Skip to comments.Europe's Oldest Prehistoric Town Unearthed in Bulgaria
Posted on 11/01/2012 9:42:52 AM PDT by Red Badger
Archaeologists in Bulgaria say they have uncovered the oldest prehistoric town found to date in Europe.
The walled fortified settlement, near the modern town of Provadia, is thought to have been an important centre for salt production.
Its discovery in north-east Bulgaria may explain the huge gold hoard found nearby 40 years ago.
Archaeologists believe that the town was home to some 350 people and dates back to between 4700 and 4200 BC.
That is about 1,500 years before the start of ancient Greek civilisation.
The residents boiled water from a local spring and used it to create salt bricks, which were traded and used to preserve meat.
Salt was a hugely valuable commodity at the time, which experts say could help to explain the huge defensive stone walls which ringed the town.
Excavations at the site, beginning in 2005, have also uncovered the remains of two-storey houses, a series of pits used for rituals, as well as parts of a gate and bastion structures.
A small necropolis, or burial ground, was discovered at the site earlier this year and is still being studied by archaeologists.
"We are not talking about a town like the Greek city-states, ancient Rome or medieval settlements, but about what archaeologists agree constituted a town in the fifth millennium BC," Vasil Nikolov, a researcher with Bulgaria's National Institute of Archaeology, told the AFP news agency.
Archaeologist Krum Bachvarov from the institute said the latest find was "extremely interesting".
"The huge walls around the settlement, which were built very tall and with stone blocks... are also something unseen in excavations of prehistoric sites in south-east Europe so far," he told AFP.
Similar salt mines near Tuzla in Bosnia and Turda in Romania help prove the existence of a series of civilisations which also mined copper and gold in the Carpathian and Balkan mountains during the same period.
BBC Europe correspondent Nick Thorpe says this latest discovery almost certainly explains the treasure found exactly 40 years ago at a cemetery on the outskirts of Varna, 35km (21 miles) away, the oldest hoard of gold objects found anywhere in the world.
The prehistoric town at Provadia features two-storey houses and a defensive wall. Photo by BBC
Attention! Bulgarian salt civilization.
Anyone interested in the role salt has played in human history should read the book, “Salt: A World History” by Mark Kurlansky.
Red, this is relevant only because it involves archeological discoveries..
In the early 60’s I had an employee that was a brother that held an high office, Minister of The Interior in British Honduras, now Belize.. He told me about the recent archeological discoveries of major early Mayan communities in the deep jungle of their country..
I have always had an intense interest in ancient history, especially in our hemisphere.. Mayan, and pre-Colombian societies..etc..
To make this shorter than I would like..LOL, I took advantage of my connection with his relationship with my employee, I invited myself to a visit to his homeland, and was met with an unusually high level access to the archeological sites..
As we flew over the country in an army helicopter I witnessed many mounds dotting the landscape, rising above the jungle canopy, that had obviously been overtaken by tangled tropical vegetation, but undisturbed by humanity in centuries..
In a tongue-in-cheek throwaway comment I mentioned that they will have their hands full in the future, excavating so many more historical sites, the Minister asked, “why I thought so”? WHAT?
The fact that every archeological site we visited, many barely excavated, all of which have now become major, well established tourist destinations, were all preexisting mounds, I thought it was obvious.. I guess not.. DUH!
Anyway, since they didn’t recognize this obvious anomaly, I bought a parcel of land with the largest mound I could find with access by water, for a pittance, and had it privately excavated in cooperation with the U of WV, which they funded all of their own expenses..
That arrangement was terminated in ‘72 after they became independent, and privatized all archeological activities..
I had a ball digging and finding all kinds of wonderful stuff, including many that are now featured in prominent museums throughout the world.. We/I was forbidden from removing anything from my site, and out of the country, without permission, which seemed reasonable..
As we can see in the picture in this thread, the excavation is of a mound, and is only recently, several yeas ago, I make this comment because, being educated does not make you smart.. So there!!!
Caption: “Of course it was a live toad...and a very tasty one”.
LOL.. Shame on you, your not suggesting.. ?.. HA!
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Thanks Red Badger and SatinDoll.
Whoops, thought this looked familiar...