Thursday, December 4, 2014

Gold of the Varna Necropolis

The Varna Necropolis is a burial site in Varna (near Lake Varna, 4 km from the city centre), Bulgaria.

The city is on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and is internationally considered one of the key archaeological sites in world prehistory. The oldest golden treasure in the world, dating from 4,600 BC to 4,200 BC, was discovered at the site.
The site was accidentally discovered in 1972 by an excavator operator. A total of 294 graves have been found in the necropolis, many containing sophisticated examples of metallurgy (gold and copper), pottery, high-quality flint and obsidian blades, beads, and shells. The graves have been dated to 4560-4450 BC by radiocarbon dating
The artifacts can be seen at the Varna Archaeological Museum and at the National Historical Museum in Sofia. The gold of Varna started touring the world in 1973.
In 2012 archaeologists in eastern Bulgaria unearthed the oldest prehistoric town ever found in Europe, along with an ancient salt production site that gives a strong clue about why massive riches were discovered in the region.
The area is home to huge rock-salt deposits, some of the largest in southeast Europe and the only ones to be exploited as early as the sixth millennium BC.

Excavations at the site near the town of Provadia uncovered the remains of a settlement of two-storey houses, a series of pits used for rituals as well as parts of a gate, bastion structures and three later fortification walls – all carbon dated between the middle and late Chalcolithic age from 4,700 to 4,200 BC.

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