ROAD EXECUTIVE AGENCY ARCHAEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE, BULGARIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

KOPRIVLEN volume 1
Rescue Archaeological Investigations along the Gotse Delchev - Drama Road 1998 -1999

Editors of the volume: A. Bozkova, P. Delev Editors of the English version: P. Delev, D. Vulcheva

Sofia 2002

© D. Aladjova, S. Alexandrov, A. Bozkova, P. Delev, B. Dimitrova, S. Dimitrova, K. Gagova, V. Hadjiangelov, V. Katsarova, R. Petrunov, H. Popov, T. Popova, I. Prokopov, V. Ruseva, V. Stanev, N. Tonkov, M. Tonkova, Y. Tsvetkova, M. Vaklinov, D. Vulcheva, Y. Yordanov, Y. Yurukova (text) © T. Balukchiev, M. Dineva, K. Georgiev, D. Hadjiangelov, V. Hadjiangelov, G. Ivanov, R. Kolev, E. Krondeva, L. Petrova, N. Tonkov (illustrations)

ISBN 954-90387-7-7 © NOUS Publishers Ltd. P. O. B. 1275 1000 Sofia Fax: +359 2 / 659 688 LVagalin@raail.techno-link.com http://www.techno-link.com/clients/lvagalin/index.html(ArchBul)

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface I. A HISTORY OF THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXPLORATION AT KOPRIVLEN (A. Bozkova) II. THE MIDDLE MESTA REGION ILL The Middle Mesta Region in Antiquity (P. Delev) 11.2. The Middle Mesta Region in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages (K. Gagova) 11.3. Koprivlen and the Middle Mesta Valley in Modem Times (V. Stanev) 11.4. An Archaeological Overview of the Middle Mesta Region 11.4.1. The Prehistoric and Thracian Periods (Y. Tsvetkova) 11.4.2. The Roman Imperial Period, Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages (M. Vaklinov) 11.5. The Ancient Road Network in the Middle Mesta Region (P. Delev, H. Popov) III. THE LATE BRONZE AGE SETTLEMENT AT KOPRIVLEN (S. Alexandrov) IV. THE 1s1 MILLENIUM B.C. THRACIAN SETTLEMENT AT KOPRIVLEN LV.l. Stratigraphic Observations on the 1s1 Millenium B.C. Settlement (A. Bozkova) IV.2. The Archaeological Structures (P. Delev) IV.3. The Pit Sanctuary (D. Vulcheva) IV.4. The Finds from the Thracian Settlement LV.4.1. Hand-Made Pottery of the Early Iron Age. (D. Vulcheva) FV.4.2. Pottery with Geometric Decoration and Related Wares (A. Bozkova) IV.4.3. Monochrome Slipped Ware (A. Bozkova) IV.4.4. Black-Glazed Ware (A. Bozkova) IV.4.5. Plain Table Ware (A. Bozkova) IV.4.6. Pithoi (V. Hadjiangelov) IV.4.7. Strainers (H. Popov) IV.4.8. Loom-Weights and Spindle-Whorls (S. Dimitrova) IV.4.9. Construction Ceramics (H. Popov) IV.4.10. Bronze Ornaments of the Early Iron Age (D. Vulcheva) IV.4.11. Metal Ornaments of the Late Iron Age and the Early Roman Imperial Period (M. Tonkova) rv.4.12. Varia (S. Dimitrova, V. Stanev) V. THE LATE ANTIQUE AND MEDIEVAL NECROPOLIS AT KOPRIVLEN (V. Katsarova, V Hadjiangelov) VI. THE COIN FINDS FROM KOPRIVLEN VI. 1. Early Coins (Y. Yurukova) VI.2. Hellenistic and Early Roman Coins (I. Prokopov) VI.3. Roman and Byzantine Coins (D. Aladjova) \TI. INTERDISCIPLINARY INVESTIGATIONS VII.1. Geophysical Prospecting (N. Tonkov) VTI.2. Archaeobotanical Investigation (T. Popova) VII 3. Anthropological Study of Postcranial Skeletons from the Necropolis at Koprivlen (Y. Yordanov, B. Dimitrova, V. Ruseva) 7 9 13 13 29 33 41 41 51 57 63 83 83 91 103 125 125 133 145 153 159 163 167 173 185 189 195 207 213 243 243 247 259 273 273 279 289

VII.4. Chemical Analyses of Metal Slags (R. Petrunov) VIII. A HISTORICAL COMMENTARY OF THE SETTLEMENT AT KOPRIVLEN (P. DELEV) BIBLIOGRAPHY Abbreviations Illustrations..

293 295 299 318 ..319

PREFACE
In the few years that have elapsed since its first discovery in 1995, the archaeological site at Koprivlen near Gotse Delchev in south-western Bulgaria has come to be treated as one of those ancient inhabited places which serve as points of reference in the scientific investigation of the past. The extreme habitational continuity (from the Late Bronze Age till the Middle Ages) and the character of the cultural remains from all relevant periods have indisputably established the high scientific value of the site. The field investigations in the vicinity of the modern village of Koprivlen have passed through stages of different duration and intensity. The most extensive and efficient archaeological excavations in 1998 and 1999 were imposed by the imminent construction of a section of the international road between Gotse Delchev and Drama. The prompt initiation and ready financing of these excavations by the Road Executive Agency not only fulfilled the exigencies if the law but also provided an example of a responsible attitude to the preservation of the cultural heritage in line with the high standards of world practice. The present publication was realized with the benevolent assistance of the management of the Roads Executive Agency and completes a successful stage in the archaeological investigations at Koprivlen, introducing the results of the excavations in 1998 and 1999 with their various aspects and issues. As the partner of the Roads Executive Agency in the realization of this project, the Archaeological Institute and Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences has strictly kept its obligations for the expedient and efficient execution of the archaeological excavations in 1998 and 1999 and of the necessary specialized interventions during the actual construction of the road section in 2000 and 2001. The cooperation between the two institutions has demonstrated how goodwill and shared responsibility can find the common means for the preservation of the cultural and historical heritage in the implementation of large-scale infrastructural projects.

Sofia, 2002 Prof. Y. Yurukova, Dr Sc. Director Archaeological Institute and Museum Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

I. A HISTORY OF THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXPLORATION AT KOPRIVLEN
Anelia Bozkova (Institute of Archaeology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) The archaeological site situated in the vicinity of the modern village of Koprivlen has come to light quite recently. Fragmentary references were actually mentioned in some earlier general surveys, but only in connection with isolated chance finds or reiterating the general indication about the presence of archaeological materials in the area.1 The site was first registered in 1995 during a campaign of field surveying carried out under a project for archaeological investigations in the Nevrokop Valley, sponsored by the then National Fund for Scientific Investigation at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and directed by the Institute of Archaeology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. The implementation of this three-year investigation project provided the team with the opportunity not only to identify the cultural remains in the locality Kozluka (Bryasta) near the modem village of Koprivlen, but also, between 1995 and 1997, to carry out the first trial excavations there. Two of the initial trial pits, designated as Sondage 1 and Sondage 4, provided substantial stratigraphic data about the development of the site in the 1st millennium B.C. The results from the first campaign in 1995 were enough to procure a preliminary declaration of the site as a Monument of Culture with provisional "national importance" category. At present, the procedure of granting the sight a permanent status of Monument of Culture of National Importance is in progress. In 1995-1997, along with the excavations at Koprivlen, the archaeological team made intensive field surveys in the region west of the Mesta, between Gotse Delchev and the state border. The participation of students in the team was sponsored by the Open Society Foundation. In several successive campaigns these surveys covered considerable territories around the villages Musomishte, Lyaski, Koprivlen, Sadovo, Petrelik, Ilinden, Teplen and Beslen and the town of Hadjidimovo. Dozens of archaeological sites from different periods were registered, permitting the establishment of a large database of reliable scientific information on the character and development of the regional settlement system in antiquity and its various components - settlements, necropolises, sanctuaries, industrial sites (metallurgical centres), etc. Interesting observations were also made on the ancient road network in the area. The archaeological finds from the field surveys have added to the understanding of the regional cultural characteristics during several historical periods. During the implementation of the project sponsored by the National Fund for Scientific Investigation the archaeological team undertook also trial excavations at a burial mound situated near the Monastery of St. George by Hadjidimovo. The excavations were incited by the information of a stone tomb discovered and damaged in the thirties by local people.2 They resulted in the discovery of the antechamber of a hypogeum stone tomb built of ashlar blocks. The vault was completely destroyed. The antechamber was of rectangular form, with an entrance to the southeast. The fa9ade preserved traces of red and white coloured plaster. The insufficient financial provision prevented the complete study of the tomb, which was re-buried at the end of the campaign. A couple of ritual pits were studied under the tumulus and beneath the ancient ground level; these contained archaeological materials resembling those from phase I of the site at Koprivlen.3 The most eloquent finds were the fragments of wheel-made vessels decorated with geometric motifs. Although very restrained, the excavations at the tumulus by Hadjidimovo provided valuable evidence about the ancient Thracian culture in the region. The examination of the pottery gathered
Gergova 1987: 33; Domaradzki 1990: 31; Gergova 1995: 33, Fig. 1; Encyclopaedia 1995: 454-455. Mikov 1937:212;Mikov 1957:221 3 Cf. Chapter III. 1 infra.
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/ A History of the Archaeological Exploration at Koprivlen (A. Bozkova) from the surface in the same vicinity authorizes the preliminary localisation of another large and probably significant settlement of the same period as the one near Koprivlen. The tomb which is typologically related to the so-called Macedonian tombs is the first of its kind to be studied in Southwestern Bulgaria. It sheds new light on the political history and cultural affinities of the Thracian tribes in the region during the early Hellenistic Period. The results of the field surveys carried out in 1995-1997 under the project sponsored by the National Fund for Scientific Investigation could be estimated as highly satisfactory. They permitted the elaboration of a precise and comprehensive archaeological map of a region previously very imperfectly studied, and this newly acquired knowledge about the whole territory gave the research team the particular chance to situate the site by Koprivlen against its genuine cultural and geographical background. The archaeological exploration of the site by the village of Koprivlen was continued in 1998 and 1999 with the rescue excavations imposed by the impending construction of a section of the road between Gotse-Delchev and the state frontier (Fig. 1). The excavations were financed by the General Road Administration under a contract with the Institute of Archaeology. They were carried out by the same team which had begun the exploration of the site in the previous years and continued actively for some ten months. The large scale of the excavations and the presence of structures from different archaeological periods imposed an enlargement of the archaeological team, which included members from several different institutions - the Institute of Archaeology, the "St Kliment Ohridski" University of Sofia, the historical museums in Samokov and Blagoevgrad. The rescue excavations were restricted in the outline of the roadbed, which bypasses the modern village, crossing through the territory of the archaeological site. The field observations and the trial pits excavated along the roadbed helped to identify from the very start of the campaign the several sectors containing archaeological structures (Fig. 2). The preliminary ideas on the chronological limits of the site were changed considerably in the process of the excavation of these sectors with the addition of substantial archaeological structures of the Late Bronze Age, Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. In the area provisionally described as Sector "North", a Thracian ritual complex of the 7th-4th c. B.C. had been succeeded by a necropolis of Late Antique and Early Medieval date (Colour Plates, Fig. 283). The excavations in Sector "Centre" brought to light cultural layers of the 1st millennium B.C. corresponding to those found in Sondages 1 and 4, and the remains of two consecutive "peribolos " walls closing in an area to the west of the roadbed comprising the building partially studied in Sondage 4. The archaeological layers recognized in Sector "South" date from the 7* -5' c. B.C. and from the Early Middle Ages; the sector also contains numerous ritual pits and caches provisionally called "the southern sacrificial complex"'. The excavations on a section of the roadbed situated to the south of Sector "South" and designated provisionally Site 1A produced rather surprisingly some dwelling structures of the Late Bronze Age (Colour Plates, Fig. 284). Their accurate localisation is due to the professional insight and persistency of the archaeologist in charge of this sector, Dr S. Alexandrov. The presence of scattered ceramic sherds on the surface of the roadbed still further south imposed the excavation of several trial trenches of limited size. Although their study yielded some pottery fragments from the 1 st millennium B.C., the Roman Imperial period and the Middle Ages, no definite archaeological structures or layers were recognizable. Trial excavations were undertaken also in several locations near the village of Sadovo to the south of Koprivlen which will also be affected by the impending construction of the road. It was established that the roadbed crosses the periphery of an archaeological site of the 1st millennium B.C. and does not affect cultural layers and structures. The scanty archaeological finds (mainly ceramic sherds) seem to have been transposed from their original place. Nevertheless, the trial excavations near Sadovo had some positive results in the establishment of cultural and chronological correspondence with the finds from Koprivlen, adding thus to the overall picture of the Thracian presence along the Middle Mesta. The results of the archaeological excavations at Koprivlen have already been announced in a number of summary statements which were met with considerable interest among the professional circles in the country. The interim reports at the annual sessions of the Institute of Archaeology and some

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KOPRIVLEN1 eg I. Archaeological Exploration preliminary communications before other academic forums4 presented only a general outline of the character of the archaeological discoveries. Aware of its responsibility in face of the interest of both specialists and the general public, the archaeological team has accepted the challenge to prepare and offer a detailed preliminary publication of the results of the excavations at Koprivlen, only a few months after their end. The opportune proposal by the investors from the General Road Administration to finance the publication of a complete volume has been accepted as a serious obligation towards the full implementation of the contract and a suitable occasion to present a fuller and more detailed account of our scientific results. The short term in which the present book had to be prepared has determined its content and structure. The main intention of the authors was to offer a full preliminary presentation of the excavation results accompanied by analyses of field situations and of the more important groups of finds. The approach to the latter has however been selective in view both of the quantity of the material and of the stage of its study. It is for such reasons that some significant and interesting categories of finds such as the amphorae and the plain hand-made pottery have not been considered in extenso in the present publication. Some groups of imported pottery such as the few pieces of East-Greek, black- and red-figure vases have also not been analysed in any detail. A possible increase in their number in the future will provide better opportunities for their study. Various interdisciplinary investigations have accompanied the archaeological excavations in all the campaigns, and their results, if also partial and preliminary in some cases, are also presented briefly. The opening sections dedicated to the natural and economic characteristics of the region and the existing archaeological and historical evidence about its past were conceived as an introduction of the reader to the natural and ethno-culrural environment of the ancient settlement at Koprivlen. The contents and structure of the volume were discussed and developed by all the members of the team, who also took an active part in the pre-printing and editorial work. In this respect the unfail; assistance of D. Vulcheva, S. Dimitrova and Y. Tsvetkova has been especially helpful. This book is a collective enterprise, an outcome of the work of many specialists who took part m the field work and in the processing of the archaeological material. The joint efforts of all the team members, including the students, and of the consulting experts in certain special subjects (numismatics, interdisciplinary studies, etc.) have contributed to the successful completion of this stage of the research project. A. Bozkova, P. Delev, D. Vulcheva, and V. Hadjiangelov were in charge of the field surveyag team which first started the excavations at Koprivlen back in 1995. The excavations of the Thra~.jn settlement of the 1st millennium B.C. and the later structures on its territory (Site I) in 1998-1999 "•ere directed by A. Bozkova, P. Delev, and D. Vulcheva. In 1998 the team was joined by S. Alexan-ar.jY who took the responsibility for the excavations of the Late Bronze Age settlement (Site 1A). The ir;haeologists V. Hadjiangelov, R. Nenova, Y. Marinova, S. Petrova, and I. Kulov also took part in ^rierent stages of the investigations around Koprivlen and Sadovo. H. Popov, S. Dimitrova, Y. r:ko\a, V. Stanev, and V. Katsarova have been unfailing collaborators through all these years; they 3eg.ui their participation as students and now all of them are preparing PhD dissertations at different Jdiernic institutions. The advice and help of M. Tonkova and T. Marvakov at some points in the in'rsc:gation has been valuable and appreciated. The excavations could not have been realized without 7:e dedicated work of many students from the "St Kliment Ohridski" University of Sofia, from the Bulgarian University and from the Slavonic University, among them were B. Galabova, D. ::: . G. Bobov, P. Devlova, R. Rasheva, V. Nikolova, M. Vaklinov, S. Shatov, and M. Nikolov, wbose participation has been particularly active and persistent. N. Tonkov and V. Konstantinov car~ec : ut the geophysical prospecting and metal detection, and their high professionalism permitted the ±?cirMvhment of invaluable preliminary information about the presence of archaeological structures ice lulraral remains in and outside the excavated area. The field geodetic surveys were conducted by ~:e indefatigable T. Balakchiev. T. Popova made the archaeobotanical investigation. The restoration of :rn£rrjsnted pottery was assigned to M. Tumpahova and I. Nacheva. V. Hadjiangelov, D. Hadjiangelov arc M. Dineva did the drawings of the finds. Our devoted drivers, the brothers A. and D. Gyurr . were invaluable members of the expedition.

Bozkova 1997; Bozkova (in press); Delev et al. (in press); Vulcheva et al. (in press).

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/. A History of the Archaeological Exploration at Koprivlen (A. Bozkova) The successful archaeological explorations at Koprivlen in 1998-1999 owe much to the generous contribution of many different institutions and persons. It is my pleasant duty to thank here all those who have assisted and collaborated in the implementation of this large-scale project. On behalf of the team I would like to express our great appreciation to the General Road Administration for the timely initiation of the rescue excavations. The firm conviction in the importance of the cultural and historical heritage and in the necessity of its protection shown by K. Taushanov and P. Dikovski as Directors of the General Road Administration has created the conditions for the excellent collaboration with the Institute of Archaeology. The archaeological team has enjoyed the superior understanding and wholehearted co-operation of S. Silyanov to whom we owe very special thanks. The administrative tasks accompanying the implementation of the contract between the General Road Administration and the Institute, of Archaeology were fulfilled accurately and in time thanks to the competent investment control carried out by "Pat Invest Engineering". Our gratitude goes to all its employees that have worked with us and especially to V. Zarev, G. Ivanova and I. Marinov. The team members owe the warmest thanks to the Director and governing personnel of the Institute of Archaeology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences who have not only entirely entrusted us with the excavations but also shared all our academic and administrative problems. Our work has also been greatly facilitated by the competent and efficient accountant service provided by the Institute. The excavations at Koprivlen have received the generous assistance of people and institutions in the town of Gotse Delchev and the neighbouring villages. Many organisational problems were solved with the helpful co-operation of Mr V. Moskov, Mayor of Gotse Delchev, Mr A. Belchev, Mayor of Koprivlen, and Mr I. Shindov, secretary of the Mayor's Office in Koprivlen. All the inhabitants of Koprivlen and the neighbouring villages demonstrated good will and interest in our work. Many of them participated personally as hired personnel in the excavations. The archaeological expedition is also indebted for the help and support of the local offices of the General Road Administration and "Pat Invest Engineering" in the persons of Mr I. Kuyumdzhiev, Mr K. Vulchev and Mr M. Kesedji. The Municipal Historical Museum in Gotse Delchev housed the finds discovered in the course of the excavations, and will soon incorporate them in its permanent exposition. The devoted help of Miss S. Paskova, Chief Curator of the Museum, has facilitated very much our work on the documentation and analysis of the finds. Our heartfelt thanks go to Miss Paskova also for her commitment to the problems of the expedition and her efforts to provide the optimum working conditions for the team. We would also like to address our heartfelt thanks to Prof. Roland Etienne and to the Ecole Franfaise d'Archeologie in Athens for their amiable hospitality in offering to two members of the team (P. Delev and S. Alexandrov) a work stay at the school in the autumn of 1999; the use of their excellent library was of exceptional significance for the early preparation of the present publication. The magnificent results from the excavations in 1998 and 1999 were presented to the general public in two subsequent temporary exhibitions in the halls of the Historical Museum in Gotse Delchev (autumn 1998) and of the Archaeological Museum in Sofia (autumn 1999). Together with the present volume they have completed a stage in the explorations at Koprivlen, which we hope and believe will be continued in the future and will further contribute to the study of the rich cultural heritage of this isolated mountainous area.

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II. THE MIDDLE MESTA REGION

II.1. THE MIDDLE MESTA REGION IN ANTIQUITY
Peter Delev (University of Sofia "St Kliment Ohridski") The Middle Mesta region which comprises in general outline the Nevrokop basin with the frontier mountain ridges surrounding it in the south, the slopes of the Pirin and Rhodope mountains in the west and east and the Momina Klisura gorge in the north, is mentioned in the extant ancient literary sources relatively seldom,1 due no doubt to its relatively isolated location. The river Nestos, Nessos or Mestos, as the ancient authors call it (the form Mestos being evidenced only in the Roman Imperial Age),2 appeared relatively early and was mentioned quite often in the ancient literary sources, if mostly in connection with its lowermost part near Abdera and the seaside; however Thucydides in the 5th c. B.C. could already offer precise information about the region of its sources.3 The name of the Rhodope mountains was the other toponym well known to the early Greek geographic tradition, 4 though presumably as an indefinite general notion of a large mountain massif within which most likely the Rila and Pirin were also included.

II.1.1. THE THRACIAN TRIBES
The Thracian tribes which inhabited the Middle Mesta region in antiquity are not clearly attested in the ancient literary tradition. Some specific details are mentioned as an exception in a paragraph of Pliny the Elder, which however leaves too many doubtful and uncertain points: "...the right side of the river Strymon is inhabited by the Denseletae and Maedi as far as the already mentioned Bisaltae; the left side - by the Digerri and many tribes of the Bessi as far as the river Mestos, which skirts the foot of the Pangaeus mountain [having passed?] among the Haleti, Diobessi and Carbilesi, and then among the Brigae, Sapaei and Odomanti" b Pliny, who lived in the 1 st c. A.D., was a most learned man of encyclopedic knowledge. He has not mentioned the sources of the short geographic description of Thrace in the fourth book of the Naturalis Historia, but the paragraph starts with the division of the country into fifty strategies, which places the whole passage in the context of the age when the Romans imposed their rule in Thrace.
A general review of the ancient literary evidence is to be found in Gerov 1961: 214-225. Detschew 1976: 299, 329, 330. 3 Thuc. 2.96.4. 4 Cf. for example Hdt. 4.49; 8.116. " The relation of the rather vague oronyms Scombros (Thuc. 2.96.3; Arist. Meteor. 350b.l6; cf. Detschew 1976:459) and Dunax (Strabo 4.6.12 = Polyb. 34.10.15; Liv. 40.58.2; cf. Detschew 1976: 153) with Rila is uncertain, as well as the enlargement of the scope of Orbelos (usually identified as Belasitsa after Hdt. 5.16) towards Southern Pirin or more definitely AH Botush (on the basis mainly of Arr. Anab. 1.1.5, cf. Borza 1995: 89). 6 Plin. N. H. 4.40. 7 The question about the strategies in Thrace has been the subject of a long discussion in the scientific literature. Cf. Mihailov 1967; Mihailov 1967; Gerov 1970; Gerov 1978; Tacheva 1981; Tacheva 1983; Tacheva 1997: 170-174; Fol 1985; Kalojanov 1995. I adhere to the opinion that they would have been created in the period of revival of the "great" Odrysian Kingdom as a Roman protectorate in the 1 st c. B.C.
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//. 1. The Middle Mesta Region in Antiquity (P. Delev) Curtailed and incorrect versions of basically the same statement are found in later authors like Gaius Julius Solinus ("on the right bank of the Strymon live the Denseletae and many tribes of the Bessi as far as the Mesta river, which skirts the foots of Pangaeus "f and Martianus Capella ("on the right side of the Strymon live the Bessi and Denseletae as far as the river Mestos, which skirts the Pangaeus")^ Both passages obviously derive from the text of Pliny the Elder, without adding any significant information to it. If we ignore the general unreliability of this description' 0 and analyse it such as it is, we would still be at a loss to arrange the mentioned tribes on the geographical map because of its fundamental ambiguity. Pliny starts by placing the Digerri and Bessi between the Strymon and Mestos, and then in two consecutive groups along the latter first the Haleti, Diobessi and Carbilesi, and then the Brigae, Sapaei and Odomanti. One of the possible ways of interpretation is to place the Digerri and Bessi in the highlands of the mountains Rila 1 ' and Pirin, and then arrange the following tribes to the east of them in the valleys along the Mesta river basin (for example the Haleti, Diobessi and Carbilesi along its upper and middle course and the Brigae, Sapaei and Odomanti along the lower one). The other possible interpretation would be based on the idea that the ancient population was concentrated mainly in the fertile valleys, which should also be considered as the kernels of the Thracian tribal groups; accordingly the territories of the Digerri and Bessi would be extended in an easterly direction to the Upper and Middle Mesta valley, 12 and those of the following tribes should in this case be located to the south of them. Both hypotheses however are purely fictional and arise from the wish to place all the tribes listed by Pliny together on the geographical map. If however we were to assume that at least a part of the several ethnonyms placed by Pliny along the Mesta belonged to some of the "many tribes of the Bessi", the result would be essentially different (and maybe closer to the ancient reality). The Bessi, located by Pliny between the Strymon and the Nestos, were already known to Herodotus who describes them, with reference to events at the beginning of the 5th c. B.C., as a part of the Satrae and prophets in the sanctuary of Dionysos. The Satrae themselves are defined as the warlike inhabitants of high mountains, who live among woods and snow and have always been independent.13 Herodotus also mentions the Satrae in connection with the area of the Pangaeus mountain, where according to him they had been working the gold and silver mines together with the Pieres and Odomanti; 14 however the whole text gives the impression that the father of history gave this name rather to the numerous population in the interior mountainous territories of Southern Thrace, situated away from the coast. Even before Herodotus, the Satrae had been mentioned as a Thracian tribe by Hecataeus of Miletus, who is quoted in the Ethnica of Stephanus Byzantinus; 15 and again Hecataeus has attested a tribe bearing the composite name Satrokentai. Relying mainly on the rather dubious information of Herodotus, the modern historical geography of the Thracian tribes placed the Satrae most often between the Strymon and Nestos, whether only in the area of Mount Pangaeus or in a larger region including the Pangaeus at its southern end and comprising the mountainous massifs of Bozdag, Sharlia, Cherna Gora, Ali Botush and, according to some opinions, also the whole of the Pirin, while others were ready to add moreover the Rila and even Vitosha in the north. 17 Later, T. Sarafov expounded his theory (gladly accepted by other scholars too) that the tribal territory of the Satrae should be enlarged eastwards in order to include also the main part 1& of the Rhodope mountains.
Solin. 10. Mart. Cap. 6.656. 10 Some of the Thracian tribes mentioned by Pliny are absolutely unknown from other sources and some seem to have been incorrectly located. In the next sentence from the Natural History, for example, among the tribes from the Odrysian lands in the valley of the Hebros Pliny mentions the Botiei and Edoni, which is obviously incorrect. 11 Cf. however Thuc. 2.96.4 with the affirmation that Rila was uninhabited. 12 Such was the opinion of Gerov 1961: 160, 218. 13 Hdt. 7.111. 14 Hdt. 7.112, 110. Steph. Byz. 557, 24. 16 " Steph. Byz. (FGrH 1,F 181). 17 For a detailed review of the locations cf. Sarafov 1974: 123-137. 18 Ibid. 149-176.
9 8

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KOPRIVLEN 1 cell. The Middle Mesta Region The name of the Satrae vanishes from the literary sources after its last mention by Herodotus. In the work of Thucydides the ethnonym of the Dii appears instead; these were highlanders independent of the rule of the Odrysae, bearing swords and inhabiting the Rhodope mountains, who in 429 B.C. voluntarily joined the campaign of the Odrysian king Sitalces in Macedonia and Chalcidice.19 And again Thucydides tells of a party of 1300 peltasts "from the Thracians bearing swords of the Diakoi clan", who came to Athens in 413 B.C. as mercenaries, but were sent off and on their way back took and plundered the small town of Mycalessos in Boeotia; it is possible that the name is corrupted in the text or represents a variant of the name of the Dii.20 Henceforth the name of the Dii also disappears from the written sources for a long time. In connection with the campaign of Alexander the Great in Thrace in 335 B.C. Flavius Arrianus mentions only the lands of the "independent Thracians", but their identification with the Satrae of Herodotus and the Dii of Thucydides seems quite possible in the light of the context of the paragraph21 and also because of an incidental mention in Suetonius that Alexander had visited (most probably during this very campaign) the famous sanctuary of Dionysos, where he had received a fiery omen from the oracle of the god." The Dii were mentioned again only by Publius Cornelius Tacitus in the description of events from the time of the emperor Tiberius - the revolt of the Coelaletae, Odrysae and Dii in 21 A.D. against the pro-Roman king Roemetalces who was besieged in Philippopolis and later escaped only as a result of the timely intervention of the army of the pro-praetor of Moesia Publius Velleius." Returning now to the Bessi, mentioned by Herodotus as only a part of the Satrae and prophets in the famous sanctuary of Dionysos, it should be pointed out that in the course of time their name turned more and more popular, until in Late Antiquity it became a synonym of "Thracians" in general." Polybius and Titus Livius refer to a campaign of Philip V in the lands of the Odrysae, Bessi and Dentheleti in 183 B.C." In the course of the two centuries following the establishment of the Roman province of Macedonia, the Bessi are being mentioned repeatedly in the literary sources as traditional Roman enemies in Thrace; they often acted also as the adversaries of the pro-Roman Odrysian rulers.26 Unfortunately, most of the texts reflecting the events of this period do not offer any information at all about the geographical position of the Bessi or of any of the other mentioned Thracian tribes. The scarce evidence concerning this question is quite contradictory and has given start to a long and still open discussion among the modern historians. While some authors have preferred to locate the Bessi in the Rhodope region and to consider them a highland population,27 others have spread their territories northwards to the Stara Planina (the Balkan range) and Sredna Gora mountains, including also the western part of the upper Hebros valley, according to some as far as Philippopolis in the east."8 The second opinion is based on a general statement in Strabo that the Bessi lived near the river Hebros,29 on the location of the Roman road station Bessapara near Sinitovo in the region of Pazardjik,30 and especially on the connection established between the Bessi and the Haemus mountain again
Thuc. 2.96. Thuc. 7.27.1-2, 29.1-30.3. Cf. Detschew 1976: 130. 21 Arr. Anab. 1.1.5. (starting from Amphipolis, Alexander entered the lands of the independent Thracians, passing to the right of the city of Philippi and of the mountain Orbelos; on the tenth day after the crossing of the Nestos he reached the mountain Haemus). 22 Suet. Aug. 94.6. 23 Tac. arm. 3.38-39. 24 On the Bessi cf. Katsarov 1924; Sarafov 1974. 25 Polyb. 23.8. 3-7; Liv. 39.53.12-14. 26 Cf. Chapter II. 1.6 Mm. 27 Sarafov 1974. 28 Katsarov 1924: 31; Venedikov 1969: 43 ff.; Fol 1975: 77-83. Tacheva 1995: 12-14 limits the presence of the Bessi in only part of the Upper Thracian Valley, but spreads their territory in the whole Western Stara Planina. Cf. also Boteva 1996 with an attempt to locate the Bessie sanctuary of Dionysos in the Etropole Mountain. 29 Strabo 7.f 47: along the Hebros live the Corpili and then upwards the Breni and at the end the Bessi; The river is navigable as far as there. In the following part of the same paragraph however Strabo is credited with the key statement that the Bessi were neighbours of both the Odrysae and the Sapaei, which would automatically send their location in the Rhodope region. 30 Tsonchev 1950. According to an inscription from Philippopolis (Mihailov 1961 : 947) there existed an Upper and a Lower Bessapara.
20

19

15

III. The Middle Mesta Region in Antiquity (P. Delev) in the work of Strabo. The expansion of the ethnonym of the Bessi over such an enormous territory puts in serious doubt their interpretation as a tribe or a tribal group; it could hardly be explained also by the assumption that the name was used as the denomination of a specific type of population.32 The seventh book of Strabo's "Geography" containing the description of Thrace is preserved incompletely, partly in fragments, and the text contains many evident inconsistencies. The last quoted passage is among the most problematic ones: the Bessi are mentioned as inhabitants of the Haemus together with the rather uncertain Coralli and the evidently mistaken Maedi and Dentheleti who are in fact definitely located in the valley of the Strymon. This patent mistake provides good reasons to suspect that Strabo systematically (here and in several other places) confuses the Balkan mountain range (Haemus) with the mountain Rila, probably being mislead by his sources.33 If such be the case, the passage in question could have derived from an initial information enumerating the tribes along the Strymon, around the Rila mountain (= Haemus) and as far as the Pontos river (Strumeshnitsa) in the south. This suggestion conforms better with the next affirmation of Strabo in the same paragraph, in which the territories of the Bessi are said to be adjacent to the Rhodope mountains and to the territories of the Paeones and of the Illyrian tribes of the Autariatae and Dardani.31 The suggestion becomes even more plausible because in another (though confused textually) paragraph from the seventh book of Strabo the mountains Haemus and Rhodope are explicitly related with the valley of the Strymon.36 The well known story in Titus Livius about the ascent of the Macedonian king Philip V to "the peak of the mountain Haemus" could be added to the arguments: on his way to the mountain Philip passed through the lands of the Maedi, and after the unfortunate climbing he immediately devastated the lands of the Dentheleti who were his allies.37 If the relation of the Bessi with Stara Planina (the Balkan mountain range) is discarded, it becomes easier to ignore also the evidence locating them in the valley of the Hebros and to accept the basic idea of Sarafov according to which they were the inhabitants of the highland Rhodope region, with the explicit postulation that their territories extended in the west to comprise the whole Rila massif (and maybe also the range of the Pirin to the south of it?) - and this fits perfectly with the assertion of Pliny which places them to the east of the Strymon. The Digerri (or Digeri) who appear together with the Bessi in Pliny, are also mentioned as a Thracian tribe (but with no location) by Stephanus Byzantinus who quotes the thirteenth book of Polybius as his source.38 Their name is similar to the names of the Pyrogeri and Drugeri mentioned in the subsequent text of Pliny as tribes on Odrysian territory in the valley of the Hebros,1 but this could
Strabo 7.5.12: Then come the Corali, Bessi, some Maedi and Dentheleti who live around and bellow the Haemus as f a r as the Pontus. These tribes are all given to plundering, and the Bessi who inhabit the larger part of the mountain Haemus are called brigands by the brigands themselves. They live in huts and live a poor life. With a possible meaning of "highlanders", "ore-miners", "independent" or something else. However, it is doubtful that a similar epithet was ascribed simultaneously to the independent mountainous population in the Rhodopes and to the lowlanders of the fertile Upper Hebros Valley who were controlled by the Odrysae. 33 It remains however unclear whether the evident inconsistency in Strabo should be attributed to a mistake in the ancient literary tradition or to an authentic coincidence of the names of the two mountains. It seems perfectly possible to assume that the oronym Haemus could have derived from a common noun in the Thracian language (with a sense, for example, of "high mountain", "snowy mountain" or something similar). 34 On the river Pantos cf. Detschew 1976: 374. 3:1 Strabo 7.5.12. A part of the Autariatae (whose main territories were further to the north, in the valley of the Morava) were settled by Cassander "near the mountain Orbelos" (Diod. 20.19.1; lustin. 15.2.1-2). The territory of the Dardani is located around the upper reaches of the Axios with Scupi (Scopie) as a centre. In Strabo (7.5.1, Cf. 7.f 4) the Autariatae and Dardani are the northern neighbours of the Paeoni. ' Strabo 7.f 36. On the basis of this paragraph, of 7.5.1 (where the Rhodope mountains border on Paeonia) and of 7.f 10 (where Rhodope and Haemus are neighbouring mountains) the suggested hypothesis could be further developed in the sense that in all these cases the name Rhodope was actually ascribed to the Pirin. The transferring of the names Haemus and Rhodope to designate the Rila and Pirin mountains could result also from a general geographical idea of the position of the two pairs of mountains. 37 Liv. 40.21.2, 22.1-12. j8 Steph. Byz. 229.19. The thirteenth book of Polybius included an account of the actions of Philip V in Thrace in 205-204 B.C., and the mention of the Digerri could be related to these. Plin. N. H. 4.40.
31

16

KOPRIVLEN 1 eg 11 The Middle Mesta Region hardly be a good enough reason to suggest that the three tribes were situated close to one another, for example in the eastern part of the Rila and along the upper reaches of the Nestos and the Hebros. The similarity of the names would rather be purely linguistic, and the common second part (geri ) probably had a semantic and not an onomastic significance.40 Besides, the Tabula Peutingeriana puts the Pyrogeri between Philippopolis and Hadrianopolis and also shows another tribe with a similar name - Bettegerri - in the region between Ainos and the Asticus Mons (Strandja);41 Pliny himself adds yet another such name - that of the tribe of the Celegeri who lived somewhere in the province of Moesia in the north.42 The etymology of the name Digerri is not clear, but the above parallels with second component -geri make the division Di-gerri obvious. It is worth considering whether the first component of the name (di-) does not correspond to the ethnonym Dii (with the variant Diakoil) in Thucydides and Tacitus. Following stricto sensu the logic of the arrangement of the tribes along the Strymon in the first part of Pliny's passage (Dentheleti - Maedi - Bisaltae, i.e. from north to south), the Digerri should be placed to the north of the Bessi. If on the other hand we accept the opinion of T. Sarafov, who considers the Dii (= Digerri?) and the Bessi as different names for one and the same highland population, we may think of the possibility to refer Pliny's remark "multa nomina" to both mentioned ethnonyms and read his text as "Digerri and Bessi, many tribes". In the second part of the same paragraph Pliny lists the names of tribes living along the Nestos, grouping them into two series: first the Haleti, Diobessi and Carbilesi, and then the Brigae, Sapaei and Odomanti. The name of the Haleti is not known from other sources; D. Detschew compares it to the second component of compound names like Denth-e/ef/, Coe\-aletae, etc. The composite name Diobessi is also a hapax legomenon, but both its component parts are well known; it closes in a perfect way the ethnonymic sequence Bessi - Satrae - Dii already discussed above. The name of the Carbilesi is also mentioned solely in this text; however it resembles very much the name Carbileti mentioned in the following text of the same paragraph as inhabitants of the valley of the Hebros. Detschew suggested that one and the same tribal group was meant in both instances, and was inclined to locate it accordingly somewhere in the north-western parts of the Rhodope mountains. The three names included in the following group are better attested in the ancient tradition. Most enigmatic here are the Brygae; the name is an emendation by the publishers of Pliny in place of the Brysae (or, Brisae) of the codices, which would have been a hapax legomenon. The correction however remains uncertain; the name Brysae/Brisae may be related to a large enough series of Thracian language remains,46 and on the other hand this would be the only text in which the Brygae, otherwise well-attested in the ancient sources, would have been placed anywhere near the Lower Mesta region, even if their other known locations vary in quite broad geographical limits. The variant suggestions to consider the Brygae of Pliny as a part of the Phrygians left in the area during their migration to Anatolia, as a part of the Macedonian Brygae pushed out of Central Macedonia together with the Pieres during the early territorial expansion of the Macedonians, or as a remnant of the same Macedonian Brygae resettled by the Persians after their defeat by Mardonius in 492 B.C., seem all rather strained because of the lack of any evidence about their presence on the lower Nestos in the whole earlier, pre-PHnian literary tradition; the same objection however can be raised to the alternative Brysae. The other two tribal groups do not raise similar doubts. The Sapaei are attested since the time of Herodotus, who locates them between the Bistones and the Dersaei in his enumeration of the tribes

Tomaschek 1980:1.87; Detschew 1976: 102. TP 8.2, 4/5. 42 PJin. N. //. 4.40. 43 Detschew 1976: 12. 44 Detschew 1976: 140. 45 Detschew 1976:227. 46 Detschew 1976: 87-92 mentions , -brisa, Bpmocioc;, 47 For example in Central Macedonia around the mountain Bermion, in the basin of the river Erigon (Cherna) with the town of Cydrae, and even further westwards round the Ceraunian mountains; cf. e. g. Hdt. 6.45; Strabo 7.7.8-9, 7. F 25. On the Brygae cf. Oberhummer 1897; Detschew 1976: 91-92; Venedikov 1982: 98101; Papazoglou 1988: 271-272; Petrova 1996: 135 f.
17

//. 1. The Middle Mesta Region in Antiquity (P. Delev) along the North Aegean coast.48 In the 2lld c. B.C. a ruler of the Sapaei called Abrapolis interfered actively in the conflict between the Macedonian Kingdom and the Roman Republic,49 and in the 1s' c. B.C. the Sapaei presumably managed with Roman protection to seize the power in the Odrysian Kingdom, establishing its last dynasty ruling in Byzia.50 Strabo locates them above the coastal area of Abdera and Maroneia, i.e. in the southernmost parts of the Rhodope mountains. 51 According to Appian, in 42 B.C. the army of Brutus and Cassius bypassed the Sapaeian pass through the homonymous Sapaeian mountain and descended directly into the plain of Drama near Philippi. " The stability of these localizations over a very long period of time not only confirms their authenticity, but also suggests that the Sapaei, in contrast to other more ephemeral tribes, represented a numerous highland population permanently settled in this area. Unfortunately, the exact establishment of their tribal territories remains impossible, including the key question of their frontiers in the west and north-west which are relevant to the present study. The Odomanti also appear early into the ancient literary tradition. 53 Herodotus mentions them twice always in connection with Mount Pangaeus: first, together with the Doberi and Agrianes, as one of the tribes who had preserved their independence during the campaign of Megabazus against the Paeones in the valley of the Strymon, 54 and then again, together with the Satrae and Pieres, as oreminers extracting gold and silver from the mountain. 55 Thucydides on the contrary considers them a lowland population in an important paragraph of his history, locating them together with the Panaei, Droi and Dersaei in the plains along the eastern bank of the Lower Strymon and adding that at the time of the campaign of Sitalces in 429 B.C. all these tribes were independent.56 Thucydides mentions also a king of the Odomanti called Poles who was an ally of the Athenians in the battle of Amphipolis.57 Polybius likewise placed the Odomanti to the east of Strymon; 58 according to Strabo the river separated them from the Bisaltae.59 On the basis of a mention of the town Sirae in Odomantica in Titus Livius,60 the lands of the Odomanti have been traditionally located in the region of the plain of Seres, usually with the addition of the western part of the plain of Drama and the mountains rising above them - Sharlia (Vrondu) and Zmiynitsa (Menikion).61 In the 5 th century however Herodotus considered Siris a Paeonian town, 62 and if the two versions denote the same toponym (easily identified with the modern town of Seres), the sources definitely create the impression that the ethnic map of the region had radically changed in the period between the 5th and the 2 nd c. B.C. Notwithstanding the general uncertainty of these localizations and the suggested possibility for changes in the course of time, the extant sources create the overall impression that the tribal groups of the Sapaei and Odomanti were more or less permanently settled in areas situated to the east of the lower reaches of the Nestos for the former, and to the east of the Strymon for the latter. This conclusion in its turn leads to the inference that the account of Pliny, at least in this part, is rather general and includes tribal names spread over a large area around the lower reaches of the Nestos and still preserving their relative importance in the age of the establishment of Roman domination over the Balkans. The earlier authors mention in this wider geographical area around the lower Strymon and Nestos several other Thracian tribes, whose absence from the list of Pliny can be interpreted as the result of a gradual degradation of their tribal identity after the region fell under Macedonian rule in the 4*

48
49

Hdt. 7.110.

The sources in Fol 1975:77. 50 Tacheva 1997: 83 f. 51 Strabo 7.f 43. 52 App. C/v. 431-438. 53 Oberhummer 1937; Detschew 1976: 336. 54 Hdt. 5.16. 55 Hdt. 7.112. 56 Thuc. 2.101.3.

Thuc. 5.6.2. Cf. also Aristoph. Ach. 156 sqq. Polyb. 36.10.4. 'Strabo 7. F36. 60 Liv. 45.4.2. 61 Papazoglou 1988: 377-384. 62 Hdt. 8.115; cf. Detschew 976: 448.
:

18

KOPRIVLEN 1 osll. The Middle Mesta Region century. Among these tribes not mentioned by Pliny, most important historically were the Edoni,63 located in the 5 century in the region around Mount Pangaeus. The Pieres, whom Herodotus defines as settlers from Macedonia, occupied in the same period the southern slopes of the Pangaeus. Herodotus places between the Sapaei and the Edoni the Dersaei, who are also mentioned by Thucydides; some modern authors have tried to identify them with the Derroni who are known only from their splendid coins.'" Herodotus mentions, always in connection with the same region, also the Satrae who were already mentioned above, the Paeoplae, Doberi, Agrianes, Paeones and Siriopaeones; 66 Thucy° dides adds the names of the Droi and Panaei.' The otherwise unknown Orrescii minted large quantities of excellent coins at the end of the 6th and in the first half of the 5th c. B.C.; their probable location in the area is based only on the numismatic correlation between their coins and the early strikes of the island of Thasos. Besides the probable location in the region of the Orreskii and the possible (but more uncertain) one of the Derroni, there is a more remote possibility to place somewhere in the same area also the hypothetical tribes of the Ichnaei, Tynteni and Letaei, whose names are reconstructed from the legends on silver coins minted in the same period. The sources in general present quite a variegated picture of the tribes inhabiting the region around the lower Strymon and Nestos; it should however be kept in mind that in reality the system could have been rather dynamic and it is not at all surprising that some tribal names have been mentioned only sporadically. The factors determining this instability were the strategic situation of the region and its notorious riches, which had made it the object of repeated aggressive and expansionistic activities by foreign political powers, including the Greek colonists, the Persian Empire, the Athenian Empire, the Odrysian Kingdom, until, in the end, the whole region was integrated permanently in the Macedonian Kingdom. The fact that the ethnonyms of the Sapaei and Odomanti were preserved till Roman times should probably be related with the gradual withdrawal of their respective tribal territories from the contended coastal and lowland areas towards the mountains of the near interior, which allowed them to preserve their tribal identity. If, in conclusion, we return once more to the text of Pliny enumerating the tribes in the region of the Nestos, it becomes obvious that the three last mentioned groups - the Brygae (or, Brysae), Sapaei and Odomanti - should be located generally in the mountains around the modern state frontier between Bulgaria and Greece. This allows to place the lands of the foregoing Haleti, Diobessi and Carbilesi further in the north. However, the picture remains too vague and lacking in details, and it is not possible to suggest anything more definite about the ancient population in the Nevrokop (Gotse Delchev) basin. The Haleti, Diobessi and Carbilesi could have belonged to the tribal community of the Bessi, not only because of Pliny's remark about the numerous tribes of the latter, but also for the characteristic composite ethnic name of the Diobessi; this assumption suggests further a possible division between the lands of the Bessi in the north and those of the Sapaei and Odomanti in the south. The impossibility to outline clearly the northern boundary of the latter does not allow, however, to reach any definite conclusions. Most likely, only the eventual discovery of an explicit epigraphical monument might one day throw some more light into this entangled and obscure question.

II.1.2. THE GREEK COLONIZATION
The archaeological material accumulated especially in the last several years strengthens the impression that stable and very old relations existed between the Middle Mesta region and the littoral which was open to the direct influence of the maritime civilizations controlling successively the navigation and sea trade in the Aegean. It seems that relations of this kind existed as early as the Mycenaean Age (16 th - 12th c. B.C.), as attested by the so far sporadic finds of Mycenaean pottery near KoDetschew 1976: 197-199; Fol 1972: 104-106; Papazoglou 1988: 385-414. Detschew 1976:366-368. Detschew 1976: 120, 128; Fol 1972: 99-101. Hdt. 5.15-16; 7.113. Thuc. 2.101.3. According to St. Byz. 499.3 the Panaei were an Edonian tribe near Amphipolis. Kraay 1976: 139; Yurukova 1992: 16. Coins of the Orrescii have been found near Gotse Delchev, cf. Gerasimov 1939, 344; Yurukova 1979: 59. 69 Cf. Chapter II. 1.3 infrn.
19

D. 1. The Middle Mesta Region in Antiquity (P. Delev) privlen.70 No certain evidence of archaeological character has been found as yet to confirm similar contacts during the Geometric Age (11 t h - 8th c. B.C.), when they could be supposed both with the Phoenicians established on the island of Thasos and on the opposite coast71 and with the Euboean Greeks, whose early (pre-colonization) influence in the Chalcidic Peninsula seems lately more and more certain. " The authentic imported materials from the Archaic Age (from the second half of the 8th till the end of the 6* c. B.C.), found in the course of the excavations at Koprivlen, should obviously be related with the results of the Greek colonization in the coastal area. The earliest colonization activities in the North-Western Aegean area were those of the Euboean towns Chalcis and Eretria in the Chalcidic Peninsula.73 Before or at least about the middle of the 8th c. B.C. the Euboeans started founding their settlements in the region; among them - the Eretrian colony of Mende in Palene and the Chalcidian one of Torone in Sitonia. The total number of Euboean colonies in Chalcidice reached several dozens, most of them small towns which have not left a significant trace in the historical tradition. The opinion that the early Euboean colonization in Chalcidice was exclusively of agrarian character does not seem convincing, 7 especially in view of the active minting and the broad diffusion of the coins of the Chalcidic towns in the Archaic period.75 The Dorians appeared in Chalcidice very little later than the Euboeans, but their foundations remained isolated. About the end of the 7 th or at the beginning of the 6th c. B.C. Corinth founded Potidaea on the neck of Palene.76 Sclone on the same peninsula was probably founded by Achaeans from Pelene in North Peloponnesos. In the middle of the 7 c. B.C. the Cycladic island of Andros carried out an active colonization in the eastern part of Chalcidice with the help of Euboea; among its colonies wets Acanthus, Sane, Stageira andArgilos. Also in the middle of the 7 th c. B.C. Paros, another Cycladic island, colonized the island of Thasos, founding one of the most prosperous Greek poleis near the Thracian coast.79 The Thasians occupied quite early the opposite coast on the mainland, the so called Thasian Perea, where they established many of their own foundations; particularly important among these was the port of Neapolis (the modern Kavala).80 Abdera to the east of the mouth of the Nestos was founded first in the middle of the 7n century by lonians from Clazomenae in Anatolia, but the colony was soon destroyed by the hostile Thracians. It was re-founded a century later again by lonians, this time from Theos, who had fled their city after West Anatolia was conquered by the Persians.81 In the 5th c. B.C. new colonization efforts were undertaken by Athens which was going through the period of its acme at the head of the Delian League, of which the Greek cities along the coast of South-Westem Thrace were all members. After successfully expelling in 476 B.C. the Persians from Eion at the mouth of the Strymon, the Athenians re-colonized it and turned it into the main base for their subsequent attempts to penetrate into the interior.82 In 465 B.C., at the time of the Thasos uprising, Athens sent ten thousand colonists to Ennea Hodoi ("The nine roads"), upstream on the Strymon, on the place of the future Amphipolis. The campaign finished with a complete disaster after
Cf. Chapter HI infra. Salviat, Servais 1964: 278-284; Graham 1978: 88-92. On the basis of the information of Herodotus (Hdt. 2.44; 6.46-47) it has been suggested that the Phoenician presence was directly connected with the mining of precious metals. 72 Vokotopoulou, Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1988: 81; Tiverios 1998: 249. 73 On the Chalcidic Peninsula and its colonization cf. Harrison 1912; West 1919; Bradeen 1952; Berard 1960: 66-68; Zahrnt 1971. 74 Boardman 1988:229. 75 Kraay 1976: 132. 76 On Potidaea cf. Alexander 1963. 77 Thuc. 4. 120. 1. 78 Thuc. 4. 84. 1;88.2; 103.3; 109.2; 5.6.1; Plut. mor. 298 AB. 79 From the numerous books on Thasos cf. for example the series Etudes Thasiennes; Pouilloux et al. 1954/1958; Lazaridis 1958; Guide de Thasos 1968; about the date of the foundation cf. Graham 1978. 80 On Neapolis and the Thasian Perea cf. Bakalakis 1936; Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1980b: 309-325; Isaac 1986: 8-12,64-71. 81 On Abdera cf. Berard 1960: 92-95; May 1966; Lazaridis 1971; Isaac 1986: 73-111; KoukouliChrysanthaki 1988; Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1994. 82 On Eion cf. Isaac 1986: 60-62; Papazoglou 1988: 388-389.
71 70

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KOPRIVLEN1 es77. The Middle Mesta Region the defeat of the colonists in a big battle with the Thracians near Drabescos. " About 445 B.C. the Athenians founded Brea, the location of which is sought for either in the lands of the Bisaltae above the western bank of Strymon or in the southwest, in the Chalcidic area. In 437/6 B.C. the Athenian general Hagnon founded, this time successfully, the city of Amphipolis. Situated at a place naturally defended by a meander of the river, the new city had a strategic importance because of the control over the land roads across the lower Struma and over the silver and gold mines in the region and especially because it provided easy access to sources of quality timber which were essential for the shipbuilding industry of Athens. The attack of the Athenians against Potidaea which had deserted from their league was among the causes for the outburst of the Peloponnesian war; the seizure of the old Corinthian colony in 429 B.C. remained however their last success in the region. At the same time Olynthus had also left the Athenian League. Once a town of the Botiei given by the Persian Artabazus to the Chalcidians, now Olynthus was resettled with a part of the population of the smaller Chalcidian towns and the Athenians were unable to regain control of the city which had now become too strong and had succeeded in uniting the remaining towns of Chalcidice into a political union.86 The crash of the Athenian expansion came in 424 B.C. when the Spartan Brasidas seized Amphipolis and deprived Athens of its most important gain in Thrace; the attempt of the democratic leader Cleon to change the situation failed in a great battle under the walls of the city, in which both Cleon and Brasidas found their death. It is worth noticing that Thucydides mentions the active participation of the Thracians of the region in these dramatic events: at the time of the seizure of Amphipolis Brasidas received the help of the Edoni from Myrkinos, after their former king Pittakos was killed in a coup.87 Later, in the big battle at Amphipolis, one thousand and five hundred Thracian mercenaries and the whole army of the Edoni consisting of peltasts and cavalry, plus another thousand peltasts from the Edonian Myrkinos were fighting in the army of Brasidas, while the king of the Odomanti Poles brought an unspecified, but in any case considerable number of Thracian mercenaries for the army of Cleon.89 In the 4th c. B.C. Athens recovered from the defeat in the Peloponnesian war and made a determined, if finally unsuccessful attempt to revive its old power; its endeavours to regain Amphipolis however failed. Potidaea and Eion became the main bases of the newly activated Athenians policy in the region during the second quarter of the century. In Chalcidice Olynthus experienced a short period of might at the head of the Chalcidian League. Thasos entered a long period of prosperity and stable trade, reflected in the long series of stamped amphorae, in which the citizens of the island exported their famous wine during the 4 th and 3rd century. Abdera, on the opposite, met with an unexpected disaster when in 375 B.C. the Triballi reached the town in the course of a devastating raid, defeated the citizens in a battle after these had been betrayed by some "neighbouring Thracians" who had seemingly come to their help, and only the timely intervention of an Athenian fleet prevented their entering into the wealthy town.90 The question whether and in what way this event affected the Middle Mesta region remains completely hypothetical. In the middle of the 4th century the Macedonian invasion into the lands of South-Western Thrace changed radically the fate of the Greek coastal cities. Many of them, like Olynthus, were destroyed; others, like Amphipolis, were re-colonized and obtained an important role in the Macedonian administrative system in the region; others still, like Thasos and Abdera, survived and adapted to the dynamically changing political and economical situation. The Greek colonization of the coastal regions was of paramount importance for the development of the Thracian tribes living in the near or deeper interior. Involved in intensive economical and political relations with the colonists, the Thracians inevitably experienced their cultural influence. The interrelations between the colonies and the Thracian tribes were complicated, many-sided and often
Isaac 1986:24-30 Isaac 1986: 51-52. A colonization move to the lands of the Bisaltae rich in silver has been placed by Plut. Per. 11.5 in the time of Pericles. 85 On Amphipolis Papastavru 1936; Lazaridis 1972; Isaac 1986: 35-48, 54-58. 86 On Olynthus Gude 1933; the results of the long term archaeological excavations have been published by D. M. Robinson et al. in the series Excavations at Olynthus. 87 Thuc. 4. 107. 3. ; Thuc. 5. 6. 4. 'Thuc. 5.6. 2. 'Diod. 15.36. 1-4; cf. Fol 1975: 13-14.
84 83

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//. /. The Middle Mesta Region in Antiquity (P. Delev) contradictory, but undoubtedly they represented a factor of major importance in the historical development of the Thracian lands from the Archaic Age onwards. The first results of the archaeological excavations near Koprivlen have shown unequivocally that here these contacts and relations were both of very old date and presumably most intensive, which makes the site exceptionally interesting and promising for their future study.

II.1.3. SOUTH-WESTERN THRACE IN THE 6TH AND 5TH CENTURY B.C.
The archaeological excavations near Koprivlen have proved for the first time, but categorically enough, that the Middle Mesta region was part of a broader geographical area around the lower courses of the Nestos, Strymon and Axios, which experienced during the 6' and in the first half of the 5th c. B.C. that remarkable economic, political and cultural prosperity which is reflected most clearly in the marvellous finds from the necropolises by Sindos and Agia Paraskevi near Thessaloniki. This phenomenon remains insufficiently studied in the specialized literature, which continues to use quite often the evidently imprecise formula of the "Thraco-Macedonian" tribes. Together with the early tribal coinage, which has been a subject of scientific interest for a long period of time,92 the spread of the local wheel-made pottery with geometric decoration painted in red or brown, impressive amounts of which have been found among the materials from Koprivlen, has only recently been recognized as another element of the cultural community of the region in this age.93 The literary tradition creates the impression that the population in the region was subject to dynamic changes in the course of time, and that a certain amount of ethnical heterogeneity had always existed. The Thracian factor seems however to have been predominant in the early ages, a Thracian affiliation being ascribed to most of the tribes mentioned by the ancient authors.94 The presence of Paeonian tribes is also documented with certainty, especially in the region of Lower Strymon. ~ Chalcidians and Botiei were present in the Chalcidic Peninsula; the latter, according to the written sources, were settlers from Central Macedonia, while the Chalcidians are differently identified either with the Euboean colonists in Chalcidice, or as a separate group of local (and most likely non-Greek) population.96 A vague piece of information places a Pelasgian enclave in the interior of the Chalcidic peninsula.97 The location of the Brygae, related by Herodotus to the Phrygians of Anatolia, remains dubious; the information of Pliny about their possible presence in the Lower Nestos region has already been commented on above. At quite an early date, this varied enough ethnic picture was further diversified with the arrival of the different Greek colonists (Euboeans, Corinthians, lonians from the islands and from Asia, Athenians) who settled mainly along the seaside. The reasons for the appearance, at the end of the 6th or in the beginning of the 5" c. B.C., of the heavy silver coinage of the tribes in South-Western Thrace, remain inadequately explained. Among the suggested ideas is the probable imposition of a royal tax after the establishment of Persian domination in the region with the campaign of Megabazus of about 514/513 B.C.;99 this agrees with the numerous finds of such coins in hoards from the territory of the Achaemenid Empire in Asia and Egypt and gives a satisfactory explanation of the existence of unusually large denominations. However, the intensive development of the region was a fact long before the coming of the Persians, as becomes more and more evident with the accumulation of archaeological evidence. The mining of silver

" Sindos 1985; Sismanidis 1987. On the early tribal coinage cf. Kraay 1976: 138-141; Yurukova 1992: 9-33; Topalov 1998: 22-162; for a political interpretation of the numismatic data Zlatkovskaya 1971: 178-203;Fol 1972: 86-106. 93 Cf. Chapter IV. 4.2 infra. Cf. the general review in Fol 1972: 86-108. 95 For example Hdt. 5. 13-16; 7. 185; 8. 115. % Harrison 1912; West 1919; Bradeen 1952; Zahrnt 1971. 97 Hdt. 1.57. 98 The earlier dates suggested once for the appearance of the coins of the tribes in South-Western Thrace (cf. for example Raymond 1953: 43) have now been corrected on the basis of the dating of the big Asiut hoard from Egypt (480/475 B.C., cf. Price, Waggoner 1975: 1 17 et passim). Fol 1972: 94-95; Kraay 1976: 139.
92

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KOPRIVLEN 1 cell. The Middle Mesta Region and gold in the Pangaeus area should also be dated to at least the middle of the 6th c. B.C. when Peisistratus received his concession there.IOC The identification and geographical location of some of the tribes known from the coin legends remain major problems in the numismatic studies. The Edoni101 and the Bisaltae(n who are well represented in the literary tradition are in fact the only two tribes which have been identified with certainty and have a more or less unquestionable and established territory. The tribes of the Orrescii and of the Derroni are known only by the inscriptions on their coins, which however represent two of the most important tribal coinages in the region. The Orrescii have often been placed provisionally in the eastern part of the Pangaeus region on the basis of the analogies of their coins with the types of the Edoni and of the island of Thasos.103 There are different suggestions about the location of the Derroni, whose name appears on the heaviest coins of the whole group. The old idea placing them on the Sitonian Peninsula on the ground of the phonetic similarity between their name and that of the town of Torone/Terone seems now quite difficult to sustain.104 The appearance of the epithet Derronaios on the coins of the Paeonian king Lykkeios in the 4* c. B.C. has induced many authors to send the Derroni to the northern area of Krestonia in the deep hinterland of the Chalcidic Peninsula, ascribing to them the early control over the silver mines in the mountain Dizoron. A third opinion puts them in the region of the Pangaean silver mines and suggests, on the basis of the phonetic similarity of the names, their identification with the Dersaei placed by Herodotus between the Sapaei and the Edoni;106 this hypothesis however leaves no room for the Orrescii who are often ascribed the same territory. The absence of the late emissions of the Derroni (with triskeles in place of the incuse square on the reverse) and of the octadrachms of the Bisaltae, Edoni, and Orrescii from the Asiut hoard suggests their dating after 480/475 B.C.107 and this adds a new aspect to the problem of their localization. The Derroni and Bisaltae obviously must have retained their access to rich sources of silver in the 70's and the 60's of the 5th century when, according to the literary sources, the Macedonian king Alexander I had already established control over the silver mines in Dizoron. Among the remaining tribal coinages were those of the Ichnaei, Tynteni, Letaei, Dionysii, Zeeli, and a considerable number of anepigraphic coins or such with unreadable or abbreviated legends whose interpretation remains quite uncertain. 109 Some authors have ascribed the coins of the Ichnaei, Tynteni, and Letaei respectively to the towns of Ichnae,"0 Tynde"1 and Lete"2 in the Axios valley, considering them city and not tribal coinages. The similarity of the coin types of the Ichnaei and Tynteni to those of the Edoni and Orrescii (a male figure with two bulls on the obverse, and a four spoke wheel on the reverse), and of those of the Letaei to the coins of Thasos and their Thracian imitations (Silenus and nymph/incuse square) suggests alternatively a possible localization of these tribes further eastwards, in the Pangaeus area. The problem becomes even more complicated if we take into account the fact that many of the tribes whose presence in the region is well attested in the literary sources, and some of which according to the ancient authors participated actively in the mining of precious metals in the Pangaeus, have not left any identifiable coinages at all. Among these are the Sapaei, the Odomanti, the Satrae, the Pieres, the Dersaei, etc. A possible explanation can be found in the suggestion that these tribes had
I AO

3(1 101

Borza 1990: 116-117; Cole 1975. On the Edoni cf. Fol 1972: 104 - 106. The inscribed coins of the Edoni were struck in the name of

king Getas. On the Bisalti cf. Fol 1972: 101-104. Kraay 1976: 139; Yurukova 1992: 16. 04 Katsarov 1922: 7. The location of the Sithones on the peninsula seems much more likely; cf. on them Detschew 1976:441-442. 105 Yurukova 1992: 12 with lit. 106 Hdt. 7. 110; cf. Detschew 1976: 120, 128. 107 Kraay 1976: 141.3. 108 Hdt. 5. 17;cf. Thuc. 2. 99. 4-6. 39 Svoronos 1919 remains the most exhaustive study of this materials; his attributions however are in many cases unreasonable and unreliable. "°Papazoglou 1988: 154-156. '"Zahrnt 1971:247. 112 Papazoglou 1988: 154-156.
103 102

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//. /. The Middle Mesta Region in Antiquity (P. Delev) remained out of the zone of direct Persian hegemony, and consequently had no obligation to pay the heavy taxes which are considered by some authorities as the main impulse for the striking of the known coin emissions in the region, neither were they involved in the sphere of the Persian trade.11 An alternative solution is offered by the assumption that the same tribes might have been mentioned with different names on the coins and in the literary tradition, although all suggested identifications of this type remain purely hypothetical. On the whole, as has been mentioned already, the ethnic picture of the region remains quite obscure and retains many unsolved problems and puzzles. The relatively high stage of development of the tribes in the region of the lower Axios, Strymon and Nestos is confirmed furthermore by the evidence on the development of royal power at a tribal level in the age in question (6th - 5th c. B.C.). G<W14 and Pitakosns by the Edoni, Poles16 by the Odomanti, Narist]1 and probably Moses who is known only from his coins' 18 by the Bisaltae, Oloros the father-in-low of Miltiades the Younger 119 whose tribal affiliation is difficult to establish, are among the names which have survived in the coin legends or in the scarce and casual remarks of the written sources, and they all clearly characterize the general phenomenon.120 Some modem authors have suggested the existence of a kind of tribal union or confederation, if only a loose one, which would have united the tribes of the region about the age of the Persian invasion; the hypothesis was inspired mainly by the considerable similarities and many common elements in the tribal coinages.121 A slightly different conception results from the idea of a certain system of inter-tribal regulation and organization of the mining of precious metals and of the coinage; this has not been investigated thoroughly, but seems quite reasonable and working. In any case the active metal production in the region, and especially the mining of gold and silver, seem certainly to have been among the major factors for the early and considerable economic, political and cultural progress of the local population. In all likelihood, the early production of metals was not limited only to the famous mines of Pangaeus and Dizoron which are overexposed in the literary tradition. Whether (and to what extent) this major factor functioned in the Middle Mesta valley, remains an open question, the answer to which might be provided only by future investigations.

