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Hill near Evros holds story of Plotinopolis

Ever since the 1960s, the site where the hill of Aghia Petra rises between the Evros and Erythrpotamos rivers has been identified with the city of Plotinopolis. The Roman Emperor Trajan (AD 98-117) founded the city 2 kilometers from the Evros in honor of his wife Plotina. In 1965, soldiers digging a trench in the area discovered a beaten gold bust of Septimus Severus, the Roman emperor who reigned from AD 193 to 211. That find is now in the Komotini Museum. In 1977, Georgios Bakalis and Dimantis Triantofyllos began systematic excavations, bringing to light new finds including mosaic floors. Mathaios Koutsoumanis from the 19th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities will speak about the progress of the excavation on Monday at the Archaeological Society during his talk «The Archaeological Treasures of Plotinopolis.» Since Koutsoumanis undertook the dig in 1996, he has unearthed many impressive finds, including the remains of mosaics from a large building complex, ceramics, coins (the most remarkable of which depicts Antiochus II of Syria), and inscriptions which show that the site was in use from the second to the sixth century AD. Koutsoumanis will talk about the clay slabs from the paved floor of the building, the pipe and all the details associated with a public bath or a bath in a luxurious house. He says it is now certain that there was an organized Neolithic settlement on which the city was later built. In 2003 the mayor of Didimoteicho offered support to keep the excavation going. A year later the dig uncovered part of a pipe, bronze objects and a fourth-century-BC inscription on the base of a drinking vessel. Among the other finds were oil lamps, loom weights, an inscribed potsherd, an inscribed fragment of marble with ivy leaves, part of a piece of gold jewelry and inscribed amphora handles.