Bulgaria's Perperikon - Metallurgical Centre 13 Centuries BC

Society | February 23, 2007, Friday // 00:00

Bulgarian archaeologists announced on Thursday they have made an incredible discovery in the Perperikon area, an ancient living region of Thracians.

The archaeologists said last summer they discovered the missing link in Thracian's history. They have found evidence for the transition from the late Bronze epoch to the early Iron epoch.

At the end of the Bronze epoch, as a result of cataclysms a global system is destroyed. Scientists call the system "East Mediterranean Civilization". After its end, there came the so called "dark ages" - a period, who until recent was a mystery for archaeologists.

According to Associate Professor of ancient history Krassimir Leshtakov, during the "dark ages" Thracian tribes have lived peacefully, thus creating a highly developed civilization. Finally, the world can see the "fruits" of this civilization at Perperikon.

The living area has been around 12 square kilometres, which is much more than the one of Troy for example.

Archaeologists found many objects, such as mould for casting axes, bellows used in smelting industry, arrows, melting pots and pivots. All these objects prove that Perperikon has been a metallurgical centre 13 centuries BC.

Specialists even talk about temple economy, which existed also in Crete and the Middle East. Thracians had games, typical of Egypt and Mesopotamia, which involved fortune telling and astronomy.

The earliest traces of human civilisation discovered so far at Perperikon were dated to the late Neolithic Period, 6th-5th millennium BC.

The ancient Thracian city of Perperikon is located in the Eastern Rhodopes, 15 km northeast of the present-day town of Kardzhali, on a 470 m high rocky hill. The city is called "The Sacred" because of te famous sanctuary and oracular shrine dedicated to Dionysus of the Bessi was situated there.

A legend tells that Alexander the Great himself had sacrificed upon the altar of Dionysus.

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