In 2015 Museum of History Pavlikeni received Roman age stone monuments from the cultural house at the village of Varbovka, Central North Bulgaria. A short note in the study for the ancient remains in the region of Pavlikeni, written by the archaeologist Bogdan Sultov, tells us that there is a sanctuary of Artemis in the locality Bash bunar (“The big well” from Turkish) near Varbovka. The architectural elements were found during deep ploughing of the soil (between 50 and 90 cm). Later they were transported to the back yard of the cultural house of Varbovka to be part of the local museum exhibition. The most interesting among them is a left half of a pediment with Latin inscription. It has elaborate decoration – there is a palmetto leaf shaped acroterium at the left angle and other motifs. The most important is the combination of lower part of spear and left half of shield. A Latin inscription above the spear tells that the building is a sanctuary (AEDEM – inflected form of aedes). Another part of the inscription reveals the deity that was worshipped there was Diana with her Thracian epithet Totoithiana:


The epithet has different variants and has been found mainly in combination with deities as the Thracian Hero and Diana. Is seems that this local name was common among the Thracians who lived in the Middle Rossitsa river basin and to the north. Form Russlaya, a village about 40 km east from Varbovka was found a dedication to Diana Totobisia. In the land of Karaisen, 30 km to the north, was found a dedication of a Thracian person to Heroni Ithiostalae. Analogous to the epithet from Varbovka is in a bilingual inscription for the Tracian Hero from Svilengrad, Southeastern Bulgaria, where he was called Totoithianus. According to scholars as Vladimir Georgiev, the epithet would mean “The goddess that gives production/accouchement/nature” and to Vassilka Gerassimova – “The love-giving goddess”.

Most probably the sanctuary near Varbovka was made at the end of the Late Antonine or early Severan dynasty, because of its similarities to examples as the pediment of the thermoperipathos of Nicopolis ad Istrum, built in 184/185 in the time of Commodus. Depending of its date it is one of the temples of Diana in the provinces Thracia or Lower Moesia.