The new-stone age (neolith) of the Balkan Peninsula comprises the period from 6200 to 4900 BC. This is the time of the first settled farmers and cattlemen on these lands. The social changes are related to the “Neolithic revolution” whose achievements later became the basis for development of all ancient civilizations.
The first proof of life in the Kazanlak valley date back to that time. The Neolithic culture is best presented by the materials that were found during the examination of the Kazanlak village mound. Major phases of the development of the Neolithic culture are presented here – early (Karanovo culture I), medium (culture Protokaranovo III) and late (culture Karanovo III) Neolith - and are synchronized with the periods registered during the same period in the village mound Karanovo, whose stratigraphic scheme represents a reference point for the late prehistory in South-Eastern Europe. The examined remnants from 17 villages disclose the relatively high degree of development of the architectural construction in the region in the very beginning of VI millennium BC. Inside the exhibition hall of the museum one can find the housing schemes of the most ancient inhabitants of the Valley. Their houses had a rectangular form and one or two premises. The walls were built with wooden poles, twisted in a fence of hazelbush sticks and plastered on both sides by a thick clay layer. The appliances, that were built on the floors – remnants from bases of ovens and granaries, can be seen on the exhibited graphical boards and pictures that were documented during the excavation works.
A number of findings from that period are also presented. The stone and bone work instruments were perfectly made and had a relatively high rate of efficiency at the time. Among them one can find sickles from deer horns with attached flint teeth – used for harvesting the grain crops. Inside the Kazanlak mound the biggest collection of such sickles in South-Eastern Europe, which consists of almost 100 sickles, was found. Representative samples from the collection are shown in the exhibition. The stone axes and adzes were used for wood processing, while the flint knives and scrapers were used for finer work.
The ceramic utensils are hand-made and are distinguished by specific forms and decoration methods during every stage of the Neolith.
25 graves were found in the Neolithic layers of the mound. The dead people were most often buried in embryonic poses.
Women statues and the so-called cult tables are proofs of the religious-mythological system of the prehistoric inhabitants of the Kazanlak village mound. These objects disclose the two major aspects of the fertility cult in ancient times where women had a central role. The prehistoric plastic-art objects were made from ceramics and rarely from marble or stones.
During the late Neolith ceramic figures of men begin to appear which proves the rising cult towards the tribal chief.
Last, but not least, a lot of “decorations” or “jewelry” made from bones and rare materials –white marble, nephrite and shells – were discovered inside the village mound.
The jewelry includes beads, rings, bracelets and various necklaces. These were mainly made from Spondylus shells, which can be located only in the Aegean Sea, and also from Cardium and Unio shells.
Amulet from Cardium
Jewelry was owned by certain people as bearers of social status in the ancient prehistoric society and was also considered symbol of social prestige.
The Neolith material culture from the Kazanlak prehistoric village mound is a proof that its inhabitants were bearers of the earliest European civilization that existed on our homeland in the VI millennium BC.
Head of department:
|Pottery, early Neolithic, culture Karanovo I, tel Kazanlak|
|Anthropomorphic pottery, middle Neolithic, culture Protokaranovo III, tel Kazanlak|
|Marble torso, Late Neolithic, culture Karanovo III, tel Kazanlak|
|Cult table, late Neolithic, culture Karanovo III, tel Kazanlak|
|Pottery, Late Neolithic, culture Karanovo III, tel Kazanlak|
|Spoons of bone, Neolithic, tel Kazanlak|
|Pottery with charred grain from Neolithic dwelling, Late Neolithic, culture Karanovo III, tel Kazanlak|
|Amulet of bone, Late Neolithic, culture Karanovo III, tel Kazanlak|