Oldest European Skeleton Found in Bulgaria

Society | November 8, 2004, Monday // 00:00
Oldest European Skeleton Found in Bulgaria The Ohoden-unearthed female skeleton, believed to be the oldest found in Europe, probably belongs to the first agricultural civilization in the Balkan region. Photo by Anadolu Agency

Bulgarian archaeologists have unearthed a preserved skeleton, believed to be the oldest ever found in Europe.

The skeleton, unearthed near the village of Ohoden, Vratsa district, northwest Bulgaria, is 9,000-year-old, according to examination results, and is believed to be of a young woman from one of earliest agriculture civilisations on the Balkans.

Only few parts of skeletons of similar age have been found on the Balkans.

The skeleton is very well preserved due to the plaster layer, in which it was wrapped, the archaeologists said.

The woman was of rare beauty, according to anthropologists, who examined the finding. She had a Mediterranean-type European features and can compete a modern Hollywood star with her teeth perfectly well arranged, the team said.

The finding is an important evidence of when the agriculture civilisation has first appeared in these lands, according to Georgi Ganetsovski, head of the expedition. The excavations reveal this has happened in the end of 7,000 B.C.

Sofia Archeology Museum Director Vasil Nikolov noted, however, there could be a one thousand-year error in the calculation of the skeleton's age. "This discovery confirms that a modern European civilization lived in our region," he said.

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