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The prehistoric salt-production and urban center of Provadia-Solnitsata, Northeastern Bulgaria

Production de sel et développement urbain préhistorique à Provadia-Solnitsata, Bulgarie nord-orientale
Vassil Nikolov
p. 71-78

Abstracts

This contribution summarizes the main results of 10 years of archaeological research in Solnitsata, located in Northeastern Bulgaria close to the modern city of Provadia. It constitutes the first prehistoric urban center in Europe (4700‑4200 BC). Its development is closely connected with the exploitation of the so-called Mirovsko salt deposit which underlies the ancient settlement. This latter is articulated around a salt-production center, a fortified stonewall settlement (citadel), a sacrificial pit and a necropolis covering a total area of approximately 13 ha.

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Excerpt

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Outline

1 - The main constituent elements of the site of Provadia-Solnitsata
1.1 - A Late Neolithic and Chalcolithic salt production center
1.2 - The tell (citadel)
1.3 - Late Chalcolithic ritual sites
1.4 - The Late Chalcolithic necropolis
2 - Recent studies of the salt production center
3 - Recent studies of the citadel
4 - Recent studies of the Late Chalcolithic necropolis
5 - Conclusion concerning the formation of the prehistoric urban center

First lines

The prehistoric complex of Provadia-Solnitsata, located near the modern town of Provadia, hosts the remains of the oldest salt production center in Europe (5500‑4200 BC). It was the first prehistoric urban center in Europe (4700‑4200 BC) consisting of a salt production center, a fortified stonewall settlement (citadel), a ritual ground (sacrificial pit) and a necropolis (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1 – The prehistoric salt-production and urban center of Provadia-Solnitsata

Fig. 1 – The prehistoric salt-production and urban center of Provadia-Solnitsata

The complex occupies an area of approximately 13 hectares. Its origin and development are closely related to the only rock salt deposit in the Eastern Balkans, the so-called Mirovsko salt deposit underlying the settlement. This brief report of the archaeological monument is based on 10 years of archaeological research (2005‑2014) and defines the complex as one of the most significant prehistoric sites in Southeastern Europe.

The formation of the large salt cone occurred when, under pressure, a huge amoun...

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References

Electronic reference

Vassil Nikolov, « The prehistoric salt-production and urban center of Provadia-Solnitsata, Northeastern Bulgaria », Méditerranée [Online], 126 | 2016, Online since 01 January 2018, connection on 19 January 2018. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/mediterranee/8246 ; DOI : 10.4000/mediterranee.8246

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About the author

Vassil Nikolov

National Institute and Museum of Archaeology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgarie, vassil.nikolov@abv.bg

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Copyright

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