First deep scanning of archaeological sites ever performed in Bulgaria

For the first time in Bulgaria the exploration of the Eastern Thracian tumulus in the village of Karanovo, Nova Zagora district, supported by UBB ever since its initiation three years ago, involved deep scanning through the unique technical equipment of the Austrian Central Institute of Metrology and Geodynamics, provided by scientists from the Romano-Germanic Museum in Meinz, Germany.  
 
While the team of the archaeologist Mr. Veselin Ignatov stands behind the discoveries in Karanovo, the on-site exposition of these is performed by the restorer Ms. Silviya Borisova.   
 
The enhanced interest of the European scientific society towards the discoveries is due to the enormous future potential for such on the site. Archaeological experts also praise the exclusively precise method of explorations which besides the traditional gold and pottery artifacts, as well as constructions, has also preserved multiple finds of organic origin like leather pieces from the belt of a buried aristocrat, wooden elements, food products and animal bones.
 
As explained by Dr. Sirri Seren, leader of the Austrian team, site’s scanning involves four methods which results are processed and summed up through a special computer system, to enable 3D imaging of the archaeological site’s contents down to 25 meters depth.
 
The first measurement is made through electrical resistivity tomography. Data is being collected on the electrical resistance between the multiple points within the site’s coordinate system. To this end, the tumulus is pricked like a hedgehog with a multitude of electrodes induced with an electric current. This method guarantees the largest depth of measurement.
 
Next measurement is performed through a GPR-radar reaching smaller depth but giving more presice details. Then, the site is walked through with a magnetic scanner, reflecting the magnetic abnormalities in each single section of the place. Finally, microseismic waves are being first simulated and then captured by a seismic sensor on the opposite side to also supplement the information about the subsurface finds and findings.
 
The collected data undergoes processing that lasts for several weeks. This data facilitates the archaeologists while determining the exact location of the excavations as well as serves as grounds for their expectations. This method reduces the excavation costs several times and the team is constantly on the move from China to South America.
 
According to Markus Scholz, Doctor of Philosophy from the Romano-Germanic Museum in Meinz, the research will provide answers to a number of questions among which whether there are structures left in the tumulus, whether the Master of Karanovo belonged to the last generation of the local aristocracy during the Thracian kingdom or to the first generation living under the Roman rule, how ancient the graves in the tumulus are or whether there is a direct connection from the Iron Age to Roman times, etc.
 
See a detailed coverage on the scanning and the enhanced scientific interest towards Karanovo here.
 
About the archaeological complex Eastern tumulus, village of Karanovo:

UBB, along with Cultural Projects Association, supports the archaeologists from the Historical Museum in Nova Zagora town in their excavation works on the Eastern tumulus initiated in the mid-2009. The financial support rendered by UBB enabled the discovery of the unique brickwork tumulus of a Thracian aristocrat as well as the conservation and restoration of the finds there. Moreover, UBB also finances the construction of a cover over the discovered chariot and tomb.