Early Neolithic settlement Yabalkovo (Maritsa valley, Bulgaria) in the context of archaeomagnetic studies
Раннонеолитното селище Ябълково (долината на Марица) в контекста на археомагнитно проучване
Five fired clay structures from the Northeast sector of the Early Neolithic settlement of Yabalkovo in the Maritsa valley, Bulgaria were a subject of an archaeomagnetic investigation. The results of the detailed rock-magnetic experiments carried out show that the collected materials are suitable for archaeomagnetic study and reliable determinations for past geomagnetic field elements can be obtained. According to the mean values calculated for the ancient geomagnetic field direction and intensity, two different periods of time can be undoubtedly distinguished for the investigated structures. This coincides exactly with the two chronological horizons suggested by the excavators. The archaeological observations point that the oven in sq. K36, the hearth in sq. F16 and the hearth in sq. H31 are related to Horizon II, while the hearths in sq. I31 and sq. F18 are connected with Horizon I.
Based on the Bulgarian reference curves (latest version), the following archaeomagnetic dating intervals are received: Yabalkovo – Horizon II – (5685–5489 BC) and Yabalkovo – Horizon I – (5472–5427 BC). These results agree well with the archaeological data that structures from Horizon II are older than structures from Horizon I. The existing 14C dates (for materials taken mainly from the Southwest sector of the settlement) show considerably older dating intervals but they are not able to differentiate chronologically the different structures. The obtained archaeomagnetic determinations for Yabalkovo are compared with these available for other archaeomagnetically studied Early Neolithic sites from Bulgaria and Northern Greece. This comparison indicates that Horizon II of Yabalkovo can be synchronised with the younger layers of Kovatchevo (Karanovo I), Stara Zagora (Karanovo II) and Dobriniste. Horizon I of Yabalkovo is chronologically comparable with Horizons VII+VIII of Samovodene and Avgi (Nortern Greece).
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