Fieldwork carried out under the Auspecies of Vincislav Gergov, Telish Museum &' Havs Randsborg, Universip of Copenhagen Edited by Havs Randsborg

with contributions by SBREN ALBEK, JESPER SBRENSEN BSTERGAARD & PETAR ZIDAROV supported by Maya Dimitrova, Rumen Peykov & fieldworkers



Excavations and field investigations at the fifth millennium BC settlement of Lıga and other Late Copper ˆ Age sites near Telish in Northern Bulgaria took place in 2000, 2001, and 2002. They were based on archaeological activities started already in the mid-1940s. Important excavations were in recent times also carried out by Vencislav Gergov of Telish Museum, the local collaborator and gracious co-director of the present project. However, only little information on earlier efforts has been published till date, not even maps of excavation. Maya Dimitrova (Museum of Lovech), Rumen Peykov (Veliko Tarnovo), and Petar Zidarov (Sofia and Tübingen universities) are a few of the many Bulgarian collaborators most valuable to the project. Thanks are also addressed to Svilen Makchev, Vania Ivanova, Asia Yordanova, Cvetelin Cvetkov, Nikolaj Kristanov, Radka Zlateva-Uzunova, and Yulij Stoyanov. Their dedication, insight and energy have been indispensable in carrying the huge burden of very hard fieldwork, including detailed recording in the field. Very many other Bulgarians participated, students, assistants, and local workers, lead by the indefatigable veteran of the campaigns, ‘‘Bai Ivan’’ (Ivan Ivanov, aged 74). Gratitude also goes to the ‘‘Sofia families’’ of the Danes, Petia & Emo Stoyanovs and Bogdana, Nikola & Mariana Zidarovs and the ‘‘Telish one’’ of the Todor & Rumiana Petkovs, all making stays most agreeable and helped solve many problems. From the Danish side, the undersigned accepted to act as director of the project and later on as executive editor of the publication. Funding was critical. The Munksgaard Foundation, Copenhagen provided crucial support, but heavy financial burdens of both excavation and post-excavation work were covered mainly privately by the Danish participants. V. Gergov accepted a honorarium, while the other participants worked for only a limited (Bulgarians) or no salary at all (Danes). Centre of World Archaeology (CWA,, with Acta Archaeologica, provided the means of publication, supported by the Beckett-foundation, Copenhagen (with a late unquoted donation for Acta Archaeologica 75:1, 2004). The executive director of the project is Inga Merkyte, supported in particular by Søren Albek and Jesper Sørensen Østergård from the Danish side (all of the Archaeology division, SAXO-Institute, University of Copenhagen). Merkyte has also been in charge of – and herself undertaken – most of the Titanic postexcavation work, as well as several in depth technological and other analyses extending to extensive comparative studies, even ethnographical observations. A number of specialists, acknowledged in the text, have assisted in various analyses. Unless otherwise stated, the chapters of the publication are by Merkyte and adhere to the general bibliography at the end of the volume. For reasons of convenience, other contributions have bibliographies of their own. The Lıga Project was carried out by postgraduate ˆ and undergraduate students from a variety of academic fields. It demonstrates the international potential and engagement of an emerging generation of European archaeologists, willing to acquire new skills in languages, archaeological science, and organization, and having the audacity to put these to work in new fields. Lıga is also one of the most detailed settleˆ ment excavations ever in the Balkans. It has revealed stunning results in terms of household organization and social life in the Copper Age. The data are extremely plentiful and rich due to exceptional conditions of find. In almost all areas are important new observations, including a cemetery from the Copper Ageπ. A particular feature is individuality of taste, revealed between contemporary households. This fact alone is a challenge to traditional ceramic chronology – the latter tending to read ‘‘time’’ into diversity. Indeed, Lıga demonstrates the particular utility ˆ of digging well and having a wide perspective of things. It is hoped that Lıga will become a reference point ˆ in Balkan archaeological research; although a small site, and a limited excavation, it is of European significance, not least because of its location on the ‘‘Bridge to Europe’’ in the crucial fifth millennium BC. The Danes are very grateful for their Bulgarian link and collaboration, which incorporate many individuals and institutions, including the Institute of Ar-


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the Bulgarian National Museum, sponsored by the Danish Foreign Ministry. Klavs Randsborg

chaeology, Sofia, and are reaching government levels, including the former Bulgarian minister of culture, Ivan Marazov, a friend. In 2000, the Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II opened an exibition on Lıga at ˆ

History may be a myth, but artefacts, which are historical events, are not. They are signifiers, becoming myths as we interpret them with our words. J.D. Prown 1996:26, rephrased.

THE PROJECT The Lıga-project originated in 1999, when the core ˆ Danish archaeologists of the project from the University of Copenhagen were guest students at Sofia’s State University, Bulgaria. The supposed ‘‘Transitional period’’, covering the gap between the Chalcolithic period (or, rather, the Copper Age) and the Bronze Age, was one of the issues then discussed. Lack of finds and excavations, confusing C-14 dates, etc. did not help in finding an answer to the problems. For a scholar with Scandinavian background this seemed to have an extra dimension, since the ‘‘Transitional period’’ in Bulgaria was also a transitional period in Danish prehistory – the transition from foragers to farmers, indeed from Ertebølle to Tragtbæger (TRB)/Funnel Beaker culture. Interaction with Bulgarian archaeologists raised aspirations to seek solutions by taking action. Northwestern Bulgaria (together with the Rhodopes) is considered to be the part of Bulgaria where Copper Age culture survived the longest. Ironically, it is also the part of the country that has been ‘‘over-

looked’’ in terms of larger Copper Age research projects, the latter focusing on the classical tell areas, such as the Thracian plain or Northeastern Bulgaria. Tells are few in NW Bulgaria and studies of temporal change consequently less straightforward. The majority of settlement investigations in the region have produced a mass of isolated phenomena, which can only be grouped with the help of one or another particular type of ceramic vessel. Therefore, a site for excavation was chosen in a particular sub-area, which perhaps has seen the most substantial research in NW Bulgaria. The idea was to piece all available evidence together, focus on a highly detailed excavation, and recreate the use of the landscape in the Copper Age as chains of large and small movements of people, their ideas and actions.


Fig. I.1. Geographical position of Telish in Bulgaria.

The archaeological site of Lıga (Bulgarian for ‘‘Grazˆ ing Fields’’, or pastures) is situated about one kilometre north of the modern village of Telish in Cherven Briag Municipality, Pleven County (Fig. I.1). The first major archaeological investigation in the area was undertaken at the nearby Late Copper Age settlement of Redutite (‘‘Redoubts’’ – the Turkish army defending the area in 1877), on the eastern fringes of Telish. The Turks constructed a lunette at Redutite, which was at first acknowledged as an archaeological site during attempts to reconstruct the bastion in 1976 (Neikov 2001). V. Gergov, then of Pleven Regional Historical Museum, started the excavations in Redutite in 1977. In 1979, he undertook several trenchsurveys in the area. The aim was primarily to gather information for the Archaeological Map of Bulgaria. As a result, he found rich graphite-painted pottery at Lıga, 1.2 km north of Redutite, indicating the presˆ ence of yet another Late Copper Age settlement. The site of Lıga is situated at the edge of a broad ˆ plateau, 20 m high and 195 m above sea level (Fig. I.2 & I.3). The Redutite site is located on the same plateau. Towards southwest and northeast the plateau has a wavy appearance. The hillock chosen for the


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Fig. I.2. Lıga site (↓), view from SW. ˆ

Fig. I.3. Lıga site, view from the North. ˆ

Lıga ˆ
Lıga settlement is delimited by ravines in the south ˆ and north, which were created during seasonal runoff of water. This process is still ongoing and has made a negative, though limited, impact on the preservation of the archaeological remains at the slopes. The topography of the whole region is characterized by a series of plateaus, generated by tectonic block fractures (Hansen 2000). These are usually running from East to West, determining the dynamics of the distribution of settlement. The North-South orientation of the regional river flows is also making an impact on settlement patterns. The edges of the plateaus have been favoured by settlers throughout prehistory, especially during the Late Copper Age. At the foot of the site there used to be stream. However, from 1960–1963 onwards, with the creation of a local irrigation system, the water of the stream is collected behind three dams in what is known as the Lake of Gorni Dabnik (Neikov 2001). Topographic features indicate that the stream was running towards the north and was part of the catchment area of the Vit. Rivers Vit and Iskar are the two major tributaries of the Danube in the region; they are also framing the archaeological sites at Telish. The distance to the rivers is about 8 km. River Iskar also distinguishes itself by being a major access route through the Balkan Range. It is runnning in deeply cut valleys forming gorges, which even today are one of the few transport corridors of the North-South axis. The area of Telish is also rich in subsurface springs. An 8–10 m thick layer of clay, grey in colour, is making up the upper part of the plateau at Telish. The seasonal erosion of the slopes at the riverbed made access to these clay deposits readily available. The remains of an old bridge, ca. 15 m long, discovered some 30 m south of the settlement, indicate the site of a wedge. All this is suggesting that access to freshwater and clay, the main building materials, together with an easy route across the stream were critical in choosing the exact settlement site. The present variety of soil types in the surroundings of Telish is also encompassing small patches of alluvial soils, moderately to intensely leached chernozems (characteristic of lower altitudes), dark brown grey to grey forest soils (characteristic of higher altitudes, i.e., the plateaus) and, occasionally, islands of degraded loess (Neikov 2001). Moderately leached

chernozems prevail. These have good water retention and humus contents ranging between 3.00 and 3.55%; they are basically considered highly fertile soils (Neikov 2001). The leached form of chernozems was most likely also easily accessible with prehistoric ploughing techniques. The immediate vicinity of the Lıga site is characterˆ ised by two types of soils. The site itself is situated on an area of the forest soils, which are considered too heavy to till with prehistoric technology (Dennell & Webley 1975). It can be assumed that this area would have supported forest vegetation and been used for browsing and acquisition of winter fodder (Dennell & Webley 1975). The soils to the West of the site, across the stream, had a higher sand component and were superbly suited for prehistoric crop cultivation.


The climate in Bulgaria is shaped by two adjacent major water basins – the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea – and, by the ranges of mountains, which direct or block the movement of air masses. The Black Sea and especially the Mediterranean Sea have great water heat accumulation capacites (Issar 2003). This enables the basins to act as temperature regulators of the overall region (Issar 2003). Telish belongs to the Danubian hilly plain, which encompasses heights between 30 and 200 m above sea level, but is cut off from these favourable effects by the range of the Balkan Mountains. Compared with other regions in Bulgaria, the Danubian hilly plain is the coolest one, open to chilly Continental winds/air streams from North and Northeast (Dimitrov 1979). The lowest winter temperatures are reaching minus 30–35 æC, the mean temperature in January being around minus 1 æ (GHCN). By contrast, summer temperatures are the highest in the country. Due to the low altitude, spring is coming early to the region (in mid-March the temperature of the soil is more than 5 æC 5–10 cm below surface, and by the 10th of April – above 10 æC) (Dimitrov 1979). Autumn is also arriving at the same extended pace. In terms of winds, the villagers of Telish are noticing that wind directions are affecting the climate; the population has even created a local etymology to describe the cold western wind and the warm southern


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in a chain of events that caused the termination of the Copper Age culture.

one (Neikov 2001). In wintertime, western winds prevail. In the summer, winds are mostly blowing from the West or the North. The effect of the winds is more extreme on the plateau where the archaeological sites are situated than in the modern village, lying in the depressed plain. Indeed, plotting temperature data collected during the period 1951–1990 (GHCN), it can be demonstrated that the regions of Pleven and Vraca – with the largest concentration of sites of the Krivodol-Sal˘ cuta-Bubanj Hum Ia culture, to which Lıga belongs – ¸ ˆ are making up a veritable ‘‘depression of cold’’ in the winter. The regions have the lowest mean January temperatures in the country (only lowlands were considered, below 400 m in altitude), namely ª0.9 æC and ª1.0 æC, respectively. The situation only improves South of Sofia and East of Ruse/Osam, where the mean January temperatures are above freezing. To what extent this information can be transferred to the Copper Age is too early to say. The pattern was perhaps similar, but the effects of generally warmer climatic conditions – peaking during the climatic optimum around 3800 BC – might have made the differences less perceptible (e.g., in terms of grazing potential during wintertime). More dramatic to Copper Age peoples were the consequences of the Black Sea transgression (Todorova 1989). By the end of the Copper Age (Phase Varna III), the level of the Black Sea was lower than at present. H. Todorova’s excavations in Durankulak at the Bulgarian coast have thus demonstrated that the water level there was 1 m lower than today. Further to the south, at Sozopol and Ropotamo, still on the coast, water tables were between 3 and 5 meters lower than today (Todorova 1998). Such differences were, supposedly, related to tectonic movements caused by rapid melting of the Arctic ice (Todorova 1998). According to H. Todorova, the highest water table compared to the present one is dated to the end of 5th millennium BC and later, reaching a maximum around 3500 BC. Gradual climatic warming transformed the favourable conditions, experienced by the early agricultural communities in the Balkans, into environmental deterioration by droughts and floodings of the fertile plains (Todorova 1998). Thus, changing climate is seen as the first ‘‘Domino piece’’

THE COPPER AGE AND ITS CULTURAL AFFILIATIONS Use of the term ‘‘Chalcolithic’’ (rather than ‘‘Aeneolithic’’ or ‘‘Copper Age’’), when describing roughly the time-span between 5000 and 4000 BC, has become common in Bulgarian writings. Still, the term ‘‘Copper Age’’ seems a slightly more handy one and will be used here, while the notion of Chalcolithic cultures is also accepted – semantics nonewithstanding. In a publication of 1948 by J.H. Gaul, written after his research in the Balkans, mainly Bulgaria, in 1938– 1939 (and published after his death in 1945, when shot by Germans as a prisoner of war), this author argues in favour of use of the term ‘‘Chalcolithic’’ as opposed to ‘‘Late Neolithic’’ (Gaul 1948, 79). Gaul was basing his arguments on the presence of natural copper in Bulgaria and on the plentiful copper implements in the Gumelnita culture (or ‘‘Bulgarian ¸ Mound Culture’’). During the late 1940s, knowledge of sites which later became attributed to the western Krivodol culture was still limited. Gaul was mentioning Okol Glava, northwest of the village of Gnilyane and finds from the caves of Morovica and Devetaki (Devetashkata). At the time, material from these sites was treated as being part of the ‘‘Bulgarian Mound Culture’’, but intuitively Gaul had grouped the representative finds in the same plate (Plate LXIV) of the publication. Staying in the Balkans, he also became acquainted with finds from Bubanj, stored at the museum in Nis and providing him with ˇ an opportunity to establish parallels between Okol Glava and Bubanj (Gaul 1948, 108). The author rightly concluded that ‘‘the interrelations of our Mound Culture [ΩGumelnita] are swiftly observable ¸ on the one hand, and on the other, seem to merge into as yet unsatisfactorily defined peripheral complexes’’ (Gaul 1948, 105). Knowledge about the late Copper Age started to accumulate rapidly during the post-war period. The development was paralleled in Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia. The eponymic site of Krivodol was partly excavated in 1946 by V. Mikov (Mikov 1948). He recognised the presence of a Late Roman fortress

Lıga ˆ
(hence the local name of the site: ‘‘Tepeto’’ or ‘‘Kaleto’’) on top of thick debris formed during the Copper Age. The landscape at Krivodol is indeed dramatic. The steep hill where the site is located is practically unapproachable from three surrounding sides. The only access is across a northern land bridge. At the foot, River Botunya is running. Concerned with the management of loose soils, Mikov chose to put his excavation trenches in the western periphery of the site. Due to natural landslide, he discovered 8 or 9 building horizons. These observations were later corrected by repeated excavation by B. Nikolov (Nikolov 1984). The latter subdivided the discovered prehistoric cultural remains (of 2.4 to 2.8 m in thickness) into 5 building horizons, all belonging to the Late Copper Age. Each main settlement burned down. Both Mikov and Nikolov mentioned the existence of fortifications (a stone wall supported by a frame of wooden poles) on the site in the Copper Age. Subdivision of the well-known Gumelnita Culture ¸ in Romania started in 1951 after the excavation of the hillock of Piscul Cornisorului close to Salcuta by ¸ ˘ ¸ D. Berciu (1961c). Before him, in 1916, and in 1919– 1920, the site was excavated by I. Andriesescu, who ¸ performed the first methodologically sound excavation in the country, but failed to publish the results. In 1917, C. Schuchhardt made a few trenches at Sal˘ cuta. All the finds were taken to Berlin but never pub¸ lished. In 1947, the site attracted attention from a new team of Romanian archaeologists, but their findings were not mediated either. So, all knowledge about this important site is based on the four trenches made by Berciu. The site is located on a tongue-like hillock, which rises some 25 m above the surrounding valley, thus ‘‘naturally fortified’’. A western land bridge is connecting it with another hillock. Berciu established several layers at Salcuta. On top of layer I of the Early ˘ ¸ Neolithic Starcevo-Cris culture was the sterile layer ¸ ˇ of a hiatus. Above this was found horizon II, subdivided into a, b, and c sub-phases. This horizon, together with the following horizon III, marks the end of the Copper Age. Materials from these layers define the Salcuta culture. The last, more or less well defined ˘ ¸ phase is horizon IV; this represents the early phase of the post-Chalcolithic period. Later surface finds at the site span from the end of the Early Bronze Age till

Medieval times. Two shallow moats, ca. 1.0 m and 1.2 m deep, were dug across the western land bridge during settlement phase IIb. In Serbia, close to Nis, M. Garasanin started sysˇ ˇ tematic excavations of Bubanj after earlier trench surveys by A. Orsic-Slavetic in 1934 (Garasanin 1957). ˇ´ ˇ ´ The excavations continued from 1954 to 1958 (Garasanin 1957, 1976). The site is situated on a protruding ˇ tongue-like plateau, 195 m above sea level, on the left bank of Nisava. The cultural layers had a thickness ˇ of 2.50–3.16 m and contained also Early Neolithic Stracevo finds. The most import result was a subdiviˇ sion of the recognized building horizons into phases Ia (Late Copper Age), Ib and II (Early Bronze Age phases Baden-Kostolac and Cotofeni III) & III (Glina ¸ ´ III of the MBA) (1). A neighbouring site, Velika Humˇ ska Cuka, a hill-top settlement, was excavated synchronously with Bubanj. The recovered evidence echoes the findings in Bubanj (Garasanin 1983). ˇ Thus, the composite name, Bubanj-Hum Ia, which is often used to denote affiliating cultural phenomena of the Late Copper Age in Eastern Serbia. A turning point in correlating available information and formulating future research directions occurred in 1959 at an international symposium in Czechoslovakia (Böhm & De Laet 1961). The leading theme was the Neolithic (and ‘‘Aeneolithic’’) in Europe. Among 45 delegates from 17 different countries were scientists who today are justly recognised as the major developers of the present perceptions of cultural developments during the Neolithic-Eneolithic/ Copper Age in the Southeastern parts of Europe: M. Gimbutas (Lithuania/USA), N.Y. Merpert (Russia), D. Berciu (Romania), M. Garasanin (Serbia), G. ˇ Georgiev (Bulgaria), and several others. This crucial event should thus be considered the birth of the notion of ‘‘Krivodol-Salcuta-Bubanj Culture’’ (here ˘ ¸ KSB), presented at the gathering in a short, almost telegram-like statement by Berciu (1961b). His observations made on the characteristics of this cultural unit are still correct. Berciu defined the area of the KSB culture as NW Bulgaria, S Romania (Oltenia, Eastern Banat) and E Serbia (to Pelagonia and Skopje in the F.R.Y. Macedonia). During the symposium,
1. For the sake of uniformity, the chronological division accepted in Bulgaria is applied in the text, cf. Fig. I.5.


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Fig. I.4. Main Late Copper Age cultural complexes in Southeastern Europe, according to Todorova and Vajsov (Todorova & Vajsov 2001), slightly modified.

