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Provadia 2005: Preliminary evidence for the earliest salt production in Europe

20.02.2006
Tell Provadia-Solnitsata is situated 3 km south of the town of Provadia, northeast Bulgaria. Present height of the tell is c. 15 m and its base diameter is c. 80 m. The tell has been deposited in the late Neolithic, and the middle and late Chalcolithic; not until the Roman period a tumulus have had been erected on its top with part of its cultural layer.

The reason for these long since planned excavations is the suggestion that life there has inevitably been connected with salt production in prehistory. The preliminary results confirmed this hypothesis. Most probably, a Karanovo III-IV community from Thrace has crossed the Eastern Stara Planina range, and had taken up with salt production through salty spring water evaporation. This Thracian “colony” probably has been exclusively engaged in these activities, and exchanged salt for foods and other products with the “metropolis”. Quite probable is also the relation of the wealth of the Varna cemetery and the salt production at Tell Provadia-Solnitsata in the first phase of Varna culture.

Prof. Dr. Sc. Vassil Nikolov



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