphic levels, dating in a wide chronological range.
In the earliest level, a settlement of the late Neolithic, end of the 6th millennium BC, was registered. Numerous stone and bone tools, fragmented pottery and remains of prehistoric kilns were discovered. The settlement is one-layered, of an open-type and develops on an area of about 25 acres in the north direction towards Republicanska Street.
Two negative structures have been documented from the archaic period with materials from the second half of the 6th century BC.
From the end of 4th – 3rd century BC a ceramic plumping, which supplies fresh water from the nearby height in the Misarite area, was studied. To the Hellenistic period, several dozen parallel ditches could be dated. The structures are interpreted as remains of vineyards.
The most valuable part of the archeological complex are the architectural remains of a late Roman villa, 4th – 5th century AD. The building, spread over an area of about 250 sq. m., has four rooms with east-west orientation. The main entrance is from the west, flanked by columns, supported by square bricks, soldered with white mortar. In place is preserved the base of the northern column with the dedicated inscription “To Zeus (god), patron saint of ancestors, (consecrated) Tiberius Claudius Proclus, son of Remetalk, priest”. The base has been reused in the construction of the villa and provides valuable insights into the historical and demographic processes in the region of Apollonia and Pontic Thrace. The most luxurious room has a brick flooring and exedra.
The building continued to function, with reconstructions, until the end of the 5th century AD, when two rooms were added to it. Kilns for ceramic production were discovered around it, dating from the second half of the 5th century AD. The production complex illustrates another aspect of the livelihood of the inhabitants of the late Roman villa. Given its location the villa could be defined as “sub urbana”. This is the only villa of this type known from Sozopol. South of it, a rectangular cistern was built to supply its inhabitants with water.
A small Christian necropolis is formed around the building, consisting of ten graves, arranged in two stratigraphic levels. The early graves date from the period 4th – 5th century AD, and the late ones from the 15th – 17th century AD. The scientific dimension of this site is a contribution to the studies of the history and material culture of Apollonia – Sozopol.