7,000-Year-Old Settlement Mound in Bulgaria’s Black Sea City Burgas Presented for the First Time in Exhibition

7,000-Year-Old Settlement Mound in Bulgaria’s Black Sea City Burgas Presented for the First Time in Exhibition

Artifacts from the 6th and 5th millenium BC found in the prehistoric and virtually unknown to the public Burgas Settlement Mound have been showcased for the first time in an exhition of the Burgas Regional Museum of History. Photo: Burgas Regional Museum of History

The oldest settlement in today’s Black Sea city of Burgas in Southeast Bulgaria – today a prehistoric settlement mound – which existed in the Late Neolithic (New Stone Age) and throughout the entire Chalcolithic (Copper Age) period, has been presented for the first time to the public in a special exhibition.

The Burgas Settlement Mound is the oldest human settlement on the territory of the Black Sea city of Burgas. It is far less known publicly compared with the prehistoric heritage of the Black Sea city of Varna in Northeast Bulgaria (Burgas and Varna being the two largest cities on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast).

The latter is world famous for the 7,000-year-old Varna Chalcolithic Necropolis and the Varna Gold Treasure, better known as the oldest gold treasure in the world (it is on par with several other prehistoric gold treasures and artifacts (check out the article “Which Is the World’s Oldest Gold Treasure?” found throughout Bulgaria but is certainly the largest, most diverse, and most impressive one.)

The prehistoric settlement mound in the southern Black Sea city of Burgas dates back to the end of the 6th millennium BC, the Late Chalcolithic (New Stone Age), seemingly part of the wider prehistoric civilization of the Danube – Black Sea region, Europe’s first civilization referred to by some Western scholars as “Old Europe“.

It was also inhibited during the entire 5th millennium BC, i.e. the Chalcolithic (Aeneolithic, Copper Age), informs the Burgas Regional Museum of History, which has organized the exhibition.

The first ever archaeological excavations of the Burgas Settlement Mound were carried out in 2008 – 2009, and were led by archaeologist Assist. Prof. Miroslav Klasnakov.

“The field research of the [prehistoric] archaeological layer, which is 2.7 meters thick, and the analysis of the discovered materials demonstrate that the mound contains [remains] from two prehistoric ages, the Neolithic and the Chalcolithic, each one of which with several inhabitance levels," the Burgas Regional Museum of History explains.

It adds that most of discovered prehistoric dwellings, structures, and artifacts within the settlement mound were destroyed by strong fires.

“The excellent restoration of artifacts and vessels is giving the public the opportunity to enjoy the wealth of shapes and decorations, and to enrich its understanding of the lifestyle and culture of the earliest agrarian and cattle-breeding tribes that used to inhabit the territory of today’s city of Burgas," states the Burgas Museum of History.

The finds from the 7,000-year-old Burgas Settlement Mound are on display at the Archaeology Museum of the Burgas Regional Museum of History, in the “Prehistory and Ancient Black Sea Sailing" Halll. The exhibition will be open for visitors from March 12 until April 12, 2021.

Prehistoric pottery vessels from the Neolithic and Chalcolithic Burgas Settlement Mound on display in the exhibition. Photo: Burgas Regional Museum of History

Prehistoric pottery vessels from the Neolithic and Chalcolithic Burgas Settlement Mound on display in the exhibition. Photo: Burgas Regional Museum of History

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Ivan Dikov, the founder of ArchaeologyinBulgaria.com, is the author of the book Plunder Paradise: How Brutal Treasure Hunters Are Obliterating World History and Archaeology in Post-Communist Bulgaria, among other books.

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