Europe’s Oldest Town?

I was browsing around on the National Geographic App on my phone earlier this week looking for a good article. I came across one titled At “Europe’s Oldest Town,” Unusual Fortifications Hint at Prehistoric Riches and it instantly sparked my interest since we have been talking about what the the towns near the “Land of the Dead” in Ancient Egypt are like. The site is located in Bulgaria and is 6,500 years old, very close to the age of earliest known golden horde of the continent. The way that they knew this site was a town was due to the very large wall that surrounded the settlement. This settlement was a great discovery because it shows that the Balkan trade network has been around for a very long time. Salt, an important resource used for preserving meat, was packaged and shipped out of this settlement all over the region. Although salt was important, it doesn’t justify the massive size of the walls surrounding this site, especially when trees were in such large supply in the region at the time. The only explanation is that there was something worth guarding within this settlement! The only thing that remains is ancient pottery that pre-dates Greek civilization, but archaeologists are determined to make links between gold and this settlement.

Now, how does this relate to what we have been talking about in class? Just as in The Valley of the Kings, many tombs were found with very little left inside. Although they had been looted for all of their riches, they left people all around the world to dream about the amazing amounts of gold and other artifacts that were once inside. I hope that archaeologists are able to connect ancient gold artifacts from the surrounding region to this site because it would tell us a lot about the culture of this ancient settlement. Another link that can be made about this finding to our class are it’s similarities to the Mounds of North America. 

As you can see from the picture above, it looks like the mounds we learned about it class today. It is called a Bulgarian tell, which means it is an archaeological mound created by building new structures atop old ones. The Mounds of North America, the Bulgarian Tells, and some of the Egyptian structures were all formed this way. One feature that distinguished this site from the others we have learned about is that it was a part of life, not death. There is a cemetery located nearby, but the mound itself was meant for living. I hope you enjoyed my post!

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