II.1.4. THE ODRYSIAN KINGDOM
The Middle Mesta area has not so far been placed in any direct relation with the Odrysian Kingdom.122 The possibilities to raise this argument come from the interpretation of two rather vague episodes of Odrysian political history - the activity of Sparadokos in the middle of the 5 th century and that of Berisades and his sons led by Ketriporis in the middle of the 4th c. B.C. The personality of Sparadokos is quite enigmatic. It is known with certainty that he was a son of Teres, the founder of the "Great" Odrysian Kingdom, a brother of Sitalces who ruled in the thirties and twenties of the 5th c. B.C., and the father of Seuthes I who ascended the throne in 424 B.C. He was also the first Odrysian who minted in his own name silver coins of several denominations, including tetradrachms, which are associated with the early coinages of the tribes in South-Westem Thrace, of the Greek colonies in the region and of the Macedonian king Alexander I.123 These coins have given rise to the suggestion that Sparadokos, either as a king of the Odrysae after his father Teres and before his brother Sitalces, or as a "paradynast" in the reign of the one or of the other, controlled at least par-

Fol 1972: 98. Head: 1911 : 201. l5 Thuc. 4. 107. 116 Thuc. 5.6.2. 117 Athen. 12. 520 d-e. 118 Head 1911:200. 119 Hdt. 6. 39, 41. 120 Cp. Fol 1972: 86-106. 121 Raymond 1953: 43 ff.; Zlatkovskaya 1971: 187-188; Fol 1972: 96-97. 122 On the Odrysian Kingdom of. Fol 1972: 115-154; Fol 1975: 93-195; Archibald 1998. 123 On the coinage of Sparadokos cf. Yurukova 1992: 36-42, 218-223. The numismatic literature accepts the opinion associating the striking of Sparadokos' coins with the mint of Olynthus in the south-western part of the Chalcidic Peninsula.
114

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KOPRIVLEN1 eg II. The Middle Mesta Region tially the silver producing region around the Lower Strymon with the rich mines in the mountains Pangaeus and Dizoron.124 Thucydides places Abdera at the end of Odrysian political territory during the reign of Sital125 ces, and modern historians have usually considered this information as indicating the imposition of Odrysian power over the coastal region from the mouth of the Hebros to that of Nestos in the west.126 Since the literary sources do not offer any direct information on the question, there seems however to be an alternative possibility - that the penetration of the Odrysae into the region around Abdera was achieved through the direct road by the western Rhodopes and the Nestos valley,127 in very similar manner to that of Sitalces into the Upper Strymon valley which is described in some detail by Thucydides,128 and starting from the same area - the Upper Hebros Valley. It should be reminded that Thucydides himself in describing the territory of the Odrysian kingdom, mentioned the existence of a land road "from Abdera to Istros", which could be covered in eleven days by a good walker.129 Berisades made a fleeting appearance on the historical scene in the critical period after the murder of Cotys I in 360 B.C. His origin is uncertain, and so are the reasons for his claim to a part of the political heritage of Cotys. In open dispute with Kersebleptes the son of Cotys and with Amadocos (whom modem scholars usually affiliate to the Odrysian dynasty, though the supported stemmas are different), Berisades imposed his rule over a part of the territories controlled by the Odrysae; the support of the Greek mercenary commander Athenodoros was of vital importance for the success of his secession. In 357 B.C. Kersebleptes, Amadocos and Berisades were forced by Athens into a common treaty which formally sanctioned the division of the Odrysian Kingdom; Berisades received the westernmost territories, including the coastal area around the lower Nestos and Strymon.110 His subsequent disappearance from the literary sources has usually been linked with the invasion of Philip II into the coastal region, which could hardly have happened without a military conflict. In 357 B.C. Philip conquered Amphipolis on the Strymon, and in 356 B.C. he re-colonized and fortified Philippi in the plain of Drama north-east of Pangaeus.131 Berisades was succeeded about that time by his sons lead by Ketriporis; in the anti-Macedonian treaty of 356 B.C. with the Paeonian king Likkeios and the Illyrian king Grabos which was fashioned with the active participation of Athens they are officially mentioned as "Ketriporis and his brothers" .^2 After this fleeting display the sons of Berisades disappear too from the written sources, but the coinage of Ketriporis133 and the imposing of his name over part of the dependant territories ("Kedripalis")13 are usually considered to imply that the reign of the brothers was not liquidated immediately and completely.135 And since the coastal region had now fallen firmly into the hands of the ambitious Macedonian king, the remaining territories ruled formerly by Berisades and now by Ketriporis should be sought for further into the interior and most likely due north in the valley of the Nestos, but possibly also through this and the Western Rhodopes into the westernmost areas the Upper Hebros Valley. A suggested reading of the place name Ketripara in a 1 st c. A.D. inscription from the Nevrokop (Gotse Delchev) region would be a proof in support of this idea.136 A fragmentary inscription from Batkun in the region of Pazardjik might also be related with Ketriporis; the preserved part of the text mentions honours conferred by an unknown Greek city to an unknown

Tacheva 1990. On the basis of the suggestion that Sparadokos took part in the defeat of the Athenian colonists at Drabeskos in 464 B.C., M. Tacheva relates his presence in the region of Lower Struma between 464 and 444 B.C. 125 Thuc. 2. 97. 1. 126 For example Fol 1972: 142-145. 127 About this road cf. Chapter II.5 infra. 128 Thuc. 11.96.3,98.1. 129 Thuc. II. 97.1. 130 Tonev 1942: 197-199; Fol 1972: 113-115; Delev 1997: 8-11. 131 Diod. 16.8.2-3, 6-7. 32 Dittenberger 1915: no. 196; Diod. 16.22.3. 133 Yurukova"l992: 68-70; 244. 134 Detschew 1976:243. 135 Dittenberger 1879;Tonev 1942: 198. 136 Mihailov 1966: 2338; cf. Detschew 1976: 238.

25

ILL The Middle Mesta Region in Antiquity (P. Delev) Thracian ruler and his brothers; the paleographical peculiarities of the inscription point to a date before the time of Alexander the Great.137 These rather vague and indefinite pieces of evidence provide the reasons to suggest tentatively the possibility that Odrysian control might have been imposed over the road leading through the Western Rhodopes and the Nevrokop basin to the Aegean coast in the period between the middle of the 5th and the middle of the 4" c. B.C. Only future archaeological excavations in the region, new numismatic data or a fortunate epigraphical find could eventually through more light into this obscure problem.

II.1.5. THE MACEDONIAN EXPANSION
During the 5th and the 4th c. B.C. South-Western Thrace was experiencing an aggressive pressure from the west, which ended with its political integration in the Argead Kingdom of Macedonia. In the 6" century the expansion of the Macedonian political territory in a north-eastern direction had extended to the lower course of the Axios (Vardar) and may even have reached over it to the nearby territories of Amphaxitis and Anthemous. The problem, which was usually discussed in the light of the dubious interpretation of the scarce written evidence, has been resuscitated by the recent excavations of the amazingly rich necropolises at Agia Paraskevi south-east of Thessaloniki (6th c. B.C.) and at Sindos north-west of Thessaloniki (end of the 6th - beginning of the 5th c. B.C.).118 After the Persians were expelled from Europe, in the seventies of the 5th c. B.C. Alexander I took advantage of the political vacuum in the area (which might have been reinforced by the temporary withdrawal of a part of the Thracian population 139 ), invaded the deep hinterland of the Chalcidic Peninsula (Mygdonia, Crestonia and Bisaltia) and reached in the east as far as the Strymon valley, taking possession of the rich silver mines in the Dizoron mountain.140 The incomes from the newly acquired silver mines (according to Herodotus Alexander obtained from them one talent of silver per day) enabled the Macedonian king to begin his sumptuous coinage.141 It seems however that later on the Macedonian expansion in the region met with some reverses at the expense of the activated position of Athens (and later Sparta), of the local Thracian tribes, of the Chalcidians united under the domination of Olynthus, and of the Odrysian Kingdom in Thrace. It was only in the middle of the 4 th c. B.C. that the strengthening of Macedonia under Philip II made possible a renewal of the eastern aggression. The conquest and re-colonization of Amphipolis (in 357 B.C.) and of Philippi (in 356 B.C.) enabled Philip to settle permanently in the region of the Lower Strymon and Mount Pangaeus, establishing his control over the gold and silver mines. The vicissitudes of the following stages of Philip's aggression in Thrace, which ended with the establishment of his authority over most of the main territories of the Odrysian Kingdom, have been repeatedly discussed in the scientific literature.142 The lack of details in the extant sources prevents any reasonable assessment of the involvement of the Middle Mesta region in the repeated and often large scale military campaigns of the age. It seems perfectly plausible for Philip to have used the old road across the Mesta and the Western Rhodopes during the great Thracian war of 342 - 340 B.C., but this cannot be established with certainty; the establishment of the Macedonian colony in Philippopolis (Plovdiv) however would have justified an attempt to establish firm control over the direct roads towards the Upper Hebros Valley. Some vague passages mention the activity of Philip's commanders Antipater and Parmenio against the Tetrachoritae presumably in the Rhodopes at the time of Philip's siege of Perinthus and Byzantion in 340 - 339 B.C.143 The limited results of these actions however are made clear by the explicit text of Arrian about the campaign of Alexander the Great in 335 B.C.: having passed by Philippi and the mountain Orbelos and crossed the Nestos (presumably going along the old road

Mihailov 1961: 1114. Hammond, Griffith 1979: 53-58; Hammond 1989: 43; Borza 1990: 88-89. 139 According to Herodotus, at the time of Xerxes' campaign the Bisaltae and the Krestoni withdrew into the Rhodope mountains, Hdt. 8. 116. 140 Thuc. 2. 99. 4-6; cf. Hammond 1989: 45-46; Borza 1990: 119. 141 Hdt. 5. 17. On the coinage of Alexander I cf. Kraay 1976: 142-143. 142 Delev 1997; lordanov 1995; lordanov 1996; lordanov 1998: 27-58. 143 Theopomp. F 217, 218; Polyaen. strat. 4.4.1.
138

137

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KOPRIVLEN1 03II. The Middle Mesta Region through the Nevrokop valley and the Western Rhodopes), Alexander entered "the lands of the independent Thracians".14' During the Hellenistic Age the Middle Mesta region remained in the periphery of the Macedonian Kingdom, which had permanently turned the region around Pangaeus with the cities of Amphipolis and Philippi into part of its territory. The possible permanent or episodic interference of the Macedonian kingdom or of some of the Thracian dynasties (the Sapaeian or the Odrysian one) in the life in the region in this age remains however absolutely hypothetical due to the lack of any specific information in the historical sources.

II.1.6. THE ROMAN EXPANSION
The name of the Bessi reappears continuously in the ancient tradition concerning the Roman expansion in Thrace in the 2nd and 1st c. B.C., attesting the considerable efforts the Romans had to undertake over a long period of time in order to penetrate the mountainous regions of Southern Thrace and to break down the stubborn resistance of the freedom-loving highland population. At the end of the 2nd c. B.C., after long wars in Thrace caused by the invasion of independent tribes into the territory controlled by the Romans, the proconsul of Macedonia Marcus Minucius Rufus won a big battle against the Skordisci, Bessi and other Thracian tribes near the frozen Hebros river, which brought him a triumph in 106 B.C.145 Jordanes mentions some successful actions in the Rhodopes by the provincial governor Appius Claudius Pulcher who died in 76 B.C.146 The Bessi were among the most renowned enemies of Marcus Terentius Varro Lucullus in his great campaign in 72-71 B.C.; some late sources (Eutropius, Eusebius) even ascribe his triumph after the successful proconsulate to the victory over the Bessi, but this is probably a result of the expanded usage of the ethnonym in their age.147 In 60-59 B.C. "Bessi and Thracians" were defeated in a big battle by the proconsul of Macedonia Gaius Octavius, the father of the future emperor Augustus. Probably at the time of these events, Octavius also received an omen about the future majesty of his son in the Bessie sanctuary of Dionysos.148 In 57 - 56 B.C. another governor of Macedonia, Lucius Calpurnius Piso, killed perfidiously the Bessie prince Rabocentus who had come to his camp offering military support; according to the accusations of Cicero, Piso was bribed with 300 talents by the Odrysian king Cotys. The Bessi seem to have taken an active part in the unrest which followed the death of the Odrysian king Sadalas in 42 B.C.; about this time they were in fight with Marcus Junius Brutus the murderer of Caesar and with his associate the Sapaeian (?) dynast Rascuporis who later succeeded to the vacant Odrysian throne.150 In 29 B.C., during his decisive campaign in Thrace, the proconsul Marcus Licinius Crassus gave the famous Bessie sanctuary of Dionysos over to the Odrysae,151 and this act excited the great anti-Roman uprising of the Bessi lead by the priest Vologaeses in the following decade.152 The role of the Middle Mesta region in these dynamic and large-scale events remains absolutely vague. As one of the road entrances into the Rhodope mountains, already used for centuries also as a main route towards the interior parts of Thrace, it would have been affected probably repeatedly by the march of large armies, and perhaps even saw real military action. Although the coin hoards evidence active trade contacts (but also numerous occasions for hiding treasure), the inscription of Flavius Dizalas from Nicopolis ad Nestum reflects the results of the long invasions and devastation: in the second half of the 1 s ' c. A.D. it commemorates the restoration of a desolate old sanctuary of Artemis near the Thracian settlement of Keirpara (Ketripara?).153
Arr. anab. 1.1.5. Dittenberger Syll? 710 for the Bessi. The remaining sources cf. in Tacheva 1997: 65-66, 76. 146 lordan. rom. 221. 147 Tacheva 1997: 78-79 with the sources on p. 80. Suet. Aug. 3.2; 94.5-6. 149 Cic. in Pis. 34. 150 Cass. Dio 47. 25. 2; cf. Tacheva 1997: 71-72. !5l Cass. Dio51.25.5. 52 Cass. Dio 54.34. 53 Mihailov 1966: 2338. The tentative suggestion to identify Ketripara/Keirpara with the archaeological site near Koprivlen seems a plausible possibility; then the ritual pits excavated there would have to be referred to the old sanctuary of Artemis mentioned in the inscription.
145 44

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//. 1. The Middle Mesta Region in Antiquity (P. Delev) The inscription of Flavius Dizalas is important also for another part of its preserved text: the dedicator who was a Thracian aristocrat refers to himself as the strategus of eight strategies all mentioned by name. The father of this Flavius Dizalas, an Ezbenis son of Amatocos, is mentioned as a strategus together with another thirty-two colleagues by appointment in the inscription from Topeiros dated in the age of Claudius.154 Unfortunately we do not know whether any (and which?) of these strategies comprised the Middle Mesta valley. The question whether the region was bequeathed to the Odrysian Kingdom (within the frames of which the strategies, which were inherited later by the early provincial administration in Thrace, seem to have developed initially) at some stage of the Roman penetration and when exactly this could have happened, remains also a complete mystery.

II.1.6. THE ROMAN PROVINCE OF THRACE AND NICOPOLIS AD NESTUM
In A.D. 45 the autonomy of the tributary Odrysian Kingdom was suspended by the Roman authorities, and direct Roman control was imposed over the Thracian territories; this was based (just as the former Odrysian rule had been) on the conciliatory attitude of the local aristocracy. In the beginning the new Roman provincial administration made use of the system of the strategies inherited from the last period of the existence of the Odrysian Kingdom. In the 2nd c. A.D. the strategies were replaced by the newly established city territories; new cities were founded in the regions where no important settlements existed previously. Nicopolis ad Nestum must have been one of these new cities; its remains are still visible by the Zagrade quarter of the village of Gurmen situated in the northeastern part of the Nevrokop valley.1'115 The city was founded most likely in the time of emperor Trajan, as may be suggested on the basis of the legends on coins of the city which contain the epithet Ulpia.{3 The city territory of Nicopolis would have been centred on the fertile Nevrokop basin, but it comprised presumably also an indefinite (probably considerable) part of the surrounding mountains, and especially the Rhodopes; the alternative suggestion that the Nestos would have played here as in the coastal region the role of frontier between the provinces of Thrace and Macedonia, seems less plausible. In the latter case, the territories along the right bank of the river, including the ancient settlement near Koprivlen, would have belonged to Macedonia.157 The suggested idea that of Nicopolis ad Nestum was established in the place of an older settlement has not been confirmed definitely by any archaeological materials.158 The inscription of Flavius Dizalas which dates from Flavian times (i. e. before the presumable establishment of Nicopolis under Trajan) is said to have been found in the area of the city, 159 but it might easily have been brought there from another place. The hypothetical possibility to associate the sanctuary of Artemis at Keirpara (Ketripara?) mentioned in this inscription with the archaeological site near Koprivlen has already been mentioned above. The foundation of Nicopolis ad Nestum in this distant border region of the province of Thrace should have been determined to some extent by the need of a city centre which to which the government of the Western Rhodopes could be entrusted; however the administrative affiliation of the highland region remains absolutely uncertain. It might further be suggested that the establishment of the city was connected with the need of stable control over the ancient road through the Nestos and the Rhodopes connecting the Aegean littoral with the Upper Hebros Valley. The city life in Nicopolis during the Imperial Age is represented with little detail in a series of inscriptions in Greek containing very often local Thracian names161 and in the autonomous bronze coins minted at the end of the 2" and at the beginning of the 3rd c. A.D.162
Lazaridis 1955:238. On the remains of Nicopolis ad Nestum and the archaeological excavations of the ancient city cf. Chapter ff.4.2 infra. 156 OYAn NIKOnOAEfiS OPOS MEETO. 137 On the frontier between the provinces of Thrace and Macedonia cf. Gerov 1979: 212-240. 158 Mihailov 1966: 285. 159 Ibid. no. 2338. 160 About the road cf. Chapter II.5 infra. 161 Mihailov 1966: nos. 2335-2348; cf. Gerov 1961: 220-225. 162 Head 1911:287.
135

154

28

II.2. THE MIDDLE MESTA REGION IN LATE ANTIQUITY AND THE MIDDLE AGES
Krasimira Gagova (University of Sofia "St Kliment Ohridski") Since ancient times, the Middle Mesta region seems to have held a prominent position as a communications centre. The valley of the Mesta river linked it with the Aegean littoral, and a welldeveloped road network provided connection with the interior parts of Thrace and with Macedonia (both names are used here in accordance with the late antique and medieval geographical nomenclature). The road west to Melnik, and another one leading to Bansko, connected the region with the Struma river valley. The large and important Byzantine fortress of Tsepena and the Diagonal road from Belgrade to Constantinople were attainable via Dospat. Also by way of Dospat, the region had a connection with the old Roman road which crossed the Rhodopes, gaining Didymoteichon via the fortress of Povisd (probably near Smolyan) 1 and Kurdjali. Another line of communication lead in a southern direction via Xanthi, connecting the region with Perithereon (a fortress of considerable significance in the 14th century), Mosynopolis (Komotini), the entire Aegean littoral and the islands of Thasos and Samothrace.2 The Mesta river, which takes its sources (the Byala Mesta and the Cherna Mesta) in the Eastern Rila Mountains and runs through the whole region, has always been the main waterway here. Flowing south, it divides the Rila and Pirin Mountains from the Rhodopes. The river waters a fertile, though not vast valley. Strabo describes the Mesta as a border river between Thrace and Macedonia. The hydronym is generally considered of Thracian origin. So far as settlement life is concerned, the importance of the region is easily explained by its geographical position, which predetermined the appearance of many prosperous commercial centres, comprised in a well-organized church diocese. Unfortunately, the information of medieval authors about the region is insufficient and often vague, and for that reason there are many unclear points in its history. A Roman colony founded in the time of the Emperor Trajan and known later as Nicopolis ad Nestum (NiKOTtoXiq r\ Kepi NeaTOu) was the biggest settlement in the valley. It is mentioned by Claudius Ptolemaeus among the cities of inner Thrace. Dexippus tells an interesting story about the inhabitants Philippopolis, who took refuge in Nicopolis and settled there permanently when their own city was besieged by the Goths about the middle of the third century.6 In view of the relative proximity of the two cities and the greater security in the closed riverside region of Mesta, the story seems very likely.7 Late antique inscriptions from the city and its vicinity offer some evidence about its administration (T) poi)A,f| KOCI 6 SfuaoQ NiKcmoA,eiTG)v)8 and about the religious biases of its inhabitants.9 The wars against the tribes coming from the north were arduous and long. Except for direct military counteraction, the policy of Constantinople staked much on enrolling allies, who were then settled along the border and in the interior of the Empire, the practice being aimed at their easier as' Gagova 1995: 256. Soustal 1991: 136. 3 Strabo 323. 4 Detschew 1980: 299-300, 329; Soustal 1991: 360. 5 Ptol. 353. 6 Dexip. 177. 7 Velkov 1977: 125,256,247. 8 Mihailov 1966: n. 2335. 9 Mihailov 1966: n. 2338, 2339, 2341, 2352.
2

29

11.2.

The Middle Mesta Region

in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages

(K.

Gagova) _

similation. The Middle Mesta region could not have remained beyond the reach of the Gothic incursions in the 4th century. The invaders raided the lands of the Empire almost untroubled, sacking everything in their way. The emperor Valens, who tried to oppose them, was defeated and died himself in the great battle at Hadrianopolis. As a result, the Goths dispersed all over Thrace. The "Synecdemus" of Hierocles informs us that Nicopolis was a city in the province of Rhodope. Hence, it must have been under the ecclesiastical administration of Constantinople. The name of a city bishop in A. D. 431 is known: Polycarpus, who was born in Sexaginta Prista. He is mentioned in a document of the Patriarchate, which deals with a reshuffle of ecclesiastical seats and the appointing of bishops.11 According to the diocesan lists of the Constantinopolitan Patriarchate, from the 7th till the 9' century Nicopolis had the statute of autocephalous archbishopric within the diocese of Thrace.12 Since the city name reads NiKOTroAiQ Toi) BoJiepoi) in a notitia dated to the 8th or 9th century, 13 the region certainly belonged to the theme of Boleron. The advanced position of Nicopolis in the ecclesiastical hierarchy implies the existence of a certain number of churches and monasteries in its vicinity. The nearby Mount Papikion (Peperuda) is known to have gained great importance in the spiritual life of monks and hermits some time later. The Constantinopolitan patriarch Philotheus Coccin, who lived in the mid- 14th century, explicitly states in his sermon dedicated to St. Gregorius Palama, that "since ancient times (7iocA,at) Papikion, which lies between Thrace and Macedonia, is a sacred mount (ayiov The region is represented in a somewhat strange manner in the treatise "De thematibus" of Constantine Porphyrogenitus. Surprisingly, Nicopolis is listed there among the thirty-two cities of the province of Macedonia Prima, which was governed by a consiliarius, together with Thessalonica, Pella, Amphipolis, Beroea, Edessa, etc.15 Only five cities are mentioned within the limits of Thrace - a province also administered by a consiliarius. These are Klima Mestikon and Acontisma, Philippopolis, Beroea, and the islands of Thasos and Samothrace.1 Philippopolis is almost certainly Plovdiv but not Philippi, since Philippi is placed together with Seres in the province of Rhodope. Bepori ought to be identified with modern Stara Zagora, while the homonym Beppota (modern Ber) stands for a city in the province of Macedonia Prima. The question about Klima Mestikon and Acontisma is still open. Although explicitly stated in the text, the existence of such a city may not be taken for granted. Constantine Porphyrogenitus uses the term KA,ip_a elsewhere in his works to denote a particular zone or district: TOC evveot KAiiacaa tr\c, Xa^apiac; - "the nine districts of Chazaria".17 In fact, this is precisely the original Greek meaning of the word. The relation between KAijia ("a district") and otKOVTiau-a ("a spear throw") is unclear. It is difficult to make out whether both words constitute a single place name or stand for two different geographical or administrative subjects. Since the discussed toponyms are not attested in other sources, no identification with any particular site or district can be suggested. On the whole, the royal writer - who is well-known for his archaizing inclinations is of no great use in revealing the administrative and geographical division of the Empire in the 10lh century. In the following centuries, the region remained aside from the political events (or rather from the range of interest of their chroniclers - the Byzantine historians). Piecemeal informations about Nicopolis appear only in the Acts of the Constantinopolitan Patriarchate. The documents prove that the city and its vicinity were incorporated at times in the bishopric of Seres, at others in that of Philippi.18 An interesting piece of information from 1 365 points out that the archbishop of Maroneia was sent to fill a vacancy on the island of Thasos in the diocese of Nevrokopia (em tote, NeupOKOTUOii;).19 It is out of doubt that the Nevrokop region and the islands remained closely bound to each other throughout
Hier. 635. "Darrouzes 1984: n. 73. 12 Darrouzes 1981: 19,32,45. 13 Darrouzes 1981:32. 14 Tzamis 1985:441. 15 Const. Porph. de them. 88. 16 Ibid., 86. 17 Const. Porph. de admin. 64. 18 Darrouzes 1979: n. 2497; Hunger, Kresten 1981: 552-557. 19 Darrouzes 1979:2497.
30
10

KOPRIVLEN 1 call. The Middle Mesta Region the history of Byzantium and maybe even later. The latest notice dates to Ottoman times and attests a change in the ecclesiastical statute of Nicopolis: the latter was already a metropolis known by both names of Nicopolis and Nevrokop (NtKO7i6A,eco<; r\ioi NevpOKOTttot)).20 Though direct information is far from being sufficient, it is still possible to assess the overall significance of the Middle Mesta region in medieval times. It often remained aside from the major political and military events and consequently rarely attracted the attention of Byzantine authors. Nevertheless, the available evidence gives enough grounds to believe that the region sustained throughout its position as an important commercial, administrative and ecclesiastical centre.

Darrouzes 1981:505.
31

II.3. KOPRIVLEN AND THE MIDDLE MESTA VALLEY IN MODERN TIMES
A HISTORICAL, GEOGRAPHICAL AND ECONOMIC DESCRIPTION Vladimir Stanev (University of Sofia "St Kliment Ohridski")

II.3.1. THE NEVROKOP REGION -GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION, CLIMATE, NATURAL RESOURCES AND ECONOMICS
The Middle Mesta valley and its administrative centre - the town of Nevrokop (from 1950: Gotse Delchev), lie at a distance of some 200 km from the capital of Bulgaria - Sofia, at 210 km from Plovdiv, and at 112 km from Blagoevgrad. The distance to the town of Drama in Greece is only 75 km, and to the Aegean Sea - 101 km. The region of Gotse Delchev includes 36 settlements in the Western Rhodopes and some other 21 situated on the flanks of the Pirin Mountain and along the right bank of the Mesta.1 The area is a typical river valley stretching from northwest to southeast, surrounded by mountains and high hills on all sides. It is closed on the east by the western parts of the Rhodopes and on the west - by the abrupt flanks of Southern Pirin." The Pirin ridge is extremely steep in the section between Gotse Delchev and Koprivlen, slanting at some 70 degrees, and reaching even 80 degrees around the village of Musomishte. The Gotse Delchev (or Nevrokop) basin ends in the south-east in a narrow gorge, which delimits the Rhodopes from Mount Bozdag. In the north, the 24 km long defile of Momina Klisura, about 200-300 m. deep and that much broad at the bottom, separates it from the Razlog basin.4 The Nevrokop basin is rather narrow, level and some 20-30 km long. It slants slightly towards the river and in southern direction. The land north of the town, near the village of Gospodintsi, is more undulating. There are no uplands within the basin. The flatland is most broad and level between the villages of Koprivlen and Dubnitsa, where the valley is about 8-10 km wide. It narrows to 1-2 km to the north and south, towards the defiles.5 The overall area of the basin amounts to 81 square km, its altitude is 540 m. above sea level.6 The specific relief has determined the insufficient development of the infrastructure and transport in the Middle Mesta valley. Connection with the nearby regions and the interior of the country is realised by means of several highland passes. Fifty years ago only one bus daily connected the town with the rest of the world. The road system within the basin is also less developed compared to the other parts of Bulgaria, again due to the peculiarities of relief.7 The state frontier with Greece, which has remained closed for a long time, the remoteness from railway communications (the nearest railway

Danilevski, Kiselov 1969: 12-14, 52, 51. Pancheliev 1970: 17. 3 Kanev 1988:61. 4 Bulgaria 1961:341-342. 5 Kanev 1988: 60. 6 Beshkov 1934: 160. 7 Danilevski, Kiselov 1969: 80, 161.
2

L

33

11.3. Koprivlen and the Middle Mesta Valley in Modern Times (V. Stanev) station is 44 km away at Dobrinishte) and the lack of convenient connections with the Struma valley have affected in a most unfavourable manner the economic development of the region.8 However, the relative isolation of the area affords certain advantages as well. It has contributed to the early establishment of stable inner links and the cultural unification of the whole region. The varied relief and the altitude affect the climate in the region. The latter has been differently defined as either transitional-Mediterranean,9 sub-Mediterranean,10 or continental-Mediterranean." Anyhow, all the authors are unanimous in describing the peculiarities of the regional climatic conditions: a rainy, warm winter, almost without snowfall; a hot, arid and sunny summer; small annual amplitude of air temperatures.12 Though revealing certain differences, the Mesta valley falls within the same climatic zone as those of Struma and Arda, the southern parts of the Maritsa and Tundja valleys, Mount Strandja and the Bulgarian Black Sea littoral. 13 Because of its greater altitude (500-600 m. above sea-level), the Nevrokop basin is distinguished for a cooler summer and a colder winter compared to the river valley of Struma (only 150-200 m. above sea-level). On the other hand, it is somewhat lower than the Upper Mesta basin and the snow cover holds here for a shorter time than in Razlog and Bansko. The climatic conditions in the region of Nevrokop differ considerably from those in the temperate-continental climatic zone of Northern Bulgaria, which is characterized with a much more frigid winter. Compared to the Mediterranean climatic zone on the other hand, which is typical for Greece, the climate here is much less hot.14 The favourable temperature conditions in the Middle Mesta valley are due to the penetration of mild and warm Mediterranean air currents from the south; this affects the average winter temperatures, which are normally above zero degrees centigrade.'" The considerable mountain barriers, especially on the west, impede the penetration of cold air currents from the northwest and west, which are prevailing in South-Western Bulgaria. The Balkan Mountains and the Rhodopes provide further protection against the cold continental air masses coming from the north and northeast. However, the minimum winter temperature measured in Gotse Delchev is surprisingly low - 29,6 degrees below zero.16 This is due to temperature inversion, a winter phenomenon originating in the closed character of the basin, shut up as it is by narrow defiles to the north and south: the valley retains large masses of cold air, which cannot be evacuated easily downstream and which is even colder than the air high on the summits of the Pirin Mountain.17 The valley runs transversely to the main direction of atmospheric transportation from the west, and this accounts for the great number of calm days per year. The average wind speeds are also the lowest in Bulgaria - less than 5 m/s.' 8 The standard mean temperature in the area of Gotse Delchev stays above zero for 360 days, and above 15 degrees - for 144 days annually. The maximum summer temperatures often measure beyond 35 degrees centigrade.19 The sunshine duration measured in the Mesta valley both in summer and winter is also one of the longest in Bulgaria.20 The Mesta river is the main hydrological feature of the basin. It is one of the big rivers in Bulgaria, with a total length of 273 km from its sources to the Mediterranean coast; some 126 km of this length are within Bulgarian territory. 21 Its catchment area lies entirely in the mountainous region of the Rila, the Pirin and the Rhodopes, where the mean annual precipitation is very high. As a result the

8 9

Kiradjiev 1977:95-96. Dimitrov 1960: 130-131.

10

Dimitrov 1974:241. " Stanev 1991:79. l2 Velev 1990: 113. 13 Subev, Stanev 1959: 134. 14 Stanev 1991: 80-83.
15 16 l7

Pancheliev 1970: 17.
Subev, Stanev 1959: 135-136, 152.

Pancheliev 1970: 18. l8 Velev 1990:204.
19 20

Geografia 1982: 188-189.

Lingova 1991: 113. 21 Danilevski, Kiselov 1969: 14.
34

KOPRIVLEN 1 call. The Middle Mesta Region Mesta is among the most affluent rivers in Bulgaria,2" ranking sixth by amount of water outflow after the Maritsa, the Struma, the Tundja, the Arda and the Iskar. The Mesta has got several important tributaries in its middle reaches. It used to be one of the clearest rivers in Bulgaria, until mining and industrial enterprises stirred up pollution in recent times.~~ Autumnal and venial high waters and flooding are characteristic of the rivers in the transitional-Mediterranean climatic zone. The abundant precipitation in late autumn and winter and the quick thawing of the snow caused by the warm foehn winds call forth violent overflows of the river, especially typical in the vicinity of Gotse Delchev.24 Floods have happened in other seasons as well. In the higher parts of the Rila and Pirin mountains the thawing of the snow starts only in summer, and this results in high flood waves in that season. Overflows along the course of the Mesta occur at the rate of about 3 to 6 times yearly. They are usually of short duration but dangerous.25 In high water years the amount of water in the Mesta can treble and the river overflows its banks. This used to cause the loss of vast areas of arable land in the past. The river has created a rather broad bed in the valley, which often changed its outlines through the ages." All this imposed the undertaking of special activities in order to regulate the riverbed. Between 1920 and 1963 working plans were drawn up for the construction of 19 km of dykes along the Middle Mesta south from Gotse Delchev and another 20 km of dykes along some of its tributaries as flood protection for over 1 000 hectares (2 500 acres) of arable land.27 It was not until the last decades, however, that this idea was carried into effect. The activity of the river has resulted in the accumulation of large alluvial deposits over the riverside terraces. The strip of alluvium along the Mesta is up to 7 km broad and from 6 to 20 m. thick.28 The river is not the only cause of natural disaster inflicting economic losses and damage to the region. Devastating earthquakes are also a frequent phenomenon here. The intense wood-cutting and the extension of pasture-grounds have brought about deforestation and soil erosion on the slopes of the Pirin Mountain, the Rhodopes, Mount Sturgach and Mount Slavyanka (Ali Botush, Orvilos). As a result, mud torrents which heap up alluvial deposits and inflict considerable damage to settlements, arable fields, bridges etc. are often witnessed in the valley of Mesta."^ In summertime the Mesta usually remains the only deep-water river in the area. Summer droughts are quite common, although not so frequent here as in the Struma, Maritsa and Tundja valleys or in neighbouring Greece. The aridity in summer and autumn is favourable to viticulture, tobacco growing and the harvesting of the summer crops, but interferes to some degree with vegetable gardening, fruit growing and autumn ploughing. The maroon soils (light, ventilated and deficient in humus), the transient snow cover and the warm winter create optimum conditions for the cultivation of high-yielding thermophilic crops, which ripen here earlier than elsewhere.32 The shorter period of vegetation which is due to the earlier beginning of spring makes it possible to raise two harvests of different crops. The cultivation of olives and citrus fruits is however impeded by the considerable altitude and the sudden drops in temperature.11 The region of Gotse Delchev is rich in various natural resources. The highland pastures provide feed for stockbreeding from early spring till late in the autumn. The region is rich in forests and especially in coniferous ones, which form ten per cent of the coniferous woods in Bulgaria. White and black pine, fir and spruce are widely distributed, and from the deciduous species - oak, beech, hornbeam, chestnut, maple, sycamore and ash. It is hardly sur-

" Bulgaria 1961: 19. Danilevski, Kiselov 1969: 44-47. 24 Dimitrov 1974:97. 25 Ziapkov 1989:218. 26 Danilevski, Kiselov 1969: 44-47. 27 Radoslavov 1963: 17,21. 28 Nenov, Blagoeva 1977: 24. 29 Filipov et al. 1963: 151-152. 30 Geografia 1981:79. 31 Dimitrov 1974: 176-177. 32 Dimitrov 1960: 138. 33 Dimitrov 1974: 243.
23

35

II.3. Koprivlen and the Middle Mesta Valley in Modern Times (V. Stanev) prising that timber industry and woodworking have been flourishing in the valley since ancient times. The waterway of the Mesta was used in the past for rafting down logs.34 There is an abundance of building materials: granite, limestone, rhyolite. The sediments of the Mesta provide huge amounts of sand and gravel. The marble conglomerates found near Koprivlen, Hadjidimovo and Sadovo are a valuable decorative material. Pieces of marble coloured in different shades of snow-white, grey, red and pink are found in the vicinity of Gotse Delchev.35 Small bits of differently coloured marble, limestone and quartz were used for the making of mosaics in the ancient city of Nicopolis ad Nestum.36 Clays are widely distributed in the basin; they were utilised in antiquity and are still subject to industrial exploitation nowadays.37 There are iron-ore deposits near the villages of Paril, the abandoned one at Lyalevo and Debren. Chromium ores has been discovered near the village of Pletena.38 The deposits of non-ferrous metals are poorly studied and less known in the region. Information is available about lead and zinc lodes near the villages of Obidim, Skrebatno and Paril,39 while deposits of lignite coal have been found and are in exploitation by the village of Baldevo. By virtue of the numerous thermal springs and its benign climate, the region is a well-known health resort. The contrasting climate, which combines the warmth of the valley with the cool and fresh mountain air of the Pirin and the Rhodopes, has a marked prophylactic effect. The conditions here are recommended for treatment of arthritic-rheumatic, chronic lung and nervous diseases.

II.3.2. THE NEVROKOP REGION - ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The past of the region is rather dynamic and interesting. People of different ethnicity have lived here, imposing their peculiar customs and political systems - pre-Thracian and Thracian tribes, Romans, Slavs, Byzantines, Ottoman Turks, Bulgarians. From times immemorial they used to grow cereals, flax and hemp in the river valley; cotton was introduced much later.41 The history of the town and its vicinity fades back in the ages. The earliest preserved Ottoman documents mentioning the Nevrokop region date to the second half of the 15th century. They mention Nevrokop as the centre of a "nahi" - the smallest administrative unit in the Ottoman Empire. Representatives of the imperial administration, taxation and judicial officials resided in the town. A military garrison was also stationed there by the end of the 15th century. The town gradually rose to an important centre of craft industry.42 The lack of sufficient amounts of fertile land and the remoteness of the region from the main military roads prevented the mass settlement of Muslim colonists: the latter gave preference to the richer and more urbanised regions in Thrace and the Aegean littoral. However a restricted number of colonists settled in Nevrokop and some of the nearby villages. In spite of its remote position, the Nevrokop kaaza (district) became the largest one in Macedonia, comprising 133 settlements. Goods from Austria-Hungary, Saxony and Britain were traded at the famous fairs held regularly in Nevrokop and Turlis. The export of the region was directed southwards - to Thessaloniki, Drama, Seres, and northwards - to Serbia and Austria-Hungary. During the Bulgarian National Revival the valley maintained vigorous economic relations with the south, and cultural and spiritual ones with the north. Schoolteachers mostly came here from Pazardjik, while the young people from the region usually continued their education in Bansko.45
Danilevski, Kiselov 1969: 47-50. Nenov, Blagoeva 1977: 21-23. 36 Georgiev 1987: 106. 37 Nenov, Blagoeva 1977: 21. 38 Iovchev 1961 a: 104, 122, 126. 39 Iovchevl961 b: 65. 40 Ivanov et al. 1963:8,84,91. 41 Kolev 1980: 76. 42 Dimitrov 1968:70-74.
35 34

44 45

Markov 1988: 100. Danilevski, Kiselov 1969: 158.

36

KOPRIVLEN 1 cell. The Middle Mesta Region The travelling masons from Kovachevitsa, Skrebatno, Ilinden and Gaytaninovo were well known for their skill during the Bulgarian National Revival. They used to earn their living carrying out building work all over the region of the Aegean littoral.46 Nevrokop was a famous centre for the production of "chans" (bells for domestic animals). Leather industry also prospered in the town until 1923.41 The region affords favourable conditions for the development of metallurgy: rich ore deposits, availability of coal and timber, abundance of water, suitable places with the requisite slant.48 C. Jirecek relates Nevrokop to the biggest and most renowned Western Group of the old iron-production industry in Bulgarian lands; this group included the mines near Samokov, the silver ores of Mount Pangaion and the deposits in the valleys of the Struma and Mesta.49 Iron-production was practised on a large scale in the mountainous area between the rivers of Mesta and Struma (the southern branch of the Pirin Mountains, Mount Sturgach, Mount Ali Botush, etc.). The region was known once by the name of "Murvashko" (from "murva" - cinder, coal dust). The appellation "tnurvatsi" (plural) with the meaning of "people who melt ores and produce iron " has spread over the whole population around the southern reaches of the Pirin Mountain.50 There are a number of villages belonging to this population in the Nevrokop region: Musomishte, Lyaski, Teshovo, Gaytaninovo, Paril, Luki, Lovcha, Libyahovo, Belotintsi, Turlis, Starchishta, Zurnevo, Dolni Brodi, Karakioy etc.51 The ancient inhabitants of the region - the Thracians, were also engaged in metallurgy.52 Ancient mining has been attested near the village of Luki, where slag deposits contained pieces of preRoman pottery. The galleries near Gospodintsi and the iron slag accumulations at Teshovo, Musomishte and Debren also provide evidence of developed metallurgy in antiquity.53 An ancient settlement, whose inhabitants must have worked the nearby mine, existed in the vicinity of the modern village of Paril.54 Mining and metal-production in the Murvashko region were further promoted at the beginning of the 13th century with the invention of the device called "samokov". Saxon master-medallists arrived and settled here in the 14th century. It is presumed that the Thracians usually used open quarries to extract the ores, the Romans introduced the galleries, while the Saxons were the first to put into practice deep shafts going down beneath the level of subsoil water.55 In 1347 the murvak village of Turlis was given to the Great Lavra monastery in Athos for the purpose of working the local ore deposits. The right-bank area of the Middle Mesta around the foothills of Mount Ali Botush became in the 17th-18th century one of the most thriving centres of iron-production in the Balkan Peninsula, surpassing in importance even Samokov. The Murvashko region ranged with the main suppliers of iron within the vast Ottoman Empire.55 In the second half of the 19th century, the increasing influx of cheaper European iron put an end to this flourishing local metallurgy. The last samokov in the area (the one in the village of Teshovo) stopped working in 1916. That however was not the full end of local metallurgy: the exploitation of the iron mine near the village of Paril continued until 1961.57 Panning for gold is also familiar in the Nevrokop region. It is a craft inherited from the past. The auriferous and argentiferous sand deposits along the lower reaches of the Mesta and Struma were well known in antiquity. The situation must have been the same upstream, in the Middle and Upper

Moskov, Tsankov 1980: 203-204. Pancheliev 1968: 166-170. Ivanov 1996: 14. 'Jirecek 1899:449-451. 'Ivanov 1996: 143. Shopov 1893: 114. 52 Ivanov 1917: 4. -- Georgiev 1987: 98. 54 Georgiev 1978:6,21. 55 Georgiev 1987: 98. 56 Georgiev 1953:6,21. 57 Ivanov 1996: 14, 140.

37

II.3. Koprivlen and the Middle Mesta Valley in Modem Times (V. Stanev) Mesta areas. Gold panning has been practised in the vicinity of the village of Gurmen.58 A gold deposit exploited from ancient times has been localised between the villages of Osikovo and Skrebatno.59 The gold flakes are obtained by sifting the sand of such rivers and streams, which drag down granites and crystalline schists from the high mountains. All the operations are done manually and no special devices are needed. Therefore no ancient remains from these activities have survived, except for the stone troughs for gold panning discovered near the locality "Beshkovitsa", between the villages of Osikovo and Skrebatno.60 The skills however have been preserved through the ages and panning for gold remained an important occupation for the inhabitants of certain villages, as for example Skrebatno and Baldevo. The local people were considered in the past great experts in gold extraction and have practised their skills in many other regions. Nevrokop, Razlog, Drama and Bansko were also important and renowned as goldsmith centres during the Bulgarian National Revival. 61 The economic decline of the region began after the Crimean War (1853-1856). The importance of the fairs dropped, metallurgy almost ceased and trade deteriorated. The Russian-Turkish War (1877-1878), which brought liberation to a great part of the Bulgarian people, had a negative effect on the valley of Mesta. The Ottoman authorities increased the taxation and the administrative burdens of the population.62 The artificial border with Bulgaria in the north hindered the development of trade relations. The Nevrokop region suffered other blows as well. By the end of the 19th and in the beginning of the 20th century the phylloxera destroyed the local vine plantations. Their subsequent replacement with American vines inevitably took much time and resources. The wars of the Balkan countries against the Ottoman Empire in the beginning of the 20' century resulted in an economic deterioration of the region, mass displacement of population and longlasting administrative incertitude.64 A new period in the economic development of the area set in about that time. Fruit growing and viticulture gradually gained much greater popularity. From the beginning of the 20th century, the cultivation of tobacco, potatoes, beans, cabbage, carrots and aubergines was introduced in the lowlands of the Mesta valley, while potatoes and oats were grown in the higher parts of the region.65 Nevrokop was declared a district centre and a military garrison was stationed in it. New town quarters were erected. The resettlement of refugees from the Aegean littoral increased the population of the town by the end of the 20s. Since most of the newcomers traditionally had earned their living by tobacco growing, that predetermined a new trend in the economic development of the region. The arable land per head of the population is less in the region of Gotse Delchev than anywhere else in Bulgaria. It is a region of smallest-scale farming. This explains the absence of cereals and pulses, which moreover do not give high yields here. As a matter of fact, the entire Pirin region is highly dependent on the import of cereals from other parts of Bulgaria. The small amount of arable land, the predominant small-scale farming and the specific climatic and soil conditions have set the pattern for the agricultural development of the region in the first half of the 20lh century. Thermophilic industrial and oil yielding crops, mulberry-trees, fruits and vines were chiefly cultivated here. The basic branch of agriculture however became tobacco growing, which was high yielding and engaged the spare labour force. The local tobacco brand called "Nevrokopska basma" is renowned for its quality. Although the region was rich in forests and pastures, stockbreeding remained poorly developed. The abundant mineral resources were not used adequately either. Industry was almost missing, and with regard to transport the basin remained isolated, having been cut off from its natural outlet to the Mediterranean.

'"Georgiev 1987:20,78. 19 This information was kindly provided by the international company MINORCO. 60 Now examples of those ancient appliances are kept in the Historical Museum in Gotse Delchev. 61 Bonchev 1920: 4, 34, 44, 45. 62 Pandev 1988: 156, 164. M Geografia 1981:298. 64 Danilevski, Kiselov 1969: 60. 65 Bulgaria 1961:342. 66 Daiiilevski, Kiselov 1969: 89.
38

KOPRIVLEN 1 eg II. The Middle Mesta Region In the 30s of the 20th century the region ranked last in Bulgaria in respect of agrotechnics. The agriculture was of an extensive type. More lands were left fallow here in comparison with other regions, and no agricultural machines at all were in use.67

H.3.3. KOPRIVLEN
The modem village of Koprivlen is situated at the foot of the Firm Mountain, 10 km southeast from the town of Gotse Delchev. Its location has been specially chosen. The natural advantages of the site were estimated already by the earliest population of the region. Judging from the archaeological remains, the vicinity of the village was inhabited in the Bronze Age, in Thracian times, in late antiquity and the Middle Ages.70 The village is surrounded by fertile lands, which are far enough from the Mesta to avoid flooding in time of river overflows. The steep heights of Eastern Pirin rise in the immediate vicinity of the village, affording a good opportunity for evacuation and defence in case of attack. The name "Koprivlen" is first mentioned in a document dating from 1366, when the possession of the village was ceded by the despot loan Uglesha to an Athos monastery. The name is of Slavonic origin and probably derives from the word "kopriva" (nettles). 71 Koprivlen is not among the known centres of recent metallurgy in the Murvashko region, although it is situated in the close vicinity of some of these — Lyaski, Musomishte, Teshovo, Paril, Gaytaninovo, etc. Since all the necessary conditions are at hand, it seems only too probable that metallurgy and metal-working were practised in the past also here. The pieces of iron slag found in Thracian ritual pits during the archaeological excavations support this statement.72 An old mine still functioned until recently some 2,5 km south-west from Koprivlen, and an iron mine of open type exists some 7 km west from the village. 73 A similar mine is situated on the slopes of the nearby mountain top called "Lyaskovski vruh"; although the ore contains a high percentage of iron, it is not worked at present because of the high transport expenses. The deposits of marble in the immediate vicinity of Koprivlen are also well-known. In spite of its Slavonic name, by the end of the 19th century the population of the village consisted mainly of Turks. The eminent Bulgarian historian and geographer Vasil Kunchov suggests that the Turkish population was settled along the Middle Mesta and in Nevrokop at the time of the Ottoman conquest.75 That explains why the name of Koprivlen is not mentioned in the Ottoman taxation registers from the 15th and 16th century: as a rule they listed only the main taxpayers - the Christians. The history of the village is eventful. In 1913 it was burnt by the advancing Greek troops. Although the Turkish population later returned, the village gradually acquired a Bulgarian appearance. This was due to the numerous Bulgarian refugees from Aegean Thrace and Aegean Macedonia, who were settled here in the period from 1913 to 1925.76 In the early 1970s Koprivlen numbered some 1620 inhabitants and was a municipal centre. The Mesta and its tributaries generously water the village fields, which are among the best fertile lands in the valley. High-quality tobaccos, fruits and vegetables are cultivated here. The village also offers different products of animal husbandry. Together with neighbouring Gotse Delchev, Dubnitsa and Hadjidimovo, Koprivlen is also a well-known centre of tobacco growing. 77

Beshkov 1934:23, 163-170. Cf. Chapter III infra. M Cf. Chapter IV infra. 70 Cf. Chapter V infra.
S8

37

Ivanov 1996: 29, 124. Cf. Chapter IV.3 and Chapter VII.4 infra.
75
77

Ivanov 1996:93, 196. Pancheliev 1988: 13.
Danilevski, Kiselov 1969: 77, 178.

Kunchov 1900:58, 194. "'Ivanov 1996:29, 193.

39

II.4. AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL OVERVIEW OF THE MIDDLE MESTA REGION
II.4.1. THE PREHISTORIC AND THRACIAN PERIODS
Yulia Tsvetkova (University of Sofia "St Kliment Ohridski") H.4.1.1. Archaeological Investigations in the Area The Gotse Delchev valley has been relatively scarcely and unsystematically investigated by archaeologists, most likely due to the fact that it is situated far from the larger modern towns, isolated between the Pirin mountain and the western flank of the Dubrash ridge which forms part of the Rhodopes. Until recently only chance finds suggested its exceptional importance as part of the Thracian lands. It was such finds - the famous grave finds from Gornyani (the present town of Hadjidimovo) and the helmet from Kovachevitsa — which provoked the interest of Vassil Mikov, the first archaeologist to explore the region. He undertook a limited investigation, collecting information mainly about the archaeological sites around Hadjidimovo, and published several stray finds from that area.' The tradition of collecting and publishing chance finds survived during the next decades. Archaeological excavations were undertaken at some Roman and Medieval sites,2 but no investigations were aimed at providing a more complete picture of the development of the region in the period lasting to the end of the 1 st millennium B.C. Only in the 1970's did systematic investigations of the archaeological monuments in the valley of the Mesta river start at last as a consequence of the growing interest in the settlement system in the lands of the ancient Thracians and the cultural processes in the different historical periods. A research team of the "Mesta" expedition lead by Dr. M. Domaradzki made a detailed field survey and documented the archaeological sites along the left bank of the river. Trial excavations were undertaken at some of the sites (near Ablanitsa, Babiak, Vulkosel, Kochan, Osina, Pletena, Satovcha, Skrebatno, Tsruncha and Furgovo) in order to establish their character and chronology. A Thracian mound necropolis between the villages of Kochan and Satovcha was excavated at the same time.4 In the meantime, the registration of the archaeological monuments on the territory of the district of Blagoevgrad lead to the appearance of the first published general archaeological survey, which includes the Middle Mesta area.5 In the middle of the 1990's the implementation of a scientific project for the archaeological investigation of the Nevrokop basin permitted the renewal of the systematic field examinations in the region, including this time mainly the right bank of the river. The area of the settlements to the south

Mikov 1927; Mikov 1937; Mikov 1938; Mikov 1950. " Georgieva 1965; Vuzharova, Chacheva 1968; Cf. also the review in Dremsizova-Nelchinova 1987: 314 and references. 3 Domaradzki et al. 1999. 4 Gergova 1980; Gergova, Angelova 1975; Gergova, Kulov 1977; Gergova, Kulov 1979; Gergova, Kulov 1982. 5 Dremsizova-Nelchinova 1987.
41

1

// 4. Archaeological Overview: Prehistoric and Thracian Periods (Y. Tsvetkova) of Gotse Delchev was surveyed intensively and trial excavations were undertaken at a burial mound near the town of Hadjidimovo and at the antique site near the village of Koprivlen.6 While the first stage of the archaeological investigations, including the registration of Thracian archaeological sites, has already provided noteworthy results, the systematic archaeological excavations are only in their initial phase. The only site within the chronological limits of the period discussed here Which has been investigated more thoroughly is the mound necropolis near Kochan and Satovcha, but even this has not been published in details yet. The 1998-99 rescue excavations of the Thracian settlement near Koprivlen are so far the only systematic large-scale archaeological investigation in the region. The first results support the preliminary conclusions about the importance of this site as a regional Thracian centre and suggest the necessity of investigating the cultural environment in which the settlement existed and developed. The field surveys of the teams working in the region during the last few decades permit some general conclusions about different components of the settlement system in the Gotse Delchev valley such as settlements, necropolises, sanctuaries, and about the tendencies in the development of this system during several successive periods (Fig. 3). In the present general review of the settlement system mainly the major sites documented in the course of the field surveys have been included. Certain problems result from the fact that no exact dating could be suggested for some of the established sites. Information provided by casual single finds from the area has also been included.

11.4.1.2. The Prehistoric Period
The earliest traces of human life in the Gotse Delchev area have been discovered along the river Kanina, where flint tools from the Early Paleolithic Age have been found.7 The Gotse Delchev valley was inhabited during the Late Neolithic Period. The settlements near Pletena8 and Gotse Delchev were inhabited in this age.9 Both continued into the Eneolithic Period when the number of the settlements increased - on the right bank of the Mesta river eneolithic materials have been found at the site Klisurata near the village of Ilinden, 10 and on the left bank - near the villages of Ognyanovo,11 Kovachevitsa,12 Kochan,13 and Osina. 14 The eneolithic settlements are not very big - 30 to 40 ares, and are situated in most cases on riverside terraces (Ognyanovo, Kovachevitsa, Osina) or on small detached hills (Zaimova Chuka by Kochan, Klisurata by Ilinden). The tell type of settlement has not been attested here. The greater number of settlements situated along the left bank of the Mesta river and along its tributaries up to the first slopes of the Rhodopes mountains is noticeable, and especially in the region along the river Kanina where the ancient settlers could have been attracted by the hot mineral springs. Some of the sites (Ilinden, Kochan) were inhabited during the subsequent historical periods too. Without systematic archaeological excavations any comments on the stratigraphic sequence or the thickness of the cultural accumulations at the prehistoric sites in the area would be as superfluous as the attempts to trace their links with contemporary sites in other regions of the Balkan Peninsula.

11.4.1.3. The Thracian Period
No archaeological sites from the early stages of the Bronze Age have been found in the Gotse Delchev basin. This might be due to a break in the occupation of the valley or to insufficient investigations in the region. Traces of habitation in some parts of the valley evidence the reappearance of population in the Late Bronze Age. The evidence on different types of settlements, necropolises and
Unpublished field surveys of the research team led by Dr. A. Bozkova. All data concerning archaeological sites on the right bank of the Mesta in the text below is a result of these surveys. Their publishing is forthcoming. 7 Dremsizova-Nelchinova 1987: 17. 8 Domaradzki et al. 1999: 96, Site 3. 9 Serafimova 1988: 17. 10 Pancheliev 1992: 15; unpublished results of field surveys. 11 Domaradzki et al. 1999: 94, Site 1. 12 Domaradzki et al. 1999: 91, Site 5. 13 Dremsizova-Nelchinova 1987: 75, No 146; Domaradzki et al. 1999: 41-42, 92, Site 4. 14 Domaradzki et al. 1999: 95, Site 5.
6

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KOPRIVLEN 1 egII. The Middle Mesta Region sanctuaries permits a more detailed picture of the settlement system in the period including the second half of the 2nd and the whole 1 st millennium B.C.

11.4.1.3.1. Settlements
During the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages the settlement system in the area was of comparatively low density. Late Bronze Age sites have been located near the villages of Ablanitsa, Brashten, Debren and Osina,15 and Early Iron Age ones near Ablanitsa, Vaklinovo, Valkosel, Zhizhevo, Krushevo, Pletena, Slashten on the left bank of the river16 and probably near Sadovo and Hadjidimovo on the right bank, where some materials suggest a dating in the second phase of the Early Iron Age.17 The finds from four other sites - near Brashten, Gorno Dryanovo, Debren and Skrebatno do not permit to refer them definitely to either the Late Bronze or the Early Iron Age.18 The site located in the place Zaimova chuka to the south-east of the village of Kochan is of particular interest. The archaeological materials found on the plateau of a conical hill rising some 20 m. above the surrounding terrain and ranging from the Eneolithic and Late Bronze Ages to the Medieval Period witness continuous life at this place. An interesting fragment of an amphora-like vessel found there seems to be an imitation of Mycenaean ware from the Late Helladic III A-B period and suggests possible relations with Northern Greece and the lower Vardar where production centres for this type of pottery are known to have existed.19 The number of known settlements from the Late Iron Age is considerably greater. Fourteen new settlements on the left bank of the Mesta and another eleven on the right bank can be added to the mentioned ones near Vaklinovo, Valkosel, Zhizhevo, Kochan, Krushevo, Pletena, Slashten and Hadjidimovo, which seem to have continued their existence into this period. In most cases, life in these settlements continued in later Antiquity and the Middle Ages, which is the reason why the earlier cultural strata are usually seriously damaged. From a geographical point of view, most of the settlements from the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages are situated in the first mountain belt of the hill Dubrash and along the left tributaries of the Mesta river, away from the central river bed. Places with higher altitude seem to have been preferred. Settlements appear in the lower parts of the valley, near the river, only in the Late Iron Age, probably as a result of the increasing population of the valley. Naturally defended places above rivers, on the ridges and slopes of the hills were preferred for the settlements.20 The right bank of the Mesta river seems to have been less populated than the left one during the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages. This picture changed considerably in the Late Iron Age when more settlements appeared along the right bank, near Hadjidimovo, Petrelik and along the river Mutnitsa. Except for Zaimova Chuka near Kochan there seems to have been little topographical continuity between the Late Bronze and the Early Iron Ages. This fact authorises the suggestion that a new settlement system was created at the beginning of the Early Iron Age.21 This settlement system survived during the following periods of the Late Iron Age when life continued in the major settlements already established in the area. The number of settlements gives some information about the demographic changes and the development of the settlement system. In contrast to the observations made in the valley of the Strumeshnitsa river which seems to have been less inhabited during the Early Iron Age than in the previous and following periods,22 the survey along the Mesta valley has provided information of five settlements with materials from the Late Bronze Age, ten - from the Early Iron Age and four with unidentified finds related to either one or the other. The fact shows a gradual increase of the number of
Domaradzki et al. 1999: 82, Site 1; 88 Site 6; 95, Site 4. Dremsizova-Nelchinova 1987: 51, No. 54; Domaradzki et al. 1999: 83, Site 7; 85, Site 1; 90, Site 1; 92, Site 2; 100, Site 1. 17 Vulcheva et al. (in press). 18 Domaradzki et al. 1999: 84-85, Site 1; 87, Site 2; 88, Site 3; 99, Site 1. 19 Domaradzki et al. 1999: 10, 41-2, 92, Site 4, 135 Fig. V 5. 20 Domaradzki et al. 1999: 9, 10. 21 Gergova 1990: 20 Gergova 1995: 34.
16 15

43

11.4. Archaeological Overview: Prehistoric and Thracian Periods (Y. Tsvetkova) settlements (respectively of the overall population) and a move to a more compact settlement system.2" This process can be traced into the Late Iron Age, when the settlement system reached its highest density. The simultaneous existence of groups of several settlements situated close to one another in this age, like the ones near Ablanitsa and Vulkosel, Pletena and Dolen, Petrelik, Sadovo and Hadjidimovo. suggests the appearance of specific systems of associated and mutually related settlements. Without systematic archaeological excavations it is impossible to draw more detailed conclusions about the character of the sites and their position in the settlement system. Fortifications built of stones without mortar have been observed at the sites near Vaklinovo, Kochan, Ablanitsa and Vulkosel. However, since these places were inhabited during the whole 1 st millennium B.C., it is impossible at the present stage of investigation to establish the date of their construction. There is some evidence which suggests that at least a few of the sites could be interpreted as metallurgical centres. Pieces of iron slag have been found at almost all of the sites, but were markedly abundant at those by Dolen and Petrelik where iron melts were also present. Together with the presumably thin cultural accumulations these finds suggest that the two settlements were rather shortlived and belonged to iron-producing communities. As they are dated in the Late Iron Age, the question about the probable existence of earlier centres of metallurgy and metal-working remains open.

11.4.13.2. Necropolises
Both tumular and flat necropolises have been attested in the Gotse Delchev basin. As elements of the settlement system they can also provide some important information about the development of settlement life in the valley. Unfortunately it remains rather difficult to establish their chronology, since just a few have been excavated. So from the considerable number of necropolises registered in the area, only those with a certain or probable dating in the period examined here will be included in the analysis. At least some of the remaining necropolises must be related to the Roman Imperial period, to Late Antiquity or the Middle Ages. II.4.1.3.2.1. Tumular Necropolises Very few necropolises can be attributed indisputably to the Late Bronze Age. The burial under one of the thirteen tumuli excavated in the large necropolis between Kochan and Satovcha (tumulus No 7) is of Late Bronze Age date; the ritual was cremation and the bones were gathered in an urn.24 Materials from this period have also been found in the embankment of some tumuli from the necropolises at Osina and Pletena, which allows to date them tentatively to the Late Bronze Age.25 More information is available about the burial practices in the Early Iron Age and especially in its second stage. Seven of the tumuli excavated in the necropolis near Kochan and Satovcha (Nos 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10, and 11) are from this period.26 Situated on the ridge between the two villages, this necropolis comprises over one hundred mounds piled in different periods till the end of Antiquity; it illustrates in the best way the development of the various burial practices in the area. Single, double and collective graves were excavated in the necropolis and both inhumation and inumed cremation were used. In five of the Early Iron Age tumuli the central grave belonged to a woman and only in one case - to a man.27 The burials in tumulus No 4 are particularly interesting. A rich female grave was found in the centre of the tumulus, above it were two male graves and a re-burial of a woman's bones; the mound was last used in the 1st c. B.C.28 A double female burial discovered in tumulus No 2 was interpreted by the archaeologists as representing a specific aspect of Thracian religious beliefs." The secondary burial of human bones (in tumuli Nos 2, 3, and 4) is among the interesting practices witnessed in the necropolis; it is still applied in our days in some parts of the Rhodopes. Other peculiar funerary practices displaying original aspects of the cult of the dead were the replacing of the bones with stones
23

Domaradzki et al. 1999: 9. Gergova 1995:34. Domaradzki et al. 1999: 11, 95, Site 4, 96, Site 5. Gergova 1980; Gergova 1995: 34. 27 Gergova 1989: 238. 28 Gergova 1989: 237. 29 Geraoval989:238.
24

44

KOPRIVLEN 1 C2ll. The Middle Mesta Region and partial burial/ The burial ritual was accompanied quite often by a fire as shown by the numerous remains of pyres in or near the centre of the mounds or at different levels in the embankments (tumuli Nos 2, 7, 8, 10).31 Some elements of the burial practices characteristic of this necropolis find parallels at Patele in the valley of Bistritsa (Haliacmon).32 A spectacle-fibula and a bronze bracelet from Ribnovo published by V. Mikov33 and dating from the 8th c. B.C.34 probably come from a destroyed necropolis of small mounds. Two graves weie discovered in a demolished mound south of Lyaski on the right bank of the Mesta; the one dates from the 8 th or 7 th c. B.C. (Gergova's stage Ila) and the other from the last decades of the 6 th c. B.C.35 The finds found in the embankment of one of the tumuli south of Sadovo suggest that it also belongs to this period.36 In accordance with the increased number of settlements, the number of Late Iron Age mound necropolises in the area is also considerably greater. Necropolises were developing close to most of the settlements (Fig. 3). The necropolises near Kochan - Satovcha and Ribnovo continued to be used, as evidenced by the six torques found at Ribnovo. A secondary grave in the burial mound at Lyaski is dated in the Hellenistic Period.37 A new type of burial construction - the monumental stone tombs - appeared in tumuli of the Hellenistic period. There is information about stone burial constructions in at least three mounds in the area south of Hadjidimovo, in the localities Kutubara, Tumbite and Zad Manastira.38 Unfortunately, all these have been the object of unprofessional excavations since the beginning of the 20' century. According to the information of V. Mikov, rich grave finds were found by the excavators. Bronze, silver and ceramic vessels, silver and gold jewellery and an iron sword were reportedly found in the Kutubara mound and later confiscated by the then Turkish government. A bronze situla is said to have been found in the Zad Manastira tomb, and gold earrings in one of the mounds at Tumbite. In 1995 the authors of this volume re-excavated partially one of the two burial mounds at Tumbite and revealed the rains of a destroyed hypogeum stone tomb. The architectural construction illustrates the links between South-Western Thrace and Hellenistic Macedonia.39 Mound tombs have also been reported along the left bank of the Mesta, near the villages of Valkosel (a bronze helmet was allegedly found there) 40 and Dabnitsa,41 but there is no available information about their design and the type of construction. The tumuli are usually situated at high places with good visibility such as the crests of the mountainous ridges; sometimes they are single, often in small groups or larger necropolises which could have been used for quite a long time. The number of tumuli registered on the right bank of the Mesta is smaller - about thirty, 42 while more than eighty are known on the left bank even without the large mound necropolis at Kochan - Satovcha and the destroyed one at Ribnovo. Another conspicuous difference is that along the right bank of the river there are no large necropolises like the one at Kochan - Satovcha.43
30 31

Gergoval989:238. Gergova 1989: 239. 32 Domaradzki et al. 1999: 12. 33 Mikov 1938, 344; Dremsizova-Nelchinova 1987, 105, No 257. Attention has already been drawn to the fact that the materials published by V. Mikov as a single find from Ribnovo - a spectacle fibula, a bronze bracelet and six bronze torques - belong in fact to two different chronological periods - the fibula and bracelet to the Early Iron Age and the torques to the Late Iron Age (Gergova 1987, 6; Domaradzki et al. 1999, 11). Domaradzki found no traces of burial mounds at Atkova plevnia, the alleged place of the find (Domaradzki et al. 1999, 97). The necropolis could have been destroyed by modern land cultivation. 34 Gergova 1987: 53. 35 Gergova 1987: 1 If. 36 Vulcheva et al. (in press). "Gergova 1987: 11. 38 Mikov 1937: 212; Dremsizova-Nelchinova 1987: 127, N° 332. 39 Vulcheva et al. (in press); Cf. Chapter I infra. 40 Dremsizova-Nelchinova 1987: 51, to No 53. 41 Dremsizova-Nelchinova 1987: 69. Vulcheva et al. (in press). 43 Vulcheva et al. (in press).

