Bulgaria’s Nikopol to Build Fishing Settlements from Paleolithic till Middle Ages in New Danube Archaeological Park

Bulgaria’s Nikopol to Build Fishing Settlements from Paleolithic till Middle Ages in New Danube Archaeological Park

A computer-generated image shows the future “Bridges of Time” Archaeological Park in Bulgaria’s Nikopol on the Danube, an open-air museum of fishing villages from five historical periods. Photo: Nikopol Municipality

An archaeological park with a total of five fishing settlements recreating fishermen’s in the Paleolithic (Old Stone Age), Chalcolithic (Copper Age, Aeneolithic), the Bronze Age, the Roman Antiquity, and the Middle Ages will be built by the Danube town of Nikopol in North Bulgaria.

The archaeological park with the five fishing villages for different time periods will be constructed with EU funding under the INTERREG V-A “Bulgaria – Romania” Program of the European Union.

The EU-funded project in question is entitled “The Bridges of Time”, and in it, Bulgaria’s Nikopol Municipality on the southern bank of the Danube River is partnering with Romania’s Tarno Magurele on the north bank of the Danube.

The two towns are located across from one another, and are connected with a ferry boat service.

Nikopol was a major fortress in the medieval Bulgarian Empire, and one its last strongholds against the invading Ottoman Turks in the 1390s. It is also famous for the late medieval Nikopol Treasure.

Archaeological excavations have exposed near Nikopol a prehistoric fishing settlement from the Paleolithic, dating back to between ca. 40,000 BC and 10,000 BC, which is alleged to be the oldest known fishermen’s village on the Danube River.

Nikopol, and the site of the future Archaeological Park with fishing settlements from the Paleolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze Age, the Roman Antiquity, and the Middle Ages carried out in cooperation with Romania’s Turnu Magurele stand about 40 kilometers east of the ruins of the huge Ancient Roman colony of Ulpia Oescus and Constantine’s Bridge, a 4th century AD Danube Bridge built by Roman Emperor Constantine I the Great (r. 306 – 337 AD), which was the largest known bridge in the Antiquity.

Computer-generated images of the future Brdiges of Time Archaeological Park the Danube town of Nikopol to be built in cooperation with Romania’s Turnu Magurele with EU funding. Photos: Nikopol Municipality

The future open-air museum, the Bridges of Time Archaeological Park in Bulgaria’s Danube town of Nikopol will be located on a plot of nearly 3,200 square meters, Nikopol Municipality has announced, as cited by the Actualno news site.

“Historical and archaeological facts make the [Danube] bank of Nikopol the most suitable place for such an [open-air museum] since it contains archaeological artifacts from the said periods within its limited territory,” Nikopol Municipality says.

“Life here never ceased from the Paleolithic all the way to the Middle Ages: from the most ancient fishing settlement on the Danube discovered so far in Europe (from the Paleolithic – 40,000 – 10,000 BC), all the way to medieval Nikopol (14th century) – [this was] one of the most bustling commercial and cultural centers of its time,” the local authorities add.

The future Archaeological Park “Bridge of Time” near Nikopol will feature authentic reconstructions of architectural fragments from the fishing settlements and their piers from the said five periods, the Paleolithic, the Chalcolithic, the Bronze Age, the Roman Antiquity, and the Middle Ages.

The Archaeological Park is also expected to feature actual local fishermen and craftsmen and reconstructed ancient ships and boats, thus offering various cultural tourism attractions.

Before going ahead with the construction of the open-air museum in the joint cultural tourism project with Romania’s Turnu Magurele, Bulgaria’s Nikopol is first going to build a new road to the “Rock Church” archaeological site, which is located about 0.7 kilometers from the bank of the Danube.

Blueprints & sketches for the Chalcolithic (+Neolithic) section of the future Archaeological Park in Nikopol. Photos: Nikopol Municipality

The construction of the Bulgarian cultural tourism attractions under EU funding program INTERREG V-A “Bulgaria – Romania” is going to cost a combined total of almost BGN 5 million (appr. EUR 2.5 million).

The construction works for the Bridges of Time Archaeological Park on the Danube bank in Nikopol is projected to be completed by the end of July 2019.

Also check out these underwater and maritime archaeology articles:

No ‘Biblical Deluge’ but Gradual Ice Age Melting Made Black Sea ‘a Sea’, Archaeologists Find after Underwater Expedition in Bulgaria’s Waters


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