Bulgarian e-Journal of Archaeology Supplements | Българско е-Списание за Археология Supplementa https://be-ja.org/index.php/supplements <p>Series Bulgarian e-Journal of Archaeology Supplements / Поредица Българско е-Списание за Археология Supplementa</p> en-US editor@be-ja.org (Maria Gurova) givanov@be-ja.org (Georgi Ivanov) Wed, 04 Aug 2021 14:59:13 +0300 OJS http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 The Neolithic (c. 6200–4900 BC) in the Struma River Valley: Characterizing Change to the Human Ecological Niche from Species Distribution Models https://be-ja.org/index.php/supplements/article/view/248 <p>During the Neolithic Period (c. 6200–4900 BC) of the Struma River Valley, early agricultural populations progressively settled in the region until reaching a maximum occupation in the Late Neolithic. The ecological characteristics of the Struma River Valley are particularly heterogeneous along its north-south gradient and also vertically along the valley slopes, suggesting that early agricultural populations may have needed to adapt to this distinctive and localized ecological setting. In this paper, I apply an approach based on maximum entropy species distribution modeling (Maxent) in order to characterize diachronic change in the ecological distribution of Neolithic archaeological settlements in the Struma Valley. The Maxent procedure essentially determines the characteristics and extent of what may be interpreted as the human ecological niche. A diachronic interpretation of the results demonstrates that there is a significant degree of niche conservatism in the Struma Valley all throughout the Neolithic Period—with the majority of settlements generally located on favourable agricultural terrains. However, notable instances of settlement proliferation led to an expansion of the human ecological niche to also include less favourable agricultural terrain over time. The potential implications of such an expansion—among which demographic increase and improvements in agricultural practices likely played a critical role—are subsequently discussed.</p> Brent Whitford Copyright (c) 2021 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://be-ja.org/index.php/supplements/article/view/248 Sun, 01 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0300 White Pigments Used for Inlay and Painting on Pottery Dated Back to the Neolithic and Chalcolithic Period (Archaeometric Study) https://be-ja.org/index.php/supplements/article/view/249 <p>White, yellow, red, brown and black pigments were used for the decoration of pottery in the prehistoric period on the Balkans. The use of white pigment is the only technology of decoration which has undergone development between the 6th and 1st millennium BC. It was the prime colouring agent used for white painted pottery at the beginning of the Neolithic on the Balkan Peninsula. Gradually, in the Late Neolithic, completely different decorative technique was introduced: white paste was applied on the outer or inner surface of the vessels. Further archaeometric studies will answer the question whether the raw material, the composition of the white pigment or only the method of preparation, depending on the type of decoration (paint or inlay), was changed.<br>This paper is focused on the archaeometric characterization of pigments used for different types of pottery decoration – incrustation or painting. More than 50 pottery sherds from 13 archaeological sites located in Western, Central and Eastern Bulgaria and dated back to the Neolithic and the Chalcolithic were analysed. A multi-analytical approach including different techniques was used for identifying the inorganic ingredients of the pigments. The main analysis is XRD (X-ray diffraction) considering that the white paste is made up of inorganic materials (minerals).</p> Angelina Pirovska Copyright (c) 2021 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://be-ja.org/index.php/supplements/article/view/249 Sun, 01 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0300 Decoration Analysis of the Pottery Assemblage from Devnya Settlement https://be-ja.org/index.php/supplements/article/view/250 <p>The aim of this paper is to analyse in more detail the ornamentation of the pottery found in the Devnya settlement. It was excavated as part of the rescue excavations of the known Early Medieval cemetery Devnya-3. According to the leader of the excavations Ivan Ivanov, the settlement contains one layer, which is 20 cm thick, and according to the materials found, belongs to the Late Eneolithic period. It is very important to analyse the pottery because it comes from one of the few excavated settlements from the region of the Varna lakes. The region falls within the area of the Varna culture, known mostly for its cemeteries, but we know much less about the settlements in general.