Karanovo, Bulgaria

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Large tell in the Azmak Valley near Nova Zagora, whose deposits span the early Neolithic through to the middle Bronze Age and provide not only a full account of the cultural history of southern Bulgaria but also an important sequence connecting central Europe with southeastern Europe. It was excavated by V. Mikov and G. Georgiev in the late 1930s, when more than 12 m of deposit were investigated and grouped into seven levels. Levels I and II represent the early Neolithic, part of the Starčevo group of cultures, with square houses built of wattle and daub. Level III has Veselinovo associations, with dark burnished and carinated pottery. Level IV is characterized as Kalojanovec Culture and seems to reflect a local tradition. Level V has Marica Culture material, including graphite painted wares and excised pottery. Together, levels IV and V are contemporary with the late Neolithic Vinča Culture of the western Balkans. The very thick level VI is the Gumelnita horizon, with graphite painted wares and the evidence for an emergent copper metallurgy. In this period the tradition for small square houses was changed, and rather larger rectangular structures, many with more than one room, were built, most of them internally plastered and painted. After a stratigraphic hiatus the final level (VII) belongs to the early Bronze Age.


S. Hiller, 1988, Tell Karanovo 1987. Salzburg: Institut für Alte Geschichte und Altertumskunde der Universität Salzburg

Subjects: Archaeology.

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