45

II.4. Archaeological Overview: Prehistoric and Thracian Periods (Y. Tsvetkova) The size of the mounds varies between 0.80 and 9 m. in height and between 5 and 40 m. in diameter. The lower mounds consist of stones and ground and the higher ones usually only of ground. The embankments of all of the excavated mounds from the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages at the necropolis of Kochan - Satovcha consist of stones and ground.44 Many of the bigger mounds are situated in the lower parts of the valley, partly in the area around the Roman town of Nicopolis ad Nestum, and their piling might be referred presumably to the Imperial Period.45 The systematic investigation of the necropolis at Kochan - Satovcha has furnished some more detailed information about the burial practices in the region. The burials rites included both cremation or inhumation and their simultaneous practice continued throughout the Early Iron Age, just like in other parts of Thrace.46 Cremation is considered more typical of the earlier stage of the Early Iron Age, which suggests continuity from the Late Bronze Age.47 During the second phase of the Early Iron Age inhumation seems to have prevailed.48 The burial constructions also show some similarities between the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages. Cremation burials in situ or in urns were practised in the Late Bronze Age.49 Inurned cremations remained in use in the early phase of the Early Iron Age.50 The greater variety of burial constructions is typical of the mounds from the second phase of the Early Iron Age, which contain pits, cist graves, graves surrounded with stones, and oval platforms, 51 suggests significant changes at the end of the 9' and in the 8th c. B.C.52 These traditions were preserved in the Late Iron Age, when mound burials in urns appear often along the predominant cist graves/ II.4.1.3.2.2. Flat Necropolises In addition to the mound necropolises, flat ones consisting of cist graves are also quite common in the Gotse Delchev basin. Cist grave constructions under tumuli were already usual in the Early Iron Age. The emergence of the large flat necropolises with cist graves in the region can be referred to the end of this period. A flat necropolis is situated in the vicinity of the settlement site from the beginning of the 1st millennium B.C. at Pletena,54 but its use during that period has not been attested with certainty. Judging by the Late Iron Age finds in the two graves excavated there, the whole necropolis might rather pertain to a later stage in the development of the settlement.55 The case with a presumably Early Iron Age cist grave in the locality Tesnikola near Kochan is also ambiguous; it was defined as belonging to a necropolis of the Early Iron Age,56 but a later field survey did not confirm this information.57 The only flat necropolis certainly related to the Early Iron Age is situated near the village of Ilinden, on the right bank of the Mesta; it seems to have existed simultaneously with the settlement at Koprivlen during the Archaic Period (7th - 6th c. B.C.). During the Late Iron Age flat necropolises were in use all over the region. They were situated near the settlements and, just like the burial mounds, usually on the crests of the nearby ridges. In many cases flat necropolises developed round one or several tumuli, for example at Drezhno near Ablanitsa,58 at Lungurevi Tumbi near Vulkosel,59 at Poseki near Pletena,60 or at Borova Koria near Krushevo.61
Gergova 1995: 34. Domaradzki et al. 1999: 13f. 46 Gergova 1990:21. 47 Domaradzki et al. 1999: 12. 48 Gergova 1990:21. 49 Gergova 1989:233. 50 Gergova 1989: 234. 51 Gergova 1989: 237; Gergova 1990: 21. 52 Domaradzki etal. 1999: 12. x Stoianova-Serafimova 198la: 211. 54 Mikov 1927 55 Zhuglev 1977. 56 Stoianova-Serafimova 1975; Vasilev 1975. 57 A bronze bracelet with rectangular cross-section, ends in the shape of lizards' heads, and decoration of relief ribs and engraved lines, was allegedly found in the same locality (Domaradzki et al. 1999, 92, Site 3). Domaradzki et al. 1999: 83, Site 6. Domaradzki et al. 1999: 85, Site 1.
45

46

KOPRIVLEN 1 call. The Middle Mesta Region Chance finds from the flat necropolis at Drezhno near Ablanitsa provide new information about Thracian culture in the region in the 4th and 3rd c. B.C.62 Some of the fibulae discovered in a female grave suggest parallels with Celtic ornaments of this kind. This might be explained with the influence of Celtic decorative art rather than with a real presence of Celts in the valley and would show the region's awareness of new cultural trends.63 Quite a number of warrior burials have been found in cist graves in the Gotse Delchev valley. Most of these are concentrated along the left bank of the Mesta river, at Kovachevitsa,64 Gorno Dryanovo,65 Stanchovitsa66 and Ilinden 67 near Pletena, and Debren.68 Judging by a helmet found near Satovcha or Slashten, there was such a grave there too, but the information about the find is unfortunately not clear. 9 Only one warrior grave has been found so far on the right bank of the river near the village of Sredna.70 These warrior graves are dated generally in the 5 th and 4th c. B.C. (Kovachevitsa) and until the first half of the 3r c. B.C. (Sredna). The grave goods found in them are not excessively rich, but they must have belonged to Thracians with a relatively high social status.71 The grave finds provide evidence for the reconstruction of the elements of Thracian warrior equipment. It usually included a helmet with cheek-pieces (bronze ones were found at Gorno Dryanovo, Debren, Kovachevitsa and at Ilinden near Pletena, and iron ones at Stanchovitsa near Pletena and at Sredna), several torques which seem to have been worn not so much as a sign of noble descent but mainly to protect the neck (two examples come from Gorno Drianovo, one from Debren, two from Kovachevitsa, six from Pletena, and one fragment of an iron torque from Sredna), a cuirass (one example from Gorno Dryanovo ), and greaves (a pair from Pletena). Long sword-spears (romphaeae) were found in graves at Gomo Drianovo, Debren, Pletena and Sredna. The six torques from Ribnovo ~ probably represent part of the finds from a similar grave. Almost all of the helmets found in the area pertain to the so called "Thracian type". Only the helmet from Ilinden near Pletena shows some parallels with the Chalcidian type - arcs above the eyebrows, a nose-protector and a frontal. 73 Precise technological investigations of the helmets found in the region of the Rhodopes suggest a common model and warrants the definition of a local typological group.74 The bronze and the iron helmets were produced simultaneously by the same specialized local metal workers who also repaired the armour damaged in the course of long use.75 The iron helmets from Stanchovitsa near Pletena and from Sredna and the information about iron-extraction at some of the settlements imply the existence of local workshops for armour in the region (probably at Pletena).76 The 4!h c. B.C. grave from Hadjidimovo (former Gornyani) can be set apart from the standard 77 warrior graves, and should be ranked rather among the rich graves of the age. The Gornyani grave finds include a gold pectoral, a silver kantharos, a silver jug, a silver ring, an iron bridle-bit, gilded buttons, clay and bone objects, tetradrachms of Phillip II and a horse skeleton by the grave;78 they

Domaradzki et al. 1999: 97, Site 14. Domaradzki et al. 1999: 92, Site 2. Chacheva 1970: 30If; Stoianova-Serafimova 198la: 210 Stoianova-Serafimova 198la: 211. Mikov 1927. Zhuglev 1977. Stoianova-Serafimova 1975; Vasilev 1975. Domaradzki et al. 1999: 95-96, Site 2. Zhuglev 1970; Domaradzki et al. 1999: 89 Site 16. Stoianova-Serafimova 1975; Zhuglev 1979; Vasilev 1980: note 13. Kulov 1990. Domaradzki 1998:28. Mikov 1938: 345f Vasilev 1980: 15. Vasilev 1980:7. Vasilev 1980: 15. Stoianova-Serafimova 1975:48. Domaradzki et al. 1999: 13. Mikov 1937: 207-212.
47

//. 4. Archaeological Overview: Prehistoric and Thracian Periods (Y. Tsvetkova) demonstrate explicitly the high social status of the deceased - most likely a representative of the ruling Thracian aristocracy. Also in contrast with the cist graves, but in the opposite direction, are the much poorer Late Iron Age burials in urns or simple pits. Such graves have been discovered together with cist graves or in separate necropolises and probably display different modes of burial associated with the ordinary members of Thracian society.79 In this way the funerary practices reflect clearly the social differentiation of Thracian society. The review of the necropolises as part of the settlement system sheds some light on the gradual development of the latter. In comparison with the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages, in the Late Iron Age the number of necropolises kept increasing proportionally to the increase in the number of settlements, and they are normally found together, the necropolises occupying usually an elevated and exposed position in the vicinity of the respective settlements. The mound necropolis at Kochan - Satovcha, which was used during a very long period of time, could be an exception to the rule, for no traces of any settlement whatsoever have been found in its vicinity; it has been suggested that this particular necropolis could reflect a different level of social organisation, based on a territorial, tribal or religious principle, which determined its central position in the whole region.80 A specific concentration of at least six separate Late Iron Age necropolises has been observed around Pletena on the left bank of the Mesta. Two of the helmets mentioned above were found here. The facts confirm the importance of the Pletena settlement during that period.81 Another group of burial sites - a mound, a flat necropolis and a built tomb - have been registered near Vulkosel and should in all probability be linked with the settlement at the locality "Popa" where the handle of a column krater was found. * A most important settlement centre of the Early Hellenistic Period must have existed in the vicinity of Hadjidimovo on the right bank of the Mesta river, as can be judged by the rich burial finds from the area and the remains of monumental tomb architecture which are exceptional in this parts of ancient Thrace.

H.4.1.3.3. Cult Sites
A number of sites in the Gotse Delchev valley and on the slopes of the surrounding mountains have been interpreted as cult ones. Two such sites, at Osina83 and Tsruncha,84 were already in use during the Late Bronze Age according to the archaeological material; both however continued functioning during the following periods of the Early and Late Iron Age. A ritual pit complex seems to have existed near Hadjidimovo in the Early Iron Age.85 The cult sites at Kovachevitsa86 and Ilinden87 can be dated generally in the 1st millennium B.C. From a topographical point of view the sanctuaries are situated mostly in the mountains, and especially in the first mountain belt above the valley. At least in several cases they seem to have developed around distinctive rock formations (at Osina, Tsruncha, and Kovachevitsa). The cult site near Ilinden is located on a rocky cliff surrounded on three sides by the river Mutnitsa; the remains of a stone wall are still visible at some places. The archaeological finds show that the cult sites were used during long periods of time. They seem to have been situated away from settlements and this might imply their functioning at a regional, multi-settlement level. The pit sanctuaries have a different character. Two ritual pits dug below the level of the ancient terrain were discovered during the archaeological excavations of a large burial mound at Tumbite near Hadjidimovo. The archaeological materials in the pits were much older than the tumulus itself;
Domaradzki et al. 1999: 14. Domaradzki et al. 1999: 12 81 Domaradzki et al. 1999: 13. 82 Mladenova 1967: 15 ff. 83 Domaradzki et al. 1999: 73-74, 95, Site 1. 84 Domaradzki 1986b; Domaradzki et al. 1999: 101, Site 5. 85 Cf. Chapter I supra. 86 Domaradzki et al. 1999: 91 Site 2. 87 Vulcheva et al. (in press).
80
79

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KOPRIVLEN1 asII. The Middle Mesta Region their date in the later Early Iron Age coincides with the earlier materials from the Hadjidimovo settlement, and this implies the existence of an early cult site associated with the settlement and situated at the place of the later mound necropolis. More sanctuaries were discovered on the left bank of the river. The close proximity of the sanctuaries at Tsruncha and Osina and the Kochan - Satovcha necropolis suggests the existence of a specific cult and burial area in this part of the valley.89 Another similar area might be suggested between Hadjidimovo and Ilinden on the right bank of the river.

II.4.1.4. Conclusions
The review of the elements of the settlement system permits some general conclusions about the development of settlement life in the Gotse Delchev valley. The first settlements in the region were situated in the first ridges of the western slopes of Mount Dubrash. During the whole period discussed here, the concentration of sites here remained greatest. Only from the end of the Early Iron Age onwards did the settlements start to "move downwards" into the valley, increasing simultaneously in number. Even then hill sites like the one near Hadjidimovo were preferred. The inhabitants seem to have avoided intentionally the open spaces, looking for natural defence, but the selection of sites might have been connected with the peculiarities of their economy as well. The geographical factor should not be underestimated - the frequent floods of the Mesta were a very good reason for placing the settlements in higher places. The greater density of the settlements on the left bank of the river is a noticeable fact. This might be due to the better natural conditions on this bank - the low and accessible slopes of the Western Rhodopes, crossed by the numerous tributaries of the Mesta river, are almost reaching its bed. On the opposite right bank the situation is different - the broad and flat valley between Gotse Delchev and Hadjidimovo is abruptly limited to the west by the almost vertical slopes of Pirin. Suitable settlement places existed in the valley of Mutnitsa, the only right tributary of the Mesta in the area; its middle and lower reaches run through lower mountain grounds where a concentration of archaeological sites has been noted. Most of the sites - settlements, necropolises, sanctuaries - show a long period of occupation, and this could be taken to imply ethnical and religious continuity in the area. From a demographic point of view, there seems to have been a continuous rise in population starting in the second stage of the Early Iron Age and increasing in the Late Iron Age when the settlement system was most densely packed. The tracing of this process has provided information on several areas which seem to have had some kind of leading, predominant position in one or another period. In the Late Bronze Age such an area is outlined around Osina, Tsruncha, Kochan and Satovcha. At least some of the sites there were related with cult and religious activities, and this seems to offer an explanation for the importance of this area, which remained pronounced in the following periods. In the Late Iron Age areas of specific importance seem to have been established for economic as well as religious reasons. Metallurgy and metal-working must have become much more important for the local population,90 and the large settlement sites at Pletena on the left bank of the Mesta and at Hadjidimovo on the right bank of the river should be considered in close relation to the neighbouring metallurgical centres near Dolen and Petrelik. Thus, two areas of regional importance can be established for this age - one between Pletena and Dolen and the other around Ilinden, Petrelik and Hadjidimovo in the valley of the river Mutnitsa. The importance of the area around Hadjidimovo is confirmed by the rich grave finds which illustrate its prosperity in the Early Hellenistic Period. Another concentration of archaeological sites has been noted in the area around Ablanitsa and Valkosel on the left bank of the Mesta and Teplen on the opposite right bank. The river does not seem to have hampered the constant contacts among the settlements on its two sides in this area, and this idea is confirmed by the remains of a bridge (presumably of later date) at Valkosel.91

' Vulcheva et al. (in press). Gergova 1995:38. ' Domaradzki et al. 1999:32 Dremsizova-Nelchinova 1987: 52, No. 56.

49

II. 4. Archaeological Overview: Prehistoric and Thracian Periods (Y. Tsvetkova) Besides the rich grave finds,92 the coin hoards from the Gotse Delchev basin also bear witness to the economic prosperity of the ancient population in the Late Iron Age. The coin circulation in the region snows the dynamics of the economical development in this period. The hoards from the vicinity of Gotse Delchev include early coins of Thasos, of the Orescii, and of the Thracian dynast Saratokos and should be connected with the Late Iron Age settlement on the site of the modern town.93 A find from Skrebatno consisted of drachms of an anonymous Thracian tribe of the "Silenus abducting a nymph" type and tetroboli of Thasos.94 The finds with tetradrachms of the Macedonian rulers Philip II (Ribnovo and Gospodintsi)95 and Philip V and Perseus (Ablanitsa)96 attest the links of the region with the Macedonian state. The increased coin circulation between the 3rd and 1 st c. B.C. reflects the economic and political development of the region which became a zone of contacts between the Thracian lands and the Macedonian state, and later on with the Roman province Macedonia.97 From the Late Bronze Age till the end of the first millennium B.C. the Gotse Delchev valley was developing as a part of the cultural zone of the Norm-Western Aegean. The imported ceramic vessels and the coins suggest the permanent relations of the Middle Nestos area with the North Aegean cities and with the coastal regions around Mount Pangaion, the Chalcidic peninsula and the lower Axios (Vardar). The excavations of the Thracian settlement near Koprivlen which are published in a preliminary form in this volume have confirmed beyond doubt this general affiliation of the area, providing at the same time an invaluable insight into the peculiarities of the local Thracian cultural development.

In addition to those mentioned above note also the two gold bracelets published by V. Mikov (Mikov 1950: 151-153) which probably come from a rich grave. 93 Gerasimov 1950: 317; Gerasimov 1939; Dremsizova-Nelchinova 1987: 58f., Nos 76, 77, 80; Domaradzki et al. 1999: 32. 94 Gerasimov 1964: 240; Kolev, Slavcheva 1972. 95 Mushmov 1921/22: 242; Gerasimov 1950: 321. 96 Gerasimov 1940/42: 282. 97 Domaradzki et al. 1999: 33.
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92

II.4.2. THE ROMAN IMPERIAL PERIOD, LATE ANTIQUITY AND THE MIDDLE AGES
Mihail Vaklinov (Institute of Archaeology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)

H.4.2.1. Historical and Archaeological Investigations
Though rich in archaeological monuments, the Gotse Delchev region remained for a long time aside from the routes of travellers and annalists. The first to give some information about the Middle Mesta valley was Konstantin Jirecek in his book "Travels in Bulgaria" published in 1888. He identified incorrectly Nicopolis ad Nestum with Nevrokop (the present Gotse Delchev) mentioning the ruins at "Gradishteto" near the modern town. Jirecek also mentioned that the ancient city minted coins.1 The information offered by V. Kanchov in his book "Travel along the Valleys of the Struma, Mesta and Bregalnitsa" is much more detailed. He mentions the fortification walls of Nicopolis ad Nestum which were 1.30 m. thick and still preserved to a height of over 2 m. Kanchov was impressed by the architectural fragments, slabs of marble and other remains scattered over the site. He has given a description of the road through the Rhodope mountains connecting Nicopolis with the Maritsa valley." The French numismatist P. Perdrizet dedicated an article to the autonomous coins of Nicopolis ad Nestum, minted in the reign of the emperors Commodus, Geta and Caracalla. K. Nikolov described in great details the ruins in the villages of Gospodintsi, Ognianovo, Marchevo, Gurmen, Leshten, Kovachevitsa, Skrebatno. He also traced the route of the old road going through the Rhodope mountains to Dospat, parts of which have been preserved to this day.4 During the Balkan Wars, B. Filov made a survey in the region and described with great precision the visible fortification walls of Nicopolis and several basilicas in the vicinity of the city." A detailed description of the ancient city and its region was made by I. Todorov. He suggested that Nicopolis was founded on the place of an older Thracian settlement (Alexandropolis) and paid great attention to the coins minted in the city. His research touched also on the hydronym Mesta.6 Most of the evidence about the archaeology of the Middle Mesta region in Antiquity and the Middle Ages is confined to publications in periodicals describing chance finds preserved mainly in the National Archaeological Museum in Sofia and the local museum in Gotse Delchev.7 Between 1960 and 1962 S. Mihailov and S. Georgieva organized an expedition for the study of medieval archaeological monuments in the Rhodope mountains. They discovered several necropolises around Satovcha and studied the fortress above the village of Dabnitsa.8 S. Mihailov effected trial excavations of the late medieval churches "St Nedelya" near the village of Kribul and "St Archangel" in the fortress above the village of Dabnitsa, complementing the history of the region with some evidence about this period which had remained insufficiently studied previously.9

'Jirecek 1974:448. Kunchov 1970: 137 sqq. 3 Perdrizet 1906:217-233. 4 Nikolov 1909: 155-177. 5 Filov 1993:86-89. 6 Todorov 1940: 493-497, Todorov 1940/41: 101. 7 Beshevliev 1934: 465-466; Venedikov 1946: 233; Velkov 1921/22: 250; Velkovl934: 465; Velkov, Danov 1938: 447-449; Gerasimov 1937a: 319, 322; Gerasimov 1938: 455; Danov 1937: 309-310; Dechev 1938: 285-286; Katsarov 1919/20: 10-12, Katsarov 1934: 58-59; Filov 1917/18: 169-170. 'Georgieva 1961: 12-13. 'Mihailov 1969: 147-163.
2

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II.4. Archaeological Overview: Roman Period, Late Antiquity, Middle Ages (M. Vaklinov) The epigraphical monuments from the region have been collected, dated and annotated by G. Mihailov.10 Z. Vuzharova and D. Stoianova-Serafimova excavated two early medieval necropolises near the villages Ablanitsa and Tuhovishte.11 The archaeological activity in the region became more active in the seventies when several expeditions of different profile were launched. The expedition "Mesta " lead by M. Domaradzki carried out a large scale field survey along the left bank of the Mesta river; among the registered sites and monuments many pertained to Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages.12 Three early Christian basilicas were studied archaeologically in the same period.13 In 1980 a team lead by A. Milcheva started regular archaeological excavations of the ancient city of Nicopolis ad Nestum. These proceeded with some breaks until 1987. The excavations revealed the whole south fortification wall of Nicopolis and some private and public buildings from the 4 - 6 century A.D.14 II.4.2.2. The Roman Imperial Period and Late Antiquity The ancient and medieval history of the Gotse Delchev region is closely related with the history of Nicopolis ad Nestum (NvKOTioAiq Tipoq Neons) - the largest fortified city in the Middle Mesta basin. The ruins of the ancient city are situated close to a detached part of the village of Gurmen known as Zagrade. The town was mentioned for the first time in the 2nd c. A.D. in the Geography of Claudius Ptolemy among the cities founded by the emperor Trajan in honour of his victory over the Dacians. The foundation of the city in a region with troubled Thracian population must have been aimed mainly at the establishment of control over the major roads, and mainly the one connecting via the Rhodope mountains the Via Egnatia with Philippopolis and the Central (Diagonal) Road. 3 The ancient city spread soon far beyond the fortification walls, and the city territory included many small satellite industrial settlements. The significance of Nicopolis for the economy of the region is confirmed by the bronze coinage of the city in the 2nd and early 3rd century A.D., inscribed with the legend 'Oo^Tiiaq NiKO7c6X,eex; npoq MsoTax16 The epigraphical monuments attest the existence of a religious society consecrated to the cult of the health deities, which seems to have exercised a great influence over the administration of the city. This cult must have been related with the hot mineral springs by the neighbouring village of Ognyanovo, famous for their healing properties and functioning to this day; in ancient times the mineral water must have been piped to the city. Nicopolis ad Nestum was described by Socrates in the 5th century as one of the seven episcopal centres in the province of Rhodope; he also mentioned by name a bishop Polycarp who had come to the city from Sexaginta Prista came.17 The same was confirmed by an inscription found during the th excavations of the fortified territory of the city. 18 In the 6 century, the city was placed in the same 19 province of Rhodope in the "Synecdemus" of Hierocles. During the great Slavic invasions of the beginning and middle of the 6th century, it escaped the fate of the big fortress Topeiros near the mouth of the Mesta river which was taken and sacked. Nicopolis was destroyed most probably during the later invasions of Slavs and Avars in the second half of the 6th century A.D., possibly in the time of Justin II and Sofia as suggested by a coin hoard found among the ruins of the city." The archaeological excavations have not been able to identify with certainty the territory of the Roman city between the 2nd and 4th century. The preserved parts of the fortification walls were
10 Mihailov 1966: 285-298, tab. 162-170. 11 Vuzharova, Chacheva 1968: 27; Vuzharova 1976: 447; Stoianova-Serafimova 1979: 789-804; Stoianova-Serafimova 198 Ib. Domaradzki et al. 1999. 3 Popova 1979; Dimitrova-Milcheva 1980. 4 Dimitrova- Milcheva et al. 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987. 5 Asdracha 1975:35-42. 16 Perdrizet 1906: 217-233. 17 Socrates. -THEM 2, 1958. 18 Dimitrova-Milcheva et al. 1982. 19 Hierokles. Sinecdemus. - FHEH2, 1958: 89. 20 Kuzmanov 1994:34.

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KOPRIVLEN I cell. The Middle Mesta Region built at the earliest in the middle of the 4th century.7' The earlier city must have comprised a greater territory if we judge by the fact that the fortification walls lie on older buildings or comply with their plans. However, for the moment there is no material evidence of earlier fortifications. The general plan of the fortress represents an irregular polygon and comprises an area of 11 hectares (about 27 acres). In spite of the even terrain, the fortification walls are not straight. The archaeological excavations have revealed the whole south wall and parts of the east and west ones.22 Six towers were excavated along the south wall which had a length of 271.75 m. and a width of 2.40 - 2.50 m.; four of these were of circular plan and the remaining two, flanking the south gate, were square. All towers were projecting outwards from the fortification wall; their proper walls were 1.60 m. thick. There was at least one large rectangular tower along the eastern wall which is situated for the longer part under inhabited parts of the modern village of Gurmen. The tower was connected constructively with the wall, which ran at this place along the foundations of a big peristyle building, and had a stone staircase from which seven steps were preserved. Only the inner side of the western fortification wall was uncovered during the excavations. At about 100 m. from the south-western corner tower, an U-shaped tower was attached to this wall, the only one of such form studied so far; this was accessible by two staircases on both sides, eight steps being preserved from the south one and nine - from the north one. The tower lies on a destroyed earlier building with a mosaic floor. The only excavated city gate was on the south wall, some 50 m. from the south-western corner tower. The gate is shaped like a deep semicircular exedra turned inside, with the two towers situated at both ends and the 4 m. wide entrance right in the middle of the curve. The towers are of almost quadrangular shape, of relatively large dimensions (4.26 by 4.16 m. and 7.10 by 5.20 m) and have one-side staircases. The fortification wall of Nicopolis ad Nestum is built entirely in opus mixtum - a building technique characteristic of the eastern provinces in the late 3rd and early 4th century. The combination of round and square towers was very popular in Thrace in this period.23 So far there is no reliable information about the town-planning. The fact that the excavated parts of the fortification walls were built compliant with existing earlier buildings suggests that in the 4 th century, when the fortified territory was reduced, the town plan was not changed radically. The street system has not been uncovered yet with the exception of a part of the cardo inaximus excavated by the south gate; this was some 6 m. wide. Only two buildings have been studied thus far inside the fortified city. A bath complex was wholly excavated by the southern fortification wall; it antedates the wall, which makes a detour round thefrigidarium with a semi-circular niche. The earliest find in the bath is a bronze coin of Licinius II (A.D. 317-324).24 The situation of the bath on the town plan before the construction of the fortification walls cannot be established with certitude, but judging by its dimensions, at least one of its entrances should have been facing the central square, which was the typical location of the larger public baths in Roman town-planning.25 The bath in Nicopolis was burnt at the end of the 4th or the beginning of the 5th century, probably during the Gothic raids which followed the end of the Second Gothic War; it was restored later, in the last quarter of the 5th century, as shown by a gold coin of the emperor Zeno (474491) discovered in thefrigidarium. The bath was finally destroyed and abandoned in the time of Justin II and Sofia when the whole town was razed by the Slavs." Another big and representative building, most likely contemporary with the bath, was uncovered partially in the south-eastern corner of the fortified city. This had a large peristyle court with a row of single rooms to the east and a big hall with benches along the walls to the south. Millstones were found on the brick floor of the latter. To the west of the hall were excavated two store-rooms with pithoi dug into the ground. This building was also constructed before the 4th century fortification wall, as evidenced by the fact that the eastern wall was built following its outline. The portico was constructed with columns, bases and plinths of different types and sizes.~
21
22

Dimitrova-Milcheva 1992: 268.

I am most grateful to Prof. A. Milcheva who kindly gave me access to the original documentation of the excavations. 23 Dimitrova-Milcheva 1992: 266. 24 Kuzmanov 1994: 34. 25 Vacheva 1994: 147. Kuzmanov 1994: 34. 27 Dimitrova-Milcheva et al. 1983.

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II. 4. Archaeological Overview: Roman Period, Late Antiquity, Middle Ages (M. Vaklinov) No temples have been excavated so far on the territory of the fortified city. Among the inscriptions from Nicopolis there is a list of the members of a religious society worshipping Asclepius; there are also dedications to Zeus, to Pluto and to the Thracian horseman (Hpmt ITopu£poi>A,a).28 With the establishment of Christianity as an official religion in the 4th century began the construction of large and representative Christian cult buildings. Several richly decorated basilicas from the 4' and 5' centuries have been excavated in the vicinity of Nicopolis ad Nestam, Numerous architectural fragments with typical ornamentation, probably the produce of local workshops, are among the remains of these churches.30 The rich decoration of these early Christian basilicas speaks of the important role of the new religion in the life of the city in Late Antiquity. 11 The region of Nicopolis ad Nestum was densely populated during the Roman Imperial and the Early Byzantine periods. There are many settlements and necropolises from that period in the area, which unfortunately have not been seriously excavated. Fortresses guarding the valley and the city were situated on many of the surrounding mountain heights of the Rhodope and Pirin mountains. Among the best preserved and partially excavated mountain fortresses are the one near the village of Gospodintsi at the exit from Momyna Klisura, the "St. Archangel" fortress near the village of Dabnitsa, the fortress above the Mesta near the village of Vulkosel, the fortress "Momina kula" above the town of Gotse Delchev. Around these fortresses were developing settlements and necropolises. Such settlements were situated near many of the fortresses and in most cases they succeeded older places of habitation. The information about the burial practices in the period discussed is scarce and difficult to interpret. Most of the necropolises are flat, though mounds are also found around the city. The typical graves were pits dug into the ground, surrounded with stones and covered with stone slabs. Although much more rarely, graves covered with tiles or constructed of bricks were also used. The deceased were most often buried with their personal belongings - jewellery and vessels. There are also graves without human remains - cenotaphs. Despite the establishment of Christianity as an official religion, some burial practices typical of the 1 st millennium B.C. were preserved till the beginning of the 5 th century A.D. The practice of burying the deceased in cist graves has been preserved in the Rhodope mountains till nowadays.31 The pottery production is also marked by conservatism. The old Thracian traditions of ceramic production were still alive throughout Late Antiquity. The only certainly identified ceramic imports in Nicopolis come from North Africa and Asia Minor, but in contrast to the situation in other contemporary city centres in Thrace, this import did not influence the local production. The high percentage of vessels with typically Thracian shape and decoration suggests the preservation of the ethnic composition of the region during the Early Byzantine period. Despite the relative proximity of the Aegean ports, the transport tare is almost totally absent from the local ceramic complex. Obviously Nicopolis had a degree of self-sufficiency and the needs of its population were satisfied within the frames of its territory.34

II.4.2.3. The Middle Ages
Nicopolis is mentioned in written sources from the 9 th century as an independent episcopate in the Thracian eparchy at the time of Nicephorus the patriarch of Constantinople (806-815) and again in the second half of the century in the church lists of the Byzantine Empire from the time of patriarch Photius.35 In 837 Khan Presian reached as far as Philippi and most likely that was the first time when the Bulgarians entered the region of the Mesta river.

Mihailov 1966: 2337, 2340, 2343, 2344. Pillinger et al. 1999: 81-83, Taf. 43, 44. 30 Vaklinova 1980. 31 Chichikova 1972a:251.
1

1

32 33

Dremsizova-Nelchinova 1987. Domaradzki et al. 1999: 14-15.
Kuzmanov 1993: 43-44. NotitiaeEpiscopatum.-rHEH4, 1961: 149-156.

54

KOPRIVLEN1 eg II. The Middle Mesta Region In the 10" century Nicopolis was mentioned by the Byzantine emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus in his treatise "De thematibus" among the thirty-two cities in the province Macedonia Prima. Byzantine bishops of Nicopolis were mentioned till the beginning of the 11th century, despite the territorial advance of the Bulgarian kingdom.37 After the devastation of Nicopolis in the 6th century, the town territory remained uninhabited for another four centuries. The town was rebuilt only at the end of the 10th century. The fortification system was reconstructed on the remains of the Late Antique walls but in much coarser technique and without bricks. Some of the towers were used as pottery kilns. The peristyle building and the bath -if] were reconstructed into workshops and dwellings. The archaeological finds attest trade relations with the big centres to the south (Philippi, Thessalonica). The presence of Bulgarians in the region in the 10th century is confirmed by some fragments of house pottery. The analysis of the medieval ceramic complex shows a relatively low percentage of luxury vessels which were typical of the Byzantine ceramic production in the 11* and the 12th centuries - sgrafitto, vessels covered with golden or red slip or with drawings in red paint. The numerous farm tools serve as proof of the intensive agricultural production in the region of the city during this period. Probably Nicopolis developed as a centre of crafts and trade satisfying the needs of the population in the region. The medieval necropolises continue to use the cist graves typical of the region. Most likely the Slavs inherited this practice from the older Thracian population which they gradually assimilated. Graves built of stones appear also, if more rarely (e. g. in the necropolises at Tuhovishte and Koprivlen). The graves usually contain single inhumations. Sometimes two, three or more skeletons are found together in the same grave, some of the cases representing secondary burials (in the necropolises at Ablanitsa and Koprivlen).40 The final abandonment of Nicopolis is marked by a layer of burnt remains dated by a hoard of Byzantine coins, the latest of which are from A.D. 1204. The devastation of the city could be related with one of the Catalanians raids in this period.41 The old Late Antique fortresses in the region were partially reconstructed in the Middle Ages and had mainly a defensive function. In the 13th and 14th centuries some of them were probably used as castles by independent feudal rulers. The fortress "Momyna kula" above Gotse Delchev, the fortress near Hadjidimovo, the fortified settlement near Tuhovishte, the fortress near Vulkosel present some typical examples. In 1329 Nicopolis was mentioned as subordinate to the bishop of Philippi, and later to the bishop of Seres; the name of the bishopric may have been transferred to either Xanthi or Gotse Delchev (Nevrokop). ' With the invasion of the Turks, who must have taken the Middle Mesta region between 1373 and 1376, almost all fortresses and settlements were devastated and abandoned and their population gradually settled at new places, often in the near vicinity of the old ones, setting the beginnings of the settlement system which has survived till the present day.

Constantinus Porphyrogenitus. De thematibus. - THEM 5, 1964: 196. Dimitrova-Milcheva et al. 1983: 74. 39 Vaklinova 1992: 181. 40 Vuzharova 1976: 267, 270-292. 41 Vaklinova 1985. 42 Tsvetkov 1981. 43 Lemerle 1945: 274; Vaklinova 1992: 180.
38

37

44

Angelov, Cholpanov 1994: 226-227.
55

II.5. THE ANCIENT ROAD NETWORK IN THE MIDDLE MESTA REGION
Peter Delev (University of Sofia "St Kliment Ohridski") Hristo Popov (Institute of Archaeology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) The investigations in recent years have put forward a number of problems concerning the historical development of the region of Middle Mesta in antiquity. The archaeological finds from the vicinity of the village of Koprivlen proved the existence there of an important settlement centre, which maintained active trade relations with the Aegean littoral in the Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic periods. These active relations are rather surprising in the early period, between the 8th and 6th c. B.C., when they are positively attested by abundant imported pottery and early coins, and reveal a phenomenon which requires some explanation. The hypothetical existence of an early and highly developed metal industry (extraction of gold or silver?) in the region seems a plausible explanation. The identification of Koprivlen as an important road junction, controlling the access into the interior of Thrace, offers another possible answer. The ancient road system in the Middle Mesta region is rarely mentioned at all in the available scientific literature. The situation is easily explained, if we take into account the deficiency of any direct and reliable evidence in the ancient literary sources and the scanty archaeological, numismatic and epigraphical finds. Some ancient roads are discussed briefly by B. Gerov and M. Domaradzki in their works on South-Western Thrace.1 The evidence provided by Y. Ivanov in his recently published study on the place names in the Gotse Delchev region is also of importance." The remaining cases when the problem is mentioned at all in existing publications, whether in a more general context or in connection with a particular historical event (e. g. the Thracian campaign of Alexander the Great in 335 B.C.4), are limited to general remarks without any attempt at the tracing of definite route itineraries. The juxtaposition of the scanty antique evidence with the information about the traditional lines of communication in the Middle Ages and more recent times affords an opportunity to get a better idea of the ancient road network in the region; the procedure has proved rather successful elsewhere, but has not been attempted yet for the Mesta valley. The available detailed accounts from the late 19th and early 20th century left by S. Verkovich, captain A. Benderev, V. Kunchov, etc.5 provide rich material for such a study. All these writings establish the picture of a rather developed traditional road network, in which Koprivlen seems definitely to have played the role of a communication junction. To the south-east of the Nevrokop Plain, the Mesta river enters a long and impassable canyon wedged between the northern slopes of Mount Bozdag (Falakron) and the south-western ridges of the Rhodopes. Travelling through the narrow gorge was impracticable and the roads in the area had to

Gerov 1961: 216-217; Domaradzki 1995: 37-39; Domaradzki et al. 1999: 19. Ivanov 1996. 3 Spiridonov 1982: 56; Spmdonov 1999: 61; Dimitrov 1989. 4 Vulic 1909: 490; Georgiev 1962: 6; Tacheva 1987: 29; Spiridonov 1992: 9; Popov 1996: 18-21, 222

1

23,27. Verkovich 1889: 67-81; Benderev 1890: 461-470; Shopov 1893: 72-83; Kunchev 1895: 235-249; Kunchov 1896: 323-355; 1898: 11; Perdrizet 1900: 548-552.
5

57

77.5. The Ancient Road Network in the Middle Mesta Region (P. Delev, H. Popov) take a different direction, away from the river course.6 Several alternative routes, well described in the above-mentioned publications, were used in the past as the main ways out of the region in a southern direction, towards the Aegean littoral. The old road which connected Nevrokop with Drama by way of Koprivlen, Libyahovo (Ilinden), Vezme (Exohi), Vulkovo, Zurnovo (Kato Nevrokopion), Gyuredjik (Granitis) and Prosochen (Prosotseni) seems to have been the most important land route in the area. A well preserved section of this road is still to be seen south from Koprivlen, running for several kilometres in a north to south direction and having a 4 m. wide stone pavement with kerb stones on both sides. A part of the same road near the Kendika Heights between Koprivlen and Libyahovo was called "Arabayoli" in Ottoman times, which means "cart road" in Turkish.7 It is difficult to establish without archaeological investigations whether the road is of Turkish or earlier (possibly Roman) date. The archaeological materials from the wider roadside area provide however enough evidence about the existence of very early and active trade relations with the Aegean; these are exemplified by the finds of red-figured pottery around Gotse Delchev8 and especially by the impressive results of the recent archaeological excavations in Koprivlen which have yielded considerable quantities of imported Mycenaean, Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic pottery.9 The numismatic material supplies further evidence.10 A dispersed coin hoard of exceptional scientific importance found in 1978 in the vicinity of Gotse Delchev consisted of more than 30 pieces, including early issues of Thasos and of the Thracian dynast Saratokos.11 Another coin hoard containing silver staters and drachms of Thasos and a stater of the Orescii was found in the same area in 1939.12 In addition to these casual finds, the rescue excavations near Koprivlen have yielded in the last few years a certain amount of early coins from the late 6th and 5 th c. B.C. from a pertinent archaeological context. 13 On Bulgarian territory the Second World War German road which will be followed by the new road connection between Gotse Delchev and Drama from the Second World War takes an alternative parallel course and runs a few kilometres to the east of the old route, passing through Sadovo and bypassing Ilinden (Libyahovo). Preserved remains of an old (probably Roman) paved road have also been noticed in the area of the Gyuredjik Pass in Mount Bozdag.14 The modern road between Drama and the closed valley of Zurnevo (Kato Nevrokopion) in Greece follows the same itinerary. An alternative road branch started once from the village of Zurnevo and headed south between Mount Sturgach and Mount Bozdag, descending into the Drama Plain down a small river. 15 Another side-road branched off at Exohi and, passing between the modem villages of Teplen and Petrelik, crossed the Mesta by a bridge, the ruins of which are still visible near the mouth of the tributary Mutnitsa south-east from Hadjidimovo, heading directly into the Western Rhodopes.16 The road to Drama was of paramount significance for the whole Middle Mesta region in the past, before it was closed by the establishment of the modern state frontier between Bulgaria and Greece after World War I. According to the available evidence, previously the bulk of the export production of the Razlog and Nevrokop basins and the neighbouring mountain districts was transported to the port of Kavala by means of this road.17
Kunchov 1895:238. Ivanov 1996: 68. 8 Reho 1990: Tav. II, V; Reho 1992: 14. 9 Cf. Chapter IV.4.2-4 infra. 10 The present paper does not aim at a specific analysis of the numismatic material from the region. Only finds of relatively early coins, dating from the end of the 6th until the first half of the 4* c. B.C., are mentioned in the text. The abundant numismatic material from later periods is not discussed at all. " Yurukova 1979: 59. Prof. Yurukova who had the chance to examine only a few of the dispersed coins suggests that two staters of the Orescii from an unknown place in the district of Blagoevgrad might have been a part of the same hoard. 12 Gerasimov 1939: 344. 13 Cf. Chapter IV. 1 infra. 14 Shopov 1893: 83, 87; Perdrizet 1900:551. 15 Kunchov 1896: 334. 16 Unpublished field survey from 1995. l7 Shopov 1893:49.
7 6

58

KOPRIVLEN 1 eg II. The Middle Mesta Region Remains of another paved road called "Kaldaruma" by the local inhabitants have survived south-west from Koprivlen, at the foot of the Pirin Mountains and to the west of the preserved section of the Drama road (Colour Plates, Fig. 285).18 Its direction corroborates the 19th and early 20th century evidence about the existence of a road link between Nevrokop and Seres. V. Kunchov and S. Verkovich give detailed accounts of this route. It separated from the Drama road at Koprivlen and took for the old village of Turlis by way of Staro Lyaski, Lyalevo, Luki, Gaytaninovo and Lovcha. At Turlis the road bifurcated; the western branch ran through Karakyoi and Krushevo (Ahladohorion), descending into the Struma valley near Demir Hisar (Siderokastron). The other road branch made an eastern detour round Mount Cherna Gora through Starchishta and Dolno Brodi, then headed southwest between Mount Sharliya (Vrondu) and Mount Zmiynitsa (Menikion) and descended directly in Seres via Banitsa and Rahovitsa. Kunchov writes that the western road branch was straighter but steeper and unusable in winter because of the height of the pass between Mount Cherna Gora and Mount Ali Botush; the longer but lower and much more convenient eastern branch of the road was preferred in that season.20 Paul Perdrizet mentions the information of a French engineer engaged at the time in the construction of the railroad between Drama and Seres about a preserved section of an old Roman (?) road, some 300-400 m. long and heading due north from the village of Banitsa;21 the remains fit well at the southern end of the eastern branch of the discussed road. The village of Turlis, where the ancient road to Seres bifurcated, appears to have been an important road junction in the past, and it is no wonder that one of the major regional fairs was held there.22 It is mentioned as one of the wealthiest villages in the Murvashko region. Iron metallurgy and iron-working were practised on a large scale in Turlis, Gaytaninovo, Teshovo and other neighbouring villages, and the whole region was traditionally established as one of the main centres of local ironproduction in the Balkans. The two branches of the road to Seres had an additional connection between them by way of a track in the vicinity of Gomo Brodi, which crossed the pass between Mount Cherna Gora and Mount Sharliya. Another side-road branched off in the region of Gaytaninovo and gained the Struma valley near Marikostino and Kulata, making use of the high Paril Pass to cross the main ridge of the Pirin. A possible connection existed also between the two main roads connecting the Nevrokop Plain alternatively with Drama and Seres, which approached one another in the region of the villages of Starchishta and Zurnevo; this lowland connection was facilitated by the short distance between the two villages (Vasil Kunchov estimates it at 2 hours walking). The main communication lines in the region - the Drama and Seres roads -joined at Koprivlen and ran together further north to Nevrokop. In Ottoman times there was an inn at the outskirts of the village, marking the important crossroads.25 The available information reveals thus the picture of a rather developed traditional road network, with many alternative routes in the section between the Nevrokop Plain and Drama and Seres. The preserved remains of old paved roads still visible here and there by the end of the 19th century and even nowadays also suggest a long tradition and continuity of the road system in the area. The valley of the Mesta becomes again less passable north of Gotse Delchev, in the 40 km long Momin Prohod gorge ("Kiz dervent" in Turkish). An old road followed the river course through the pass, but according to 19th-century information the road was impracticable for carts in this age. Because of the unfavourable conditions in the gorge, an alternative road existed high up in the slopes of the Pirin, but this was also a bad and difficult one.26 Some old travel books mention preserved road sections with remains of ancient pavement,27 and captain Nikolov even writes directly of "an old RoUnpublished field surveys from 1995; 1996: 114. Verkovich 1889: 80; Kunchov 1896: 323-354. 20 Kunchov 1896:323. 21 Perdrizet 1900: 548-552. 22 Kunchov 1896: 338. The author gives evidence that the entire trade in Eastern Macedonia was concentrated in four main fairs, held in Seres, Turlis, Nevrokop and near Melnik. 23 Kunchov 1896: 346; Kunchov 1898: 3, 5. 24 Kunchov 1896:334. 25 Benderev 1890: 463; Kunchov 1896: 354. 26 Benderev 1890: 462; Shopov 1893: 102; Kunchov 1895: 238; Nikolov 1911: 154-157. 27 Benderev 1892: 462; Nikolov 1911: 156-157.
19 18

59

//. 5. The Ancient Road Network in the Middle Mesta Region (P. Delev, H. Popov) man road", paved with big stones. Despite the fact that they offered a possible link with the region of Pazardjik via Avramovi kolibi and even with Samokov by way of a now obsolete route through the Rila Mountains,28 these roads were used mainly by the local population; the communications between the Razlog and Nevrokop basins seem therefore to have been underdeveloped and of hardly more than local significance. Another old road, connecting the Nevrokop Plain with the valley of the Maritsa river around Pazardjik and Plovdiv through the Western Rhodopes, seams to have been traditionally much more important. The exact course of this road is not known in details, and alternative routes existed possibly in some sections. The modern road from Gotse Delchev to Pazardjik and Plovdiv via Dospat, Batak and Peshtera follows one of the variant routes used in the 19* century. 29 The late 19th and early 20th century travel books mention two main road-courses for the southern part of this road, above the left bank of the Mesta and in the Dospat branch of the Rhodopes.30 After crossing the Mesta near Nevrokop, the first one passed through Dubnitsa, Krushovo and Dolen, and climbing up the valley of Bistritsa gained Satovcha. From Satovcha the road went on through the so-called Yayla towards the central Rhodopes massif and the Bulgarian-Turkish frontier of 1878-1912. The second course after crossing the Mesta passed by the aiins of Nicopolis ad Nestum and rose up to Karaorman on the Dubrash ridge either by way of Fotovishta (modern Ognyanovo), Skrebatno and Kovachevitsa, or more directly via Leshten and Kovachevitsa. Thence it descended into the Dospat valley near the inns (the so-called "Han Dospat") where the old Turkish custom-house was placed. From there the road continued towards the central massif of the Rhodopes and the old frontier, merging eventually with its other branch. In the old travel books both roads are described as "horseback", inconvenient and narrow; travelling by cart seems to have been impossible. However, the importance of the road across the Western Rhodopes was evidently on the decline in the late 19th century, and the situation has surely not always been the same. In the 16* century for example it was known by the name of "The Great Road",31 which seems rather instructive of its importance during the Ottoman period. The road must have lost much of its former significance with the establishment of the modern political frontier in 1878. The old roads are difficult to trace in the uninhabited central mountain area of the Western Rhodopes, but their vestiges have been reported or are still to be seen at many places along the abovedescribed routes in Mount Dospat and the Dubrash ridge: the remains of an old road track and of an old arched bridge near Debren,32 those of a "Roman" road in the locality called "Druma" ("The Road") 10 km north from the village of Dolen,33 those of an old paved road, of a bridge and several ancient inscriptions east or north-east from the village of Kovachevitsa.34 One of these inscriptions is a Roman milestone from the time of the emperors Constantine, Constantius and Constans (A.D. 333337), re-inscribed 46 years later (in A.D. 383) during the joint reign of the emperors Valentinian, Gratian and Theodosius.35 Unfortunately the editors of the inscription have not been able to pinpoint its exact finding place: the general locality "Karaorman" is mentioned, and an approximate distance of 3,5 hours east from the village of Kovachevitsa.36 Another antique inscription, this one in Greek,
Benderev 1890:461-464. Benderev 1890: 469-470; Shopov 1893. 30 Benderev 1890: 469-470; Kunchov 1898: 12-13; Nikolov 1911: 172-173; Zlatarev 1912. 31 Petrov 1965: 33. 32 Stoianova-Serafimova 1965; Ivanov 1996: 114. Yordan Ivanov mentions a locality called "Kaldarmite" (most probably deriving from the word "kaldurum" meaning "pavement") 500 m. west from the village. 33 Ivanov 1996: 104." 34 Nikolov 1911: 173; Zlatarev 1912: 87. 35 Perdrizet 1900: 547-549; Nikolov 1911: 172; Gerov 1961: 216. The inscription is first mentioned by Perdrizet, who published it after a copy placed at his disposal, hut without personally seeing it. A few years later captain Nikolov saw the inscription in the church yard in Kovachevitsa, where it had been brought from the Karaorman locality. In his study on the western Thracian lands, B. Gerov agrees in general with the earlier comments of Perdrizet. He adds only that the time of the construction of the road remains uncertain, while the two inscriptions on the stone mark two repairs, the first in the last years of the reign of Constantine the Great, and the second under Theodosius II. 36 Nikolov 1911: 172-173; Zlatarev 1911: 64; Zlatarev 1912: 117; Dremsizova-Nelchinova 1987: 75. The Karaorman locality and the finding place of the inscription - "Manastirishteto" ("The Old Monastery") 29 28

60

KOPR1VLEN1 eg II. The Middle Mesta Region comes allegedly from the same site east from Kovachevitsa; 37 although its text is not directly connected with roads, its very presence sustains the idea of a Roman road station somewhere in this vicinity. Two very impressive coin hoards have been found near the village of Skrebatno, quite close to Kovachevitsa. The first one is reported by T. Gerasimov in 1964;~l8 it was partly dispersed but a bulk of 192 Thasian silver coins was saved, including 5 staters and 187 tetrobols. The other hoard remains unpublished; it was found in 1989 and contained 200 Thasian coins of different denominations.39 Of course, these very rich coin hoards do not fix precisely the road tracks of the age, but they illustrate the actual existence of trade (?) links which would be impossible without a developed road system. The same is valid for the Attic pottery found near Dospat, Chavdar and Borino;40 in view of the present state of exploration it could be considered only in a general context. The location of Nicopolis ad Nestum (near the modern village of Gurmen) is of little help in solving the problems of the ancient road system in the region, since all the road-courses mentioned so far (including the one via Dubnitsa, Dolen and Satovcha) are equally accessible from it. The location of the city is probably in relation only with the thermal springs in the vicinity of Gurmen and Ognyanovo. The information about remains of ancient roads and bridges near the villages Ablanitsa, Kribul and Bogolin41 refer to a section of another road, connecting the main Western Rhodopes road via the bridge near Hadjidimovo with the already described road branch which ran south between Petrelik and Teplen to Exohi and Zurnevo. This would have been the shortest, but hardly the most convenient road link between the Western Rhodopes road and the Aegean coast. Either by way of Satovcha and Dospat, or making a link with the more western routes in the vicinity of Kovachevitsa, it proceeded further north to Batak and the upper Maritsa valley. A hoard of 5 silver Thasian coins found in 1998 near the village of Furgovo can be connected generally with this road section.42 The ground surveys carried out in the 70s by a research team conducted by M. Domaradzki have established the existence of another ancient road, which passed near Brashten, Vaklinovo and Osina. Ruins of old bridges were discovered in the vicinity of Brashten and Osina and remains of an old paved road were registered near Vaklinovo. 4 ' A stray Thasian silver coin was found near the village of Tuhovishta, in the presumable direction of the same road. This short review shows clearly that the available information is insufficient for the full elucidation of the problems pertaining to the ancient road network in the Middle Mesta valley and in the Western Rhodopes. It seems probable that several alternative routes through the region were simultaneously in use in antiquity, but the matters needs further systematic exploration, including the archaeological excavations of the preserved road sections, of the remains of bridges and of the presumed road stations. The available evidence, although scarce and fragmentary, is enough however to sustain positively the great importance of the Western Rhodopes road linking, through the Middle Mesta valley, the Aegean littoral and the Upper Thracian Plain since at least the Archaic period, but possibly (if

are situated east-north-east from the village. S. Zlatarev writes that there were "ruins of a monastery and worked stones with Latin inscriptions on them" at that place. The information of captain Nikolov is also interesting and important to note: he points out that the remains of the big stone bridge in the region of Kovachevitsa were situated near the "Manastirishteto", north-east from the Karaorman. According to S. Zlatarev the road which left the village and ran across the Karaorman was paved, especially along the mountain ridges. It has already been suggested that a Roman road station must have existed there. The site is located with more precision by Tsvetana Dremsizova-Nelchinova: 10-11 km north-east from the village, above the Veslets forestry enterprise. '"Mihailov 1966:2349. 38 Gerasimov 1964: 240; Kolev, Slavcheva 1972: 26-29. According to K. Kolev and T. Slavcheva, the coins amounted to about 250. There were also 3 golden earrings together with the coins in the same vessel. 39 Our thanks to Miss Spaska Paskova, curator of the Historical Museum in Gotse Delchev, who kindly placed at our disposal the information about this find. The coins are kept at present in the Historical Museum in Blagoevgrad. 40 Domaradzki 1995:35. 41 Ivanov 1996:77, 161. 42 Five Thasian silver hemihectae of the "Silenos/crater" type were found. The hoard is now kept in the museum in Gotse Delchev. Domaradzki et al. 1999: 19. A Thasian obolos was donated to the museum in Gotse Delchev.

61

//. 5. The Ancient Road Network in the Middle Mesta Region (P. Delev, H. Popov) the finds of Mycenaean pottery at Koprivlen are taken into consideration) even since the Late Bronze Age. The predominance of Thasian coins in the hoards from the region is rather noteworthy. The situation is similar to the one registered in the Central and Eastern Rhodo'pes, where the prevalent finds of the coins of Abdera and Maroneia reflect their respective commercial domination. The Middle Mesta valley sustained permanent contacts with the Aegean world, and moreover played the role of an intermediary between the Aegean and the upper Maritsa plain. The latter can be asserted definitely for the 5th and 4th c. B.C. on the basis of the rich coin finds from the region of Pazardjik45 and the presumed establishment of the emporion Pistiros near the modern village of Vetren. The other basic conclusion refers to the Thracian settlement near the village of Koprivlen, which appears to have been an important junction in the ancient road network. As already mentioned above, the roads leading south towards Drama - Kavala (i.e. Neapolis, Thasos and Abdera) and Seres (i.e. Amphipolis and the Chalcidice Peninsula) forked there. The ancient road in northern direction must have crossed the Mesta river also somewhere in the close vicinity of Koprivlen.

45

Gerasimov 1937: 249-257; Gerasimov 1955: 576-578; Yurukova 1992: 11-16.

62

III. THE LATE BRONZE AGE SETTLEMENT AT KOPRIVLEN
Stefan Alexandrov (Institute of Archaeology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) The site was discovered in 1998 during a preliminary survey of the future road area. The principal purpose of the five trial trenches excavated in 1998 along the roadbed was to clarify the nature and size of the site, which proved to be a Late Bronze Age settlement situated between axial points Nos 46 and 51. Rescue excavations were undertaken in 1999 in order to study the whole area affected 1 by'the imperfmrr^eofitoalYro.pf/hifiJXiacL. The site is located on an inclined terrace to the south of the early Thracian settlement site which was identified since 1995.1 The rescue character of the excavations and the existence of a 1 m. sick recent alluvial accumulation established during the trial excavations in 1998 permitted the use of machines for the removal of the surface strata. For the sake of convenience, in the initial stage of research a special grid was set up, based on the general 5 m. one but with larger, 10 m. squares. A total of 40 "large" squares were laid out on the terrace; in the course of the excavations it was established that the site is situated within the limits of squares Nos 12-35. The correlation between the "large" squares and the general 5 m. grid is shown in Table 1. Table 1. Correlation between the "large" squares and the general grid
Square N°12 39-T-X1I1- -10 39-T-XIH--11 39-T-XIII--12 39-T-XIII--14 39-T-XIII--15 39-T-XIII- -16 39-T-XIII-n-2 39-T-XIII-n-3 39-T-XIlI-n-4 Square Nsl3 39-T-XIII-J-13 39-T-XHI-o-l Square N° 14 39-T-XIII-m-4 39-T-XIII-n-l 39-T-XIII-n-5 Square N°15 39-T-XIII-n-6 39-T-XII-n-7 Square Ms 16-1 7 39-T-XIlI-n-8 39-T-XIII-0-5 39-T-XIII-0-6 Square Nsl8 39-T-XIII-n-l 0 39-T-XIII-n-l 1 39-T-XIII-n-14 39-T-XIII-n-l 5 Square Nsl9 39-T-XIII-n-12 39-T-XIII-n-l 6 39-T-XIII-0-9 39-T-XIII-0-13 Square N°2Q 39-T-XHI-o-lO 39-T-XIII-o-ll 39-T-XIII-0-14 39-T-XIII-0-15 Square N°2J 39-T-XIII-S-2 Square N«22 39-T-XHI-s-S 39-T-XI11-S-4 39-T-X11I-S-7 39-T-XlII-s-S Square N°23 39-T-XIII-t-l 39-T-XIIR-2 39-T-XIII-t-S 39-T-XIII-t-6 Square N$25 39-T-XIII-t-9 39-T-XIII-t-10 39-T-XHI-t 13 39-T-XI1I-M4 Square Ne26 39-T-XIII-1-3 39-T-XIII-1-7 39-T-XHI-t-8 39-T-XIlI-t-ll 39-T-XI11-M2 39-T-XIII-t-l 5 39-T-XIII-t-l 6 39-T-XIII-p-9 39-T-XIII-p-13 Square N°27 39-T-XIII-y-l 39-T-XIII-y-2 39-T-Xlll-y-5 39-T-XIII-y-6 Square N»28 39-T-XIII-y-3 39-T-XIIl-y-4 39-T-XIII-y-7 39-T-XIII-y-8 Square N°29 39-T-XlII-u-l 39-T-XIII-U-2 39-T-XIII-U-5 39-T-XIII-U-6 39-T-XIII-U-7 Square N°30 39-T-XIII-y-10 39-T-XIII-y-ll 39-T-XIII-y-l 2 39-T-XIII-y-l 5 39-T-XIII-y-l 6 39-T-XIII-U-13 39-T-XVIII-e-3 39-T-XVIH-e-4 39-T-XVlII-a-l

The excavations in the sector established the existence of two successive horizons from the Late Bronze Age; later in the Early Iron Age the area was used for sacrificial and burial purposes. In the second phase of the existence of the Late Bronze Age settlement (first building horizon, Late
Cf. Chapter II supra.

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///. The Late Bronze Age Settlement at Koprivlen (S. Alexandras) Bronze Age II or Koprivlen If) the whole architectural plan was changed, stone building foundations were introduced and the greatest part of the previous (second) building horizon (Late Bronze Age I or Koprivlen /) was levelled and destroyed. The cult practices during the Early Iron Age made use of the stone foundations of the Late Bronze Age buildings and thus the greatest part of the Late Bronze Age II horizon was also destroyed. In the 1950s, the local administration initiated a project for the modernization of the western periphery of the village. A new water pipe was laid in a 0.80 m. wide ditch which crosses the whole site in a north to south direction. At about the same time, work on a later abandoned ring-road led to considerable bulldozing of the area, large quantities of soil being dug out from some places and used as a fill in others in order to level the terrain. During the 1970s, an underground telephone cable was laid by the frontier police in a ditch parallel to the water pipe, which also destroyed a part of the settlement. A number of recent repairs of the water pipe resulted in the excavation of a series of large pits (each measuring at least 2 by 3 m.) and further destruction of the archaeological site. All these recent modernization and economic activities have severely damaged the site and disturbed its stratigraphy. The settlement plan of the Late Bronze Age site, especially that of the earlier phase, is almost beyond reconstruction, and the situation is quite similar with the topography of the Early Iron Age cult structures.

III.l. ARCHAEOLOGICAL STRUCTURES
The archaeological structures established on the site during the rescue excavations in 1998 and 1999 are listed by period, building horizon and square.

Early Iron Age
Square 19 Structure 19-10 (Grave No 1). The grave was found at 1.20 m. below the modern surface level, near the north profile of the square. The eastern part of the grave was destroyed by the ditch of the water pipe. The form and size of the grave pit could not be established (Fig. 4.) The grave contained a cremation burial - fragments of burnt bones and ashes deposited in a deep vessel. No traces of a pyre were attested. The grave contained no burial goods. Structure 19-30 (Grave No 2). This grave was situated at a distance of 2 m. south-west of grave No 1. The form and the size of the grave pit could not be established. The grave contained a cremation burial with fragments of burnt bones and ashes deposited in a deep vessel placed next to the stone wall 19-20 from the first Late Bronze Age horizon (Fig. 4). No traces of a pyre were attested. The grave contained no burial goods. The size of the bones suggests that the buried person was a child. Structure 19-51 (Grave No 3). Another almost entirely destroyed grave was uncovered at a distance of 2.60 m. south-east of grave No 2. It also contained a cremation burial with fragments of burnt bones and ashes placed in a vessel. Another ceramic vessel had been placed next to the urn probably as an offering. The two vessels had been placed next to stone wall 19-20 of the first Late Bronze Age horizon. Unfortunately, the form and size of both vessels were beyond reconstruction (Fig. 4). No traces of a pyre were attested. Structure 19-50 (pit). A 0.50 m. deep pit of irregular oval shape was located between graves Nos 1 and 3. It had a diameter of 1.40 m. and cut through the two Late Bronze Age horizons down to the virgin soil. The fill was composed of earth, stones and a few scattered nondescript handmade potsherds. The pit was covered with a 1.50 m. circle of stones of medium and large size (Fig. 4). Structure 19-30 (pit). A pit of irregular oval shape filled with earth, stones and a few scattered nondescript handmade ceramic sherds. The pit was covered with stones of medium and large size forming an oval 1.70 by 1.0 m. (Fig. 4). Structure 19-60 (pit). A pit of irregular oval form adjoining from the south stone wall 19-20 of the first Late Bronze Age horizon. The pit was filled with earth, stones and a few scattered handmade potsherds and was covered with stones of medium size forming a 0.80 by 0.85 m. rectangle (Fig. 4). Structure 19-70 (pit). This pit of irregular elliptical section was found by the south profile of the square. It was filled with earth containing a few handmade pottery sherds and covered by medium size stones arranged as an oval construction measuring 0.80 by 0.90 m. An intact vessel - a one64

KOPRIVLEN 1 ess III. The Late Bronze Age Settlement handled cup with grooved decoration — was found between this pit and the stone wall 19-90 of the first Late Bronze Age horizon (Fig. 4). Structure 19-80 (pit). The pit was adjoining from the south stone wall 19-90 of the first Late Bronze Age horizon. It was filled with earth containing a few sherds of handmade pottery, and covered by stones of medium size forming an oval construction of 1.50 by 0.60 m. (Fig. 4). Squares 16-17 Structure 16-20. The structure represents an amassment of middle to large sized stones arranged in a single layer in the shape of an oval measuring 4.40 by 4.50 m. A small number of nondescript handmade potsherds and pieces of clay plastering were found among the stones (Fig. 4). Squares 20, 23, and 26 Structure 23-20. A roughly rectangular platform measuring 5.55 by 11.00 m., situated in a northwest to southeast position along a stone wall from the first Late Bronze Age horizon which forms its southern end. It was established that a pit was dug first next to the Late Bronze Age wall; this was filled with pottery sherds, stones, animal bones and soil. The pit was then covered with a layer of yellow virgin soil over which a layer of middle to large sized stones were arranged in a rectangular shape (Fig. 9). Ceramic vessels were deliberately broken and scattered during the construction of the platform (Fig. 4). Stones and soil from both Late Bronze Age horizons were used in this structure, and a small number of materials associated with them were interpolated among the Early Iron Age finds. Square 28 Structure 28-30. This structure of strongly elongated oval shape measuring 11.80 by 0.80/1.00 m., was orientated from northwest to southeast. It was constructed of a single layer of stones of small and medium size. A small quantity of handmade potsherds and an iron object, most probably a fragment of an iron spearhead, were found among the stones (Fig. 4).

Late Bronze Age First Building Horizon (Koprivlen II)
Squares 18, 19, 23, 26 Stone wall. The foundation of a stone wall running in a northwest to southeast direction was investigated in the above mentioned squares. This was built of two contiguous rows of stones and was between 0.80 and 1.00 m. thick. In height it contained between two and four preserved courses of stones. The wall follows roughly the natural configuration of the terrain, the declivity between the two end points in the northwest and southeast being only 0.80 m. (Fig. 5). The stone foundations of several buildings were found on both sides of the wall; these will be described below. Squares 14, 17 Stone wall. The foundations of another stone wall, running from west to east almost at right angle to the one described above, were uncovered in these squares. The wall was up to 0.80 m. thick, built of two to three contiguous rows of middle and large size stones. In height the preserved part had up to two courses of stones. The part of the wall within the excavated area measures 8.49 m. in length (Fig. 5). Squares 15, 16, 19 The stone foundations of an oval building were discovered in the mentioned squares south of the long wall. The foundations were up to 0.60 m. thick, formed of two rows of middle size stones. Up to two courses of stones were preserved in height. The foundations were greatly damaged by the Early Iron Age structure 16-20. It could be suggested that originally the building had an oval form elongated from north to south and measuring 9.20 by 6.50 m. (Fig. 5). All the equipment of the building which was probably a living house was also destroyed by the Early Iron Age structure.