Berciu also presented his attempts to make the first correlation of materials from the Salcuta, Krivodol, ˘ ¸ Bubanj and Gumelnita sites (1961a). ¸

PROFILE OF THE KSB CULTURE The KSB is considered a late Copper Age cultural group, which primarily is recognized through cultural

remains from NW Bulgaria. The valley of Struma, in SW Bulgaria, is under the direct influence of KSB, albeit the latter region is also marked by other cultural impulses. The southernmost known site of the ˇ KSB culture in Bulgaria is Vaksevo-Skaleto (Cochadziev 2001). In Romania, this cultural group is mainly ˇ spread in Oltenia, up to the river Olt, but also known in a narrow strip of W Muntenia (the left bank of the

Lıga ˆ
Olt and the southern part of Arges county) and in SE ¸ Banat (the county of Caras Severin), or, shortly, in Southwestern Romania. In Yugoslavia, KSB is spread in the Eastern part of Serbia but its influence is also identified in Kosovo, as well as in Macedonian Pelagonia (Tasic & Tasic 2003). In Eastern Serbia the ´ ´ neighbour of KSB to the West is Vinca D. In Roˇ mania and Bulgaria, KSB is bordering towars the East on a big cultural complex termed Kodzadermenˇ Gumelnita-Karanovo VI (KGK VI), and Varna (Fig. ¸ I.4). What then is separating the KSB culture from the neighbouring cultural groups? In former Yugoslavia, the priority when defining Bubanj-Hum sites was given to their topographic position. The settlements were usually found on naturally protected elevations, or, in caves. Thus, a site on top of Skopje hill is considered as the most western KSB outpost. The settlers of the Vinca culture, by ˇ contrast, were linked to multi-layered tell settlements. Tells are also the prevailing settlement type in the Kodzadermen-Gumelnita-Karanovo VI (KGK VI) ¸ ˇ culture. Exceptions comprise settlements on pile platforms, such as Negovantsi and Krainitsi, in the KSB area, and the so-called plateau settlements in the KGK VI area (Todorova 1986). There have been several attempts to define some of the KSB settlements as tells (Todorova 1986; Nikolova 1999); the issue rests solely on special definitions and will be further discussed below. Pottery styles and decorations are thought to be the most reliable trait in defining cultural regions. Garasˇ anin defines the characteristic pottery of Bubanj-Hum as fine, highly polished, and made from micaseous clays (1976). The characteristic shapes are cups, jars with two handles, and beakers (so-called ‘‘kantharoi’’), as well as voluminous amphoras (Garasanin 1976). ˇ Discussing pottery of the Krivodol culture in Bulgaria, Todorova notes that the most conspicuous feature is the high amount of cups with double handles, pots and jars with narrowed neck and two or four handles, bowls with inverted or thickened rim, biconic vessels, plugs for oven, and fire-vessels (cf. below) (Todorova 1986). The surface is often roughened with the help of barbotine, impressions, incisions or pinched decoration. Graphite paint is applied on vessel neck or shoulders, in case of bowls the whole interior is often

painted (Todorova 1986). Among the distinctive forms of the Romanian Salcuta culture, according to ˘ ¸ Berciu, are two-handled cups, small squat cups and bowls with thickened and inverted rims; decoration includes graphite painting and colour incrustation (Berciu 1961c). Thus, the description of KSB pottery is reflecting different scholarly attitudes towards variations and characteristics. The margins in E Serbia are rather wide, and any shard with graphite paint would be considered as belonging to KSB, while in Bulgaria, where graphite painted pottery is prevailing from the coast to the Rila Mountains and beyond, the definitions are stricter. Intuition is often at help in the non-written world of semi-conscious filtering of overlapping cultural traits. Generally, the ceramic assemblage of KSB is defined by vessels with oppositely placed handles, which are a rarity in the KGK VI complex, and dominance of positive graphite decoration, also rare in KGK VI, where negative patterns overwhelmingly prevail (Todorova 1986). There are apparently no discussions as to the beginning of the Copper Age in Bulgaria (Fig. I.5). Thus, the temporal division suggested by B. Nikolov has so far not been debated (Nikolov 1992). The earliest sub-phase is by this author named after the Brenitsa site, and the subsequent two after the Gradeshnitsa site (Nikolov 1992). The middle Copper Age remains somewhat ephemeral, with only Dyakovo site as representative in the Struma valley (Todorova ˇ 1986; Cohadziev 1997). In general, there are no disˇ putes in considering the KSB as the successor of the Gradeshnitsa culture (Georgieva 1995b). It is also believed that the KSB culture was formed in Western Bulgaria around the middle of the 5th millennium and then spread northwards and westwards (Georgieva 1995b). Therefore, the earliest sites are known only in Bulgaria. The later development of the culture has recently become a subject of numerous discussions, resulting in a variety of chronological schemes (e.g., Nikolova 1999). Georgieva has demonstrated that in terms of macro-regional trends, the most plausible solution is to view KSB as undergoing four phases of development (Georgieva 1995b). A rapid increase in the number of sites is seen during phases II–IV. This is also the time when the cultural impact of this cul-


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Fig. I.5. Chronological table with key sites discussed in the text and main cultural groupings. Grey colour marks the period and sites with affiliation to the Krivodol-Salcuta-Bubanj Hum Ia complex (KSB). ˘ ¸

ture advances towards Eastern Serbia and Oltenia (Georgieva 1995b) (Fig. I.6). Eastern Serbia and the regions further west were the last to experience KSB impact. This is indirectly confirmed by the lack of sites with more than one KSB occupation (as opposed to the multi-horizonal settlements in Bulgaria). The stylistic analyses of pottery from the discovered KSB sites, to some extent supported by stratigraphic data, have resulted in the

definition of two main KSB phases. The boundary is made between sites with painted pottery (graphite or white or red pigments) and those, which are lacking such decoration (Tasic 1990; 1995; Lazic & Sladic ´ ´ ´ 1997). Apparently, there is still a lack of consensus on which phase should be seen as the earliest (Tasic ´ 1990; 1995; Lazic & Sladic 1997), creating some con´ ´ fusion as to whether Bubanj-Hum Ia, with graphite painted ceramics, represents the first or the second

Lıga ˆ


Fig. I.6. Distribution of investigated KSB Ia sites (dots). 1 – Kolarovo, 2 – Piperitsa, 3 – Drenovitsa, 4 – Sandanski, 5 – Kochan, 6 – Dragodan, 7 – Vaksevo, 8 – Yunatsite, 9 – Dolna Koznitsa, 10 – Kraynitsi, 11 – Mala Fucha, 12 – Izvor, 13 – Negovantsi, 14 – Radomir, 15 – Pernik-Krakra, 16 – Dushintsi, 17 – Gnilyane-Okol Glava, 18 – Gulubovtsi-Pekliuk, 19 – Teteven-Morovitsa cave, 20 – RebarkovoMızhin grad, 21 – Rebarkovo-Dzhugera, 22 – Mezdra, 23 – Lovech, 24 – Staro Selo-Yordanovo Kale, 25 – Gorna Kremena-Izvoro, ˆ 26 – Gorna Kremena-Zaminec, 27 – Kunino, 28 – Aglen-Ochilata cave, 29 – Kameno Pole, 30 – Devetaki Cave, 31 – Cherven Breg, 32 – Sadovec-Ezero, 33 – Sadovec-Kaleto, 34 – Sadovec-Golemanovo Kale, 35 – Pipra, 36 – Gabare-Marla, 37 – Gabare-Dolnoto Kale, 38 – Telish-Redutite, 39 – Banitsa-Milin Kamak, 40 – Telish-Lıga, 41 – Bukovec-Zanogata, 42 – Okhoden, 43 – Georgi-Damyanovoˆ Markovo Kale, 44 – Krivodol, 45 – Barkachevo-Kanov Vrakh, 46 – Rakevo-Chuljov kamak, 47 – Galatin-Chukata, 48 – BelotintsiKremenish, 49 – Okhrid, 50 – Montana, 51 – Lesura-Golata Mogila, 52 – Lesura-Gradishteto, 53 – Malorad, 54 – Beli Bryag-Markov Kamak, 55 – Lekhchevo-Kostadin, 56 – Lipnitsa, 57 – Krushovitsa-Borovanska Mogila, 58 – Sofronievo-Daneva Mogila, 59 – YakimovoMogilata, 60 – Miziya, 61 – Staliyska Makhala-Bagachina, 62 – Makresh, 63 – Slatina, 64 – Ostrovul Corbului, 65 – Baile HerculaneHotilor Cave, 66 – Girla Mare, 67 – Vadastra, 68 – Salcuta, 69 – Humska Chuka, 70 – Bubanj, 71 – Rudna Glava, 72 – Veljkovo-Kapu ¸ ˘ ¸ Djaluluj, 73 – Smedovac, 74 – Kovilovo, 75 – Zlotska Pecina, 76 – Krivelj, 77 – Korbovo-Vajaga Pesak, 78 – Hisar, 79 – Gadimilje, 80 – Skopje, 81 – Bakarno Gumno. Squares mark other contemporary sites in the region, mentioned in the text.

stage of KSB development in former Yugoslavia (Lazic & Sladic 1997). The relation between KSB sites, ´ ´ especially those of former Yugoslavia, will probably remain unresolved until a proper set of absolute dates is established.

REVIEW OF PREVIOUS RESEARCH The larger region of Telish first came into focus in 1934 with the excavations at Sadovec (Fig. I.7). At first, Bulgarian archaeologists, later joined by German and Austrian scholars, were investigating Late


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Fig. I.7. Satellite map of the Telish region with distribution of known Copper Age sites (etc.).

Antiquity fortifications (6th century AD, as dated by coins) in a vicinity of Sadovec (Welkov 1935; Todorova Simeonova 1968; Uentze 1992). Of these sites, Golemanovo Kale also contained prehistoric material, which later has been subdivided in Late Copper Age, Early (Orlea-Sadovec) and Middle (Glina III) Bronze Age, and Early Iron Age (Hallstatt material) (Todorova 1992; Alexandrov 1992). The site was occupying a rocky terrace steeply rising to more than 20 m above the riverbed of Vit. The site was a natural stronghold accessible only from the north. In prehistoric times, the location has also been valued due to abundant resources of flint in the lower part of the limestone terrace.

Another important archaeological landmark in Telish region is Pipra, situated 8 km south of the village. Like the site at Sadovec, Pipra has been valued for its natural defensive features; in fact, it was one of the fortified junctions to protect movement along the Roman road between Oescus (Gigen) and Stargosia (Pleven) (Neikov 2001). In the early 1970s, the site was briefly investigated (Gergov, pers. comm.). It has been established that besides Late Antiquity fortress buildings, spread over an oblong hill of 65¿35 m, there were traces of an Early Iron Age settlement. Later intensive pitting on the site by looters has also demonstrated that the central part holds at least five building horizons, which can be

Lıga ˆ


Fig. I.8. Sites of Ezero and Kaleto at Sadovec, as seen from E. Note the rampart at Kaleto.

attributed to the Copper Age, primarily the earlier part of the KSB (pers.observation). Significantly, all Copper Age settlements seem to have been burned down. The closest parallel to the settlement at Lıga is ˆ nearby Redutite, where excavations went on for nearly 20 years. Separated by the short distance of only 1.2 km the two sites are not only geographically but also temporally related. Redutite turned out to be a well-preserved settlement with four temporal phases. The earliest settlement was founded in the Early Copper Age (Gradeshnitsa phase), while the two subsequent settlements were of late Copper Age, and the last one representing the initial phase of the so-called Transitional period (Gergov 1992a). No succession was recorded between the two Late Copper Age settlements. In fact, all phases were interspaced

by so-called hiatus layers, which bear witness to significant episodes of abandonment. Hence, the research at Lıga was initially driven by the expectation ˆ to fill in these chronological gaps and to trace the dynamics of shifts in settlement in the micro-region.


During the three fieldwork seasons at Lıga some enˆ ergy was invested in rescue work at a site, which appeared to hold material from several Copper Age settlements. The site was discovered near Sadovec, 7 km southeast of Telish, and is actually in two parts: a lower and older one named Sadovec-Ezero, and an upper and younger called Sadovec-Kaleto (Welkov 1935 (short note); Mitova-Dzonova 1979, 61) (Fig. ˇ I.8). Despite the rescue character of this investigation,


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soil and vegetation, and no traces of human activity have left any impact on its appearance. The hillock, at its highest and most northern point, is approximately 173 m above the sea level. The range of hills is rising over the site by 7 m on a northern side and by more than 15 m on the southern one. The investigation of the site was initiated during the summer of 2002 after reports on digs carried on by very active local looters. The looters had dug three main trenches reaching rock bottom through cultural deposits 3.5–4.0 m thick, as well as several other trenches. The trenches were actually ‘‘archaeological’’ in nature, with vertical profiles, which could easily be cleaned and studied (Fig. I.9). Six building horizons were recorded in the largest trench, spanning a full Copper Age sequence. Due to the natural remoteness of the site, the conditions of preservation were exceptional. Four of the settlement horizons had traces of conflagration while the remaining ones had been left to slow decomposition. Even in layers where clay items were not exposed to fire, their state of preservation was remarkable (Fig. I.10 & I.11). Among the most important finds was a burial of a woman, placed in prone position in a pit measuring just 65¿45 cm. This event took place during a period postdating the Copper Age and presumably before the Early Bronze Age proper. The two earliest occupation phases of Sadovec-Ezero site are dated to the beginning of the Copper Age. During the Late Copper Age the settlers started to occupy also the edge of the northern range of hills, forming a plateau. The site on the hills is locally known as Sadovec-Kaleto. Apparently, at that time, the inhabitants must have started to use a kind of drawbridge, for the distance that had to be overcome between the two heights, abruptly separated by the river, was only 7 m, or less. Not long after the expansion, the site in the canyon was abandoned, the settlement continuing on the more accessible plateau. The Sadovec-Kaleto site was also heavily damaged by the looters, who had even used excavating machinery. Rescue work was therefore carried out there, too. It appeared that after the close of the Copper Age, the Kaleto settlement continued directly into the Early Bronze Age, without any significant interruption or dramatic material changes. In that sense, this site is truly exceptional. Pottery of the so-called Transitional

Fig. I.9. Western trench at Sadovec-Ezero.

in particular Sadovec-Ezero yielded significant chronological and other information, which will be presented in full in a future work. Traces of the earliest occupation were found on a saddle-like hillock, measuring 65¿40 m, surrounded by high and nearly 90 degrees steep ranges of limestone hills. A narrow passage through the hills is cut by the river Belilka, a tributary of Vit, which is almost unnoticeable in the landscape since it runs deep down below the ranges, encircling the hillock. The northern part of the hillock, approximately 14 m above the river, is higher than the southern one. Due to this natural form, aeolithic sand forming the occupation layers only accumulated on the southern part. Thus, the northern part remains uncovered by

Lıga ˆ


Fig. I.10. Southern trench at Sadovec-Ezero. Remains of Late Copper Age oven, three times rebuilt, and adjacent storage bin.

Period, as well as of the earliest Bronze Age (OrleaSadovec type), have been recognised in the collected material. Until now, there are only a dozen of such Transitional sites known in the whole of Bulgaria. An interesting structure investigated at Kaleto was a semi-circular rampart surrounding the site from the accessible northern side and ending at the steep edges of the plateau. The rampart was constructed in two stone walls with compact layers of soil in between and a soil cover. No doubt there has also been a palisade at the top. The only archaeological finds recorded in connection with this unique structure were shards of the Early Bronze Age.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES As implied, the research objectives for Lıga and adˆ jacent sites were to a high degree dictated by the out-

Fig. I.11. Storage bin of unbaked clay, Sadovec-Ezero.


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at a site as more important than the issues of cultural differentiation within each temporal episode. Scandinavian archaeology suffers from its own limitations: research projects have to give way to an administrative archaeology producing general models of house types, settlements and land use but almost completely devoid of small-scale highly detailed information. Therefore, conscious efforts were invested at Lıga in ˆ identifying and disclosing all structures to their fullest extent, followed by highly thorough documentation procedures. This approach has, for instance, enabled us to study the excavated materials with an explicit focus on individual structures and activities, producing case sensitive – or historical – results. As derives from the logics of these considerations, answers were also sought to explain the existence of seemingly opposed settlement modes in SE Europe. The KSB culture is often defined by geographical fluctuation, observed through settlements with limited recurring use. The immediate eastern neighbour of the KSB – the KGK VI complex – is traditionally characterized by multi-layered settlement mounds, i.e., tells, reflecting continuous spatial attachments: How can material data explain such differing subsistence strategies and, in the case of KSB, less tangible mechanisms to sustain the social and spiritual equilibrium of society? With a full awareness of the fact that not all variables can be identified, several specialist studies were designed to produce a detailed cultural profile of the Lıga site, hence to provide data for comˆ parative studies. The main overall objective was to demonstrate the potential of integrated studies targeted to translate the cultural fingerprints of site and landscape into proper chronological sequences and cultural structures.

come of the excavations at Redutite. Information on two Late Copper Age settlements, supplemented with data on the so-called Transitional Period, was considered a good starting point for building-up a local sequence of land-use and, most importantly, for tracing movements of peoples and ideas. Complex approaches to the regional data enabled the perspective to be broadened in scope and to link a limited project to a much wider cultural-geographical setting. So far, the majority of settlement investigations in Western Bulgaria have produced a mass of isolated phenomena, which have only been coupled up with the help of particular types of artefacts. A different situation presented itself at Telish, with an opportunity to produce and to piece together evidence into coherent historical sequences, resembling those of the southern area of impressive tells. In this light, issues such as the spatial organisation of the Lıga site, changes in the ˆ planning of settlement and its architecture, duration and causes of abandonment, etc. could be set in a broader temporal and geographical perspective, revealing the ‘‘dialectics’’ of a Late Copper Age settlement. The ambition in the present case was never to excavate the whole settlement, as at Redutite, but to concentrate on few areas where the archaeological contexts could be investigated fully and at great detail. Thus, the chosen strategy is in contrast to both the usual Bulgarian excavation practice and the main trends within the Scandinavian archaeology. Presently, in Bulgaria, with limited funding for archaeological projects, there are no big scale research initiatives, like the ones that could be experienced during the Communist era (e.g., Todorova 1982). Most projects are designed to cover the depth rather than the width, viewing the issues of temporal development

METHODOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS & EXCAVATION TECHNIQUES The site of Lıga was excavated during three summer ˆ seasons from 2000 till 2002. During the third season, an important task was to undertake rescue excavations at Sadovec-Ezero and Sadovec-Kaleto. The excavated area at Lıga is 275 m2 (excluding ˆ survey trenches) (Fig. II.1). Surface investigations at the site in 2000 did not reveal any specific concentration of finds. In order to satisfy both the stratigraphic objectives and to catch the distribution of expected structural remains, a transect covering 2¿30 m was set along the topographically anticipated central axis of the site, starting from the western limit of the plateau. This transect was orientated W-E. It covered one of the two minor survey trenches of 1979, still to be seen as depressions in the terrain (Fig. II.2). The re-opened survey trench, which undoubtedly had destroyed the pertaining structural cultural remains, was intended as a control profile for the excavation of new trenches, providing a prior understanding of the nature of deposits and soils. A nearby Thracian (presumably) tumulus, holding a local measurement pillar made of concrete at the top became the main reference point for mapping, which ensured a conversion of the relative measurements of the investigation to the absolute. A Total Station was used in measuring. The said transect was subdivided into smaller units of 2¿5 m. To save time and man-power, the decision was taken to excavate only every second unit. This made possible stratigraphic comparison between sondages and created a larger investigated area. Digits and letters of the Greek alphabet were applied for labelling (Fig. II.3). Bearing in mind, that such a strategy would allow to establish only the western borders of the site, partly determined by the features of the landscape (rather abrupt slopes), intensive drillings were also undertaken, aimed at providing an overview of the entire area used for occupation; as a result, a new section was selected for excavation. At the southern slopes the drillings revealed a thick layer of burned daub, a strong indication of the presence of habitation structures. A trench of 5¿5 m was opened for investigation (subdivided into sondages no. 8A and 8B). At the same time, it appeared that both the control sondage (no. 6A, laid across the old survey trench) and the neighbouring sondage (no. 5) contained substantial traces of habitation. The limits of the latter sondage were eventually expanded, becoming part of a large trench of 4¿10 m. In order to establish a sensitive stratified collection of finds, this trench was in turn subdivided into four sondages (nos. 5, 7, 6A & 6B). The westernmost sondage (no. 1) did not reveal any evident traces of human activity. A dozen of shards were uncovered in a thin layer of humus (0.16–0.26 m thick) on top of a sterile layer of pebbles. Despite sloping, it was obvious that this part of the hillock was never used for construction of any permanent structure. The next sondage, no. 3, also gave limited results. After excavating a layer of humus 0.4 m thick, this sondage was abandoned. Later drillings revealed the remains of structures in the easternmost part, 0.8 m below the surface. All sondages were excavated in arbitrary layers of 5–10 cm. The bulk material was sorted and collected separately: pottery, all stones and flints, animal bones, and burned daub. All individual finds – diagnostic ceramic pieces, ground stones, flint or bone implements and their concentrations (e.g., a heap of animal bones), as well as particular samples, were individually recorded in three dimensions with the Total Station. Water sieving was persistently attempted during each season, but did not give the expected results. During the first season a special flotation plant was constructed, while during the second field-campaign a rather more efficient method was applied: The soil was collected into net bags with dense mesh, containing one bucket, and sieved holding the bags directly under a rapid water stream. Soil for water sieving was collected from the areas of special interest, such as the floor area around a storage bin or an oven, or soil excavated from the graves. Only a few potential palaeobotanical remains were collected as the result of these efforts. Other residues, such as flint chips and shards, were also limited in number, perhaps due to the already intensive attention given to such finds


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Fig. II.1. Topographical map of Lıga with indication of the excavated areas and built structures of Lıga 2 (dark grey shading). EquidistanceΩ ˆ ˆ 0.5 m. Sondages in light grey were not completed. Strong dashed line marks the area of the Lıga 2 settlement. Weak dashed line marks the ˆ established borders of the Lıga 1 settlement. Dense dashed line marks the extension of Lıga 4 (Early Bronze Age) settlement. a marks ˆ ˆ depression in the terrain made by earlier digs of 1979. All measurements were taken by S. Albek.

Lıga ˆ


Fig. II.2. Place of the central transect, view from E. Note depressions in the terrain – traces of earlier digs/survey trenches of 1979. Fig. II.3. Plan of Lıga site with excavated sondages. Large digits ˆ and letters indicate sondages excavated in 2000, the remaining – mainly in 2001 (additional work in 2002). Sector 1 denotes a set of trenches lying on the southern slopes of the site and covering House 1 of Lıga 2. Sector 2 indicates a set of centrally lying trenches ˆ covering Houses 2 & 3 of Lıga 2. ˆ

during the excavation. Generally, it can be stated that only limited information disappeared when water sieving was not applied. Dry sieving was also attempted, with a sieve mesh of 5¿5 mm, but lumpiness and the severe dryness of the soil made this a very time-consuming task, also with only limited results. The first field campaign partly uncovered the remains of three habitation structures. During the field campaign of 2001 the governing strategy was to uncover the total remains of the prehistoric houses. Therefore, already investigated areas were surrounded by a new set of sondages according to predictions of the dimensions of the structures. A system of sections was also created (Fig. II.4). The new sondages were assigned a digit and a letter, so that all sondages with the digit 9 are connected with House 1, with digit 4 House 2, and with digit 10 House 3 (Fig. II.3).

