Archaeologists from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) have found a skeleton in the remains of an early Neolithic tomb at the Slatina site in capital city Sofia, the BAS website said on May 28.
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.
BAS said that many buildings had been found during the digs, including two large houses, of 117 and 147 sq m, and one of close to 300 sq m.
The settlement was surrounded by concentric ditches, which had protective and magical functions, sacrifices were made in them, BAS said.
Among the newly discovered finds in the village of Slatina are various household and cult objects, such as a a bone spoon and ceramic vessels, and parts of cult sacrificial tables.
Bulgarian media reported Vassil Nikolov, deputy head of BAS and head of the dig team, as saying that the Neolithic tomb find was extremely rare.
The newly-discovered skeleton most likely was that of a woman buried with a child in the immediate vicinity of the remnants of a house on the outskirts of the village.
The archaeological excavations by Nikolov’s team are to continue in the central part of the settlement. They are financed by Sofia municipality, with the support of the Sofia Inspectorate.
Those who settled in Slatina in the Neolithic Age are believed to have come from central Asia, introducing agriculture to the area that would later become Bulgaria. They produced pottery, painted with white paint before being baked, and many ornaments painted in shades of red.
Sofia municipality plans to develop an archaeological park at the Slatina site.
(Photos via the BAS website)