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///. The Late Bronze Age Settlement at Koprivlen (S. Alexandrov) Square 14 Structure 15-10 (pithos). The pithos was discovered in the south-eastern corner of the square, situated at equal distances from the two long stone walls and the building in squares 15, 16 and 18 (Fig. 5). Square 17 Structure 17-JO. The structure is interpreted as a part of a living house. The foundations of the preserved backside wall, 0.50 to 0.60 m. thick, were formed by two rows of middle size stones. Judging by the remains it could be supposed that the building had an oval form with a north to south orientation and a width of about 6.50 m. (Fig. 5). The place of the doorway could not be established. The floor was made of levelled and beaten soil. No equipment was preserved in the building. Squares 19, 22, 23 Structure 19-50, 22-10. The structure is also interpreted as a living house. The southern part was destroyed by Early Iron Age structures and by the ditch of the water pipe. This dwelling was also of elongated oval form, orientated from northwest to southeast with a doorway probably at the southeastern end. The preserved part of the building is 4.20 m. wide, and its full length was probably about 8.00 m. The foundations, up to 1.0 m. thick, were constructed of two contiguous rows of middle to large size stones. The foundations of the stone wall in squares 19 and 23 described above were incorporated in the south long wall of the house (Fig. 5). The floor was almost completely destroyed by later intrusions; the preserved part suggests that it was made of levelled and beaten soil. Several fragmented ceramic vessels permitting graphical reconstruction and a rim fragment from an imported Mycenaean vessel were found inside this structure. Square 23 Structure 23-60. The structure is identified as the foundation of another living house. The preserved part is of oval form, the wall is between 0.40 and 0.50 m. thick and consists of a double row of middle and large size stones (Fig. 5). Structure 23-61. At a distance of 1.10 m. to the south of structure 23-60, a pithos set into the ground was uncovered. Fragments of pottery and plastering were found around the pithos (Fig. 5). Squares 25, 28 Structure 25-10, 28-10. The structure is interpreted as the stone foundation of a wall, which runs at a distance varying between 10.10 and 10.30 m. to the southwest of the long wall in squares 18, 19, 23 and 26 and almost parallel to it. The wall is 0.50 m. thick and was built of two rows of stones of medium size (Fig. 5). A considerable quantity of potsherds and animal bones was recovered on both sides of the wall. An imported Mycenaean fragment was found to the south of the wall, in the southeastern corner of the square. Square 26 Structure 26-20. The structure was identified as a part of a living house. Its western and northern parts have been destroyed by the Early Iron Age structure 23-10, and its eastern end lies beyond the excavated area. The preserved southern part of the house consists of two walls. The foundations of these are 0.60 wide and are formed of two rows of middle size stones. The entrance at the southern end is 0.70 wide (Fig. 5). Judging from the preserved part, this house seems to repeats the form of the almost entirely preserved one in square 35. The floor is made of levelled and beaten soil; great quantities of ceramic sherds and animal bones were found scattered over it. Structure 26-30. This is identified as a room in a dwelling. The excavated part is situated between the long wall and the foundation of structure 26-20. An oven (26-31) abutting against the foundations of the long wall was discovered in the south-eastern part of the room. The oven had a horseshoe shape, measuring 1.20 by 1.0 m. (Fig. 5). Pottery sherds and stones of small and medium size were placed as a foundation of the oven. The floor of the oven was coated with well-refined clay, 0.02 m. tick. A hoard of four bronze arrowheads was discovered between the oven and the foundations of structure 26-20. A fifth arrowhead was found on the top course of the stone wall to the south of the oven. A considerable quantity of ceramic sherds and animal bones were found on the floor of the room.
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KOPRIVLEN 1 eg III. The Late Bronze Age Settlement Structure 26-40. This structure, the stone foundation of a wall, was traced for a distance of 2.0 m. to the south of the long wall. It is 0.50 wide, formed by a double row of stones of medium size (Fig. 5}. Structure 26-50. The stone foundation of another wall, 0.40 m. wide, runs at a distance of 2.10 m. to the southeast of 26-40. This too is formed of a double row of middle size stones (Fig. 5). Structures 26-40 and 26-50 have been severely damaged by the ditch of the water pipe and by subsequent repairs making their interpretation very uncertain. The preserved parts give the impression of habitable rooms situated to the south of the long wall. Notable quantities of sherds, among them fragments of pithoi, and animal bones were found in the rooms and on the street running between them and the long wall. A fragment of a Mycenaean skyphos and a bronze arrowhead were found near structure 26-40. Square 28 Structure 28-20. The stone foundation of a wall traced in the south-western part of the square, 0.50 m. wide, and formed by a double row of middle size stones (Fig. 5). Square 30 Structure 30-10. The stone foundations of two walls, formed by double rows of middle size stones and from 0.50 to 0.60 m. wide (Fig. 5). The interpretation of the structures in squares 28 and 30 is very problematic as they have been considerably destroyed during the construction of the ring-road in the 1950s. Square 35 Structure 35-10. The stone foundations of an apsidal building, its north-western corner being destroyed by the ditch of the modern water pipe. The foundations were built of two contiguous rows of stones. In depth the back wall has three preserved courses of stones due to the declivity of the terrain to the north, and the stones used in this part are up to 1.0 m. long and 0.60 m. wide. The foundations of the western and eastern walls have two preserved courses of middle size stones, and that of the southern wall a single course of middle size stones. The entrance is in the western wall and is 1.30 m. wide (Fig. 6). The floor was made of levelled and beaten clay. A layer of middle size stones in the northern part of the building served apparently both to compensate for the declivity and for drainage under the floor. In the centre of the house was placed a small, roughly circular fireplace of about 0.54 m. in diameter. The foundation of the fireplace consists of particles of stone, plastered with 0.02 m. thick wellrefined clay. Three large stones were placed horizontally by and against the doorway. Pottery sherds, including two wheelmade imported fragments, and bones were found on the floor.

Second Building Horizon (Koprivlen I)
Square 16-17 Structure 16-30, 50, 60, 70. The structure is interpreted as a part of a living house or workshop. It was discovered in the western part of the square. A big part of it was destroyed by the Early Iron Age structures 16-20 and 16-80 and by the ditch of the modern water pipe which passes through it. The remains of three fireplaces were uncovered within the structure, on the level of the floor of beaten clay. The fireplace 16-30 was destroyed by a stone wall of the first Late Bronze Age horizon; the preserved part of its hearth suggests that it was rectangular in form with rounded corners. Its foundation was made of small particles of stone plastered twice with layers of purified clay, 0.05 and 0.03 m. thick. Fireplace 16-60 was found at a distance of 4.00 m. to the northwest of fireplace 16-30; its preserved parts show that in had a similar shape and construction and measured some 1.22 m. from west to east. A third fireplace, structure 16-70, was found at a distance of 1.50 m. south-west of fireplace 16-60. This third fireplace was destroyed by the construction of stone wall 16-40 in the period of the first Late Bronze Age horizon. The fireplace lies directly on the floor, and is similar in construction to fireplace 16-30. Both fireplaces 16-60 and 16-70 have only one top layer of purified clay (Fig. 8). A concentration of fragmented pottery (structure 16-50) was explored around fireplace 16-70 and in the area between it and fireplace 16-60. The concentration contained two complete vessels - an
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///. The Late Bronze Age Settlement at Koprivlen (S. Alexandrov) amphora and a jug, and fragments of another three vessels. Seven spindle-whorls had been placed in the amphora. From a stratigraphic point of view, the stone wall 16-40 from the first Late Bronze Age horizon overlaps both fireplace 16-70 and the pottery concentration 16-50. Square 18 Structure 18-20. A part of a beaten clay floor was discovered in the north-eastern corner of the square, below the stone wall of the first Late Bronze Age horizon. A footed bowl was found on this floor. Square 22 Structure 22-20. This was uncovered in the north-western corner of the square and identified as a part of the/Zoor of a living house. From the south, west and north it was destroyed by stone foundations of the first Late Bronze Age horizon, and from the east by the ditch of the modern water pipe. The floor was made of levelled and beaten soil, over which a concentration of pottery sherds lay scattered. The latter contained two complete storage vessels (Nos 22-22 and 22-23) and fragments of a third similar vessel and of a footed bowl (No 22-24). A bronze needle (No 22-25) was found beneath vessel 22-23. Square 23 Structure 23-70. This structure, interpreted as a part of a living house floor with a fireplace, was uncovered in the north-eastern corner of the square. To the northwest and southwest it was destroyed by a first Late Bronze Age horizon wall and by the ditch of the modern water pipe, and to the northeast and southeast - by the Early Iron Age structure 23-10. Neither the shape nor the dimensions of this house could be determined. The preserved part of the floor was made of levelled and beaten soil; four whole and three fragmented vessels (Nos 23-72 to 23-77) and many more pottery fragments, pieces of charcoal and ash spots were found scattered over it. A fireplace (No 23-71) of rectangular shape with rounded corners was uncovered on the floor level near the corner of the square; it measured 1.00 by 0.80 m. The hearth of the fireplace consisted of a layer of small to medium size stones plastered with a layer of well purified clay. The backside of the fireplace was delimited by a border 0.10 m. wide and 0.02 - 0.03 m. high. No finds were found on the fireplace except pieces of burnt wall plaster which also lay scattered over the whole floor (Fig. 7). Paleobotanical and C-14 samples from wall plasters were taken during the excavations. Square 26 Pottery concentrations belonging to the second Late Bronze Age horizon were uncovered all over this square under the structures of the first horizon. Unfortunately the lower cultural layer was much disturbed by both the stone walls of the first horizon and the ditch and repair pits of the modern water pipe, and no preserved Koprivlen I structures could be established. Square 30 Pieces of clay wall-plastering and pottery fragments belonging to the second Late Bronze Age horizon were found scattered beneath and between the stone walls 30-10 and 30-20 of the first horizon. Square 35 Below the floor level of the stone building and outside it, a second horizon level was uncovered, identified as a part of a living house. Fragments of burnt wall plastering, pottery sherds and bones were found scattered on a floor made of levelled and beaten soil. Unfortunately the shape of the house could not be established because of the destructions caused by the tracing and construction of the modern road to the west and south and by the levelling for the construction of the first horizon stone building to the north. Trial trench 1A (1998) A trial trench was excavated at axial point 53 for the purpose of establishing the limits of the Late Bronze Age settlement site, making use of the erosion of the terrain next to the existing country road. The trench revealed a concentration of pieces of plastering, stones and pottery sherds close to its western end which coincided with the western limit of the roadbed. The finds suggest the existence of
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KOPRIVLEN 1 osIII. The Late Bronze Age Settlement remains of Late Bronze Age living houses to the west of the trial trench (beyond the limits of the roadbed). The type of construction is different from that of the first Late Bronze Age horizon, which could imply that the materials from trench 1A should be referred to the second horizon (or, Koprivlen I). Discussion The analysis of the archaeological structures leads to the following conclusions. A settlement was constructed on the south river terrace during the Late Bronze Age. Its extent has not been determined definitely because of the limited area of the excavations confined to the roadbed, but it can be stated for certain that in a north to south direction the settlement extended over a length of at least 60 m. The full plans of the living houses could not be retrieved, but there is enough information about the building techniques. The walls were built of poles driven into the ground, interwoven with sticks and plastered with clay. Within the houses there were fireplaces plastered with purified clay. Some of the fireplaces bear traces of more than one plastering which suggests a long period of use. The circumstances which brought about the end of this settlement remain indeterminate. Subsequently, but still in the Late Bronze Age, a new settlement of radically different architectural design was built over its remains. Several parallel retaining walls running in a northwest to southeast direction were built probably due to a danger of landslides from the elevated terrain in the southwest. Two of these walls, situated at a distance of some 10 m. one from the other, were investigated in the excavated area.2 The walls were built of dry stones of medium and large size in two or three contiguous rows, from one to four successive courses being preserved in height. Living houses and possibly also buildings of other character were built on both sides of the walls. The type of construction - with stone foundations and mudbricks, is unique for the Late Bronze Age in Bulgaria. The general plan of the settlement is hard to reconstruct due to the reasons exposed above, but a certain layout is seen in the narrow spaces (streets) separating the buildings. The latter were oval or apsidal in plan, sometimes abutting on the retaining walls. Fireplaces were established in many of the houses, resembling in construction those of the second building horizon, and also some ovens of larger size. Pithoi had been embedded into the ground both within and outside the houses. The site was used as a sacred place and necropolis during the Early Iron Age. Three graves containing cremation burials were found on the southern side of the long retaining wall. Ritual pits were attested between and around the graves; the fill of these contained debris of the Late Bronze Age settlement. The nature of structure 23-30 remains uncertain, but despite its differences in shape and mode of construction in comparison to the other ritual pits, it is certainly contemporary with the other Early Iron Age cult structures.

IIL2. ANALYSIS OF THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL FINDS
Early Iron Age Stones and earth from the Late Bronze Age site were used in the construction of the Early Iron Age structures, and earlier materials appear regularly. Therefore, with the exception of the graves, the Early Iron Age structures cannot be regarded as "closed complexes" with synchronous materials. For this reason only the pottery which is certainly not of Late Bronze Age date will be presented here. Bowls Bowls with S-shaped profile and two horizontal arched handles. The fabric is average. The surface is grey-black in colour and smoothed (Fig. 37/1). Cups Cups with oblique mouth and one handle. They usually have three relief projections on the body. The fabric is fine or average with small particles of stone and quartzite in the clay. The surface
The interpretation of the long walls as retaining ones does not exclude other possible explanations such as defence. Additional arguments are needed however before this idea could be discussed seriously.
2

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///. The Late Bronze Age Settlement at Koprivlen (S. Alexandrov) is smooth, grey-black in colour. The decoration consists of 1 to 3 rows of fine grooves under the rim, a zigzag line or a band of oblique fine grooves on the body (Fig. 38). Kantharoi The fabric is fine or average with small particles of stone and quartzite in the clay. The surface is smooth, grey in colour. The decoration is either of fine grooves on the body, between the two handles, forming a "herring-bone" motif, or of parallel incised lines. The space around and beneath the handles is decorated with concentric semi-circles (Fig. 38/2-7). Jugs The fabric is average with small or middle-sized particles of stone and quartzite in the clay. The surface is roughly smoothed, light brown in colour. A characteristic feature of the Early Iron Age jugs is the light curve between the neck and the body. The decoration consists of cuts or small holes placed on the mouth rim (Fig. 37/2-4). Pots The fabric is rough, with small or middle-sized particles of stone and ceramics in the paste. The surface is roughly smoothed, brown in colour. The profile is S-shaped, in some cases with two vertical handles on the belly. The decoration consists of cuts or small holes placed on the mouth rim (Fig. 37/5-6; 36/1). Deep storage vessels The fabric is rough, with small or middle-sized particles of stone, ceramics and organic admixtures in the paste. The surface is roughly smoothed, grey-black in colour. The profile is elongated, S-shaped, with two vertical handles on the belly. The decoration consists of cuts or small holes placed on the mouth rim and a relief band on the belly (Fig. 36/1). Pithoi Fragments of several pithoi were found. Two of them are of particular interest, being decorated with plastic zoomorphic patterns (Fig. 41). The pots and storage vessels were used as urns in graves Nos 1 and 2. Except the mentioned recoverable shapes, some more fragments can be referred to the Early Iron Age on the basis of their specific decoration. These include fine or wide groove-like incised lines, classical fluting and the "false corded" decoration (Fig. 39-40). A fragment combining all three mentioned techniques is of particular interest (Fig. 39/8). A wheelmade fragment comes from structure 23-20. The fabric is very fine; the colour is dark yellow. The surface is decorated with three paralleled horizontal lines in dark paint (Fig. 38/1). Late Bronze Age /. Pottery 1. Handmade Pottery All the Late Bronze Age pottery is handmade with the exception of few wheelmade fragments. The analysis shows the existence of three basic groups of clay: Fine, well purified clay with few admixtures mainly of mica or, rarely, of small particles of stone. The vessels made of this fabric are black or grey-black in colour. The surface is smoothed and polished, often burnished and covered partially or wholly whit graphite. Average, with admixtures of small and middle-sized particles of stone and rarely of ceramics. The vessels made of this fabric are black or grey-black in colour. The surface is smoothed, rarely burnished. Coarse, with admixtures of middle-sized or bigger particles of stone, ceramics and organic materials. The vessels made of this fabric are brown or red-brown in colour. The surface is usually rough or imperfectly smoothed.
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KOPRIVLEN 1 cig III. The Late Bronze Age Settlement No strict relation between the type of fabric and the shapes of the vessels could be established. However it seems that the kantharoi were usually made of refined clay, the bowls, cups and jugs - of the average type, while the fabric of the deep pots, storage vessels and pithoi is most often coarse. Typology of the pottery shapes The basic handmade pottery shapes are: A - plates, B - bowls, C - cups, D -jugs, E - kantharoi, F - amphorae, G - deep vessels, H - double vessels, I - pithoi, J - lids. A. Plates The plates are made of average fabric with admixtures of small particles of stone. The surface is grey or black-grey in colour, smoothed and very rarely - burnished. The number of plate fragments is small in comparison with those from bowls or jugs, but the observation may be due to the limited area of the excavations. According to the shape the following types can be defined: Type I. Plates with inverted conical shape and straight rim (Fig. 14/1). Type II. Plates with hemispherical shape. Subtype HA - with a slightly thinned mouth rim (Fig. 22/2). Subtype II.B - with an outturned mouth rim shaped like a cover-bed (Fig. 22/1). Subtype II.C - with an incurved and thickened mouth rim (Fig. 11/4; 10/9). Type III. Plates with elongated S-shaped profile (Fig. 11/6). Only one fragment of type II.A is decorated with four horizontal bands of parallel incised lines filled with red paste (Fig. 22/2). The stratigraphic data show that the dishes of type II.C are characteristic only of the second building horizon, while the other types are met equally in both horizons. B. Bowls The bowls are one of the best represented shapes in the Late Bronze Age layers. Their fabric is either fine or average. The colour is grey to black-grey. The surface is slicked and smoothed, often burnished or with traces of graphite covering. None of the bowls found in 1998 and 1999 was decorated. The following types can be established: Type I. Bowls with an elongated S-shaped profile and a flat bottom. Two horizontal arched handles are attached at the most prominent part of the body; they do not reach higher than the rim level. The diameter of the mouth rim is bigger than the height (Fig. 15/2; 27/2, 3). Type II. Bowls with an elongated S-shaped profile and a flat bottom. Two horizontal arched handles attached at the most prominent part of the body do not reach higher than the rim level. The diameter of the mouth rim is either smaller than or equal to the height (Fig. 22/1, 2). Type III. Bowls with an elongated S-shaped profile and a hollow ring-foot. No handles. The diameter of the mouth rim is either smaller than or equal to the height. Subtype HI.A - the neck is slanting outwards (Fig. 21/1, 7). Subtype HI.B - the neck is almost vertical (Fig. 21/1). Type IV. Bowls with inverted conical shape, probably with a hollow ring-foot. The mouth rim is incurved and thickened. A "wishbone" handle was preserved on one of the fragments of this type (Fig. 11/9). The bowls of types III and IV are characteristic of the second building horizon, those of type II of the first building horizon, while type I is common for both horizons. C. Cups The cups are usually made of an average fabric with admixtures of small particles of stone; their colour is dark-brown. The surface is roughly smoothed from the outside and rough on the inside. The following types can be differentiated: Type I. Cups with one handle, an oval body and a short conical neck. The curve from body to the neck is light. There are two subtypes: Subtype LA - with a straight rim (Fig. 15/3-4). Subtype l.B- with an obliquely cut rim (Fig. 15/5; 25/9). Type II. Cups with one handle and inverse conical shape (Fig. 15/1).

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///. The Late Bronze Age Settlement at Koprivlen (S. Alexandrov) The cups of type I are not decorated, while those of type II are often decorated with either cuts or fossettes under the rim. D.Jugs The jugs are made of fine or average fabric with admixtures of small and middle-sized particles of stone. The outside surface is grey to black-grey in colour, smoothed or burnished. There are traces of graphite covering on some of the jugs. The inside surface is roughly smoothed, in some cases even ragged. There are two types according to the mouth rim, which can be cut obliquely or straight. Type I. Jugs with obliquely cut rim. The handle is raised over the rim level. The transition from body to neck is well expressed, even emphasized. Subtype LA - slightly inclined mouth rim (Fig. 15/10). Subtype I.B - classical "cut-away" mouth rim of rectangular shape with rounded angles (Fig. 17/2). The only example of type I.B is decorated with roughly executed parallel horizontal grooves placed above and below the transition from body to neck (Fig. 17/2). The jugs of subtype LA are decorated under the rim and upon the body. The following patterns occur as mouth decoration on jugs of this type: one to three parallel incised lines; one or two incised lines with triangles (drops) hanging from the lower one; one to three parallel lines of dots. The second pattern is most common. Some parallel incised lines underline the transition from body to neck, and under this is developed a geometrical composition of incised lines. All the incised lines are filled with either white or red paste (Fig. 27). Type II. Jugs with straight rim, the handle is slightly raised above the rim level and the transition from body to neck is smooth. The jugs of type I are significantly more numerous in comparison with those of type II. Type I is represented in both horizons, but the quantity is considerably greater in the first building horizon. The decorative patterns do not display any development between the second and first horizon, with the exception of the red paste incrustation which is mainly found in the first horizon. Type I.B is represented only by jug 16-50 from the second horizon. E. Kantharoi The kantharoi are made of fine fabric with admixtures of small particles of stone or mica. Their surface is black-grey or black, smoothed and in many cases - burnished. A fragment from Square 19 which is made of very fine clay without any admixtures and fired under high temperature with oxygen access is exceptional with its light-brown colour. Its inside and outside surface is slicked with a thick graphite coverage of dark grey colour. Both the fabric and the baking are different from the usual local production and the fragment could be regarded as an import. Most of the remaining fragments also display traces of graphite covering on the outside surface, and some even on the upper part of the inside surface. The shape is numerically and typologically constant for both Late Bronze Age horizons - an oval body with a short conical neck and a flat bottom. According to the place of attachment of the two arched vertical handles two types can be specifies: Type I. The handles are attached to the mouth rim (Fig. 14/5, 6, 8; 23/6). Type II. The handles are attached under the mouth rim (Fig. 14/7; 21/3, 6; 23/1, 5). All the kantharoi were decorated with either incised lines or furchenstich or dots. The ornamental patterns are situated under the mouth rim and on the body. Usually there are one or more incised or dotted lines under the rim, sometimes with drops hanging from the lowest line. The transition between the body and neck is underlined with incised lines, furchenstich or dots, and more complex geometrical compositions are placed below this on the body (Fig. 14/4-11; 21/5, 6; 23/2-5). The incised lines and dots were filled with white, red or yellow paste; sometimes all three colours were used simultaneously (Fig. 14/6). F. Amphorae The amphorae were made of fine or average clay with admixtures of either small particles of stone or mica. Their surface is black or grey-black, smoothed and rarely burnished. There are single cases with traces of graphite covering on the outside surface. Unfortunately, only one amphora could be restored fully, which makes the establishment of a precise typology difficult. A basic type with a short slightly conical neck clearly separated from the body could be established with certainty. The body is globular, with a flat bottom (Fig. 17/1). Amphorae with a foot have not been registered. Four
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KOPRIVLEN1 c^III. The Late Bronze Age Settlement vertical arched handles are usually placed symmetrically on the body of the amphora. The decoration occupies the upper part of the body and was executed by incision or furchenstich. The main patterns are the rectangular fields with complex geometric designs or single bands of broad hanging hatched triangles. The incised or furchenstiched iines are filled with white or red paste. The amphorae are evenly distributed in both Late Bronze Age horizons, without any noticeable peculiarities in shape and decoration (Fig. 11/5; 12/1). G. Deep vessels This category groups the large and deep vessels which were probably intended for cooking or storing of food and other products. All the vessels from this category are made of coarse fabric with admixtures of middle-sized and bigger particles of stone, ceramics and organic materials. The colour is dark-red or brown. The surface in most cases is rather rough, probably deliberately, for a better cohesion in holding. The whole vessels and the better preserved sherds have each two symmetrical vertical arched handles attached to the most prominent part of the body, in the most cases supplemented with two symmetrical plastic knobs. Two main groups could be discriminated on the basis of the dimensions of the vessels, the one including those with a height of 0.80 - 1.00 m. and a mouth rim diameter of over 0.40 m., the other those with a height of only about 0.50 m. and a mouth rim diameter of 0.30 - 0.40 m. The function of the vessels in the two groups was possibly different. The following types could be established according to the shape of the vessels: Type I. Vessels with an elongated S-shaped profiie and a mouth rim diameter larger or equal to the maximum diameter (Fig. 19/2). Type II. Vessels with an elongated S-shaped profile and a mouth rim diameter smaller than the maximum diameter (Fig. 18/2). Type III. Vessels with a short neck smoothly connected with the rounded shoulders; the mouth rim diameter is smaller than the maximum diameter (Fig. 26/7). Type IV. Vessels with an expressed division between the neck and body; the mouth rim diameter is smaller than the maximum diameter (Fig. 26/2). Most of the deep vessels have some decoration on or under the mouth rim - fossettes, cuts, and rarely a horizontal plastic band. A specific ornamental technique are the finger imprints, sometimes additionally ornamented on the inside with nail marks. In some cases the decoration under or on the mouth rim is repeated on the most prominent part of the vessel (Fig. 12/3, 4; 18; 19/2; 20; 26/2; 29/2-5). The plastic bands made by pulling the fingers over the wet surface of the vessel can also be interpreted as a specific ornamental technique. The vessels of this category are equally distributed in both horizons, without any noticeable particularities of shape and decoration. H. Double vessels No whole vessels of this specific Late Bronze Age type could be restored, but some characteristic fragments prove their presence on the site (Fig. 5/8, 10). Stratigraphically they are attested in both horizons. /. Pithoi Parts of two pithoi in situ and numerous fragments were found in both horizons. Unfortunately, their shape is difficult to restore, but the fragments suggest that the pithoi from Koprivlen repeat both the shape and size of the known examples from Central and Eastern Macedonia. J. Lids The lids are either round or oval in shape and have two small openings for hanging. A whole lid from structure 16-50 of the second building horizon has an oval shape and a diameter of 6.8 by 6.5 cm. (Fig. 34/10). None of the known lids was decorated.

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///. The Late Bronze Age Settlement at Koprivlen (S. Alexandrov) Decoration Decoration techniques The basic techniques used in the decoration of the Late Bronze Age pottery in Koprivlen are connected to removal - incision, pricking, furchenstich, fine or wide grooves, cuts, fossettes. A characteristic feature of the first three techniques is that the removed surface is actually prepared for filling in with white, yellow or red paste. In some of the cases the paste coloured fields delineate a new decorative pattern in the reserved surface of the vessel. Such patterns, for example, are the zigzag bands formed by the free space between two rows of obverse hatched triangles. The covering of the outside and sometimes also of the inside surface of kantharoi, bowls and jugs with graphite can also be regarded as a specific decorative technique, designed to give the vessel additional metallic lustre. The grey-black shining surface contrasts the light coloured paste filling the incised or pricked patterns, increasing the aesthetic effect. Another decorative technique is passing of the fingers over the still wet surface of the vessel. In this case narrow relief bands are formed, usually obliquely placed on the body of the vessel. The relief bands, usually placed bellow the mouth rim of deep vessels, are also quite current ornaments. Main decorative patterns As a whole, the decorative patterns are of a geometric type. Most common are the bands of cuts or fossettes; lines of pricked of dots; incised or furchenstich lines, sometimes combined with hanging triangles or drops; zigzag lines; triangles; rectangles; horizontal S-bands. The triangles and Sbands are hatched with incised lines or pricked with dots. A specific decorative pattern are the finger impressions sometimes additionally ornamented on the inside with nail marks. Main decorative compositions The decorative compositions are always adapted to the shape of the vessel. The more sophisticated compositions are to be found on kantharoi, jugs and amphorae, the simpler ones on cups, deep vessels and pithoi. The last mentioned shapes are often decorated with bands of fossettes or cuts on or under the mouth rim and on the belly. The finer table ware is decorated much more complicated compositions concentrated in two ornamental fields: bellow the rim and on the body. The upper part of the decoration usually comprises one to three incised or furchenstiched lines, sometimes combined with hanging triangles or "drops". The compositions on the body are usually restricted to a rectangular field between the two handles (the kantharoi usually have symmetrical compositions on both sides) or may cover the whole body without the handle (as in the case of jugs). The upper line of the rectangular field usually underlines the division of the neck and body. The rectangles are usually framed with groups of parallel lines, and the inside is filled with horizontal S-shapes or opposite triangles with a zigzag field between them, which stands out as the real ornamental pattern, contrasting the triangles filled in with white, red or yellow paste. In the case of S-shapes the triangles between them and the frame represent such reserved patterns. In some cases the rectangular field is hatched with parallel incised and zigzag lines. Another decorative pattern seen on amphorae and jugs consists of a horizontal band of hanging triangles on the upper part of the body. Different techniques were sometimes used together in the execution of more sophisticated decorative compositions: incision, furchenstich, pricking and the filling in of different ornamental fields with pastes of different colour. The last mentioned technique is characteristic only of the second building horizon; so are also the zigzag bands formed by couples of fine grooves and the wide vertical or horizontal grooves. 2. Wheelmade Pottery Several wheelmade pottery fragments were found during the excavations of the Late Bronze Age site. 1. The first fragment was found at the floor level in Square 26. It is part of the mouth rim of a deep bowl (skyphos) with a diameter of 13.6 cm. The fabric is extremely good, well purified and with no admixtures. The surface is light yellow (ochre) in colour. The decoration is painted with dark red. It

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KOPRIVLEN 1 03III The Late Bronze Age Settlement is composed of a horizontal band, 0.2 - 0.3 cm. wide, under the mouth rim, and the pattern called "whorl-shell" in the typology of Furumark applied vertically below the band (Fig. 30/3). 2. The second fragment comes from structure 23-50/60. The fabric is very well purified, without any admixtures. The surface is light yellow (ochre) in colour. It is a part of an outturned mouth rim with a diameter of 11.8 cm., probably also from a deep bowl (skyphos). The fragment is painted in brown, the paint covers the whole outside surface and a 0.8 cm. wide band bellow the rim on the inside (Fig. 30/4). 3. The third fragment, comes from structure 23-50/60. The fabric is very well purified, without any admixtures. The surface is light yellow in colour. It is a part of the mouth rim of an amphora with a diameter of 16.0 cm. The decoration is painted in black. The pattern is difficult to reconstruct, but it probably covered the entire outside and partly the inside surface. The rim might have been decorated with five transverse painted bands (Fig. 30/7). 4. The fourth fragment comes from structure 23-50/60. The fabric is very well purified, with visible admixtures of sand. The surface is grey in colour on both sides. It is a part of the mouth rim of an amphora with a diameter of 13.9 cm. The decoration is painted in black-brown, but the paint is badly preserved and the pattern cannot be reconstructed definitely (Fig. 30/5). 5. The fifth fragment was discovered near the structure 25-10. It was made of very well purified clay, without any admixtures. The surface is light red in colour. The preserved part of the decoration painted in dark red permits to reconstruct the "whorl-shell" pattern of A. Furumark (Fig. 30/1). 6. Two fragments were recovered from the floor of the building in Square 35. Their fabric is very well purified, without any admixtures. The outside surface is grey in colour, and the inside is covered with dense black-brown slip. The two fragments come from one and the same vessel, but the shape cannot be established. The decoration is painted in dark brown and consists of parallel horizontal lines 0.2 to 0.3 cm. wide and a 0.4 cm. wide wavy line (Fig. 30/2, 6). All the fragments described above come from the first building horizon (Koprivlen II). By their production on a wheel, the quality of the clay and the technique and patterns of the decoration they are completely different from the local handmade pottery. This is obviously a case of imported pottery, the characteristics of which connect it to the best examples of the pottery production in the Mycenaean world.

II. Small Finds
1. Metal Finds Although not numerous, the metal finds from the Late Bronze Age site at Koprivlen present some of the most common types of bronze tools and weapons. Arrowheads Type I. Arrowheads with a single tang. The blade is triangular, with wing-like barbs and a central rib turning into a flat tang. A total of four arrowheads of this type were discovered. The length of the blade varies from 3.5 to 4.5 cm., the maximum width at the barbs - from 1.5 to 1.7 cm., and the total length including the tang - from 5.5 to 6.1 cm. (Fig. 32/1-4). Type II. Arrowheads with two tangs. Subtype Il.A. The blade is triangular, with wing-like barbs and a central rib turning into two flat tangs. A single arrowhead of this type was discovered; its blade is 4.8 cm. long, the maximum width at the barbs is 2.1 cm., and the full length with the tangs is 6.5 cm. (Fig. 32/6). Subtype II.B. The blade is leaf-shaped, with a central rib turning into two long flat tangs. A single arrowhead of this type was discovered; the length of its blade is 2.2 cm., the maximum width 1.5 cm., and the full with the tangs 4.7 cm. (Fig. 32/3). Needles A whole needle and fragments of four others were discovered, the former in the second building horizon. All the needles have a round section and belong to the type with an eye characteristic for the age. The wholly preserved example is 13.9 cm. long, with an eye length of 0.7 cm. (Fig. 33).
15

///. The Late Bronze Age Settlement at Koprivlen (S. Alexandrov) Hook A bronze hook was found in the fill of structure 23-20 (Fig. 31/1-2). It could be dated in the Late Bronze Age on the basis of the observation that the fill of this Early Iron Age structure was actually made of Late Bronze Age debris. Ornaments A bronze ring with a diameter of 2.0 cm. (Fig. 31/4) and two beads with a diameter of 0.6 cm. (Fig. 31/1-2) were found in Square 19. All three were made of curved bronze lamellae. 2. Finds of Stone and Flint Moulds A piece of a stone mould probably for the casting of a knife comes from among the stones covering an Early Iron Age pit in Square 23, The mould has a rectangular shape with rounded corners; the preserved part is 10.2 cm. long, 7.0 cm. wide and 2.5 cm. thick (Fig. 31/7). The knife seems to have been with a one-sided blade and a maximum width of 1.6 cm. Whetstones A single whetstone was discovered in Square 19. It has a rectangular shape with rounded corners and dimensions 9.9 by 5.5 by 1.1 cm. The whetting groove runs along the whole length of the stone and is 0.7 cm. wide and 0.3 cm. deep (Fig. 31/6). Arrowheads A flint arrowhead of a Mycenaean type comes from Square 19. The blade is leaf-shaped, with a maximum width of 1.6 cm. and a preserved length of 3.8 cm. '(Fig. 34/11). 3. Finds of Bone The number of bone artefacts is relatively small. Several bodkins could be identified with certainty; their length varies between 5.0 and 6.0 cm. and their width is about 1.0 cm. (Fig. 35/6, 7). 4. Finds of Clay Spindle-Whorls The spindle-whorls are made of fine or average clays usually with quartzite admixtures. They have been fired to a dark brown or grey colour and the surface is smoothed, without any decoration. The shape and dimensions are constant in the two Late Bronze Age horizons, the diameters vary between 2.0 and 4.0 cm. and the heights between 2.0 and 3.0 cm. Three types could be distinguished according to the shape of the vertical section: Type /. Spindle-whorls of biconical shape (Fig. 35/11 -17). Type II. Spindle-whorls of ovoid shape (Fig. 35/10). Type III. Spindle-whorls of conical shape (Fig. 35/8-9). Weights The weights discovered in Koprivlen were probably used for fishing. They are made of average clays with admixtures of small and middle-sized stone particles. The surface is roughly smoothed, possibly as a result of long use. The main colour is brown to dark brown. Two main types could be distinguished - with or without a hole for suspending, and several subtypes according to the shape. Type I. Weights with holes. Subtype LA. Oval weights. The orifice is approximately in the centre (Fig. 34/4-5). Subtype I.E. Rectangular weights. The orifice is longitudinal, approximately at the centre of the small side (Fig. 34/1). Subtype I.C. Weights of irregular shape with several holes. Usually these were made of pottery sherds (Fig. 34/2). Type II. Weights without holes. Subtype II.A. Oval weights, usually made of pottery sherds (Fig. 34/3, 6, 7).
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KOPRIVLEN I OS III The Late Bronze Age Settlement Small cups A considerable quantity of small cups was discovered during the excavations. Their height is up to 3.0 cm., with a mouth rim diameter of up to 4.0 cm. The cups were made of fine or average clays with small particles of quartzite or stone as admixtures. The surface is grey, roughly smoothed, sometimes crude. Their purpose remains unclear, but their number is constant in the two Late Bronze Age horizons. Two types were distinguished according to the shape: Type I. Small cups with sharp bottom and conical body'(Fig. 35/1, 3). Type II. Small cups of ovoid shape (Fig. 35/1, 3). Anthropomorphic figurines Only one figurine was found during the excavations in the stone building in Square 35 which belongs to the first Late Bronze Age horizon (Koprivlen II). The figurine resembles a five-point star and seems to represent a male figure with suggested sex attributes. The height is 4.5 cm., the width of the torso 1.6 cm., the maximum width 2.3 cm. (Fig. 34/9).

HI. 3. CHRONOLOGY OF THE LATE BRONZE AGE BUILDING HORIZONS
The examination of the separate cultural elements represented in the two building horizons at Koprivlen leads to their definite dating in the Late Bronze Age. The layout and settlement pattern of the first building level settlement (Koprivlen II) have exact Late Bronze Age parallels in the south. Similar foundations of long stone walls with living houses and other buildings erected around them have been described at Thermon, lolkos and at other sites.3 The excavations in Greek Macedonia have revealed similar architectural patterns at the tells of Kastanas, Assyros, Thessaloniki, at Thasos and elsewhere. The apsidal and oval buildings are also common for the Late Bronze Age cultures in Macedonia. Close parallels to the structures uncovered at Koprivlen can be found in the same Late Bronze Age tells at Kastanas, Assyros, Dikili Tash, Thessaloniki, etc.5 Mud-brick walls are also a typical feature of the Late Bronze Age cultures developing to the south of Koprivlen.6 The bronze arrowheads found at Koprivlen have not so far found exact parallels. Of the five examples from Kastanas, the nearest analogue to the Koprivlen finds is an arrowhead from horizon 15, which belongs to type VI b in the classification of Buchholz and dates to the LH III period.7 In a wider context, and leaving aside the specific flat tang, the arrowheads of type I find numerous parallels in the Mycenaean area and the contemporary civilizations of Egypt and Asia Minor. Similar examples, but with a round tang, from two Mycenaean graves at the cemetery near Prosymna, were attributed by Blegen to type I and dated in the LH III period.8 The arrowheads from Koprivlen resemble the Mycenaean arrowheads of type I dated by Snodgrass in the Late Bronze Age.9 This type of arrowheads is close to Buchholz' type VIIc, dated by him to LH II - IIIC.10 In the typology of R. Avilla the arrowheads of type I from Koprivlen are close to group He which he dates in LH IIB 11

nc.

Outside Greece, type I finds parallels at Troy VI and VII, where they are considered as imports and are compared to prototypes from the shaft graves at Mycenae and from the Hittite level at Alishar. 12 Bronze arrowheads of similar shape have also been found at Bogazkoy in Asia Minor1"1 and in Egypt.14
' Mazarakis-Ainian 1989._ Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1982a: 253; Wardle 1980; Andreou, Kotsakis 1996. 5 Mazarakis-Ainian 1989; Serenades M. 1985, Andreou, Kotsakis 1996. 6 Mazarakis-Ainian 1989. 7 Hochstetter 1987: 26, Taf. 2. 8 Blegen 1937: 340-342. 9 Snodgrass 1964: 144-145. 10 Buchholz 1962: Abb. 7, 14, 15. 11 Avilal983: 111-112, Taf. 28. 12 Koppenhoffer 1995: Abb. 6/2; Blegen et al 1953: 270, PI. 297, 36-377.
4

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///. The Late Bronze Age Settlement at Koprivlen (S. Alexandrov) The numerous parallels suggest for the Koprivlen arrowheads a date in the LH II and III periods of the Late Bronze Age. A similar dating is also feasible for the flint arrowhead found in Square 23, which belongs to the common Late Mycenaean type of flint arrowhead.15 The bronze needles found at Koprivlen are not so sensitive chronologically. The needles with an eye of this relatively simple type are common from the Early Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age in the vast region including the Aegean, Anatolia and the Balkans.16 The mould for a knife found in Square 23 finds parallels at Kaymenska Chuka dated to 12301160 B.C. Knives of this type are known from grave No 1 in the Late Bronze Age cemetery at Sandanski, dated to LH IIIC (excavations by V. Petkov and the author) and from the Late Bronze Age graves in the cemetery near Thasos.18 The pottery complex from Koprivlen I and Koprivlen II displays the shapes and decoration typical of the Late Bronze Age cultures spread generally to the north of the Mycenaean civilization and in particular in South-Western Thrace. One of the most common shapes is the kantharos. The whole and fragmented examples from Koprivlen have a flat bottom, ovoid body, conical neck and two handles raised above the mouth rim. This shape is characteristic for the Late Bronze Age cultures in the Balkans.19 The kantharos decorated with incised geometric patterns is typical for the Late Bronze Age pottery complex of Macedonia. Close analogies to shapes and decoration of the Koprivlen vessels are known from the Late Bronze Age levels of the tells in Central and Eastern Macedonia: horizons 18 - 14 at Kastanas,20 Assiros,21 the Axios valley,22 and also from the Central Balkans,23 the so-called Zinmicea-Plovdiv-Cherkovna group,24 the Tei and Verbicioara cultures.25 The filling of the incised ornaments with white paste is among the characteristic features of the decorated pottery from Koprivlen. This decorative technique is called by Heurtley "the third ornamental style".26 The filling with white paste is already a typical feature of the decorative techniques in the Early Bronze Age. In the Late Bronze Age, especially on the lower Strymon, Nestos and Axios, yellow and red pastes were used for this purpose along with the white.27 Such polychrome decoration is attested in both horizons at Koprivlen. The fine wares at Koprivlen often bear traces also of graphite covering. This specific technique is characteristic of the Late Bronze Age in Eastern Macedonia, where similarly to Koprivlen the bands between the incised ornaments were covered with graphite, while some pottery shapes (e. g. bowls) were wholly covered with graphite on the outside and had a single band drawn under the mouth rim on the inside.28 The proposed general dating of the two horizons at Koprivlen to the Late Bronze Age seems indisputable. Their exact chronological position within the Late Bronze Age could be defined more accurately on the basis of the imported Mycenaean pottery on one hand, and through the analogies with the well stratified layers of Kastanas on the other. Second Building Horizon (Koprivlen I) The chronological position of this horizon can be defined more precisely by a comparative analysis of the pottery with the well-stratified levels at Kastanas. The most characteristic feature of the pottery complex of Koprivlen I, clearly distinguished from that of the later horizon, is the decoration Boehmer 1972: taf. XVI-XXIX. Petriel917:R 195-199. 15 Buchholz 1962. 16 Hochstetter 1987: 29 and the cited parallels; Hood 1982: Fig. 295, p. 660 with the cited parallels. 17 Stefanovich, Bankoff 1988. 18 Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1982a: PI. 25. 19 Hansel 1976; Morintz 1978. 20 Hochstetter 1984: Taf. 8/T, 13/3-5; 18/1; 10/1-1; 11/8; 35/1-1; 39/10; 41/1-3. 21 Wardle 1980: Fig. 11. "Mitrevski 1995:74. 23 Stojic 1997. 24 Bonev 1988: 55; Hansel 1976: 76; Hochstetter 1982: 110. 25 Leahu 1966; Morintz 1978. 26 Heurtley 1939:95. 27 Heurtley 1939: 95, Fig. 92/a, d; Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1982: 234-235; Wardle 1980: 247. 28 Grammenos 1979; Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1982: 234-235.
14 13

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KOPRIVLEN1 ess III The Late Bronze Age Settlement with fine incised lines or wide grooves (Fig. 13/16; 16). A decoration of fine incised lines forming a zigzag band, similar to the examples from Koprivlen, is attested in the earliest Late Bronze Age level at Kastanas - 19.29 A kantharos from the same level decorated with parallel vertical grooves is also similar to examples from Koprivlen.30 It should be mentioned that grooves (but oblique ones) reappear in Kastanas only in level 13 which is dated in LH IIIC.31 The analogies between the two horizons are not yet representative enough to warrant a definite affirmation of their chronological identity, especially in view of the restricted quantity of material from Kastanas 19. However the combined data from Koprivlen and Kastanas seems to permit a correction of the opinion that the grooved decoration made its appearance in Central and Eastern Macedonia only in the end of the Late Bronze Age.32 Obviously in terms of Late Bronze Age chronology its appearance should be sought much earlier, and not necessary in connection with influences from the north.

First Building Horizon (Koprivlen II)
The imported Mycenaean pottery should be considered as the most reliable criterion for establishing the chronology of Koprivlen II. 3 The most precise chronological position is that of the skyphos fragment decorated with a "whorl-shell" pattern - Furumark No 284 (Fig. 30/3). According to the latest studies on decorated Mycenaean pottery the "whorl-shell" pattern appears on skyphoi in the LH IIIA2 and IIIB1 periods.34 Other scholars specify that the "vertical whorl-shell" on skyphoi is more typical of the early phase of LH IIIB, especially when the upper part of the pattern is shaped like a ring, which is the case with the Koprivlen fragment.3" A similar pattern is seen on a skyphos from Mycenae dated to the middle phase of LH IIIB.36 In the central Peloponnesian areas of the Mycenaean world the combination between this shape and decoration would be dated in early to middle phase of LH IIIB. In North Greece, the earliest Mycenaean imports date from LH I and II, and they spread to the initii'Di t5 <vjt«to,\ Mrasskswi ^Kastaaias,, A.s,ska&\ ftom coastal settlements like Torone in Chalcidice in LH IIIA2 - IIIB I.37 At Kastanas, the first few Mycenaean sherds appear in horizons 18 and 19, dated K. Podzuweit in LH IIIA2. A considerably greater quantity of imported pottery was found in the horizons 16 to 14 which are of LH IIIB date, while the subsequent horizons contained LH IIIC imports/ At Assiros, Mycenaean pottery is found in relatively small quantities in levels preceding phase 9. From that phase on the quantity of Mycenaean sherds increases, their earliest dates being in LH mA2-iIIB.39 In Eastern Macedonia, relatively small quantities of Mycenaean pottery have been found at Statmos Angista (dated in LH IIIA2 - IIIB - IIIC),40 in the necropolises of Thasos,41 in tumulus graves near Potamoi and Exohi (from LH IIIC),42 and at some other sites.43 Generally speaking, the situation is similar to that in Central Macedonia, the LH IIIB period emerging as the most probable time of a \v ider distribution of Mycenaean pottery in Eastern Macedonia. In the case of Koprivlen some retardation should be allowed owing to the geographical position of the site which is situated further to the north, and to a probable longer life of such obviously valuable imports. Therefore the early LH IIIB period should be accepted as a probable terminus post
TO

29

Hochstetter 1984: Tafel 1/1, 2. Hochstetter 1984: Tafel 12/10. 31 Hochstetter 1984: Tafel 62/7; 64/5, 10. 32 Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1992: 814-815. 33 I would like to thank once again Dr. R. Jung for the kind help in the analyses of the Mycenaean pot30

tery. Mountjoy 1986: 91, fig.l 10/1; 117, Fig.143/2, 5, 13. Schonefeld, 1988: 153-211, Fig. 3-4. 36 Mountjoy 1976: 87-90, Fig. 6/44. 37 Cambitoglou, Papadopoulos 1993: 295-296. 38 Podzuweit 1979: 1985. 39 Wardlel993: 126-128. 40 Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1980a: pi. 16, 17. 41 Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1992: 815. 42 Grammenos 1979:71. 43 Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1992: fig.151.
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///. The Late Bronze Age Settlement at Koprivlen (S. Alexandrov) quern for the imported pottery at Koprivlen and respectively for the first building horizon (phase Koprivlen II). From the handmade pottery, some chronological indication is offered by the jugs with cutaway neck decorated with incised lines under the mouth rim. Heurtley considers this combination a "later" development within the Late Bronze Age.44 The pottery from Koprivlen has exact parallels among the finds from the tells at Saratse and Vardaroftza.45 At Kastanas, this combination of shape and decoration is typical for horizon 14, if we judge from the illustrated materials. Jugs with cut-away necks decorated with a single incised line under the rim are attested in horizon 14b ("Haupthof'),46 with two incised lines - in horizon 14b ("Antenhaus") and 14a,47 and with three incised lines - in horizon 14a.48 A sherd similar to the fragments from Koprivlen is illustrated among the finds from horizon 14a in the "Einzelhaus".49 The mentioned analogies suggest a contemporaneity between Koprivlen II and Kastanas 14. It is obvious that both Koprivlen I and II belong to the Late Bronze Age. The comparison of the finds from Koprivlen and Kastanas leads to the establishment of the following chronological parallels: Koprivlen I - Kastanas horizon 19; Koprivlen II - Kastanas horizon 14. In terms of Late Helladic chronology, considering both the dating of the Mycenaean imports from Koprivlen and that of the layers at Kastanas,50 a synchronization of Koprivlen I with Late Helladic I - II, and of Koprivlen II with Late Helladic IIIB could be suggested. The absolute dates implied would be c. 1600 - 1510/1500 B.C. for Koprivlen I, and c. 1340/1330 - 1185/1180 B.C. for Koprivlen II51

III. 4. CULTURAL CHARACTERISTICS
The cultural characterization of the Koprivlen I and II assemblages is hampered by the lack of contemporary sites investigated in the region. Late Bronze Age settlements situated on slopes or river terraces have been recorded near Ablanitsa, Debren and Brushten during field surveys along the left bank of the Nestos."" In our opinion the cremation tumulus graves near Satovcha and Kochan in the west slopes of the Rhodopes53 should be related to the Late Bronze Age culture of the Rhodopes and not with the Nestos valley. The known sites in the valley of the Middle Nestos remain insufficient to warrant a reliable solution to the problem of the cultural identification of the Late Bronze Age settlement at Koprivlen. The problem could be examined in a broader geographical context, including the valley of the Middle Strymon with the sites at Kaymenska Chuka and Levunovo and the cemetery in Sandanski. A brief review of the excavation results at these sites will precede the discussion of the general implications. The Necropolis in Sandanski The necropolis situated under the Early Christian basilica in the town of Sandanski has been excavated since 1997 by S. Alexandrov and V. Petkov. Until 1999, a total number of eight graves were studied in an excavated area of 60 sq. m. under the southern aisle of the basilica. Two groups of graves were distinguished, separated by a stone assemblage. The first group consists of five graves, and the second of three. As a part of the funerary rituals accompanying the burials, pottery vessels were broken and their fragments were scattered in the earth over the graves and especially in and around the stone structure. Two bronze artefacts were also found in this structure - a double axe and a
Heurtley 1939:95-96. Heurtley 1939: Fig. 93/g; 85/d, h. 46 Hochstetter 1984: Taf. 51/13. 47 Hochstetter 1984: Taf. 40/12; 56/8. 48 Hochstetter 1984: Taf. 56/9.
45 44

49

Hochstetter 1984: Taf. 58/11.

50

51

ttoete\e\to \%1. Warren, Hankey 1989: 168. 52 Domaradzki et al. 1999: 9. 53 Gereova 1989.

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KOPR1VLEN1 OS III. The Late Bronze Age Settlement biconical bead. All the graves contained extended inhumation burials with a predominant south to north orientation. The corpse was usually surrounded by stones, those around the head being of much larger size. The dead were buried with their personal possessions - bronze beads, finger rings, a necklace of bronze and limestone elements, etc. The burial offerings were usually placed near the head and consisted of between one and five pottery vessels. These were distributed between the eight graves in the following manner: grave No 1 - three vessels; grave No 2 - three vessels; grave No 3 - three vessels; grave No 4 - four vessels and a foot; grave No 5 - one vessel; grave No 6 - one vessel; grave No 7 - one vessel; or a total number of 18 vessels and a foot from another one. With the exception of grave No 4, where two footed bowls and the foot of a third one were found, the other graves contained only single specimens of each pottery shape. The vessels placed as grave offerings were made of fine or average clays, fired to a dark grey or black colour. The surface was smoothed, rarely burnished. The most common shape is the kantharos, represented with five vessels. The footed bowls are represented by three whole vessels and a foot fragment, the bowls with a flat bottom are three, the small cups - three, the small jugs - two, and there are also a single jug with cut-away neck, an amphora and an "alabastron". Most of the vessels are undecorated with the exception of two of the kantharoi on which there are finger imprints. The pottery fragments scattered in and around the stone structure belong for the greater part to vessels of medium and large size. The fabric is average or coarse, with admixtures of small stone particles; the surface is coarse, rarely smoothed. The mouth of the deep vessels is often decorated with an applied plastic band. A few sherds are decorated with carelessly executed incised lines. The metal finds are only of bronze and include personal belongings found in the graves (a finger ring, a bead, spiral pendants, "buttons"), and a part of a double axe and a biconical bead found in the stone structure. The analysis of the burial practices, the funerary offerings and the analogies with the adjacent regions date the necropolis to the end of the Late Bronze Age (121 - 11' c. B.C.). The necropolis is probably connected with a settlement of the same age established in the 1980s under the western part of the modern city.54 Kaymenska Chuka The settlement tops a "commanding height" some 100 m. above the flood plain of the Strymon about 5 km southeast of Blagoevgrad. The excavations were carried out between 1993 and 1998 and revealed the remains of a two-storied stone building with rectangular ground plan measuring 18 by 11 m. The walls were about 2 m. thick, the space between the two faces being filled with rubble of small and medium size. A staircase made of stone slabs and about 1 m. wide connected the two floors. The building has been interpreted tentatively as "an emporion or a storage and distribution centre" or as "a ruler's residence, controlling the commercial and other activities in the area".55 The finds from the building include pottery, a stone mould and several metal objects. The pottery is most numerous, including fine ware like jugs with cut-away necks, single handed cups, kantharoi, footed bowls and "Kugel" amphorae. The decoration is rare, just a few sherds have incised ornaments filled with white paste.56 A distinctive flat groove on the transition from the neck to the shoulder was noted as characteristic feature of the amphorae. Three "matt-painted" fragments were also found. The coarse ware is represented by pithoi of different shapes and size.57 Parallels to the pottery from Kaymenska Chuka have been suggested in the Late Bronze Age sites of Northern Greece, in the Brnica group in the Central Balkans, and in the Zimnicea-Plovdiv complex. Among the long series of Late Bronze Age cultures in the Balkans listed (Verbicioara, Tei, Coslogeni, Dubovac - Zuto Brdo, etc.) the North Greek analogies seem most convincing.58 An absolute date of c. 1230 - 1160 B.C. has been suggested for the site.59

Gergova 1995. Stefanovich, Bankoff 1998: 279. 56 Stefanovich, Bankoff 1998: 274, Fig. 24-30. 57 Stefanovich, Bankoff 1998: 275-276. 58 Stefanovich, Bankoff 1998: 278. 59 Stefanovich, Bankoff 1998: 279.
55

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///. The Late Bronze Age Settlement at Koprivlen (S. Alexandrov) The Sanctuary near Levunovo The site is situated on a hill dominating the Strymon valley. The results of trial excavations suggest that the sanctuary appeared in the Late Bronze Age. The published finds60 allow a synchronization of this layer with the settlement at Koprivlen. The list of Late Bronze Age sites in the area could be supplemented with those at Marikostinovo, Kurnalovo, Petrovo and others recorded during field surveys.61 The published materials from the site Marena by Marikostinovo are contemporary with those from Koprivlen. Graphite covering on pottery sherds was observed in most of these Late Bronze Age sites.62 Discussion The analysis of the collected data strongly suggests the development of a distinct culture along the middle Strymon and Nestos valleys during the Late Bronze Age. It is characterized, at least from the LH III B period on, with the appearance of stone architecture and the use of stone foundations, developed settlement patterns, apsidal or oval living houses and buildings. The metal arms and ornaments are typical for the age, but new, local types of arrowheads appear apparently under Mycenaean influence.63 The direct contacts with the Mycenaean civilization, especially in the LH IIIB period, are attested by the Mycenaean pottery imports, some of which are of quality suggesting origin in the Peloponnesos. The appearance of stone architecture, the use of stone foundations and mud-bvicks might also be attributed to Mycenaean influence or imitation, but the initial stage of the investigation does not permit more definite conclusions in this respect. The ceramic production shows a typical sequence of Late Bronze Age features, shapes and trends, like the domination of the incised decoration in LH IIIB and its gradual disappearance in LH IIIC. There are however some peculiarities which appear also in the neighbouring area to the south, near the Aegean coast and around the lower courses of the Strymon and Nestos. The evident identity of pottery shapes, decorative patterns and production techniques warrants the assumption that a distinct early Thracian archaeological culture developed along both the middle and lower Strymon and Nestos during the Late Bronze Age, and we are tempted to call that provisionally the Koprivlen culture. The Strymon - Nestos area was however in direct contact with Central Macedonia and the Axios valley. If we apply the term "archaeological culture" strictly, these three regions would represent three distinct archaeological cultures. However, as the common features prevail conspicuously in their cultural identity, we are inclined to consider them rather as three variants of one and the same archaeological culture. Within the wider geographical scope of this large cultural area, the regions along the middle and lower Strymon and Nestos should be considered as its "eastern" variant, in which the eponymous early Thracian site at Koprivlen evidently played a significant enough role. This statement seems justified in view of the cultural singularity of the site as revealed by the rescue excavations. The extraordinary character of Koprivlen, emphasized by its geographical position and possibly connected with functions of a commercial character, was further enhanced and developed in the first millennium B.C. as indicated by the excavations of the Thracian settlement centre situated to the north of the Late Bronze Age site.

Domaradzki 1986a: 97-103, Fig. 10/1,4, 5, 8, 9. Gergova 1995:32-34. 62 Gergova 1995: Fig. 11-12. 63 The arrowheads from Koprivlen find no parallels in the Central Balkans, which sustains their interpretation as a new local type. Cp. Parovic-Peshikan 1995: 4-24.
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iST IV. THE r l MILLENNIUM B.C. THRACIAN SETTLEMENT AT KOPRIVLEN

IV.l. STRATIGRAPHIC OBSERVATIONS ON THE 1ST MILLENNIUM B.C. SETTLEMENT
Anelia Bozkova i Institute of Archaeology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) The excavated area of the settlement at Koprivlen is still too limited, and this restricts the possibilities to analyse the character and chronology of the cultural strata. Four sectors have provided data on the stratigraphy of the site: Sondage 1, Sondage 4, Sector "Centre" and Sector "South". However they all belong to one and the same part of the territory of the settlement and have produced evidence about structures from only some of the periods of habitation. The archaeological investigations carried out so far (excavations and field surveys) have established that the settlement structures pertaining to different periods did not occupy a constant territory and periodically changed their confines (Chapter I, Fig. 2). This is the way in which the horizontal stratigraphy of the site was formed, and although its components and layout have not yet been determined in full detail, it is evident that they should be taken into account in the study of the vertical stratification. The structures of the Late Bronze Age, for example, so far as we know them, have been discovered at a smaller depth (measured from the modern ground surface) than those pertaining to the earliest phase of the Archaic Period in Sondage 4. What is more, there are practically no later cultural remains above the Late Bronze Age strata in all the area where these have been studied. The excavated plots did not contain any reliably dated layers of the Hellenistic Period, but impressive quantities of finds from the pit complexes belonged to that age - over 50 bronze and silver coins, lots of pottery fragments and various other small objects. For reasons which we still cannot understand fully, the ancient population of the site by Koprivlen seems to have moved about changing periodically the confines of the inhabited area so that these only occasionally and partially overlapped the preceding ones. The reasons might have been economic, but perhaps also of geomorphologic character: the brook which crosses the site nowadays seems to have changed its bed recurrently, causing sometimes devastating floods. This general conclusion is based on the archaeological observations of the surface and of the cultural layers and needs a specialized geomorphologic study, which the team intends to provide in future.

IV.1.1. THE CULTURAL LAYERS IN SONDAGE 4
Sondage 4 is situated on the northern bank of the brook on a terrace slightly slanting to the east and south. The place for the trial excavation was chosen randomly, on a free plot between the surrounding vineyards. The studies were carried out between 1995 and 1998. The total area excavated in Sondage 4 is about 175 square metres or seven archaeological squares measuring 5 x 5 metres each. Dividing balks were left between the squares which were orientated after the cardinal points. The depth of the cultural strata varies from place to place between 1.6

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IV. 1. Stratigraphic Observations on the 7" Millenium B.C. Settlement (A. Bozkova) and 2.1 m; the differences are due mainly to the declivity of the modern and ancient ground surface. Some of the cultural layers are related to architectural remains.1 The systematization of the Stratigraphic observations (Fig. 42; Colour Plates, Fig. 290) and of the data from the finds in the separate cultural layers has produced the following Stratigraphic scheme for Sondage 4: A. The virgin foundation within the limits of the excavated area consists of a reddish sand and gravel alluvial deposit formed either by the ancient activity of the Mesta River2 or by that of the neighbouring brook. B. The first and earliest cultural layer is between 0.5 and 0.7 m. thick and contains some fragments of local decorated pottery of the Early Iron Age and a much larger quantity of wheel-made pottery with geometric ornamentation (Fig. 43). As far as the existing parallels of the painted pottery can be dated,3 they belong to the late 8th or early 7th c. B.C. at the earliest, a period which most probably marks the establishment of the settlement in this part of the site. Besides pottery fragments the layer has also yielded some biconical spindle-whorls made of clay, some of them with incised decoration.4 Accumulations of lumps of clay plaster burnt into brick have been uncovered at certain places in the upper levels. Within the excavated area this layer is not related to any remains of identifiable archaeological structures, but its objective presence corresponds to phase I of the habitation of the settlement in the 1st millennium B.C. C. The second cultural stratum overlays without any hiatus the first one and is distinguished by the colour of the soil and the character of the pottery it contains. It is relatively thin (between 0.2 and 0.3 m) and cannot be referred to a building period. The stratum contains fragments of wheelmade vases with geometric ornamentation which do not display any substantial differences in style and technology from the fragments of phase I, and sherds of monochrome wheel-made ware, mainly of grey colour, with burnished or slip-coated surface.6 The hand made pottery is plain, sometimes with a plastic decoration of ribs with intersecting fossettes or incisions, and with tongue-shaped handles. Fragments with incised, stamped or other decoration typical of the Early Iron Age have not been attested. This layer should be associated with phase II of the habitation of the site and should be dated prior to the end of the 6th c. B.C. because of the presence of two or more "cups with dots" and glazed lines 7 (Fig. 44) found at the level separating it from the next layer. D. A sandy layer between 0.30 and 0.50 m. thick. This layer of alluvial character with light yellow colour and a content of mixed clay and sand follows immediately above the second cultural stratum. It contains very few finds - several pottery fragments and spindle-whorls, concentrated mainly at the lower sedimentary level, where some material traces from the habitation period destroyed by the flood have been mixed in the alluvium. The layer is relatively horizontal, however following the declivity of the slanting terrain and its thickness varies in different locations of the excavated area. E. The fourth stratum overlays the sandy alluvium and is between 0.30 and 0.50 m. thick. At some places this layer is covered by a fallen tile roof while at others it is disturbed by the cultivation of the soil. The precise Stratigraphic and chronological determination of this layer is difficult due to the fact that it is connected to two successive phases of habitation corresponding to the two successive stone buildings, the later of which (building B) overlays only partially the earlier one (building A). The construction of the later building probably occasioned a partial destruction of the earlier cultural stratum together with the clearing of the debris from the earlier building A. This stratum contains plain hand-made and wheel-made (local) pottery, monochrome slipcoated and imported red-figured and black-glazed wares. The red-figure fragments are of small size; they exhibit however the precise drawing and pure style typical of the earlier period of red-figure

'Cf. Chapter IV.2 infra. Nenov, Blagoeva 1973/1974: 24. 3 Cf. Chapter IV.4.2 infra. 4 Cf. Chapter IV.4.8 infra. 5 Cf. Chapter IV.4.3 infra. 6 Cf. Chapter 1V.4.3 infra. 1 Cf. Blonde et al. 1992: 28-31; Perreault 1990: 255-256.
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KOPRIVLEN1 eg IV. The Thracian Settlement painting (Fig. 45). Fragments from the mouth of a large black-glazed vessel, probably a column krater, with purple lines along the edges, were found at the same level in other squares, outside the outline of building B (Fig. 46)s This specific mode of thrifty decoration is typical of some very early Corinthian kraters (of Early Corinthian style) 9 and of the Attic black-glazed wares of the 6* and the first half of the 5th c. B.C.10 This fourth stratum overlying the alluvial layer corresponds to two successive phases of habitation - a later sub-period of phase II and phase III; their clear distinction however remained impossible at this stage of the investigations. Among the finds from this stratum were loom-weights of two types: pyramidal and lenticular." Slight differences in the structure and colour of the soil were observed in some of the squares, but the indications were not adequate for a more detailed discrimination of the chronological sub-periods. Remains of well-made floors of compacted clay were uncovered at two locations in this layer, immediately above the alluvium. A part of a bronze bracelet l2 and pottery fragments with a silvery slipped surface were discovered on one of the floor-levels. This layer contained some coins from the Hellenistic Period 13 and Late Antiquity. 14 Their presence here should be explained with the effects of modern agricultural activities and the transportation of archaeological material in the surface layers, as no other finds from the Hellenistic Period have been identified. The rare fragments of late antique or medieval pottery in this and the superficial humus layer were not accompanied by any specific traces of later habitation, and should rather be attributed to the near proximity of the necropolis from the 4lh - 11th c., situated only some dozens of metres away. F. The humus layer was between 0.10 and 0.20 m. thick and contained various pottery fragments and finds, including coins of different periods.

