Archaeology: Holocene Europe

Europe’s Oldest Town?

Bulgarian archaeologists led by Professor Doctor Vasil Nikolov, from the National Archaeology Institute and Museum, claim to have discovered one of the oldest towns in Europe, in north-east Bulgaria.

Dr. Nikolov, who has been studying the area for many years, located the town near the salt pans in the vicinity of Provadia in the Varna Region, the same locale as the first salt factory in Europe.

[Dr. Vasil Nikolov, National Archaeology Institute and Museum]:
“We can now say that the Provadia salt pans are in the oldest town in Europe, existing between 4,700 to 4,200 BC, in the second half of the fifth millennium before Christ.”

Dr. Nikolov says, it was the salt—equivalent in value to today’s oil—which led to the town being established.

[Dr. Vasil Nikolov, National Archaeology Institute and Museum]:
“What makes this ancient village different from all the others in South-East Europe is the salt springs; the salt body is nine meters below us. The salt water was likely evaporated by different techniques in ceramic bowls and the salt produced may have been used as money, because salt was important for humans and animals as well. So salt production made this village different from others, giving it prosperity.”

Further hints of a rich society were found in skeletal remains showing remnants of copper hair accessories.

[Margarita Lyuncheva, Deputy Head, Archaeological Team]:
“There are two graves; probably of people with higher social status, because we found copper spiral needles there, used for hairdressing. We found them where the hair of the buried should have been. We think that the women had their hairstyle in the form of a bun.”

Dr. Nikolov’s discoveries have been confirmed so far by scientists from Japan, Great Britain and Germany, who have closely followed the research connected to the Provadia salt pans.

Comments

  1. #1 William Truderung
    August 29, 2013

    Well, this town is certainly old, but it is younger than other settlements of the nearby Vinca (5500-4500 BCE) culture.

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