SURVEYS AND DRILLINGS Surveys around Lıga were conducted on several ocˆ casions with different degrees of intensity. These were aimed to establish the size of the settlement and its land-use, as well as for identifying new archaeological sites. The immediate surroundings of the site were also investigated with the help of drillings with geological augers. The surveys were based on field-walking. The procedure entailed a team of 4–5 persons

spaced at intervals of 20 m. Parallel alignments were set up with help of the Total Station and compasorientated N-S. In some cases, the transect alignment was dictated by the natural orientation of the field. All artefacts were collected per 10 m, then bagged and counted. Altogether, an area of approx. 1500 m2 was intensively surveyed. The majority of the fields around Lıga were cultivated (especially in 2000), makˆ ing the conditions of survey favourable. Sample squares measuring 10¿10 m seemed to be optimal in responding to the requirements and aims of such survey, i.e., to find the borders of the occupation, or to uncover possible rotations of settlement. Distribution maps showed several concentrations, which appeared to be misleading, though, compared with information gained by the drillings. Nevertheless, the surveys helped to establish the existence of an Early Bronze Age settlement partly overlapping the Copper Age Lıga 2 settlement. This resulted in a higher awareness ˆ in sorting the excavated materials, which also held Bronze Age finds. Sounding procedures by drilling revealed the northern and the eastern borders of the Copper Age occupation. The intensive surveys were focused on two prime


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Fig. II.4. Central part (Sector 2) of Lıga in the course of excavation, view from E. ˆ

areas: the area between Redutite and Lıga, and the ˆ area around Lıga and the present-day dam. It apˆ peared that certain areas had experienced intense human attention throughout the past, while others were completely ignored. The mentioned stretch between the two sites did not provide a single archaeological artefact, despite repeated surveys. By contrast, the edges of the dam, largely corresponding to the course of the past stream, had evidently been a core-area, attracting settling and exploitation from Neolithic times onwards. Different requirements for space and occupation are reflected in the settlement dynamics of the area. During the Neolithic and the Early Copper Age the lower lying areas on the left bank of the former stream were preferred, while during later periods the higher lying and rather more dramatic plateau was favored for settlement. The people of the Early Iron

age, as also those of the subsequent periods (data available until the 6th century AD), moved back to the plains at the stream, leaving the highland for ritual activities and erection of tumuli. Differing traditions of settling are of great interest, since they demonstrate that continuous occupation is not needed to create spatial attachments. Cultural memories may take a general form and hence manifest themselves through recognition and identification of human alterations in a landscape, such as clearance activities or the presence of plants loaded with cultural significance. The Neolithic and Early Copper Age settlements are found on relatively light soils, suitable for prehistoric tillage (cf. above). Such areas were probably cleared long before the Late Copper Age occupation on the plateau. Several shards of Late Copper Age date discovered in the earlier fields are clearly off-site

Lıga ˆ
finds connected with the main Lıga occupation. Thus, ˆ evidence indicates that the area on the left bank of the stream was heavily and continuously used for cultivation, whether the settlements were situated nearby or not. Finally, recurring occupation at the same site – as during the Late Copper Age – seems to indicate the existence of certain cognitive templates, which helped select particular areas as culturally suitable. Nevertheless, natural conditions (availability of water, clay resources, soil types, etc.) were no doubt at the base of any prehistoric acknowledgment of ‘‘tamed landscapes’’ (sensu Hodder 1990).

casionally used for knapping. The gravel is mixed with coarse and medium (grains 1–2 mm in size) yellow-reddish sand with carbonate inclusions. This layer is highly calcareous, despite the absence of limestone. The thickness of the layer is 0.2–0.4 m. As the first settlers started to prepare the surface for construction of dwellings, they stripped the top of the hillock from soil, exposing the pebble layer. The surplus soil was deposited down the southern slope, which was witnessing an attempt to expand the area of occupation. The western slope, which is closest to the stream, and the steepest, was not changed since this would have been inefficient. The northern slopes were not investigated. Actually, the settlers were not trying to create a level surface everywhere, only some even areas. When the houses were built, they would appear to have been standing on low terraces, differing 0.3–0.4 m in height. The layer of pebbles left around the houses would have been appreciated as natural pavements, as indicated by crushed pebbles and a darker colour created by accumulated organic matters between the pebbles. It is not known what caused the termination of the settlement, which generally was recognised as a grey unburned clayey layer rich in organic matters and small pieces of charcoal (1–2 mm in size). The charcoal likely entered the debris after a fire clearing of vegetation at the time of establishment of the subsequent settlement, Lıga 2. The first settlement was ˆ only acknowledged in the southern and eastern parts of the investigated area. Except for the southern and, partly, the western limits, its extents have not been established, since the drillings did not produce any conclusive results regarding the area of occupation. The Lıga 1 settlement had a general orientation of ˆ SW to NE. The houses were more widely spaced than those of the subsequent settlement. The most informative structural remains were discovered at the southern edge. Clay was the main building material and a high content of organic matter in the destruction layer points towards the use of a wattle and daub technique. Massive posts with a diameter of 25 cm were supporting the construction in some parts of the walls. On the rather unstable southern side, a shallow 0.45 m wide trench was dug prior to the erection of the wall. The house in questions was orientated NS. The external length, as could be measured from

SITE FORMATION DYNAMICS The site of Lıga has been the scene of many activities ˆ in the past. As the name (‘‘Grazing Fields’’) implies, it is today uncultivated and used for grazing of communal herds of sheep and goat. At the end of the 19th century, the site was made into a vineyard. Trenches dug for planting wines have caused much destruction of the archaeological remains. Periods of land cultivation have formed a thick layer of humus. Two layers of humus-rich topsoil can be distinguished. The lower and darker one has a significant amount of charred remains, indicating repeated clearance by fire – a practice which even today is widespread in the country. Based on stratigraphic observations, it can be concluded that both humus-rich layers were formed after the 6th century AD. In fact, long before becoming a nondescript plot of land, the location experienced a series of differing human activities that inevitably changed its natural appearance (Pl. 3).


The first settlement at the site – Lıga 1 – was estabˆ lished during the earlier part of the Late Copper Age. The settlers invested much energy in shaping the hillock and creating even terrain. Before anthropogenic impact, the hillock was covered by a grey layer of sandy clay mixed with fine organic matter, slightly acidic. The layer below is constituted by gravel and pebbles (up to 70 mm in size), including fragments of well-rounded quartzite and brown opaque flint, oc-


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southern profile). It is a flat female bone figurine with good parallels at other Late Copper Age sites (Pl. 26:6). The archaeological record concerning Lıga 1 is ˆ thus preserved the best at the southern slopes. For how long the Lıga 1 settlement remained abanˆ doned before the new occupation is difficult to tell. On a material scale – primarily pottery – the change is dramatic. At any rate, the house mounds were clearly visible for the new settlers, who used them as foundations for their own dwellings, thus preserving the grid of space-use established by the Lıga 1 settleˆ ment.


Fig. II.5. Lıga 1, remains of stone pavement. ˆ

preserved postholes as well as the extent of destruction debris, was 7.6 m. The floor inside the house was lime plastered (Pl. 3, Sondage 8A). Only one layer of floor could be recognised. Computer-aided lightsimulations reveal that whitening of floors is the most effective means to increase illumination of interiors as light is reflected off the floors (Larsen 2003). By contrast, whitening of the walls are not adding more light to the internal space. At the SE corner of the house was part of a regular stone pavement made of waterworn well-sorted cobbles of sandstone and brown flint reaching 10–12¿5–10 cm in size (Fig. II.5). Beyond the outline of the house, on the southern slope, was a thick layer of discarded pottery, animal bones and stone tools, among which hammer stones were the most frequent. One of the most spectacular finds comes from the area inside the house (sondage 9V,

Around 4400 BC calibrated (cf. below), a new settlement – Lıga 2 – was established at the site. Level ˆ terraces were created on the remains of the Lıga 1 ˆ dwellings, causing severe destruction of the debris of the previous occupational phase. The fact that the low house mounds comprised of unburned clay was appreciated, providing fine and easily formed foundations for the new dwellings. Such layers make good floors, enabling the preservation of a coherent surface during the entire use-life of a dwelling. As a consequence, terracing was more pronounced now and a more elaborate design of the settlement created. The archaeological investigation was mainly concentrated on the material vestiges of this settlement. Three dwellings were fully investigated. Their identification was easy due to the fact that the settlement of Lıga 2 was burned down, and reddish burned ˆ daub clearly outlined the structures. In the northern part of the excavated area, numerous limestones were discovered, which displayed a semi-circular or oval pattern. Stones in such configurations are obviously structural features, in fact house foundations, even when lacking preserved burned daub. House 1 was discovered almost exactly on top of the house from the previous occupational horizon. With a slight deviation towards the East it followed the orientation of the earlier construction (Pl. 2). House 2, as could be deduced from the occasional occurrence of large fragments of pottery, was possibly also covering remains of a previous construction, although the relationship between the two structures could not be established due to lack of more substan-

Lıga ˆ


Fig. II.7. Pottery of Early Copper Age Gradeshnitsa culture found at Lıga. ˆ

Fig. II.6 Survey trench dug across the Southern slope.

tial debris. The area East of House 2 was used for discard of broken pottery, food remains, and especially ashes (Pl. 3, C–D). The same sort of material was discovered at this very site in Lıga 1. The area ˆ below House 3 was not fully investigated, but clear traces of previous occupation were established, demonstrating that older structural remains were used to create a level terraced platform for a new dwelling, rising higher than House 2, according to the excavation profile (Pl. 3, A–B). Based on these observations it can, tentatively, be assumed that the gap between the two settlements was not of a significant length, even though it is marked by a dramatic change in pottery technology (see below). The Lıga 2 inhabitants also made modifications ˆ to the hillock. With the help of two survey trenches across the western and southern slopes, it has been demonstrated that a shallow ditch or trench, ca. 1.5

m in width and 0.8 m deep, may now have encircled the entire hillock (Fig. II.6). This trench was dug to create steeper slopes, in particular towards the West. A posthole (15 cm in diameter) near the trench on the western slopes perhaps indicates that a fence was erected along the trench, separating the latter from the settlement. The survey trenches also proved that discard of waste was controlled. Only insignificant amounts of shards from the Lıga 2 ˆ settlement were discovered on the slopes and at the foot of the hillock. Finally, it should be noted that a handful of rather big and thick-walled shards, ornamented with deeply incised lines and pits, often with white lime incrustation, dated to the Early Copper Age Gradeshnitsa culture were found (Fig. II.7). The distribution of these shards at Lıga does not present any particular ˆ pattern, except that the highest number, mere three shards, was found in the waste area at House 1. No structures or features can be related to this period. The said shards all have traces of severe secondary burning, so the most apparent explanation is that they were brought to the site by the Lıga 2 inhabitants, ˆ perhaps as exotica, due to their distinctive ornamentation and contrasting bright red colour. The closest settlement of Early Copper Age date is situated just across the stream. The Redutite site also held evidence on a conflagrated Gradeshnitsa settlement. Apart from that, there is only one more known Early Copper Age settlement in a vicinity of Telish (Gergov 1994).


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Fig. II.9. Early Bronze Age pottery from Lıga. ˆ

Fig. II.8. One of the shards discovered in the Early Bronze Age pit.


The Lıga 2 settlement was abandoned after a conflaˆ gration. The proximity of C-14 and AMS dates available from Redutite and Lıga implies that soon after ˆ the abandonment of the Lıga 2 settlement a new ˆ settlement was established at Redutite, Redutite II. The abandonment of Lıga site lasted until ca. 4000 ˆ BC. At that time, the southern part of the site was selected for a cemetery with several burials. In the excavated area alone, seven graves have been discovered, one grave holding remains of two individuals. This significant discovery is described in Chapter XI, below.


During the Early Bronze Age the excavated area was part of a marginal activity zone for a settlement higher up on the plateau. The occupational debris of this was partly overlapping the eastern limits of the Lıga 2 settlement, as has been established through ˆ drillings. The full extent of the Bronze Age settlement was not determined, but surface finds from the surrounding fields point to a considerable size. Besides scattered pottery shards, found mostly in Sector 2, one pit is with certainty attributed to the EBA. This had an oval shape and was orientated SE-NW, the

dimensions being 1.50¿1.20¿1.15 m. The dark brown clay loam fill can be associated with domestic activities, including fragmented pottery, a few bones, and other organic material. Also, at least 10 fragments of one distinctive vessel, partly intact at the time of deposition, were recorded from the upper layers of the pit (Fig. II.8). This vessel differs much from the main body of Early Bronze Age shards discovered on the site, both in terms of a very fine sand matrix, medium brown colour, and a fine surface finish. It is decorated with very shallow grooves resembling fluting rather than grooving (hence often called pseudo-flutes), which are organised in a herringbone pattern. A 6 mm broad flattopped tool was applied for decoration. Such decoration is common during the Cotofeni I phase (Roman ¸ 1976). In the same pit were other Early Bronze Age shards with exact parallels from the neighbouring sites at Sadovec. In most cases, Early Bronze Age pottery could be separated easily from Copper Age pottery due to its medium to coarse sandy fabrics and rough feel, since original slipped surfaces were rarely preserved (Fig. II.9). The rims are usually cranelated, straight or everted, and often with a row of perforations just below the lip. Incised decoration is found on the handles, which are either broad flat and ribbon-shaped or semi-oval and narrow. Applied decoration is known as well. Such elements of decoration have a very broad spatial distribution and a rather long temporal duration. Comparative pottery is found at Sadovec-

Lıga ˆ
Golemanovo Kale (Todorova 1968; 1992), SadovecKaleto (unpublished, cf. above), and Mouselievo (Gergov 1979). Close parallels are also found at more distant sites like Ezero (lower horizons, A1) (Gerogiev et al. 1979), Yunatsite (lower horizons, XVI–XII) (Katincarov et al. 1995), and Dikili Tash (IIIa) (Seferiˇ ´´ ades 1996). ` The cultural profile of the larger Telish region is not yet completed. Excavations by H. Todorova and V. Velkov in 1978 at Sadovec-Golemanovo Kale gave grounds to support the suggestion by P. Roman of the existence of a distinct cultural unit termed OrleaSadovec culture (Todorova 1992). However, recent reconsiderations of available, though limited data suggest that Orlea-Sadovec should in fact be viewed as a southern variant of Cotofeni I culture (Alexandrov ¸ 1992; 1996). Chronologically, it corresponds with the end of Cotofeni I as recorded in N-NW Romania ¸ (the Banat, Transylvania, and N Oltenia) (Alexandrov 1992; 1996). Consequently, the Bronze Age pottery from Lıga should also be dated to Early Bronze Age ˆ I. Diagnostic flint artefacts support this date. Finally, it should be mentioned that a few shards were found which might be attributed to the Late Bronze Age. Their provenance is unknown.

The cup was placed inside the bowl. Two urn-like vessels with tall necks, horizontally fluted, were decorated with corded and cardium impressions, organised in festoons. A big limestone was thrown on the urnlike vessels, which broke them. Immediately after that, the pit was filled with the same soil as it was dug into, soil from the lowest layers being thrown ‘‘back’’ into its original horizon. This actually caused some confusion in recognition of the extent and depth of the pit, bearing in mind that from first sight the discovered fragments of urn-like vessels, with their black shiny surfaces, resembled the pottery of the Lıga 1 ˆ settlement. 0.90 m to the South of this pit was a circular shallow pit (dimensions of 1.10¿0.97 m). This contained flecks of charcoal and larger pieces of calcinated wood (up to 7 cm in diameter, and with 10 visible rings). Two samples of wood taken from the pit were recognized by C. Malmros (2), National Museum of Denmark, as being from deciduous oak (Quercus sp.). Probably, the two pits are associated, the shallow one being used as the fireplace where the above vessels received their secondary burning. All four vessels were identified by M. Dimitrova, Historical Museum of Lovech, Bulgaria as representatives of the Basarabi culture, found on both banks of the Lower Danube (i.e., in Southern Romania and Northern Bulgaria). Bowls with fluted rims as well as cups with tall handles are widely spread in this region throughout the whole of the Early Iron Age, while urns with tall, horizontally fluted necks are less common. A fine comparative material is displayed by the grave goods of the Sofronievo tumulus, Vraca region (Hänsel 1976). Based on metal finds, this inhumation grave was dated to the 7th century BC. So far, all temporal ordering of Basarabi material has been achieved through correlations with metal finds. It is generally believed that the Basarabi culture started around 800 BC and, according to differing views, existed till the 6th or the 4th century BC (Hänsel 1976). A settlement of Early Iron Age date was identified at the foot of the plateau some 100 meters South of the Lıga hillock (Gergov, pers.comm.). Today, this ˆ
2. The author is grateful to Claus Malmros, MA for analysing the wood samples.


Around 875 BC (charcoal, Ua-20609, 2725∫40 BP) a strange ritual was taking place in the central part of the hillock of Lıga. An oval deep pit of 1.90¿1.26¿ ˆ 1.12 m was dug and at least four vessels placed in it at the bottom (the area below profile baulk, partly intersecting the pit, was not investigated and possibly holds additional information) (Fig. II.10) (1). Digging the pit was not an easy task, since the place chosen held thick debris of burned Copper Age daub belonging to the walls of House 3. Perhaps an attempt to expand the pit in direction of softer soils resulted in its oblong form. All vessels held traces of severe secondary burning, including a bowl with fluted lip and a big cup with one handle going high above its rim.
1. With few exceptions, all the drawings of the present publication are made by Izolda Maciukaite, BA on the basis of the pencil drawings by project participants to whom the authors are grateful. Contact information:


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Fig. II.10. Vessels discovered in the Early Iron Age pit in Sector 2.

settlement is destroyed by the modern lake and only the occasional shard can be found on its banks. Material of the Early Iron Age is often found in pits without clear structural affiliations or even purposes (Georgieva 1991). Sometimes, the contents are sealed by mud plaster. A comparable situation has been palaeobotanically analyzed by M. Lazarova and I. Stefanova (Lazarova and Stefanova 1997). It appeared that a cup from a sealed Early Iron Age pit (Pit no. 3) at the site of Cheshmata (Rogozinovo village, Southeastern Bulgaria) contained a considerable amount of seeds of Lens culinaris (lentil); fruits of Rumex sp. (sorrel), Carex sp. (sedge), and some seeds of Trifolium sp. (native clover) were also found. The content of the Lıga pit was not investigated ˆ palaeobotanically; nevertheless, the find is an important contribution to the study of the Early Iron Age.

It provided information on contemporary pottery as well as news on the dating of Basarabi vessels, as based on one rather precise AMS date.


The period between the 4th century and the end of the 6th AD (in some studies, the beginning of the 7th AD) is known in Bulgaria as Late Antiquity or Early Byzantine period. At Telish, settlements of this period, and most probably also a cemetery, are known from both banks of the modern lake, but the remains are rapidly disappearing due to digs and deep ploughing by the treasure hunters. The end of Late Antiquity is represented at Lıga. ˆ A large, but shallow pit (max. dimensions: 4.5¿ 2.7¿0.6 m) was recorded on the southern slopes of

Lıga ˆ
the site, partially destroying Copper Age layers. At the southern edge of the pit was a pile of stones originating from a Lıga 1 pavement (Fig. II.5). Apparˆ ently, this pavement hindered further digging of the pit; attempts were made to remove the stones, but eventually the initiative was given up. The bottom of the pit thus follows the surface of the stones. The pit had a rather regular, apparently rectangular layout (just one half of the pit was excavated), much resembling that of a pit house. Very heterogeneous contents of the pit, including small fragments of pottery and animal bones, suggest that the structure was used for secondary disposal of waste. Right at the southern edge of the pit was a shallow posthole with a diameter of 15 cm; this is doubtlessly associated with the pit, but its purpose is uncertain. The nearest Late Antiquity settlement was identified during surveys less than 200 m NW of Lıga. ˆ The pottery discovered in the pit finds exact parallels in the material known from Sadovec (Kuzmanov 1992). It is a matter of local pottery, grey in colour, made of well-prepared clay without any tempering inclusions or coating of the surface (Fig. II.11). All the discovered rim fragments represent kitchenware. Following the suggested dating from Sadovec, the rims date to the 6th AD (Kuzmanov 1992, 219).


Fig. II.11. Pottery discovered in Late Antiquity pit in Sector 1.