IV.1.2. THE CULTURAL LAYERS IN SONDAGE 1
Sondage 1 was excavated on a private plot in 1995 and immediately refilled with earth. It was situated to the north of the brook, at about 150 m. east of Sondage 4. This place was chosen for trial excavation following the surface find of a black-figure pottery fragment (Colour Plates, Fig. 292). The dimensions of the excavated pit were 2 x 2.5 m. It did not yield any architectural remains, but was extremely rich in pottery finds and provided valuable data about the stratigraphy and periodization of the site (Colour Plates, Fig. 291). The depth of the cultural deposits reached 2.1 m. measured from the surrounding ground surface. The observations made during the excavation and the analysis of the pottery finds suggest the following inferences: A. The virgin layer at the bottom of the excavated pit was identical in structure and composition with that in Sondage 4. B. Immediately above the virgin soil followed a relatively thin layer (about 0.2 to 0.3 m) containing a restricted quantity of pottery sherds, mainly wheel-made, thin-walled and with geometric decoration of the type characteristic of phase I in Sondage 4. C. The next cultural stratum had a thickness of between 0.5 and 0.6 m. A large and thick accumulation of pottery sherds was uncovered in the north-western corner of the trial pit. The fragments belong to vessels of few types, and many have undergone a secondary firing. Pieces of charcoal and of wall plaster with preserved impressions of sticks or poles from wooden constructions were mixed with the pottery. This accumulation probably marks the destructions of the south-eastern corner of a woodand-clay dwelling structure, the main part of which would have remained out of the excavated area.
Cf. Chapter IV.2 infra. Veinberg 1943: M° 233; Blegen et al. 1964: 321, x-135, PI. 89. 10 Sparkes, Talcott 1970: 18-19; Blegen et al. 1964: 303, Dl 1-g, PI. 98. n Cf. Chapter IV.4.8 infra. 12 Cf. Chapter IV.4.11 infra. 13 Cf. Chapter VI.2 infra. At the time when this text is going into print, the coin finds from this sector have been supplemented with examples contemporary to phases II and III - early Thasian silver coins of the "Silenus" series which were identified and will be published in due time by prof. Y. Yurukova. 14 Cf. Chapter VI.3 infra.
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IV. 1. Stratigraphic Observations on the 1st Millenium B. C. Settlement (A. Bozkova) The ceramic material from the accumulation comprises mainly fragments of large amphoroid wheel-made vases, of which only the mouths and necks with the handles were restorable. The decoration, though badly worn, is of geometric ornaments: horizontal lines and concentric circles applied in red-purple matt paint. The ceramic finds from this layer outside the accumulation are of the same type, also with geometric ornamentation, but their quantity is much smaller. The overall appearance of the pottery from this layer is similar to that of the material from phase I in Sondage 4, but the two complexes display also some formal and stylistic peculiarities.15 D. The layer between 1.40 and 1.00 m. contained various pottery types dominated by the wheel-made fragments with geometric decoration. All the levels, but especially the higher ones contained also fragments of monochrome grey (rarely red) wheel-made ware with burnished or slipped surface, typical also of phase II in Sondage 4. The accompanying hand-made pottery pertains to types with a long life in the whole 1 st millennium B.C.: plain, undecorated vessels or such with plastic bands with fossettes, coarse tongue-shaped or other handles. E. The third cultural stratum described above was covered by a level of destructions, most clearly manifested at a depth of between 1.00 and 0.8 m. and featuring large pieces of plaster, bits of charred wood and the preserved lower half of a pithos in situ the bottom of which is sunk to a depth of 1.40 m. The most numerous finds in this destruction layer were wheel-made pottery fragments with slip coating, among which the parts of bowls with incurved rims and incised horizontal lines beneath the mouth, of amphoroid vases, and of skyphoi were most easily identifiable. A miniature fragment of a thin-walled vessel with horizontal lines in black and red-brown glaze on both sides might have belonged to an "Ionian cup".1 Fragments with a geometric decoration in red matt paint still occur in this layer, although rather rarely. F. Another destruction level was situated about 0.4 to 0.5 m. above the previous one. It was marked in like manner by the presence of lumps of plaster, pieces of charcoal and small accumulations of pebbles. Another pithos was broken in situ at this level, situated about 0.5 m. higher than the one in the underlying layer and somewhat aside from it. The characteristic features of the pottery found at both destructive levels are essentially the same. G. The cultural stratum between the higher destruction level and the surface humus layer did not display any noticeable archaeological structures or circumstances. The pottery material is varied, but contains no imported pieces. The pottery is mainly plain, local and hand-made; the wheel-made fragments are of plain or slipped wares. The absence here of an alluvial layer or of architectural remains did not permit the ready identification of phase HI so clearly attested in the stratigraphy of Sondage 4. So far as this phase is featured by the absence of pottery with geometric ornamentation, it should probably be connected with the levels above 0.50 - 0.40 m.

IV.1.3. THE CULTURAL LAYERS IN SECTOR "CENTRE"
The designation Sector "Centre" was applied to a plot in the contour of the roadbed situated to the north of the brook and between Sondages 1 and 4. A total of 28 archaeological squares were excavated in 1998-1999 in this sector, the approximate area studied reaching about 700 square metres. In the north the sector borders on the area of the Northern pit complex of the 1 s t millennium B.C. and the necropolis of the 4th - 11 th centuries (Sector "North"). The determination of the stratigraphy in this sector was embarrasses by a number of unfavourable circumstances. There were no traces here of housing structures and habitation levels, and the cultural remains were unsubstantial. The ceramic finds were heavily fragmented and most often uninformadve, and the cultural strata had been repeatedly disturbed on different occasions: • the building of the stone walls17; • the digging of waste pits in Late Antiquity; • the planting of vines in modern time.

Cf. the pottery analysis in section Chapter IV.4.2 infra. 'Cf. Villard, Vallet 1955: 13-34; Catling, Shipley 19.89: 187-200. 'Cf. Chapter IV.2 infra.

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KOPRIVLEN 1 egIV. The Thracian Settlement Some significant facts concerning the cultural remains in the sector have nonetheless been established: A. Slightly expressed cultural layers were registered beneath the foundation level of the walls, evidently preceding their erection. These layers lie at the depth between 2.00 and 1.00 m. and contain accumulations of dispersed stones mixed with fragmented ceramic tiles and bits of charcoal. The pottery finds resemble those of phase I and II in Sondage 4 though the two phases could not be delimited strati graphically. B. Later cultural strata could not be differentiated due to the absence of any positive and reliable indications. The presence of fragments of silvery slipped pottery and construction ceramics (roof tiles) in the filling of Wall Cl indicates that the latter was built at least after the beginning of phase II and more likely only much later. The level of destruction of the remains of this wall (at a depth of 0.6 - 0.7 m. from the modern ground surface) also contains sherds of slipped and plain pottery, the latter both hand and wheel-made. C. Several late antique coins 18 and pottery fragments found at different places in the sector above the 0.60 m. level and out of the pits cannot be associated with any definite cultural layer or with the construction of the walls. Their presence should rather be explained with the proximity of the late antique and medieval necropolis in Sector "North" and the church building evidently related with the necropolis situated only some 10 m. to the east of the north-eastern squares of Sector "Centre".

IV.1.4. THE CULTURAL LAYERS IN SECTOR "SOUTH"
The designation Sector "South" was given to a plot within the outline of the roadbed south of the brook studied in 1998 and 1999. The excavated area is some 120 m. long from northwest to southeast and about 20 m. wide. Many ritual pits and caches of ceramic and other finds which seem connected with the pits were uncovered in this sector, and also zones of ordinary cultural strata, although the role of the latter in the spatial organization of the settlement or sanctuary structures remains indeterminate. The only architectural structures except some ambiguous traces of much destroyed foundations of quarried stones that could have belonged to eventual buildings, were two shallow founded parallel stone walls of uncertain purpose.1' There were also no apparent traces from constructions of transient materials. The existing cultural layers were repeatedly disturbed by the intrusion of ritual pits or the later construction of semi-subterranean medieval dwellings. Nonetheless the examination of the stratigraphic sequence even if limited to the few plots with recognizable layers is justified in view of the importance and diversity of the archaeological finds. The difficulties in identifying the archaeological structures and layers in the sector are additionally complicated by the uneven configuration of the ancient terrain (whether natural or affected by human activity). This conclusion is based on the fact that the virgin soil, of gravel and sand alluvium, was reached at widely varying depths between 0.80 and 2.40 m. within a comparatively small area, and the cultural layers above reaching the comparatively level modern ground surface were respectively of very different thickness. It is evident that the archaeological studies in this sector require a specialised geomorphologic investigation which would specify the characteristics of the ancient terrain and the role of the brook in its formation. Although the stratigraphic sequence in this sector does not display a substantial sedimentary layer comparable to the deep sandy alluvium settled in the walled rooms of Sondage 4, traces of floods could be perceived here as well. Apart from the vestiges of destructions which will be discussed below, the presence of some finds in sterile, non cultural levels of the southern part of the sector is an indication of the probable "transportation" of artefacts which are thus deprived of stratigraphic environment (for example, a fragment from the mouth of a black-figure column krater,20 Fig. 47/3). The mentioned unfavourable circumstances impose a careful approach to the reconstruction of the cultural strata in the sector and the necessary stipulation that new observations might in the future impose some corrections of the inferences in this text.
18

Cf. Chapter VI.3 infra.

19 20

Cf. Chapter IV.2 infra. Cf. Morgan 1999: fle 51, PI. 6.
87

IV. 1. Stratigraphic Observations on the 1st Millenium B.C. Settlement (A. Bozkova) A. The existence of cultural layers has been established only in the northern and central parts

of Sector "South" (Fig. 48) m a restricted area comprising the squares with indexes 39-T-n-m, -r, -x,
and -w. Some pits were dug into the existing deposits in this area but the pit field is concentrated mainly in the southern part of the sector where the terrain is sterile. B. Except for a specific plot in Squares w-4, w-8 and partly in x-1 to x-8, the cultural layers have a mean thickness varying between 0.8 and 1.1 m. measured from the modern ground surface. They overlay the gravel-and-sandy virgin soil of the basic terrain and mix partially with it with their bottom levels. C. The lower levels, reaching up to 0.60 - 0.40 m. under the modern ground surface, contain exclusively early pottery typical of the Archaic Period (or, the second phase of the Early Iron Age) and abound in amorphous accumulations of stones sometimes mixed with bits of charcoal and large lumps of plaster. Two main ceramic complexes characterize this layer: • local hand-made pottery with decoration typical of the second phase of the Early Iron Age;"" • wheel-made pottery of red colour with geometric decoration in purple or red-brown paint.2" This pottery is represented in Sector "South" with an impressive number of fragments and considerably exceeds in quantity and typological variety the materials of Phase I in Sondage 4. The number of fine pottery fragments covered with red or red-brown paint, applied either densely or "a la brosse", is also considerable. The same levels yielded a fragment from an East Greek bird bowl24 (Fig. 47/1) and some metal finds such as a bronze spiral finger ring.25 D. A second, later level of cultural deposits could be perceived immediately above the earliest one, similarly to the situation Sondage 4, there were no susceptible distinctions in the character of the soil and the two layers could be differentiated only on the ground of the pertaining pottery types. This second layer is clearer at depths above 0.6-0.4 m. (excluding the west to east row of Squares w-4 -x-3 and parts of the adjacent squares, where all the cultural strata lie deeper); it is characterised by the change in the pottery groups: the reduction or completely disappearance of the hand-made decorated pottery of the Early Iron Age and the emergence of monochrome wheel-made slipped or burnished wares. However this second pottery complex continues to display a considerable presence of fragments with geometric decoration; the latter seems to have outlived at Koprivlen the local decorated pottery of the Early Iron Age by at least a few decades. This second cultural layer reaches the base of the modern humus in Sector "South". E. With the exception of a specific plot comprising the Squares w-4, w-8 and some of those situated to the east of them, from x-1 to x-8, no other cultural strata were discernible above those mentioned above. There were no definite traces of occupation which could be associated with Phase III in Sondage 4, a period in which the establishment of the pit complex in Sector "South" had already begun; the spatial arrangement of the latter seems to have had no logical or chronological relation with the described cultural layers. Certain finds such as ceramic fragments, coins and fibulae found around the pits are dated in the Hellenistic Age, the Roman Imperial Period or Late Antiquity.26 There seems to have been no permanent occupation of the area during these periods, and all the observations suggest that the Hellenistic and Late Antique settlement structures had been displaced from the site of the earlier settlement. The quantity of Hellenistic coins discovered by the local inhabitants in the course of agricultural work in the fields and vineyards situated to the west of Sector "South" and of the Late Bronze Age settlement prompts a possible location for the Hellenistic site. F. A specific Stratigraphic situation is revealed on the central part of Sector "South", in a plot including from west to east the four successive Squares w-4, x-1, x-2 and x-3. The first peculiarity here is that the cultural layers reach a considerably deeper level, down to 2.40 m. in Square w-4 (Fig. 49). The general impression is that of some kind of linear depression in the ancient terrain resembling
21 22
23

Cf. Chapter IV.3 infra. Cf. Chapter IV.4.1 Mia.
Cf. Chapter IV.4.2 Mia.

24
25 26

Cf. Boardman 1967: 132-134.
Cf. Chapter IY.4.10 Mia. Cf. Chapter VI.2 and Chapter VI.3 infra.

88

KOPRIVLEN I csIV. The Thracian Settlement a natural or artificial ditch (or channel?). In all four squares the layers of the Archaic Period (or the second phase of the Early Iron Age) were thick and extraordinarily rich in pottery fragments and metal finds, including bronze fibulae and a double pin.27 The inhumation burial of a child dated after the scanty grave goods to the Early Iron Age, the only one of its kind so far, was uncovered at a depth of 1.60 m. in Square w-4.28 For stratigraphic and chronological reasons, a confident relation between this burial and the bronze ornaments found in the higher layers of the same square within a synchronous pottery context cannot be established with any degree of certainty.29 A cultural layer related from phase II has also been attested on this plot, and also at absolute levels considerably lower in comparison with those in the remaining squares, reaches depths of 0.901.10 m. A wall fragment from an archaic amphora with a trade mark (possibly from Chios), discovered in the balk between Squares w-4 and x-5 at a depth of 0.70-0.90 m30 (Fig. 47/2), could be ascribed to this layer. Its integrity however has been greatly disturbed by the medieval structures dug into its upper levels. The occurrence of some asynchronous finds in Square w-4, including a fibula of Middle La Tene type, could be explained by the presence of a pit from the Hellenistic Period dug into \hephase II layer.31 G. Some better preserved traces of late occupation were noted in the upper levels of the mentioned small and deeper plot comprising the four adjacent Squares w-4, x-1, x-2 and x-3. An expressive cultural layer of the Middle Ages was traced here to a depth of 0.60-0.70 m. It consisted of specific grey soil and contained a thick aggregation of dispersed stones, probably remnants from the destruction of two parallel shallow walls of obscure function flanking the long sides of the deeper plot.32 This layer produced mainly finds of medieval date: pottery typical of the 9th-1 l lh c. (Fig. 50), and some iron objects including an arrowhead, knives, etc. The rational explanation of this layer with its concentrated finds is hindered by the lack of any traces of habitation, e. g. remains of houses or other buildings. It seems plausible to suggest the existence of structures of perishable material, occupying a small area between the remains of the two parallel walls, which must have been better preserved and were probably integrated in the construction of some type of partly dugout dwellings. In spite of their definite presence, these medieval remains are isolated and should be regarded as a peripheral element of the settlement unit related to the necropolis in Sector "North", whose nucleus has not been yet localised. The investigations in the excavated area of Sector "South" have not permitted a satisfactory reconstruction of the processes accompanying the accumulation of the cultural layers and the formation of the pertaining archaeological structures. Nevertheless, the field observations and the collected material have considerable importance for the establishment of a more complete and reliable working conception of the cultural characteristics of the site.

27

28

Cf. Chapter IV.4.10 infra. Cf. Chapter 1V.2 and Chapter IV.4.10 infra. 29 Ci. Chapter IV.4.1 infra. 30 Cf. Lambrino 1938: 107-108, Fig. 71-72; Dupont 1982: 197. CL Chapter [V.4.11 infra. 1 Cf. Chapter VI.2 infra.

89

IV.2. THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL STRUCTURES
Peter Delev (University of Sofia "St Kliment Ohridski") Various archaeological structures, belonging to the Thracian settlement near the village of Koprivlen, were discovered both in the course of the limited initial trial excavations in 1995-1997 and during the extensive excavations along the bed of road 11-19 in 1998 and 1999. Some of these are discussed bellow separately (for example the Thracian ritual pits in Sector "South" and Sector "North").1 The present chapter is dedicated mainly to the remains of stone architecture in the excavated sectors of the site. The movable architectural finds (construction ceramics) will also be presented separately.2

IV.2.1. THE STONE BUILDINGS IN SONDAGE 4
The archaeological exploration of the Thracian settlement site near the village of Koprivlen started in 1995 during the implementation of a field survey project in the Middle Mesta region financed by the then National Fund for Scientific Investigation. After the location of the site and its preliminary assessment through the collection of surface finds, several small trial pits were excavated at different places in order to establish the character of the cultural accumulations. One of the trial pits, measuring initially 5 x 5 m. and marked as Sondage 4, ran from the very surface layer into the remains of a stone building (a layer of broken tiles and solid stone walls). In the process of excavating in depth, the consecutive cultural strata which were revealed produced very interesting archaeological materials attesting the considerable age of the remains and the singular character of the whole site. The evident scientific importance of these first finds in Sondage 4 induced the continuation and expansion of the trial excavations here in the next seasons, despite the limited funding provided under the project. Another five rectangular pits on a 5 by 5 metres grid (Squares 2-6) were excavated in 1966 next to the initial one; balks were preserved between the squares. Square 6 which was excavated only partially in 1996 was finished in the next season (1997); then in 1998 another pit of the same dimensions (Square 7) was excavated and several shallow trial trenches were laid south of the main sector (Squares 8-10). Sondage 4 is situated west of the roadbed, by the northern bank of the brook which runs through the site and at the eastern edge of a terrace probably shaped when the surrounding modern vineyards were planted. The terrace is separated from the lower plot crossed by the road with a supporting dry wall built of stones originating in all likelihood from the destroyed ancient stone walls. The excavated section consisting of seven archaeological squares (5 x 5 m) had a total area of 175 square meters including the balks between the pits; it had an irregular overall shape including a large rectangle of 10 x 15 m. with Squares 6, 1 and 3 from north to south in the western row and Squares 4, 2 and 5 in the eastern row, while Square /protruded to the east in the row of Squares 1 and 2. A strange and complicated system of stone walls was revealed by the excavations (Fig. 57; 53). The careful analysis of their orientation, structure and depth led to the conclusion that they represent the remains of two succeeding buildings with similar solid stone construction. The walls of both buildings are very much alike, about 0.60 - 0.65 m. thick, made of medium-sized roughly hewn or unhewn stones without mortar (probably cemented with clay), with comparatively regular faces of rather uneven horizontal rows on both sides. Fragments of roof tiles have been noted at several places among the stones of the walls. The peculiar and complicated configuration of the uncovered stone walls in the

Cf. Chapter IV.3 infra. -Cf. Chapter IV.4.9 infra.
91

1

IV. 2. The Archaeological Structures (P. Delev) excavated area is due to the overlapping of the foundations of the two buildings which are of different ground plan and orientation, although the deviation is of only 1-2 degrees.

IV.2.1.1. Building A
The earlier Building A includes, within the excavated area, two rooms: the south-eastern Room Al and the north-western Room A2, outlined by four perpendicular walls, which have been given numbers from 1 to 4 (Fig. 52; 53). The building developed possibly in the west if Walls 8 and 9 in Square 3 are a part of it. In the north-west the building extends beyond the boundaries of the excavated area.

Walll
A length of 9.15 m. of this wall running from northwest to southeast (147°) has been revealed in Squares 1 and 3 (Fig. 53; 54/1-4). The north-western end remains out of the excavated area. The uncovered part of the wall has up to six successive rows of stones and a preserved height of up to 1.15 m. Its south-eastern end is constructively linked with the transverse Wall 2 which has considerably deeper foundations. A length of about 0.90 m. of Wall 1 next to this juncture is also founded at a greater depth than the remaining part, having two additional rows of stones underneath in the southwestern face (about 0.45 m. additional depth, total preserved height of the wall at this place 1.55 m). The north-eastern (inner) face of Wall 1 goes down even deeper near the corner, and is founded at almost the same depth as Wall 2. At 1.40 m. from its south-eastern end, Wall 1 is crossed by the transverse Wall 5 which belongs to the later Building B, the link is not constructional and Wall 5 rides over Wall 1 which is deeper and was partially destroyed at the place of the juncture. At 5.10 m. from the south-eastern end, Wall 1 forms a T-shaped constructional juncture with Wall 3. The intersection of Wall 1 with the transverse Wall 7 which belongs to the later Building B near the north-western corner of Square 1 remains out of the excavated area.

Wall2
This wall has been revealed for a length of 9.05 m. in Squares 5, 2 and 7 (Fig. 53; 55/1-4; 56; 57). It is orientated from south-west to north-east (57°) and forms the south-eastern facade of the certain part of Building A. The two ends of Wall 2 meet at right angle respectively Walls 1 and 4. This is the most substantial of the preserved walls of Building A; situated on the side of the nearby brook and at the lowest surface level of the terrain, it is founded considerably deeper than the remaining walls of the building (the difference in depth varies between 0.70 and 0.90 m. in relation to the base of different sections of Walls 1, 3, and 4) and reaches a solid layer of virgin soil under all the cultural strata. Its north-eastern end is somewhat shallower, perhaps due to an insignificant acclivity of the ancient terrain. At some places, ten to eleven rows of stones have been preserved in the faces of Wall 2 reaching a maximum height of 1.80 m. The lower part of the wall is somewhat thicker, the difference being produced by a shelf-like horizontal retreat on the inner (north-western) face, 3 to 5 cm. wide and situated at about 0.70 m. from the upper end of the preserved part; it is not clear whether this should be interpreted as an original constructive element of the wall or as a trace of reconstruction during a second building phase. The examination of the construction of the wall shows that the part under this retreat is made of bigger and more carefully positioned stones, arranged in more regular rows.

WallS
This wall was uncovered in Squares 1 and 4 and is linked at both ends to Walls 1 and 4, serving as an internal separation between the two rooms of Building A (Fig. 53; 58/1-2). Its full length is 7.74 m., but parts of this remain under the preserved balks between Squares 1 and 2 and Squares 2 and 4. The wall is parallel to Wall 2 (direction from south-west to north-east 57°) and has 6 to 7 preserved rows of stones or a height of up to 0.80 m.

92

KOPRIVLEN 1 eg IV. The Thracian Settlement

Wall 4
Wall 4 is the outer north-eastern wall of building A, closing on this side its two Rooms Al and A2 (Fig. 53; 59/1-3). A part of this wall was uncovered in Squares 7 and 4, while its north-western end remains out of the limits of the excavated area. It is parallel to Wall 1 (direction north-west to south-east 147°). The south-eastern end of the wall joins with Wall 2 to form the eastern corner of the building, and at 5.10 m. from this end it meets at right angle the separating Wall 3, both junctions being constructive ones. The preserved part of Wall 4 consists of 4 to 5 rows of stones with a height of up to 1.00-1.10 m. and is conspicuously inclined outwards (to the north-east)

Room Al
This room has been completely uncovered in the excavated area,3 parts of it lie in Squares 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 (Fig. 53). It is outlined by the south-eastern parts of Walls 1 and 4 and the transverse Walls 2 and 3. The internal dimensions measure 5.11 m. from north-west to south-east and 7.74 m. from north-east to south-west. The preserved height of the walls does not present any traces of entrances, which suggests their interpretation as the substruction of the building, laid from a floor-level situated relatively high, near the modern surface. Traces of probable floor levels marked by amassed stones and pottery, flattened clay surfaces and traces of fire were noted during the excavations at several locations inside the perimeter of Room Al, mainly in its eastern half, at a depth of some 0.80 m. or more under the modern surface and below the alluvial layer4 Although situated somewhat higher than the lower end of the walls of Room Al, these should be interpreted rather as the traces of earlier buildings in a stratigraphical layer which had already been closed by the overlaying alluvial stratum when the foundations of Building A were dug down into it.

Room A2
The room has been excavated only partially in Squares 1, 4 and 6. It is limited to the southwest, south-east and north-east by Walls 1, 3 and 4 and its north-western part extends out of the excavated area (Fig. 52; 53). The internal dimensions are 7.74 m. from the north-east to south-west, and over 7 m. from the north-west to the south-east (the distance from Wall 3 to the north-western corner of Square 6). Along the uncovered parts of the walls there are no traces of any entrance. In the northern part of Square 6, uncertain traces of a clay floor were noted under the alluvial layer, somewhat above the level of those in Room A1 mentioned above (possibly because of the inclination of the ancient surface). These should be referred in much the same way to a phase preceding the erection of the stone building. Better preserved remains of another floor were uncovered on a larger area in the northern half of Square 6 directly above the alluvial layer. This floor consists of a thick layer (1-2 cm.) of clay plaster with a polished upper surface, lying over a foundation layer of pebbles; traces of straw are visible in the clay. At places the surface of the clay plaster is uneven, perhaps because the sandy alluvial layer gave way under it. Fallen stones were found on this floor level. Destruction remains probably associated with it and featuring fragments of tiles and traces of fire were established also in the eastern corner of Room A2 in Square 4. The probability that this higher floor belonged to Building A seems quite feasible, although the archaeological observations were not conclusive in this respect.

Stratigraphic and Chronological Observations
All the walls of Building A reach with their bottom parts below the lower end of the alluvial layer, some going much deeper probably due to declivity of the ancient terrain. This fact however does not resolve the problem of identifying the archaeological layer corresponding to the stone building. As already mentioned, the traces of floors found at several locations under the alluvial layer should rather be attributed to a period of habitation preceding the erection of Building A and probably featuring Part of the inner area remained unexcavated under the preserved balks between Squares 1 and 2, Squares 3 and 5, and Squares 2 and 4.
4

3

About the stratigraphy of Sondage 4 cf. Chapter IV. 1.1. supra (the alluvial layer = D).
93

IV. 2. The Archaeological Structures (P. Delev) building constructions of wood and clay. This period would correspond to the earlier stage of phase II preceding the catastrophic inundation which brought in the alluvial layer.5 The idea that the preserved height of the stone walls represents mainly the foundations of the building laid below its floor level is further corroborated by the mentioned lack of visible traces of any entrances. Although situated below the upper end of the preserved height of the walls (roughly at the level of the third layer of stones from top down) the remains of a floor situated above the alluvial layerin Square 6 which are out of the perimeter of Building B can be attributed with a good degree of probability to Building A. This attribution would permit to refer the erection and functioning of the building to the chronological horizon of the later stage of phase II following immediately the flood and the deposition of the alluvial layer.6 Then the date suggested on stratigraphic evidence for the catastrophic inundation - near the end of the 6th or at the very outset of the 5th c. B.C. - should also give the approximate date of the erection of the stone building. It is possible also to surmise that the appearance of solid stone architecture at the site could have been occasioned and induced by the disastrous results of the flood which would have destroyed all previous less stable building constructions. The length of the period of time in which Building A was in use cannot be established with certainty at this stage. The reasons for its demolition (remains of which might be identified in the debris covering the floor level in Square 6) and for the subsequent erection of the later Building B in its place remain also enigmatic. The considerable constructional (and probably also architectural) similarity between the two stone buildings and the chronological homogeneity of the stratigraphic layer presumably connected with their consecutive erection and existence 7 suggest a relatively small interval of time separating the erection of the two buildings and consequently a more or less short period for the existence of Building A.

IV.2.1.2. Building B
Walls 5, 6 and 7 belong to the later Building B which has only one partly explored large room (Room Bl) within the excavated area of Sondage 4 (Fig. 53}. These walls display a small deviation in comparison to the orientation of the walls of the older Building A, their foundations are somewhat shallower, and their faces are of less regular structure. The fact that the ground plans of the two buildings are completely different suggests that the earlier one had been totally destroyed to ground level before the construction of the later one started, probably because of apprehensions that the remains of the older walls might be unstable. 8

WallS
A length often meters of Wall 5 was uncovered by the excavations in Squares 2 and 3; it runs in a south-west to north-east direction at 58° (Fig. 53; 60/7-3). The north-eastern end is constructively linked with the perpendicular Wall 6, forming the eastern corner of Building B, the south-western end reaches Wall 9 near the western profile of Square 3 and probably goes over it out of the investigated area. Almost in the middle of its excavated part, Wall 5 crosses Wall 1, visibly sitting on its lower rows and cutting through the destroyed upper ones. Up to six rows of stones are preserved in the faces of Wall 5 which attains a height of 0.90 m. Traces of pink lime plaster containing particles of ground bricks are preserved on the southeastern face of the wall in Square 3.

Wall 6
Wall 6 (Fig. 53; 61) is perpendicular to Wall 5; it runs from north-west to south-east at 148° and forms the north-eastern face of Building B. The wall is revealed in Squares 2 and 6 and is 7.80 m. long. Its two ends are constructively linked with Walls 5 and 7, and roughly in the middle it crosses Wall 3 of the older building (the intersection remains under the preserved balk between Squares 2 and
5 6
s

Ibid. Ibid. 7 Ibid., E.
For example Wall 4 which is strongly inclined outwards.

94

KOPR1VLEN 1 egIV. The Thracian Settlement 4). Wall 6 has a preserved height of up to 0.90 m. at its north-western end and up to 0.65 m. at the south-eastern one.

Wall 7
Wall 7 (Fig. 53; 62) closes the building from the north-west and has been laid open only in Square 6. It is parallel to Wall 5; its north-eastern end meets Wall 6 at the northern corner of the building, while its south-western part remains hidden under the preserved balk between Squares 1 and 6 and presumably continues over Wall 1 and beyond the limits of the excavated area of Sondage 4. The exposed part of the wall has a length of 4.20 m. along its outer face and up to six successive rows of stones or a preserved height of 0.90 m.

Room Bl
Walls 5, 6 and 7 delimitate a big room, the western end of which remains out of the excavated area of Sondage 4 (Fig. 53). The width of the room between Walls 5 and 7 is 6.60 m. and its length at least 9.35 m. (or more, if Wall 9 does not close it from the south-west). The preserved corners in the north and east show that Walls 5, 6 and 7 were all outer, fagade walls of the building, which seems to have consisted (at least in its eastern part revealed by the excavations) of this only single room, if of considerable dimensions. There are no traces of an entrance along the preserved parts of the walls.

Stratigraphic and Chronological Observations
The foundations of the walls of Building B are laid somewhat less deeply in comparison with those of the older Building A, and at some places they do not reach the lower end of the alluvial layer, so there is no doubt that the erection of this building took place only after the catastrophic flood. It can also be inferred that the floor level of Building B was situated above the upper ends of the preserved parts of the walls of Building A, which would place it near the modern surface level. This is confirmed also by the remains of a fallen-in tile roof uncovered in situ in Square 1, inside the perimeter of the building. In such case (and if the identification suggested above of the remains of a floor above the alluvial layer in Square 6 as belonging to Building A is accepted) there would have been a certain difference in the floor levels of the two buildings. Unfortunately the heterogeneous character of the finds in this layer which is quite near the modern surface does not permit the establishment of a definite chronology for Building B. Among the chronologically diagnostic finds from the layer underlying the tiles in Square 1 a sizeable fragment of high quality Attic Red-Figure pottery of probable 5' c. date should be mentioned.

IV.2.1.3. Other Walls and Structures in Sondage 4
Some of the stone structures brought to light by the excavations in Sondage 4 cannot be referred with certainty to any of the two consecutive buildings. These are grouped mainly in the southwestern corner of the excavated area (Square 3 and a small extension to the south of it, which was excavated in 1996).

Watt 8
This wall lies in Square 3; its orientation is from south-west to north-east (57°) and in the ground plan it represents a direct continuation of Wall 2 to the south-west. The uncovered length of the wall measures 3.40 m. However, in sharp contrast to the deeply laid Wall 2, the foundations of this wall are very shallow and only two rows of stones are preserved, starting just above the alluvial layer. The juncture of this wall to the corner of Walls 1 and 2 shows a clear articulation. If it belongs to Building A (as suggested by the ground plan configuration), Wall 8 could have been part of a later reconstruction. The shallow foundations (even in comparison with those of the walls of Building B) placed on the unstable alluvial layer show that as an element of the structure of the building the wall was not intended to carry weight.

' Cf. Chapter IV. 1.1 and Fig. 45 supra.

95

IV. 2. The Archaeological Structures (P. Delev) The south-western end of Wall 8 breaks unevenly close to the semi-circular construction which is described bellow. It is possible that the short piece of a wall discovered to the south-west of Wall 9 in the extension of Square 3 represents a continuation of Wall 8; it goes out of the excavated area following the direction of Wall 8 and has the same shallow foundations laid over the sandy alluvium and only two preserved rows of stones, unlike the deeper Wall 9.

Wall 9 and the Semicircular Construction in the SW Corner of Square 3
In the south-western corner of square 3 and in a small extension (2.50 x 1.50 m) excavated to the south of it in order to clear the situation, a short part of a wall orientated from north-west to southeast (and roughly parallel to Walls I, 6 and 4) was uncovered (Fig. 53; 64). The part of this wall to the south-east of the joint with Wall 5 measures 2.50 m. and finishes with a relatively regular end protruding in front of the line of Wall 8', the probable extension of Wall 8 to the south-west of Wall 9 is retracted with about 0.40 m. from this projecting end. Watt 9 is deeply founded and has seven preserved rows of stones reaching a height of about 1.10m. The foundations are deeper with one row of stones (about 0.20 m) from those of the semi-circular construction and of Wall 5 and reach the hard brown soil under the alluvial layer. The juncture of Walls 5 and 9 is not clear; the shallower foundations of Wall 5 reach down only to the boundary between the hard soil and the alluvium. If Wall 9 belongs to Building B, its extension to the north-west would have closed Room Bl from the southwest; this assumption however leaves unexplained the reasons for the construction of the actually visible part of the wall which projects way out south of the contours of the room. The possibility that Wall 9 could have been related to the older Building A cannot be ruled out completely at this stage; in such a case, Walls 9 and / would delimitate between them a large room elongated in a north-west to southeast direction, which might have remained initially open in the south-eastern facade before the construction of the shallow and evidently late Wall 8 closed it. A semicircular stone platform is appended to the north-eastern face of Wall 9 (Fig. 53; 65). It is made of stones and clay and its structure resembles that of the walls; the length along Wall 9 measures 1.60 m. and the outward projection 0.85 m. The platform has a flat upper surface of compactly arranged stones at a level corresponding approximately to the upper end of the sand alluvium; the walls are vertical, with four rows of stones and a preserved height of about 0.60 m., reaching downwards to the lower end of the sand alluvium. "Wall 8 breaks off with an uneven end near this construction, but the two miss each other in height, the lower row of stones of the wall being placed approximately at the level of the upper surface of the platform. The purpose and function of this peculiar structure remain unclear.

The Amassment of Stones along Wall 4
A 2 m. wide strip along the outer (north-eastern) face of Wall 4 is covered, right under the surface layer, with compactly arranged stones of small to medium size (Fig. 53). Among the stones there is some hard soil; quite a few fragments of pithoi, of other ceramic vessels and of tiles have also been found. The thickness of this stone layer reaches 0.60 m; it is situated above a layer of dark-brown earth. No traces of the sand alluvium established in all other sectors of Sondage 4 have been found in this area. The stones are scattered in evident disorder, they are not compactly arranged and might represent remains of the destroyed upper part of Wall 5, the preserved lower part of which is ostensibly inclined outwards, suggesting a possible destruction of the superstructure in this direction. The stone covered strip in Square 7 however continues in a south-eastern direction beyond the eastern corner of Building A, suggesting rather some kind of constructional or functional destination of the whole structure - possibly for drainage or for consolidation of the terrain supporting the wall. It could also be suggested that this stone structure (like similar structures in other locations on the site) might be of quite later (medieval) date and not related directly with the two stone buildings in Sondage 4.

Pits
Pits dug into the cultural strata were discovered at several places in Sondage 4. There were at least two pits in the northern part of Square 3, in the interior of Room Bl. The eastern one of these has destroyed partially the south-western face of Wall 1 near its intersection with Wall 5. A relatively
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KOPRIVLEN 1 egIV. The Thracian Settlement large pit (about 1.50 m. in diameter) was visible in the profile of the northern balk of Square 2, inside Room Al. Fragments of pottery, ceramic tiles and stones were discovered in the pits. Their function and dating are difficult to establish, but they obviously post-date the flood which brought in the sandy layer, being partially dug into it.

IV.2.1.4. Problems of Interpretation
The considerable dimensions of the rooms belonging to the two consecutive buildings and the imposing character of their construction (strong stone walls, roof covered with tiles) are of peculiar interest. Buildings A and B were both uncovered only partially within the excavated area of Sondage 4, and this prevents any more explicit observations about their ground plans at this stage. They belong to an early period of Thracian history still inadequately investigated archaeologically, and any interpretation of their character and function will depend on the eventual future establishment of their complete plans, on the evolution of our notions on the more general issues of the character of the site at Koprivlen as a whole, and especially on the accumulation of more specific knowledge about its architecture.

IV.2.2. THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL STRUCTURES IN SECTOR "CENTRE"
IV.2.2.1. Wall Cl
The preserved part of this wall in Squares 39-O-XXI-t-16, 39-O-XXH-p-9, p-5 and p-1 is about 20 m. long (Fig. 66; 68). Its south-western part in Squares t-16 andp-9 is almost straight for a length of 9.20 m. and is orientated from south-west to north-east (30°). At the southern end of Square p-5 the wall turns sharply northwards and its next part runs for another 10 m. in Squares p-5 andp-I from south to north (357°). The northern part of Wall Cl ends at the border of Squares k-13 and p-1 in an area with substantial scattered ruins; its continuation in a northern direction has obviously been destroyed to the level of the foundations. The wall was uncovered at a depth of between 0.55-0.65 and 0.90-1.10 m. from the modern level and the lowest row of stones lay over an older cultural stratum which contained at many locations (including such very close to or directly under the foundations) scattered architectural rains (displaced stones, fragments of tiles, etc.). The wall is 1.05-1.20 m. thick and has mostly one or two, only at some places up to three preserved rows of big stones in its faces. Some of these outer stones reach a length of 0.70 m., while the interior of the wall between the two faces is filled with smaller stones. No mortar has been used and the stones seem to have been soldered with clay. Fragments of tiles were observed in several instances among the stones. The preserved part of the wall is pierced at regular intervals by large and deep pits dug out for the planting of vines in modern time. As a result of the numerous disturbances the cultural strata are muddled, and the layer corresponding to the level of the preserved part of the wall contained intermixed archaeological materials from different periods. It should be noticed that an important part of these date from the early stages of occupation of the settlement; fragments of vessels were more common to the west of the wall, and fragments of tiles to the east of it. A wall of similar structure and width joins with Wall Cl at the south-western end of its excavated part in Square 39-O-XXI-1-16. The initial eastern direction of this wall turns to south in Square 39-O-XXII-p-13, describing a wide curve; its continuation in a southern direction in the neighbouring Square u-1 has not however been preserved with the exception of scattered stones from the destroyed parts. Before the excavation of the continuation of Wall Cl to the south-west, it is difficult to determine whether these remains are part of a round construction appended to the outer side of Wall Cl (a tower with probable internal diameter of about 3 m. and external diameter of about 5.40 m?) or the beginning of a separate wall, extending southwards towards (and presumably across) the brook, the curved end of which is linked at this place with wall Cl. The junction between the two wails is not very clear, but seems to present a constructional articulation (the end of the curved wall being added to

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IV. 2. The Archaeological Structures (P. Delev) the existing south-eastern face of Wall Cl). The stones in the outer face of the excavated part of this curved wall (turned to the north and east) are conspicuously bigger than those in the inner face (turned to the south and west), the latter are preserved in up to four uneven rows.

IV.2.2.2. Wall C2
This wall was explored in Squares 39-O-XXII-p-9, p-5, p-1, k-13, k-9 and 39-O-XXI-o-S where a preserved length of 27 m. was followed (Fig. 67; 68). An almost straight 10 m. long section was uncovered along the eastern end of Squares p-5 and/7-9 and in the neighbouring Squares p-6 and p-11', it is orientated from south to north with a slight eastward curve in the middle and runs almost parallel to the thicker and deeper Wall Cl which is situated at a distance of between 0.55 and 0.88 m. to the west of it. The destroyed continuation of Watt C2 to the south has left some scattered remains in Square p-9 and under the balk p-9/p-13; these outline a gradual curve of the wall in a south-western direction. To the north of the described section, near the border between Squares p-1 and k-13, the wall gradually turns to north-north-west, and then at the border between Squares k-13 and k-9 it makes a sharper turn to the north-west, crossing the last mentioned square along its diagonal and reaching its north-western corner. Only a small part of the wall is preserved in Square 0-8, running along the same line. There were no remains of the wall preserved in Square o-3 which follows in the same direction. Both faces of Wall C2 are made of medium-sized unhewn stones in roughly levelled rows, and between the faces there is a filling of smaller stones soldered with clay. Fragments of tiles appear at some places in the walls. Pieces of mortar were found among the scattered debris of the wall, mostly of white colour, in some cases mixed with some ground tile; these should however be attributed rather to later (late Antique?) pits connected with the nearby necropolis and its basilica than with the wall itself which bears no preserved traces of mortar or plastering. The thickness of the wall is between 0.60 and 0.70 m. From one to four rows of stones are preserved in the face masonry at different places, the maximum preserved height reaching about 0.60 m. At several places the preserved part of the wall is seriously damaged by the deep pits dug for the planting of vines, and its two ends are completely destroyed. Scattered remains of the destroyed parts of the wall are abundant in the neighbouring squares, especially in front of the eastern face of the wall; fragments of tiles are frequently associated with the dispersed stones. The foundations of the wall reach a depth of 0.60-0.80 m. from the modern ground surface, approximately at the level of the upper end of the preserved part of the larger Wall Cl, which is obviously older and had presumably been destroyed before the erecting of the narrower and higher Wall C2.

IV.2.2.3. Problems of Interpretation
The two parallel walls Cl and C2 are obviously of different date and correspond to two separate stages of occupation of one and the same architectural complex. The general outline of their ground plan draws a broad curve open to the west and surrounding the remains of the stone building partially excavated in Sondage 4. It may be suggested that this was a kind of fence or protective wall surrounding an area with uncertain dimensions around this building or possibly around a larger part of the settlement. Unfortunately the cultural strata in Sector "Centre" are very much disturbed and intermingled as a result of the numerous and deep intrusions, and the remains cannot be dated with any certainty; consequently no direct comparison and synchronization with the building phases of the two successive buildings in Sondage 4 is possible. The fact that numerous finds similar to those from the cultural strata in Sondage 4 were found, together with later materials, in the context of the stone walls in Sector "Centre", makes the general synchronization of Walls Cl and C2 with the two buildings in Sondage 4 which they obviously surround at least highly probable. The scattered stones and tile fragments in the strata underlying the deeper and older Wall Cl however suggest that the two surrounding walls in Sector "Centre" must be relatively later than the most ancient construction stages in Sondage 4 dated above about the end of the 6 th or the start of the 5th c. B.C.

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KOPR1VLEN1 os IV. The Thracian Settlement

IV.2.3. THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL STRUCTURES IN SECTOR "SOUTH"
IV.2.3.1. Wall 57 and Underlying Structures
Wall SI crosses obliquely the future roadbed in a west to east direction (93°) passing through Squares 39-T-lI-r-15, r-16, s-13 and s-14/15, and in the eastern half of the sector stepping with its southern face into the next row of squares to the south - 39-T-II-x-l, x-2, x-3. The excavated section is 19m. long and is made of medium-sized quarried and river stones, soldered with clay and roughly arranged in rows in the two faces. Only one to two rows of stones are preserved making up a height of up to 0.30-0.35 m. The wall is about 0.70 m. thick (at places from 0.50 to 0.75 m); its lower end is laid at a depth of about 0.40 - 0.50 m. from the modern ground surface. At the eastern end of Squares s-14 and x-2, a length of 2.30 m. of the wall is totally destroyed by a modern cable. To the east of the destroyed part, in the north-western end of Square x-3, the continuation of the wall has a slightly changed east-south-eastern orientation (102°). On the northern side of the wall, a row of mainly small stones is visible in some of the squares under the lowest row of stones, at a depth of 0.50-0.60 m. and protruding some 0.10-0.20 m. in front of the face of the wall above. It remains unclear whether this is some kind of substructure to the main wall, a coating of the trench for its foundations, or part of a destroyed older wall. A part of an older wall with deeper foundations going in the same direction under Wall SI was uncovered in Squares s-13/x-l and s-14/x-2 (Fig. 70). This wall is built at least partially of considerably larger stone blocks (one of these measures 0.70 x 0.30 x 0.30 m) and is displaced to the south of the shallower Wall SI. At the place where both walls are cut by the trench of the modern cable (in Squares s-14 and x-2) the lower one is 0.70 m. wide and its southern face has a preserved height of about 0.50 m. (from 0.25 to 0.75 m. depth from the modern ground surface); the northern face is preserved only from 0.50 to 0.70 m. below the ground level, being partly destroyed to a depth of 0.50 m. by the later wall which oversteps a width of about 0.30 m. from the northern half of the earlier one. To the west the ground plan divergence of the southern faces of the two walls decreases gradually and they come together in the north-western corner of Square x-1, but the lower wall never appears on the other (northern) side, no traces of the older wall having been preserved in the squares situated to the west: w-4, r-16 and r-15. A small part of the northern face of this wall was revealed at a depth of 0.500.70 m. in the central part of Square s-14 after removing the stones of the later wall; it was visibly inclined to the north. Concentrations of scattered stones, sometimes with a linear structure, were found in most of the neighbouring squares (for example in r-15, r-16, x-1) at a greater depth from the ground surface (between 0.90 and 1.40 m); in all probability these represent remains of older and deeper walls going in the direction of Wall SI.

IV.2.3.2. Wall 52
The wall was uncovered in the southern parts of Squares 39-T-II-W-4, x-1, x-2 and partially in the northern end of the adjoining Squares 39-T-II-W-8, x-5 and x-6 which form the next row to the south; no traces of it were found in the easternmost Squares x-3 and x-7. The excavated section of the wall had a preserved length of 12.5 m. Wall S2 is situated at a distance of 4.30 m. to the south of Wall SI and is almost parallel to it (direction west to east with an insignificant deviation towards west by north and east by south). It is made of medium-size quarried and river stones without mortar and is about 0.70-0.80 m. wide. The foundations of the wall are laid at a depth of 0.60 m. from the modern ground level; up to three rows of stones are preserved in the faces at some places, reaching a maximum height of 0.45 m. In the south-eastern corner of Square w-4 a badly preserved part of a wall (?) breaks off from Wall S2 in a north-western direction (282°); the part excavated in the square is 4 m. long. Wall S2 itself is better preserved in this square; it follows its main direction and has well expressed faces to the north and south. At the western balk of the square the distance between the two walls reaches 0.40 m.

99

IV. 2. The Archaeological Structures (P. Delev) Several big stones in a relatively regular row were uncovered at a depth of 0.70-1.00 m. under Wall S2 in Squares x-2 and x-6, perhaps marking a destroyed older and deeper wall with the same general direction.

IV.2.3.3. The Grave in Square 39-T-II-W-4
A grave with an inhumation burial from the Early Iron Age was excavated at a depth of 1.60 m. from the modern ground surface in Square w-4, between Walls SI and S2 (Fig. 72; 73). The grave pit was rather shallow and of rectangular form, orientated from west to east and dug into a layer of sandy alluvium. The bottom of the pit is lined at the burial level with stones placed mainly in the corners; it is 1.40 m. long and 0.60 m. wide. The pit was filled up with earth of dark brown to black colour mixed with small pieces of coal, very small fragments of pots (some of them with traces of fire), shells and small bones. A layer with similar earth and materials existed in the whole square at a depth of 0.80 - 1.20 m; the grave pit was probably dug from this level into the alluvium under it. The materials in this layer are mixed, but those from the Archaic Period are prevailing (including a bronze fibula of "Thessalian" type and a bronze double pin 10 ). A child was buried in the grave; the corpse was laid in a supine position with the head pointing west. The bones of the skeleton which has a preserved length of 1.03 m. were found in anatomic order and well preserved." The head was placed on a small stone and was half-turned towards the right shoulder, which was raised higher than the left one. The left hand was stretching along the body and the wrist was under the pelvis. The right hand, the bones of which were collected before the complete skeleton was uncovered, was placed on the abdomen. The legs were stretched with the feet turned to the left. Bronze bracelets were found around both wrists, the left eye was covered with a round bronze button, and on the right one - with a conical bronze applique.

IV.2.3.4. Chronology and Interpretation Stratigraphic and Chronological Observations
The exact date of the burial in Square w-4 cannot be established with certainty, for none of the associated materials have a precise chronological position. The two bronze appliques and the pair of bronze bracelets'1 suggest for the grave a general date in the Early Iron Age, more likely in its later stage (8th to 6th c. B.C.). Walls SI and S2 rise much more complicated chronological questions. They are relatively shallow, situated in strata with interrupted stratigraphy which contain mixed materials from different periods. The walls themselves show a long period of existence implied by the numerous traces of repairs and reconstructions. Many fragments of medieval pottery were found in a surface layer of greyblack earth in the area between the two walls among scattered stones from their destroyed superstructure.14 The materials prevailing in the cultural strata of the neighbouring squares are much older and cover a long period comprised between the second and the last quarter of the 1st millennium B.C. In Square S-13 Wall SI overlaps partially a deep pit (Pit S I ) , but unfortunately no finds susceptible of precise dating were found in the latter. The several coins found in the context of the walls unfortunately also do not provide any ground for reliable dating. A silver Thasian hemihecte of the "Silenos/krater" type (V7.7.6), dating from the end of the 5th c. B.C., was found at a depth of 0.60 m. in the balk between Squares x-1 and x-5 under the lifted stones of Watt S2. A bronze coin of Alexander III (V7.2.7.27) was found at a higher level (0.40 m) in Square x-5 near the same wall. A Late Hellenistic bronze coin of the type "River God/trident" (VI.2.4.1) was found in the balk between Squares x-2 and x-6 at a depth of 0.60 m. in a layer with scattered stones under the level of the lower end of Wall 52; a similar coin (Vl.2.4.9) was found however above the preserved remains of Wall SI in the balk beCf. Chapter IV.4.10.1.2 and Chapter IV.4.10.2 (Fig. 184/2, 5) infra. " The skeleton belonged to a child of about 12 years of age according to the anthropological analysis of the team of Prof. Yordanov, whom I would like to thank once more for their competent and valuable support.
12 13
14 10

Cf. Chapter IV.4.10.3.1-2 and Chapter 1V.4.10.6 infra and Colour Plates, Fig. 305. About the dating of the bronze ornaments from the grave Cf. Chapter IV.4J0.3, 6 infra.
Cf. Chapter IVAA (G) supra.

100

KOPRIVLEN 1 egIV. The Thracian Settlement tween Squares s-12 and x-1. It seems for the moment most prudent to date the walls in Sector "South" tentatively to the third quarter of the 1 st millennium B.C.

Problems of Interpretation
Walls SI and S2 outline a linear structure which, according to the geophysical prospecting, runs westward for another 30 m. beyond the excavated area of Sector "South" without changing its due west direction.15 It remains however unclear whether the double wall arrangement existed from the very start and intentionally, or the two walls (with their reconstructions) represent successive stages of a single-line structure which was displaced with time to a nearby parallel location. In the former case, the most probable interpretation would derive from to the presumed existence of a canal, in which water diverted from the brook running through the site was running between the two walls; the configuration of the alluvial and cultural strata in the sector suggests further the possibility that an old natural bed of the brook itself could have been used for that purpose. The alternative interpretation would emphasize the eventual protective or dividing function of the walls, which could be associated with the evident differences of the archaeological situation on their two sides already mentioned above16 - cultural strata with traces of occupation, remains of constructions and habitation levels to the north in the whole sector between the walls and the brook, and a field of ritual pits without real cultural layers to the south of the walls.

' About the results of the geophysical prospecting cf. Chapter VII. 1 infra. ' Cf. Chapter IV. I supra.

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IV.3. THE PIT SANCTUARY
Darina Vulcheva (Institute of Archaeology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) The recent developments in the field of archaeology include a remarkable comeback of interest for the study of cult places and practices within a wide territorial and chronological range. Among the various expressions of this trend in Bulgarian archaeology, probably the most singular is attested in the investigation of the so-called pit sanctuaries. The constantly increasing number of such sites has provoked the appearance of several comprehensive publications which summarize the observations on ritual pits from the whole territory of the country or from separate regions." Due to the absence of a clearly defined terminology of ritual practices and structures in Thracian archaeology, different names have been used in these publications to designate the phenomenon: pit sanctuaries, cult places, pit fields, etc. The recent archaeological explorations have revealed that these sanctuaries were of more complex organization and often comprised elements other than the pits: altars of other types, caches, and ditches. However, before a number of undecided problems concerning the emergence, chronology and organization of such sites and the character and significance of the relevant ritual activities are further investigated and eventually finally settled, the application of similar designations for the sacrificial complexes representing or including ritual pit fields seems fully justified, at least as a working definition. Apart from being the most recurrent elements, in some cases multiplied hundreds of times, the pits are the final outcome of the ritual practices performed in such sanctuaries. Van Leuven ascribes the pit sanctuaries to the natural ones and accentuates on their popularity in the Pre-Hellenic Aegean world/ 1 In Bulgaria, the appearance of pit sanctuaries is presumably placed in the Late Neolithic period.4 Their greatest expansion was in the T' millennium B.C., which is also the period of existence of the sanctuary by Koprivlen. The rescue excavations at Koprivlen have brought to light two sacrificial zones, both consisting mainly of ritual pits. They are situated to the east and southeast of the contemporary Thracian settlement, at a distance of about 200 m. from each other, on the northern and southern banks of the brook respectively. Despite the spatial distinction, some differences in the organization, and the chronological incongruity of the two zones, they are both essentially equivalent and represent the evolution of the sanctuary in time and space. For the sake of convenience and clarity, the plots in Sector "North" and Sector "South" will be designated respectively as northern and southern sacrificial complexes (or zones), and the relevant structures will be marked with the letters N and 5. (Chapter I, Fig. 2).

IV.3.1. TOPOGRAPHY AND LAYOUT
The rescue character of the excavations confined the area available for excavation within the strict limits of the roadbed, and this restricted the possibility to establish the genuine boundaries, surface area and layout of the sanctuary. For this reason all the observations and reflections set forth here are conjectural and could be corrected by further studies.

Domaradzki 1994:71. Georgieva 1991; Thcodossiev 1998: 17-19; Tonkova, Savalinov (in press). 3 VanLeuven 1981: 13. 4 Raduncheva J999.
2

1

103

IV. 3. The Pit Sanctuary (D. Vulcheva)

IV.3.1.1. Northern Sacrificial Complex
The northern sacrificial complex occupies gently sloping ground exposed to the east and southeast on a low foothill elevation to the north of the brook. It has been registered for a length of 65 m. in a north to south direction and for 25 m. in an east to west direction, this being the maximum width of the roadbed (Fig. 74). Beside the pits it comprises a ditch, five pithoi and a cache. A deep and wide ditch dug into the sterile sand crosses the northern zone in an approximately north to south direction probably marking the sacrificial territory or a certain part of it. It represents a wide arch open to the east. Only three pits were found to the west of it (NO, N14, N17), which are also the earliest known structures in the sanctuary. Their general characteristics are identical and their specific arrangements distinguish them from the rest of the pits in both sacrificial complexes. The remaining 20 pits situated to the north of the brook are distributed in three groups immediately to the east of the ditch. The southernmost group includes four pits (N15, N16, NJ8 and N19). The central group is situated at about 20 m. north/north-west from the southern one and comprises seven pits (Nl, N2, N3, N4, N5a-b, N6, NT) and two pithoi. The northern group lies at a distance of 7-8 m. from the central one. It is rather amorphous and includes two separate concentrations of pits (N8-N10, then more to the north Nl J-NJ2, N20-N22, and as a link between the two several pithoi). Despite the relatively un'irorm formal features (Table 2), \.\vt M«iys,is, of the contents and organization reveals some gradation in the importance of the structures within each group. A single pit (N13) remains out of the outlined groups, being situated halfway between the southern and central ones.

IV.3.1.2. Southern Sacrificial Complex
The southern sacrificial complex occupies a part of the lower southern bank of the brook. The terrain here is rather flat, slightly descending to the east-southeast. Remains from the sanctuary have been attested on an area of about 90 m. length in a north to south direction and over the entire width of the roadbed (ca. 20 m. from east to west). In the excavated part the complex is constituted of elements analogous to those documented in the northern sacrificial complex: 87 pits, 8 pithoi, 3 caches. The plan of the excavated structures does not prompt any definite conclusions concerning the general layout of the sacrificial complex in Sector "South" (Fig. 75). It could be suggested that the northern and southernmost structures discovered in the studied area actually mark the boundaries of the complex to the north and south. The trial trenches out of this area did not establish any further ritual structures. On the other hand, the numerous surface finds collected to the west and east of the roadbed provide good grounds to suggest that the sanctuary occupied a notably larger area in both directions. The structures in the studied area seem disorderly scattered at different distances one from the other. There are zones of various concentrations of pits. They are most numerous on the plot including Squares 39-T-II-x/y and 39-T-VII-d/e (Chapter IV. 1, Fig. 48; Fig. 75), and inside this there are several discernible concentrations. The pits in Squares 39-T-II-S-13,14,15, 39-T-H-W-4, 8, 39-T-H-x-l, 2, 3, 5, 6-14 form a clearly distinct group, situated at a certain distance from the pits to the south. To the north of this group there was a stretch some 17-18 m. long in which the only archaeological structures were pithoi. It is possible that this place was avoided because of the gravel terrain which made the shaping of pits rather difficult. To the north of this area, the northernmost elements of the complex - pits, pithoi and caches, were situated relatively far from each other. A more loose location of the structures is observed also at the southern end of the complex. The majority of pits were dug into an alluvial layer of sandy structure. Only a few isolated pits were found in stony (gravel) plots at the southern and northern ends of the complex (Fig. 76/2). Unlike the pits, the pithoi were embedded mainly in gravel layers (Fig. 92).

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KOPRIVLEN1 of IV. The Thracian Settlement

IV. 3. 2 ARCHAEOLOGICAL STRUCTURES RELATED TO RITUAL ACTIVITIES
IV.3.2.1. Pits IV.3.2.1.1. Shapes, Dimensions and Structure
The pits at Koprivlen present mainly the familiar repertoire of shapes attested elsewhere in Thrace." Disregarding the variants in the form of specific details, the pits can be classified under the following main shapes: cylindrical, beehive shape,6 inverted truncated cone, barrel-shape (to biconical), pyriform, inverted bell shape, hemispherical and asymmetrical (of irregular shape) (Table 2; Figs. 76-80). A shape that occurs rather seldom7 is that of the quadrangular shallow pits, attested only by three structures (NO, N14, NIT) in the northern complex which produced the earliest finds in all the sanctuary. They are elongated from northwest to southeast and have almost identical dimensions: ca. 2.2 by 1.7 m., with a depth of about 0.4 m. (Fig. 79). The numerous pits in the southern sacrificial complex present a greater variety of sizes and shapes, but this is probably due to the quantitative proportion between the structures studied in the two complexes. The opening diameters vary between 0.5 and 2.00 m., the most common ones being about 1.0/1.3 m. The depth of the pits varies from 0.3/0.4 m. in the case of shallow depressions like S4, 57, or 577, to 1.5 m. and more (Table 2). The deepest pit 547 reaches 2.1 m. No relation was established between the shape and size of the pits. The various shapes are more or less equally presented and the quantitative prevalence of certain shapes might be due to circumstances associated with the restraints in the study and not to real preferences. The different shapes however cannot be regarded as the result of casual choice or practical considerations. The question of the conception of the pits and the intentional search for special shapes as a ritual element has already been commented in the relevant publications.8 At the sanctuary by Koprivlen, the pyriform pits with narrow cylindrical neck and widening spheroid lower part are attested in variants resembling the shape of deep vessels (Fig. 77), while the pits classified as inverted bell shapes remind of shallow bowls or cups (?) (Fig. 78). The idea of an intentional imitation of some shapes of vessels is supported by the frequent recurrence of these two shapes (16 pyriform and 9 bell-shaped pits). The barrel-shaped and irregular pits are the most rare. Double pits have been registered in both sacrificial zones (Table 2; Fig. 80; 81). The structure of the pits in the two complexes displays no substantial differences. The pit bottoms are flat or slightly concave and do not display any relation to the general shape of the pit with the exception of the hemispherical ones where the concave bottom is integrated in the overall silhouette. Stones of different shapes and dimensions were often used in the construction of the pits. In some cases they covered (57, S3, 55, 5/4, 524, 562, 573) or outlined (SI8, 555) the bottom, in others they formed arcs around the pits (577, 520, 525, 567). Quite often the openings of the pits were "sealed" with stones. Sometimes these covered the whole opening (N5a-b, NJ2, 59, 579, 549, 562, S63, 566, S68, S71, 574, 575, 577, S80) (Fig. 82), but more frequently only its northern and western part (N3, N4, N13, 528, 534, S38, 564, 587), and rarely single boulders and (in the northern zone) slabs were used to mark the final stage of filling of the pit (7V2, N6, N16). There are also a few examples of the sealing of pits with pieces of clay plastering (572, 578). In single cases, traces of the full or partial plastering of the walls (N6, 563, 566) or of the bottoms (5/3, 548, 578) of pits with clay could be observed. The particular details in the shaping of some elements of the pits add to the variegated picture of their constructions. In this sense three pits are of special interest (552, 564, 577) for the large pieces Georgieva 1991: 1. The variants with straight walls actually have the shape of a truncated cone. 7 Quadrangular pits are known from the sanctuary at Babyak. I am deeply grateful to Dr. M. Tonkova for the information. 8 Georgieva 1991:6.
6

5

105

IV. 3. The Pit Sanctuary (D. Vulcheva) of pithoi used in their construction. The north-west wall of pit 552 was formed with the aid of a vertically placed part of a pithos representing about 2/3 of the vessel's height and including its bottom repaired by a lead clamp. Pit S64 was initially identified as an ordinary structure of cylindrical shape, but from a depth of 0.5 m. it was established that its lower third had been fashioned by the installation of the lower part and bottom of a pithos, prior to the execution of the pit rituals. The lower end of a pithos with thick cylindrical foot in normal; position was placed at the bottom of pit S71. The filling of these three pits contained many wall and mouth fragments of pithoi, some of them presumably belonging to the vessels used in their construction. It should be noted however that fragments from the mouths of two different pithoi were found in pit S64,9 which implies that at least in some cases fragments of pithoi were also deposited as offerings. The peculiarities in the construction of these several pits warrant the formulation the term "pit-pithos" for the cases when parts of pithoi were used as constructional elements and not merely as ritual offerings. There are other examples where smaller parts of pithos walls were placed vertically next to the walls of the pits suggesting the idea of their constructional function (N4, 577, S78, 579).

IV.3.2.1.2. Modes of Filling and Contents of the Pits (Table 2)
IV.3.2.1.2.1. Quadrangular Pits in Sector "North" These three pits (NO, N14, N17) are identical in their general characteristics and specific disposal which distinguish them from all the other structures in the sanctuary. Their clay-plastered walls were burnt to a red-brown colour by strong fire which in all three cases left in the interior of the pits thick layers of charcoals and ashes with traces of burnt organic matter. Before the fire went out, numerous fragments of pottery were placed (or rather thrown) into the pyre. These were mostly from wheelmade vessels with painted geometric decoration dated to the 7th c. B.C.,10 accompanied by a few sherds of handmade local pottery, by many pieces of clay wall or floor plastering, of clay hearths and baking dishes, and by several animal bones. The vessels seem to have been crushed on purpose for the ritual purposes, but not inside the pits fragments of one and the same vessel are often found scattered at different places and levels in the filling. The archaeobotanical analysis has attested the presence of charred grains and wood." Only pit NO yielded human bones belonging to a newly born baby which were smoked but not burned,12 having probably been placed in the smouldering live coals. The situation demonstrates the early practice of human sacrifices in the sanctuary.13 At the end of the ritual, stones were laid around the pits and on the remains of the pyres, covering them only partially. The archaeological materials of the mentioned categories are extremely abundant in the three pits, being practically heaped in some places. These three pits remind of the sacrificial platforms, known from some Archaic Greek necropolises,14 and suggest some association with chthonic rites. IV.3.2.1.2.2. Round Pits The stratigraphy of the fill in most pits does not allow a reconstruction of the process of its accumulation. Some isolated examples reveal distinct layers in the fill (Fig. 76/5; 77/1-4; 78/2, 4) and suggest a definite sequence of the ritual proceedings. The filling of pit 57S (Fig. 77/2), for instance, began with the plastering of the bottom with clay. Then followed a layer about 0.2 m. thick consisting of grey-black soil; a bronze coin was found in this, just above the clay foundation,15 together with a few pottery sherds, some of which with a West Slope decoration. The presence of wheat grains was established in this layer, comparatively poor in
9

Cf. Chapter IV.4.6 infra. Cf. Chapter IV.4.2 infra. 11 Cf. Chapter VII.2.2.2.1 infra.
10
12

The human skeletal remains have been analysed by Prof. Y. Yordanov, Dr. B. Dimitrova and V. Rousseva to whom I am most thankful for the information. 13 Human sacrifices of the same period have been attested in ritual pits at Polski Gradets, Maritsa Iztok
Power Complex region. I am indebted for the information to Dr. R. Georgieva and Dr. K. Nikov. 14 Kurtz, Boardman 1971: 75.
15

Cf. Chapter VI.2.1.32 infra.

