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Editorial

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Настоящият брой на Българското е-списание за археология е по своеобразен начин новаторско и специално. В неговия формат има две нови рубрики, които редакционната колегия инициира и одобри. Първата се състои в публикуването на доклади от научни форуми, чиято проблематика е съпричастна с българската археологическа практика, а втората се свежда до рубриката „Галерия портрети”.

В настоящия брой са публикувани доклади, представени на юбилейната XX конференция на ЕАА в Истанбул (10-14 септември 2014). Докладите бяха включени в програмата на научна сесия озаглавена „Balkans and Anatolia in Prehistory: cultural interactions and barriers” (Балканите и Анатолия в праисторията: културни взаимодействия и бариери), организирана от екип в състав: Мария Гюрова (НАИМ-БАН, София), Жан-Пол Демул (Пантеон-Сорбона, Париж) и Бурчин Ердоу (Тракийски университет, Одрин). Сесията премина при подчертан интерес от участниците и многото гости и беше съпроводена с оживени и стимулиращи дискусии. Част от участниците изразиха готовност и желание да публикуват статиите си в нашето списание, чиято специална част „Доклади от научни форуми” е подготвена от трима редактори: Бисерка Гайдарска, Мария Гюрова и Клайв Бонсал.

Рубриката „Галерия портрети” е замислена и реализирана с емоционалното послание да съживим спомени и моменти от професионалното ни минало, в което са вплетени забележителни личности – ярки, специални и незабравими. Първият Човек в галерията е, несъмнено и заслужено, д-р Петър Горбанов–Шефът.

Надяваме се, че с предоставените нови възможности за научен обмен и „усмихната носталгия” ще поставим началото на серия от подобни изяви, които да обогатят съдържанието на нашето списание.

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This issue of the Bulgarian e-journal for archaeology is somewhat innovative. Two new rubrics have been included that had been suggested and approved by the Editorial board. The first one is concerned with publications of fora proceedings which are pertinent to the Bulgarian archaeological practice; the second is appropriately entitled ‘Portrait Gallery’.

The current issue consists of papers presented at the 20th jubilee annual meeting of EAA in Istanbul (10 – 14 of September 2014). They form a part of the talks in the session „Balkans and Anatolia in Prehistory: cultural interactions and barriers”, organized by Maria Gurova (NAIM-BAS), Jean-Paul Demoule (Paris I Sorbonne-Panthéone) and Burçin Erdoğu (Thrace University, Edirne). The session enjoyed a lot of interest by the presenters and the numerous audience alike, and witnessed lively and stimulating discussions. Part of the participants were willing to publish their papers in our journal in a special section entitled ‘Papers from scientific fora’ and edited by Bisserka Gaydarska, Maria Gurova and Clive Bonsall.

The ‘Portrait Gallery’ rubric is both inspired by and aimed as poignant message attempting to resurrect memories and moments from our past professional life inhabited with remarkable personalities – bright, special, unforgettable. The first Human in this gallery, undoubtedly deservedly, is Dr. Petar Gorbanov–the Boss.

We hope that the new opportunities for research circulation and ‘smiling nostalgia’ will trigger a series of similar submissions that will enrich the content of our journal.

Lithic studies: an alternative approach to Neolithization

Most models of Neolithization of the Balkans have focused on pottery, with little attention paid to other aspects of material culture. A distinctive feature of the Early Neolithic Karanovo I culture of Bulgaria is a flint industry characterized by ‘macroblade’ technology and widespread use of ‘Balkan Flint’ in conjunction with formal toolkits. The origins of this technology and the associated raw material procurement system are still unresolved. Balkan flint also occurs in Early Neolithic contexts outside the Karanovo I culture area, notably in the southern Balkans (Turkish Thrace) and in the lower Danube catchment (Carpathian Basin, Iron Gates, southern Romania and northern Bulgaria). The only securely identified outcrops of Balkan flint are in the Upper Cretaceous Mezdra Formation in the Pleven-Nikopol region of northern Bulgaria. One of the most challenging aspects of the Neolithization debate is to accommodate the evidence provided by lithic studies. Among outstanding questions are: (i) was Balkan flint used by the first (‘pre-Karanovo’) Neolithic communities in Bulgaria; (ii) what role did Balkan flint play in the Neolithization of Southeast Europe; (iii) did access to Balkan flint result in the emergence of a new laminar technology; (iv) how did the Early Neolithic Balkan flint exchange network compare to that based on obsidian, which developed in and around the Aegean Basin; and (iv) what and where were the origins of the Balkan flint network and the formal tools associated with it?

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Shaping a future of painting: the early Neolithic pottery from Dzhulyunitsa, North Central Bulgaria

This paper presents the somewhat unexpected findings of a preliminary archaeometric study of ‘painted’ early Neolithic pottery from the site of Dzhulyunitsa, north central Bulgaria. While there is still no consensus on the actual model of Neolithisation of this region, expectations are that there would have been a transfer of pottery technology and possible small quantities of painted pottery from the West Anatolian homeland to early Neolithic sites in Bulgaria. However, our findings confound these expectations. Pottery from the earliest levels of the site are all based on local materials: there are no imported wares. There is no evidence of the experimental phase that would be expected as migrant potters learned to adjust to local clays. Instead the pottery is of a very high quality from the outset, using naturally fine clays that do not require temper: though organic material is sometimes added, albeit often in non-functional quantities. What were thought to be dark-painted layers are shown to be simply the high-quality burnishes that can be developed using these micaceous local clays: in some cases with outer surfaces enhanced with ochre. White-slipped and white-on red decorated sherds from the second layer of the site continue to showcase a mastery of local materials, with white pigments base on nearby limestones and marls. But here, petrographic analysis identifies some white-painted wares which are clearly not local, with both bodies and paint compositions pointing to a different provenance and technology. As it continues, this project aims to establish the full range of Dzhulyunitsa pottery fabrics to reconstruct manufacturing technologies and raw material sourcing patterns, for comparison with contemporary sites across the region.

