Archaeologists working at Bulgaria's ancient sacred site of Perperikon have found a mausoleum, with a sarcophagus inside containing a human skeleton believed to be that of a 14th century Ottoman conqueror, Bulgarian National Radio reported.

© Tsvetelina Nikolaeva
The building is oval, with a diameter of eight metres. The skeleton was found to have been laid out in accordance with Muslim custom, the report said. The remains are said to be those of Izrail, who in the 14th century led to a force of 300 soldiers to the site, then one of the most powerful fortresses in Bulgaria's Rhodope Mountains. Dozens of silver coins from the Ottoman era were found next to the mausoleum.

According to leading Bulgarian archaeologist Professor Nikolai Ovcharov, the find opens a previously unknown page in the history of Perperikon and of the early Ottoman empire.