106

KOPRIVLEN1 asIV. The Thracian Settlement archaeological finds. It was covered with a thin layer of yellow clayish earth containing ceramic sherds. The concentration of pottery was considerably greater in the following layer, about 0.6 - 0.7 m. thick and consisting of loose black soil mixed with charcoal, bones and pieces of clay plastering; at different places and levels this layer contained accumulations of ceramic fragments from amphorae, bowls, oinochoai, a grey kantharos, etc. At this depth, the northern and southern walls of the pit were fashioned with vertically placed pithos fragments. On top was a closing sequence of fired clay, almost sterile brown soil mixed with charcoals, and again pieces of fired clay. A layer of grey-black soil containing much charcoal and 0.10 to 0.15 m. thick covered the convex bottom of pit S73. A large part of a skyphos coated with silvery slip was found at the southern end.16 The overlying stratum of light brown virgin earth was of equal thickness. The fill above this was homogenous, consisting of grey-black soil mixed with charcoal and containing the offerings (Fig. 77/4). The concentration of the latter visibly decreased in depth. Large pithos fragments were placed against the western and southern walls of the pit. From the bottom to a height of 0.75 - 0.80 m., pit 572 was filled with loose grey-black soil containing most of the offerings (Fig. 77/5). This was sealed by a thin layer of charcoal, mixed with and overlapped by stones and big lumps of clay. Above came a stratum about 0.20 - 0.30 m. thick and similar to the lowest one, but containing less finds. At the level of the transition from the "body" to the "neck" of the pit, a second sealing was effected by a large stone covered with a compact mass of clay shaped like a spheroid segment. In most cases however the fill of the pits was relatively homogeneous in structure or its different elements did not present any regularity or recurring pattern. Even the above described rather expressive structures actually do not allow to establish any regularity in the modes of their filling, respectively in the sequence of the ritual actions. The contents of the fill did not present any radical differences between the pits in the two complexes. The pits in the southern complex presented the same categories of artefacts as those of the northern one, but in a rather more diversified repertoire. Soil The pits were filled mainly with brown to grey-black fertile soil clearly distinguished in most cases from the alluvial sandy terrain into which they have been dug. The character of the fill must have been completely intentional as the sand and gravel dug out in the course of shaping the pits were rarely present in the filling even as admixtures and never represented the main contents. Stones The presence of stones was registered in most of the studied pits. Unhewn, river or broken stones of varying sizes were used (Fig. 82}. Stones were attested at different places in the structures. Sometimes they played a constructional role and sometimes were simply placed in the filling. In the interior of the pits, both single stones and grouped assemblages occur. At different levels in the filling of some pits there were circled of stones or single stones along the periphery. In other cases, whole layers of stones separated parts of the fill, for example in pit SI3 where at one third of the height from the bottom such a layer of stones covered the stratum with highest concentration of cultural materials. In pit S14 a layer of stones was observed about the middle, between two thin layers of charcoal, while the soil strata beneath and above were identical. In the fill of the pits, the fertile soil and the stones most likely symbolising the rock, embodied the immanent divine essence of the producing Earth.17 A peculiarity of the southern sacrificial complex in comparison with the northern one is the presence of hewn stones - round slabs, probably used as pithos lids. Two such slabs were discovered in pit S18 and single ones in pit 567 and pit S71. They were placed in the pits most likely because of their utilitarian function associated with the pithoi and sustaining the symbolism of the latter.

16 17

CL Chapter JV.4.2 infra. Goodison 1989: 158.
107

IV. 3. The Pit Sanctuary (D. Vulcheva) Charcoal The absence of charcoal in the pits is rather exceptional (Table 2). The pieces of charcoal are of different size, but mainly small, mixed into the soil. Usually they occur scattered in different quantities in the soil, either evenly distributed or concentrated at some spots in the fill. Sometimes their presence increases from the bottom up (SI, 5/9, S33, S61, 562, 565), at others in the opposite direction (55, 547, 567). Layers of charcoal were found in some of the pits (5/4, S48, 572) (Fig. 77/5). The burning of fire inside the pits however has not been attested. Probably in some cases smouldering live coals were transported (548). Most likely, the pieces of charred wood came into the pits with the remains of ritual fires which had burnt somewhere outside, and not as offerings.18
Ash

Ashes occur in the pits rather rarely and in small quantities; sometimes they are whitish and oily in appearance, and probably associated with the burning of organic matter. In the cases of pits 56 (the one half) and 554 the filling began with the deposition of thin layers of ash over the bottom. In pit 548 a similar layer was registered about the middle. In this particular case it might have originated from the burning of live coals at the spot. Pieces of Fired Clay, of Wall and Floor Plastering, and of Clay Fireplaces Different lumps and pieces of fired clay paste turned into brick are found in various contexts. In one or another of the mentioned forms, pieces of fired clay occur practically in almost all the investigated pits, but the three types appear together in the quadrangular pits and only exceptionally in very few of the round pits (S48, S63). The quantity and size of the pieces varies greatly. The degree of firing also varies, especially in the amorphous pieces of clay. The pieces definitely identified as wall plastering by the imprints of rods and poles are not numerous. The pits yield mostly surface plastering of uncertain origin. The high degree of firing suggests that at least some of the pieces come from fireplaces, but fired floors and walls are also feasible. The presence of pieces from fireplaces is definitely attested by fragments of clay borders, usually thick pieces of coarse clay with roughly smoothed surface and hemispherical or segmental cross section. Border fragments from portable fireplaces were found in the southern sacrificial complex; these were made more carefully from cleaner clay and have well smoothed surface, sometimes even decorated. Clay Vessels Ceramic vessels and fragments are present, in different quantity and typological variety, in the fill of all pits (Table 2). 19 The entire range of pottery categories known from the settlement at Koprivlen is represented in the pits, if mainly by sherds; in most cases fragments of vessels from different chronological periods are found mixed together in one and the same pit. Their stratigraphic positions do not imply the successive filling of the pits over long periods of time, but rather the employment of old materials in the rituals performed in later time. Intact vessels were rarely laid in the pits (S43, S73, 578), usually handmade bowls shaped as truncated cones. The chronological limits of the use of these vessels are very wide. The bowl from pit S43 with a graphite covering on both the inside and outside (Colour Plates, Fig. 300) is probably not later than the end of the Early Iron Age.20 Pit 574 yielded a small vessel with convex bottom and opposite holes beneath the plain rim. Objects of similar shape and size were used in the process of metalworking as crucibles for melting and pouring metals. The example from pit 574 has parallels in the Early Hellenistic settlement at the "Water Pumping Station" in Sboryanovo Reserve." A small number of pits contained fragments of broken vessels scattered at different levels in the filling which permitted more or less full restoration. It could be assumed that in such cases the vessels were smashed just before being placed in the pits. Among the most eloquent examples are pit N6
Cf. Chapter VI1.2.2.3 infra. Pottery sherds were absent only from pit S84. It is however probable that a part of this construction was destroyed. 20 Cf. Chapter IV.4.1.1.3 infra. 21 Stoianov, Mihailova 1996: 62, Fig. 4.
19 18

108

KOPRIVLEN1 asIV. The Thracian Settlement which contained the scattered parts of an oinochoe, a skyphos and a small bowl all dated to the middle or second half of the 4th c. B.C., and pit S78 which yielded fragments from which a small handmade bowl, a deep handmade bowl with handles and two (out of more) table amphorae of the Early Hellenistic Period could be restored.22 Almost whole vessels were also found in other pits: small bowls in pits SI3 and S67, a slipped kantharos in pit 572 and a slipped skyphos in pit S73,23 a local grey kantharos in pit S61. Usually, the fragments of already broken vessels were deposited in the pits. The concentration of pottery sherds varies, but in most cases it is rather high. In principle the concentration of pottery is lower in the shallow pits (under 0.5/0.6 m. deep), but there are exceptions. No interdependence could be established between the shape of the pits and the quantity of pottery sherds they contained. There were also no clear regularities in the distribution of the ceramic finds in the fill. In most cases the concentration of ceramic fragments increased from the bottom up and frequently reached its peak about the middle zone of the structures. However a number of examples illustrate the opposite trend, the number of fragments decreasing from the bottom up to the mouth. Some pits, namely those containing few pottery sherds, do not reveal discernible fluctuations in the quantity of the fragments which seem evenly scattered in the fill. The pottery fragments found practically in all pits are both handmade and wheelmade, most frequently of local origin but sometimes also imported. The fragments from handmade vessels are definitely prevailing in number, with the exception of a few specific levels or plots in some of the pits. The handmade and wheelmade fragments are in relatively equal quantities in pits S7 and S42. The most abundant fragments are "unspecified" pieces of walls of different sickness or of other parts of vessels not informative enough to permit the identification of the shapes; in other cases identifiable shapes have a prolonged life which prevents the accurate dating of the finds, especially in view of the occurrence of materials of different date in the same pits. In spite of these difficulties, some chronological and functional groups could be distinguished among the bulk of the handmade pottery. The fragments decorated with techniques and ornaments typical of the Early Iron Age for example are easily recognisable.24 Such fragments are quite rare in the pits; their presence has been established definitely in complexes reliably dated in the Hellenistic Period (pits 570, S47, 569, 577). The pithoi are clearly distinguishable and very well represented, mainly with fragments of walls, but also with bottom and mouth pieces. They pertain to different chronological periods, from Archaic to Late Hellenistic. 25 The practice of their appearance as pit offerings is familiar from other sanctuaries in Thrace, but nowhere else with such intensity. As has already been mentioned above, apart as offerings parts of pithoi were sometimes used as constructional elements. The pithos walls placed vertically next to the walls of the pits (575, 577, 575, 579) remind the pits-pithoi and may represent a transitional form. Fragments from strainers were found in a number of pits (562, 564, 574). Despite their indisputable utilitarian function, 26 those vessels seem to have played some role in the ritual practices, which is attested also at other places in Thrace.27 Many sherds found in the pits are identified as parts of clay cookers (pyraunoi) (Fig. 82/2). Similar vessels are known from Aegean Thrace and the Vardar valley,28 but almost none had been published from the interior of Thrace so far.29 The fragments of locally made plain vessels are abundant in the wheelmade class, but examples of imported categories occur regularly too. The impressive presence of sherds from Archaic vases with geometric ornamentation in most of the structures (reaching dozens of fragments in some pits) should be mentioned in first place. They occur even in structures dated by coins or black-glazed pottery to the Hellenistic Period. The fragments of monochrome slip-coated vessels are also among the usual finds, the skyphoi from the late 6th c. B.C. and the Classical Period being markedly well repreCf. Chapter 1V.4.5 infra. Cf. Chapter IVA.3 infra. 24 Cf. Chapter IV.4.1infta. 23 Cf. Chapter IV.4.6 infra. 26 Cf. Chapter JV.4.7 infra. 27 Kisiov 1998: 33, Fig. 4-5. Hochstetter 1984: Text, 155-173, Abb. 41; Tafeln 222,2; 229, 2; Chrysostomou 1993, Fig. 3. 29 A similar vessel was found in a ritual pit at Pistiros. Cf. Domaradzki 1996: 31, Fig. 1.17
23 22

109

IV. 3. The Pit Sanctuary (D. Vulcheva) sented. Many of the pits yield fragments of black-glazed ware, mainly of small size and rather uninformative. The identified fragments belong mainly to drinking vessels.31 A few pits contained parts of figure-painted vases. A mouth and neck fragment of beige clay coated with a golden slip and decorated with floral patterns in matt red paint were found in pits S43 and S88 (Fig. 83/1). Pieces of a redfigure vessel were discovered in pit S5 (Fig. 77). There is no simple and evident answer to the question about the role of the pottery vases and fragments in the rituals performed in the pits. As receptacles symbolising profusion they could have been associated with the ritual feasts. The ritual breaking of ceramic vessels has been attested in many ritual systems. In the ancient notions, the vessels made out of clay (earth) and containing food embodied the image of the fertile Earth.32 The breaking of vessels for ritual purposes is acknowledged as identical to their killing, i.e. sacrificing. It remains however impossible to determine whether the separate pottery fragments deposited in the pits come from vessels broken during the execution of the rituals or from already broken ones. It seems possible to assume that the vessels datable to the time of the ritual could have been destroyed after being used in banquets, libations or other ritual activities preceding the deposition of the offerings in the pits; but the fragments from much earlier vessels should have been broken long ago and had probably been kept in the mentioned caches. Their use in the rituals could have been associated with the ancestor cult. Loom-Weights and Spindle-Whorls The loom-weights are regular offerings in the pits, where all their typological diversity is well represented. More frequently they are found intact but fragments occur too. Their number varies from 1 or 2 through 5 or 7 to 13 (pit 569). Spindle-whorls are extremely rare.34 The presence of such subjects in the pits emphasizes the female principle and according to some interpretations they could be associated with the beginning of a new life cycle.35 Cult Objects This category is represented mainly by parts of cult tables. Almost whole (completely restorable) examples were discovered in pits N8 and 575. Some pits contained several pieces of one and the same table or fragments from different tables. The most singular cult objects were found in pit 569 - a clay anthropomorphous idol and a number of small clay objects of irregular ellipsoid shape presumably attributed some magic or apotropaic meaning. A stone anthropomorphous amulet was found in pit S88.' Metal Finds Ornaments The ornaments discovered are mostly made of bronze: fibulae, a torque, a finger ring, a pendant. Their dating covers a long period, from the end of the 7th to the 2nd - 1 st c. B.C.37 The early examples (fibulae from pits 55, 56 and 560)38 were found in pits containing later material as well. The remaining ornaments are more or less synchronous to the time of the filling of the pits as dated most reliably by the coins found. The only intact and well-preserved ornament is the fibula from pit S6. The remaining finds are fragmented. The fibula from pit 55 and the torque from 539 were deliberately distorted, most probably in connection with the ritual.
Cf. Chapter IV.43 infra. Cf. Chapter IV.4.4 infra. 32 Antonova 1986: 54, 61-62. 33 Cf. Chapter IV.3.2.3 infra. 34 Cf. Chapter IV.4.8 infra. 35 Georgieva J999a: 138-139.
31 30

36

Cf. ChapterIV.4.12 mfa.

37

Cf. Chapter 1V.4.10 and Chapter IV.4.11 infra. 38 Cf. Chapter IV.4.10.1, 3, 4 infra. 39 Cf. Chapter IV.4.10.4 infra.
110

KOPRIVLEN1 Of IV. The Thracian Settlement Coins The coins are not among the most common pit offerings, but they have already been attested at other pit sanctuaries.40 At Koprivlen, 14 pits (1 in the northern and 13 in the southern complex) yielded coins (Table 2). Some of the pits even contained three (SI8 and 574) or two coins (570, 524 and 547). The most interesting coins were found in pit S18 - three rare silver strikes of small denomination dating from the end of 6th or the beginning of 5th c. B.C.41 The remaining coins are of bronze and present the coinages of Phillip II, Alexander the Great, Cassander, Demetrius Poliorcetes, Antigonus Gonatas, Phillip V and Perseus, and the cities of Amphipolis, Thessalonica, and Pella.42 The coins occur at different depths in the pits, but most often in the lower fill layers and frequently close to the periphery. Though the tradition to offer coins in the pits seems a very old one, it certainly evolved and flourished in the Hellenistic Period. Arms and Implements A few of the pits contained some metal arms or implements: an iron bush-scythe (pit 579), iron knives (pit 559, 555), an iron chisel43 and a socketed axe of bronze (pit 557, Colour Plates, Fig. 289). Similar finds are known from the cult centre at Bagachina and from pit complexes at Gledachevo in the "Maritsa Iztok" Power Station area.44 Artefacts of Iron, Bronze and Lead This group comprises mainly small, amorphous pieces from unidentifiable bronze artefacts, bronze tacks and iron nails. Lead clamps for the repair of clay vessels occur recurrently in the pits, sometimes preserved on the fragments they joined, and sometimes pieces from other lead objects. The finds in this group are among the most frequent in the pits. Three iron artefacts representing bent bands have remained unidentified; two of them were found in pit 563 and the third in S43. Slag Fifteen pits have yielded pieces of slag. The existing publications on ritual pits excavated elsewhere don't mention the presence of slag in the fill. The large number of metal finds in the pits and especially the slag pieces which are not common in other pit sanctuaries should probably be associated with the fundamental economic significance of metal extraction and metal working for the Middle Mesta region in general and for the settlement at Koprivlen in particular. Human Bones A human scull, two vertebrae and some other broken postcranial skeleton bones were discovered at the junction of the two parts of the double pit N5a-b, under a large stone slab. Some ribs, verlebrae and long bones were also uncovered under a stone accumulation at the western and southwestern periphery of the deeper part of the pit (N5b). The osseous remains belong to three separate mature individuals. Pit N3 contained fragments of a child's jaw. This few instances contribute to the overall picture of ritual human sacrifice at pit sanctuaries in Thrace.46 Animal bones The animal bones are among the usual finds in cult contexts; they are abundant in the ritual pits at Koprivlen. The osteological remains are mainly from domesticated species, although bones of Balabanov 1985: 231-232; Bonev, Alexandrov 1996: 50. Cf. Chapter VI. I Mm. 42 Cf. Chapter VI.2 infra.
41
43

40

Bonev, Alexandrov 1996: 49-50; Tonkova, Savatinov (in press). 45 For the information about the human bones I am deeply indebted to Prof. Y. Yordanov, Dr. B. Dimitrova and V. Rousseva. 46 Tonkova, Savatinov (in press).
Ill

44

Cf. Chapter IV.4.12 infra.

llllliillilHlilllllBililll

IV. 3. The Pit Sanctuary (D. Vulcheva) wild animals occur too. Most of the bones have undergone culinary processing. Some of the bones bear traces of intentional ritual actions like burning and cutting.47 Almost intact skeletons in full anatomic order attest the sacrifices of dogs (NI5, S32, S88), of a pig (S88) and of a horse. The skeletal remains of two dogs were found in pit N15 (Fig. 84; 85). One of the skeletons lay in almost complete anatomic order with head to north in the western part of the pit. The second skeleton, placed in the south-eastern part of the pit, gave the impression of having been dismembered in advance as the fore limbs and the head were detached. The scull was uncovered at the south-western periphery of the pit, behind the skeleton. Plenty of stones lied scattered under, around and above the skeletons. This pit yielded also fragments of wheelmade and handmade pottery. Pit S32 was filled in with dark brown to black fertile earth, the different admixtures permitting to distinguish irregular layers of different hues. The lowest layer (about 0.2 m.) contains much charcoal, and several small stones marked the northern and eastern periphery of the pit. Bones were found scattered around several larger stones. The next layer (about 0.2 m.) contained sherds of wheelmade vessels; this was followed by another with the same thickness containing handmade pottery fragments. Above these strata, in the south-eastern sector of the pit, was inhumed a dog (Fig. 86; 87). The skeletal remains were in full anatomic order with the scull to the south-west. The legs were bent beneath the body. The fill above the skeleton was of the same soil, containing a few pottery fragments, charcoal and shells. A few large stones lay in this uppermost layer, and around them were scattered bones. Pit S88 is especially interesting for the sacrifice of two different animals (Figs. 88-90). First, at the bottom of the pit, was inhumed a large dog with bent limbs. The scull was found at a somewhat higher level (about 0.1 m.) than the postcranial skeleton. The covering layer of loose brown soil contained fragments of handmade and wheelmade vessels, charcoal and stones. Just before the pit was closed, a pig was inhumed high in the fill. The skeleton was well preserved, in anatomic order, with the scull to the northwest. Around and beneath the skeleton were scattered large stones. An equine skeleton lying in a north to south direction was uncovered in the northern part of square 39-T-U-X-5 under and in a layer of dark brown to black soil (Chapter IV. 1, Fig. 7; Fig. 91). 48 The bones were in anatomic order, the scull was missing (probably destroyed by later intrusions).' The layer with the skeleton contained parts from pithoi and other large vessels, charcoal and bones; among the finds were also a big fragment from an one-handle cup dated to the second phase of the Early Iron Age,49 parts of cult tables, loom-weights and a spindle-whorl. The complex is typical for a pit, although no pit could be discerned above or at the level of the horse skeleton. A pit (S85) was registered however underneath; it contained mainly handmade pottery together with a few wheelmade sherds with geometric ornamentation and with slipped surface." The pits with sacrifices of whole animals have a marked "early" overall appearance. The small number of diagnostic finds could be ascribed to the period between 7n and 5n c. B.C. No finds of positively later date have been identified. The variety of species of the osseous remains is comparable with that attested in other pit sanctuaries.51 The number of whole animals placed in or above the pits is quite impressing. In Thrace, this rite was known mainly from necropolises 52 and was not considered usual for the pit sanctuaries. Dogs and horses were the most frequent animal sacrifices in the Thracian ritual system," and in the religious practice of other ancient peoples.55 The bones bearing traces of culinary processing attest the practice of ritual banquets probably implying blood food sacrifices whose recipients most likely were both the participants in the ritual and the gods they worshipped.
47 48

Cf. Cf. 49 Cf. 50 Cf.
51 52

Chapter VII.5 infra. Chapter IV. 2 supra. Chapter IV.4.1.2.1'mfta. Chapter IV.4.2 and Chapter IV.4.3 infra.

Ninov 1996;Ribarov 1997. Georgieva 1999b. 53 Savatinov 1997: 19. 54 Gergova 1996: 69-71; Georgieva 1999b: 194-205. 55 Greenewalt Jr. 1978; Maringer 1980; Day 1984: note 32; Makiewicz 1988: 102; Kosmetatou 1993; Sirbu 1993 149. 56 Georgieva 1999c: 95. 57 Burkert 1987:46.
112

KOPRIVLEN1 egIV. The Thracian Settlement Vegetable Remains Most of the earth samples subjected to flotation have been established to contain vegetable remains.58 The latter consist of charred wood, cereal grains and fruit seeds. Their distribution by sort and quantity varies from pit to pit. Several pits extremely rich in paleobotanic material stand out: S8, S10, S19, S60, S69. Our observations on pit N18 comply with the inferences of Milena Tonkova about the contents of the pits at Dvora near Gledachevo;59 however at Koprivlen the most numerous and varied plant remains were attested in pits containing rich offerings: ornaments, coins, lots of pottery. From a chronological point of view these pits are associated mostly with the last period of the sanctuary in the advanced and late Hellenistic Period. The presence of charred wood in the pits should rather be ascribed to the role of fire in the rituals than to any special value of the burnt wood as an offering.

IV.3.2.2. Pithoi
Five lower parts of pithoi dug upright into the sandy terrain (Fig. 74) were discovered on the territory of the northern sacrificial complex. Two of these were spatially bound with the pits of the central group and the three other - with those of the northern one. Six pithoi were uncovered at the northern and two - at the southern end of the southern sacrificial zone (Fig. 75). Some of these were almost intact and even covered with stone slabs, while only the lower parts of others were preserved (Colour Plates, Fig. 299). The pithoi were filled with humus, mixed with charcoal and pottery sherds. The latter were mostly from thick-walled vessels, probably the pithoi themselves, but pieces from other vases occur as well. The archaeobotanic investigations of samples from the fill of some pithoi revealed the presence of charred wood, but no remains of cereals.60 This fact, added to the position of the pithoi within the sacrificial area, warrants the assumption that their function was of ritual character and similar to that of the pits, and not utilitarian for grain storage. A similar situation is known from the acropolis of Mende, where lots of clay storage vessels and pits were discovered together.61 It should be added that some pits from Koprivlen resemble pithoi by their shape. The presence of the pithoi in the sanctuary may have something in common with their use in the funerary rituals, both being probably linked with the symbolism of the female womb, of birth and re-birth.62

IV.3.2.3. Caches
Both sacrificial complexes contained amorphous accumulations of pottery sherds, stones, charcoal and single metal finds (Figs. 74-75). Those at the northern periphery of the southern sacrificial complex were very expressive, being also larger and richer in finds. The fragments of clay vessels found there cover almost the entire range of pottery categories known from the sanctuary and settlement. Besides the notable quantity of various pottery sherds, the cache in Square 39-T-II-h-13 contained parts of a spiral bronze ornament,63 and that in Square 39-T-II-g-l6 - two coins. In general, the contents of these archaeological structures correspond to those of the pits. Caches of offerings are familiar from other Thracian cult places.64 A recently advanced hypothesis stipulates the existence of caches in the sacrificial complexes where various offerings were accumulated and then re-offered in the pits.65 The described structures in the sanctuary at Koprivlen permit an interpretation in this sense. The idea is supported by the repeated occurrence of pieces of the same vessels in different pits. Another interesting fact confirming the asynchronism of the materials in the caches is the find, in the cache in Square 39-T-II-g-16, of two coins of different date - one from the Early Hellenistic Period and the other from the Late Hellenistic Period. At the same time it should be mentioned that in all cases when two or more coins occurred in one and the same pit they were contemporary in date. The
58

Tonkova, Savatinov (in press). 50 Cf. Chapter VII.2 infra. 61 Vokotopoulou 1996:322. 62 Goodison 1989: 165.
63 64 65

59

Cf. Chapter VII.2 infra.

Cf. Chapter IV.4.10.4 infra. Domaradzki 1994:81-82.
Tonkova, Savatinov (in press).

113

IV. 3. The Pit Sanctuary (D. Vulcheva) formation mechanism of the caches and the origin of the deposited objects have not been elucidated. One possibility is to suggest that they came from earlier sacrificial complexes, but they might as well have been used in profane environment and would then have undergone sacrificialization during the process of the establishment of the caches.

IV.3.2.4. Ditch
The ditch is dug into the sandy terrain of Sector "North" generally in a north to south direction and has a rather irregular outline. Traced on a plan, it describes a long-winded wavy line (Fig. 74). It has been traced followed for a length of about 75 m. Its surface width varies between 3.5 and 6 m., but this might be due to a great extent to changes of the terrain in modern time. Its original width is approximately determined at 4 or 5 m. according to the disposition of the Late Antique graves which never disturb it (Chapter V, Fig. 200). The depth reaches 1.5 m. The bottom is slightly concave and the walls are slanting. The fill of the ditch resembles that of the pits. The bottom was covered with a 0.3 to 0.4 m. thick layer of grey-black soil mixed with charcoal. Single stones, fragments of household pottery and some construction ceramics (tile fragments) were found in this layer. The household pottery was both wheelmade and handmade and of mixed chronology. Most of the fragments were untypical and could not be dated. Parts from vessels with painted geometric ornamentation,66 with slip coating,67 and black glazed 6S were attested in the bottom layer. Next followed a thick layer (0.6 - 0.7 m) with many stones of various size, some pottery sherds, animal bones, charcoal, and single loomweights. Ditches with sacrificial functions or representing elements of sanctuaries are also known from other sites in Thrace.69 The disposition of the ditch, the composition of its fill completely corresponding to that of the pits to the east of it, and the fact that the pits are situated close to the ditch but never overlap it (neither vice versa), suggest the relative synchronism of the structures and their ideological and functional association. The Late Antique and Early Medieval graves that occupy the same area are also situated close to both sides of the ditch. The presence of the necropolis explains the occurrence of some pottery fragments of the mentioned periods in the surface layers of the ditch fill. Most likely the ditch had not been completely filled when the sanctuary stopped functioning. The digging of the ditch could be interpreted as an act aimed at the delimitation of the sacrificial space at a certain stage in the evolution of the sanctuary. The presence of tile fragments in the lowest layers of the ditch fill suggests a relation of the structure to phase II of the settlement at the earliest.70 Its configuration and the spatial relation with the pits also support a date after the construction of the quadrangular pits (NO, N14, NIT), which were all situated to the west of it and contained only materials of the 71 c. B.C.

Cf. Chapter IV.4.2 infra. Cf. Chapter IV.43 infra. 68 Cf. Chapter IV.4.3 infra.
61

66

69

Domaradzki 1994: 83; Lihardus, Iliev 1997; Leshtakov et al. 1999.

70

Cf. Chapter IV. 1.1 supra. 71 Cf. Chapter IV.4.2 infra.

114

KOPRIVLEN1 OSIV. The Thracian Settlement

IV.3.3. CHRONOLOGY
The abundant archaeological material from the pits and caches, including finds with definite chronological positions, implies the possibility of a precise dating of the individual complexes and of the elaboration of a comprehensive chronological scale for the sanctuary. The implication would have been absolutely correct but for a peculiarity of the archaeological structures, associated with the ritual activities and indisputably attested in the cult complex at Koprivlen - the association of offerings from different periods in the same structures, the discrepancy reaching several centuries in a number of cases. The situation in pit 87, for example, is extremely eloquent: a bronze socketed axe was found there at a higher level than a bronze coin of Antigonus Gonatas (272-239 r.).72 Pit S5 yielded a bronze fibula of the 7* or early 6th c. B.C." and a fragment of a fish-plate dated about the middle of the 4th c. B.C.74 The recurrent examples of mixing pottery from different ages are also quite indicative (Fig. 93). It should be noted that the stratigraphic positions of the asynchronous finds in the pits explicitly negate the possibility of prolonged use of the structures and their gradual filling in the course of two or four centuries. The rituals evidently involved offering ancient objects in later ceremonies. The assumption is supported by the observations on the structure and character of the pits' fill, which is often uniform from bottom to mouth. The stages in the filling of some ritual pits are attested by layers immediately succeeding one another which could not have been separated by considerable intervals of time.

IV.3.3.1. The Northern Sacrificial Complex
The data gathered in the course of the rescue excavations suggests that the cult site was established first on the northern bank of the dry brook with the construction of the quadrangular pits. The chronological consistency of the lavish archaeological finds dates the event in the 7th c. B.C.75 The remaining structures in the sector raise much more complicated chronological problems. The pit with the two skeletons of dogs from the southern group (NJ5) yielded three significant ceramic sherds pertaining to the 7th c. B.C.76 (Chapter IV.4.1, Fig. 101) which seem to furnish evidence on the time of the rituals performed in this pit. The fill contained also dozens of sherds with geometric ornamentation. In a few words, this pit could have been synchronous to the quadrangular ones. The fragments with geometric ornamentation permit a dating in the 7th c. B.C., and the remaining handmade pottery (apart from the three mentioned fragments which support this date) could not be defined chronologically. The presence of small and not very informative fragments of black-glazed pottery in pits N16 and N18 prompts a date after the beginning of the 5th c. B.C. for the filling of these structures.77 However both pits contained also handmade fragments with incised and pricked decoration, the survival of which into the 5th c. B.C. does not seem acceptable. The digging and initial filling of the ditch could be placed in the 6th c. B.C. at the earliest because of the presence of tiles in the lowest layer. Our insufficient knowledge of the overall layout of the sanctuary and of the organization of similar cult places in Thrace and the wide chronological range of the pottery found in the filling of the ditch do not permit a more accurate dating of the construction. Although the later graves have violated the intactness of some pits in the northern group, the presence of chronologically mixed artefacts in them covering a wide chronological span between the 6th and 4th c. B.C. has been well documented. The lack of any pottery with geometric ornamentation however is significant. Fragments of slip-coated wheelmade vessels occur in considerable quantity. Pit N8 contained a clay cult table. None of the finds could be ascribed with certainty to the Hellenistic Period. The central group of pits which contained the most abundant finds was dominated by the double pit N5 with remains of human sacrifices. The date of the ritual is suggested by the fragments of a black-glazed ribbed kantharos of the Early Hellenistic Period. The only pit which contained whole
72
73 74

Cf. Colour plates, Fig. 289 (the axe) and V7.2J.29 (the coin).

Cf. Chapter IV.4.10.1 infra. Cf. Chapter IV.4.4 infra. 75 Cf. Chapter IV.4.2 infra. 76 Cf. Chapter IV.4.1 Mm. 11 Cf. Chapter IV.4.4 infra.

115

IV. 3. The Pit Sanctuary (D. Vulcheva) vessels - N6, is an integral part of the complex with human sacrifices, having been dug and filled at approximately the same time - the last decades of the 4th c. B.C. The date is sustained by the mentioned vessels78 and confirmed by a bronze coin of Phillip II (359-336 B.C.). The fragments of a ribbed black-glazed kantharos place pit NJ in the same period. The remaining pits of the group did not contain any finds permitting their absolute dating. They can be presumed to be synchronous with the three pits described above, so the whole group would belong to the Early Hellenistic Age. This makes the central group the latest so far in the northern sacrificial complex. This circumstance and the remains of human sacrifices bring up an association with the presumed religious connection between the human sacrifice and the act of "leaving" or "closing" a sanctuary79 and raise the question whether the rituals performed in the pits of this group do not mark the last period of functioning of the northern sacrificial complex. On the other hand, the old tradition of human sacrifice in the sanctuary at Koprivlen attested in quadrangular pit NO from the Early Iron Age (7th c. B.C.) should not be ignored.

IV.3.3.2. The Southern Sacrificial Complex
The available data places the beginning of the activity in this part of the sanctuary most likely in the late 6th or early 5th c. B.C. The most reliable date is offered by pit S18 which contained three silver coins of that time.80 The contemporaneity of the three coins prevents the supposition that they could have been deposited at a much later date. Besides, the pit contained also fragments of pottery with geometric ornamentation and of monochrome slipped vessels. None of the materials found suggest the possibility of a date for this pit after the early 5n c. B.C. Pit S23 was also probably completed in the first half of the 5th c. B.C.; it contained some fragments of a black-glazed stemless pertaining to this time81 and no definitely later finds. The pits with sacrifices of whole animals are also associated with this early horizon in the activity of the sanctuary. They contained few chronologically indicative objects, but none that could be related positively to Hellenistic or later times. The analysis of all the structures and artefacts from Squares 39-T-II-w4/8 and 39-T-II-xl/5 related to the sanctuary outlines a group of chronologically related structures (pits S32, S38, S43, S81, S85 and 586) for none of which there are any reasons to consider a dating later than the middle of the 4th c. B.C. A calyx cup coated with slip from pit S43 belongs to the end of this period.82 The ritual practices in the sanctuary went on uninterrupted in the second half of the 4" c. B.C. and in the Hellenistic Period. This is well documented by coins or diagnostic pottery from pits S24, S36, S38, S39, S64, S69, S72, S74, S77, S78, S79, 5S7.83 The caches probably originated with the emergence of the sacrificial complex and their development continued until its very end. The sanctuary functioned without interruption until at least the time of Augustus. The period comprising the 2n and ] s t c. B.C. and the 1 st c. A.D. is vividly manifested with coins (SJO, SI9), ornaments and fragments of mould-made clay bowls (cache in Square 39-T-II-m-13). Despite the suggested existence of a distinctive plot of relatively early ritual activity, as a whole the southern sacrificial complex demonstrates no clear horizontal stratigraphy. Structures of different dates are situated close one to another (e.g. S18 and 579) and their arrangement does not seem to follow any special order. The time when the rituals associated with the filling of the pits were performed is best marked by the coins and the structures containing coins can be considered the most reliably dated. The fact that some pits contained two or three contemporary coins confirms the assertion that they indicate the moment of the filling of the pits. On the other hand, the relatively well datable metal ornaments could not be of great help chronologically as their presence in later complexes is beyond doubt. Other chronological indications commented above could also turn out to mark only a terminus post quern for the ritual practices.

Cf. Chapter IV.4.5 infra. Tonkova, Savatinov (in press). 80 Cf. Chapter VI. I Mra.
79

78

81

82
83

Cf. Chapter IV.4.4 infra. Cf. Chapter IV.4.3 M™.
Cf. Chapter IV.4.4 and Chapter Vll.2 infra.

116

KOPRIVLEN1 egIV. The Thracian Settlement

IV.3.4. CONCLUDING REMARKS
The recent studies have proved that the pit sanctuaries were the most popular cult places of the 1st millennium B.C. in Thrace (Fig. 94).M The active rescue explorations have brought to light some territories with an extremely high concentration of pit sanctuaries like the Maritsa Iztok Power Complex area and the valley of the Sazliyka River. There are enough grounds to suggest that they were widely distributed all over contemporary Bulgaria and in the Thracian territories beyond the state borders.85 Further studies might probably prove the Mesta valley to be an area abounding in pit complexes, especially if we add to the Koprivlen sanctuary the pits known from Eleshnitsa86 and those discovered under a tumulus at Hadjidimovo.87 There is some information on pit complexes under investigation in the Aegean area and in the Chalcidic peninsula which pertain to the same cultural zone as the Middle Mesta valley with the settlement and sanctuary by Koprivlen (Fig. 94). The available information on the pits in Northern Greece remains scanty; in most cases they have been interpreted as waste pits88 or storage pits.89 However many close affinities could be noted at once with the sacrificial pit fields in the interior of Thrace in the general situation and layout, in the size and shape of the pits and most of all in the nature of the fill. The new investigations in Bulgaria and Romania might soon provoke a reinterpretation of the pit complexes along the Aegean littoral which will certainly add to our knowledge of this phenomenon. At Mende in Chalcidice for example pits of similar disposal and contents were dated to the end of 2nd and the beginning of the 1st millennium B.C.90 The sanctuary at Koprivlen, presumably established in the 7th c. B.C. and having functioned without interruption till the reign of Augustus, fully complies with the outlined picture of the territorial and chronological distribution of the pit complexes. The rare instances in which the ancient written tradition mentions rituals practised connected with pits prompt an association with chthonic beliefs.91 The modern authors consider the pit sanctuaries and the appertaining archaeological structures as the product of a complicated ritual system subordinated to the ideas of fertility and prosperity and including various ritual actions.92 Some authors associate the pits with the cult of specific deities - Hekate93 or the Great Mother Goddess.94 The rituals evidenced in the sanctuary at Koprivlen do not differ essentially from those attested in other pit sanctuaries: fires, feasts, libations, ritual offerings and sacrifices. All these actions were intended to assure the successful cycle of life, to preserve and strengthen the cosmic order.95 The analysis of the archaeological structures brings to the fore the female principle and the wish to assure fertility and well-being. In my opinion at this stage of the investigations it would be premature to associate the sacrificial complexes at Koprivlen with the cult of a specific deity. The essential characteristics of the sanctuary at Koprivlen correspond entirely to those of other similar sanctuaries.96 Some peculiarities, such as the use of pithoi, the marked wealth and variety of the offerings especially in the Hellenistic Period, the accent on the connection with the ancestors through the deposition of antiquated objects, increase however considerably its scientific importance for the investigation of Thracian cult places and practices in the 1st millennium B.C. These peculiarities are probably due to specific regional (or local?) ritual practices, determined by the structure and mode of life of the local community. We know practically nothing of the occasions, time and regularTonkova, Savatinov (in press). ' ~ Tonkova, Savatinov (in press). 86 Nikolov, Maslarov 1987. 87 Cf. Chapter I supra. 88 Pantermali, Trakosopoulou 1998: 287, £%. 2; Tiverios 1998: 246-247. 89 Triantaphyllos 1988: 545; Nikolaidou-Patera 1996: 842, Fig. 3, 4. 90 Vokotopoulou 1996: 322. 91 R. Georgieva has commented the evidence from written sources concerning such rituals. Cf. Georgieva 1991:6. 92 Georgieva 1991: 8-9.
iic

84

93 94

Balabanov 1985: 227-228. Theodossiev 1998: 19. 95 Bergman 1987. 96 Balabanov 1985; Bonev, Alexandrov 1996; Burow 1996; Tonkova 1997.
117

IV. 3. The Pit Sanctuary (D. Vulcheva) ity of the visits to the sanctuary and of the rituals performed there. The remains of grape clusters in pit S19 97 suggest rituals performed in the autumn, but this might be a singular case. Another important and still unanswered question is that of the organization of the ritual activities - whether the worshippers executed the rituals personally or committed this to authorised personnel (priests?). The large scale of the sanctuary at Koprivlen which remains only partially studied, its complicated structure including various zones and components, its long activity lasting for several centuries without any visible disturbance of older constructions, suggest the existence of some sort of permanent religious organization, of some degree of institutionalization of the sanctuary. It is one of the few sanctuaries known so far 9S which seem immediately linked to a synchronous settlement. Its features however suggest that its importance went beyond the boundaries of the adjacent settlement and that, similarly to the settlement itself, the sanctuary played the role of a centre for a considerably larger area.

1

Cf. Chapter VII.2.2.1.2 infra. Apart from the ritual pits on the territory of Pistiros. Cf. Domaradzki 1996: 29, Fig. 1.16, 1.17.

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KOPRIVLEN 1 osIV. The Thracian Settlement * The symbols in this column correspond to:
Asym
Brl Dbl

Irregular asymmetrical shape Barrel-like shape Double pit (sometimes the shape is specified) Inverted bell shape Inverted truncated cone Pyrifonn shape Bee-hive shape Hemispherical Cylindrical Quadrangular Pit-pithos

Bell Cone Pyri Hive
Sph Cyl

Quad Pith

The shape and size of pits disturbed by later intrusions are not listed in the table.

123

IV.4. THE FINDS FROM THE THRACIAN SETTLEMENT

IV.4.1. HAND-MADE POTTERY OF THE EARLY IRON AGE
Darina Vulcheva (Institute of Archaeology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) A considerable part of the 1 M millennium B.C. ceramic material from the archaeological site at Koprivlen consists of hand-made pottery. Its processing however confronts the archaeologist with a series of restrictions. Some of the latter are universal for the examination of Thracian hand-made pottery and are due mainly to the insufficiency of published and accurately dated material providing for the elaboration of model typological and archaeological schemes. Besides, the hand-made pottery of the age was too conservative and did not evolve dynamically. There are some chronologically sensitive details and regional specifics, but their study requires extended observations and analyses. In addition, the work with the hand-made pottery from Koprivlen is impeded by its fragmentary state. The short time after the excavations campaign and the above mentioned constraints prevented the publication of the entire amount of hand-made pottery found in the settlement and in the sanctuary. The present chapter will present that part of the hand-made ware which could be related to the Early Iron Age as a result either of comparative analysis or of stratigraphic observations. The fragments and whole vessels considered here come mainly from two contexts: • cultural layers in Sector "South", and • structures of ritual character (pits and caches) in both sacrificial complexes. The formation processes that led to the constitution of the cultural layers in Sector "South" are difficult to define. The probable transportation of some of the material makes their stratigraphic position unreliable. 1 On the other hand the ritual pits, which by way of their formation represent closed complexes, contain asynchronous offerings due to ritual reasons." The absence of visible "rules" for the application and combination of technological, functional, formal and decorative criteria in the production of early Thracian pottery makes its classification rather difficult.' The freedom in the composition of the clay mixture and in the treating of the surface predetermined the great variety in the technological characteristics of the produced articles. For this reason, the limit between the two categories habitually used for taxonomic purposes - coarse and fine ware - is often obscure. On the other hand, the fragmentary character of the finds hinders the application of formal and functional criteria for classification. That is why the attempt to introduce a formal < &*X\\<^K>^ ^'^wytVv vjJfcV^ ^ms,, k\\s.V^\ ^-sss, -4S& V&K, vx, '^sa oS. (Ivikvows, feis,\fe\V\l^. \\\ \J\\s sexvsa, vi complex approach combining all the criteria to achieve as comprehensive characteristics of the pottery as possible is inapplicable to the present study. 4 The approach recently proposed for the examination of Neolithic ceramic complexes seems more appropriate and objective in this case/ The successive analyses of technology, shape and decoration offer the opportunity to extract a maximum of information under the constraints ensuing from the source base, and not to predetermine the artefacts' appurtenance to a certain category. The specific characters of the pottery complex from Koprivlen men-

' Cf. Chapter IV. 1.4 supra. " Cf. Chapter IV.3.3 supra. 1 Stoianov 1997: 50; Stoianov, Nikov 1997: 187. 4 Such an approach is applied by Dr. A. Gotsev in his PhD thesis. Cf. Gotsev 1990: 5-1 5 Nikolov 1998.
125

IV.4.1. Hand-Made Pottery of the Early Iron Age (D. Vulcheva) tioned above warrants a special emphasis on the ornamented fragments which form its most informative part.

IV.4.1.1. Technological Observations6 IV.4.U.1. Clays
The clays used in the manufacture of hand-made pottery are mainly of medium and large size grain structures and contain notable quantity of sand. They also contain as admixtures particles of quartz origin and different size, usually of tiny dimensions (up to 2 mm). Quartz grains measuring from 3 to 5 mm occur sporadically. Some common trends can be noted concerning the relation between clay composition, surface treatment and firing. The vessels with finer walls and more carefully processed surface (very smooth, burnished, or polished) are frequently, but not necessarily made of clay containing less and finer admixtures. On the other hand, admixtures in larger quantities and of greater dimensions are usually identified in the ceramics with uneven and coarse surface, whether undecorated or with a plastic decoration. However there are too many exceptions in both groups to permit the safe definition of technological groups on the basis of the existing fragmentary finds. In general, an attempt for the use of relatively pure clay can be noted for the household ware. Organic tempering materials have not been identified.

IV.4.LL2. Firing
It can be assumed on the basis of the colour areas in the broken edges and the uniformity of the superficial colour that the hand-made clay vessels were relatively well-fired. The prevalence of fragments with grey to black colour testifies to firing mainly in deoxidized environment. The fact that the employed clays probably came from different sources and respectively had different composition certainly should not be neglected too.

IV.4.1.1.3. Surface Treatment
Vessels with very well polished and burnished surfaces predominate in the discussed pottery complex. Fragments with roughly smoothed surface occur rarely while those with coarse surface are exceptional.7 In some cases the outer surface is coated with washed clay. Some of the vessels might have pertained to the technological group of the so-called scraped pottery, known from the pre-Persian layers of Olynthus8 and from sites in the Vardar valley, 9 which is completely ignored in the existing Bulgarian studies. The main feature of this technique is the intentional scraping of parts of the coating so that the shining surface forms alternating stripes. This type of pottery emerged in the 8 th c. B.C. and was in use until the Classical Period.10 The fragments of this kind found in Koprivlen are associated with phases I and II of the settlement." Another ceramic group is also very interesting from a technological point of view. It is represented by an intact vessel - a bowl shaped as a truncated cone, with flat base and plain rim (Colour Plates, Fig. 300), and by some sherds with graphite-containing coating. Both the outside and inside surfaces of the bowl have been treated. It was discovered in a ritual pit (S43) dated about the middle of the 4th c. B.C. at the earliest. However, because of the ritual specifics of the pits the bowl could not be directly associated with this date. Pottery with graphite coating has been known from complexes in South-Eastern Thrace dated to the Late Bronze Age.12 It is difficult to determine positively the chronology of the examples from Koprivlen; some graphite-coated sherds were associated with cultural
The hand-made pottery form Koprivlen has not undergone any special technological examination yet. The present analysis is based on simple first-hand observation of the material. 7 About the variations in the treatment of the surface cf. Nikolov 1998: 3. "Robinson 1933: 22, PI. 21, 22. 9 Heartley et al. 1926-1927: 233-234. 10 Vokotopoulou 1985: 147. " Cf. Chapter IV. 1.4 supra. 12 Domaradzki 1986b: 14; Gergova 1995, 43. Pottery with graphite coating is also known from the Late Bronze Age settlement by Koprivlen. Cf. Chapter III supra.
126
(>

KOPRIVLEN 1 egIV.4. The Thracian Settlement: Finds layers where no finds earlier than the second phase of the Early Iron Age have been identified, and it could be assumed that they belong to that period, but the fact that vessels decorated with graphite paint occurred also later, in the Late Iron Age, should not be ignored.13

IV.4.1.2. Shapes
The available data allows the identification of the following formal and functional categories of vessels: cups, bowls, jars, storing vessels. Because of the mainly fragmentary condition of the material subject to classification, the proposed categories and the attempts at finer typological distinctions are marked by an inevitable conventionality.

IV.4.1.2.1. Cups
This group includes the whole vessels of different capacity intended for drinking, and the fragments recognized as belonging to such vessels. The cups with a spherical (sometimes flattened or slightly biconical) body, a cylindrical or slightly conical neck and a plain slightly outturned rim are the easiest to identify (Fig. 95; 96; 109/12). The fragments at our disposal suggest an appreciable variety of types but do not allow their definition. As a general silhouette, these vessels were known from an enormous area in South-Eastern Europe since the end of the Bronze Age.15 The shape persisted in the course of the Early Iron Age and seems to have survived t i l l its very end, obeying to certain chronological and regional dynamics and considerably variegated. The surface of these vessels is usually very well smoothed or burnished and more rarely polished. The identified fragments are frequently decorated. In all likelihood the discussed category included vessels with two, one or no handles. Many of the handles of circular, oval or segmentary section discovered at the site should be associated with similar cups (Fig. 97). There are also "trigger handles" (Fig. 97/2), which are known from the Early Iron Age layers of the tells along the Vardar valley. 16 The other shapes of handles have absolute analogies in the Early Iron Age pottery complex in Thrace, which is associated very often with the Pshenichevo group. 17 The discussed type of cups has numerous parallels all over the Thracian territories, usually dated to the first and the beginning of the second phase of the Early Iron Age. However the observations at the sanctuary by the village of Babyak show that the general shape remained in use until the end of the period.19 Two completely restored vessels from Koprivlen pertain to the category of the cups, being however of different morphological types. One of these has an oval body, a flat base, an oblique mouth with plain rim, and a small handle attached in the upper third of the vessel and slightly rising above the rim. Opposite to the handle are applied decorative vertical plastic bands and buttons. (Fig. 98; 103/1). The second vessel has a flat base, an oval body, a cylindrical neck, a similar highly attached handle, and no decoration (Colour Plates, Fig. 301). Both vessels have simple profiles which were long in use in South-Western Thrace, on the island of Thasos20 and along the Vardar river. At the tell of Kastanas they occur in horizons 15 to 4, mostly from 10 to 8.21 The cup with plastic decoration from Koprivlen was found in a cultural layer together with pottery with geometric ornamentation and monochrome wheel-made ware. The cup without decoration comes from the layer underlying the level of the equine skeleton in Square 39-T-H-x-S and was probably associated with a structure related to the sanctuary. 22 The contexts of both vessels warrant their attribution to the second phase of the Early
I Ji

Nikolov, Maslarov 1987: Fig. 44, 45. Separate sections of the present volume deal with the pithoi and the strainers. Cf. Chapter IV.4.6 and Chapter W.4.7 infra, 15 Hochstetter 1982: 110, Abb. 8; Hochstetter 1984: Text, Abb. 15; Panayotov, Vulcheva 1989: 14. 16 Heurtley 1939: No 486; Hochstetter 1984: Band 2, Taf. 135, 6; 207, 4. n Chichikova 1972b; Dolmova-Lukanovska 1984: 239-240, Fig. 2. 18 Cf. Stoianov, Nikov 1997: 189 with the references. 19 Domaradzki et al. 1999:21. 20 Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1982b: Abb. 5:10, 2. 21 Cf. Hochstetter 1984: Band 2. 22 Cf. Chapter IV.3 supra.
14

13

127

IV.4.1. Hand-Made Pottery of the Early Iron Age (D. Vulcheva) Iron Age or to its very end. A dating in the 6th or 5 lh c. B.C. has been assumed for a similar vessel found at Babyak.23

IV.4.1.2.2. Shallow and Deep Bowls
In studying fragmentary pottery complexes which do not provide the needed metric data to distinguish between shallow and deep bowls, it frequently becomes necessary to discuss both categories together,24 and this attitude has been preferred here. The only kind of intact bowls attested at Koprivlen is represented by conical examples with straight or slightly convex walls, flat bases and plain rims. Out of accurately dated context, they cannot get even a relatively reliable date. These vessels are comparable with the bowls of types la, and Ib after Hochstetter, found in layers 13 to 1 at Kastanas.25 The remaining vessels in this group could be identified only by the mouth pieces. The shaping of the latter shows a marked predilection to inward turning or pulling. The bowls with an incurving, thickened and rounded fluted rim, so popular over the Danube area and the whole Balkan Peninsula, are attested in Koprivlen only with isolated fragments (Fig. 99). In Kastanas similar bowls (Hochstetter's type 8) appeared in horizon 12 and persisted, with some fluctuations in the intensity, to horizon 5 (i.e. until the end of 8lh c. B.C.).26 Another group of bowls features inturned rim and decorated lip (Fig. 100). Sometimes the lip is emphasized with a groove on the outer surface (Fig. 100/3). Bowls of a similar silhouette appear from horizon 12 at Kastanas and persist although in restricted quantities until horizon 4." Pit A7/5 in the northern sacrificial complex yielded a fragment of a triangular horizontal handle with a rectangular section, probably belonging to a bowl (Fig. 101/2); however the fragment was isolated and too little to be of any use for the definite identification of the type of bowl. This fragment could be associated plausibly with the bowls with horizontal handles attached to the rim, known from a number of sites along the Vardar and classified by A. Hochstetter as type 9. These bowls were attested in Kastanas 7 to 1, i.e. between the 9th and the 2"d c. B.C.28 It should be mentioned that a similar handle from the sanctuary by Babyak was associated by Domaradzki and Georgieva with their bowls of type 3 and was dated to HaD on analogies with examples from the Carpathian region and the Central Balkans."' Two handles with conical projections at the highest part (Fig. 101/1), found in quadrangular ritual pits (A75 and N17) in the northern sacrificial complex, seem particularly important. The handles are made of fine-grain beige clay and their surfaces are well smoothed. They were perfectly fired probably in an oxidized environment. Similar handles belonging to two-handle bowls (sometimes designated as kantharoi) are known from the Vardar river valley, from the Chalcidic Peninsula and from the North Aegean area.30 They are dated in the whole interval between the 8* and 6 th c. B.C., but the 7Ih c. B.C. seems to have been the time of their actual bloom. 31 The example from Pit NI5 is decorated with parallel horizontal lines, applied in red paint.32 The handles of this type and technological characteristics do not find their prototypes among the local hand-made pottery and have not been attested on other sites in the Thracian interior. Their appearance along the Mesta valley should probably be associated with the spread of the pottery with geometric ornamentation and the related wares. It is not possible at present to answer the question whether these hand-made vessels entered the settlement by Koprivlen as imports or their presence there was due to the transfer of ideas and imitations in a local environment.

23 24

Domarad/ki ct al. 1999: 21, table II, 3. Domaradzki etal. 1992: 29-31; Stoianov, Nikov 1997, 189-194. 25 Hochstetter 1984: Text, 84, Abb. 20. 26 Hochstetter 1984: Text, 92-93, Abb. 20, Abb. 23. 27 Hochstetler 1984: Tafeln 92, 6; Taf. 225,1. 28 Hochstetter 1984: Text, 93-95, Abb. 24; Tafeln 163, 3; 187, 6; 220; 224, 1-2; 225, 2; 231, 1; 242.
29 10
31 32

Domaradzki et al. 1999: 22, Tab. XXVI, 4. Carington-Smith 1991: 336-340 with the references; Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1992: Fig. 12.
Bernard 1964: 130 No 171, Fig. 41, 171; Carington-Smith 1991: 345. Cf. Chapter IV.4.2 infra.

128

KOPRIVLEN I osIV.4. The Thracian Settlement: Finds

IV.4.1.2.3. Jars
This group comprises relatively deep vessels (with a diameter smaller than their height) of simple profile. From a technological point of view they feature coarser clay, carelessly treated surface and bad firing. This pottery category was widely spread and very conservative. In Koprivlen it is represented by a huge amount of fragments, but only those that can be related definitely to phases I or II of the Thracian settlement13 by their stratigraphic positions will be discussed here as probably belonging to the Early Iron Age (Fig. 102). The colour of the fragments varies from grey-brown to greyblack. The shapes are plain and unarticulated: cylindrical, conical and barrel-shaped. The bases are flat and unmoulded. The mouths are simple, with plain rims, sometimes slightly outturned or thickened. Variously shaped tongue-shaped handles occur frequently, attached usually to the upper part of the vessels, below the rim. The decoration is usually plastic. Despite these common features the vessels in this group are too diversified; being at the same time heavily fragmented, they do not allow any systematic arrangement or attribution to existing classifications. The closest parallels to the sherds from Koprivlen are the variants of Hochstetter's types 8 and 9M A sort of jar with a broad plastic band or apron hanging all around usually from the most bulging part of the body deserves special notice (Fig. 103/2). Though fragmentary, these vessels are represented with numerous fragments in the settlement by Koprivlen. At the same time, they don't occur among the published finds from sites in Bulgaria. Similar vessels found in Vardina and Prilep are related to the end of the Bronze Age or the very beginning of the Early Iron Age and their appearance is associated with a population movement from the north, i.e. from the territory the cultural group Vatina - Dubovac - Zuto Brdo. The further evolution of these vessels is attested in examples from Dabici-Sopot, Valandovo and Isar-Marvinci, dated between the end of the 6th and the end of 5th c. B.C., when it is considered that the hanging aprons finally disappeared. The principal chronological changes noted by V. Sokolovska are a broadening of the upper parts and the replacement of the small vertical handles with horse-shoe shaped handles stuck to the wail. Unfortunately the fragmented finds from Koprivlen do not allow the discrimination of morphological changes. There are examples with vertical handles, but their upper parts seem to correspond rather with the later variants. It is very likely that they pertain to intermediate shapes belonging to the 2nd period of the Early Iron Age in Thrace. Such a dating is supported by the presence of similar vessels at the tell of Kastanas (including examples with broad upper parts and vertical handles, type 2 after Hochstetter), where they occurred until the 5 th c. B.C. A. Hochstetter considers them as parts of pyraunoi (stoves). Such a probability should not be ignored also for at least a part of the fragments from Koprivlen, which would greatly expand the distribution area of these appliances to the northwest.37

IV.4.1.2.4. Storing Vessels
It is very difficult to distinguish this sort of vessels from the other large-size kitchen ware because of the fragmentary state of the finds. The existing data is insufficient to describe the shapes. The presence of storing vessels is perceived mostly through some mouth fragments. There are pithoi with variously moulded rims, most frequently protruding outwards. 8 This group should also include two fragments of large-size closed vessels with decoration beneath the rim (Fig. 104). A similar shape is known in the pottery complex from Gradisheto near the village of Glavan.

IV.4.1.3. Decoration
Plenty of fragments could not be associated with any definite shapes but are noteworthy because of their decoration. This is the main reason which imposed the separate consideration of some problems of the decoration.
33 34
35 36 37

Cf. Chapter IV. 1 supra. Hochstetter 1984: Text, 113-142, Abb. 35-36.
Heurtley 1939: 234, No 474; Kitanoski 1980: 27, 31, Fig. 7. Sokolovska 1991: 174-175. Hochstetler 1984: Text 155-173, Abb. 41, Abb. 60; Tafeln 222,2; 229, 2.

38 39

Cf. Chapter IV.4.6 infra. Nikov 1995: 115, Fig. le.
129

IV. 4.1. Hand-Made Pottery of the Early Iron Age (D. Vulcheva)

IV.4.1.3.1. Decorative Techniques
The hand-made pottery of the Early Iron Age found at Koprivlen presents all the decorative techniques used in that period: incised, pricked, impressed, fluted and plastic, used in varying proportions. The incised decoration is best represented; the variously designed incisions suggest different methods and implements for its employment. Some incisions are fine and relatively shallow, but irregular (Fig. 105/1-3), while other are wider, deeper and also rather uneven (Fig. 105/4-8; 106). No essential differences have been observed between the motifs executed either way. The deeper incisions were possibly used for larger ornaments. Combinations between the two manners of incising have not been attested on one and the same vessel. It is not however possible to determine whether this fact is due to a chronological discrepancy or to the preference of certain methods in the decoration of certain shapes. The only identifiable shape on which such decoration was applied is that of the cups with spherical body and cylindrical neck (Fig. 96/2-5). Similar variations in the execution of the incised decoration have been observed in other pottery complexes as well. 40 The fragments with broad uneven incisions definitely prevail at Koprivlen. This decoration finds close parallels at the sanctuary by Babyak, which have been dated to the 8lh/7"' - 6lh c. B.C.41 A similar type of decoration is attested on Early Iron Age pottery fragments found in the course of terrain surveys in the Razmetanitsa river valley.42 The rather careless way of employing the incised decoration probably had some chronological parameters associated with the last centuries of the Early Iron Age, but the existence of regional specifics in the incision techniques within the confines of South-Western Thrace seems also possible. The fragments decorated by pricking rank second in quantity. This technique was employed to decorate vessels of different shapes and technological characteristics. The varying forms of the pricks - round, drop-like, triangular, oval (Fig. 107; 108), indicate the use of tools with different tips. The degree of precision in the execution of pricked decoration also varies: from fine pin-holes arranged in complicated patterns, which rise the question of using templates (Fig. 108/1-2), to large random depressions applied by a pointed tool without any purposeful design. The pricks are usually arranged in rows or bands of rows, most often horizontal. Unlike other regions in Thrace,43 the impressed (stamped) decoration in Koprivlen displays a rather scanty repertoire (Fig. 109). The fragments ornamented by fluting are rare. A. Hochstetter's observations show that in the case of the bowls with fluted rims the evolution was from broad and shallow to finer narrow flutes. It should be mentioned that the flutes on most of the examples from Koprivlen are rather narrow but carelessly accomplished and uneven (Fig. 96/2, 5, 6). This manner of decoration may have been the result of a local development later than the end of the 8 lh or the beginning of the 7 lh c. B.C. when the bowls of this group disappeared in Kastanas. Apart from the mouths of bowls and some handles, flutes are attested also over fragments from the necks and bodies of ceramic vessels. Unfortunately, the available sherds are not informative enough to draw conclusions about the development of the use of this decorative technique. The plastic decoration is seen on abundant fragments displaying mainly plastic ribs with various fossettes, cuts or incisions and far more rarely plastic projections (Fig. 100/5; 102). This manner of decoration together with the motifs it represents persisted over a very long period without enduring any essential changes. This is the reason why its analysis on the basis of fragmentary material is practically impossible. A handle with plastically rendered zoomorphous protruding at the bend is of some interest (Fig. 97/1). I could not find any precise analogies, but similar handles resembling animals' heads are known at Kastanas in period VII (900-700,B.C.) and later, the example nearest to the one from Koprivlen in design being from horizon S.44 The appearance of plastically rendered animals' heads on the handles of ceramic vessels is thought to reflect contacts with the Geometric art in the south at Kastanas.

4

"Nikov 1995: 116.

Domaradzki et al. 1999: 24, 72, Tab. XXI, X X I I I . Georgieva et al. 1983: 37, 42. 4 -Gotzev 1994. 44 Hochstetter 1984:Tafeln: 152,5; 185,4,5; 198, 5; 205, 7, 9, I I . 45 Hochstetler 1984: Text, 379.
42

41

130

KOPR1VLEN 1 03IV.4. The Thracian Settlement: binds In many cases the decoration of the vessels from Koprivlen combines different techniques. The most common combination is between incised and pricked ornaments (Fig. 110/1-3). The combined use of stamped and incised ornaments is also attested (Fig. 110/4-5).

IV.4.1.3.2. Motifs and Patterns
The repertoire of motifs and patterns is closely associated with the employed decorative techniques The different variants of incised triangles - upright, hanging, inscribed, hatched, forming zigzag lines - are the most abundant (Fig. 96/3-5; 100/1,3; 105; 106). The incised ornaments do not display great diversity. Their closest parallels come from the sanctuary at Babyak.46 The lavish incised decoration on a thick leg (or handle?) of a vessel (?) deserves special mention; it includes bands of different inscribed triangles divided by a row of slanting parallel strokes between two horizontal lines (Fig. 101/3). I do not know of any exact parallels to this ornamental pattern. The strange form of the fragment could be associated with a special shape of vessel, while the exceptionally rich decoration suggests a probable cult function of the object. The fragment was discovered in a ritual pit (N15) together with sherds belonging to the class of the pottery with geometric ornamentation from the 7 th c. B.C.47 (Fig. 101). The triangles seem to have occupied a leading place in the ornamental repertoire of the pottery from Koprivlen. There are also triangles formed by pricked pinholes (Fig. 100/2; 107/6), as well as incised triangles filled inside with pinholes (Fig. 110/1). Pricking was employed to shape some rather complicated patterns. Several fragments display parts of a composition of floral motifs traced by double rows of pinholes (Fig. 108/1-4). Despite the fact that some of these fragments suffered secondary firing, their common technological features suggest that they might have belonged to one and the same vessel - a cup with a spherical body and a cylindrical neck. A handle with segmental section and pinholes arranged in zigzag on the upper surface probably comes from the same vessel (Fig. 108/5). I have not been able to find any direct analogies to this decoration. Pricking was also used to depict a solar image (Fig. 107/6); in this case the holes are filled with white matter. The technique of white incrustation is usually associated with the Late Bronze Age.4S The solar symbolism in the decoration of clay vessels had a long tradition in the Rhodopes re2ion.4<) Few fragments display impressed decoration and these usually come from quality vessels with burnished surface, sometimes coated with washed clay. The decorative repertoire includes a few motifs: concentric circles, S-shaped ornaments and pseudo-cord impressions. The corded designs are the most numerous; they display hatched triangles or rows of parallel lines. S-shaped motifs have not been attested as independent ornaments in Koprivlen; they always occur in combinations with either corded designs (Fig. 109/2) or concentric circles (Fig. 109/1). The same is valid for the concentric circles, the only exception being a fragment of a thick-walled vessel decorated with large stamped concentric circles (Fig. 109/6). The concentric circles are among the earliest ornaments in the decorative repertoire of Early Iron Age pottery. At Koprivlen they occur on isolated sherds in combination with the Sshaped motifs which appeared in South-Eastern Thrace towards the end of the first and mainly during the second phase of the Early Iron Age.50 Pottery with impressed decoration was found also at the sanctuary by Babyak. 51 The sporadic occurrence of such examples in the Struma valley and their absence in Thasos, as well as their far smaller popularity in Aegean Thrace, place the Mesta valley at the western periphery of the area in which this pottery was spread.52

46
47

Domaradzki et al. 1999: 24, table X X I I I .

