Established archaeological survey methods revised. Application of new GIS technologies in Bulgaria

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Scientific methods, showing the researcher how properly to acquire knowledge, exist in all fields of science. Archaeological surface surveys are not an exception. Some of the applicable methods have been developed in theory, and others deliberately modified for the execution of certain regional projects, but all of them contain all the non-destructive archaeological work focused on the spatial aspect – preliminary preparations, actual fieldwalking and post-processing activities. Archaeology in Bulgaria has also taken part in these world trends. Being a territory densely inhabited since the Prehistoric periods to Modern times, it has offered a vast amount of knowledge to researchers. Extensive surveys aimed at acquiring all sort of information have been conducted in Bulgaria since the middle of the 16th century. Most of the surveys in the 20th century have been site-orientated, some of them even being deliberately focused only on sites dating from a specific chronological period. All of the listed trends are part of the development of archaeological surface survey methods. As a result a great amount of legacy data has been accumulated, most of which has been collected in the database “Archaeological Map of Bulgaria”. In the early 1980s several attempts at intensive systematic surveys took place in Bulgaria involving many researchers. Unfortunately, these processes were suspended until recent times when the established field survey methods were combined with Geographic Information Systems software, in both desktop and mobile applications. Intensive surveys, both systematic and salvage, showing the densities of artefacts as “carpet-like” scatters are becoming more and more popular in Bulgaria nowadays. Spatial location and replicated collections of site surfaces with assessment of ground visibility show interesting trends most of which have been discussed in foreign publications.

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Стратиграфски преглед на селищни обекти от късната бронзова и ранната желязна епохи в Горнотракийската низина

Review of the strata evidence from the Late Bronze and the Early Iron Age settlement sites in Upper Thrace

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The paper attempts at a brief overview and critical analysis of the stratigraphic evidence pertaining to settlement sites of the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age from Upper Thrace. It draws together data from approximately 20 sites dated within the specified periods, among which, for the purpose of analysis, is included indirect evidence from nearby necropolis sites. Notably, the sites are distributed unevenly over the study area; however, this is determined by the state of research. The principle share of the empirical data is made available by the vigorous national infrastructure projects associated with the construction of the Thrakya and Maritsa highways and the modernization of the Plovdiv-Svilengrad railway.

The main inhibitor to the study of the early Thracian society is the lack of fully investigated settlement sites of Late Bronze-Early Iron Age date. Comparisons to the collections from the eponymous sites of Pshenichevo, Asenovets, and Razkopanitsa, satisfy less and less the comprehensive analyses inquiring into the myriad aspects of the early Thracian Antiquity. The want for an update of the archaeological data from those is palpable. Furthermore, ever more pressing is the need for pinning the artefacts, in particular pottery – the principle chronological marker from sealed deposits, by means of series of absolute (14С) dates, procured from as much as possible of ancient Thrace.

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Вотивните дарове от светилището край Мездра (опит за класификация)

Votive offerings from the sanctuary by Mezdra (an attempt at classification)

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The paper discusses the different categories of votive offerings from the 3rd century AD pagan sanctuary by Mezdra that came to light during the excavations in 2005-2012. It aims at elaboration of a detailed classification of the finds of the kind, which could be applied while working with similar material from other antique cult places. Based on their nature and functional purpose, the votive offerings from the sanctuary are distributed into 10 major groups. The attribution of a particular item to one of these also depends on its semantic and symbolic contents. The analysis of the votive offerings makes it possible to broaden the circle of deities worshipped in the discussed sanctuary. The number of divine addressees is unusually great. The ethnic and social composition of the dedicators is rather mixed, too. Besides its location along an important and intensively used in Roman times road (the one from Oescus to Serdica), the significance of the sanctuary must have also greatly contributed to that.

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Старите каменни чешми от Родопите

The old stone fountains in the Rhodope Mountains

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The purpose of the paper is to collect information about stone fountains constructed in the Rhodope Mountains before the mid of the 20th century as well as to document their present state of preservation. The research is focused on artefacts which were not sufficiently studied or were not studied at all until present and provides new information which can be used in future studies. The author’s interest on the subject was provoked by the opportunity to study the stone fountains not only as a group of architectural artifacts of artistic value, but also to relate them to specific ritual practices and mythological beliefs which survived during the centuries in isolated regions. Ritual practices related to water sources survived from the Thracian period and can still be traced in mythological beliefs in the Rhodope Mountains.

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Laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy – an archaeometric approach

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Laser analytical techniques provide some conveniences for the study of archaeological artefacts and works of art. These are simplicity, directness and fastness as well as possibility of infield studies. Laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy can be applied for molecule composition analysis of a given object’s surface. The resulting information helps to identify an organic and inorganic compounds, organic impurities, etc. The reported method is successfully applied for authentication of studied subjects and for direct monitoring and assessment of the effects of conservation-restoration procedures. In the „Metal Vapour Lasers“ laboratory at the Institute of Solid State Physics, BAS, various laser applications are being developed for preservation of cultural heritage, including laser-induced fluorescence. The aim of our current research is to study a wide range of materials (pigments, dyes, adhesives and binders), commonly found in objects of historical value. This will create a comprehensive database that will allow further investigation of real artefacts and monuments.

