Bulgaria Archaeology 2

Bulgaria Archaeology

After the Second World War, the archaeological activity has intensified considerably in Bulgaria, leading to a certain deepening and in some cases to changes in setting.

For example, as far as the Paleolithic is concerned, at least 20 new sites have been excavated (previously only 7 were known). The excavation of Muselievo, directed by N. Džambazov, has yielded abundant material, above all spearheads of the Levalloisian-Mousterian technique: it belongs to the upper Paleolithic, and proposes a connection with the material of the same prehistoric phase found eg. in Hungary (Szeleta), in Crimea (Starosele), Czechoslovakia (Ivanova of Zamorovoce). The discovery of Mesolithic stations on the Black Sea made it possible to at least partially eliminate a gap: before the war there was an information “vacuum” between the Paleolithic and Neolithic times.

For the next phase, by far the most important fact is the great excavation of Karanovo in the Sliven district (in which many Bulgarian archaeologists have collaborated, including V. Mikov, GR and VI Georgiev): seven phases have been brought to light of occupation (for each of which there are various levels of dwellings, which often insist on previous burnt houses), from the end of the 6th to the end of the 3rd millennium a. Christ. It should be noted that the settlement of Azmak near Stara Zagora, excavated in 1960-63, has the same phases except the II a. The Karanovo I phase (late 6th-5th millennium BC) is the most ancient Neolithic civilization known so far in Bulgaria: it is characterized by an elaborately shaped painted pottery, by idols (the most ancient so far discovered); the Karanovo phases II-IV (4th millennium BC), still belonging to the Neolithic, present ceramics, idols, horn objects. The Karanovo V-VI phases (late 4th-early 3rd millennium BC) belong to the Eneolithic and can be connected respectively with the civilization of Maritsa, of the southern Bulgaria, and of Kodja Demen, of the northern Bulgaria: they are characterized by idols carved in bone, terracotta, marble of a better quality level, ceramic decorated with graphite and encrusted white material. In Karanovo V a terracotta seal was found, in which signs of writing were seen:

Also at the end of the 4th millennium we can date the necropolis of Varna, excavated very recently under the guidance of MI Simeonov Ivanov. The grave goods, comparable to real treasures, show that they are princely tombs: the craftsmanship – which can be connected to the contemporary one of Asia Minor -, of remarkable quality, testifies to a certain cultural and technical level.

According to topschoolsintheusa, the most notable evidences for the ancient bronze can be found in Karanovo VII (3rd millennium): the pottery is no longer decorated with graphite, the shapes are spherical, the handles sometimes very long, the neck short; in Dipsika near Stara Zagora, with precise stratigraphy and material similar to the contemporary one in Macedonia. The recent bronze (1600-1200) is the period in which Troy dominates the Hellespont, and the structure of the Balkan peninsula is given an idea through the Homeric poems. The Thracian tribes that at that time lived on the soil of the current Bulgaria have not left unlike those of other civilizations of the Danube valley (double-edged swords and sharp point); however some details (daggers) are comparable to similar weapons of Homeric Mycenae,

During the early Iron Age (late 13th-12th century) the soil of Thrace was affected by an imposing Europe-Asia migratory movement: few surviving testimonies (many of which were found in recent decades) in addition to the numerous tombs: mounds, dolmens, rock tombs, sometimes severely damaged. Among the interesting materials, bronze animal figurines, royal insignia (scepters, axes, appliques); the ceramic is of a simple type, with geometric decoration; of the toreutics, also of simple forms, among the few evidences it is worth mentioning the treasure recently found in Kazitchané, district of Sofia (1000-700 BC).

Moreover, in the last few years material from the beginning of the Hallstatt period has been discovered in the Kamčija river basin, comparable to that already known from the Thracian culture called “Pšeničevo”.

In the second Iron Age, Thrace emerged from isolation, also due to the presence of thriving Greek cities on the European Black Sea coast. Great Thracian kingdoms were formed and flourished. Many testimonies, especially of the great tumuli of the ruling dynasties, had already been found before the Second World War. In the last decades the necropolises of Yankovo ​​(district of Kolarovgrad) of the 4th BC, of ​​Koprinka (Kazanlak), of the 4th BC, with brick tombs have been studied; Excavations were carried out in Seuthopolis, capital of Seuthes III (Odrysian dynasty, contemporary of Alexander the Great and Lysimaco) in the Valley of Roses along the Tundza river. Among the most striking finds in the mounds, some treasures such as those of Vratza, of Seuthopolis itself, and above all of Panagjurište. The latter stands out,

In recent decades excavations have also continued in the Greek colonies along the Black Sea. Near Apollonia (today Sozopol), in the locality of Kalfa, a large necropolis has been excavated, in which three phases have been distinguished; significant is the moment (340-320) in which the rarefaction of Attic imported material is seen, coinciding with the rise of Macedonia and the slowdown in relations with Athens. In Mesambria (Nesebar), repeated tests have brought to light sections of the pre-Hellenistic walls, Greek-Hellenistic houses, architectural fragments similar to those of Olbia. Numerous traces of syncretistic cults have been found in Odessos; in the necropolis, prevalence of objects of Attic import; Kertch pottery popular in the 6th century.

There was no lack of new discoveries relating to the Roman era (sometimes made difficult by the fact that the Roman settlements of Moesia and Thrace developed and inhabited in later periods): in Oescus, architectural fragments of a large temple of Fortuna; in Iatrus, where a Bulgarian-German mission was excavating, sections of the walls with doors and towers; sections of walls also in Novae, where a Bulgarian-Polish mission is excavating; amphitheater in Marcianopolis (today Reka Devnya); the “complex of S. Giorgio”, difficult to interpret, in Serdica (Sofia); walls, stadium, thermal baths, necropolis in Philippopolis (Plovdiv); south gate of the city to Augusta Traiana (Stara Zagora); nearby, thermal baths with natural hot water in Starazagorski Minerami Bani. A large thermal building, the best preserved of the Bulgaria, was excavated in Roman Odessos. The aerial photo made it possible to identify the center of Nicopolis. In sculpture, studies on characteristic themes such as the “Trace Knight” have been deepened.

Bulgaria Archaeology 2

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