AMS DATING AND POSSIBLE ANOMALIES Most Bulgarian C-14 dates have been generated by the Berlin C-14 Laboratory. Within the framework of cooperation initiated in 1962 by the Laboratory (H. Quitta & G. Kohl) and the Bulgarian Institute of Archaeology (G. Georgiev & H. Todorova), 487 samples from 60 different Prehistoric sites have been dated (Görsdorf & Bojadziev 1996). Such large body of inˇ formation is generally a reliable tool for solving the main issues of cultural development, but in this case certain peculiarities are revealed. One of the problems concerns the Copper Age. Firstly, the Late Copper Age materials from the sites of Banyata (Kapitan Dimitrievo), Galatin, and Kolarovo (all clearly belonging to the KSB sphere of influence) have been made one thousand years too young, to judge from the archaeological record (Görsdorf & Bojadziev 1996). At the same time, the ˇ whole Copper Age has been dated to a span of time

of only 500 years (4900/4800–4370/4330 BC cal.), while relative chronology suggests a duration of the Copper Age of 800–900 years (4900/4800–4100/ 3900 BC cal.) (Görsdorf & Bojadziev 1996). ˇ Another problem is that C-14 dates between about 5500 and 4000 BC tend to cluster in certain periods, a phenomenon which is not related to calibration, since the pertaining calibration curve displays no significant ‘‘platforms’’ or the like. This chronological peculiarity, which seems to be repeated throughout SE Europe, cannot be fully explained at present. Perhaps it is due to as yet unknown physical factors, but more likely to the influence of regional natural phenomena (Bojadziev 1994). Studies made by Warˇ ren and Hankey in the Aegean have also demonstrated that radiocarbon dates tend to cluster and that there apparently are certain periods, which are not covered by the C-14 sequence (Warren and Hankey 1989). The most pronounced gap in C-14 dates lies between 5050 and 4550 BP, corresponding to the much-disputed Bulgarian Transitional period (Warren and Hankey 1989). Therefore, it has been suggested that cultural invisibility of the period between the end of the Copper Age and the Early Bronze Age may stem from methodological limitations. Samples collected from Lıga were submitted to the ˆ Ångström Laboratory, Division of Ion Physics, Uppsala, Sweden and AMS dated by G. Possnert. All samples underwent standard laboratory procedures, including pre-treatment with NaOH, and the results were d 13C corrected (as reported by G. Possnert). Altogether, seven samples were submitted: four of charcoal and three of bones (Fig. II.12). These


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Fig. II.12. Table of all available Late Copper Age radiocarbon dated samples from Lıga and the core area of KSB Ia complex (cf. Fig. II.13). ˆ

Lıga ˆ


Fig. II.13. Conventional and calibrated radiocarbon ages of all available samples recovered from the core area of KSB Ia complex, sorted by age (cf. Fig. II.12).

samples were selected from quite a significant number of samples based on their representativity, context and amount of charcoal in the sample. The attention was centered on Lıga 2, AMS dating of this temporal ˆ episode being considered the highest priority. Three selected samples were associated with each of the three excavated houses (Ua-20607 – outside the E

wall of House 2, the area of waste disposal; Ua20608 – inside House 1; Ua-20610 – close to the oven of House 3). Architectural wood, the source of all three samples, can be subdivided into several size/age categories. The postholes indicate that, besides twigs, trees of three sizes were used by the house builders. The big-


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same burial. Two of the dates (Ua-21562 & Ua21563) show close temporal affinity, while the third (Ua-21564) is marked by a significant divergence and therefore regarded as false. Likely, it was affected by the stabilizing chemical treatment exercised on some of the badly preserved principal bones. No charcoal samples could be associated with the Early Bronze Age remains at the site. A single sample of charcoal was recovered from the Early Iron Age pit (Ua-20609). Low probability margins do not give grounds to doubt its validity and makes it an important contribution to the regional chronological sequence. Calibration plots of all available C-14/AMS dates from the core area of KSB Ia are presented in a separate table (Fig. II.13).

gest quantity was of trees 8–9 cm in diameter, the next group being about 15 cm in diameter, and the third – the internal roof supporting posts – up to 25 cm in diameter. In sorting the samples, possible occurrences of the last group were discarded in order to minimize the ‘‘old-tree’’ effect. It should be noted, that no charcoal samples were recovered from the earliest settlement horizon, Lıga ˆ 1. This settlement was only poorly preserved, since it was abandoned and left exposed to natural decomposition. Later on, the debris was incorporated in the base of the subsequent Lıga 2 settlement. ˆ The presence of graves within the settlement of Lıga 2, even with grave goods, raised important quesˆ tions regarding their date. For the sake of consistency, three human bone samples were selected from the

USE OF SPACE WITHIN THE SETTLEMENT An upland position is common for the majority of KSB sites. The Lıga settlement with two occupation ˆ phases of Late Copper Age date is not an exception. Located on an exposed plateau (Fig. III.1), it had to cope with the severity of the western and northern winds, which perhaps were less aggressive then due to generally warmer climatic conditions. One of the preventive responses was to create a dense configuration of houses within the settlement. The idea of a settlement mode with a uniform and dense layout of house structures interchanging with axially orientated streets or paths is no doubt a reflection of contemporary templates of spatial organisation, which originated in the densely occupied tell settlements. Among the best examples are Early Copper Age tells like Polyanitsa (NE Bulgaria) or, even earlier, Neolithic occupations at Karanovo or Ovcharovo-Gorata (Todorova & Vajsov 1993). Such structural clustering is also advantageous in terms of protection from hostile attacks and creation of sheltered workshop places outside the buildings. But it is restricting in terms of rebuilding or expansion of old structures. And often it had been fatal in promoting fast and unreversible destruction of settlements by fire. Within the area of the KSB culture, such traditions of settlement organisation can be traced back to the related Early Copper Age, as demonstrated by the distribution of houses at Gradeshnitsa (Nikolov 1974). Here three building horizons were applying the same concept of use of space. A uniform clustered pattern of house structures is also noted at Lıga, despite the limited area of reˆ search. It is even possible to detect temporal changes in use of space by comparing the two Copper Age occupations. As mentioned, the traces of the first Copper Age settlement (Lıga 1) are not so well preˆ served as those of Lıga 2, construction of the latter ˆ disturbing the remains of Lıga 1. Nevertheless, it can ˆ be concluded that the use of space in Lıga 1 was less ˆ constrained than in Lıga 2. The dwellings of Lıga 1 ˆ ˆ were spatially more dispersed as well as larger in size than those of Lıga 2. The general layout must neverˆ theless have been quite similar in the two phases, as clearly demonstrated by the N-S orientation of all structures on the site. The estimated external length of the one uncovered, partly preserved house of Lıga ˆ 1 is 7.6 m, the estimated internal space being 39–40 m2 (1). A much deeper insight has been achieved about the use of space in the Lıga 2 settlement. Three ˆ houses were fully uncovered together with parts of another three houses. The location of the structures in the settlement confirmed the observation that their distribution and orientation were predetermined by those of the first phase. The hillock chosen for the Copper Age settlements – at the edge of a plateau – has only limited defensive properties. Visibility towards the East is limited by a raising terrain. Towards the West, the field of visibility extends longer, being 7–8 km towards NW, 3 km towards W and 5–51⁄2 km towards SW. Perhaps this field indicates the direction of local movements and networks with no hostilities to be expected from the East (cf. below). A modification of the latter idea is the likely existence of forested environments towards the East. The very edge of the plateau was left unbuilt. This area of 500–550 m2 was delimited by slopes in the West and rows of houses in eastern direction. As mentioned, during Lıga 2, the slopes were made steeper ˆ by a shallow ditch or trench (only 0.8 m deep). The discovery of a posthole 15 cm in diameter on the eastern side of the trench perhaps indicates that a wooden construction was accompanying the trench. Whether this was a palisade or merely a fence, such arrangement intended to inhibit movement both down and up the slopes. Similar installations were not observed at the eastern edge of the settlement. Also if they once
1. All measurements, if not stated otherwise, have been undertaken with the help of GIS. Therefore, the only possible source of mistake may be an inaccurate scale in published plans, which were scanned and processed accordingly.


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Fig. III.1. Lıga site, view from the West. Note the survey trench across the western slope. ˆ

existed here, they would have been made in response to interior demands, be it a formal demarcation or enclosed spaces for livestock. They could not have been an effective protection against attacks. The latter might at any rate have come as a surprise, with warriors approaching through the likely forested higher lying environments of the plateau. The topographical profile of the settlement also hints at a specialised use of the delimited edge area. As the value of livestock was growing in step with the supposed relative decline of ground-water based agriculture (Sherratt 1980), it was necessary to ensure protection of this, the main communal commodity. Likely, the most frequent form of Copper Age warfare was not larger attacks but small-scale ravaging raids aimed at steeling cattle. Incidentally, similar enclosures at edges have been attested in other Late Copper Age settlements, including the fortified settlements of Zaminets and Lesura (Golata Mogila), Vratsa region (Nikolov 1975) (cf. below). Sounding of the terrain also helped establish that the houses of Lıga 2 were occupying an area of ca. ˆ 50¿55 m. The total area with burned remains of buildings extended over ca. 1900 m2, however (Fig. II.1). All houses were, as mentioned, rectangular and orientated N-S. House 1, located on the southern

slope, was the smallest, the external dimensions being 6.50¿5.70 m (total area 36.54 m2), the internally available area is 28.3 m2 (Pl. 2). House 2 is perhaps the one, which applies the best to a supposed standard, since a partly excavated neighbouring house had a similar length (Pl. 1). The external dimensions of House 2 are 7.4¿6.0 m, the internal area being 34.5 m2, the total area 44.45 m2. House 3 was the longest among the investigated houses (Pl. 1). A somewhat irregular shape is likely a reflection of constrains due to the terrain (cf. the orientation of the eastern wall). Perhaps, achievement of parallel courses of the walls was hindered by the circumstance that the altitude along the eastern wall was higher than along the western one. House 3 was 8.45 m long and 5.90 m wide in the middle part (external lengths). The internally available area was 37.80 m2, the total area 48 m2. Thus, there is a tendency for larger houses to be centrally located in the settlement. The streets or passages of the settlement were 2.70– 3.00 m wide and orientated E-W. The houses were spaced by intervals of 0.80–3.00 m and erected in a chequer manner, so that spaces between houses were ‘‘closed’’ by the walls of adjacent structures. Based on the available data and assuming a uniform distribution of the structures, it is safe to predict that the

Lıga ˆ


Fig. III.2. Suggested reconstruction of the Lıga 2 settlement. Dark grey colour marks houses, which have been established through excavation. ˆ Numbers correspond to the numbering system of the investigated structural remains. Light grey colour marks predicted houses.

settlement contained 20–22 contemporary houses (Fig. III.2). Such estimation is strengthened by observations from nearby Redutite, almost totally excavated, and other Late Copper Age sites, which have provided full-scale information on lay-outs of structures (Gergov, pers. comm.). Several activity areas have been identified in the excavated part of the Lıga 2 settlement. Workshops ˆ were probably often relocated, since the discovered remains do not support an idea of permanent taskspecific areas. Rather, we are seeing reflections of unambiguous, intense and temporarily restricted events. Some of the activities, not being place dependant, were also carried out inside the houses, but generally it seems that the majority of chores was conducted outdoors. In fact, such nucleated settlements could have applied an expanded notion of ‘‘habitus’’ (sensu Hodder 1990), incorporating space surrounding the houses. No formal outdoor divisions could be recog-

nized, but pots and implements placed outside were perhaps used to mark the territory of a particular household. Movement across the settlement was not straightforward. One had to follow the streets and fixed paths, since the entire interstructural space was often filled with heaps of household refuse. Procedures for handling of waste are not completely clear from the excavation. Despite the fact that heaps of bones and broken pottery were discovered at the northern wall of House 1, as well as in the area between Houses 2 and 3, and that some concentration was observed at the SE corner of House 2, this probably only represents temporary disposals of refuse connected with household activities. The layer, which had formed between Houses 2 and 3, is domestic in origin: cooking, maintenance, and cleaning of furnaces left an ashy blueprint with inclusions of carbon. The area varies between 2.7 and 3.0 m in width and could never hold


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vation that the structures of Lıga 2 were repeating ˆ the layout of the previous settlement, and that the interstructural spaces used for refuse disposal held the same purpose during both phases. The support rests with repeated deposits of freshwater mussels of the Microcondylaea Compressa species, apparently brought to the site from the neighbouring stream (Andreasen, op.cit.). Shells of these mussels were employed for decorating vessels with so-called ‘‘nail incision’’ patterns. Apart from the described pattern of disposal immediately outside the houses, the overall handling of refuse remains unknown. Generally, the streets, where many outdoor activities were taking place were kept clean of refuse (Fig. III.3). The few examples of animal bones recorded in street areas can be attributed to post-depositional transformation. No indications have been found of the common practice of disposal in Telish village – to push everything beyond the edge of the household area, preferably into the all-concealing stream. On the contrary, as the two trenches across the slopes have revealed, this was not the case at Lıga. Several investigators have reported that refˆ use was discarded in pits behind the houses, already dug to procure clay for buildings. Such pits, although without distinct references to their contents, are said to have been found at Zaminets and Gradeshnitsa (Nikolov 1974; 1975). No such pits were discovered at Lıga, however, and neither at fully excavated ˆ neighbouring Redutite. At both sites clay for the structures was obtained from clay-rich deposits at the foot of the plateau. Some of the activity traces are not straightforward to interpret, like ceramic vessels placed outside houses, close to entrances. Were they placed there for cleaning or storage, or did they mark the area of the last meal prior to the fire that terminated Lıga 2? The ˆ terminal phase of Lıga 2 is predicted to have belonged ˆ to the warmer part of the year, most probably the second half of the summer where outdoor meals were likely common. This prediction is based on the observation that no grain was found in the containers of Lıga 2, regardless of fine conditions of preservation ˆ and the application of soil flotation procedures. Indeed, recovered plant macrofossils are few. Only three grains of Triticum diccocum, all within debris of daub tempered with chopped straws, were found.

Fig. III.3. ‘‘Street area’’ between two rows of built structures, view from the East (cf. Pl. 1).

the total mass of refuse produced by one or two households over some time. Domestic animals, like dogs and pigs, were no doubt used to devour organic refuse not suitable for human consumption. Malacological data also support an interpretation of this interstructural area as being used for refuse disposal. In fact, it was the only part of the investigated area, which held evidence of land snails of the Helicidae family (as reported by N. Andreasen (2), Copenhagen & Cambridge universities, in 2001). Their presence indicates a sufficient amount of organic debris present for scavenging. Snails of the Helix Pomatia species are also suitable for human consumption but their limited number and especially the presence of juvenile representatives do not support such an assumption. The malacological data even confirms the obser2. The author is grateful to Niels Andreasen, MA, for analyzing the malacological samples.

Lıga ˆ
Other palaeobotanical samples, reviewed by S. Karg (3) of the National Museum of Denmark, contained a few seeds of juniper (Juniperus specia) and Cornelian cherry dogwood (Cornus mas L.), both collected from the waste area between Houses 2 & 3. The latter species ripens from August till the end of September and may thus indicate the period of settlement conflagration; in fact, the beginning of August would be most likely for this, since, as noted above, none of the grain bins contained any grains, despite flotation applied on their contens. Incidentally, the majority of samples were rejected by not being calcinated, and therefore regarded as unreliable. Areas of production are more easily recognized. A clear concentration of flakes and exhausted cores behind House 2 indicates that flint tools were produced here. All flakes were identified as belonging to flint sources at Sadovec, 7.3 km East of Lıga. The direcˆ tion of distribution of the flakes suggests that the flint knapper was sitting at the rear wall of House 2, in front of House 5. Some 3–4 m West of the area with flint debitage two red deer antlers were found (Fig. III.4), perhaps prepared for production of bone tools or even flintknapping tools, like antler batons or hammers. House 2 also holds other evidence of flint handling. Thus, a multitude of small chips was discovered both inside and outside this structure. Two core areas of activity were identified, one inside the house at the southern wall, not far from the SE corner (and still within the zone of daylight coming from the door opening), another outside, along the southern periphery of the eastern wall until the area of Grave No 2 of Lıga 3. ˆ


Fig. III.4. Red deer antlers found in the ‘‘Street’’ area.

USE OF SPACE AT OTHER KSB CULTURE SETTLEMEMNTS From the very first excavations at Okol Glava and Pekliuk, which eventually became recognised as KSB sites, nearly a century has passed (Gaul 1948). Nevertheless, the amount of available data on settlement patterns, use of space, and other arrangements within a settlement is still rather modest. There are several reasons for this. For many years KSB settlements at3. The author is grateful to Dr. Sabine Karg, National Museum of Denmark for analysing palaeobotanical samples.

tracted less attention than the tell settlements in the Thracian plain or in Northeastern Bulgaria. The tradition of research was not emphasizing the need for contextual data but was unilaterally orientated towards the collection of ceramic material, considered terra supra for chronological and cultural ordering. It was not unusual to make a few small trenches at a site, which would reveal the stratigraphic position of pottery but not a fuller context of structures and features. Often such limited strategies have had disastrous consequences in a country, where looting of archaeological remains were – and indeed, are – more common than archaeology proper. Gaul mentions that a famous tell, Devebargan at the town of Marica, was excavated by treasure hunters already in 1911 (Gaul 1948). At the site of Pipra, 8 km south of Lıga, ˆ with rich remains from Copper Age, Early Iron Age and Late Antiquity, several survey trenches were made in 1976. The results are still unpublished, but the site has since almost disappeared as the local looters have dotted it with deep and extensive trenches, sometimes even employing heavy excavation machinery. Furthermore, the lack of publications on excavations is a severe hindrance when attempting to assess the archaeological sites of Bulgaria.


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new structure in place of an old one, or, one of the walls of the old house could be incorporated into the novel structure. In both cases the new house usually occupied a smaller area than earlier. Finally, a new area at the periphery of the settlement could be taken into use. Over time, a slight expansion of the settlement towards the East was noted, the eastern part also witnessing most of the construction and re-construction initiatives. Preliminarily available information allows the estimation that up to three generations of houses can be recognized in Redutite II. At one time, as many as 30–33 houses may have existed, but during the final phase of the settlement only 23– 25 houses occupied the site. The internal house space at Redutite II is 37 m2 on the average, but if the smaller second generation houses are added, only 34 m2 . Redutite III, of more than 2500 m2, was established on the top of a 0.20 m thick ‘‘hiatus layer’’, covering the burned remains of the previous occupation. Despite a significant temporal difference, this phase also follows both the technological and the architectural trends of the previous one in terms off coherent concentration of houses as well as a fixed spatial division of the settlement. Redutite III also had 5 rows of houses, but the area occupied by buildings was somewhat displaced towards the South, as compared with the Redutite II settlement. The houses preserved an N-S orientation with a slight deviation towards the E, but their size is smaller. The average internal area ranges between 27.60 and 28.00 m2, no doubt reflecting a diminishing family size. The entrances of the houses were still located in the southern wall. The distance between the houses varies from 0.5 to 0.9 m, but the ‘‘streets’’ are wider than previously, 3.5–4.5 m. This settlement was probably rather short-lived compared to Redutite II. Traces of rebuilding are few. 28–31 houses might have existed at one time. Redutite IV was discovered directly on the burned debris of the previous settlement. Despite a close stratigraphic relationship, Redutite IV demonstrates a clear break with Late Copper Age traditions, both in terms of pottery and in house orientation. The spatial arrangement of the settlement is not known (unpublished), but the houses were now orientated E-W, with entrances at the eastern side. The settlement was slightly displaced towards the South relative to the

The site of Redutite site East of Telish (and close to Lıga) is the only KSB site that has been almost ˆ entirely excavated (excluding modern destruction at the eastern periphery and two or three houses left unexcavated at the N-NE fringes of the site). The site is considered the best testimony on changing organisation of settlement space during the Copper Age. But the results of excavation are still awaiting proper publication. The site was investigated between 1977 and 1992 (Gergov 1987; 1992a; 1992b; 1994; 1996; Gergov et al. 1986; and, personal communication). As mentioned, the topographical location resembles that of neighbouring Lıga. Delimited by plain and ravines, ˆ the site is situated on one of the highest points of the plateau and has a far better field of visibility towards the West than Lıga. The modern village of Telish is ˆ lying at its foot, where also ran a stream fed by numerous springs in the area. Four building horizons have been recognised. The earliest, No. I, held remains of the Early Copper Age with excised pottery of Gradeshnitsa type. The houses are reported to be 8–9 m long and 5–6 m wide, orientated E-W. The internal space would have been approximately 37–38 m2. The settlement ceased to exist after a major fire. Building horizon No. II of the Late Copper Age was found directly on earlier settlement debris, which had suffered from subsequent levelling. Redutite II, also ending in a fire, appears to have been well preserved and provides valuable data on the spatial arrangement of a Copper Age settlement. The area was occupied by structures extending over 3400 m2. The settlement and its immediate activity zone ranged between 4700 and 4900 m2. The overall layout of settlement corresponds with the concepts discussed above. The houses were organized in 5 rows, orientated NS (with a slight deviation towards E) and separated by streets running E-W. The entrances were in the southern wall. The streets were about 3 m wide, varying between 2.6 and 3.3 m. In the first layout, the distance between the houses was only between 0.6 and 0.8 m, but the distance grew bigger in the course of rebuilding. When new houses were built in place of old ones the distance between houses could expand to 1.0–1.3 m, or more. Three procedures for building a new structure in the already established settlement were observed: The house could be built as a truly

Lıga ˆ


Fig. III.5. Results of conventional and calibrated ages of samples available from Lıga and Redutite. All dates cluster in three blocks, marked ˆ with Roman numbers, which correspond to the cultural development attested at Lıga 2, and Redutite II and III, respectively. Dates obtained ˆ for Grave 1 demonstrate this grave’s contemporaneity with Redutite III.

previous ones, four houses were even discovered in an area not used before. Detailed information is available on one house only (Gergov 1996). This is apsidal, 7.30 m long (9.30 m with the apsidal end) and 4.90 m wide. The presence of vessels of so-called ‘‘Scheibenhenkel’’ type is clearly placing this settlement in the Transitional Period between Late Copper Age and Early Bronze Age. Seven C-14 dates are available from Redutite (Fig. III.5). Taken in conjunction with Lıga, the occuˆ pational phases of the two sites were clearly interlinked. There is a smooth transition between Lıga 2 ˆ and Redutite II. Redutite II occupational phase is re-

liably dated through calcinated seeds. Two other C14 samples from Redutite were perhaps mistakenly attributed to Phase III instead of Phase II. The hiatus layer between Redutite II and III is also observed in the calibrated radiocarbon dates; it is suggested to have lasted for ca. 300 years. Redutite III corresponds to the dates obtained for Lıga Grave 1, which thus ˆ may be contemporary with the settlement of Redutite III occupational phase. Other Copper Age sites in a vicinity of Telish have not provided any conclusive information on the use of space within settlement. Little is known also on the regional scale. A quite different pattern is seen in a


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ment by a fence. The area used for building at Zaminets was around 2000 m2. From all three occupation phases (A, B & C, A being the oldest) at Zaminets comes remains of 12 houses. These were distributed in a relatively dispersed pattern, with distances ranging between 21⁄2 and 5 m. Of four square houses belonging to level B, three were orientated E-W (entrances from E) and one N-S (entrance from S). The external length was ranging between 5.50 and 6.70 m, the width between 4.50 and 5.70 m. The mean internal space is 25.30 m2 (the scale of the published plan is unfortunately not precise, the fault margin being about one quarter of a metre in both directions). With such spacing, up to 20–24 houses may have co-existed. A system of trenches were also recorded at the eponymic Late Copper Age site of Krivodol to the west of Telish. Two parallel narrow moats were enclosing the site from the N, and one deep and wide (up to 4 m) trench from the E (personal observations made upon inspection of the damage made by intense trenching by modern looters). Looking even wider, the best comparative information on the use of space is from Hotnitsa, Veliko Tarnovo (Central Bulgaria), in spite of the fact that the site is not related to the KSB culture (Fig. III.6). The spatial organisation is well attested and has parallels to the sites at Telish. Consequently, the principal spatial elements had common origin. Hotnitsa is a tell settlement, 5 m in height. The latest horizon, which dates to the latest period of the Copper Age, held 22 (in the publication 21) houses (Angelov 1958; 1959; 1961, and field reports). The total area of the site is 2440 m2, but the area used for building only comprises about 1750–1800 m2. The houses were orientated N-S, with entrances from the S, and arranged in a uniform manner with axially cutting streets. Possibly, there is also evidence of rebuilt structures. As at Telish, the largest houses tend to be placed centrally (cf. below). The mean internal area of the structures is 30–31.5 m2. In Eastern Serbia, the only certain information on use of space at KSB sites is from Bubanj (Garasanin ˇ 1957; Tasic 1995). Three Copper Age houses were ´ discovered, all rectangular. One had the internal dimensions of 6.4¿5.5 m, the available space being 35.2 m2. The houses were orientated N-S and placed