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Laser cleaning in conservation – principles and possibilities

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Lasers are very precise and reliable tools concerning many conservation-restoration procedures. Removal of unwanted surface impurities and layers is a delicate process that needs handling with great care. The laser cleaning technique is applied successfully in many case studies. The goal of this paper is to highlight the potential of the lasers for restoring archaeological artefacts and artworks. Some cleaning experiments on stone and metal surfaces performed with Q-switched Nd:YAG laser and CuBr vapour metal laser are presented as well.

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Анализ на микробната колонизация на скалните рисунки в пещерата Магура с цел опазването им

Analysis of the microbial colonization of the rock paintings in the Magura Cave aimed at their preservation

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The microbial diversity in caves and the role of microbial communities in rock paintings destruction is a topic of present interest.

The aim of the recent study is focused on the characterization of the microbial communities inhabiting the Magura Cave in order to develop a strategy for conservation of the unique paintings in the cave. Aimed at estimating the dynamics of microbial populations inhabiting the Magura Cave, four subsequent samplings were done in the course of twelve months.

The comparative analysis of the microbial communities clearly demonstrates that each sample, respectively location, possess a unique microbial population structure and specific ratios between the different target groups, slightly changed during the monitoring investigation.

The analysis revealed the presence of all tested physiological groups with the predominance of psychrophiles and oligiocarbophiles. Slightly variations in the number of actinomyces and fungi were observed among the different locations.

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Ролята на графичните реконструкции за изучаването и опазването на недвижимото културно наследство

The role of graphic reconstructions in the study and preservation of the immovable cultural heritage

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Graphic reconstructions have always accompanied restoration projects related to the study of lost architectural traces. It is difficult to track their history, since in practice they have been an intrinsic part of the evolution of the activity and science of restoration.

3D modelling, graphic and virtual reconstruction as a means of studying and preservation of cultural heritage are still rarely applied for the needs of archaeology in our country. This is a topic which should be subject to continuous and profound investigation. Scientific studies and preservation of cultural heritage would benefit from the preparation of virtual reconstructions, provided the latter obeys certain principles, which warrant the achievement of the required intellectual and technical strictness.

The paper aims to rationalize the actuality and need of such research activity for the needs of cultural heritage. Illustration of the first attempt to perform digital restoration of the southern fortress wall of the Discoduraterae emporium (village of Gostilitsa, municipality of Dryanovo) and the results from it is provided.

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Опазване на недвижими културни ценности – адаптация/социализация/експониране и критерии за прилагането им

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The presence of immovable cultural heritage in contemporary living environment defines the spirit of the place, enriches the cultural landscape and could play a key role in the urban fabric – important goals for preservation of the historical layers in our cities. The modern approach to the preservation of cultural values includes not only conservation and restoration activities but also complementary actions for adaptation of the objects necessary for their protection and the restoration of their role in the contemporary urban structure.

In search of methods for giving a complex unprejudiced assessment, the modern science is trying to systematize and unify criteria for evaluation of cultural values and the admissibility of the intervention.

Over the years preservation activities led to different systems of criteria considered in various documents – both international charters and documents at national level, but little has been done for organizing them into a common methodology for intervention.

These problems are considered in the legal framework of the Bulgarian legislation in two key documents – the Law of Cultural Heritage and Ordinance № N -12, which specifies that the classification and categorization of objects and preparing the final evaluation are based on the criteria for cultural value. These criteria outline the general direction for the survey and analysis of the author of one project, but are not sufficiently specific and depend largely on the author’s personal appraisal

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Управление на унгарското културно наследство (исторически обзор)

Historical оverview of the Hungarian сultural heritage management

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The idea of integrated approach to cultural heritage management is a product of the 20th century. Before that, different scientific fields dealt with specific parts of cultural heritage (archaeology, architecture, art history, ethnology and other social sciences as well as different institutions – scientific academies, museums, universities, libraries and archives, etc.). The historical overview of the cultural heritage management deals with the process from the birth of the idea of heritage protection to the current state of art of this field in Hungary.

The author uses Krysztof Pomian’s model on French nation-building as the main methodological framework for the paper, which model is also cited by Gabor Sonkoly, the acknowledged historian of the Hungarian cultural heritage, in his lecture “The Social History of the Cultural Heritage Protection in Hungary”. According to the latter, the history of the Hungarian cultural heritage management cannot be examined separately from the question of national identity.

The history of the Hungarian cultural heritage management develops through four major periods which are briefly presented in the paper. In addition some aspects of the Hungarian Heritage Management are emphasized, which are of interest for Bulgarian specialists dealing with the problems of cultural heritage.

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