The earliest settlements in the area belonged to the Thracian tribes of Nipsei and Skirimian. In the 7th century BC Greek colonisers settled there and called the town after their god of Apollo, Apolonia. To the honour of Apollo, the construction of a thirteen-metre high bronze statute of the god was carried out by a sculptor named Kalamis. Apolonia developed mainly as a trading centre for honey, wax, corn, wine, olive oil, olives, textiles, jewellery, and pottery. Apolonia was frequently in economic and political disputes, including occasional wars, with the Doric inhabitants of Messembria (present-day Nessebar). Apolonia was included in the territory of the Macedonian State at the time of Alexander the Great. It was frequently subject to, but warded off, invasions of Nomads. The town fell under Roman domination in the 1st century BC after it was severely ruined by the armies of Marcus Lucul. The latter sent the famous statute of Apollo to Rome as a symbol of his victory. Yet Romans quickly restored the ruins, built new temples. Already in the 6th century BC Apolonia minted coins of its own. The high level of cultural development of the town at that time is testified by items found in its necropolis - ceramics, vases made of Egyptian glass, silver and golden decorations. The upturn of the town was so great, that Sozopol managed to establish its own colony, Anhialo (present-day Pomorie). Roman domination secured three centuries of peace before the next invasion of barbarian tribes. It was only in the 5th century that the town was included in the territory of Byzantium. During the reign of Khan Kroum it was within the borders of Bulgaria and like all other sea towns it frequently changed hands between Bulgaria and Byzantium. It was severely devastated in the middle of the 14th century during an attack of the Genoa fleet. Later it was conquered and sold to the Romans by the knights of Amadeus of Savoy. After a long siege the town fell under Turkish rule in 1453. Only wooden houses have been built there ever since; the oldest of these can be still seen in the old quarter of the town. A small fishermen's settlement at the time of the Liberation, Sozopol gradually became the biggest fishing centre of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, which also developed a tourism industry. The famous Tsar's Beach is located to the north of the town. Raiski Zaliv (Paradise Bay) is nestled among rocks to the south of the town, while further southwards are the Kavatsite beach and camping site. The Harmanite Beach is immediately to the south of the so-called 'new town'. An ancient necropolis was found here in 1993 and excavations are still going on.