Mouthless ‘alien masks’ discovered at Late Chalcolithic salt pit settlement mound close to Bulgaria’s Provadia

Mouthless

This yr’s archaeological season on the oldest salt mining middle in Europe, which dates again to the 5 – 4th  millennium BC and have become the primary prehistoric city on the continent, is now over. The positioning is situated close to the current city of Provadia (northeastern Bulgaria) and has been studied for years. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, archaeologists’ work started later this summer time, however the season was extraordinarily profitable.

Mouthless 'alien mask' found at Late Chalcolithic salt pit settlement mound near Bulgaria's Provadia
The mouthless prehistoric clay masks or figurine from the fifth millenium BC discovered within the Salt Pit
prehistoric settlement close to Provadiya in Northeast Bulgaria has been in comparison with
“an alien in an area swimsuit” in native media reviews [Credit: BNR]

The newest discover by Prof. Vasil Nikolov and his staff is a mass grave. Days in the past, whereas exploring the underside of an evaporation pool, archaeologists got here throughout 6 skulls, together with youngsters’s. It isn’t identified whether or not the folks buried there have been killed in among the assaults in opposition to the fortress metropolis, or whether or not it was an inner battle over salt, which was used as forex on the time.

Mouthless 'alien mask' found at Late Chalcolithic salt pit settlement mound near Bulgaria's Provadia
The greater than 6,000-year-old mouthless prehistoric “alien” masks from the Salt Pit
prehistoric city in Northeast Bulgaria might need been a standing image
[Credit: Provadiya – Solnitsata Prehistoric Settlement F/B Page]

Among the many most attention-grabbing finds at Provadia-Saltworks this summer time is a novel late Chalcolithic artifact. The traditional ceramic object has a triangular form and exhibits an anthropomorphic picture of a human face. It appears to be like loads like a masks. In its higher half one can see one thing much like stylized ears. As well as, the item has two holes, which most certainly served for hanging. The eyes of the masks are elliptical, eyebrows are painted and a nostril may be seen. However the strangest factor is that the human-like picture has no mouth, and lots of say it appears to be like like an alien in a spacesuit. It’s assumed that the item was a logo of excessive standing within the social hierarchy.

Mouthless 'alien mask' found at Late Chalcolithic salt pit settlement mound near Bulgaria's Provadia
View of the Provadiya Settlement Mound [Credit: BNR]

The main focus of the archaeological works this summer time had been the fortification programs of the Saltworks, in addition to its settlement half, together with two homes, one among which was a two-storey constructing and its occupants used 400 sq. meters of house.

Mouthless 'alien mask' found at Late Chalcolithic salt pit settlement mound near Bulgaria's Provadia
Pottery fragments and stone instruments discovered on the Provadiya Settlement Mound
[Credit: BNR]

The origin of the Saltworks is linked to the most important and solely deposit of rock salt on this a part of the Balkan Peninsula. Due to salt, the inhabitants of the traditional city gathered innumerable riches. Prof. Vasil Nikolov connects the salt deposit close to right now’s Provadia with one other distinctive discover within the space – the Varna Chalcolithic Necropolis, the place the oldest processed gold on this planet was found, relationship again to the identical period because the Saltworks.

Supply: BNR [November 11, 2020]

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