<br>All of the 1,282 samples known from the settlement were analyzed and decoration was found on 685 of them. For the purpose of a detailed examination, the pottery is classified on the basis of the technique of decoration. The following information on each of the techniques is then presented: technological implementation; on which types of vessels and on which parts of the vessels is each technique found; which other techniques it is combined with; in which variants/motifs it is found or which compositions it forms. The results from the analysis show that all of the techniques are used with a clear purpose. They give us more valuable data about the characteristics of the pottery of the population that inhabited this region and also of the Varna culture. At the current state of research, it appears that the main features of the ornamentation of the pottery from Devnya are identical to those from the other settlements from the lakes’ region. Given the parallels at this moment, we believe that the pottery from Devnya could be dated to phase II of the Varna Culture, with a possibility of existing in phase I, at least in its final stage.</p> Stanimir Parvanov Copyright (c) 2021 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://be-ja.org/index.php/supplements/article/view/250 Sun, 01 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0300 Hellenistic Net-Pattern Vessels from the Territory of Bulgaria https://be-ja.org/index.php/supplements/article/view/251 <p>The present paper discusses a small group of imports found within the territory of Bulgaria during the last few decades. The so called net-pattern vessels are mostly represented by ceramic hemispherical cups decorated with a network of incised lines. This type of decoration can also be observed on other shapes, such as askos or inkwell. While net-pattern cups are usually wheelmade, there are also moldmade bowls, and such made of glass and silver. It is considered that the pentagon net decoration is inspired by the style of toreutics and that the ceramic vessels imitate the metal ones. Unfortunately, the metal specimens are often without a clear context, which could otherwise help for the identification of their chronology. This type of vessels is widespread over vast territories of the ancient world, but it is comparatively rare in principle, as is the case with the finds from Bulgaria. Up to the present, three whole examples are known - one ceramic and one silver bowl, as well as fragments from a glass vessel.<br>The analysis of the material indicates that from the second quarter of the 3rd c. to the 1st c. BC a group of vessels with net-pattern decoration made of clay, silver, and glass were spread in the whole Hellenistic world, including Thrace.</p> Eva Tonkova, Veselina Dimitrova Copyright (c) 2021 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://be-ja.org/index.php/supplements/article/view/251 Sun, 01 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0300 Early Medieval Weapons for Close Combat of North European Origin Found within Present-day Bulgarian Territory https://be-ja.org/index.php/supplements/article/view/252 <p>This article is focused on the problems related to cut- and thrust weapons, their constructive elements and applications and their parallels in Northern Europe and Scandinavia dated between the 9th and 11th centuries, found within the present-day Bulgarian territory. An attempt is made to trace the paths and discover the reasons which brought them to the Balkan Peninsula. The chances of finding North European weaponry artifacts on the Balkans vary. Evidence of various relations can be found in medieval Byzantine written sources – from well-armed Varangians and military units from the North, to trade relations between Vikings and the Eastern Roman Empire. It is well known that Scandinavians during this period traded mainly honey, wax, precious animal furs and probably some armament elements. So the availability of North European armament elements in Bulgaria may not be evidence only of the presence of military units, or of Varangian military campaigns toward the Balkans, but also of trade contacts with Constantinople. The manufacturing of local Balkans imitations of some North European elements of armament is also possible. Even now, there is a lack of data regarding the manufacturing of imitations within Bulgarian territories.<br>The presence of Varangians within the present-day Bulgarian territory is evidenced mainly by items related to military armament and weaponry. This article pays particular attention to the development of the so-called „Nordic art styles“, whose traces are most clearly observed on the ornamentation of weaponry of North-European origin. The research on findings related to weapons for close combat (so-called „Cold weapons“) of Scandinavian origin in Bulgarian lands is of particular importance for the study of the Early Medieval warfare in the Lower Danube area because this type of artefacts makes up a large part of the arsenal of cut- and thrust weapons found south of the Danube and dated to the period between the 9th and 11th c.</p> Samuil Kamburov Copyright (c) 2021 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 https://be-ja.org/index.php/supplements/article/view/252 Sun, 01 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0300