Key to the Sacred Pattern

14 October 2008

Templar Dig in Bulgaria Continues

Last December, Grail Seekers reported on an archeological survey being funded by the modern day Templar Organization Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani (OSMTH) in Bulgaria. The dig was codenamed “Nisovo Project” and has been headed up by the “Indiana Jones” of Bulgarian archeology Nikolai Ovcharov. Ovcharov, a member of the OSMTH himself, has made a number of fascinating discoveries this summer that has given us a hint as to the “Nisovo Project’s” goals. More to the point, a report reprinted on the Visit Bulgaria web site yesterday makes me think they might be close to their mark.

The avowed purpose of the Nisovo Project was to search for evidence of Templar activity in the Russe region of Bulgaria. Specifically, reports last year mentioned proposed digs in the cities of Russe, Nisovo, and one time capitol Veliko Tarnovo. There is little doubt, in my mind, that the Templars would have held interest in this region due to its strategic location. The city of Nisovo lays near an over land route Crusaders from Teutonic held regions would likely have taken into Constantinople.

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A series of finds at the 13th Century monastery of St. Ivan Rilski in Veliko Tarnovo hints at a possible unnamed goal for Project Nisovo. During the excavations of the monastery, Ovcharov’s team found a number of graves and random gold coins on site. The telling find was that of Tsar Ivan Shishman`s treasure. Shishman was the last Tsar of Bulgaria before the country was taken over by the Ottoman Empire.

Before the fine in June, Shishman’s treasure was simply a legend. In a 2007 Radio Bulgaria interview on the fortress of Urvich, Ovcharov mentions this legend and another related to the last Tsar’s reign. According to the interview, “Legends also tell about the existence of Tsar Ivan Shishman’s treasure and library hidden in the region. They, too, titillate the archeologists’ imagination. The scholars are hoping that the archeological exploration of the fortress [fortress of Urvich] could be launched by the autumn of 2007.”

While Shishman’s treasure was found over 150 miles east of Urvich, its existence was confirmed and a legend dispelled. Could this mean that after finding one piece of Shisman’s legacy, Project Nisovo aims to find the library as well? Within a Tsar’s library there is no telling what could be found. At very least, titles or land grants to organizations and citizens might be found. These records, if they exist, could possibly span back to the beginning of the Second Bulgaria Empire in 1186. What better way to track Templars in Bulgaria than finding out where their holding were.

The report in the Visit Bulgaria web site yesterday makes me think that they are looking for just that. Ovcharov’s team found, in Nisovo, a “medieval burial of a mother and a child. The bodies were laid to resemble those of the Virgin Mary and Infant as usually depicted on icons.” While this in of itself is highly unusual, it’s what the article goes on to say about the unknown origins of Nisovo that caught my eye.

“One of the hypothesis for the origin of the village [Nisovo] is that it was inhibited by the descendants of the Bulgarian aristocracy that fled Veliko Tarnovo, the capital of the Second Bulgarian kingdom at the invasion of the Ottoman Turks in the 14th century. The expedition to Nisovo was carried out thanks to the exclusive financial support of the Priory of Knights Templars in Bulgaria.”

Now where better to find a lost library than the hiding place of the aristocracy after the Ottoman invasion? Anyone up for a trip to Bulgaria to find out?

1 comment:

bathmate said...

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