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7000-years-old skeleton found at early Neolithic grave in Bulgaria

7000-years-old skeleton found at early Neolithic grave in Bulgaria

Among the newly discovered finds in the village of Slatina, there are various items of household and cult like a bone spoon and ceramic utensils, pintadera, parts of cult sacrificial tables. Slatina is believed to be the site of the oldest human settlement in what would later become Sofia.

Archaeologists from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) have found an early Neolithic grave at the Slatina site in capital city Sofia, according to an announcement on the BAS website.

Early Neolithic grave, about 7 600 years old, was discovered by a team of archaeologists led by corr.-member Vassil Nikolov, Vice-President of BAS, in Slatina settlement. The find is extremely rare. The forthcoming studies will provide information on the physical characteristics of the people who gave birth to the first European civilization in today’s Bulgarian lands.

According to corr.-member Nikolov, the scientists have enough data on the way of life of the people in the settlement of Slatina but it has not yet been established what the funeral practices were. It is well known that the settlement lasted for about 500 years: from the end of the seventh millennium BC, when the first settlers arrived, until around the middle of the sixth millennium BC.

The newly discovered skeleton most likely belongs to a woman buried with a child in the immediate vicinity of the remnants of a house on the outskirts of the village, corr.-member Nikolov explained. It is considered that at the funerals at that time the deceased were laid in the Earth – Mother in an embryonic posture.

During the long-term excavations of the scientists from the National Archaeological Institute and Museum of BAS in Slatina, many buildings were found. Among them are two large houses of 117 and 147 square meters, and one of nearly 300 square meters. The settlement was surrounded by concentric ditches which had protective and magical functions; sacrifices were made in them.

Among the newly discovered finds in the village of Slatina, there are various items of household and cult like a bone spoon and ceramic utensils, pintadera, parts of cult sacrificial tables.

The excavations of the team of corr.-mem. Nikolov will continue in the central part of the settlement. There, they are financed by Sofia Municipality, with the support of Sofia Inspectorate.

Archaeologists have been working on the current project examining the Slatina site for more than five years, uncovering details of an early Neolithic settlement that dated back to the period 6100 to 5500 BCE. The site was first examined and studied in the 1950s.

Slatina is believed to be the site of the oldest human settlement in what would later become Sofia.

The settlement was surrounded by concentric ditches, which had protective and magical functions, sacrifices were made in them, BAS said.

Source: The Sofia Globe and Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

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