Cf. Chapter/V.4.2 infra. 48 Hochstetter 1984: Text, Abb. 57. 49 Vulchanova 1999: 151. 50 Domaradzki et al. 1992: 36; Gotzev 1994: 110-113. 51 Excavations of Dr. M. Tonkova to whom I am indebted for the information.
52

Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1992: 694-695, Fig. 4.
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IV.4.1. Hand-Made Pottery of the Early Iron Age (D. Vulcheva)
IV.4.1.3.3. Disposition of the Decoration on the Vessels

The reflections in this sense are highly restricted by the state of the bulk of pottery. There is more information about the disposition of the decoration on cups and bowls. A row of pinholes accentuates the transition from the body to the neck of the cups of spherical body and cylindrical neck (Fig. 96), while patterns of incised triangles or flutes spread below over the body. A single fragment is decorated with a small Buckel-like knob (Fig. 96/4). Two fragments of cups with elongated silhouette which probably had no handles are decorated only with impressed decoration over the upper part of the body spreading to the very lip (Fig. 109/1-2). The decoration of the bowls is also concentrated mainly on their upper parts (Fig. 100/1-4). The analysis of the bowls from Kastanas places the first appearance of this disposition of the decoration in horizon 8 and follows its persistence until horizon 2, i.e. from the 9lh to the end of 5th c. B.C." IV.4.1.4. Summary Results The Early Iron Age hand-made pottery complex from Koprivlen presents a relatively limited repertoire of shapes and especially of decorative motifs; this might be due to chronological as well as regional reasons. The correlation with accurately dated finds from other sites suggests the attribution of at least the main part of the analysed material to the period between the late 8 th and the end of the 6 th c. B.C., which corresponds to phases I and II of the settlement by Koprivlen. According to the stratigraphic observations on the site, in the 6lh c. B.C. the decorated hand-made pottery was replaced by the wheel-made monochrome pottery. 54 The Early Iron Age pottery from the Mesta valley and from Sout-Western Thrace in general is not very well known and has not been specially studied. The pottery group "Tsepina" which by B. Hansel distinguished mainly on the bases of its specific decoration in the region of the Rhodopes and to the Struma valley in the west,55 has been refuted by following studies.56 In this sense, the pottery from Koprivlen discussed here, despite the restricted possibilities for analysis it offers, is of essential importance for the elucidation of the general problems. It manifests very close affinities with the finds from the Aegean littoral, 57 while the most precise parities come from the Mesta valley itself. There are some similarities with the finds from the Maritsa river valley. The intense relations with the Vardar valley from the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Early Iron Age59 were gradually calming down and were demonstrated only in some more universal shapes in the discussed period. The Mesta region still complied with the general characteristics of the Balkan - Aegean cultural sphere,' however as a result of the disintegration processes attested since the 9th and 8th c. B.C. it gradually evolved as a local group. The exhaustive characterization of the latter will be possible only after profound further studies.

53 54

Hochstetter 1982: Abb. 2; Hochstetter 1984: Text, 107-108, Abb. 27. Cf. Chapter IV. 1 supra. 55 Hansel 1976:220-227. 56 Domaradzki et al. 1999: 24-26. 57 Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1988: 81; Triandaphyllos 1991; Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1992: Fig. 4, 1 58 Domaradzki et al. 1999: 23-26. 59 Hochstetter 1984: Text, 379. 60 Hochstetter 1984: Text, 381.
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IV.4.2. POTTERY WITH GEOMETRIC DECORATION AND RELATED WARES
Anelia Bozkova (Institute of Archaeology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) The presence of an enormous quantity of sherds from vases with geometric ornamentation and related ceramic wares is among the outstanding features in the cultural profile of the settlement by Koprivlen. Such pottery is found for the first time in Bulgaria, i.e. so deep in the interior of Thrace, and its discovery was a real surprise for the archaeological team excavating the site. The application of a complex historical and archaeological approach to the facts based on the collective evidence for the whole North Aegean area is indispensable for the explanation of the presence of this pottery in the Middle Mesta region. The present study does not aim at and does not dispose of the potential to fulfil such an ambitious task. However, with the first publication of a small but representative part of these finds, it launches a new trend in the study of Thracian culture. Pottery with geometric decoration has been discovered in all the excavated sectors of the site; it actually represents the main ceramic category of phase I of the settlement and definitely outnumbers the decorated hand-made Early Iron Age pottery. The presence of ceramic fragments with painted geometric decoration remains substantial in the phase II layers, where their quantity is comparable to that of the wheel-made slip coated-monochrome ware. In addition to the finds from the cultural layers, pottery of the discussed types has been recovered also in many ritual pits. Two different contexts have been distinguished according to the character of the pits: • A. Several shallow pits in the northern sacrificial complex displaying an unusual quadrangular form - Pits NO, N14 and N17 - were entirely filled with fragmented pottery with geometric decoration, including whole vessels broken in situ.1 The considerable quantity of the pottery finds from these pits prevented their full processing in time for the present publication; so only some of the pottery found in Pit N14 is presented in a preliminary form here. The field observations and the work on the finds have given reasons to suppose that these pits were the earliest in date and of rather peculiar character, containing great quantities of mainly uniform ceramic vessels which are assumed to be synchronous with the time of the ritual deposition. The pits were intact, undisturbed after their original filling and in this sense they can be regarded as "closed complexes". The larger pits NO and N14 contained thousands of sherds with painted geometric decoration and of two more related pottery types. The restoration of this pottery has only begun, but several whole vessels have already been successfully reconstructed. • B. Pits of round plan situated in both the northern and southern sacrificial zones. Most of the pits and ritual caches studied so far contained at least one and frequently more fragments with geometric decoration.2 Sherds of such vessels were discovered as re-offered gifts even in pits filled in the Hellenistic period or in caches containing materials from different ages. The sherds found in such cultural contexts (and especially those from the pits) are usually less characteristic, of small size and deficient in diagnostic features. This is the reason why the finds from later structures, although most interesting in view of their secondary ritual function, are not examined in the present study. The total number of fragments from wares with geometric ornamentation and from the related groups is in the several thousands and provides a solid basis for an extended and detailed special examination which cannot be made in the present preliminary and summary presentation of the
^CL Chapter IV. 3 supra. " Cf. Chapter IV. 3 supra. Cf. Chapter W.3 supra.

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IV. 4.2. Pottery with Geometric Decoration and Related Wares (A. Bozkova) excavations results. Although influenced by subjective criteria, the selection of vases and sherds presented in this chapter is nevertheless representative enough to offer a good general outline of the essential characteristics of the ceramic groups in question. The material is arranged according to the finding places, and this has no doubt imposed some formal repetitions. This presentation scheme however is supposed to make the statement more objective in the absence of more accurate and valid criteria for the distinction of stylistic and chronological groups.

IV.4.2.1. General Technological Features of the Pottery with Geometric Decoration and of the Related Ceramic Categories 1V.4.2.L1. Pottery with Geometric Decoration
Clays, Turning and Firing Fragments of relatively thick-walled, medium-walled and fine thin-walled vases are equally represented among the ceramic material of this class. The variety of clays is more pronounced in terms of colour than in composition and processing. The clay is more frequently hard, but also porous, refined to different extents and sometimes of grainy structure. It usually contains tiny mineral admixtures which are more pronounced in vessels with thicker walls. The abundance of mica in the clay and in the slip coating the surface is the most typical feature. After firing the clay colours vary from beige-brown through orange-red to grey, and the great variety prevents any general classification on the basis of colour. There are practically almost no fragments of deep brick-red colour. The general impression is that of a soft beige-brown or beige-grey range of colours. The manner and degree of firing do not show any constant characteristics either. Some fragments have evenly coloured broken edges which suggest high quality firing. In other cases, the firing temperature has not been high enough to affect the core of the clay, giving the broken edges a sandwich-like appearance with a different, most often grey colour in the middle. In principle, the vessels are wheel-made. Some fragments give the impression that they are made by hand, but the elaborate moulding of the rims speaks in favour of the possible use of two types of potter's wheels in the manufacture of one and the same vase - a slow and a fast one. Slips The surfaces of some fragments bear traces of coating with clay slip. It is not very thick and durable and sometimes is easily washable if treated with water. The slip is of two main types: a coating of washed clay of red or brown colour and a shiny silvery or golden slip containing much mica. The first type of surface coating is identical with that of the slipped vessels without additional decoration, which are examined here in a separate chapter, and is usually darker than the basic colour of the vessel. Decoration The most characteristic trait of the pottery of this class is the presence of geometric ornamentation over different parts of the vases. Its motifs and style will be considered repeatedly in the detailed presentation of the material. In this short introduction it is necessary to mention that this decoration is applied in a specific paint ranging in colour from purple red to red-brown in a variety of shades. In principle the paint is not durable, washes easily, and has a dull, mat outlook.

IV.4.2.1.2. Plain Pottery of the Same Class
This group comprises sherds the technological features of which are identical with those described above, but which lack any traces of painted decoration. It is very likely that many of these fragments come from the undecorated parts (walls or bases) of decorated vessels. However the full restoration of some shapes proves the existence of vessels of this class, which were never painted.
134

KOPRIVLEN I 03IV.4. The Thracicm Settlement: Finds IV.4.2.1.3. Pottery with Red or Brown Slip The pottery of this class is close in its technological features to the former two groups, but is entirely coated with a red or brown slip, without any further decoration. The slip is either dense or is applied loosely by brush ("a la brosse") and has a mat outlook, without traces of burnishing. The group includes vessels with walls of various thickness, some of the thicker fragments suggesting the profiles of amphorae or similarly shaped vessels. The thin walled fragments are however most numerous; some restored profiles and entire vessels belonged to flat-base cups with two handles (skyphoi).

IV.4.2.2. The Pottery from Sondage 4
The pottery of the several related categories considered in this chapter occurs in comparatively high quantities in the lower layers of Sondage 4 which correspond to the habitation phases I and II of the site.4 Individual fragments were discovered on higher levels (above the alluvium) but these should rather be treated as displaced finds without any original stratigraphic value. The pottery complex from the whole excavated area of Sondage 4 is heavily fragmented, which hinders the identification of individual shapes and creates the impression of a relatively small stylistic and typological variety. The attempts to restore whole vessels or at least major profiles have not been successful, but the study of the material has suggested that the whole amount of fragments originates from a restricted number of vessels. Shapes The shapes that can be recognised are both of closed and open profiles (Fig. I I I ) . They belong to vessels with thick, medium and mostly thin walls. The thick-walled vessels are parts of large closed shapes either with a relatively narrow mouth with heavy outturned and raised rim (pithoi) or with a wider outspread rim (dinoi). Fragments of the wide-open mouths of large bowls (lekanes) occur as well; their walls are most frequently of medium thickness and the rims are variously moulded. There are also examples of very fine, thin-walled cups (skyphoi) with a linear geometric decoration on both the outer and inner surfaces, or sometimes only with a slip coating. Some of the mouths seem to have belonged to amphorae which are similar but not identical with the examples from Sondage I. The lack of more indicative elements of the amphoroid vessels from these two locations (such as handles or shoulders) prevents however their definite attribution or comparative analysis. Fragments of vessels coated with red-brown or dark red slip without traces of any further painted decoration have also been found in the phase I and II layers. Most of these belong to the thin walled cups (skyphoi) well known in the other sectors of the site, but there are also fragments from vessels of other shapes with thicker walls. The finds in both layers seem uniform and do not display any differences in style susceptible of a chronological distinction. Decoration The decoration preserved on the fragments from Sondage 4 reveals a certain variety of motifs, but the possibilities to associate these with particular shapes of vessels are unfortunately quite restricted. There were no fragments large enough to preserve a sequence of two or more successive bands of different ornamental motifs. The following main decorative elements appear on the pottery from Sondage 4. • Straight horizontal lines applied below the mouth of the vessel either independently (amphorae, skyphoi) or as borders of another motif (lekanes). • Undulating lines of different amplitude and wavelength, and of various line width (howls, walls of unidentified vessels). • Compass drawn concentric circles and crossing parallel lines in alternating bands. At least some of the fragments can be attributed with certainty to closed vessels with narrow mouths (pithoi). There are definite instances of the combination of the two patterns on fragments of one and the same vessel (Fig. 112).

4

Cf. Chapter IV. I supra.

135

IV. 4.2. Pottery with Geometric Decoration and Related Wares (A. Bozkova)

IV.4.2.3. The Pottery from Sondage 1
Despite the restricted area studied in Sondage 1,5 the pottery finds were abundant, surpassing by far in intensity those from Sondage 4. The quantity of ceramic fragments in the deepest layers is remarkable, especially in the large pottery accumulation in the north-west corner of the trial pit which contained hundreds of sherds of similar vessels. It is to be regretted that this accumulation could not be excavated completely (a part of it of unknown size remained under the northern and the western walls of the trial pit) and this precluded the opportunity to reconstruct more fully profiles and whole shapes. The amassment of pottery evidently broken in situ lay in a stratigraphic section about 0.6 - 0.7 m. thick and situated at a depth of between 1.3 and 2.00 m. from the modern ground level. The impression that it represents a coherent archaeological structure of undefined functions is corroborated by the fact that fragments of the neck and mouth of one and the same vessel were found at four different levels in the accumulation. Shapes and Decoration The fragments from the accumulation in Sondage 1 are mainly from large closed vessels amphorae and amphoroid vessels (or pithoi'l) with two types of double-stem handles - vertical and horizontal (Figs. 113-114}. All the handles are decorated with repeated transverse stripes in the usual reddish colour. The numerous mouthpieces from the accumulation belong to one and the same type though two completely identical examples can hardly be found. All the fragments from necks and mouths display a common typical profile with outturned and often elaborately moulded rim. The edge is often decorated with transverse (radial) red stripes. The necks are almost cylindrical or slightly concave, and the vertical handles are attached close to the rim. Some of the necks display painted horizontal lines below the rim or at the transition to the shoulders. The fragmentary state of the finds prevents the full characterization of the vessels in the complex. The uniformity of the fragments vindicates the assumption that it may have comprised only amphorae with cylindrical necks and two types of handles: vertical ones on the necks and horizontal ones on the shoulders. The preserved fragments from the walls of these vessels are mostly of small size and display an uniform decoration (Fig. 114), consisting mainly of motifs with concentric circles or with straight lines both parallel and crossing, arranged in different ways. There were no examples of wavy lines or strokes applied by multiple brush among the decorated fragments from the accumulation. The decorated fragments discovered in the strata above the accumulation, including the phase H levels in the trial pit, display rather similar painted motifs. The fragments of walls are decorated mainly with motifs of crossing lines and concentric circles. The handles are double or single, of oval section and decorated with transverse stripes or a single longitudinal painted line along the middle of the outer face. This layer contained in addition mouths of closed vessels with large diameter (dinoi) and narrow necks (probably of amphorae) with a thickened rim of triangular section (Fig. 115). The latter have parallels (although not completely identical ones) among the finds from Sondage 4, they usually bear traces of red slip or of worn horizontal lines applied over the slip.

IV.4.2.4. The Pottery from Pit N14 IV.4.2.4.1. Pottery with Geometric Decoration
Shapes Pit N14 contained whole vessels broken in situ and larger diagnostic fragments which have permitted the reconstruction of some shapes.

Cf. Chapter IV. 1 supra.
136

KOPRIVLEN I egIV.4. The Thracian Settlement: Finds IV.4.2.4.1.1. Amphorae and jugs with cut-away neck The sherds of this group were extremely numerous in the pit (Figs. 116-117}. Their clay is light brown or grey in colour. The two pottery types are united in one group because of their identical technological and morphological traits. They are distinguished only by the details defining them as separate types: the two handles of the amphorae and the cut-away neck of the jugs. All the vessels display straight, simple and slightly rounded rims, almost cylindrical necks, bulbous spherical bodies and completely flat bases. The handles are more frequently double (with two parallel and connected stems of circular section), rarely simple (of oval section) and are attached somewhat under the rim and at the shoulders. Only one entire vessel has been successfully reconstructed so far (Fig. 118/1; Colour Plates, Fig. 302), but hundreds of fragments more belong certainly to amphorae and jugs of the same type. It is noteworthy that most of the amphorae had a relatively large body and a mouth diameter of ca 0.12 to 0.14 m., but reduced versions of the shape occur as well, as is attested by some smaller mouths with a diameter of about 0.07 m. (Fig. 117/2). IV.4.2.4.1.2. Jugs The shape of a jug with a plain, slightly widening mouth and an elegant biconical body with elongated upper part can be reconstructed almost completely from a number of fragments belonging to one and the same vessel (Fig. 118/2). The handle is flat, rising above the rim and its lower end is attached to the sharp bend in the lower middle of the body. The base is almost flat, with a slightly expressed ring. IV.4.2.4.1.3. Pithoi There were plenty of mouth fragments from large closed vessels (pithoi) among the finds from the pit. These display relatively narrow necks, heavy outturned rims and spherical bulging bodies implied by the broad shoulders which expand at a sharp angle immediately beneath the mouth, without any neck. Individual fragments indicate the presence of slight variations in the rim moulding, but these do not amount to real typological differences (Fig. 119). There are some fragments with horizontal handles of circular section, frequently double and sometimes twisted, placed at the shoulders (Fig. 121). IV.4.2.4.1.4. Amphorae with a ring rim A single fragment from the pit indicates the presence of another type of amphora: with cylindrical neck and thick ring encircling the rim (Fig. 120/1). The preserved parts of the facing handles show that they were double, horizontal and attached to the upper part of the belly with their lower ends. It seems likely that a peculiar single foot found in this complex, shaped as truncated cone and decorated, belonged to the same vessel (Fig. 122/3). The reasons for this attribution are the identity of the clay, the colour of the paint and some parallels which will be cited below. IV.4.2.4.1.5. Stamnoid vessels Some peculiar fragments of mouths, found in different sectors of the site, testify to the presence of closed vessels of stamnoid types (Fig. 120/2). The best preserved example, and a decorated one in addition, is a mouth from Pit N14. It has a plain rim and a wide horizontal lid-bed projecting inwards. The sherd suggests that the vessel had broad shoulders and probably a bulbous body. IV.4.2.4.1.6. Deep bowls (lekanes?) Some sherds of simple mouths with rounded rims might be interpreted as belonging to deep bowls whose lower parts have remained unidentified among our fragments (Fig. 120/3). The mouths are inclines inwards and have a thick outturned rim. No fragments with handles have been preserved. Although feebly represented in Pit N14, the deep bowls seem to have been widely accepted in the settlement as we can judge from the numerous fragments found in Sector "South".

137

IV.4.2. Pottery with Geometric Decoration and Related Wares (A. Bozkova) IV.4.2.4.1.7. Handles The pit yielded lots of handles of different typological character and decoration (Fig. 121}. Besides the vertical handles of amphorae and jugs with cut-away necks, the horizontal handles attached to the shoulders are the most numerous. The latter are double-stemmed, single of oval section or twisted. IV.4.2.4.1.8. Bases The bases, which are numerous as well, do not display any important differences: most of them are flat, even, without foot (Fig. 122/1-2). The only more peculiar base, shaped as a truncated cone, was mentioned above in association with the amphorae with thickened (ring) rim. Decoration The most essential feature of the pottery group from Pit N14 is the decoration consisting of geometric motifs frequently applied over the entire surface of the vessels (Figs. 123-125). The decoration is placed rather carelessly and is usually organised in bands separated by horizontal lines. The main motifs are: • Horizontal lines of varying width either forming an independent motif or delimiting bands filled with other patterns. • Oblique strokes arranged in various manners. • Crossing bands of horizontal and transverse lines. • Concentric circles. • Bands of undulating lines of different width, wavelength and amplitude. • Lattice pattern (hatched triangles). • Curved strokes grouped in various ways. All these motifs are differently combined on the preserved fragments, but the small number of more intact profiles prevents the establishment of a definite correlation between the shapes of the vessels and their decoration. The persistence of some elements however suggests the presence of certain models in the decoration: • The radial lines on the rims were typical of the pithoi, stamnoid vessels, deep bowls (lekanesl) and dinoi. • The related type of amphorae and jugs with cut-away neck were decorated all over the body with horizontal lines. Their handles were never ornamented. • The decoration of the second type of jugs is more vivid, displaying a band of short undulating lines between the horizontal lines. • The decoration over the bodies of the pithoi is more varied and includes combinations of lattice pattern (most often beneath the rim), concentric circles (over the shoulders), undulating lines and curved strokes. The lattice pattern appears also immediately below the rims of the stamnoid vessels, and as the uppermost motif on the shoulders of the ringrim amphorae. • The handles were usually decorated either with transverse stripes or with longitudinal lines.

IV.4.2.4.2. Undecorated Pottery
A completely restored jug (Fig. 126/1; Colour Plates, Fig. 303) may be ascribed to this less clearly determined group (because of the possibility of a complete deletion of existing ornaments). The jug has a rounded biconical silhouette and simple plain rim with a horizontal plastic band beneath. The base is completely flat. The handle is thick, of oval section, rising above the rim. A short horizontal projection resembling a spout, but without any orifice, is applied opposite to the handle.

IV.4.2.4.3. Red-slip Pottery
There are dozens of fragments of fine-walled hemispherical shallow cups (skyphoi) with a plain rim and two small horizontal slanting handles of oval section among the pottery from the pit,
138

KOPRIVLEN I asIV.4. The Thracian Settlement: Finds including one whole example (Fig. 126/2; Colour Plates, Fig 304). The slip coats the vessels densely or in the "a la brosse" technique.

IV.4.2.5. The Pottery form Sector "South"
The thick cultural layers of phases I and II deposited at some plots of Sector "South" 6 contain hundreds, even thousands of fragments pertaining to the discussed pottery groups. The present paragraph presents a small part of them, selected for the presence of features diagnostic for the shape and of peculiarities in the decoration. The attempts to establish any definite differences between the ceramic finds of the two phases during the initial classification of the whole material have remained futile. Shapes and Decoration Although the ceramic material from this sector is also heavily fragmented, there are a few more distinctive parts of vessels which allow some conjectural shape identifications. IV.4.2.5.1. Amphorae and jugs with cut-away neck Sector "South" has yielded some sherds of amphorae and jugs with cut-away neck of the type known from Pit N14. They are recognised by the mouths or by the simple painted motif of parallel lines repeated on the walls (Fig. 127/1). There are also dozens of double handles without decoration, at least some of which could have belonged to vessels of these two types. IV.4.2.5.2. Dinoi A part of the mouth fragments discovered in Sector "South" can be attributed to large, closed shapes with inturned rim and a hanging outside lip (Fig. 127/2-3). The mouth diameters suggest that these were closed vessels with a wide opening and a bulbous body. One such fragment is decorated with a group of vertical lines and concentric circles, which probably formed alternating bands over the whole surface of the vessel. Concentric circles occur also on other sherds of such vessels. IV.4.2.5.3. Deep bowls At present the mouth pieces of deep open bowls from Sector "South" illustrate most fully the diversity and different variants of this ceramic group on the site (Fig. 128; 129/1). The mouths are differently moulded and identical examples can hardly be found. Their common features are the outturned and sometimes thick rim and the walls slanting inwards. Some of the fragments resemble in their morphological traits the bowls from Pit N14, but others present peculiar variants which have not been attested elsewhere on the site. No fragments with preserved handles have been found and this hinders the precise classification of the entire group. Very little can be said about the decoration on this type of vessels, which have been identified only by mouth fragments. One such fragment of larger size for example bears a simple geometric decoration consisting of a band of repeated transverse strokes between two couples of horizontal lines. The mouths themselves have in most cases a painted decoration consisting of radial or oblique lines at regular intervals or in groups. IV.4.2.5.4 Fine-wall cups (skyphoi) Many sherds of thin-walled hemispherical cups with geometric decoration only on the outer or, more frequently, on both surfaces (Fig. 129/3-4) have been recognized among the finds from Sector "South". The decoration consists of horizontal lines of different width, sometimes alternating with undulating lines, and is not identical on the two surfaces. The preserved handles are horizontal, of round section, and placed at an oblique angle pointing upwards.

"Cf. Chapter IV. 1 supra.
139

IV. 4.2. Pottery with Geometric Decoration and Related Wares (A. Bozkova) IV.4.2.5.5. Handles Plenty of various handles with or without decoration were discovered at different places in the sector. Some more unusual types are illustrated in Fig. 130. A piece of a handle of irregular oval section with two parallel grooves on the outer surface is especially interesting. Two parallel, adjoining lines are painted in a reddish-brown mat colour over the grooves (Fig. 130/1). IV.4.2.5.6. Miscellaneous fragments Among the ceramic fragments from the cultural layers in Sector "South" there are many sherds from walls of vessels that cannot be ascribed with certainty to any particular shape or type. Some of the more interesting and peculiar decorative motifs are illustrated in Fig. 131. A series of small fragments for example is remarkable for the decorative pattern consisting of three-quarter segments of concentric circles hanging from a horizontal line. Some other peculiar fragments display Sform ornaments in a horizontal layout, or some unusual wavy and zigzag lines.

IV.4.2.6. General Features of the Pottery with Geometric Decoration and of the Related Wares from Koprivlen
The systematization of the material presented in the descriptive sections above provides the opportunity to attempt an initial synthesis on the character of the examined ceramic finds. Some of the inferences in this paragraph will perforce reiterate already mentioned observations, but the conceived structure of this chapter requires such a synopsis in order to bring together the specific inferences into a tentative whole. The pottery with geometric decoration from Koprivlen is related to a particular group of local pottery in the region of Northern Greece, named differently after either the style or technique of the decoration or the origin of the first identified sherds: Subgeometric (or Subprotogeometric), matt painted* or Olvnthus type.1' Ignoring this discrepancy of working designations, I am inclined to accept that, at least as far as the finds from Koprivlen are concerned, this type of pottery represents a homogeneous technological and stylistic group influenced by the Greek Subgeometric pottery but also lavishly employing motifs some of which date back to the Protogeometric style. Some scattered published informations and references suggest the idea that the pottery of this or similar character enjoyed a great popularity in the North Aegean area, in the whole region between the Mesta (Nestos) and the Vardar (Axios), and especially on the Chalcidic Peninsula and around the Bay of Thessaloniki (Fig. 132)w However, in spite of the considerable number of relevant finds this type of ware has not yet been the subject of any special publication." As a consequence many of the pertaining problems remain pending, including the essential ones regarding the precise chronology of the group, which is provisionally dated between the end of the 8 lh c. B.C. and the end of the Archaic Period, 12 or the eventual evolution in shapes and styles of decoration. Unfortunately, the material from Koprivlen cannot at present contribute much to the elucidation of the chronological questions, coming mostly from contexts which did not contain other chronologically sensitive finds like well-dated imports. The publication of this material offers nevertheless a chance to systematise and arrange the fragments in a provisional scheme, quite amorphous at present, which will inevitably be further supp\e\\\e.Yted <md pxobabty corrected b\f new finds from the settlement at Koprivlen and by the results from the investigation of other archaeological sites.

Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1993: 685-686, 683, 696-697. Vokotopoulou 1985: 147-148,150 " Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1993: 685; Bonias, Perreault 1996: 666. 10 The map does not cover the actual picture of the distribution of this pottery. It includes only the sites for which the author has found explicit evidence in the available publications. " I am aware of the existence of an unpublished study on the pottery from Nea Anchialos by S. Jimatzidis from the University of Thessaloniki, but I have not had the chance to get acquainted with it. I am deeply grateful to Prof. Tiverios for the information. 12 About the dates cf. e.g.: Bernard 1964: 142-146; Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1993: 689, 697; Tiverios 1991: 241; Chrysostomou, Chrysostomou 1994: 76-77; Vokotopoulou, Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1988: 81.
8

7

140

KOPRIVLEN 1 csIV.4. The Thracian Settlement: Finds The pieces of pottery found in the different sectors of the site display an essential similarity and even formal identity. At the same time, some of the pottery complexes have specific particularities expressed in the repertoire of vase shapes and painted ornaments which may be quite accidental, but may also be due to objective, if still unknown reasons. A good example of this is offered by the earliest layers in Sondage 1 which contained a markedly uniform material and did not yield any fragments decorated with undulating lines or curved strokes. The mouths and necks of the amphorae discovered there are unique for the whole site and have no exact analogies among the finds from other plots. A definite explanation cannot be offered outright, but the established fact ascertains that the peculiarities of the finds from different plots (including pn'mfl facie the closed complexes such as the quadrangular pits in the northern sacrificial area) should be recognized and used in the future attempts to establish more positive chronological criteria. The amphoric sherds from Sondage 1 are very specific with their outturned, elaborately moulded rims and are essentially different both from the amphorae in Pit N14 and from some other published examples with geometric decoration found at sites like Nea Anchialos" and Kastanas. 14 The Sondage 1 examples from Koprivlen differ substantially also from the fragments of amphorae with geometric decoration (including concentric circles) found in the early layers of Thasos (for which an Anatolian origin has been suggested);15 however they show some similarity with the amphoric fragments from Stathmos Angistas (though the details of the rim are not clearly visible in the publication of the latter)."1 The amphorae from Sondage 1 obviously belong to a particular homogeneous group and it is regrettable that we could not restore the whole profile of such a vessel. The distinctions in the formal characteristics of the sherds from Sondage 1 and Pit N14 are reinforced by the differences in the decorative patterns. I think that it would not be an exaggeration of the facts to suggest that these distinctions are due to the different date of the two complexes, though for the moment I am not able to specify their chronological sequence. In principle, the fragments from Pit N14 reveal a more varied ornamental repertoire which has parallels all over a large territory of the North Aegean, from Thasos and its perea to the Vardar valley. In the closer geographic area, the relatively well dated sherds of Olynthus type from the early layers of Thasos17 display decorative motifs similar to those from Pit N14 in Koprivlen. Disregarding the controversy over the cultural and historical interpretation of the early finds from the island, they seem reliably dated within the 7'1' c. B.C. I K An intact vessel of similar style from a grave in the agricultural area of Drama is dated to the same time on the evidence of the accompanying finds. 19 These loose analogies suggest a possible 7 th c. date for the finds from Pit N14, stipulating for the possible effect of factors like the persistence of traditions. An indirect indication for the early dating of the quadrangular ritual pits is the absence from their filling of the later wheel-made wares typical of phase II. On the other hand, a date earlier than the 7 lh c. B.C. seems infeasible for historical reasons. Future studies may provide more positive data about the dating of the initial contacts between the local population of the Middle Mesta region and the coastal centres and colonies, but for the time being historical logic suggests that these processes became possible only after the establishment of the early Greek colonies in the region, and especially those in the Chalcidic Peninsula, Thasos and its perea. The morphological characteristics of the fragments from Pit N14 do not contradict the proposed chronology. The ceramic complex contains unambitious and conventional shapes typical of the Late Geometric and Archaic periods, which do not have a precise chronological position and cannot be used as dating evidence. The presence of jugs with cut-away neck in the complex is rather natural than surprising. This shape, a favourite with the potters in the Central Balkans, had been manufactured for

"Tiverios 1991-1992: 219, Fig. 20. 14 Hansel 1979: 197, Abb. 18/3. 15 Bernard 1964: 116; Graham 1978: 67. 16 Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1993: 689, Fig. 39 17 Bernard 1964: 124-125, Fig. 37. 18 Bernard 1964: 142-146; Graham 1978: 97-98. About the attribution of the early layers containing pottery with geometric ornamentation of "Olyntlms type" to the time immediately suceeeding the colonisation cf. the more recent opinion of Weill 1990: 492. 19 Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1993: 685-686, Fig. 8.

141

IV. 4.2. Pottery with Geometric Decoration and Related Wares (A. Bozkova) centuries in so many variants,20 that the finds from Koprivlen have just added a new shade to the diversity of the archaic models. The remaining identifiable shapes from the pit such as dinoi, stamnoi, bowls (lekanes), etc. do not show any unusual formal characteristics differing from the usual repertoire of the Aegean (and especially North Aegean) ceramic groups of the Late Geometric and Archaic Periods.21 For example, the ring-rim amphora and its probable foot have close parallels among the pottery in the pre-Persian layers of Olynthus." The large closed vessels, defined here as pit/ioi, have mouths and decoration comparable to those of intact examples or fragments from Drama, 23 the Chalcidic Peninsula 24 and tell Archontiko west of the Vardar.25 The thin-wall skyphoi figuratively nominated "egg-shell"'1' are among the usual finds in the layers of the tells at Nea Anchialos, 27 Lebet,28 Archontiko, 24 etc. and are dated rather broadly between 8'h and 6lh c. B.C. The examples from Koprivlen or at least those from Pit NI4 could be dated more accurately if the chronology proposed for the whole complex holds out. The pottery complex from Sector "South" is interesting not only in terms of formal features, but also for its decorative motifs. An interesting example is offered by a fragment from the upper wall and rim of a dinos with a preserved group of vertical lines and parts of concentric circles (Fig. 127/2). In a general sense (disregarding details like the number of lines or the kind of paint) this ornament resembles the decoration on Thasian cup/kraters of the late 6 th c. B.C. which on their part follow Cycladic prototypes.30 Typologically the vessel from Koprivlen is rather different from the Thasian cups and the loose analogy can therefore only imply the directions and impulses of the influences which affected the emergence and development of the late local variants of the Subgeometric style. Another interesting decorative pattern appears on a fragment from a vessel of unidentified shape. It features an ornamental band filled with short vertical straight or wavy strokes (Fig. 131/7). This band resembles the elements seen on some Euboean skyphoi which on their part have been associated with the ornamentation on proto-Corinthian pottery.31 The typological parallels of the egg-shell skyphoi and the decoration of horizontal lines on both surfaces some of them display should be sought in another cultural and geographic direction. These cups remind of shapes and decorative principles typical of the East Greek workshops.' 2 A handle from the same sector mentioned above (Fig. 130/1) resembles the amphoric handles from the early layers of Thasos which are interpreted as East Greek imports. The adduced analogies mark grosso modo some problems concerning the formation of the Subgeometric decoration on local ware. The list of ornamental coincidences could be extended to confirm once again the existence of common models of decoration (distinctly attested through the concentric circles and hatched triangles, for example) and of specific regional peculiarities in their application. The cultural identification of the pottery along the North Aegean littoral however cannot be apprehended reliably if we ignore the local traditions in pottery decoration descending from the Late Bronze Age with the early examples of the so-called matt-painted ware.

About the finds from the Archaic period in the Central Balkan area cf. Parovic-Peshikan 1998: 35-59. For example, the fundamental typological similarities of the vessels with geometric ornamentation from Koprivlen and Nea Anchialos are beyond any doubt. My opinion is based on the summary statements in the available publications, cf. Tiverios 1991: 241, and on private information which Prof. M. Tiverios has kindly provided to me and for which I am deeply indebted. 22 Robinson 1950: PI. 1-2, P1-P2. 23 Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1993: 685-686, Fig. 8. 24 Vokotopoulou 1988: Ne 127.
21

20

Chrysostomou, Chrysostomou 1994: 76-77, Fig. 7-8.
Tiverios 1998:247. 27 Tiverios 1990: 75-76, Fig. 8; Tiverios 1991: 241, Fig. 7. 28 Tzanavari, Liouttas 1993: 271. 29 Chrysostomou, Chrysostomou 1993: 163, Fig. 3. "M; Blonde et al. 1992: 24-Z7,Tig." f I:r/rVerrea(m'r99?P£Jt^j^V ,. 31 Andreiomenou 1981: Fig. 20/55; Coldstream 1995: 260-26), Fig. 3/83. 32 1 have in mind the so called "Ionian bowls" and the bowls with birds, rosettes and horizontal lines. Cf. Boardman 1967: 132-135; Alexandrcscu 1978: 27. M. Tiverios has expressed a similar opinion: Tiverios 1990:75-76, Fig. 8. 33 Bernard 1964: 116, Fig. 34; Graham 1978: 67.
142
26

KOPR1VLEN 1 03IV.4. The Thracian Settlement: Finds I\ .4.2.7. An Attempt at a Cultural Attribution of the Pottery with Geometric Decoration The pottery with geometric decoration of the class known from Koprivlen is accepted without hesitation as a local product of the North Aegean littoral. Although mentioned in published form, the scientific problems concerning its emergence and expansion cannot be considered as definitely settled. The finds from Koprivlen are a good enough reason for a new look at the spatial and cultural characteristics of this group based on the evidence accessible to the author. Quite often, the pottery with geometric decoration from Northern Greece has been associated in the relevant publications with the so called mutt-painted pottery, either because of the sort of paint which is really matt and different in qualities from the black glaze used by the contemporary Greek potters, or because of the presumed relationship between the two groups. I have purposefully avoided the use of the designation "matt-painted" in the description of the material from Koprivlen as it implies another cultural and historical phenomenon, differing in time and space. In order to specify the parameters of the considered ceramic complex and to prevent unwanted associations with other regional ceramic groups with Subgeometric ornamentation like the one identified on Thasos, in this paragraph I will use the provisional formula "Olynthus type pottery" or "Olynthits pattern style", disregarding the extent of its objectiveness. Some archaeologists from Northern Greece have looked for the roots of the "Olynthus type" ceramic group in the Late Bronze Age traditions of painted decoration.16 According to this view, the emergence of this pottery namely in Olynthus at the start of the Archaic period should be related to the historical evidence about the migration of the tribe of the Bottiaei from the central Macedonian lowlands to the Chalcidic Peninsula about the beginning of the 7lh c. B.C.37 Other's have suggested that the presence of this ware in the modern region of Eastern Macedonia (i.e. in part of the ancient Thracian littoral with the island of Thasos) has no satisfactory explanation because of the absence of Protogeometric imports and stylistic archetypes in the region to the east of the river Struma.38 In my opinion, the appearance and spread of ceramic artefacts similar to those from Koprivlen in the vast Central Balkan area between the Mesta and the Vardar valleys should be regarded as the effect of a single cultural process with common roots and evolution. The question of the genesis of the "Olynthus type " pottery in the North Aegean is not to be answered with a simple and single answer. The formation of the stylistic group as an entity might have been the consequence of an accidental combination of circumstances in favourable temporal and environmental conditions. In this sense, the importance of the local tradition in the production of mattpainted ware as one of the pre-conditions cannot be ignored. The strength of this factor however should not be overestimated to the degree of a direct or sole formative element. It was part of a cultural environment preserving centuries-long traditions but also a priori open and adaptive to innovations. This environment was most exposed to influences in the coastal cultural area where the direct impulses from the great production centres from overseas imposing the norms and principles of the new pottery styles could more easily be felt. The Protogeometric style made an early impact both in the Chalcidic Peninsula and on the continent and directly affected the artistic manifestations of the local workshops. 3'' The process continued over the entire Geometric period, fed up by the flow of imported ceramic articles attested around the Bay of Thessaloniki and elsewhere.40 The ancient ceramic fashions were quick to spread over the Aegean world; the processes of acculturation however were singularly accelerated and promoted by the Greek colonization. The second Greek colonization and particularly the Euboean colonization in the Chalcidic Peninsula might have been among the circumstances that influenced directly the creation of the "Olynthus style" and its realization in numerous workshops and on a large scale. The relative value of the different factors could however be estimated only after the establishment of the time when this type of pottery appeared as a
34 35 36

Vokotopoulou 1985: 150 Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1993: 696-697. 39 About Torone and Kastanas cf. Papadopoulos 1994: 445-44; Vokotopoulou 1985: 147-149; Vokotopoulou, Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1988: 80.
38
40

37

Vokotopoulou 1985: 147-148 Blonde et al. 1992: 11-40. Vokotopoulou 1985: 147-148.

About Nea Anchialos cf. Tivcrios 1993: 554-556; Tiverios 1998: 247.

143

IV.4.2. Pottery with Geometric Decoration and Related Wares (A. Bozkova) homogeneous and distinct group in the North Aegean. It has been already been mentioned that in the absence of other chronological indications the complexes with such pottery are usually dated within the loose limits of the 8th to 6lh c. B.C. The chronological difficulties are illustrated expressively by the emblematic vessel from tumulus 65 at Vergina which has long been referred on stylistic grounds to the Protogeometric period, creating a definite notion of anachronism with finds of comparable features. The date of this vessel has recently been reviewed, the proposed correction being based on the presumed synchronism with other similar finds. 42 As a result the local group of "Olynthus type" painted pottery has acquired more compactness and homogeneity, though its i n i t i a l date still remains just very imprecisely marked. Another unsolved problem relevant to the cultural attribution of the "Olynthus style" pottery is that of the localisation of the production workshops. The great diversity of clays evident even among the Koprivlen finds undoubtedly suggests the existence of numerous workshops specialised in the manufacture of pottery with common morphological and stylistic characteristics. The name of the prevailing style adopted here and by some previous authors 41 and the numerous finds (if still mostly unpublished) from various settlements in Chalcidice 44 suggest a priori that the peninsula was one of the probable areas of production. 45 The important quantities of pottery found around the Bay of Thessaloniki and namely at the tell site of Nea Anchialos forward yet another probable production centre. Both areas were inhabited in the period by a mixed population which seems to have produced these wares both for its own use and for exportation. Notwithstanding the exact localisation and identification of the ergasteria, I have no doubts that important quantities of this pottery were produced for the purpose of trade and were predominantly intended for potential customers in the interior. Although ceramic products of this class have been attested in a Greek colonial environment, e.g. in Argilos, Neapolis, or Thasos,47 it is evident that the distribution area comprised vast territories beyond the colonies.48 The material from Koprivlen shows convincingly that in the settlements of the interior this was the main popular type of luxurious pottery in this age which substituted the more expensive and obviously inaccessible wares imported from the reputed overseas production centres. The quantitative comparison between the thousands of "Olynthus type" sherds found at Koprivlen and the single identified fragment of East Greek Archaic origin is really striking. As a matter of fact, in terms of quantity the pottery of the discussed group at Koprivlen can hardly be treated on the same level as the later black-figure, reel-figure and black-glaze fragments of imported origin. Its evident common, "everyday" function was clear from the very start and confronts the members of the archaeological team with the temptation to identify it as a local product in the Middle Mesta region. I mention this view (which <ws^^<5s^x«sms^^>iS£je^ eft XVvt wyras,\Q>\ys> d\s>c\iS,sAOfts. and the conflict of opinions '\nside Xtie xeam. \\ \^ pe-fitc,^ •po«s-Wvt\v?>^w<«. ^s«^Vwi &S5.WS&. -ixm^-s <c,\ <&v\s ^jfSs?^ <^LQ«^ ccs^x have existed simultaneously, a part of it could have been imported in large series into the settlement at Koprivlen, while other quantities could have been produced at place, attesting a high level of local pottery production. At present I myself don't see enough arguments to support this hypothesis and I am rather inclined to ascribe the situation to large-scale importation. Even if we admit the possibility that potter, with geometric ornamentation was locally produced in the Middle Mesta region, this could hardh have been realized without the immediate participation of foreign master potters. The probable foreign ethnic presence at the settlement remains however an open question that concerns its overall cultural and historical interpretation and cannot receive a definite answer at present.

Petsas 1964: 258; Fig. 1-4; Snodgrass 1971: 74, Fig. 33. Chrysostomou, Chrysostomou 1994: 76-77. 43 Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1993: 685; Bonias, Perreault 1996: 666. 44 Mylonas 1933: 23-24; Vokotopoulou 1993: N° 23, Jfe 36; Tiverios 1989: 55, Fig. 15. 45 Bernard 1964: 124; Vokotopoulou, Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1988: 82; Bonias, Perreault 1996: 666. 46 Tiverios 1991:241. 47 Bonias, Perreault 1996: 666; Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1993: 686-687; Bernard 1964. 124. 48 Cf. the map/K4.2 F/g. 22.
42

41

144

IV.4.3. MONOCHROME SLIPPED WARE
Anelia Bozkova (Institute of Archaeology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)

IV.4.3.1. Provenance
Fragments of vessels with slipped and/or burnished surface were discovered in different archaeological structures in the settlement of the 1 st millennium B.C., both in cultural layers and in the ritual pits and the caches associated with them. In Sondage 4 which has provided so far the most reliable stratigraphic sequence, the slipped pottery was present in the layers corresponding to phase II and phase ///.' A similar situation is attested in the cultural layers of Sector "South", though these were repeatedly disturbed in later times and the establishment of their stratigraphic characteristics is quite provisional." The slipped pottery discovered in the ritual pits and caches is both more abundant and more representative. Unfortunately, it is exactly in these type of structures that pottery sherds have often been found reused (or re-offered?) a long time, even centuries after their fabrication, which makes the chronological context unreliable. The examples of such co-existence of asynchronous finds in" trie pits and caches are numerous: examples of slipped pottery with identical characteristics have for example been uncovered both in the pit containing Late Archaic bronze coins,4 and in pits with coins from the 2" J or 1 st c. B.C.5 The nature of the fragments found in the stratigraphic trial pits does not present great opportunities for the identification and reconstruction of whole shapes. Somewhat better chances are offered by some of the sherds from the ritual pits and the related structures, which sometimes display complete profiles or diagnostic parts of the vessels. This specific state of the available material explains the reasons why the present study of the slipped ware from Koprivlen does not engage in any attempt to establish a firm chronology for all the shapes. IV.4.3.2. Technological Features of the Vessels with Slipped and/or Burnished Surface Even the standard examination of the pottery fragments, without applying any special chemical and technological analyses, reveals a great variety of clays used in their manufacture. The clay properties discussed below represent more or less an approximate average meant to provide a general idea of the studied material. The clay is usually hard, of small to medium grain, with few or no mineral admixtures visible with unaided eye. A specific feature is the regular presence of mica in the clay, if in varying quantities. The firing is usually even, but there are some examples with badly fired core which has remained different in colour. This is most frequently observed with vessels displaying a grey colour at the broken edges and a red core in-between. The colour of the vessels is also rather variable, and this prevents a more detailed systematisation by this indicator in the present study. It is obvious that the two main types of firing - in reducing and in oxidising environment - were both practised. This explains the predominant tonalities of the vessels: grey in all shades from grey-black to milky light grey, and different shades of red. With a few exceptions, the colour of the vessels fired in oxidising environment cannot be defined as really red; fragments of beige, beige-brown or deep brown colour or in different shades of grey-beige, brown-red, rarely orange, are much more typical.

2

' CL Chapter IV. 1 supra. Cf. Chapter I V.I supra. Cf. Chapter IV.3 supra.

4

5

Pit S18. E.g. Pit S10.

145

IV. 4.3. Monochrome Slipped Ware (A. Bozkova) Most of the pottery from the earlier layers and structures of the settlement has been subjected to some sort of surface treatment. Many of the fragments have either only burnished or both slipped and burnished surface. The burnished surface displays the same colour as that of the broken edges, but is very smooth, sometimes greasy in touch and hard. The vessels with a surface covered with slip (a coating of diluted clay with admixtures among which mica, usually similar in colour to the paste, but sometimes also dramatically different) represent the largest proportion of the vessels. A certain relation is observed between the basic colour and the coating: grey slip is applied mainly to grey pots, while the beige-brown occurs on those with whitish colours. However, exceptions are not unusual, and sometimes vessels of intense brown colour of the clay are coated with a lead-grey burnished slip. The slips reveal a notable diversity in colour and degree of burnishing. The typical ones contain plenty of mica, and are either in shades of grey varying from leaden to silvery, or in beige-brown or beige-red shades with a golden glitter. A dark grey or black slip was preferred for certain shapes, and their surface is usually burnished in a way that reminds strongly of the hand-made pottery from the Early Iron Age.

IV.4.3.3. Shapes IV.4.3.3.1. Amphorae and/or Hydriai
Some of the fragments from Koprivlen can be associated by their size and curvature with large vessels for keeping liquids like table amphorae, hydriai or other amphoroid vessels. However, only a restricted part of the fragments are actually diagnostic of the shape of the vessels: mouths, necks, bottoms, or handles. The amphorae with an elongated cylindrical neck, a gradual curve towards the shoulders and two horizontal handles, and the hydriai with an almost cylindrical, slightly concave neck and a single handle are the most typical (Fig. 133). The bottom fragments which can be positively associated with the closed shapes are usually flat (Fig. 133/7), with low ring foot. Some funnelshaped mouths with an outturned and protruding horizontal rim (Fig. 133/1-2) can be added to this group; they resemble some Aeolian amphorae of the Archaic Period,6 but may also have belonged to amphoroid kraters with two horizontal handles. 7 The pots of these several types usually have a grey colour of the broken edges and silvery grey coating. However, some are made of a clay of deep brown colour (Fig. 133/4, 7 - probably from the same vessel) and have a dark grey burnished slip. The group comprises also a few rare fragments of orange colour with orange-golden coating (Fig. 133/8). The decoration on these vessels is thrifty and consists of bands with several incised horizontal lines. The fragments originate mostly from pit complexes containing asynchronous offerings. A large fragment of an amphora neck complete with shoulders and handles (Fig. 133/3) comes from Pit S69, together with lots of other finds and a coin of Antigonus Gonatas.* The technological features of the fragment and some general affinities with finds from the Aeolian cultural area9 and from Northern Thrace'" suggest a possibility to ascribe it to a period considerably preceding the time of the filling of the pit. Due to the current state of the source base, the analyses of the monochrome amphorae from the territory of ancient Thrace have not suggested any more explicit classification principles. The published examples originate mainly from burials and present a relatively wide variety of variants of several basic types which do not display any strictly standardised morphological traits." Most of these however are quite different from the Koprivlen finds and cannot be used as formal or chronological parallels.

6

7

Bayne 1963: Fig. 17/15; Boehlau, Schefold 1942: 123-126, Abb. 49. Cf. e.g. Gebauer 1993: 78-79, Jfo 1-5, Abb. 1-2. s Cf. Chapter VI.2 infra. " Bayne 1963: Fig. 17/15. 10 Alexandrescu 1977: Fig. 5/5, 6 from Alexandria. 11 Alexandrescu 1977: 118-121, Fig. 5; Chichikova 1965: 341-344, PI. 70-72.

146

KOPRIVLEN I 03IV.4. The Thracian Settlement: Finds

IV.4.3.3.2. Jugs
Some small fragments, mainly from mouths and handles, reveal the presence of different types of jugs in the settlement (Fig. 134). Unfortunately the available material is so badly fragmented that a complete reconstruction of the vessels is out of the question, and this prevents in its turn any definite chronological inferences. There are dozens of pieces from the mouths of trefoil jugs, mainly grey in colour, with a thick straight edge and a slightly expressed plastic band beneath (Fig. 134/1-2). These occur mainly in the pits or caches of ritual offerings. No fragments of oinochoai were found in the trial stratigraphic pits. A fragment of a jug with rounded biconical body (Fig. 134/3) is made of a clay of the same structure and colour as that of the above mentioned amphora (Fig. 133/4, 7). The slip and decoration are identical as well and suggest the same workshop and close chronology. Jugs of similar shape and decoration are familiar among the pottery from Aeolia ' 2 and from South-Eastern Bulgaria." Because of their fragmentary state the trefoil-mouth jugs from Koprivlen cannot be defined chronologically. If however it is assumed that this kind of vases appeared in the pottery repertoire of the settlement together with or at least soon after the earliest other slipped wares, the traditional view placing their spread in a Thracian environment only in the 4 th c. B.C. should have to be revised.14

IV.4.3.3.3. Stamnoid Vases
The group of closed shapes includes also some examples of rarer ceramic types such as the stanmoid vases. An almost intact profile with just the base missing was found at Koprivlen during the excavations (Fig. 135); it has a rounded biconical body, a short funnel-shaped mouth with a lid-bed, grey colour, and a coating of burnished beige-silvery slip. The handles are round, arch-shaped, almost vertically attached to the opposite shoulders. This vessel was found in Pit S73, which contained also finds from the 4 c. B.C. (black-glazed kantharos sherds and a bronze finger ring with an engraved image).' 5 Its date however could be placed earlier because of the characteristics of the slip and in line with the established principle that the finds from the pits are asynchronous. As a matter of fact, I don't have a close parallel to this shape with its original mouth to offer. Stamnoi or stanmoid pyxides with bulbous bodies appear quite often in the repertoire of Greek potters from the Archaic till the Hellenistic Period,16 but they were not popular in the interior of Thrace. If we seek for a prototype of the vase from Koprivlen in the nearer geographic vicinity and in a relatively early period, we could presume it represents a "local" variant of shapes which were traditionally present along the North Aegean littoral. A group of vases from Archaic and Classical sites on the Chalcidic Peninsula, exemplified by the painted versions from the pre-Persian layers in Olynthus or by others dated to the end of 6 or during the 5lh c. B.C.,17 stands out among the possible parallels.

IV.4.3.3.4. Krateroid Vases
An extremely popular group of closed vases with broad mouths could be associated with the shape of the krater. The more distinctive examples have an outturned projecting horizontal or obliquely raised rim, a nearly cylindrical short neck, a spherical body and two opposite arched handles of oval section fixed at the most bulging part of the belly (Fig. 136/1-3). The mouth rims are plain or elaborately moulded. The decoration usually consists of a row or two of double undulating lines forming a band between two grooves or plastic ribs on the neck. The colour of the broken edges is usually grey and the brilliant slip (in leaden silvery-grey or beige-golden colour) is always present. Krateroid vessels have been found both in the settlement structures (in the layers of phase II and phase III) and in the ritual pits. In the latter case they were usually re-offered, as illustrated by the
Bayne 1963: Fig. 17/18, 19. "Nikov 1999: Fig. 4/1,2. 14 Alexandrescu 1977: 126-127; Bozkova 1994a: 226. 15 Cf. Chapter 1V.4.11 infra. 16 Cf. e.g. Sparkes, Talcott 1970: N° 1527-1529; Brunneau 1970: 441-443, Fig. 5; Alexandrescu 1978: 63, tfe 254, Fig. 5; Drougou, Touratsoglou 1991: 24; Bitrakova-Grozdanova 1987: PI. XIII/3. 17 Mylonas 1933: 38-40, PI. 36-37; Jones 1990: passim.
147
12

IV. 4.3. Monochrome Slipped Ware (A. Bozkova) example of Pit S74 where such a vessel was discovered together with asynchronous ceramic material and three bronze coins, two of them of Alexander III. 18 A vessel with similar silhouette but of smaller size from Southern Bulgaria 1 ' 7 is ascribed to the Archaic Aeolian ceramic tradition. The influence of the Aeolian bucchero can easily be perceived in the decoration of the vessels from Koprivlen," 0 although complete analogies of the shapes have not been attested. Another type of krateroid vessels recognisable by the form of the mouth has also been attested both in the cultural layers of the settlement and in the pits (Fig. 136/4). Unlike the preceding, this shape lacks a real neck, the body spreading out immediately under the short outturned mouth. A decoration of incised wavy lines is situated beneath the mouth. The clay is more frequently grey and the slip is grey-black or silvery-grey. Though rarely, fragments with a light or deep golden slip occur as well. The monochrome grey versions of the krater are among the most preferred shapes for the Thracian potters."1 The examples from Koprivlen however have some specific, original morphological features and do not find any precise parallels among the known finds from Bulgaria and Rumania.
IV.4.3.3.5. Skyphoid Vessels

The statistics of the sherds from slipped vessels indicate that those from skyphoi (or, skyphoid cups) are the most numerous. The predominant shape has an S-like silhouette of the body, a relatively high neck with a plain outturned bevelled rim, a spherical body, and two arched handles of round section rising obliquely almost to the level of the rim. The transition between neck and body is sudden, sometimes accentuated by an incised line or a plastic rib (Fig. 137/6). The examples with a light-grey colour of the broken edges and a light silvery slip are most numerous (Fig. 139), but others with a very dark, grey-black polished surface (Fig. 138/3) or with brown clay and beige-golden slip occur as well. A skyphos base (Fig. 138/4) is identical in clay and slip with the above mentioned amphora and jug (Fig. 133/4. 7; 134/3) and it seems likely that they all come from one and the same workshop. A common origin could also be suggested for the skyphoi of light grey colour and dove-grey silvery slip (Fig. 137/1-3; 138/1-2) that strikingly match in fabric in spite some differences in detail. The largest number of these skyphoi (fragments of at least 10 examples) were discovered in Pit S74, filled up in the Hellenistic Period with offerings of different times and dated by the already mentioned coins of Alexander III. An impressive quantity of sherds from such vessels lay in the ritual cache in Square 39T-II-h-13 of Sector "South". Skyphoi related to the same group have been found also in the layers of the settlement (phase II and phase III), and in many other pits in the sacrificial areas. It could be conjectured reliably that the skyphoid vessels from Koprivlen represent a "local" variant, imitating the Greek skyphoi. The silhouette of the examples from the settlement with its elegant curving line and high mouth resembles closely the so called "Ionian cups"," although the handles of krateroid shape follow on an established local model which goes back rather to the earlier, preArchaic skyphoi. Some isolated examples of monochrome grey skyphoi of somewhat different shape are known from other parts of the Thracian territories, 23 but in general the published examples beyond Koprivlen remain extremely rare. Comparatively precise analogies dated in the second half of the 6n c. B.C. and later are known from the Vardar valley. 24 Monochrome versions of "Ionian cups" are known from Millet and Samos, but these are far closer in shape and size to the original cups."

Cf. Chapter VI.2 infra. ' g Nikov 1999: Fig. 4/4. 20 About the grey bucchero cf. Boardman 1967: 135; Boardman 1988: 33; Alexandrcscu 1978: 30-31; Cook, Dupont 1998: 135-136. 21 Alexandrescu 1977: 115-118, Fig. 2-3; Chichikova 1965: 341-344, PI. 70/1-3. 22 On the Ionian cups cf. Villard, Vallet 1955: 13-34. B Moskalu 1983: PI. C I I I / 1 , 3 , 4 . 24 Ristov 1993: 102, PI. 1/3.
25

1S

Schiering 1979; 107, Taf. 26; Technau 1929: Beil. XI1I/1.

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KOPRIVLEN 1 03IV.4. The Thracian Settlement: Finds

IV.4.3.3.6. Other Drinking Vessels
IV.4.3.3.6.1. Kantharos (Kotyle) Fragments from a single and peculiar example of a two-handled cup were found in Pit 573, which as already mentioned was filled up in the 4th c. B.C. The form of the vessel which could be described as bell-shaped, the decoration of two parallel wavy lines and especially the making and the treatment of the surface with very thick lead-grey burnished slip, suggest however an earlier date (Fig. 140/1; 143). The type is probably local or at least I don't know of any identical parallels. It could be regarded possibly as a variant of a grey "kotyle" shape with shorter and broader body, typical of the region around the Bay of Thessaloniki and the Chalcidic Peninsula in the 6th c. B.C.26 IV.4.3.3.6.2. Deep Phiale (Calyx-cup) Yet another shape of drinking cup that emerged relatively late was made of grey clay and coated with a thin slip of silvery shine. The most indicative example is a fragment from the upper wall of a cup (Fig. 140/2), with morphological traits typical of the so-called calyx-cups:'1 The example comes from Pit S43, which contained finds with discordant chronology. Among these stands out a most interesting fragment from the mouth of a vessel covered with gold slip and decorated with a floral motif, applied with matt paint (Chapter IV.3, Fig. 83). Its date is probably earlier than that of the cup and it was presumably re-offered in the pit. The phiale itself has contracted proportions and a bulbous silhouette and could be referred to the early years of the evolution of this shape, about the middle or in the third quarter of the 4 lh c. B.C.28 IV.4.3.3.6.3. Kantharoi The vessels of this group have been attested mostly with rather small fragments and are among the latest representatives of the slipped pottery at Koprivlen. The preserved pieces are exclusively of a light grey colour, and their surface is coated with a dove-grey, thin and dull slip of a predominantly silvery nuance. These cups are rough imitations of the classical kantharoi of the early and advanced Hellenistic Period. Their silhouette is somewhat coarse and the ribbing over the bowl is rather awkward. A better preserved example (Fig. 140/3), no doubt of local production, is one of a series of similar cups with elongated silhouette and clumsy high stem, typical of the Middle Mesta and Western Rhodopes region. 29 The silvery slip of inferior quality suggests the persistence of traditions in the pottery production, and in particular in the production of slipped ware.

IV.4.3.3.7. Bowls with InturnedRim
The bowl with inturned rim seems to have been among the preferred pottery shapes in the settlement (Fig. 141). Its appearance probably refers to the earliest period in the evolution of the slipped ware, because an impressive number of sherds were found in the layer beneath the alluvium in Sondage 4 (phase II) and in the deep layers containing wheel-made grey pottery in Sondage 1. The group is dominated by vessels with black or grey slipped and burnished surface, while the fragments of bowls made of red-brown clay are not numerous. TKe, shajje vs, suwjle, with couvex walk and an inturned rim. Variants are distinguished according to the degree of inclination of the wall and the curve of the rounded rim. An intact example has not been found, but the bases were most \\ke\y smaU, with a slightly expressed ring foot, resembling those of the skyphoi. The mouth diameters vary between 0.18 and 0.26 m. One of the most characteristic features is the decoration beneath the mouth of the bowl, which consists of one, two or more fine incised horizontal lines. Rather conventional, this shape which had The examples are from Sindos: Tiverios 1988: 298-299, Fig. 2, 6; and from Agia Paraskevi: Vokotopoulou 1985: 156, Taf. XIV/2. 27 Sparkes, Talcott 1970: 121-122, tab. 128. 28 Cf. the finds from Seuthopolis: Chichikova 1984: 1.126; from Pernik: Changova 1981: 88, Fig. 43/2; and from Varbitsa: Tsonchev 1959: 96-97, Fig. 6. 29 Domaradzki et al. 1999: 27-28.
26

149

IV. 4.3. Monochrome Slipped Ware (A. Bozkova) originated in the Archaic Period'0 continued probably into the Hellenistic Age, though the material from Koprivlen has not as yet provided definite evidence of this. The differences in colour and structure of the clay and slip suggest the work of several workshops and long periods of production. Most of the bowls demonstrate striking technological affinities with the skyphoi, which testify to their simultaneous manufacture for at least a certain period of time.

IV.4.3.3.8. Small Bowls with Inturned Rim
This group of vessels is similar and most probably related to the preceding one. It is distinguished by the smaller size and deeper form, which gives it the shape of a truncated cone (Fig. 142). The mouth diameters vary between 0.10 and 0.14 m., and the profile is outlined by the convex wall slanting at a different angle to the foot. This kind of bowl could be regarded either as the product of further evolution of the preceding category, or as the hypothetical outcome of the influence of the black-glazed bowls so popular at the end of 5th and in the 4 lh c. B.C.31 Almost all the examples at Koprivlen were found in ritual structures (pits and caches) which makes their chronological position uncertain. A grey bowl with silvery slip (Fig. 142/1) was found in Sector "South" together with a silver coin of Thasos (a hemihecte of the "Silenos/krater" type),32 and could plausibly be ascribed to the end of the 5th or the beginning of the 4lh c. B.C., i.e. to the time when this type appeared in black versions on the Athenian Agora.31 In contrast to the preceding group, red-clay vessels with a golden slip or without any special treatment of the surface dominate this one. The non-slipped versions seem to pertain mainly to the Hellenistic Period when the shape was preserved without any important morphologic changes as is suggested by the examples both from Koprivlen 34 and from other sites in South-Western Bulgaria. 35

IV.4.3.4. The Cultural Attribution of the Monochrome Slipped Ware from Koprivlen
The monochrome slip-coated ware constitutes a significant group among the pottery from the site. Its ethnic and cultural attribution and the dating of the various types are among the essential scholarly problems which the present state of our knowledge does not permit to resolve easily and definitely. No doubt, this pottery is of local character (in respect to the settlement at Koprivlen and to the vast cultural and geographical region in which it was integrated), and represents a regional manifestation of the "grey monochrome ware" phenomenon which is known from many regions of the ancient Mediterranean. As a matter of fact, the grey wheel-made pottery is so emblematic for the Thracian culture that for decades past it has been designated as "grey Thracian ware" in the archaeological publications. There are some studies on groups defined by origin37 or by shape38 in the specialized literature in Bulgaria, however no general systematisation of the problem has so far been attempted. At present, such a study remains very difficult because of the absence of complete primary publications of the material from settlement sites, the majority of the published examples coming from grave complexes or accidental finds. This deficiency explains the lack of any profound interest in the problem of the temporal and spatial features of the origin of the grey ware in Thrace. The opinion of P. Alexandrescu about the influence of Anatolian bucchero on the grey pottery in Histria has not been commented for almost two decades. It is only in the last year that a new study by K. Nikov, 40 based on the grey vessels from
Cf. Alexandrescu 1978: 120-121, Fig. 33-34 from Histria; Boehlau, Schefold 1942: 114-115, Abb. 41 from Larissa. 31 Sparkes, Talcott 1970: 131-132, PI. 33, Fig. 8. 32 Cf. Chapter VI. 1 infra. 33 Sparkes, Talcott 1970: 131-132. 34 Cf. Chapter IV.4.5 infra. ^ I have in mind the unpublished finds from the necropolis at the village of Muletarovo in the Struma valley kept in the Archaeological Museum in Sofia. 36 Tsonchev 1959. 37 Chichikova 1984: 31-53: Changova 1981: 84-91; Coja 1968: 305-329. 38 Alexandrescu 1977: 113-137; Moskalu 1983: 92-154. 39 Alexandrescu 1978:30-31. 40 Nikov 1999.
150
10

KOPRIVLEN I osIV.4. The Thracian Settlement: Finds South-Eastern Bulgaria, advanced a hypothesis supporting the idea of the kinship between the local Archaic and Early Classical shapes and the models from the Aeolian cultural region. The finds from Koprivlen confirm most of the inferences in this paper (e. g. the emergence of wheel-made grey pottery far before the officially accepted date, or the probable Aeolian influence). The material from Koprivlen however has regional traits whose larger ethnic and cultural dependence should be sought for in the South-Western Thracian area comprising also the littoral and the colonies. It seems most probable that the emergence of grey pottery in Koprivlen and in the Middle Mesta region in general would have been related to the development of pottery production in the colonial and local centres of the Northern Aegean, where the grey vessels were certainly among the articles of the local workshops early in the Archaic Period.41 Some archaeologists from Northern Greece are open to the idea of possible relations between the pottery from Northwest Anatolia and the relevant finds from the Chalcidic Peninsula and the region around the Bay of Thessaloniki, 4 " in spite of the fact that some shapes of grey vessels in the 6lh c. B.C. are already considered as influenced by the Attic or Corinthian repertoire.41 The imitations of Attic ware of the 5 lh and 4 lh c. B.C. in local grey versions are not rare in the Thracian interior either.44 Obviously, the problem of the monochrome local pottery in Thrace and the littoral has many aspects and its further advancement will become possible only after the publication of a sufficient number of finds with relatively precise chronology. It seems that in Koprivlen this type of pottery made its appearance in the second phase of the P' millennium B.C. occupation, certainly before the end of the 6lh c. B.C., or at a time when the contacts and relations with the coastal colonies had long outlived the stage of initial acquaintance. It is out of doubt that the monochrome wheel-made pottery in Koprivlen originated under foreign impulses and influences and that it had come to the settlement as an already developed and clarified cultural conception. There are no ceramic articles among the earlier examples of the local repertoire which could be associated directly with the genesis of this pottery group. The vague similarities between the profiles of some vessels with geometric decoration and their monochrome slip-coated counterparts (e.g. the mouth-shapes of some krateroid vessels) could be ascribed rather to conventional treatment than to any direct influence. Neither the hand-made local vessels nor the vases with geometric decoration can be regarded as the archetypes for the monochrome articles. On the other side, the black-glazed pottery which was introduced in the settlement at the beginning of the Classical Period was able to offer its models for imitation only from that later stage on, further enhancing and diversifying the repertoire. If we look at the material from another standpoint, many of its characteristic features such as the constant technological features and the large series of uniform-type vessels suggest the idea that there were local workshops associated with the settlement and producing quality table ware. If correct, this idea would raise in its turn a lot of questions like those about the organisation of pottery production, the specialisation of the craftsmen and the existence of artisanal quarters producing for the local market. It should be emphasized further on that in the distinctive cultural layers at Koprivlen monochrome pottery occurs quite rarely together with hand-made decorated pottery of the Early Iron Age (a period which ended in the 6 th c. B.C. according to the current view of Bulgarian archaeologists). To put it otherwise, the stratigraphic observations point to a period of time when a pottery style of prolonged tradition faded away and a new one entirely different in technology and repertoire emerged in its place. It seems only too natural to suggest that this period witnessed also important changes in the social structure and in the economic life of the settlement at Koprivlen. This observations will hold true only in case the pottery with geometric ornamentation and the related categories with red or brown paint, which represent the main pottery group of phase /, are proved to have been entirely imported from Chalcidice or its vicinity and not to have been manufactured locally at Koprivlen. The opposite would mean that we should place the emergence of specialized local crafts at least about one century earlier and seek for traits of a social and economic development that has not been attested so early anywhere else in the interior of Thrace.
Vokotopoulou 1985: 147, 156. Vokotopoulou 1985: 147;Tiverios 1998: 244. 43 Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1983: 138. 44 Bozkova 1989a:8.
42 41

151

IV.4.4. BLACK-GLAZED WARE
Anelia Bozkova (Institute of Archaeology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)

IV.4.4.1. Provenance
The inhabitants of the settlement by Koprivlen already knew and employed black-glazed pottery in the Classical Period. The cultural layers in Sondage I (phase III), Sondage 4 (phase III) and Sector "South" have all yielded some small-size fragments. A much greater number of finds were retrieved from the ritual pits and the caches associated with them. The ritual caches' contained plenty of sherds coated with black or red-brown glaze, originating from different vases, frequently of one and the same type. A number of mainly small-size fragments from at least five or six kantharoi and parts of other vessels were found for example in a relatively rich cache in Square 39-T-H-h-13 of Sector "South". Small black-glazed sherds were found also in many of the pits; their condition however permits identification only in a restricted number of cases. The particular state of the ceramic material has imposed a peculiar manner for its presentation according to the character of the fragments: mouths, walls, bases, handles. Wherever possible, the fragments have been assigned to a certain shape.

