Discovered under centuries-old layers of dirt in 1948, then submerged under 20 metres of water, the ancient city of Seuthopolis is to emerge once again in a bold rescue project.
The magnificently preserved city, founded by the Thracian king Seuthes III in 323 BC, was discovered in central Bulgaria during the construction of a dam on the Tundzha river.
Despite the stunning discovery, Communist authorities went ahead with the dam and created the Koprinka reservoir six years later, in 1954, flooding Seuthopolis under 150 million cubic metres of water.
Now, a 150-million-euro (192-million-dollar) project by Bulgarian architect Jeko Tilev aims to right the wrong and expose the polis at the bottom of the reservoir to archaeologists and tourist by creating a dry well 20 metres deep and 420 metres across.
Once in place, the 1.27-kilometre wall, effectively a round pier, would allow further exploration and the reconstruction of five hectares now at the bottom of the reservoir, 160 kilometres east of Sofia near Kazanlak.