Fig. III.6. Plan of Hotnitsa, latest settlement phase, Horizon I. After MA theses of S. Makchev & A. Yordanova by permission from Historical Museum, Veliko Tarnovo. Courtesy: Historical Museum, Veliko Tarnovo.

partly published Late Copper Age settlement at Zaminets (Nikolov 1975). Three occupational phases of Late Copper Age date were attested here, all burned down. The site is located on a rocky hill, elongated in N-S direction, with maximal dimensions of 70¿40 m. The area is rich in springs. From N, W and S, the site is protected by steep, abrupt slopes, reaching 16 m in height, while on the E side, the hillock slopes down gradually. The settlement was enclosed by a palisade or fence, running along the edges of the hill, as attested by postholes. On the southern slopes, almost in the middle, were traces of yet another parallel fence-like construction. The eastern land bridge was fortified by two parallel deep moats and earthen walls (towards the settlement) created by the excavated soil; a series of postholes were discovered on the top of each wall, indicating the presence of more palisades. The western end of the settlement site, measuring 40¿10 m, was left not built on. This space, similar in structure to the open space near the slopes at Lıga, ˆ was separated from the remaining part of the settle-

Lıga ˆ
‘‘rather close to each other’’ (Garasanin 1957; Tasic ˇ ´ 1995). The entrances were from the S. This evidence seems to conform to the Bulgarian sites. Romanian data on the use of space is limited to Salcuta. Berciu reports that 16 ‘‘huts’’ were recorded ˘ ¸ in 1951 from the Late Copper Age layers, primarily horizon IIc (Berciu 1961b). The maximum dimensions were 2.7 m times 1.7 m, one metre wide entrances being in the southern walls. Abundant occurrence of burned wattle points towards a wattle and daub construction. The ‘‘huts’’ were organized along an E-W line. However, the small size and irregularly rounded shape of these structures, as reconstructed from a number of preserved postholes alone, sets doubts as to whether these features were correctly interpreted. Reservation is strengthened by the remains of ovens. A rather well preserved lower part of an oven was found in ‘‘Hut’’ no. 12. The dimensions of the oven were 1.5¿1.4 m, thus more than 2/3 of the presumed ‘‘hut’’. The opening of the oven is towards the N, which contradicts the suggested southern orientation of the entrance to the ‘‘hut’’. The postholes are likely delineating workshop spaces (or -platforms) rather than being house walls.

ponent in any settlement, provides personified testimonies, arrangements and contents. When conditions of preservation are favourable, as at Lıga, observaˆ tions and interpretations at the household level are indeed possible. As one team of Copper Age architects was sticking out the layout, moving from one plot to another, others would already be starting to procure building materials for the dwellings. There was a need for involvement of every community member. Regular settlement layout and the manner of settlement termination – like the sudden abandonment of Lıga 1 ˆ or the conflagration of Lıga 2 – indicate that settleˆ ments were constructed communally over a short period of time and shared common fates. Since the main building materials were clay and water, these must have been among the dictating factors of the location of the settlements. Both could be found at the foot of the Lıga site. Procuring of wood ˆ for timber frames and roof support, stones for foundation, reed or straw for roofing in such an amount that it would satisfy the demands of the whole settlement would not have been unproblematic. It is known that each and every stone bigger than a fist was brought to the site. It has also been established that the nearest source of limestone, which was abundant enough to supply material for house foundations, was almost 4 km to the South of the site. Whether this or even further sources were used is unknown, but in any case, such task would have been very difficult to accomplish without the use of tracking oxen. The dominance of adult cattle in the bone sample confirms the significance of these beasts in labour and not merely in meat consumption (cf. Chapter X, on animal bones). It has been calculated that the excavated area alone held some 200 kg stones. Traces preserved of Lıga 1 houses at the southern ˆ slopes of the site bear witness to the use of robust poles for the walls, with a diameter of 20–25 cm. The foundations towards the slopes were stabilized, as can be seen from a clayey trench 45 cm wide (preserved depth 17 cm). Thick debris of porous unbaked grey clay was of course indicating the use of wattle and daub building techniques. Prior to construction of the Lıga 1 houses, flat terˆ races were created. Some of the old surface soil was removed, resulting in exposure of a layer of pebbles,


Turning to the issues connected with architecture and the use of space within a built structure, it is important to emphasize that house and settlement are connected parts of the prehistoric perception of space. Both reflect tradition, awareness, and adaptation. Although the borders between categories are not strict, it is believed that they reflect different levels of consciousness when actions were taken during primary as well as secondary constitutional processes. Traditions dictate the general layout of settlement, as has been illustrated above. Awareness manifests itself in the position of larger houses – for special peoples or households – centrally in the settlement, while adaptation can be noted in construction of smaller houses in inhibiting areas like close to slopes. Settlement planning is often used to extract understanding of society as a whole, its social organisation, and even cosmology. A built structure, a central com-


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the case of Houses 1 and 3. The creation of level surfaces led to differentiation in altitude, so that the overall appearance of the new settlement would take the form of a series of low staircases. For example, the difference in level between the foundations and floors of House 2 and its eastern neighbour, House 3, would have been 0.3 m. But the house situated North of House 2, and on the same longitudinal line, would have appeared to be lying higher than House 2 and at the same level as House 3. Once the level surfaces were formed, actions were taken to stabilize the foundations. Several technical solutions could be observed in the prime case of Lıga ˆ 2. A thick layer of shards from the earliest occupation was spread in the southwestern periphery of House 1. This part of the house was the weakest as it was lying very close to the rather steeply descending slope. Thus, the layer of shards helped to maintain a plain surface, stabilize the foundations, and provide floor isolation. In the case of Houses 2 and 3, shallow trenches were dug and filled with a compact layer of clay (Pl. 3). Some of that clay was also spread inside House 2 in order to even the floor level. Foundations and especially the corner areas were further strengthened with the help of rubble of limestone. Apparently, limestones for foundations were used to a higher degree for the houses created in areas without structural debris from the previous occupation, as was the case with the partly excavated houses in the northern periphery of the investigated area. These houses were only outlined by rows of limestones enclosing rather fragmented but compact concentrations of pottery. Daub was only occasionally found here and only as a thin layer pointing to intensive post-depositional destruction. Built on the original surface of the hillock with limited levelling measures taken, these houses were protected by a thinner layer of soil than the fully excavated ones further in. This demonstrates that the state of preservation might even be predetermined by circumstances prior to the construction of a structure. The foundation trenches varied from 0.3 to 0.4 m in width. Wooden poles with pointed ends were set into foundation. The majority of these were 8–9 cm in diameter. Occasionally, thicker poles, with the diameter of 15 cm, were used. Samples of calcinated wood collected in House 2 were determined by C.

for instance in the northern periphery of the house, outside its northern wall, where it was appreciated as a natural pavement. The settlers were highly aware of this layer and tried to benefit by exposing it, especially in the interstructural areas. The regular manner of exposure even led to early conclusions during the excavation that the pavement was man-made. In fact, the settlers also invested energy in creating stone pavements. A small such patch was investigated in an area judged to be just outside the eastern wall of the excavated Lıga 1 house (Fig. II.5). The pavement was ˆ made of well-sorted and water-rounded stones reaching 10–12 cm in length. The full extent of the pavement and its orientation are not known. The technological knowledge of the Lıga 1 settlers ˆ is also manifested in compact lime-plastered floors inside the houses, preserved in a patchy pattern at the same level as the said pavement. All traces of internal arrangement were disturbed by the subsequent settlers of Lıga 2. In their attempt to even the terrain, ˆ which no doubt had the hilly appearance of old house mounds, they pushed part of the cultural debris forward towards the edge of the southern slopes. This material stayed together and has provided the largest amount of small finds dated to the earliest settlement. The length of the period between the two occupations is, as mentioned, not known. Pottery suggests that essential changes in ceramic traditions had taken place in the hiatus period. But both sets of pottery carry distinctive features of the KSB culture, and a rather early AMS-date of Lıga 2 suggests that the ˆ temporal distance between the two settlements was not significant. Also, the traces of the structural remains of the Lıga 1 occupation had not disappeared ˆ at the time of the foundation of Lıga 2. Timber ˆ frames and poles could well have been visible (even re-used after the abandonment), while unburned daub with organic temper would have made a very fertile ground for all sorts of bushy vegetation. Such sites acted as supreme agents when supporting local traditions and forming communal identities. In spite of its messy appearance and whatever sentiments nested in communal memory such a sight would awake, an old site had practical advantages too. House mounds of unbacked clay could easily be transformed into flat platforms for new structures. The reuse of previous cultural debris was observed in

Lıga ˆ
Malmros as steming from hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), but it is uncertain whether hornbeam was used in house construction or as fire wood, since all pieces were recovered from the area close to the oven. The thinner poles were grouped in pairs, the distance between them being about 10–15 cm. The poles were interwoven with rods and twigs and plastered with daub. Since all lumps of burned daub were collected, it was possible to differentiate between various types of daub matrix in terms of composition. It appeared that the core area of a wall, at least at the level of foundation (the preserved parts of walls did not exceed 0.2 m) was plastered with daub containing quartz grains 2–4 mm in size as the main tempering material. Identification of this core helped to establish the precise course of walls in places of thick accumulation of burned daub. Generally, daub with an admixture of 15–20% of chopped straw was applied. It has been calculated that a standard house in the Lıga ˆ 2 settlement would require between 9.6 and 11.6 m3 of non-organic building components. The clay deposits at Lıga appear as a homogeneous ˆ layer with occasional inclusions of red (haematite) or orange (goethite) ochre as well as other ferrous accumulations in the form of thin oxidised flakes. These were found abundantly in the destruction debris. House walls were reaching 0.35–0.40 m in thickness at the foundation level, even though the intended thickness was not exceeding 0.32 m. Higher up, the walls must have been less massive, bearing in mind the relative lightness of the timber frame. Compact flakes of daub without any admixture point towards a clay coating of the walls. Investigation of the recovered lumps of daub have also provided evidence that freshly harvested straws were used for tempering, pointing to the particular period of the year for house construction. One of the lumps contained part of an ear with the grains still sitting in it at the time of daub tempering (Fig. III.7). A wintering ear would not be able to keep its grains due to low temperatures and humidity. S. Karg, assisted by E. Koch (4), who made a cast of the hole made by the ear, has established that the ear in question with all probability stems from emmer wheat (Triticum diccocum), with a slight
4. The author is grateful to Dr. Eva Koch for making a silicone cast of the cavities in the fragment of daub.


Fig. III.7. Lump of daub with impression of ear of wheat, most likely emmer.

possibility of being einkorn (Triticum monococum). It should be added that all pieces of daub were collected and studied. No traces of colouring was ever found, indicating that the structures appeared as grey boxes. The roof was supported by internal posts. Of actual postholes, which could be attributed to the roof supporting construction, only two were found: one in House 1 and another in House 2, both in the form of remains of massive poles, 25 cm in diameter, placed directly on the floor and supported by stones. In the case of House 2, the post was supported by fragments of the same sandstone rock, shaped to correspond with the rounded form of the post. Consequently, the discovered sandstone rocks were affected by the high temperatures of the final fire and had cracked. Apart from that, no other certain traces of internal posts were found, but the presence of flat limestones inside the houses indicate that other posts were resting on such, thus protected from decay. Little is known about the roofs themselves, except that clay-plastered wooden logs made up part of the interior construction. This observation is inferred from severely burned fragments of daub with imprints of parallel logs some 10 cm in diameter, as well as pieces of calcinated timbers found stratigraphically high in layers of daub. It is also safe to assume that houses had gabled roofs, as indicated by clay models. A highly informative collection of models was discovered at Kodzadermen (Fig. III.8) (Gaul 1948). Reˇ


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totally new structure. The present owners could not recall having seen the construction of the daubed houses in their possession and assumed that they were built by their parents or grandparents. Thus, the age of these houses can be estimated to be at least 40 or 50 years (corresponding to the age of the informers). The clay for recent daubing was mixed with dung from herbivorous animals, amounting to approximately 1/5 of the total mass. Animal dung was considered to be a better admixture than chaff, which required additional preparation. The owners were usually complaining about tramped floors, which have an uneven, pitted surface: once a floor is tramped, it is impossible to even the surface effectively. ‘‘New clay’’ will not adhere to the old surface in depressions, so levelling of a floor would require plastering of the whole area, not just patches. The recent gabled roofs were supported by a structure of posts and beams with the bark peeled off, connected in the manner of ‘‘a matchstick-house’’, i.e., without use of nails. In case of an earthquake such a structure would shake, but not collapse, the informers said. The round posts had a diameter of approximately 15 cm and were supported by flat limestones, since direct contact with the floor would cause them to rot. This observation was actually used to interpret the presence of flat limestones within the houses of Lıga ˆ 2 and justified the limited number of postholes. Some ideas about house construction, like organisation of labour, consumption of building materials, use of tools, and even living conditions, can also be grasped from the superb Brezno experiments deˇ signed to reconstruct semi-subterranean Slavic houses from Chechy (Pleinerova 1986). In their use of basic ´ materials, these houses resemble the prehistoric wattle and daub constructions at Lıga. ˆ The Brezno team demonstrated that daubing of ˇ wattle walls was one of the very last tasks in the constructional chaıne operatoire. It also required a parˆ ´ ticular pace, since wattle work can only support a layer of a certain strength, which has to dry somewhat before a new layer can be added. I. Pleinerova notes that posts ´ with bark not integrated in daub walls would attract wood-eating insects, a circumstance that indicates a high demand at Lıga for debarking tools, such as flint ˆ scrapers, which actually are very numerous in the flint assemblage (cf. Chapter VII, below).

Fig. III.8. Clay models of houses discovered in the Late Copper Age tell at Kodzadermen. After Gaul 1948. ˇ

gardless their makers, repetition of the same house form indicates that the models can be treated as a convincing and undistorted source of information on the general appearance of the structures. Flat roofs would also be a serious limitation in terms of finding an effective solution to the issue of smoke circulation. Evidence from archaeological data has been much extended by experimental archaeology, in particular concerning the nature of prehistoric architecture, building techniques, living conditions, crafts, etc. (Hansen 1961; Pleinerova 1986). Nevertheless, the ´ best parallels to the data from Lıga are found in reˆ cent Bulgarian villages, where daubed houses are a common sight. Even a short inspection of a few of the houses in Telish will promote an understanding of the principles behind Copper Age dwellings substantially. Direct parallels were cautiously avoided, but some of the constructional elements did seem to correspond very well with the uncovered traces at Lıga. The inˆ spected houses nowadays serve as storage sheds, so their maintenance is less meticulous (and their use perhaps also less intense) than in the case of dwelling houses. Occasionally a new layer of daub was added to close the cracks in the walls, but no one, when asked, reported that wattle or posts were being replaced during restoration. The usual reply is that in such a case one would feel the necessity to build a

Lıga ˆ
The experiments also gave a hint on the consumption of materials. A 4.5¿4.2 m wattle and daub house with 15 cm thick walls and a height of 3 m at the ridge point requires 2.5 m3 wood, 1200 branches (1.5–1.8 m long and 1.5 cm thick) of wattle, 3–4 m3 clay, and 1000 m2 of harvested roofing reeds. A similar house roofed with rye straws also required harvesting of an area of 1000 m2 (present yields). Such estimations raise serious doubts about the traditional assumption of reed/straw roofing of Copper Age houses. It must have been a very laborious, even impossible task to meet the demands of just one small settlement. The house models are rather taciturn on the issue of roofing, aside from a few exceptions (e.g., Kodzadermen), where parallel traverse incisions on ˇ the roof might be interpreted as planks or beams (Fig. III.8). In terms of thermic features, the Brezno experiˇ ments demonstrated that roofing was the decisive factor in the time needed to heat a house as well as in the ability to sustain temperature (Pleinerova 1986). ´ Thick roof covers would provide better isolation, but, in turn, also an excessive amount of fuel in case of a fire. Estimations were also made on amount of wood required for heating (Pleinerova 1986). Although the ´ experimental structure was semi-subterranean and therefore thermally somewhat protected, the amounts used for the experiment indicate that when the outside temperature was below zero, intensive heating of a house of ca. 42 m3 (by 0.083 m3 wood in a dome oven of 0.90 m2) could provide internal temperatures of up to 7–14 æC. The firewood used just for cooking would, on a yearly basis for one household, reach some 18 m3. The floor space behind the oven, which was placed directly on the floor, remained cold even when the fire was lit. At Brezno, it was also estabˇ lished that two adults and three children would need 3.0–3.5 m2 of space for their sleeping arrangements (Pleinerova 1986). ´ A series of climate experiments carried out at the Lejre Experimental Centre, Denmark in 1998–2003 confirm the findings from Brezno (N.A. Møller, Copˇ enhagen university, personal comm.). At Lejre, it was demonstrated that the heating effect of taking animals into a structure is limited, increasing the room temperature with one degree, at most. Both projects have demonstrated that the circula-

tion of smoke is an important problem. The optimal solution seems to be the construction of apertures in the gables of the roof and relatively low-sitting windows, so that the colder air stream might push up the smoke (Pleinerova 1986). However, despite much ´ effort, a layer of smoke will always accumulate under the roof. At Lejre, it has been established that this actually is favourable for drying of food-stuffs or for hide smoking, but the amount of CO gasses could be fatal for humans. House 3 at Lıga contained evidence that the roof ˆ construction might have been extended to cover the entrance of the house, thus creating a sheltered space outside it. The assumption is based on the row of postholes, 15 cm in diameter, recorded ca. 1 m from the southern wall of the structure (Fig. III.9). Other houses were perhaps also porched, but their surroundings were not investigated, since the excavated sondages only disclosed the limits of house walls. Thus, the house reconstructions presented here rest on a complementary base, evidence being combined from both Houses 2 & 3, and supported by evidence recovered in House 1. Internal arrangements, as well as types and distribution of pottery, are individual for each house reconstruction; they rest upon the actual situation upon discovery. The reconstructions are performed by Architect R. Steponaitis (5)


All houses in Lıga were single-roomed. However, the ˆ internal space was subdivided into specific task zones (Fig. III.10). Such segregation followed the accepted traditions at the time but was also adapted to the individual needs of each household. Occasionally, a relocation of activity zones was taking place. Among the few immovable house installations was the oven. The size of the oven corresponds to the size of the house, thus, the largest structure (House 3) also had the largest oven with dimensions of 1.5¿1.3 m (Fig. III.11 & 12). A well-preserved smaller oven was discovered in House 2, the dimensions being 1.25¿1.15 m. Only the floor of the oven could be discerned from
5. The author is grateful to Architect Rimas Steponaitis for hypothetical reconstructions of houses and their interiors. Contact information:


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Fig. III.9. Suggested reconstruction of Lıga 2 house, based on data recovered from House 3, but complemented by evidence recorded in ˆ other houses. Reconstruction of internal arrangements of pottery, types of pottery and other finds are presented according to excavated data. Reconstruction drawn by R. Steponaitis.

Lıga ˆ


Fig. III.10. Suggested reconstruction of Lıga 2 house, based on data recovered from House 2, but complemented by evidence recorded in ˆ other houses. Reconstruction of internal arrangement of pottery, types of pottery and other finds are presented according to excavated data. Reconstruction drawn by R. Steponaitis.


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Fig. III.11. House 3, view from the East.

the surrounding debris of burned daub in House 1, and its size cannot be established with certainty. It was an accepted principle governing the use of internal space to place the oven at the rear end of the room, in fact at the middle of the interior northern wall and up 1 m from it. The oven was opposite of the entrance of the house situated in the southern wall. The only deviation was met in House 1, where the oven was placed at the western wall. No evidence of the entrance has been discovered in this case. However, it can be assumed that access from the South would have been complicated due to slopes, and heaps of waste along the northern wall of the house was hardly indicative in terms of an entrance, making the eastern wall, and an eastern entrance, the most likely suggestion. The ovens were constructed on the floor by first erecting a slightly raised platform of some 15 cm; the opening is towards the room. The ovens were oval in shape and domed. Linings suggest an about 1 cm thick layer of clay plaster covering the core of the oven walls, made of twigs ca. 1–1.5 cm in

diameter. The clay held organic temper in smaller amounts than the daub used for walls. The clay used for the base of the oven was tempered with sand and quartz grains of 2–4 mm. The ovens in Houses 2 and 3 underwent restoration, indicating a prolonged used of the device. On one such occasion, the case of House 3, a layer of shards was incapsulated in the dome by the new layer of clay lining. This must have improved the thermal properties of the oven, prolonging the period of heat radiation. In the better preserved Houses 2 and 3, a clay plug was found at the ovens, respectively 11 and 13 cm in diameter (Fig. III.13:2, 3). Such plugs were used for closing the oven holes at the top, made to improve the draft. In both cases the plugs were located ca. 1 m away from the ovens, likely indicating that fire was set at the time of the conflagration of the whole settlement. Also a fire-vessel (cf. below) was found in close association with the ovens (Fig. III.13:1 & III.14). This accessory set may be extended with clay tubes,

Lıga ˆ


Fig. III.12. House 3, remains of the oven.

Fig. III.13. Items related with handling of fire. 1 – fire-vessel, 2, 3 – oven plugs, 4 – fragment of a clay tube, presumably used for bellows.


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Fig. III.15. House 1, internal daub walls.

