Mesambria Pontica – coevolution of maritime community and coastal landscape

Authors

  • Hristo Preshlenov Department of Classical Archaeology, National Institute of Archaeology with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 2 Saborna Str., 1000 Sofia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.57573/be-ja.13.233-272

Keywords:

Nesebar, marine archaeology, sea level, abrasion, coastal area, construction and strengthening

Abstract

The study presents the changes in coastline, fortification and development of the coastal zone of the “city-peninsula” – the Classical and Hellenistic Mesambrian polis, the provincial-Roman peregrine city and the (early) Byzantine bipolar municipality.
The archaeological, geomorphological and historical data document the dynamics of the regional geo- and hydrocratic relief-forming factors, which determine the formation of the Upper Pleistocene and Holocene terrace complex on/and around the Nesebar Peninsula, and their impact on the creation of the coastal zone. As a result of the negative geodynamic processes and, above all, the destructive sea abrasion and regional seismic activity, which have reworked the sea terrace, formed at 8–15 m and the shelf terrace up to the 4–5th isobath, the following sites and buildings have been brought down and “submerged” into the sea – most of the ancient and medieval fortifications, the northern nave of the basilica “The Holy Mother of God Eleusa”, the church of “St Protomartyr Stephen”, the temple of Zeus and Hera, an early Christian basilica, whose sacred space has been renewed by the church of “St George the Old”, and the ancient theatre.

In the second half of the 20th c., the Nesebar Peninsula has acquired the the specific appearance of partite bay-like ingressional shores with a length of 850 m, a width of 300 m and an area of ​​about 24 ha. With the successful completion of the present-day coastal protection activities at the beginning of the 21st c., they areas were “regained”, incl. newly developed cca100 ha, falling within the boundaries and contact zone of the National Archaeological, and Architectural, and Urban Planning Reserve Nesebar – UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983.

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2023-12-20

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Preshlenov, H. (2023) “Mesambria Pontica – coevolution of maritime community and coastal landscape”, Bulgarian e-Journal of Archaeology | Българско е-Списание за Археология, 13(2), pp. 233–272. doi: 10.57573/be-ja.13.233-272.

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