Draculas 15thCentury Cannoballs Unearthed in Bulgaria

first_imgStay on target Yes, you read that right: Dracula’s cannonballs. Archaeologists in Bulgaria have discovered medieval cannonballs from culverins, an early form of cannon, that were most likely used by Wallacian Voivode Vlad III Dracula, also known as Vlad the Impaler.The cannonballs were purportedly used by Count Vlad during his bloody battle in 1461 with the Ottoman Turks to capture the Zishtov Fortress, according to a report in Archaeology in Bulgaria.They were found in Svishtov, a small town in the northern Bulgaria, by a team led by Professor Nikolay Ovcharov from the National Institute and Museum of Archaeology in Sofia, Fox News reported.“What’s really interesting is that from the [early] Ottoman period we have found cannonballs,” Ovcharov said in an interview with Nova TV. “We rejoice at those small cannonballs because they are from culverins. These were the earliest cannons which were for the 15th century, up until the 16th century, they weren’t in use after that. These were still very imperfect cannons. That was precisely the time of Vlad Dracula, there is no doubt that they are connected with the siege [and conquest of the Zishtova Fortress] by Vlad Dracula in 1461.”Lead archaeologist Nikolay Ovcharov shows the cannonballs purportedly used by Vlad Dracula and other artifacts discovered during the renewed excavations of the Zishtova Fortress in Bulgaria’s Svishtov. (Photo Credit: Svishtov Municipality)The fortress is located on a hill in the center of the town, and dates to the 13th-14th century. It has been the site of other archaeological finds. Ovcharov’s team of researchers also discovered an inscription detailing “one of the cohorts of the Roman Empire’s First Italian Legion” stationed from the 1st to 4th centuries AD at the military camp and city of Novae, just outside of today’s Svishtov.Researchers also unearthed larger cannonballs from later time frames at the excavation site.“Our hypothesis is that this is from the last period of the Roman presence in this region,” Ovcharov said in the Nova interview. “We know that they had been quartered at Novae, but towards the 4th – 5th century AD, as a result of the barbarian invasions, it became indefensible, it was abandoned, and the Late Antiquity fortress [that predated the Zishtova Fortress] was built here.”Culverin Cannonballs from Vlad Dracula’s 1461 Victory over Ottoman Turks Found in Danube Fortress Zishtova in Bulgaria’s Svishtov https://t.co/aDMOMPpun2 pic.twitter.com/BkWNk07SYj— Archaeology Bulgaria (@ArchaeologyinBG) June 1, 2019After the existing fortification (which was in use as late as 1810) was built on top of it, Vlad Dracula came along and started his bloody conquest of what had been the Second Bulgarian Empire, along with the Byzantine Empire.The researchers say they are amazed that the fortress is so well-preserved — high sections of a wall are still standing. “For a long time, I had thought that this fortress would be in an extremely severe condition but it has turned that they didn’t manage to do that much damage, and its level of preservation is rather good,” Ovcharov said.According to the archaeologist, it also quite possible that Dracula stayed at the fortress after conquering it. “The truth is that Vlad Dracula besieged this place, conquered it, and most probably also resided here [briefly],” Ovcharov added.Portrait of Vlad III the Impaler or Dracula. (Photo Credit: Stefano Bianchetti / Corbis via Getty Images)The inspiration for Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” Vlad Dracula was perhaps even more terrifying than his literary counterpart. Stories of his brutal acts began circulating during his lifetime. Vlad is estimated to have killed about 80,000 people through various means.During one of his many successful campaigns against the Ottomans, Vlad wrote to a military ally in 1462, “I have killed peasants, men and women, old and young, who lived at Oblucitza and Novoselo, where the Danube flows into the sea … We killed 23,884 Turks, without counting those whom we burned in homes or the Turks whose heads were cut by our soldiers …Thus, your highness, you must know that I have broken the peace.”The mass murders that Vlad carried out indiscriminately and brutally would most likely amount to acts of genocide and war crimes by current standards, experts say. Romanian defense minister Ioan Mircea Pașcu has said that Vlad would have been condemned for crimes against humanity had he been put on trial at Nuremberg.More on Geek.com:Archaeologists Discover Ancient ‘Cheerios’ at Bronze Age SiteSecret Underground Chamber Discovered in Ruins of Roman Emperor Nero’s Palace2,000-Year-Old Marble Head of God Dionysus Unearthed in Rome Extremely Rare, Two-Colored Lobster Found in MaineNew Species of Giant Flying Reptile Identified By Scientists last_img

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