IV.4.4.2. Clay and Glaze
The black-glazed pottery discovered at the settlement by Koprivlen seems to be entirely imported. It is manufactured of quality clays, characteristic of the superior workshops in Ancient Greece. The clay colours vary from ordinary red, through beige to grey-brown in different shades. This variety, reinforced by the restricted quantity of available material, suggests clearly the presence of articles coming from different centres. The texture and shade of the glaze also vary considerably, and this can be taken as chronologically indicative in a relative sense. The old principle attributing to the vases of the Classical Period a glaze of higher quality, density and brilliance, is confirmed by the finds from Koprivlen. Some classical type kantharoi display a good quality glaze, while the surface of most early or later Hellenistic examples is less shiny and brilliant and of rather metallic or mat shades. Another feature of the later examples is the uneven firing that has resulted in altering the glaze colour in some places from black to brown-red. IV.4.4.3. Shapes
0

IV.4.4.3.1. Mouth Fragments
IV.4.4.3.1.1. Cup mouth fragment from pit S23. Red-orange clay, brilliant black gla/.e. Fragment of the inset lip with the rim. Plain rim slanting outwards. Slightly concave lip, sharp bend at the transition to the bowl underlined with a deep groove. Base of handle of circular section beneath slightly expressed plastic rib (Fig. 144/1). Probably from a stemless (inset lip)." First half of the 5 th c. B.C. W .4.4.3.1.2. Cup mouth fragment from p\t S\5. Grey-beige clay, worn black glaze. Moulded (thickened) rim and part of the upper wall (Fig. 144/2). From a kantharos or cup-kantharos. Cf. Chapter IV.3 supra. - Sparkes, Talcott 1970: JYa 471, Fig. 5; Smetana-Scherer 1982: N° 399, Abb. 21; Filov 1934: 57-58. Fig. 73-74. 1 Cf. Sparkes, Talcott 1970: N»N« 648-670 and 696-704, Fig. 7, PI. 28-29.
1

153

l\'.4.4. Black-Glazed Ware (A. Bozkova)
Second or third quarter of the 4th c. B.C. IV.4.4.3.1.3. Cup mouth fragment from pit S15. Red clay, brilliant black glaze. Moulded (thickened) rim and part of the upper wall (Fig. 144/3). From a kantharos or cup-kantharos. Second or third quarter of the 4 th c. B.C. IV.4.4.3.1.4. Plate rim fragment from pit S5. Red clay, dull black glaze. Small part of the floor with overhanging rim. The rim is relatively narrow, almost vertically hanging. The upper surface is glazed while the lower one and the rim are painted in brown-red (brush- 1 ?) stripes (Fig. 144/4). From a fish-plate. Ca middle of the 4th c. B.C. IV.4.4.3.1.5. Cup mouth fragment from pit S38. Red clay, brilliant black glaze. Part of the upper half of a vessel with plain rim (Fig. 144/5). Probably from a kantharos or cup-kantharos. Early Hellenistic Period. IV.4.4.3.1.6. Cup mouth fragment from pit S72. Beige clay, dull black glaze with brownish areas. West Slope decoration - olive twig painted in beige. Part of the upper half of a vessel with plain rim (Fig. 144/6). From a thin-walled kantharos. Early Hellenistic Period. IV.4.4.3.1.7. Cup mouth fragment from cache h-13. Red clay, dull black glaze. West Slope decoration - leaves of olive twig painted in beige.8 Small part of the upper half of a plain rim vessel (Fig. 144/7). From a kantharos. Early Hellenistic Period. IV.4.4.3.1.8. Cup mouth fragment from cache h-13. Red clay, dull black glaze. West Slope decoration - ivy leaves painted in white, twig rendered by fine incised line. Small part of the upper half of a vessel with plain rim (Fig. 144/8). From a kantharos. Early Hellenistic Period.

IV.4.4.3.2. Wall Fragments
IV.4.4.3.2.1. Fragment of horizontally ribbed wall. Light grey clay; black shiny slip. Fragment of the lower part of a vase with horizontal shallow ribs at irregular intervals (Fig. 145/1). According to the specific ribbing probably from an Attic phiale'l 5 th c. B.C.? IV.4.4.3.2.2. Fragment from lower part of cup from cache h-13.
4

Sparkes, Talcott 1970: N°N° 648-670 and 696-704, Fig. 7, PI. 28-29. Sparkes, Talcott 1970: N° 1072, PI. 37, Fig. 10. 6 Cf. Sparkes, Talcott 1970: Ko 676, PI. 28, Fig. 7 and Ms 711-714, PI. 29; Rotroff 1988: Taf. 24/1. 7 About the ornament Cf. Braun 1994: Taf. 5/(3, 7; about similar kantharoi Cf. Vanderpool et al. 1962: PI. 20, .No 37; Miller 1974: PI. 30, JVb 7. 8 About the ornament Cf. Rotroff 1983: N° 28, PI. 53, Fig. 2. '' About similar ornament on kantharoi cf. Nikolaidou-Patera 1994: Fig. 52/p, 53/cc. 10 Cf. Sparkes, Talcott 1970: N° 520-521, Fig. 6, PI. 23; Morgan 1999, J*f° 186, Fig. IV, PI. 85.
5

154

KOPRIVLEN 1 03IV.4. The Thracian Settlement Finds
Red clay, dull black glaze. The greater part of the vessel is preserved. Moulded ring foot, ribbed bowl and part of the upper wall. (Fie. 145/2). Classical kantharos with relatively slender silhouette. First half of the 3rd c. B.C." IV.4.4.3.2.3. Cup fragment from cache h-13. Red clay, dull black glaze. Part of upper wall with West Slope decoration - necklace in beige. From a kantharos (Fig. 145/3). From the same cache as IV.4.4.3.2.2, and maybe from the same cup according to the clay and glaze. First half of the 3rd c. B.C.? IV.4.4.3.2.4. Cup fragment from cache h-13. Beige-red clay, black shiny glaze. Part of upper wall with West Slope decoration - olive twig. 1 " From a kantharos (Fig. 145/4). Early Hellenistic Period. IV.4.4.3.2.5. Part of cup with wide vertical ribs from cache h-13. Beige-red clay, black shiny glaze. From a kantharos (Fig. 145/5). From the same cache as IV.4.4.3.2.4, and maybe from the same cup according to the clay and glaze properties. Early Hellenistic Period. IV.4.4.3.2.6. Part of wall and handle of cup from pit N l . Grey-brown clay, black glaze. From a kantharos with ribbed lower wall. (Fig. 145/6). Early Hellenistic Period. IV.4.4.3.2.7. Fragment of cup from pit S15 Beige clay, black shiny glaze. Part of upper wall with West Slope decoration - wheat ear painted in beige. From a kantharos (?) of unidentified type (Fig. 145/7). The neck's size suggests rather slender proportions of the vessel, typical for the period after the middle of the 3" c. B.C. IV.4.4.3.2.8. Wall fragment from pit S36 Light red clay, red-brown glaze covering both surfaces. Fragment from wall with outturned bend marking the transition between the upper and the lower wall (neck and cup). West Slope decoration consisting of two motifs. On the upper wall - running ivy with one stalk painted in beige and around it rosettes with three preserved dots painted in white each. Two parallel lines in beige and white at the transition, and beneath the bend a horizontal row of dots painted mostly in white and a few - in added red. The fragment is too small to be positively identified and associated with a specific pottery shape (Fig. 145/8). The preserved part suggests that it belonged to a cup (a kantharosl) with short and wide neck and an articulated, slightly larger bowl. The position of the decoration favours in principle such an identification. The decoration itself reminds of West Slope motifs employed on East Greek vessels, dated mainly in the advanced and late Hellenistic Period, i.e. in the 2nd or the beginning of the 1 s t c. B.C.

IV.4.4.3.3. Underparts
IV.4.4.3.3.1. Fragment of foot of vessel (cup) from pit S23 Red-orange clay, black shiny glaze. Fragment of a moulded ring foot. Reserved underside with a circle of black glaze inside the ring (Fig. 146/1). Probably from a stemJess. Found together vath IV .4.4.3 .\ A, possibly from the same cup because of the s\m\\at day and glaze.
11 a

Cf. Vanderrpool et al. 1962: PI. 20, K5 37-38. About (he ornament C?. Hotroff m3: Tfc'ib.'PY b'i. 13 About the ornament cf. Rotroff 1994: Fig. 2/a. ''* Cf. Schafer 1968: D 63-64, Fig. 15-16; Behr 1988: JVa 32, Abb. V.

155

/I'4.4 Black-Glazed Ware (A. Bozkova) First half of the 5 l h c. B.C.15 IV.4.4.3.3.2. Foot fragment of cup. Red clay, black shiny glaze. Fragment of moulded ring foot. Reserved resting surface and underside with a circle in black inside the ring. Probably from a stemless?b 5 th c. B.C. IV.4.4.3.3.3. Foot and part of floor of open shallow dish with central depression from pit S5. Red clay, dull black glaze. Ring foot with rounded outside and shallow groove on the resting surface. The underside and the ring foot are reserved (Fig. 146/3). From a fish-plate.l7 Found together with IV.4.4.3.1.4 and possibly from the same plate. Second quarter of the 4lh c. B.C.. IV.4.4.3.3.4. Cup foot fragment. Beige clay, dull black glaze. High ring foot, moulded on the outside, shallow groove on the resting surface (Fig. 146/4). Probably from a kanthams or cup kantharos. ' 8 Early Hellenistic Period? IV.4.4.3.3.5. Ring foot fragment from pit S64 Red clay, black shiny glaze. Heavy ring with rounded outer face. Decoration on the upper (inner) side - casually executed stamped patterns (Fig. 146/5). Probably from a bowl.19 Second - third quarter of the 4th c. B.C.

IV.4.4.3.4. Handle Fragments
IV.4.4.3.4.1. Part of handle with circular section from cache h-13 Red clay, black shiny glaze applied longitudinally on part of the surface. The handle is heavy, wider at the base (Fig. 144/9). From a drinking vessel - a cup with bevel handles. Classical Period? IV.4.4.3.4.2. Pan of cup handle from pit S76 Beige clay, dull black glaze. From a large-size kantharos of classical type. (Fig. 144/10). Early Hellenistic Period. IV.4.4.3.4.3. Part of cup handle from pit N5b Red clay, black-brown dull glaze. From a kanthams of classical type. A repair-hole is observed.(Fig. 144/11). Early Hellenistic Period.

IV.4.4.4. General Reflections on the Black-glazed Pottery
The present survey of the black-glazed pottery from the settlement by Koprivlen covers approximately one third of the total number of fragments discovered. The remaining two thirds are of very small size, uninformative or deprived of individuality and do not permit the recognition of shapes or even the attribution of the fragments to larger groups. Despite their restricted number, the above

Cf. Sparkes, Talcott 1970: N°N° 469-479, PI. 22. Cf. Sparkes, Talcott 1970: N°N° 464-469, Fig. 5, PI. 22. 17 Cf. Sparkes, Talcott 1970: JfeN° 1069-1072, Fig. 10, PI. 33; Blonde 1989: Fig. 5/15. 18 Cf. Sparkes, Talcott 1970: Fig. 7. 19 Cf. Sparkes, Talcott 1970: JfeNi! 803-805, Fig. 8, PI. 32, 58; about the motif also Robinson 1933: N° 588, PI. 156.
16

15

156

KOPRIVLEN I 03IV.4. The Thracian Settlement: Finds examples offer a general idea of the character of this important pottery group, providing the opportunity to make a few major inferences. IV.4.4.4.1 Black-glazed pottery was imported in the settlement by Koprivlen since the beginning of the Classical Period. With the exception of a single small fragment of a column krater20 that could be of earlier date and could possibly belong to a figured vase (Chapter IV. 1, Fig. 46/2), no other earlier examples have been identified positively. IV.4.4.4.2 An expressive number of sherds can be ascribed, though rather generally, to the Early Hellenistic Period when the settlement lived through a time of stability and prosperity. Many of the pits, dated by coins of Early Hellenistic rulers, contained in their filling black-glazed sherds, usually badly damaged. IV.4.4.4.3 The final phase of black-glaze pottery imports in the settlement cannot be accurately determined because of the great number of fragments without a clearly defined chronology. The attribution of a small number of finds to the advanced Hellenistic Period is essential in this case. If correct, the Anatolian West Slope parallel (IV.4.4.3.2.8) would indicate that at least during the 2 nd c. B.C. the influx of imported articles had not died away, despite its eventually reduced scale. IV.4.4.4.4 The fragments found in ritual pits and caches belong mostly to shapes intended for drinking. Having in mind the specific sacrificial nature of these complexes, this peculiarity could not be considered indicative of the full repertoire of the black-glazed vases imported to the settlement. IV.4.4.4.5 The black-glazed ware represents a small portion of the total ceramic material from the settlement associated with the Classical and Hellenistic Periods. Undoubtedly it represents a luxurious imported commodity satisfying the taste of the upper social groups. Some of the fragments bear traces of intentionally bored holes for the repair of broken vessels. Such special cares taken to prolong the life of the black-glazed vases indirectly support the idea of their special importance and high market value. IV.4.4.3.6 Because of the risks of involuntary speculative conclusions, the problem of the origin of the black-glazed pottery found in Koprivlen is not discussed in the present publication. The differences both in clays and in the colour and quality of the glaze, and the stylistic peculiarities of the decoration suggest some diversity of the eventual centres of production as well.

20

Cf. Chapter I V.I supra.

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IV.4.5. PLAIN TABLE WARE
Anelia Bozkova (Institute of Archaeology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) This section combines vessels with various typological peculiarities and chronology which differ from the more homogeneous pottery groups described above. What unites them is the manufacture on the potter's wheel and their mainly table purposes. The designation "table ware" used in the heading is neither precise nor equally applicable to all the included categories (for example, the ungitentaria). It is however the only appropriate one to consolidate the group by a common classification feature and to distinguish it from the kitchenware and from other vessels of coarser fabric. The section is not actually an analytical study of the plain wheel-made pottery attested abundantly at the site of Koprivlen though mainly with fragmentary examples, but is rather representative in character. Only whole shapes or fragments of more specific vessels enhancing the picture of the variety of ceramic articles in the settlement are subject to consideration here. The plain pottery of the Archaic Period, which is easily recognized by its technological features even in small fragments, has not been included here and is dealt with in section IV.4.2 above together with the contemporary and related wares with geometric decoration.

IV.4.5.1. Wheel-made Pottery with no Special Surface Treatment
The wheel-made pottery without any traces of surface slip or burnish is abundant among the pottery ceramic finds from the settlement. According to the stratigraphic observations it is already present in phase II of the settlement sequence, making its appearance most probably together with the pottery coated with shiny slip. The lower layers yield mainly pots fired in reducing environment with intense grey colour of the clay, which also contains remarkable quantities of mica. Red colour vessels are not rare in phase II and III as attested in Sondage I and Sondage 4, but their really wide employment seems to refer to the 4lh c. B.C. and the Hellenistic Period. The statistics of the fragments found during the excavations suggests that this group contains a considerable variety of shapes, which could be presented in more detail only after the forthcoming full processing of the finds. The initial examination of the sherds from the lower layers demonstrates that the early plain pottery borrowed some formal features from the related ceramic groups with more specific characteristics, namely from the slipped wares and more rarely also from those with painted geometric ornaments. For example, the mouths of some amphorae with thickset rim of triangular section and a decoration of deep grooves resemble the similar mouth profiles of vessels with either red slip or a decoration of horizontal red lines (Chapter IV.4.2, Fig. 111/5-6). Some miniature sherds of plain, slightly incurving mouths of grey skiphoi without any slip relate to the "egg-shell" cups with geometric decoration. On the other hand, the plain grey pottery shape of the bowl with incurving rim and shallow grooves beneath seems to have been borrowed from the silvery-slip wares. After the analysis of all the pottery sherds the list would surely expand and would outline a more intelligible picture of the complicated processes of mutual influences and imitations which accompanied the development of the local ceramic industry along the Middle Mesta and maybe also in a broader cultural and geographic area. The plain pottery treated in this section originates exclusively from pit complexes, some of which contained also coins among the ritual gifts. Such is the case with the vessels from Pits N6 and S78 which were found together with bronze coins respectively of Philip II1 and of Antigonus Gonatas.2

The coin was identified by I. Procopov, who saw it personally immediately after the discovery. Unfortunately, it was later stolen from a temporary exhibition in the Historical Museum in Gotse Delchev. For this reason the coin is not included in this volume. 2 Cf. Chapter VI.2 \nfra.

1

159

H~.4.5. Plain Table Ware (A. Bozkova) The ritual complex in Pit N6 contained an interesting pottery group, in all probability dating from the time when the pit was filled. 1
IV.4.5.1.1. A jug with trefoil mouth is the only entirely preserved example of the category from this pit (Fig. 147/1). The vessel is wheel-made of evenly fired clay containing little admixtures. The surface is smooth, with no traces of further treatment. The shape of the jug with its relatively wide neck is rather peculiar and does not represent an imitation of the most common Greek models. A close parallel from the Athenian Agora is dated to the period between 325 and 310 B.C..4 IV.4.5.1.2. One of the bowls found in the pit demonstrates an original deviation from the established standards and exemplifies a variant of a shape quite popular in the settlement and known by slipped and burnished versions and by examples without any special surface treatment (Fig. 147/2). The latter, as has been noted already, are more typical of the Hellenistic Period. The bowl from Pit N6 has an almost flat base, which is a peculiar distinction from both the similar items in the settlement itself (Fig. 149}1 and the black-glazed archetypes which are always equipped with a ring foot. IV.4.5,1.3. Another vessel from the same complex is also informative about the ceramic traditions in the settlement. This is a deep bowl of medium dimensions and formal features resembling those of the silvery-slip skyphoi. The bowl in question differs from the latter in several features, including the dimensions and the shaping of the base (Fig. 147/3). The technological differences are however most significant: the vessel from Pit N6 is made of coarser unrefined clay of grey-brown colour and its surface has not received any further treatment. Nonetheless, the skyphoid bowl belongs to the mentioned group, probably as its latest variant, and this testifies to the permanence of traditions in the production of certain types.

The second closed complex containing whole vessels broken in situ was that of Pit S78, one of the group of round-mouth pits. 8 Its filling contained numerous sherds of hand-made and wheel-made vessels, a part of which pertained to several amphorae of one and the same type. Two of the amphorae were restored.
IV.4.5.1.4. The amphorae from Pit S78 are vessels for keeping liquids with a narrow moulded mouth, a pyriform body and without an articulated neck. The opposing vertical handles have an oval section and a plastic rim running along the outer surface. They are attached below the rim and reach the middle of the body. The base is flat, with a slight foot (Fig. 148/1-2; 150). The amphorae have a light beige-red colour and are made of refined, high quality clay. The two restored examples display some differences in the mouth moulding, the size and the shape of the handles. The amphorae from Pit S78 pertain typologically to the group of the so-called "Macedonian amphorae" of the Hellenistic Period.9 Their specific pyriform body with a profile gradually curving to the narrow mouth represents an early version, which probably precedes the two main shapes characteristic for the end of the 3ld and for the 2nd c. B.C.10 An amphora with a similar silhouette from a grave complex from Lamia has been dated to the first half of the 3rd c. B.C." The examples from Koprivlen can be ascribed to about the middle of the 3rd c. B.C.. the approximate time of the filling of the pit as dated by the coin of Antigonus Gonatas.

The other ceramic articles in this group are isolated examples from different pit complexes.
IV.4.5.1.5. A fragment of a classical type kantharos is representative of the group of local cups of the Hellenistic Period, imitating the black-glazed versions (Fig. 147/4). The site has yielded a notable number of such sherds, mainly grey and coated with a silvery slip' 2 or without any special surface treatment. In both cases the fragments belonged to kantharoi of common principal characteristics. The make is usually, though not always, somewhat coarse, the individual elements of the body are i l l proportioned, and the ribs are shallow. The cups from -'Cf. Chapter IV.3 supra. Sparkes, Talcott 1970: 63, PI. 7, N» 138. 5 Cf. Chapter IV.4.3 supra. 6 Cf. Sparkes, Talcott 1970: 13 1-132, PI. 33, Fig. 8; Thompson 1934: 435-437, Fig. 117. 7 Cf. Chapter IV.4.3 supra. s Cf. Chapter IV.4.3 supra. Drougou, Touratsoglou 1991: 24. '°Drougou, Touratsoglou 1994, 153-154, Fig. 74/e; Drougou, Touratsoglou 1991: 24. " Papakonstantinou 1997: 53, Fig. 37/p-y. 12 Cf. Chapter IV. 4.3 supra.
J

160

KOPRIVLEN 1 as IV.4. The Thracian .V::.,-:, Koprivlen are typical examples of a regional group from the area of the Middle Mesta and the Vs - . Rhodopes which is attested with a number of examples of common features from different places <SkrebanK. Vulkosel, Ablanitsa, etc.)." These vessels resemble in some of their peculiarities an example from the re; Drama, 14 and this suggests perhaps the existence of a larger cultural and geographical zone presenting common principles and models in the local ceramic production during the 3rd and 2nd c. B.C. IV.4.5.1.6. A fragment of a grey kantharos is selected as another example of the locally produced wares. This is the upper part of a kantharos handle with the spur, decorated with a plastically rendered human face - a masque.' (Fig. 147/7). The image is rather general, somewhat coarse and the relief is low. It is an evident imitation of the black glazed kantharoi with plastic decoration on the handles. 15 The sherd from Koprivlen is however original both in style and in technology; in contrast to the glazed models, the image here was modelled together with the handle. IV.4.5.1.7. The only sherd of a Hellenistic itnguentarium at the site was discovered in one of the pits in Sector "South" (Fig. 148/4). The lack of the diagnostic parts of the body prevents any comment on the typological affiliation or the eventual chronology of the vessel. The preserved pieces indicate only that the unguentarium was of elongated, fusiform silhouette, which is typical in principle of the 3rd c. B.C. or later examples. 16

IV.4.5.2. Pottery with a Mat Varnish (Glaze, Slip) This group comprises vessels with a coating of different colours and character which substitutes or imitates black glaze. The pottery of this type is easily distinguished from the slipped or burnished wares' 7 and has quite different technological features.
IV.4.5.2.1. The ritual pits contained fragments of Hellenistic vessels coated with a red or reddish-brown varnish (sometimes designated as glaze) which is often substituted for the genuine black glaze in this age. Among the restored shapes was a kantharos profile with red varnish coating having a relatively high neck and a ribbed bowl (Fig. 148/3). The kantharos is a quality product and was probably imported from a production or commercial centre in the coastal area. The silhouette of the preserved part refers this vessel to the second quarter or the middle of the 3rd c. B.C.18 IV.4.5.2.2. An interesting and singular fragment is restored as part of a cup (a skyphos"!) with two arched handles and appliques in the shape of ivy leaves on them (Fig. 147/6). The vessel is made of very fine clay, and a dark grey coating is applied to its upper two thirds. The body is spherical, and the high mouth has a rounded rim. Close parallels from Asia Minor (Ephesus) are dated to the second half of the I s t c. B.C., or more precisely to the Augustan age.19 The appliques do not contradict such a late date; ivy-shaped ornaments moulded separately and applied additionally were popular from the Early Hellenistic Period till the 1 s1 c. B.C."0 IV.4.5.2.3. A fragment of a cylindrical neck with moulded rim provides yet another example of grey Hellenistic pottery with a dark grey coating with metallic shine. It is further decorated with vertical strokes in a light paint imitating a West Slope necklace ornament (Fig. 147/5). The fragment comes probably from a small size amphora-Vike vessel of fine and well fired clay. The general appearance of the fragment reminds of the flat-base black glazed amphorae of the Hellenistic Period and especially of those produced in Asia Minor workshops, which have frequently only a necklace ornament around the neck 21 in contrast to the more opulently decorated Attic examples."" The vessel from Koprivlen however has a peculiar mouth profile which does not associate directly with the shapes known from the leading production centres of the age, and the barely expressed shoulders suggest an underdeveloped lower part, unlike the mentioned amphorae; the latter peculiarity points to Domaradzki et al. 1999: 27-27, Tab. 38/6. Poulios 1994: Fig. 67/6. 15 Cf. Sparkes, Talcott 1970: 123; Chichikova 1984: 69, Fig. XVI, JV« I I I 15-18. 16 For the unguentaria in general Cf. Anderson-Stojanovic 1987: 105-122. 17 Cf. Chapter IV.4.3 supra. 18 Vanderpool et al. 1962: PI. 20/36, 38. Cf. Poulios 1994: 116, Fig. 66, N° A 414 for a somewhat later example from the region of Seres with expressed conical stem, typical of the local versions from the second half of the 3 r d -2 n d c. B.C. ''J Mitsopoulos-Leon 1991: 132, Taf. 183, K8. 20 Thompson 1934: 335. Fig. 15, B4; Mayer-Schlichtmann 1988: S7, S10. 2 'Schiifer 1968: Abb. 3. 22 Thompson 1934: D26, D27, E59; Rotroff 1991: PI. 30.
l4 13

161

IT-1.5. Plain Table Ware (A. Bozkova) an alternative possibility to identify the fragment as belonging to a "local" variant of the kantharoi with a thick mouth rim and loop handles. The last two vessels are of a refined make and in spite of their grey colour they cannot be ascribed unconditionally to the local pottery production of the Hellenistic Period. Their origin should rather be sought in a greater and more advanced production centre. Some Anatolian workshops for example continued to produce grey pottery in the Hellenistic Period.24 The links between this Hellenistic grey wares and the early Aeolian pottery, suggested by some authors, 25 are however difficult to prove. The two grey vessels from Koprivlen differ essentially from the pottery types of the earlier group of monochrome slipped grey ware and demonstrate a technological and cultural break from the older traditions established on the site.

- Cp. Langlotz 1932: Taf. 223, N° 729. :4 Schaier 1968: 29-30; Mitsopoulos-Leon 1991: 78-79. :5 Schafer 1968:29.

162

IV.4.6. PITHOI
Veselin Hadjiangelov (Historical Museum Samokov) Fragments of pithoi were already found in the course of the archaeological surveys and trial excavations at Kozluka near Koprivlen in 1995 - 1997. The excavations in 1998 and 1999 along the bed of road 11-19 (Gotse Delchev - Drama), although affecting mainly the periphery of the ancient settlement, produced a considerable quantity of material and information, permitting the study of this type of vessels in the context of specific archaeological environments and the assessment of the problems of their typology. In addition to their interest as products of the local ceramic production, the pithoi are also a valuable source of information about the ancient agriculture in the Middle Mesta region.

IV.4.6.1. Location, Function and Technology
Several whole pithoi or parts of the lower half of the vessels were found in situ at different places on the territory of the site together with numerous fragments from mouths, bottoms or walls. Originally the pithoi were partially or totally embedded in the ground and covered with flat stone plates. By their formal characteristics the pithoi from Koprivlen resemble those from other sites in Thrace and Greece. The body is rounded, of biconical shape, sharply narrowing towards the bottom. The mouth rim is broad and solid, simply or more elaborately moulded. The bottom is flat or with a solid foot. The vessels are of different size. The height of the intact examples is about 1.5 m., and the average maximum diameter of the body about 0.85 m. The dimensions of the partially preserved pithoi are different. The mouth diameters vary between 0.38 and 0.55 m., and the thickness of the walls between 1.5 and 2.5 cm. These differences reflect variations in the silhouettes and proportions of the vessels; unfortunately, the fragmentary character of most of the finds has not permitted the f u l l reconstruction of more vessels. Even without any laboratory analysis of the clay, it can be suggested that the pithoi were produced most likely in local workshops. The clay was of well puddled paste with mineral and sandy admixtures. It is similar to the clay of other hand-made or wheel-made pots of presumably local origin. The shaping of the pithoi must have included several consecutive stages, combining work on a slow wheel and plastering by hand. Judging by the broken edges and the imprints on the inner surface of the vessels, it can be suggested that the mouth rim together with part of the shoulders of the vessels were usually made on a wheel. The remaining part of the body was then added by plastering vertical or horizontal bands of clay, going gradually upwards to the bottom, after which the surface was smoothed on a slow wheel. The baking was done in ovens with different temperature parameters, which caused the difference in the colour of the pithoi - brick red, light brown or greyish brown. The pithoi from Seuthopolis were made in a similar way.' The general function of the pithoi was as storage vessels for cereal crops, wine, oil, etc. The paleobotanical analysis of samples taken from intact pithoi closed with stone plates in Sector "South" did not show remains of cereals." The location of these vessels in the southern sacrificial complex suggests that they were functionally linked with it, and explains the lack of traces of utilitarian use. There is more information about the probable use of the pithoi as containers for liquids. The inner and partially the outer side of two vessels found together in Sector "South" bears traces of a dark brown to black slip, probably intended to improve their impermeability. A similar slip has been noted on pithoi from the Athenian Agora.' The slip was probably applied with a brush, traces of which are visible at some places. The slip in this case most probably had practical rather than decorative functions. A 2
Chichikova 1984:54. Cf. Chapter VII.2 infra. 3 Thompson 1934: 369.
: 1

163

A 4.6. Pithoi iV. Hadjiangelov) cm. wide horizontal stripe of black paint resembling glaze ran on the inner side of one of the vessels some 25 cm. under the mouth rim (Fig. 154/14); it might be suggested that the line marked a certain level or volume of the vessel. Many of the pithoi bear traces of repairs from cracking; there are many fragments with preserved lead braces fixed in holes bored on both the sides of the crack. Fragments from repaired vessels occurred mainly in cultural strata, but there were some also in the fill of ritual pits. Repaired pithoi have been noted also in Pistiros in the Upper Hebros valley. 4 A characteristic feature of the pithoi from Koprivlen is that they were reused. Their presence in the ritual pit complexes implies a change from utilitarian to ritual function, 5 expressed either in the placing of fragments of pithoi among the offerings in the pits, or in their use for the shaping of the pit itself (the so called pit-pithoi). In the latter case both entire pithoi or only lower halves and large wall fragments (e. g. the one in Pit S52, with reparations of the bottom) were used for the usual pit rituals.6 The small number of whole vessels (Fig. 154/13-14) and the fragmentary character of the remaining finds has imposed the elaboration of a typology based on only two characteristic features of the pithoi - the shape respectively of the mouths and of the bottoms. IV.4.6.2. Mouth Shapes IV.4.6.2.1. Type I Pithoi with outturned thick mouth rim and high conical neck. The type is represented with four examples made of clay with sandy admixtures. The outer surface is burnished. The vessels are unevenly baked, and their colour varies from light brown to reddish brown. There are traces of smokeblackening. Two variants are distinguishable. IV.4.6.2.1.1. Variant A The mouth diameter is about 0.45 m. The outer rim is solid, outturned and simply fashioned. There is no decoration. The neck is inclined inwards. The fragments were found in Sondage I, in a thick cultural stratum from the Archaic Age (Fig. 151/1-2)? IV.4.6.2.1.2. Variant B This is represented by two fragments with diameters of 0.45 and 0.48 m. (Fig. 151/3-4). The outer rim has a more complicated profile achieved by shallow horizontal grooves. One of the mouths is covered with a dark brown slip, and its lower edge bears a decoration of oblique incisions (Fig. 151/4). These pithoi are among the earliest. They have parallels from the Archaic strata in Histria/ Similar pithos mouths are also known from Dyrrhachion in Albania, but the examples there are smaller and have two handles. 9 IV.4.6.2.2. Type II Pithoi with a profiled mouth rim and a cylindrical neck. The type is represented by fourteen examples distributed in two variant groups. IV.4.6.2.2.1. Variant A An almost vertical profile with a broad and solid outturned rim. The mouth rims are convex and elaborately moulded with shallow or deeper grooves. Some of them bear an additional decoration of oblique incisions (Fig. 152/5-6). The horizontal surface of the mouth is decorated with different
4

Lazov 1999: 340. Cf. Chapter 1V.3 supra. 6 Cf. Chapter IV. 3 supra. 7 Cf. Chapter IV. 1 supra. 8 Alexandrescu 1978: 93-94. l) Hidri 1990: 206, Tab. XVII, 133-137.
5

164

KOPRtVLEN 1 egIV.4. The Thracun Sen kinds of ornaments made before of after the baking of the vessels. In some cases the decoration i simple - ellipsoid fossettes at equal intervals, made by the pressing of a fingertip onto the wet < <Fig. 152/1). A hastate ornament appears on some mouths (Fig. 152/2), in some cases the middle line is fashioned like an ear of wheat (Fig. 152/3). The ornament was usually stamped before the baking of the vessel, but in one case the hastate motif was additionally engraved on the mouth of the pithos after baking (Fig. 152/4). The ornament is always pointed towards the inner edge of the mouth rim. Similar signs have been found on many pithoi from Seuthopolis, 10 where they have been suggested to represent a stylized Greek letter omega which turned in the course of time into a potter's mark.11 This way of marking the produce of a workshop was typical especially of the Hellenistic Age. IV.4.6.2.2.2. Variant B This subtype represents a simplified variant of the profiled mouth rims, which have an almost vertical edge with only one or two horizontal grooves. The necks are cylindrical. The clay is well purified. evenly baked and has a brick red or light brown colour. The diameter of the mouths varies between 0.48 and 0.53 m. (Fig. 152/7-14). This mouth shape has close if not completely identical parallels in Pistiros (type II after the typology of Lazov)12 and in the Athenian Agora.13 The differences could be explained with the regional peculiarities of the local workshop production. The type could be dated generally within the chronological limits of the Early Hellenistic Age. IV.4.6.2.3. Type III This is a transitional type from the vessels with a cylindrical neck to those with conical shoulders. It is represented by nine examples. All are made of clay with comparatively large mineral and >and admixtures. The vessels are evenly baked and their surface is roughly burnished, with a light or dark brown colour. The mouths are roughly shaped, solid, more or less outturned and bear no additional decoration (Fig. 153/1-9). Judging by the preserved parts of the walls of these vessels, it might be suggested that they were about 1 .5 m. high and had a spheroid-biconical shape. The date of this type can be suggested provisionally on the basis of the context in which some of the fragments were found. For example, a bronze coin of Alexander III was discovered in the "Pit-

IV.4.6.2.4. Type IV
This shape of pithoi is very similar to the previous one, the main difference being in the composition of the clay; the form of the lower body might have been different too. The clay is comparatively refined, with admixtures of fine sand and evenly fired. The inner and outer surfaces of the mouths are well burnished and coloured in different shades of brown. The type is represented by three whole vessels (Fig. 1 54/1 3- 14) and twelve fragments. Three variants can be distinguished according to the decoration. IV.4.6.2.4.1. Variant A The mouth rim is carefully shaped and burnished. The neck is conical, graceful and bears a decoration consisting of a relief pinched band (Fig. 154/1), of two parallel incised lines (Fig. 154/2) or of one plastic line (Fig. 154/3). The shape of the mouths from Koprivlen is similar to that of the so-called two-part mouths with convex upper and hanging lower part from Pistiros (type 1 after Lazov). 15

10 11

Chichikova 1958: 469, PI. XXV, 8-9. Chichikova 1958: 477, n. 3.
Lazov 1999:345, Fig. I, 14-20.

Thompson 1934: 344. Cf. Chapter IV.3 supra and Chapter VI.2 infra. 15 Lazov 1999: 345, Fig. 1, 1-4.
u

165

I\.4.f). Pithoi (V. Hadjiangelov) IV.4.6.2.4.2. Variant B A moulded mouth rim and conical shoulders. The rim is shaped with horizontal grooves (Fig. 154/4) or with a bevelled upper edge (Fig. 154/5-6). Similar shapes are known from Thasos, where they appear in contexts from about the middle of the 4Ih century B.C.16 IV.4.6.2.4.3. Variant C The mouth rim is solid, unmoulded and outturned, with a trapezoid section (Fig. 154/7-12).

IV.4.6.3. Bottom Shapes
The group of the bottoms is represented by eleven fragments. The location of the finds did not permit the establishment of any definite relation between the bottom and mouth pieces, but some observations and suggestions to this end can still be made. In spite of the limited number of fragments, the bottoms may be distributed in three groups.

IV.4.6.3.1. Variant A
Narrow, flat or slightly concave bottom (Fig. 155/1-2). These fragments probably belonged to pithoi with mouths of type IV, possibly also of type III according to the above classification.

IV.4.6.3.2. Variant B
The bottom is shaped like a high (Fig. 155/3-5, 10) or low (Fig. 155/6-8) cylindrical foot. Fragments of similar bottoms were found together with or close to mouths of type I and type II.

VI.4.6.3.3. Variant C
The bottom is shaped like a solid moulded foot (Fig. 155/9. 11). It may be related tentatively with the mouths of type III.

IV.4.6.4. Conclusion
Few of the pithos fragments from Koprivlen were found in clear stratigraphic contexts. The pithos fragments placed as offerings in pits cannot be defined chronologically by the time of the ritual, for there is plenty of evidence that earlier materials (notably of Archaic and Classical date) had often been placed in pits the filling of which can be dated with coins and other finds to the Hellenistic Age, and the "pit-pitlwi" were evidently reused, probably quite a long time after their production. These facts make it difficult to establish precise dates for the different types and draw any reliable conclusions about the development of the shapes. Therefore, the present paper is restricted to the initial presentation of this new and still poorly studied archaeological material.

"'Blonde 1989:545.
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IV.4.7. STRAINERS
Hristo Popov <Institute of Archaeology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) The strainers found in the course of the rescue excavations near the village of Koprivlen are an original group amidst the abound ceramic ware. They are heavily fragmented and with the exception of a few examples do not permit the reconstruction of full shapes. Regardless of their poor state of preservation, their examination is quite possible. The questions that arise concern mainly their functional purpose and the context of their discovery. All the sherds from strainers were found in Sector "South" (Chapter II, Fig. 2) and come from: • cultural layers related mostly to the Archaic and Classical Periods, and • ritual pits in the southern sacrificial complex. Their stratigraphic positions vary from the superficial greensward layers (without context) to strata belonging to phases I and II of the Iron Age settlement. The most numerous, but also most problematic group is that of strainers with ribs on the inner side (Fig. 156). The ribs are usually shaped either as a continuous spiral winding in concentric circles on the bottom and walls (Fig. 156/3, 6), or as detached concentric circles ending in a high knob on the bottom (Fig. 156/2, 4). All the vessels are hand-made. After firing the clay has obtained a grey to grey-brown or black colour. The paste contains admixtures of small particles of stone, sand and mica. The openings are round, of diameters varying between 3 and 5 mm. Traces of secondary firing or smoking have not been attested, and the only example of uneven surface colour is due to temperature fluctuations in the course of firing. It is interesting to note that most of the vessels display differences in the treatment of the outer and inner sides of the walls. The outer side is poorly treated, unsmoothed and rough, and has no slip covering. In contrast, the inner walls including the ribs are usually carefully fashioned, their surface is better smoothed and covered with a layer of thin clay which has become darker on firing in comparison with the outer side. Except for a single wall fragment, all the other sherds in this group are from bottoms. Mouth pieces or larger fragments allowing the reconstruction of shapes are missing. However there are enough analogies found in earlier studies at other sites. This sort of vessels were distributed in Thrace within broad chronological limits from the end of the Bronze Age until Late Antiquity.' The best preserved examples are shallower or deeper bowls and usually stand on three or four legs or on a ring foot. The mouth rims are plain. The closest parallel to the vessels from Koprivlen is a strainer from Zornitsa. All the fragments of bottoms are flat and suggest rather a shallow bowl. The vessels from Kukova tumulus and the hillfort near Pernik display the shape of a deeper bowl with three legs or a ring foot. It is not possible to judge whether the strainers from Koprivlen had any legs. The available sherds do not support such a suggestion, and it seems perfectly possible that there were examples without legs of feet, standing simply on a plain bottom. In the relevant publications these vessels are usually ascribed with "cult functions". Definitions like "cult vessel" or "cult pottery" are often used, and stress is laid on their presumed utilisation in "Thracian cult practices" e. g. in the Middle and Western Rhodopes, or on their occurrence in necropolises and sanctuaries. 4 The context of the finds from Koprivlen does not support this assumption. Four of the fragments published here (Fig. 156/1, 3-5) were found in cultural layers in Squares 39-TII-m-3, 39-T-II-r-2, 39-T-H-X-3 and 39-T-II-x-S in Sector "South" in situations related to phases I
*Cf. Chapter IV. I infra. Filov 1934: 11-12, 37-38, Fig. 42-43; Sultov 1972: Fig. 1; Liuhenova 1980: 129-130. Fig. 321; Liubenova 1981: 144-145, Fig. 64; Kisiov 199()b: 179-180; Kisiov 1998: 34, o6p. 4-5; Domaradzki et aL 1999: 105, Fig. 5 a; a strainer from Gospodintsi (Fig. 159/3) now kept in the museum of Gotse Delchev. I am indebted to Ms Spaska Paskova for the kind permission to use this find. 1 Liubenova 1981: 144, 145. 4 Kisiov 1998: 33-34.
2

16"

fl'. 4. ~. Strainers (H. Popov) and II of the ancient settlement which do not permit of any ritual interpretation of the context. 5 The two other fragments (Fig. 156/2, 6.) were found in pits in the sanctuary situated in close vicinity. Despite the cult context of their discovery, the careful analysis of the circumstances reveals some peculiarities. The fragments were isolated. No other parts of the vessels were found in the pits. The broken surfaces show that the vessels were broken long ago, and the fragments seem to have been deposited in the pits in the state in which they were found. A similar situation was noted in Kukova tumulus where B. Filov found an intact vessel and single fragments from several others, broken long before.6 The context in this case was also a cult one and the strainers had been deposited during some ritual practices together with the heaping of the tumulus. So far as the strainers from the pit sanctuary at Koprivlen are concerned, we should note that the finds from the pit complexes were mixed chronologically and relate both to the Hellenistic and to earlier, namely to the Archaic and Classical Periods.7 The presence of fragments from strainers in pits displaying such a significant chronological amplitude can not be associated with a definite date as strainers of that type were used in Thrace from the Early Iron Age to much later times. The appearance of sherds from strainers with inside ribs in different situations and the peculiarities of their presence in cult contexts arouse the question about their functional purpose and their probable utilitarian use. The problem of the primary use of the strainers requires some preliminary considerations. The ribbed strainers can not be grouped together with some Greek shapes familiar from Thrace, which represent an intermediate form between the gutus or the askos and the strainer, their mouths being moulded as strainers, evidently intended to purify the liquid poured in. The strainers of local origin with the shape of a truncated cone and a wide horizontal rim, with openings occupying the bottom and the lower half of the body, and in some cases with a handle rising above the rim, also represent a different type.9 The shape of these vessels suggests their placing and fixing on the mouth of a larger vessel to filtrate the liquid poured in. An example from Pistiros near Vetren has a somewhat more peculiar character. The situation with the strainers with internal ribs is quite different. Regardless of their shapes as shallower or deeper bowls and of the presence of legs, of a ring foot or a flat bottom, their fashioning suggests an independent usage of the vessel, not one in combination with other vessels. The openings are also peculiar. As stated above, their diameters vary between 3 and 5 mm., or they are too big to filtrate any liquid. It should be noted at the same time that the density of the openings is not great. The inside ribs also raise some questions. In my opinion, their interpretation as a kind of decoration is not acceptable.'' The presence of ribs over the entire inner side of the vessel (in the cases of preserved whole examples) and their dimensions (the height of the ribs on the fragments from Koprivlen varies from 3 to 9 mm., while their width at the base reaches I cm.) would rather support the hypothesis of their functional role. All this brings to the foreground the problem of the eventual purpose of the vessels and the way they were used. So far I have intentionally restrained from mentioning the interpretation of such vessels as incense burners. 12 Building on the finding places, B. Sultov defined them as "incense burners for domestic use", suggesting that the ribs (the "grooves" respectively) and the openings served to hold the charcoals and to provide a better ventilation. In support of his hypothesis Sultov adduced one such
In my opinion the context of some vessels cited as parallels cannot he accepted as a ritual one or at least the published information does not authorize such an interpretation (e. g. those from the settlement at the Pernik hillfort: Liuhenova 1981: 145, or those from the trial excavations at Plclena: Domaradzki et al. 1999: 4647, 105, Fig. 5 a). 6 Filov 1934:35,o6p. 42, I , 3 , o 6 p . 43, 1. 7 Cf. Chapter IV.3 supra. K Ivanov 1960: 214, type I, type I I , Table 114; Archibald 1996: 84, Fig. 5.6 askos (7). '' Tsonchev 1959: o6p. 75-76. 10 The vessel has the shape of a truncated cone with the walls slightly inclined outwards. The mouth is plain, and the bottom is flat. The openings are of small diameter and densly situtated over the walls and bottom. According to the excavators it comes from a cult context. It is included in the forthcoming volume Pistiros 2, to be published in Prague. I am grateful to the colleagues excavating Pistiros and esspecially to Mrs L. Domaradzka for their help. " Kisiov 1998:33. ]2 Sultov 1972: 177-179; Liubenova 1980: 129-130; Liubenova 1981: 145.
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KOPRIVLEN 1 egIV. 4. The Thracian .V:: . t vessel containing traces of charcoal and pine resin, and others displaying traces of smoking on the inner surface. The same interpretation is supported by V. Lyubenova in her treatment of the ceramic finds from the Krakra hillfort settlement and from the sanctuary in "Daskalovo" quarter near Pernik. In the description of the pottery finds from Koprivlen it has been underlined that traces of smoking or secondary firing were not attested. Their surface is clear and the isolated cases of colour differences between the inner and outer sides are due to the thin clay layer (or slip) applied on the diligently treated inner surface. However, the perfect identity between the finds from Butovo, Hotnitsa and Pernik and those from Koprivlen prevent their consideration as different types of vessels with different functions respectively. It is worth mentioning that the so-called "incense-burners for sepulchral use"1 which have no openings and inside ribs are radically different. As for the vessels with inside ribs, it should be noted that their eventual utilitarian character does not contradict with the cult context they were discovered in, a secondary use for purposes different from the original ones being completely normal and possible. Some ethnographic parallels would facilitate the functional interpretation of the strainers. 14 Vessels of such shape were used and are still in use in dairy processing and in cheese production in particular. The transhumant stock-breeding predominant in the Balkans during the Middle Ages and the Ottoman Period imposed the making of the appliances needed for dairy processing mainly from hide, wood or cloth as lighter and easily transportable materials. The cheese-making technology however requires the use of strainers in series of cases regardless of the material they are made of. The straining of the curdled milk from the whey is a regular stage in the production process of different kinds of cheeses traditionally popular in Bulgaria. 1 In fact the process is essential in cheese-making everywhere. Cloth strainers were typical for the straining of the curdled milk and the primary moulding of the cheese in the traditional Bulgarian cheese-production, but different shapes were used for this process in the production of several kinds of cheese on the territory of former Yugoslavia. 16 Suspended baskets were used for the straining of curd cheese in some regions, while wooden or tin-plate strainers (tvorilo) served for both the straining and the moulding of the cheese-cakes in the production of sheep-milk Negush cheese.18 These strainers are shaped as shallow bowls with flat bottom and plain rim or as deeper bowls standing on feet. The openings are relatively large, evenly and rather sparsely spread over the body. Ribbing has not been attested. The resemblance with the ribbed strainers is of course just a formal one, but it suggests further research in this direction. Even today the cheese production technology requires the use of certain shapes. In the production of the so called soft cheeses the curd obtained by the curdling of the milk with rennet is often just poured into the strainer without being additionally processed with a press. According to the different existing technologies the curd mass is either directly poured or is first broken into particles of bigger or smaller size. Then the cheese is left to "self press", the whey straining off naturally for a few hours through the openings of the strainer-mould.' 9 It is interesting to note that the size of the mould affects the speed and degree of pressing. Smaller moulds are faster, as the whey has a shorter distance to travel, and the larger contact surface in relation to the weight ensures easier pressing." In this situation the smaller shapes are preferred and have become common in the production of different types of cheeses,21 for example brands like Bel Paexe, Camembert, Brie among the soft cheeses, or Tilzit, Trapsit, Shkatul, Feta, etc. among the half-hard ones." The idea that some vessels found in archaeological excavations could have been used vn the production of cheese has already been discussed before. The pottery finds from Thasos published by F. Blonde provide a good example. 2 In contrast with the ribbed strainers from our group, the shapes
13 M

In the terminology of Sultov 1972: 179-182. I grasp the opportunity to thank Mrs Svetla Rakshieva for her kind help. 15 Dechov 1903: 81,82; Vakarelski 1969: 559-563; Topuzov, Gruev 1969: 69^75. "'Novak 1969:587-594. 17 Novak 1969: Abb. 4 a. 18 Novak 1969: Abb. 6. 19 Dimov 1954: 245-246 ; Dimov 1960: 53-55. 2() Dimov 1960:55. 21 Dimov 1942: 131, Fig. 38, a-u; AHMOB 1954: Fig. 61 6,62. "Dimov 1954: 104-154; Dimov 1960:245-272. 23 Blonde 1985: 320-321, Fig. 33.

169

/!"-/." Strainers (H. Popov) from Thasos are more shallow and have deep radial grooves connecting the openings instead of ribs, and probably having the same function. Some vessels from Bibracte, the Celtic settlement center in the region of Mont Beuvray, are also interpreted as moulds for cheese production. 24 They are low, open, with straight or slightly inclined walls. Both the walls and the flat bottoms are perforated, and the ribbing in the form of either a spiral or concentric circles on the bottom (just like our examples) is particularly noteworthy (Fig. 159/1-2).'* It becomes obvious that the ribbed strainers found in Thrace could be interpreted plausibly as cheese moulds of utilitarian function. There are two possible explanations for the ribs shaped as spirals or concentric circles on the inner side of the vessels: • The ribs play the role of a peculiar "gridiron" on which the broken curd is placed to drain away. So the openings remain free which facilitates the discharge of the whey; • The spiral or concentric ribs were deliberately shaped in this way to facilitate the flow of the whey through the channels formed between them and ending with the openings. It should also be remembered that the larger contact surface makes the draining of the whey faster. Cheese was a common element in the traditional diet of the ancient population of the Balkan Peninsula. 26 The role of cheese production in a region where stock-breeding was a leading economic branch is self-explanatory. The list of strainer shapes known from Koprivlen could be complemented with two fragments. the state of preservation of which did not permit the reconstruction of the entire vessels (Fig. 157/1-2; 160). These would have been low and open, with plain rims and flat bottoms. The fragments are handmade of relatively well purified clay containing sand and mica. The ribs on the walls are U-shaped or straight and vertical, going down to the bottom. On the bottom itself the ribs outline a circle connected by transverse ribs with the walls. The relatively sparse openings are placed over the bottom and walls. I have not been able to find any analogies in the published material from Bulgaria. The closest parallels are with the mentioned strainers from Bibracte, the only difference being in the shape of the ribs. The strainers from Koprivlen were found in Square 39-T-II-m-13 of Sector "South" in a pottery accumulation from the cultural layers belonging to phase I of the Iron Age settlement. Two fragments found in Pit S74 of the pit sanctuary represent another interesting shape (Fig. 158/1-2). They are from a closed, hand-made vessel. The rim is markedly thickened (1.6 to 2 cm.) and decorated with fossettes. The body gets wider towards the bottom and is pierced by the openings of diameters between 4 and 6 mm. The clay is mixed with tiny particles of stone, sand and mica. The colour after firing is brown-red. There are some traces of smoking on the surface, but it is difficult to decide whether this is the result of ritual firing connected with the deposition in the pit or of the previous use of the vessel. The purpose of this vessel remains unclear. No parallels exist among the finds I have had access to. An intact vessel was found in Pit S76 (Fig. 157/3). It is hand-made, the wall is slightly slanting outwards. The clay is relatively well purified containing admixtures of sand and mica and is of a somewhat crumbly structure. The colour after firing is deep yellow. No traces of smoking or secondary firing are seen. The openings occupy the wall and the bottom. The vessel is decorated inside with a continuous incised wavy line. So far I have not found analogies to this strainer as well. The vessel comes from a cult context, but that does not necessarily coincide with its original purpose. The last strainer fragment presented here was found in Square 39-T-Il-m-13, in a cultural layer with Archaic finds from phase 1. The vessel is hand-made. The shape is open, the wall slightly slanting outwards, the mouth is plain and the bottom is flat (Fig. 157/4). The preserved fragment displays openings only on the bottom. The clay contains sand admixtures. The colour is black-brown. The inner side is decorated with an incised meander in "Tsepina" style. In conclusion, it should be noted that the ceramic strainers from Koprivlen illustrate different types and probably served different purposes. On the ground of ethnographic parallels, the strainers representing shallow or deeper bowls with ribs on the inside could be interpreted as strainers/moulds
24
:5

Paunier et al. 1994: 24, A 09.
The shapes presented on Fig. 759 (1-2) are from Mont Beuvrey. The mouth diameter of this type of

vessels according to the authors is between 10 and 15 cm.
2

"Georgieva 1999c: 83.

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KOPRIVLEN I csIV.4. The Thnicum Settlement Finds for cheese production. The long life of the shape should be explained with the particular technological requirements for the production of cheese, a popular kind of food common for the local population, which seem to have persisted unchanged from the end of the Bronze Age till Late Antiquit\. The h>pothesis is based on archaeological, ethnographical and modern parallels, which I find reasonable. The described strainers were therefore vessels of utilitarian function, which of course does not exclude their use in cult context; their appearance in such context however should not lead to the assumption that strainers in general must be regarded as cult pottery. The difference between cult use and cult purpose should not be neglected in this case. As for the other types of strainers found in Koprivlen, the available material at present is too limited, and the study of their functions remains a problem of the future.

IV.4.8. LOOM-WEIGHTS AND SPINDLE-WHORLS
Stoyanka Dimitrova (Institute of Thracology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) A great quantity of loom-weights and spindle-whorls were found at the site Kozluka near Koprivlen in the course of regular archaeological excavations in 1995-1997 and especially during the rescue excavations along the Gotse Delchev - Drama roadbed in 1998-1999. The collection comprises 143 intact and many fragmented items, 1 including 115 whole loom-weights and 28 spindle-whorls - a material evidence for the practice and development of weaving and spinning in the Thracian settlement. Discussions are still going on and new hypotheses are being advanced on the purpose and use of the ceramic weights." Two assumptions prevail in the latest developments on the issue. According to some authors the weights were used in fishing as net-weights; however most scholars associate their function with the textile production. 1 The whorls were attached to the spindles to facilitate the spinning and the weights were used for weaving on a vertical loom. An unquestionable proof for the latter statement is offered by the representations on some Greek vases: the scene on a red-figure skyphos from Chiusi represents Penelope sitting at her loom with the upright Telemachus next to her.4 and a black-figure lekythos from New York depicts the entire production process.5 The loom-weights were tied to the lower end of the loom threads and stretched the warp of the cloth to facilitate the slow and labour-consuming process of weaving. The loom-weights were attached in different ways. The simplest one was to fasten the warp threads directly to the opening of the loom-weight. In the case of weights with two openings, the threads seem to have been put through tied in bundles. Sometimes a slim stick was fixed in the opening of the loom-weight and a number of threads were tied along both its ends. The image on the lekythos from New York shows another variant: the threads are tied to the weight by means of a metal ring put in its opening.6 Loom-weights of pyramidal, discoid and conical shape are depicted on the painted vases from Chiusi, New York and Baltimore, and it can be presumed that the shape and size of the weights were determined by the type of thread and the construction of the loom.7

IV.4.8.1. Typology of Loom-Weights
The loom-weights found at Koprivlen are of various sizes and shapes. Their quantity is considerably greater than that of the spindle-whorls, representing over 80 % of the objects related to textile production, and allows the elaboration of a reliable typological classification. The variants of the main types remain however to a great extent provisional ones, especially the pyramidal shapes of sub-types A. 1.2 and A.2.1 and the lenticular ones. They depend much on a particular craftsman's ability to reproduce the respective shape fairly and on the various ornaments used for decoration.

A. Pyramidal Loom-Weights
The weights of this type have the shape of a pyramid with a more or less regular square or rectangular base. The side walls are of triangular or trapezoidal shape. The pyramidal loom-weights

Mainly loom-weights, fragments of which were discovered in great quantity. No statistics have been drawn for the fragments. 2 Davidson, Thompson 1948: 66-67. 1 Bitrakova-Grozdanova 1984: 116; Bitrakova-Grozdanova 1994: 221; Heurtley, Hutchinson 1927: 38. 4 Clarke 1983:91. 5 Davidson, Thompson 1948: 67, Fig. 29; Deonna 1938: pi. LV, 430. 6 Davidson, Thompson 1948: 68-69. 7 Davidson, Thompson 1948: 69-70; Hochstetter 1987: 91.

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173

ff'.-f.S. Loom-Weights and Spindle-Whorls (S. Dimitrova) are divided into two sub-types depending on the number of openings bored transversely through their upper parts. 1. Pyramidal Loom-Weights with a Single Opening A. 1.1. Full Pyramid Shape The loom-weights of this group have the shape of a regular pyramid. The side walls are shaped like isosceles triangles slanting from the top to the square base. The colour of the clay is gray to black and the surface is burnished. Height 12 cm.8 (Fig. 161/1). A. 1.2. Truncated Pyramid Shape The weights of this group have the shape of a pyramid with the very top cut off. The two bases are either both square or both rectangular, and the side walls are of trapezoidal shape. Depending on the workmanship the loom-weights in this group present several variants. 1. Regular Truncated Pyramid The two bases are regular squares and the side walls - isosceles trapezes. The edges are rather clearly expressed (Fig. 161/2-5). The height varies from 4.5 to 12.5 cm., but the most numerous examples measure between 6.5 and 8.8 cm. The clay is of red, light brown, dark brown or gray-black colour, the surface is smoothed and sometimes burnished. 2. Truncated Pyramid with Concave Walls The bases are of irregular square or rectangular shape. The side walls are concave, with an irregular trapezoidal shape and rounded edges. a) four concave side walls, the upper base is even or slightly rounded (Fig. 161/6); b) four concave side walls, the upper base is decorated (Fig. 161/7); c) one or two concave walls, the others slanting straight from top to base. The upper base is decorated (Fig. 161/8-9). The height varies from 5.5 to 7.5 cm. The clay is beige or light brown. The surface is smoothed, coated with slip. 3. Leaning Truncated Pyramid Weights slanting to one side, with an elongated silhouette and trapezoidal side walls with rounded edges. One side wall is almost vertical, while the others slant obliquely from the upper to the lower base. The upper base is flat, sometimes decorated (Fig. 161/11). The height varies from 12.5 to 16 cm., the colour of the clay is beige or light brown. The surface is smoothed, coated with a slip. 4. Rounded Truncated Pyramid Loom-weights with the shape of an irregular pyramid with rounded edges. a) the four side walls are almost vertical, the upper base is slightly convex and rounded; depressions made by fingertips expand the two ends of the opening (Fig. 161/12); b) the four side walls are almost vertical, and the two bases are convex and rounded (Fig. 161/13-14); c) the four side walls are inclined, with rounded edges; the upper base is squeezed from two sides and sharpened, the side walls on these sides are trapezoid, while the other two have the shape of irregular triangles (Fig. 162/1). The height varies from 6.5 to 9.5 cm. The clay is of red, beige, light brown, dark brown or gray-black colour, and the surface is smoothed.

The heights of single items of a type are mentioned directly in the text; otherwise the sizes are given after the general description of the loom-weights.
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8

KOPRIVLEN I 03IV.4. Tim Thracian Settlement: Finds 5. Beveled Truncated Pyramid Weights with flat bases and inclined walls, sharply beveled near the lower base. The widest part of the loom-weights is just above the beveling (Fig. 162/2). The height varies from 9.5 to 10.5 cm. The clay is of red, dark brown and gray-black colour, and the surface is smoothed. 6. Irregular Truncated Pyramid These weights have the shape of an irregular pyramid, with concave and convex sectors at different parts of the side walls which affect their configuration (Fig. 162/3-5). The height varies from 5.5 to 12.0 cm. The clay is of red, beige, light brown, dark brown and gray-black colour and the surface is roughly smoothed. 2. Pyramidal Loom-Weights with Two Openings The loom-weights of this group have the shape of a truncated pyramid. Two openings are bored transversely and asymmetrically in their upper parts. .4.2.7. Weights with Rectangular Bases The loom-weights have elongated rectangular bases. There are several variants according to the shape of the vertical cross-section. •M CTOSS-¥£.CUOV\ us the shape, of M\ isosceles, trdpeze., the two relatively flat large sides slant down symmetrically from the flat upper base, and the narrow sides have a regular isosceles shape (Fig. 163/J); b) cross-section in the shape of a rectangular trapeze; one of the wide sides is almost vertical, while the other one is inclined, and the upper base is flat (Fig. 163/2); c) the two wide walls are curved in the same direction, one being concave and the other one convex (Fig. 163/3); d) the two wide walls are both slightly convex, nearly vertical, and the upper base is rounded (Fig. 163/4). The height of these weights varies from 6.0 to 6.5 cm., and the colour of the clay is beige or light brown. The surface is smoothed, with a slip coating. .4.2.2. Weight with a Square Bane The only such loom-weight is of heavy proportions, large in size and weight. The bases are almost square. The walls are slightly beveled near the lower base. The colour of the clay is reddishbrown, and the surface is smoothed. Height 9.5 cm. (Fig. 163/5). B. Lenticular Loom-Weights The general shape of these loom-weights is lenticular, the body has an oval silhouette and its upper end is pinched from both sides and elongated. The opening is bored from the pinched depressions and runs parallel to the two faces. Some sub-types may be distinguished according to the general shape and the cross section. 1. Ovoid Lenticular loom-weights with an oval shape. The pinching in the upper part is relatively slight and the depressions produced are hardly visible. The two faces are symmetrical. a) rounded circular outline; elongated quadrangular cross section (Fig. 164/1); b) elongated elliptical outline; elongated quadrangular cross section (Fig. 164/2); The height varies from 5.2 to 6.7 cm. Unrefined clay of brown colour. Smoothed surface. 2. Ellipsoidal These loom-weights are strongly pinched in their upper parts, the depressions thus formed are clearly expressed. The faces are rather flat. The cross-section has an irregular elliptical shape.

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