5th Millenium BC Prehistoric Settlement near Bulgaria’s Pomorie Was Much Larger Than Known Settlement Mound, Archaeologists Find

5th Millenium BC Prehistoric Settlement near Bulgaria’s Pomorie Was Much Larger Than Known Settlement Mound, Archaeologists Find

5th millenium BC pottery vessels discovered in the newly excavated ceramic workshop building underneath the Kozareva Mogila mound in Southeast Bulgaria. Photo: 2017 Bulgarian Archaeology exhibition

The prehistoric settlement known as Kozareva Mogila (“Goat Mound”) near Bulgaria’s Black Sea resort of Pomorie, which dates back to the 5th millenium BC, i.e. the Chalcolithic (Aeneolithic, Copper Age), was substantially larger than the settlement mound known and visible today, the archaeological team researching it has found.

The Kozareva Mogila prehistoric settlement near the town of Kableshkovo not far from the Bulgarian Black Sea coast is deemed especially interesting because its preserved Chalcolithic (Aeneolithic, Copper Age) structures and necropolis keep shedding new light on life in Southeast Europe in the 5th millennium BC.

In 2016, during their regular excavations there, the archaeologists found a prehistoric cranial amulet from the 5th millennium BC, the sixth of its kind since the research of the Kozareva Mogila settlement began back in 1991.

During the latest excavations of the prehistoric site the team led Assoc. Prof. Petya Georgieva from Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” and Veselin Danov has managed to verify its suspicions that the size of the Chalcolithic settlement considerably exceed that of the known settlement mound.

Lead archaeologist Petya Georgieva (right) and other researchers with newly restored vessels from the Kozareva Mogila mound. Photo: 2017 Bulgarian Archaeology exhibition

The part of the newly excavated building which was partly dug into the ground. Photo: 2017 Bulgarian Archaeology exhibition

Imprints from the beams that supported the kiln construction. Photo: 2017 Bulgarian Archaeology exhibition

Imprints from a straw matt from the second floor. Photo: 2017 Bulgarian Archaeology exhibition

What is more, they have discovered that the site where the Kozareva Mogila (“Goat Mound”) stands today was occupied by a workshop for the production of pottery.

“The supposition has been confirmed that the settlement from the Late Aeneolithic was of considerable size, and was located outside of [today’s] mound, while the area of the mound was used as a ceramic workshop,” the archaeological team says.

This has been discovered through control digs at a location some 200 meters (650 feet) north of the known settlement mound, on a plot with an area of 50 square meters. The archaeologists have found there traces of destroyed prehistoric homes.

In addition to that, the team has continued exploring further a building from the large Chalcolithic pottery workshop found underneath the Kozareva Mogila mound in Southeast Bulgaria.

Photos from the 2017 archaeological excavations in the Kozareva Mogila settlement mound. Photos: Kozareva Mogila Facebook page

The building in question was partly exposed in 2016. It was partly a dugout, and had two floors.

In its northern part, the researchers have found a large kiln with a chimney starting on the lower floor, and continuing into the upper floor. The chimney was built upon a fitting of wooden beams.

During the 2016 and 2017 excavations, the archaeologists have extracted from the said building and restored in full over 60 prehistoric pottery vessels, most of which are rather sizable.

They have also found there numerous tools for the making of ceramic vessels, fragments of anthropomorphic figurines, and a number of other vessels which have not been restored yet.

Not unlike the other 5th millennium BC buildings discovered so far underneath the Kozareva Mogila settlement mound, the newly excavated building was seemingly also a pottery making venue.

Many of the newly discovered pottery vessels feature decorations made with encrusted white and/or red paint, and graffiti. Some of the most intriguing ones have been showcased to the public for the first time during the 2017 Bulgarian Archaeology exhibition at the National Institute and Museum of Archaeology in Sofia.

Beautiful Late Chalcolithic (second half of 5th milllenium BC) pottery encrusted with white and red paint, and graffiti discovered during the latest excavations in the Kozareva Mogila settlement, as showcased in the 2017 Bulgarian Archaeology exhibition. Photos: ArchaeologyinBulgaria.com

According to lead archaeologist Georgieva, the discovery that the Kozareva Mogila prehistoric settlement was a pottery making center demonstrates that it was included in commercial exchange relations.

As clay is an abundant resource found everywhere, and, respectively, pottery can be made anywhere, the fact that the Late Chalcolithic people from “Kozareva Mogila” already traded the ceramic vessels they had made, rather than some extremely rare items, demonstrates a major societal and economic shift.

In the Chalcolithic, the Kozareva Mogila settlement was located at a crossroads between the deposits of copper near today’s Black Sea town of Sozopol (ancient Apollonia Pontica) and the deposits of rock salt and gold near Provadiya (home to the Salt Pit settlement – Provadiya – Solnitsata) and Varna (home to the Varna Chalcolithic Necropolis where the world’s oldest gold treasure, the Varna Gold Treasure, was discovered).

During the latest archaeological excavations of the necropolis of the Kozareva Mogila settlement, the archaeologists have found two more graves in addition to the already known ones.

In the previous archaeological season, Georgieva has pointed out that the inventory of the graves from the Kozareva Mogila necropolis show a clear division between male warriors and females.

The presence of military men indicates that group violence existed, which is said to emerge whenever civilization emerges.


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