Залезът на крепостта Маркели по сфрагистични данни

Decline of the Markeli Fortress on sphragistic data

  • Zhivko Aladzhov National Institute of Archaeology with Museum – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences


Lead seals have been discovered at different times and circumstances in the Markeli Fortress area, housed today in museum or private collections. Most of them have been published, but there is not yet an analysis of the role of this fortress in the light of the sphragistic data.
The work hereby presents a very rare seal. Its description is as follows:
The obverse bears letters arranged in a monogram shape; they can be read as Άλεζίον, and below – τού.
The reverse displays letters that can be interpreted as Κοντοστεφάνου. From the obverse τού is related to Κοντοστεφάνου or τού Κοντοστεφάνου.
Lead. 37 mm
The description reveals that the seal is different in design compared to the rest known Molybdobullae. However, the collection of Dumbarton Oaks contains a similar piece with the same legend but struck by still another bulleuterion. The rarity of the seal is also evidenced by the fact that so far from Bulgaria there is not known and published one with the above description.
The analysis of the archaeological and sphragistic artifacts from Markeli shows that the molybdobulla in question is most probably associated with the decline of the fortress in the 12th c.

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