Oracle of Dionysus found in Bulgaria?

KARDJALI, Bulgaria (AFP) – Bulgarian archeologists believe they may have found one of the most famous oracles of antiquity, a Thracian temple of Dionysus, in the mountains of southern Bulgaria. «Since we began our research in 2000, archaeological evidence that we may have found Dionysus’ sanctuary has mounted,» said NikolaÔ Ovtcharov, the head of the archeology team. «But this hypothesis will only be proved if we find a document that supports it,» added the archaeologist, who has been combing through the site of the ancient village of Perperikon in the Rhodope mountain chain. The name Perperikon was taken from the Greek word for incendiary, which archaeologists see as a pointer to the sanctuary of Dionysus, the son of Zeus, and the legendary rituals of wine and fire that were performed there. In ancient Greek history this sanctuary is as important as that of Apollo at Delphi, Ovtcharov stressed. It is where Alexander the Great heard before he embarked on his conquest of Asia that he would become master of the world. Inside a building interpreted as a palace, archaeologists have found an oval hall that had no roof but a round altar carved out of the rock. This matches a description of the oracle by the Roman historian Suetonius.