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House-related practices as markers of the Neolithic expansion from Anatolia to the Balkans

Following the assumption that the Neolithic witnessed the first widespread appearance of permanent houses and households, in line with the adoption of sedentism, this article examines the relevance of residential and construction practices to our understanding of the process of Neolithic expansion from Anatolia to the Balkans. Three practices, with a broad spatial distribution, are reviewed: house burning, the vertical superimposition of houses and intra-settlement burial. The article first outlines the basis of a contextual method to retrieve practices from material patterning left in the record, such as burnt houses for the practice of intentional house burning. The next section delves into the similarities in practices between Neolithic communities in Anatolia, Thrace and Greece, during the 7th and 6th millennia BC cal. to suggest that: 1) house burning was a key strategy to bring houses to ‘closure’ at the end of their use-lives; 2) people took advantage of the stability of extant houses to build new houses atop; and 3) this practice was closely connected with the burial of the dead in, or in close proximity to, houses. Common attitudes to residence and construction across a vast array of sites underpin similarities in house form and house use patterns. To conclude, the discussion highlights the need for a dynamic approach, based on comparative time-lines of practices, to determine the direction of spread.

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Archaeobotanical evidence on the Neolithisation of Northeast Bulgaria in the Balkan-Anatolian context: chronological framework, plant economy and land use

The study presents archaeobotanical analyses of four Early Neolithic sites (Koprivets, Orlovets, Dzhulyunitsa, Samovodene) from Northeast Bulgaria. Those archaeobotanical data are linked to comprehensive series of 14C dates for the early Neolithic in northeastern Bulgaria allowing their attribution to high resolution radiocarbon chronology. In the considered sites the dominating cereal crop during the Early Neolithic is hulled barley (Hordeum vulgare var. vulgare), followed by einkorn (Triticum monococcum) and few emmer (Triticum dicoccum) what is a clear difference from the southern parts of Bulgaria where during the early Neolithic the dominating cereal crops are einkorn and emmer. Further principal crops, present from the earliest phases of the Neolithic in the region are lentil – Lens culinaris, pea – Pisum sativum, grass pea – Lathyrus sativus/cicera and flax – Linum usitatissimum. Wide spectrum of finds of gathered plants (at least 11 taxa) reflects the use of the natural vegetation resources. Useful for reconstructing the vegetation and land use in the Neolithic are also wood charcoal identifications, indicating apart of oak forests also presence of open vegetation, riparian forests and wetlands. The relatively open vegetation in the surrounding of the early Neolithic settlements could be one of the reasons why the corresponding locations were chosen by the Neolithic people to settle there. On the other hand this open vegetation could be caused by the Neolithic land use and animal husbandry, which have also led to certain reduction of the forests in the immediate surroundings of the settlements.

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Southwest Asian founder- and other crops at Neolithic sites in Serbia

The paper presents the range of crops documented at Neolithic sites in the territory of Serbia and discusses the differences between early and late Neolithic crop spectra. The approximate timing of arrival to the region of the founder- and other crops is summarised. Further, the degree of use of different crops is explored for the region in general, and for three late Neolithic/Vinča culture sites (Opovo, Gomolava and Vinča) in more detail. Possible patterns in the treatment of crops are identified, such as the likely separate cultivation and processing of einkorn and emmer at Opovo, their probably combined consumption at Gomolava, and the apparent preference for emmer in the final occupation phases at Vinča.

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Opportunities for tracing influences of the Balkans on Anatolia during the end of the fifth and the beginning of the fourth millennium BC

During the fifth millennium BC the population of the region of Thrace and the Lower Danube developed the earliest known metallurgy based on mining. This led to significant socio-economic changes: development of trade, specialization in some types of production, and the earliest signs of socio-economic differentiation. The level of development of that culture is the highest at the time. During the fourth millennium the continuous development of the local cultures gradually stopped and new cultures appeared in their place, which were considerably simpler from a technological point of view. The system of cultures related to mining and metal production and called by E. N. Chernykh the Balkan-Carpathian Metallurgical Province ceased to exist. A new system of mutually related cultures occupying a larger territory was formed: the Circum-Pontic Metallurgical Province (Черных 1978). This was a long process that took place during the fourth millennium. The centres of metallurgy of the fifth millennium were abandoned and a development of metallurgy based on mining began in Anatolia. The paper discusses the opportunities for tracing influences of the Balkans on Anatolia during the fifth and fourth millennia BC. It presents arguments in support of the hypothesis about a migration of population from the Balkans and in particular from the region of the Varna and Kodzhadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI cultures south and southeast towards Anatolia.

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