Fig. III.14. Fire-vessel used to preserve fire by covering ember, thus limiting supply of oxygen. House 2.

which are often interpreted as phallos symbols and seen as counterparts to the common so-called ‘‘Mother Goddess’’ figurines, nettling many scholars (Todorova 1986; Gergov 2000) (Fig. III.13:4). A pragmatic interpretation would connect the ‘‘phalloi’’ with metallurgy, seeing them as parts of bellows. The latter idea is supported by ethnographical observations and by smith-graves (Shilov 1975). Nonetheless, modern records on African traditional metallurgical practices, magics, and beliefs also support a phallic meaning of clay tubes, placing them in a humanized universe where a melting furnace is considered a female and the bellows a male element (e.g., De Barros 1997). The only find of a clay tube at Lıga was made close ˆ to the oven of House 1, suggesting that it may have belonged to a household bellows used to rekindle the fire from glowing cinders maintained with the help of fire-vessels (see below). Still, the find of three copper items (see below) in House 1 may support a metallurgical link. A formal division of space was found in House1, but its purpose is not clear, nor how high this division originally was. Two perpendicular daub walls created an enclosure in the northern part of the room in which three ceramic vessels – one deep bowl and two big poorly backed containers decorated with barbo-

tine – were found (Fig. III.15). The two walls were only preserved to a height of 0.15 m. The longer wall, running E-W, i.e., parallel to the northern wall of the house, was ca. 0.80 m long and 0.10 thick. Perhaps its western end was supported by a massive, likely roof-supporting post. Part of the installation was covered by a thick layer of burned daub, which hampered a detailed study of the division. The shorter wall running N-S was at least 0.60 m long and presumably had a thickness of 0.15 m. House 2 was equipped with a grain pithos, which made up an important part of the immovable inventory. Although the vessel was crushed by a fallen wall, dimensions could be estimated from the preserved fragments. The pithos had an oval shape, ca. 1 m long and 0.70 m high. It was placed at the eastern wall and surrounded by seven smaller vessels (Fig. III.16 & III.17). In spite of high expectations (the pithos had a capacity 500 liters), even soil flotation did not produce any palaeobotanical residue. The storage containers in House 3 were found in the same part of the house as above, i.e., close to the eastern wall (Fig. III.9). Only one might have been dug into the soil, as its base was almost four times narrower than the opening, the height being ca. 75 cm. The remaining vessels in this cluster – at least 13 – were not arranged in a particular pattern. On the western side of the oven, in the NW corner of the house was a permanent installation for grinding: a circular platform, ca. 1 m in diameter enclosed towards the room by a 20 cm high and 5–8 cm thick wall (Fig. III.18). The platform was left open at the

Lıga ˆ


Fig. III.16. House 2, remains of pithos with adjacent vessels.

southern side. Within this enclosure was found a massive milling stone (lower part) with a deep usewear depression. Two smaller milling stones (upper parts) were discovered close by. The other houses did not produce any grinding installations and only held finds of hand stones, placed at the storage vessels. However, the presence of massive grinding stones, too weighty to reflect significant post-depositional transportation, in the ‘‘street’’ area indicates that grinding was also carried out outdoors. Investigations of artefact distributions, including recordings of the angles of items, point to the existence of some sort of shelves. Usually, such shelves were installed at the eastern wall, as in Houses 3 and 4 (Fig. III.9, III.19 & Pl. 5). The shelves were perhaps intended as ‘‘exhibition cases’’ for display of the finest pottery, but also a necessity to save limited space. At least 15 vessels in House 3 must have been stacked on such shelves above the big storage containers. The house walls were also decorated with hanging bowls, often reaching 40 cm in diameter (all perforated below the lip with a single hole and with traces of abrasions on the back side), much like souvenir plates nowadays. Shelves were probably also installed between the posts supporting the roof construction. Some of the stone implements were probably placed

on these. A beam above the oven in House 2 must have been decorated with a clay anthropomorphic figurine, stringed up through suspension holes in the item (Fig. VI.2). But apart from this, all other finds were found directly on the floor with no apparent use of platforms, tables, or the like. In House 2 were also two limestone rocks – a triangular flat one and a smaller rounded one – shaped to fit each other. Their association with the group of vessels at the entrance may indicate that they were meant to sit on, likely when eating (Fig. III.20). The most favourable conditions of preservation were met in Houses 2 and 3. These multi-functional buildings were structured somewhat differently internally, but followed the same mental concepts on the use of space. The simple Copper Age architecture was housing an inherited order, which allowed each individual household to subscribe to common norms and communal identities. All adaptations and relocations were undertaken within such framework, but in spite of the uniformity reflected in settlement layout and principles governing the location of household installations, there was also room for competition and rivalry, as seen in the particular inventory of the individual house (see below). The main axis of the structures is the N-S line


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Fig. III.18. Milling platform discovered in the Late Copper Age tell at Kodzadermen. A similar one was found in House 3 (after ˇ Gaul 1948).

Fig. III.17. House 2, the finest vessel of this house was found at the pithos, facing the oven.

traced between the entrance and the oven, situated at opposite ends of the room. Along the eastern wall, at the oven, was an area assigned for long-term storage, be it food-stuffs or the inedible valuables of the house. Thus, grain bins and shelves, which displayed the finest pottery were discovered there. Notably, the most beautiful vessel found in House 2 was standing at the immovable grain pithos (Fig. III.16 & 17). The area west of the oven was connected with food preparation and short-term storage. The grinding installation of House 3 was found here. The same space in House 2 was occupied by three big open vessels and a smaller one, containing 13 oblong, waterworn pebbles and a small biconic cup (see below). Other vessels further along the western wall indicate that also this area was used for preparation of food, likely soaking of cereals or the like. A well-preserved concentration of vessels was discovered at the southern wall of House 2, not far from the entrance. The situation exposed during excavation looked almost staged: surrounded by bowls and a closed vessel, a big open vessel, resembling a Late Medieval soup tureen, held an intact spoon (Fig. III.21). Were these the vestiges of a last meal? That eating was taking place in the southern end of the house, is perhaps confirmed by the partially preserved pottery from House 3, in-

cluding fragments of a big closed water jar found in four separate clusters (Fig. III.22 & Pl. 11:1). The floors of the houses were kept clean. In few areas where parts of unburned floors were recognised (as a grey greenish clay), even thorough examination brought surprisingly modest results. Apart from the flint chips recorded in House 2, the floor debris only comprised of a few pieces of flints not exceeding the size of a fingernail. Besides the utilitarian or potentially utilitarian inventory of the structures, it was evident that the houses also held religious elements. House 2 was equipped with a hanging anthropomorphic figurine, fastened to one of the logs above and to the West of the oven. Unfortunately, only the lower half of the figurine was discovered (Fig. VI.2), but its position within the structure as well as use-wear traces around a hole made in the area of the feet were convincing indications of the place of the figurine in the house. In the NE part of the partly excavated House 4, surrounded by bowls and pots, was a completely preserved figurine, a so-called ‘‘Sitting Goddess’’ (Fig. III.23). Next to the figurine was a ‘‘bowl’’, which appeared to be the reversed lower part of the similar figurine, containing an egg-like object in clay. The display is no doubt original, miraculously escaping recent agricultural trench digging by less than 5 cm (Pl. 5). The head of the figurine was recovered ca. one metre North of the body, smoothly cut through the neck by ploughing. The figurine was facing south, towards the presumed entrance. Behind it were five bi-

Lıga ˆ


Fig. III.19. A set of five biconic cups fallen from a shelf-like installation at the E wall of House 4. Note flint blade and end-scraper (with upward ventral side). See also Pl. 4.

conic cups, stacked one in the other (Fig. III.19). These must have fallen from a shelf at the eastern wall, above the figurine. Together with the cups were a flint blade and an end-scraper. Close to the stacked cups were another two cups of the same type. These seven cups may even point to the number of inhabitants in the house. The described displays are thus a reflection of the multifunctional nature of the Copper Age house, where the utilitarian and the ritual spheres are integrated parts of the domus (sensu Hodder 1990). Neighbouring Redutite may even have revealed permanent installations related to Copper Age rituals. One of the houses in Horizon III contained a clay stela, interpreted as an alter (Gergov 1992b). This was standing at the northern wall, surrounded by apparent domestic pottery. The Lıga 2 settlement was abandoned as the result ˆ of a destruction caused by a great general fire. The exposed remains point to a sudden and unexpected start of the fire, most probably somewhere close to the centre of settlement. Vessels, stone and bone tools,

small personal treasures like a collection of long blades, kept together in a leather pouch, masterly crafted figurines and toys – all were left behind (Fig. III.21 & III.24). The available data are of course limited to the three fully excavated and individually furnished houses with differing histories of preservation. But it seems that inhabitants of House 1, at the margins of the settlement, had some time to collect their valuables, as can be observed from the limited quantity and types of small finds recovered when compared with the other two structures. All houses experienced the same degree of burning, reaching in some places temperatures up to 1500 degrees, as can be judged from pieces of clay slag, especially from House 1 – in fact indicating that fire must have started from the roof. An experiment at Lejre, Demark has demonstrated that the effects of a fire are much less tangible in wattle and daub houses if started from the floor level of a house (Hansen 1961). The collapsed walls were decisive in preservation of artefacts. Thus, the eastern wall of House 1, falling inwards, together with the roof, sealed all inventory


Acta Archaeologica
gration, in Redutite all four (including both the Late Copper Age ones) (Gergov 1992a), in Krivodol all five (Nikolov 1984), in Sadovec-Ezero four out of six, in Zaminec all three (Nikolov 1975), just to mention a few of the Late Copper Age examples. Thus, at least 80% of the well-studied KSB settlements ended up in flames. In other regions the percentage seems lower, however. The Copper Age tells of NE Bulgaria, systematically investigated in the 1970s and -80s, demonstrate that only 33% of the Late Copper Age settlement phases show traces of great fires (the available data mainly belongs to the earliest phase of KGK VI) (Todorova 1982). The percentage is even lower in the earlier part of the period. Different explanations for great fires have been put forward, ranging from hostile attacks to ritual acts. It cannot be excluded that hostile attacks were a real threat in the Copper Age. It is also possible that a ritualised perception of settlement was common, seeing houses and objects as living organisms, which are born and can die, even create a line of heritage (Bailey 1990; 1996; Chapman 2000). M. Stevanovic, studying conflagrated Neolithic ´ Vinca houses, is seeing these as expressions of pracˇ tices to assure continuity and visibility in the mnemonic domain of society; thus, she is suggesting that conflagration should be regarded as a cultural trait among early agricultural communities (Stevanovic ´ 1997). To support the claim that houses were burned individually (hence destroyed deliberately in a controlled fashion), she refers to the lack of effect on soils in areas between houses, as demonstrated by examples at Opovo, Yugoslavia. However, recent experimental work on the effects of fire on soils have proved that thermal transformation only occurs in very rare cases, e.g, on ferruginous soils which are influenced by heating above 500 æC (Canti & Linford 2001). Therefore, the only certain way to sustain the idea of controlled conflagrations is to demonstrate that a house, or a group of houses, in a settlement were singled out to be put on fire. Such practices were actually carried out at the Danish Iron Age village of Hodde (2nd century BC– 1st century AD), where conflagration was an instrument of control of space (Hvass 1985). As regards tell settlements, clearing an area by burning decaying houses also seems to be the best choice in terms of

Fig. III.20. Two lime stones shaped to fit each other, found in House 2, together with a group of vessels.

in the eastern part of this structure. Favourable conditions were also created by the collapse of the western wall of House 3. This wall covered the oven and the items adjacent to it. The eastern part of the house was also covered in destruction debris, some of it coming from the roof. The eastern wall of House 2 collapsed in eastern direction, creating a cover for the refuse accumulated in the adjacent intrastructural space. Seemingly, some parts of the walls of House 2 remained standing after the fire faded and created sheltered areas for an accumulation of soil, which also filled the cavities of the said oven, preserving to some extent the original shape of the dome. Wattle and daub houses were also built by the Romans. Vitruvius, the famous First century BC Roman engineer and architectural theorist, considered such structures a cheap but dangerous substitute to adobe houses. He wrote, ‘‘As for ‘wattle and daub’ I could wish that it had never been invented. The more it saves in time and gains in space, the greater and the more general is the disaster that it may cause; for it is made to catch fire, like torches. It seems better, therefore, to spend on walls of burnt brick, and be at expense, than to save with ‘wattle and daub’, and be in danger. And, in the stucco covering, too, it makes cracks from the inside by the arrangement of its studs and girts. For these swell with moisture as they are daubed, and then contract as they dry, and by their shrinking, cause the solid stucco to split’’ (Vitruvius, ‘‘De Architectura’’ II.viii.20, pp. 57–58, as cited by Rapp 2002, 265). It was almost a rule rather than an exception that a Copper Age settlement was terminated by fire. At Lıga, one out of two settlements ended in conflaˆ

Lıga ˆ


Fig. III.21. A group of vessels discovered inside House 2, at the entrance. A spoon was found in a big vessel – a ‘‘soup terrine’’. Traces of the last meal?

time and energy spent. Indeed, several such sites, e.g., the Copper Age Ruse tell, NE Bulgaria, hold evidence on partial burning, of whatever nature (Bojadziev 2001; Georgiev & Angelov 1957). Possibly, also ˇ the Ovcarovo VII settlement of Middle Copper Age ˇ date was partially burned (Todorova 1982). But the total abandonment of KSB settlements in the wake of great fires calls for other explanations. Regarding hostile attacks, such may have taken place without leaving traces of human victims. In fact, only at the tells of Hotnitsa (Angelov 1958) and Yunatsite, and possibly also Ruse, as demonstrated by the latest re-evaluation of the excavation results (Todorova 1986; Matsanova 2000; Bojadziev 2001), skeletons ˇ were found inside the burned structures. These skel-

etons were covered by Late Copper Age house debris, pointing towards a violent death, as is also supported by skeletal analyses (Matsanova 2000 & pers.comm. and observation). This indirectly contradicts Stevanovic’s adjunct suggestion that the amount of organic ´ material used in wattle and daub architecture was not large enough to serve as fuel to bake the clay to a reddened state (Stevanovic 1997). ´ Based on the observations at Lıga 2, a ritual reason ˆ for the conflagration, which terminated the settlement, cannot be established. Rather, the evidence supports evacuation at the time of the breaking out of fire, a situation similar to the one recorded at the fully excavated Redutite settlement (Gergov 1992a). Bearing in mind the high numbers of conflagration


Acta Archaeologica

Fig. III.22. Water jar discovered in four separate clusters in House 3. Reconstruction is presented in Plate 11:1.

cases, a ritual activity of such a nature would point towards a self-destructive even suicidal psychology of society, which is unlikely. Rejuvenation acts might have been refreshing, but regular starts from scratch were probably perceived as a frightening perspective. In fact, each generation of the KSB culture was probably marked by such unhappy conflagration experiences. Indeed, the fires should rather be regarded as accidents, feared and real, as described by Vitruvius. Nucleated settlements situated on elevated sites have enjoyed fresh winds from the plains, which would promote the spread of fire within a settlement, especially during the summer when the house walls were dried of winter humidity. Modern thatchers, advertising their roofing services, always start by naming their means of precaution against fire. Some make a layer of gypsum, or use other recently developed fire-resistant materials. Perhaps this explains why every wooden pole at Lıga, ˆ even in the roof, was plastered with clay: isolation measures that were also fire protecting. What remains puzzling, however, is that when a conflagrated settlement was abandoned, there was no looking back, as if taboo laws were protecting its contents. At Lıga, ˆ some of the house inventories stayed exposed and

probably intact (many of the items were indeed unaffected or only modestly affected by fire), but there were no signs of pragmatic actions to fetch or look for re-usable items. Some estimation can also be made on human resources employed. It has been generally accepted that the smallest socio-economic unit of early agricultural societies is the household, comprising a nucleated or extended family (Tringham & Krstic 1990). Acknowl´ edging the conceptual complexity of the term (cf. Sahlins 1972), in this study, a household is taken to be a kin-based residential group (Tringham & Krstic ´ 1990), which integrates all members, also the aged and the children. The integration is sustained by common housing, involvement in daily activities, and in caring. Although division of household activities is confined to a rather speculative level in archaeology, the internal installations and inventories at Lıga clearˆ ly indicate the autonomous nature of the social units, which inhabited the architectural spaces. Hence, in this very particular case, it is possible to employ house and household as synonyms. Estimations of household sizes vary between 3–5 persons (basic family) to 6–8 (extended family) (Chapman 1981; Tripkovic 2003). Recently, these ´ numbers have been supported by an excavations at

Lıga ˆ


Fig. III.23. ‘‘The Sitting Goddess’’ discovered in House 4.

the tell of Yunatsite, Pazardjik (Matsanova 2000). In layers belonging to the final Late Copper Age settlement (originally occupying ca. 0.85 ha), skeletal remains of 41 individuals were found (Matsanova 2000, Fig. 1; partly preserved remains, like skulls, are included in this number). 28 persons were found lying on house floors, often on top of fragmented or intact ceramic vessels, and covered with burned architectural debris. Several skeletons were found in unnatural postures, some bearing traces of fire. One male had clear signs of head injuries. This remarkable discovery is the first well-documented testimony to inter-communal clashes in the prehistory of Bulgaria. Moreover, it provides evidence on the number of inhabitants attached to each house. Remains of nine houses were recorded, but only one was investigated fully. The rest were either eroded to varying degrees, lying at slopes, destroyed by later trenches, or lying partly in the not yet investigated half of the settlement. The houses were arranged in a rather dispersed pattern, although with the usual

layout of E-W ‘‘streets’’ and structures orientated NS. Generally, there was a marked differentiation in house size. Six of the houses contained skeletal remains (although some were lacking a full set of bones, perhaps an indication of scavenging by wild animals after the abandonment of the settlement). The skeletal finds between the burned houses, as stated by V. Matsanova, are proper burials where the body was put into a hocker position and accompanied by grave goods, usually pottery. The scenario thus implies a return of the surviving part of the community, giving proper treatment to their dead members. This in itself is a significant statement about social behaviour of a Copper Age population, indicating that the apparent lack of burials in the region, including the Thracian plain, with the exception of NE Bulgaria (the famous Varna graves), should not be taken as negative evidence but rather as an archaeological problem. One house contained skeletal remains of two individuals, two houses of four, while the remaining three houses contained re-


Acta Archaeologica

Fig. III.24. Eight flint blades and part of a blade (proximal end) found together at the oven in House 3. These were most likely kept together in a pouch, perhaps made of leather or other perishable material. Note also the oven plug.

spectively five, six and seven individuals, including children. Bearing in mind the total number of individuals (41), divided among nine houses, the average household amounts to 41⁄2 individuals, plus the survivors. Probably the larger houses also held more people than the smaller ones. The mean available house space of a settlement can also be used to predict the size of the community. According to R. Naroll, one individual averages 10 m2 (external measures), including storage, stables etc. (Naroll 1962). The latter are not present at Lıga where each person, on the average, may ˆ have required only half this space or slightly more. The Lıga 2 houses, of 30–40 m2 internally and 40– ˆ 50 m2 externally, may thus have accommodated an extended family of about seven individuals. Accepting the size of the household as 5–7, it is expected that a whole settlement the size of Lıga 2, ˆ i.e., composed of 20–22 houses, had a population of

100–150 individuals. This is in accordance with implications from recent studies in brain development and social interaction – larger populations having difficulties in functioning as one. R. Dunbar has thus noticed a strong correlation between the social behaviour of primates and the size of their neocortex, suggesting that the need to increase group size, and hence social complexity, acted as a mechanism of selection in the evolvement of large neocortices (Dunbar 1995; 1996). Establishing a neocortex ratio to the rest of the brain as 1:4, he predicts that the most effectively functioning human group will consist of approximately 150 members (i.e., three times as many as chimpanzees). Apparently, such prediction of the optimum group size is supported by grouping patterns prevalent at different levels of human society, as exemplified by Dunbar’s research on modern and historic data. The main challenge of the Lıga project was to unˆ

Lıga ˆ
cover and study the structural remains in their full extent, attempting not only to look at the variations in pottery production but also to recognize the settings in which the pottery was used. Allowing a friendly irony towards local passion for pottery research (perfectly understandable in the light of the amount and apparent approachability of pottery as a source of information), efforts were made at Lıga to ˆ include other ‘‘tokens’’, with equal degree of attention, into the universe created by the pottery. The anthropology of technology offers an instrumental approach aiding in recognition of social groups through analyses of mundane products such as utilitarian pottery, tools, and architecture (Lemonnier 1992). It is believed that social information is stored in the steps and choices made during manufacture as well as use of material culture (Stark et al. 1995; with references). Such behavioural variation reflected in the material culture is determining what is named a technological style. Architecture is considered the most complex although also the most informative medium of technological style (Stark et al. 1995). Construction techniques, choice of materials, and use of domestic space are traits that demonstrate a particular resilience to change (as opposed to stylistic variation), and are often significant indicators of social boundaries (Stark et al. 1995). According to various definitions of culture, regardless of whether these are emphasizing behavioural patterns or recurring sets of material remains, technical style is part of the ‘‘package’’. Not all aspects of a cultural package are being transmitted from a given core area, however, making conglomerates such as the KSB culture less well defined. Thus, it is important to account not only for one trait such as the stylistics of pottery, but also for architecture and use of space, among many other things. Despite limitations in the architectural data from sites attributed to the KSB culture, it is possible to undertake several overall comparisons, adding to a better understanding of the KSB cultural profile. Seemingly, variation can be used as a temporal signature, especially in cases where information is obtained on the general layout of a settlement. A great potential in this respect is displayed by the Telish-Redutite site, which still awaits a detailed publication concerning the issue of use of space in domestic contexts.

Nevertheless, it is already now possible to state that the conceptual starting point for Redutite was the same as for Lıga. For instance, it has been revealed ˆ in discussions with the excavator that, among other similarities with Lıga, the houses at Redutite also had ˆ ovens installed at the middle of the northern wall, entrances in the southern one (cf. Gergov 1992a). Some confusion has been created in the terminology used to describe building techniques. For instance, V. Gergov, when discussing the findings at Redutite, mentions that a special building technique was applied to erect the houses (Gergov 1992a; 1994, 304). Without definition, and with a mere reference to the structures at various Tripolye sites excavated by T. Passek half a century ago, he applies the term ‘‘glinobitna’’ in Russian. At the same time, Gergov mentions the use of poles (7–12 cm in diameter) dug into foundation trenches at every 50–60 cm., and that the dwellings of each Redutite settlement were burned, hence the good preservation (Gergov 1992a; 1994, 304). ‘‘Glinobitna’’ in Russian should be translated as pise or terre pise (6). Therefore, H. Todorova, ´ ´ in her presentation of the prehistoric development of Bulgaria, writes that ‘‘the buildings excavated in Telish have thick clay-covered walls without posts or wattle’’ (Todorova 2003, 288). The early publications by Passek on the structures at Tripolye have also led others to perplexing conlusions, e.g., the use of ‘‘adobes’’ in construction of the houses (Lazarovici & Lazarovici 2003, 412). Pounded earth, or pise/terre pise, are terms ap´ ´ plied to describe earth compacted by ramming (Rapp 2002). This advantegeous technique is more complicated than e.g., wattle and daub. Pise walls do not ´ burn, and burning of a thatched or reed roof would have very limited thermal effects, not even causing a redening of the clay. The erection of pise walls is ´ dependent on a well-balanced composition of raw materials in order to prevent shrinkage. In fact, only a small amount of clay is needed and more than 30% clay results in rapid erosion (Rapp 2002). The rammed earth technique is known in Bulgaria

6. Cf. the Russian edition of ‘‘A Dictionary of Archaeology’’, W. Bray & D. Trump 1970 (not quoted in the General Bibliography).


