A non-destructive investigation the medieval church “Sveti Nikola” in Kalotina, Bulgaria

Last fall the Balkan Heritage Foundation carried out a non-destructive investigation of the medieval church Sveti Nikola (St. Nicholas) in Kalotina, Bulgaria and a field survey in the surrounding area. Thanks to co-directors Ivan Vasilev and Dr. Angel Angelov and funding from the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture the team was able to establish the different construction periods of the church and created detailed documentation including a geodetic measuring, a new architectural plan of the building including the frescoes and graffiti, as well as a preliminary epigraphic analysis of the inscriptions.

Take a sneak peek into the work process during which various interdisciplinary methods for documentation were applied –  geophysics, RTI (Reflectance Transformation Imaging), orthophotography via drones and even some old-school detective sleuthing for hidden inscriptions.

Meanwhile, the field survey team hasn’t been idle either so check out the gallery below for a preview of their discoveries – ruins of old churches, 19th-century votive stone crosses dedicated to various patron saints, traces of ancient (presumably Roman) roads and a Late-antique fortified settlement overseeing the entire region from its perch on a nearby hilltop.

You can find more details about the project and  its results here.