A culture existed during the Neolithic period in southeastern Europe. Primarily centered in Bulgaria. Also, in neighboring regions. Serbia, and Macedonia. It is named after the site, located in present-day Bulgaria. It is an important part of the prehistory of the Balkans. Archaeologists discovered the site when the tell (Karanovo settlement mound). Was excavated in the 1930s. The hilltop settlement constituted of 18 buildings. Housing some estimated 100 inhabitants.
62nd to 55th centuries BC
The culture, which is part of the Danube civilization, is considered the largest and most important areas of agrarian settlements. Dates may have varied depending on the region(s).
Agriculture and Settlements
People of the Karanovo culture were engaged in agriculture. Cultivating crops such as wheat, barley, millet, and legumes. They also practiced animal husbandry. Including the raising of cattle, sheep, and goats.
The culture is associated with the development of permanent settlements. It is often characterized by rectangular houses with plastered walls and clay ovens. The 100 inhabitants of the hilltop settlement had more than 18 buildings. Lasted a great deal of time. 5000 years. From 6000 to 1000 BC.
Because of this great length. The culture set a base line for chronological dating and local area pre-history, culture and trade.
Here are the 7 phases:
Karanovo I and II: existed parallel to Starčevo (link);
Karanovo III (Veselinovo);
Karanovo V (Marica);
Karanovo VI (Gumelniţa); and,
Karanovo VII: Early Bronze Age.
Pottery and terracotta statuetes
Some of the main characteristics were white-painted pottery; and, dark-painted vessels. Archaeologists found them all. While digging at the tell.
Later thru the time periods. It included finely made, painted ceramics. Often featuring intricate geometric designs and motifs. The Gumelnita Lovers, a terracotta statuette. Was excavated at the Gumelnita Tell in southern Romania. It is associated with the culture’s notion of fertility. Believed to be made 7000 years ago. The quality and variety of pottery indicate a skilled and artistic culture.
Early neolithic blade technology
Karanovo macroblade technology was intense. It featured semi-steep and steep retouching. As well as, the use of yellow flint with white spots.
The Karanovo blades were about 100 mm long and between 15 mm and 23 mm wide. Careful. Keep your hands and skin back when using.
Overall, the Karanovo culture is significant. It provides insights into cultural and technological developments of the neolithic period in the Balkans. The fine pottery and evidence of agriculture and trade demonstrate the sophistication of this ancient society. It was important to the contributions of Europes cultural mosaic of and what you see today.
Danver, Steven L. (2015). Native Peoples of the World: An Encyclopedia of Groups, Cultures and Contemporary Issues. Oxon: Routledge. p. 271. ISBN 9780765682222.
“Early contact between late farming and pastoralist societies in southeastern Europe” (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-023-06334-8). Nature. 2023. “Tell Yunatsite in Bulgaria
“Photo of the excavated Karanovo Tell site” (https://luwianstudies.org/app/uploads/2021/09/210912_News_SEAC.jpg)
“Photo of the excavated Karanovo Tell site” (https://vagabond.bg/sites/default/files/issues/199/bulgaria%20top%20archaeological%20sites/karanovo%20tel.jpg). associated with the Karanovo culture”
Gimbutas, Marija; Alseikaitė (1974). The Gods and Goddesses of Old Europe: 7000 to 3500 BC Myths, Legends and Cult Images. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. p. 248. ISBN 0-520-01995-4
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Colledge, Sue; Conolly, James (2007). The Origins and Spread of Domestic Plants in Southwest Asia and Europe (https://archive.org/details/originsspreadofd0000unse/page/93).Oxon: Routledge. pp. 93 (https://archive.org/details/originsspreadofd0000unse/page/93). ISBN 9781598749885
Reingruber, Agathe; Tsirtsoni, Zoï; Nedelcheva, Petranka (2017). Going West?: The Dissemination of Neolithic Innovations Between the Bosporus and the Carpathians, Volume 3 Oxon: Routledge. pp. 57, 61. ISBN 9781138714830.