Acta Archaeologica
exceptionality of the Telish-Redutite site is based on false premises (cf. Bailey 2000; Todorova 2003). Knowing that many other Late Copper Age sites in Bulgaria have houses with substantial wooden poles in their walls (diameter of 15–25 cm), it is probable that the light wall construction in the Telish region reflects environmental constrains. Even the houses of the Redutite IV building horizon of post-Copper Age date – demonstrating a general break with earlier stylistic and technological traditions – had a light frame constructed for daubing (Gergov 1996). The consumption of wood and possibly clearing too could well have been greater than the natural regeneration pace of the trees of the region. Looking at the broader picture, the available information on KSB houses is restricted. There are only a few cases of fully excavated architectural remains. Generally, the built structures comply with the described principles. Few exceptions, such as the stone houses at Galatin, NW Bulgaria (Georgieva 1995b) and Beligovo, E Serbia (Nikolic ´ 1998) erected on the top of stony hills may reflect an adaptation rather than changing architectural principles. Copper Age societies were not devoid of innovative potential, but the faithful subscription to constant patterns of settlement arrangement and house building may indicate that architecture was governed by less tangible ideas than the mere need for shelter. The settlement and the house can thus be viewed as an agent of communal identity.

ˇ in both the Neolithic and the Early Copper Age (Cochadziev 2003a). At the Neolithic site of Gulubnink, ˇ situated in the Struma Valley, the technique has correctly been described as a ‘‘beaten-clay’’ technique, when the building material ‘‘did not differ from that ˇ of the surrounding terrain’’ (Cochadziev 2003a). In ˇ the ethnographic record of Bulgaria, rammed earth techniques are also known, primarily in the northern part of the country, including the region of Pleven ˇ (Cochadziev 1997, 10; Georgieva 1983, 197). The ˇ walls of these houses are described as being 0.5–0.6 m thick, made of a clay mixed with chaff, which is shaped in a wooden frame outlining the house (Georgieva 1983, 197). The walls are built of layers 0.50 m high, the finished house composed of five such layers (Georgieva 1983, 197). Returning to the Tripolye houses, these have been described as ‘‘built of thick poles, joined by wickerwork and plastered over with clay’’ (Mongait 1959; but also Gimbutas 1956; Passek & Chernykh 1963; Stanko et al. 1997, 253, Figs. 64 & 65). The use of pounded earth is only found in connection with floors and grinding terraces (ibid.). Thus, it is not correct to apply the pounded earth term to Tripolye features. The architecture of the Tripolye culture and, to a certain extent, of the Gumelnita culture (as known in ¸ Moldavia and Ukraine, i.e., the areas of Lower Danube and Lower Prut) is characterized by so-called house platforms. The house platforms were created with the help of clay rolls tempered with plant matters laid tightly upon a wooden base und fired (in some cases the rolls were fired prior to their arrangement) (Chernysh 1965; Passek 1965, 8, as cited by Bejlekchi 1978, 61 & 67). Such a technical solution for making floors is more closely related to adobe than to the rammed earth technique. Walls, celings and ovens in Tripolje were made with the use of wattling and daub, however (Chernysh 1965; Passek 1965, 8, as cited by Bejlekchi 1978, 61 & 67). Bearing all this in mind, it is safe to conclude that the houses in Redutite were daub houses with a relatively light, but dense wattle construction. This is also indicated by the fragments of walls from Redutite of burned daub with a high content of clay exhibited at the Historical Museum of Pleven. The same construction technique was, as noted, recorded in adjacent Lıga. Hence, it can be demonstrated that the stated ˆ

TYPES OF SETTLEMENT SITES Regional and supra-regional perspectives have proved highly valuable for the understanding of Lıga and ˆ yielded a far more complex picture of a Late Copper Age settlement than hitherto assumed. The traditional idea is that the seemingly short-lived KSB settlements were mainly located at high altitudes, or in caves, in contrast to the long-lasting tell settlements of the KGK VI complex on the Thracian plain to the east of KSB (e.g., Todorova 1986). The simplistic assumption that tells always represent a permanent occupation has been challenged by investigations at the Podgoritsa tell in NE Bulgaria, demonstrating that repeated episodes of rising water tables forced settlers to abandon the tell and move to dry locations (Bailey

Lıga ˆ
1999). On the other hand, excavations at Redutite, next to Lıga, have produced evidence that KSB setˆ tlers felt a strong attachment to certain places, perceived to be pivotal in the geographical and cultural landscape. This is seen not only through reoccupation of the same space but also in rebuilding and extension activities, especially during Redutite II (Gergov, pers.comm.). In and around Telish (mainly to the east) there are at least five types of settlement, thus. (A) Strongholds, such as Sadovec-Golemanovo Kale, with one occupation phase (Todorova 1992), and Pipra, with a minimum of five (pers. inspection of treasure hunter pits in 2000, 2001 & 2002). These sites are naturally protected by steep slopes at three sides, being only accessible by land bridges or less steep slopes. Unfortunately, Pipra has never been properly investigated, and the remains of the Late Copper Age settlement at Golemanovo Kale have been damaged by later occupation. Other strongholds found elsewhere in the KSB area appear to have been additionally fortified by earth or even stone walls, doubletrenches and palisades – e.g., Okhoden Kaleto (Nikolov 1968), Zaminets (Nikolov 1975), Krivodol (Nikolov 1984 and pers. observations of treasure hunter trenches in 2001 and 2002). The strongholds are usually oblong, tongue- or ellipse-shaped hills, which impart limitations on the settlement size, the available area being around 0.2 ha with a maximum capacity of 20–23 houses. Not accidentally, all these locations were later chosen for heavily fortified Late Antiquity strongholds. (B) Minor sites with difficult access were established at obscure locations and hence tentatively interpreted as refuges. The only example in the Telish region is Sadovec-Ezero, a saddle-like hillock in a canyon below ranges of high rising hills. The area useable for structures was 0.075–0.08 ha, thus only 8–10 house may have existed at one and the same time. The occupational debris of Sadovec-Ezero can be subdivided in 6 building horizons with a total thickness of almost 4 m. Elsewhere in the KSB area, refuge places are established on hilltops in remote areas, e.g., Pekliuk at Sofia (Petkov 1964). (C) Open-air plateau settlements, such as Redutite and Lıga, were established at the edge of a plateau with a ˆ commanding view of the surroundings, but no defens-

ive measures. Despite the lack of topographic restrictions, such settlement sees a dense concentration of houses, creating a sharp division between the built and the unbuilt space. The area occupied by houses ranges between 0.18 and 0.40 ha; the majority of sites are around 0.2 ha, with between 20 and 35 houses. (D) Open-air low-lying settlements were also established. One such was recorded between Telish and Sadovec, following information from local residents. The site is marked as NN on the map (Fig. I.7), since no local name could be obtained. It is lying on the lower terrace by a stream, gradually sloping upwards towards the North. The top of the terrace is marked by two presumable Thracian tumuli. In a ploughed field and an area of ca. 0.2 ha were very many sherds of Late Copper Age pottery and milling stones. Late and post-Roman pottery was also present, as well as human bones. No indications of settlement could be found on the higher lying areas around. Such lowlying settlements have been somewhat ignored and are merely noted in survey reports. The majority is also severely damaged by intensive cultivation and thus less attractive archaeologically than the high altitude sites. (E) Caves are common in the Telish-Sadovec area. Unfortunately, the biggest, suitable for extensive occupation, have suffered damage by modern use, e.g., production of feta-like cheeses. Upstream, on the river Vit, occupational debris has been discovered in ˆ the caves of Ochilata and Iglen. Devetaki at Lovech, further away, remains the finest example of cave settlements (Mikov & Dzambazov 1960). Cave settleˇ ments can be differentiated according to the intensity of occupation, but the majority seems to be temporal shelters for herdsmen, despite presence of built structures. By the end of the Copper Age a new type of settlement emerged in the KSB area, (F) pile dwellings, found in wetland areas such as Negovatsi (Georgieva ˇ 1995a) and Krajnitsi close to Pernik (Cochadziev ˇ 2003a); they resemble the earlier settlements at Varna Lake on the Black Sea coast. None of the abovementioned sites are static but rather changing in function and purpose. Sadovec-Ezero stands out as the best example. During the end of the Copper Age, at the time of its 4th settlement (out of 6), the site also included part of the neighbouring Sado-


Acta Archaeologica
vec-Kaleto; Lıga 1 ceramics shares features with ˆ pottery from the Sadovec sites. However, as long as the full chrono-typological sensitivity of the pottery in question has not been established, such considerations have little value. Tentatively, it can be assumed that at least two settlements coexisted, e.g. an open-air settlement and a defended site in its hinterland (6–10 km away). Acknowledgement of the flint sources at Sadovec and Pipra indicates that the settlers at Lıga ˆ were familiar also with these localities (cf. Chapter VII, below).

vec-Kaleto locality. The two-partite settlement was rejected in favour of Sadovec-Kaleto – with no restriction on settlement – during the time of the so-called Transitional period, as well as in the Early and Late Bronze Age, and in Late Antiquity. Later on, the site was used as a Christian burial site. In the Early Bronze Age the site was fortified by a massive wall. It is difficult to establish how many of the settlements in the Telish region were contemporary. Pottery from Golemanovo Kale has exact parallels in Sadovec-Ezero at the time of its expansion onto Sado-

PRESERVATION Despite the relatively limited thickness of the cultural deposits at Lıga, conditions of preservation vary sigˆ nificantly depending on depth, the effects of which being clearly observable on pottery. In the lowest layers, Lıga 1, the surface of the pottery shards is ceˆ mented by the calcareous soils. The patination of flint artefacts is likewise progressed. In the upper cultural horizon of Lıga 2, the calcareous environment has ˆ created high pH values of the soil (8, according to litmus paper). Protected only by a thin layer of humus, the pottery is further affected by moisture and fluctuations of temperature. During the summer dry – as observed on location in 2000 – the soil sees cracks up to 0.5 m deep. The combined actions of physical and chemical properties of the soil have thus resulted in relatively poor conditions of preservation for toplevel pottery. Some shards appear with washed out or exfoliated surfaces, in some cases to such a degree that the original surface can hardly be recognised. This is particularly common for areas outside the houses where the pottery was not affected by secondary burning or protected by a less permeable layer of fallen structural debris. Often the upper layer of a shard is flaking in thin scales making recognition of decoration and finishing a complicated task. Apparently, none of the described factors had any noteworthy impact on bones. methods for processing pottery were designed with reference to the material produced by the Lıga 2 ˆ settlement. First of all, the investigators were faced with a huge amount of shards from disturbed or uncertain contexts. Secondly, especially during the first season, the qualitative differentiation of pottery appeared to be limited to just two categories, coarse and very coarse wares, as based on fabric and surface treatment. All attempts at this stage to differentiate between excavated shards did not produce categories that could be readily and unambiguously recognised. Recovery of whole vessels provided information on morphological features and substantiated shapeorientated recording. Eventually, three processing procedures evolved, with varying degrees of complexity: streamlined sorting of shards according to tempering, coded sorting of shards according to morphological traits and surface treatment, and, detailed description of whole or reconstructable vessels or conspicuous vessel parts. For all three processing procedures a standardised data sheet was designed corresponding to the entries of a pottery database. The main excavated area of 275 m2 (excluding survey trenches) yielded almost 1,300 kg of pottery. Pottery fragmentation turned up to be low with an average of 20 g per shard (excluding whole vessels or pottery concentrations on house floors). The degree of fragmentation did not appear to be fluctuating in any pattern depending on the depth: indicating that the excavated area had undergone limited post-depositional disturbance. In fact, it can be concluded, that the excavated part of the settlement was the better preserved one. When all the land of Telish became intensively cultivated, the excavated part of the settlement – separated from the arable by a road – was not deep-ploughed. In fact, the best-preserved remains were discovered under the road.

POTTERY: SORTING PROCEDURES Pottery processing at Lıga was dictated by realities ˆ already presenting themselves during the excavation. As work progressed, it became evident that the main body of pottery was related to the Lıga 2 episode at ˆ the site. Significant amount of pottery was also collected from Lıga 1 layers but discrete qualitative disˆ tinctions between the two sets of pottery allowed for an immediate separation of mixed materials. The same was even more apparent in the case of occasional occurrences of shards from later periods. Almost all studies focused on the numerous and better preserved remains of Lıga 2, allowing for closeˆ up investigation of a homogeneous data set. Thus, the


General crudeness of the pottery created the impression that it was related to the latest phase of the Copper Age, supposedly marked by an increasing use of organic and especially shell tempering (Georgieva


Acta Archaeologica
counted, weighted and coded according to definitions on the data entry sheet. Shards of other periods than the Lıga 2 settlement were separated and treated acˆ cordingly. When possible, a note was made on vessel size (big or small). In cases of rims, the rim diameter, thickness of wall and vessel type (open/closed vessel) were noted as well. Comments and drawings were made of rare and exceptional features of shape and decoration. The data entry sheet allowed one to reflect on relations between several shards or shards with several morphological attributes. Acknowledging that different vessel types have different life-spans and varying patterns of fragmentation (Rice 1987, Table 9.4; Orton et al. 1993), this sorting procedure was considered meaningful in establishing a general profile of the pottery production during the Lıga 2 settlement. As noted, the sorting ˆ procedure did not include whole vessels or shard concentrations observed on house floors. Furthermore, the initial sorting procedure based on non-plastic inclusions demonstrated, as just mentioned, that the degree of fragmentation was the same throughout the layers (again with exception of the pottery discovered on house floors), pointing towards related post-depositional histories. Albeit the numbers are not considered absolute, the frequency of appearance of formal attributes or surface treatment techniques was considered to be diagnostic, exhibiting general ideas on pottery production. Information was entered into a database stemming from 230 bags or 575 kg of ceramic shards.

Fig. IV.1. Table of defined tempering groups, with percentage of each in the Lıga 2 material. ˆ

1993). Therefore, non-plastic inclusions became the most significant variable in shard sorting during the first season. In most cases, inclusions were easily distinguished by fresh breaking with tongs, only rarely a hand lens was used. The procedure involved sorting of shards from the same excavation unit into groups according to tempering materials. Within each group, shards were further subdivided according to morphological traits, decoration, and exceptional or noteworthy features. When sorted, all shards were counted and weighted. The total number was 12,642 shards weighting 248 kg. As a result, 15 different tempering groups were established, but only 11 of these appeared to be statistically significant (Fig. IV.1).



This sorting procedure was applied when significant evidence was collected on pottery shapes and surface treatment as based on finds of whole or nearly whole vessels. It was constructed in two steps. Firstly, all shards from the same excavation unit were sorted into rims, shoulders, handles/lugs/bosses, bases, body shards and fragments of ‘‘standard forms’’ (that is, pottery types, varying in size but repetitive in terms of shape, like pot-stands, milk strainers, or biconic cups). Then, each group was subdivided into plain specimens and specimens with decoration or a particular surface treatment. Shards within each subgroup were

Pottery recovered in closed and undisturbed contexts (in situ) was treated with special attention. This included whole vessels as well as shard concentrations and single diagnostic or otherwise informative shards. Thorough recording was undertaken both inside and outside the buildings, in places of waste deposition and in areas of particular outdoor activities. Field recording procedures included 3D measurement of individual pottery scatters as polygons or points mapped with Total Station (TS) (Pl. 4.A), graphic representation of contextual information (drawing Pl. 4.B), photo documentation and immediate descrip-

Lıga ˆ
tion of vessel types, states of preservation, directions of fall, positions (rim/bottom position in relation to each other), etc. Such description was further expanded when shards/vessels were collected and bagged, and assigned individual numbers of Total Station measurement. Soil from the vessels was also sampled. The post-excavation procedures included careful cleaning, mending and partial restoration, if needed, drawing, and metrical, morphological, and technological description. Almost 300 whole or reconstructable vessels were discovered from primary contexts (and 100, predominantly smaller cups and bowls, recovered from uncertain ones). However, 1/3rd of the 300 vessels was only graphically reconstructed in part, since their reconstruction, due too high fragmentation or/and fragility, would be too time-consuming.

proper tempering material, based on the assumption that it reflects a technological choice. Of course, it is also possible that another source of clay with such constituents was mined, e.g., at the stream, where seasonal re-deposition of clays was taking place. Finally, a small part of all shards (among these a few fragments of Late Antiquity pottery) contained very fine mica, indicating that at least one other source of clay has been in use. The sorting of pottery shards according to nonplastic inclusions occurring in the fabric produced the above list of 15 different combinations, termed tempering groups. Four groups are represented by very small numbers and might in fact reflect experiments or foreign origins. Organic matter was the most common. Such may be fresh plant material (from very fine grasses leaving linear voids in a section to crude straws with corresponding somewhat angular voids), or animal dung. The second and third in importance is quartz and chamotte (grog), of almost equal importance. Quartz/sand is found in a range of sizes, though most frequently in grains between 1–2 mm. Fine pottery may contain quartz particles of only 0.5 mm. The inclusions are mostly rounded, but angular ones are also occurring, usually in quite high frequencies. Several grainy sandstones, one reaching 22 cm in length, discovered on the site were severely burned and brittle, easily crumbling into separate grains. The angular form and size of these grains correlate with the quartz inclusions found in the fabric of part of the shards, allowing the assumption that such stones could indeed have served as a source for quartz tempering. Chamotte (or grog) is appearing in great abundance. It can be coarsely (2–4 mm) or finely crushed (0.5–1.0 mm); when it appears in combination with other tempering materials, it usually dominates. Like the other tempering materials, chamotte was used for production of both coarse and fine wares, in both Lıga 1 and 2. In the case of coarse ˆ wares, it was almost always present. The main part of the chamotte originate from crushed pottery but fired clays are also noted (distinguished by a more pulverulent state). Evidently, the basic technological prescriptions involved clay mixed with organic matter and strengthened with one or both of the hard-core elements – quartz/sand and chamotte. The use of calcareous inclusions was also import-

POTTERY RAW MATERIALS AND FABRICS Initial information on raw materials used in pottery production at Lıga was gained through burned pieces ˆ of daub. Besides intentionally added aplastics, the daub contained bigger lumps of calcareous inclusions and ochre, indicating that these were occurring naturally in the clay deposits in question. Therefore, any modest occurrence of calcareous inclusions or ochre in pottery was considered natural. A rich deposit of sedimentary clays (likely 6–8 m in thickness) was discovered at the foot of the plateau where the site is situated. The clay is light grey in colour and contains very fine plant material. Other impurities, as occasionally lenses of sand or iron rich flakes, tend to lump in separate layers. The low level of impurities was appreciated by Late Antiquity potters settled in the area: these did not need levigation to refine the clays for high quality products. The Copper Age potters, by contrast, had to make proper choices of tempering material to achieve a balanced composition of paste suitable for prehistoric firing conditions. Examination of the paste raised the known problem of when presence of aplastics in clays should be regarded as natural, or, intentional. The focus is on fabric types containing quartz inclusions. The upper layers of the clay deposits at the site contain finegrained sand, and the decision was thus made to treat any considerable amount of quartz inclusions as


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thus parallel in time to Lıga. The material, stemming ˆ from 21 houses, is, however, attributed to the KGK VI cultural complex. Due to the large quantity of finds, only material from two houses was investigated, described and photographed (1). Concerning tempering materials, a great uniformity in combination exists at Hotnitsa. Calcareous inclusions dominate, often in combination with organic matter, seldom with chamotte. The use of sand is very limited, while some pottery is only tempered with organic matter. The discovery of a relatively high representation of organic matters led to the recognition that organic tempering is often overlooked in Copper Age pottery from Bulgaria. Other comparative studies suggest that the variation in tempering combinations during Lıga 2 is ˆ a reflection of social phenomena discussed in sections below.

ant. At least 1⁄4th of all shards contained some amount of calcium carbonates (lime or calcite, but never shells), in fired state, these appeared as white or yellowish soft inclusions, easily scratched with a nail. The amount of these non-plastic constituents was moderate in frequency and only when evenly distributed considered as intentionally added. Among the curiosities were several coarse pottery shards richly tempered with crushed flint (3–4 mm) and quartz/sand. Such tempering practice was attested on a handful of shards only, representing big, thick-walled and relatively well-fired vessels (at least two), the function of which has not been established. Pottery found in the Lıga 2 settlement differs from ˆ the pottery of Lıga 1 not only in quality, but also in ˆ composition of the tempering constituents. Whereas Tempering Groups IV and IX (cf. Fig. IV.1) make up the preferred composition in both Copper Age settlements, the occurrence of Groups I and II is much higher in Lıga 1 than in Lıga 2. Group III occurs in ˆ ˆ both settlements, but with a slightly higher percentage in Lıga 2. Lıga 1 potters also produced pottery with ˆ ˆ tempering materials of Group V but were less in favour of calcareous clays than the potters of Lıga 2. ˆ Remarkably, virtually no pottery with organic constituents alone has been attributed to the Lıga 1 settleˆ ment, which sees only six tempering groups. The size of inclusions is the other variable that differentiates Lıga 1 pottery from that of Lıga 2. ˆ ˆ Whereas the greatest proportion of non-organic inclusions in Lıga 2 pottery fall within the size interval ˆ 1–2 mm, the most frequent inclusion size lies around 0.5 mm in the case of Lıga 1. ˆ Generally, the pottery of Lıga 1 is represented by ˆ fine wares made of well-sorted fabrics with moderate amounts of inclusions, homogenous in size and with colours ranging from grey to black (Munsell Colour Chart, 10YR-3/1, 10YR-4/1, 10YR-5/2). Evenly burnished, lustrous, and often extremely shiny surfaces add a further dimension to these ceramics, in contrast with the coarse brown coloured pottery of Lıga 2 (see below). ˆ In an attempt to obtain comparative data, studies were also undertaken on finds from the Hotnitsa Tell (History Museum of Veliko Tarnovo). The upper settlement of this tell is well investigated and dates to the Late Copper Age (Angelov 1958; 1959; 1961),

DECORATION The frequency of decorated shards from Lıga 2 (inˆ cluding rims, which are more often left undecorated than body shards) is high: 31%, in kg. This is perhaps not surprising since the most common form of ‘‘decoration’’ is surface rustication, no doubt intended to be functional. In general, rustication of the surface is achieved by applying a thick layer of clay to a vessel in leather-hard state. Depending on the pattern of distribution of the applied clay, Bulgarian scholars differentiate between ‘‘barbotine’’ and ‘‘finger trailing’’ (other archaeologists would call both forms barbotine surface treatment). According to the Bulgarian tradition of description, barbotine is an application of thick slip, which creates rough surfaces in no particular pattern. While finger trailing, as the name is suggesting, is also a rough relief application, the slip being distributed on the surface by trailing fingers so that parallel ridges are raised in a certain pattern, usually horizontal or vertical (reflecting the direction of trailing). Although sometimes both types of rustication might be combined with other decorative elements and create a certain impression of exclusivity, such surface treatment is mainly reserved for ‘‘dom1. The author is grateful to Nedko Elenski, MA, curator at the Historical Museum of V. Tarnovo, Bulgaria for the opportunity to study materials from Hotnitsa at first hand.

