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a Bulgar city. The gorodishche (site of a fortified town) is in the village of Biliarsk, Tatar ASSR. Bihar’s existence dates back to the tenth century. The period of its greatest development dates to the 12th and early 13th centuries, when Biliar was the capital of Bulgaria on the Volga and the Kama. The Russian chronicle calls it “The Great City.” In 1236, Biliar was destroyed by the Mongol Tatars, after which it lost its former economic importance. The excavations of A. S. Bashkirov in 1928 uncovered brick buildings and a graveyard. Artifacts have been found which were made by local artisans, as well as some made by Eastern artisans from Iran, Middle and Southwest Asia, China, Byzantium, the Caucasus, and Russia. Since 1967 systematic excavation has been in progress under the direction of A. Kh. Khalikov.
REFERENCESmirnov, A. P. Volzhskie bulgary. Moscow, 1951.
A. P. SMIRNOV