A 2,500-year-old slab, a relief depicting marching Ancient Hellenic warriors, or hoplites, has been discovered among other finds in the recent archaeological excavations of two temples of Apollon on the St. Cyricus Island, today a peninsula, in the Bulgarian Black Sea town of Sozopol.

The newly discovered slab with Ancient Greek warriors, or hoplites, appears to a piece of a larger depiction, other parts of which were discovered during digs in 2018 and 2019 in the zone of the two temples of deity Apollon Iatros (“The Healer") – one from the Late Archaic period and one from the Early Classical period of Ancient Greece – on the St. Cyricus Island in Bulgaria’s Sozopol.

The St. Cyricus Island, more precisely named Sts. Quiricus and Julietta Island, is rich in archaeological structures from the dawn of the settlement of Sozopol, which emerged as the Ancient Greek colony of Apollonia Pontica on the Western Black Sea coast in the 6th century BC.

The St. Cyricus Island (the Sts. Quiricus and Julietta Island) is believed to have been the site of the Colossus of Apollonia Pontica, a large, 13-meter-tall bronze statue of Apollon towering in the harbor of the Greek colony for four centuries before it was seized by the Romans and taken to Rome. The Colossus of Apollonia Pontica has been likened to the taller and far more famous Colossus of Rhodes.

Among the many archaeological wonders of Bulgaria’s Sozopol is also the 2010 discovery of relics of St. John the Baptist in an Early Christian monastery on the nearby island of St. Ivan (St. John), whose presence has been construed as a counterbalance to the religious significance of the ancient city in the pagan period.

In the fall of 2020, the Bulgarian government and the French Ambassdor to Bulgaria announced an initiative to turn the St. Cyricus Island in Sozopol into a museum of archaeology with aid from France, the OAE, and the Louvre Museum in Paris.