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Exhibit of August 2023: Ceramic house model


Ceramic house model

Tell Kodzhadermen, close to the town of Shumen, Shumen Province

Late Chalcolithic, second half of the 5th millennium BC

Found more than a century ago, in 1914, the house model from Tell Kodzhadermen is still one of the biggest, best preserved, most fascinating and intriguing artifacts of its kind on the Balkans. It presents a building with vertical walls and a gabble roof. The parallel incisions on the roof probably indicate its construction. Round openings of similar diameter on the walls may be interpreted as windows and a door. A long rectangular opening of uncertain function is placed at the base. The walls are decorated lavishly with incised spiral motifs and red paint. The studies of a number of Chalcolithic settlements provide grounds to suggest that these motifs represent decoration that ornamented the walls of real buildings. The motif used was widespread and obviously had important meaning for the Chalcolithic people. The house models were an important part of the art and probably the ritual practices in this period. It is possible that the artifact from Tell Kodzhadermen has been used in particular home rites or represented a building with a specific function and importance, for example, a temple. It is also a valuable source of information for the architecture in the 5th millennium BC, which is usually destroyed to a great extend in the course of millennia.

Found in the Kodzhadermen Tell in the Kodzhadermen locality, 6.5 km from Shumen, on the road to Razgrad and Silistra. Excavated in 1914 under the direction of R. Popov, with funds from the National Museum.


Попов 1919: Р. Попов. Коджа-Дерменската могила при гр. Шумен. – Известия на Българското археологическо дружество, VI, (1916 – 1918), 1919, 71-156.

Радунчева 1973: А. Радунчева. Доисторическое исскуство в Болгарии (пятое – второе тысячилетие до н.е.). София, 1973.