Lıga ˆ
estic ware’’, that is, big storage vessels, barrel shaped vessels, and biconic ‘‘soup/soaking tureens’’ (Type ‘‘G’’, see below). The functionality of such surface treatment can be appreciated in several ways: creating better gripping surfaces, reinforcing vessels, and minimising abrasive impact. The proportion of rusticated ware is very high in the assemblage of Lıga 2. ˆ Based on 126 kg of decorated shards, 60% was of finger trailing and 15% of barbotine proper. The remaining types of decoration make up only 25%. A horizontal band or a cordon of fingernail or/and -tip impressions often separates the smoothed rim/neck from the rusticated body. A combination of two (or three – 11 cases in all) decorative elements is found on 3% of the shards, a frequency no doubt underrepresented to judge from whole vessels. The most frequent type of combination involves barbotine or finger trailing. Generally, decoration composed of more than one element is rare, allowing the assumption that pottery rustication must have been viewed as a functional, rather than as a decorative surface treatment technique. The repertoire of more elaborate decoration techniques, as can be seen from the collected fragments, is limited to different combinations of the said fingernail and fingertip impressions, often on cordons; also shell impressions and rounded or triangular punctates/pits, impressed with sticks, incised decoration, raised bosses, flutes, scratched and brushed surface decoration are seen. Excised and graphite painted decoration is also present, but in very small quantities. Looking at the distribution of decoration types within 25% of the whole amount of fragmented decorated pottery (that is, disregarding barbotine and finger trailing), the most common type of decoration is incised (26%). Incision is made with a sharp or blunted thin stick (up to 2 mm) moved in horizontal lines or in more complex patterns over the whole body. Complex patterns of joint lines organised in circular, spiral or curvilinear patterns characteristic of graphite painted pottery have also been executed with the help of incisions. Thus, incisions might be seen as a substitute for graphite painted decoration, the latter raising certain demands on raw materials (graphite), fabric and surface treatment (burnishing). Patterns composed of incised spirals are often associated with


Fig. IV.2. Big storage jar found in House 2 decorated with incised pattern of spirals. Note the dots.

dots (Fig. IV.2). There is a certain regularity observed in a distribution of dots, implying that spiral ornamentation was created using two sticks – bound together with a cord (the distance between them could be regulated by rolling the cord) – which then could be used in the same way as modern callipers. A common type of decoration is horizontal im-


Acta Archaeologica
tally separated with incised lines, creating a honeycomb pattern. Impressions made with shells at right angles are often found on shoulders of biconic or other bipartite vessels (3%). Similar type of decoration can also be created with fingernails being pressed into clay at right angle (2%). In both cases, impressions have a narrow crescent shape, but the ones made with shell edges (most likely freshwater mussels of the Microcondylaea Compressa species, as identified by N. Andreasen, Copenhagen and Cambridge universities, in 2001) are significantly broader. Ideally, this type of ornamentation was intended to create a pattern of vertical waves, as the orientation of impressions was changing from row to row. Among the rare types are excised decoration (3%) and graphite (2%). Both types represented by a number of shards giving impression of complex patterns consisting of multiple lines. Excised decoration is somewhat deeper than the incised, but is similar in groove width. The last significantly represented decoration type (1%) is pottery with scratched or brushed surface. Soft clay was brushed with a bundle of coarse grass stems or similar material. Such decoration is usually applied on the whole vessel surface in interchanging directions; sometimes a more regular pattern was created by brushing only selected patches of the surface. Pottery rustication techniques have also been applied by the potters of Lıga 1, but less frequently. Inˆ stead, painted pottery held a much greater proportion of the sherdage, with complex graphite patterns prevailing, but in combination with red, yellow and white paints (Pl. 6). Graphite motives were usually made in combinations of line groups (3–5 lines, 1.5– 2.0 mm broad), but other elements such as hatched triangles or meanders are also present. Often graphite is combined with fluting. Painted decoration was mainly found on the upper part of vessels. Sometimes rims were also ornamented from within, the most elaborate patterns being found in the interior of bowls, covering the whole surface. Incised decoration is also common, occasionally with white or red incrustation.

pressions with fingernails and fingertips (25%), which can be unidirectional, from either side, or double-directional (less common) and performed in a pinching manner. This type of decoration can also be considered a rustication of the surface, since often the whole vessel surface was treated in such manner. Frequently, this type of decoration is used to create a raised band intended to separate the neck from the remaining part of the body. It might also be used to terminate barbotine or finger trailing rustication, which usually does not involve the neck. Related to the type of decoration is a true relief decoration: an applied cordon with fingernail and/or fingertip impressions (20%). As the previous, this is also used to separate (e.g., the neck from the body) or to accentuate certain parts (usually the shoulders) of a vessel. The same decoration effect as fingertip impression could also be achieved with a stick with flattened tip. Raised decoration was also used in a more elaborate manner. Applied cordons (occasionally with evenly spread fingertip impressions on top) could be used to create complex patterns organized in circles and spirals and oblique protuberances (5%). Another type of raised decoration is small bosses organised in a single horizontal row or covering part of the vessel body (2%). This type of decoration has not been discovered on whole vessels at Lıga. ˆ Fine-ware pottery such as biconic jars and bowls are frequently decorated with fluting techniques (6%). Flutes can be arranged in concentric circles or oblique lines around the shoulder of bipartite, closed vessels. Bowls are decorated around the lip and rim on the inside. Seemingly, this decoration type is reserved to more exclusive pottery types. A relatively common type of decoration during the Copper Age is created with the help of punctates/ shallow pits, which are produced with a small stick with either oval, triangular, or, occasionally, narrow rectangular tip (5%). Sometimes the stick was stuck into the clay at an angle, the resulting pattern resembling triangular fingertip/nail impressions. This type of decoration was applied in repeated rows and sometimes covered the whole surface. Frequently, rows of oval or narrow rectangular punctuates are horizon-

PRESENTATION OF DATA Prior to a discussion of the issues related to pottery production, there is a need to make a presentation of the dataset, which this study is based on. As informative the shard material is, it can never disclose the full complexity, technological as ideational of the ceramic production: hence, the below considerations are based on complete or nearly complete specimens discovered in certain contexts, primarily inside built structures. House 1 (Pl. 7) is represented by 30 complete or reconstructable ceramic vessels, found in an area of 28.3 m2; this number is significantly lower than those of the remaining two houses. Nevertheless, the dataset is important since it includes vessels with analogies in the other houses. House 2 probably reveals the fullest information on an original collection of vessels (Pl. 8 & 9). Despite the fact that rims of vessels in situ were in some places discovered just 15 cm below the surface, the area occupied by the house has suffered little damage due to subsequent activities than have the other houses. In general, the material of House 2 (internal space of 34.5 m2) is dominated by unsophisticated, rusticated or plain surface pottery, fired at low temperatures, and abundantly tempered (with organic matter and chamotte as the main constituents). Surface burnishing is applied on the interior of only a few bowls. Out of 42 vessels, 16 can be classified as coarse, 24 as very coarse and only 2 as fine ware pottery. The latter are thin-walled biconic jugs (wall thickness ranging between 3–5 mm), decorated with fluting and small bosses on the shoulders. The prevailing decoration technique, except for barbotine and finger trailing, is fingernail/fingertip impressions (22 vessels). No painted ware has been discovered in this house. The number of shapes is limited to 9, all falling within the formal repertoire of the KSB culture. Houses 1 & 2 were mainly investigated during the first field campaign (2000). Based on the pottery, both structures were dated to the very end of the Copper Age. The settlement of Lıga 2 was initially placed in ˆ between the last two settlements of Redutite, that is, between Copper Age Redutite III and Redutite IV, the latter phase attributed to the so-called Transitional Period (to the Early Bronze Age). Such dating was in concordance with published information and furthermore confirmed by consultations with Bulgarian scholars. However, after the full disclosure of House 3, as well as partial disclosures of other built structures, these ideas were abolished. House 3 was the biggest structure encountered at the site (internal space of 37.8 m2). The pottery was distributed in a much more concentrated manner than in the other houses. 51 reconstructable vessels were discovered (Pl. 10–12). The bulk part was found in a heap of shards at the eastern wall. Clearly, this indicates vessels arranged on shelves. The biggest containers (volumes reaching 250 litres) were standing on the floor, while above, smaller vessels were stacked in at least two levels. Mending of vessels concentrated on qualitatively outstanding pottery with well-burnished light surfaces, decorated with painted or complex incised patterns. Even the biggest storage containers had only a moderate inclusion frequency and were better fired than the crude pottery from the first mentioned houses. 11 whole or nearly whole graphite painted vessels were discovered (Pl. 12). In fact, this was the only house at Lıga 2 that contained graphite ˆ painted pottery. Some archaeologists have tried to explain the lack of graphite painted pottery on Copper Age sites with poor preservation (Todorova et al. 2003). At Lıga, this is not the case, since graphite ˆ painting was done prior to burnishing, which had a durable protective impact on pottery surfaces. It is important to note, that graphite paint was not reserved for smaller vessels, often interpreted as food serving ones, but was also applied to voluminous closed containers used for storage. The manner of surface treatment and decoration is thus closer to the early part of the Copper Age than to its terminal phases, according to the typological ordering systems set up in Bulgaria. In fact, H. Todorova, visiting the site in 2001, raised the issue whether this pottery should be dated to the Early Copper Age. All three


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ket and satisfying the demands of the wellinformed mainstream population. However, as much as the knowledge on the Copper Age is restricted, such a simplified (and intentionally exaggerated) picture can hardly be true. The evidence on the pottery production at Lıga conforms to ˆ that of all better investigated sites. The graphite painted pottery often has the character of mass production, indicating that it was based on locally available knowledge. How then might it be explained that one woman from a particular house was carrying water from the stream at the foot of Lıga in a dull water jar, while her neighbour for ˆ the same purpose was using a well-burnished, shiny graphite painted jar – if not in terms of individualism? (3) As to the implications for archaeological research strategies: Are we doing the right things? – Without going into deeper discussion, it is evident that only context-designed excavation and recording procedures can provide a reliable profile of a site. The usual Bulgarian practice: trench excavation in limited areas is creating false suppositions, temporally as well as culturally.

Fig. V.1. Items associated with production of pottery. 1 – pot stand, possibly a tournette, 2 – cone of graphite (lengthΩ2.4 cm, ØΩ1.15 cm).

houses were however temporally bound through their spatial relatedness as well as certain vessels with a high degree of resemblance, most likely products of the same potter. Thus, the existence of qualitatively divergent vessel assemblages stemming from contemporaneous structures poses several important questions, hopefully answered in the following: (1) As to the built structures: Can contemporary structures with qualitatively different contents be functionally equated? – The usual concern of an excavator is to assign different meaning to related but divergent sets of finds, trying to demonstrate the functional variability of structures, often with ill-founded explanations and expectations. At Lıga, this process was reversed, and an attempt ˆ was made to show that qualitative exclusiveness and find variety is not enough to ‘‘transform’’ a dwelling house into a sanctuary or a community house. As has been noted above, categories were not exclusive. (2) As to the diversity of pottery production traditions and their temporal sensitivity: What are the cultural-chronological implications? – In many cases, evolutionary explanations have been suggested to interpret prehistoric developments in the Balkans. Societies are presented as homogenous masses, collectively stockbreeding or harvesting, sharing and accepting each others ideas on the surrounding world. Anything extraordinary is explained with the existence of itinerant masters with an urge to travel and a good geographical knowledge, knowing that his, or her, work will be appreciated. Less travel-keen masters tend to establish production centres, closely following the mar-

POTTERY PRODUCTION All three houses subjected to detailed investigation contain some evidence on pottery production, which can be considered as complementary to at least a partial reconstruction of the pottery technology. House 3 held the most sophisticated pottery, contrasting the other two pottery sets to such a degree that external influences were considered among possible explanations (Pl. 13). Such were gradually discarded, though, as it appeared that exclusive graphite paint occurred on different types of utilitarian pottery, mainly on big storage containers. The production process of graphite painted pottery requires a proper surface treatment and graphite as a naturally found mineral. Careful selection of tempering material was important in order to minimize the risk of cracking during firing. Coarse particles could also complicate surface treatment. So, not surprisingly, graphite painted pottery is made of clays with moderate amounts of fine tempering constituents, preferably of Group III (sand and organic matter) and

Lıga ˆ


Fig. V.2. Cone of red ochre (ØΩ1.8 cm). (One square of the background plate equals 1 cm.)

occasionally Group VI (organic matter). Such consistency is no doubt significant in the light of the possible combinations attested at the site. A local origin of graphite painted pottery was also confirmed by the discovery of a graphite cone in House 3, which was broken across the perforated hole for suspension. The item had a characteristic pointed tip (Fig. V.1:2). Similar cones are known from Karanovo and other sites (Mikov 1966). Graphite is a quite common polymorph mineral, appearing in the schist layers of the Balkan and Rhodopi mountains, but it is most readily available in the mountain regions of Northern Bulgaria (N. Zidarov, pers.comm.) (1). In any case, its presence in Lıga attests to a considerable movement of ˆ people and/or objects – another important statement about Copper Age society and its mobility and/or network. Graphite painted pottery was accomplished through painting with graphite on a vessel’s surface in a leather hard state. Perhaps the motives were outlined as incised lines, for the complexity of the motives implies that they were well planned before actual decoration. Graphite painted motives may cover the upper part or the whole vessel. Graphite was kept in place by subsequent burnishing of the surface, which enhanced the vessel’s visual and functional properties. Surfaces painted with graphite were better burnished than surfaces, which were left without it. The bur1. The author is grateful to Dr. Nikola Zidarov, Director of the Institute of Geology, Sofia for this and other information quoted in the text.

Fig. V.3. Stones found in a spherical pot standing at the oven of House 2.

nishing was carried out with stones and possibly bones with a narrow burnishing tip of 2–3 mm, as can be deduced from the size of the burnishing strokes. An important find was made in House 2. Along with big storage jars placed to the West of the oven, a vessel of Type ‘‘J’’ (restricted spherical twopartite pot) was discovered. This contained a small biconic cup with small knobs but without handles plus 14 water rolled stones (Fig. V.3). The latter can be grouped according to size, shape, and stone type. The main group is made up of quartzite with whitish or reddish tinge, 3 pieces (fragmented) are of brownish black siltstone. As to shape and size, there are 5 oval and flat quartzite stones (2.7–3.1 cm long), 4 big quartzite balls (3.0–4.8 cm long), 3 oblong pointed siltstones (3.8–4.5 cm long), and 2 triangular quartzite pieces (4.6 cm long). Despite the enigmatic numeric order, the stones ought be connected with smoothing and burnishing. Their small size may indicate that such stones were associated in particular with production and surface treatment of the popular small biconic cups. Several fragments of pot stands with flat top were also discovered at Lıga. One reconstructed fragment ˆ comes from House 3 (Ø 21 cm) (Fig. V.1:1), two others (parts of the same artefact) from a refuse area


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Fig. V.4. Abraded shards. 1 – modern West African examples, 2 – a Copper Age example from Lıga. ˆ

at the northern wall of House 1. The latter was slightly smaller in diameter, but in terms of paste, colour (light grey) and general appearance closely resembled the first one. The surface was carefully smoothed and the thick walls were made to resist a significant weight. Such stands are also known from other Copper and Bronze Age sites (Mikov 1966, Figs. 10–11). V. Mikov has suggested that they should be considered hand-tournettes (a turntable device), placed on flat bases with the conic protuberance to set the stand on (Mikov 1966). Although the functionality of such a device seems dubious in practice, it is likely that the stands were indeed used in pottery production. The main part of the vessels has simple flat bases (81%, based on shard material, in kg), demonstrating that they were formed on flat surfaces. Some bases also show a raised quantity of sand grains, indicating that a layer of sand was separating the vessel from the modelling surface, so that a vessel would not adhere to the surface. By contrast, a part of the clay figurines have impressions of leaves of grass on their feet, promoting the suggestion that special workshop areas were not needed for their production. Concerning possible rotating devices, their employment would have been more important for burnishing, which involved repetitive streaking in one direction. All the investigated vessels with burnished surfaces had traces of long horizontal strokes. A frequent find among the Lıga 2 material are reˆ cycled pottery shards. These appear in different shapes and reflect distinct functions. Several shards were interpreted as pottery burnishers. These are

often elongated rim shards with one or, in some cases two, edges smoothly abraded (Fig. V.4:2). The pattern of abrasion shows that they have been used in vertical direction. The contact area of such a shard is around 4–5 cm in length, much too extensive for successfully compacting a surface. Therefore, it is more likely that the abraded shards were used for scratching and smoothing of vessel surfaces, resulting in a more even distribution of the clay. Such conclusion is also confirmed by observations made in Western Africa, where shards with similar abrasion pattern have been seen in action by the author (Fig. V.4:1). Indeed, analyses of vessel surfaces confirm that scraping was used as one of shaping techniques. The vessels of Lıga ˆ 2 were built using coiling techniques. Only tiny miniature vessels were occasionally made by hand molding, i.e., forming in the palm without using additional clay, the same way as bases are formed. Bowls were also made using coil techniques, the use of molds could not be demonstrated. Closed containers were built starting from the base, while carinated vessels seemingly were built in two parts and joined at the shoulders. The lower part of the body was in a leather hard state before being joined with the coil of a rim. At this stage, when the basic shape was achieved, further refinement of the shape and thinning of the walls were carried out by scraping. Sometimes, excessive scraping was done in less visible areas, like the interior surface of the shoulders. Besides abraded pottery shards, another group of implements might also have also been employed in scraping. These are rounded or oval stone discs, 4.5– 5.0¿3.1–4.6 cm and 0.8–1.0 cm thick, thinning out

Lıga ˆ
towards the edges. Such implements were discovered in Houses 1 & 2 (Fig. V.5). Yet other stone tools may also be related to pottery production. However, their interpretation is not always clear-cut. For example, based on formal similarity with the abraded shards, flat stones, ca. 6¿9 cm, with a flat dorsal edge and ground surface on both sides along the flat edge are also interpreted as being used for pottery smoothing. But without microscopic studies such interpretations remain guesswork. Besides the graphite cone used for pottery painting, several lumps of haematite or red ochre were found. This pigment has also been used as pottery paint. However, compared to other Late Copper Age sites, it is represented rather sparsely. Several shards with red and yellow (goethite) paint were discovered in layers dated to the Lıga 1 settlement. In Lıga 2, only ˆ ˆ House 3 held some evidence of use of red pigments. A big storage container with a globular body was painted both with graphite and red ochre, mainly to enhance the vertical loop handles (Pl. 12:13). In such a case, paint was applied after the vessel was fired. In another case, pulverized haematite was applied to the surface of vessel in leather-hard state and then burnished. This happened prior to firing. All occurrences of haematite lumps were treated with caution, since their presence in burned daub indicated that they were naturally occurring in local clay sources, so that their presence at the site could be explained by decomposed daub. Several big lumps were discovered in House 2. Among these was a small hemispheric piece with abraded edges and a diameter of 1.8 cm (Fig. V.2). The pattern of abrasion bears witness that the haematite piece was rubbed against a hard, flat surface. Evidence on firing – the most demanding part of the production cycle – has only been indirectly collected. Many vessels had traces of fire clouds – a result of the deposition of carbon during open firing. The light colours of Lıga 2 vessels: pale yellow, Munsell ˆ Colour Chart: 2.5Y-8/3), reddish yellow (7.5YR-6/ 8, 6/6), light red (2.5YR-6/8), red (2.5YR-5/6), light brown (7.5YR-6/4), and the like all point towards firing in oxidizing conditions. Investigations of vessel cores show that oxidation was not always complete, the combustion of organic matter not always being concluded. Graphite painted pottery seems to have been


Fig. V.5. Stone discs presumably applied for pottery scraping in a leather hard state.

fired during a longer period, since the core has the same colour as the surface, and the pottery is generally harder. Along with the light coloured pottery – presently partly discoloured due to weathering and other post depositional effects – was a small group of darker vessels: brown (10YR-5/3), greyish brown (2.5Y-5/2) and even dark grey (10YR-4/1). Since many archaeologists take colours as an indication of firing conditions, darker colours are automatically explained by firing in reduced atmospheres. Proper reduction occurs when iron oxides, present in the clay, are being affected over lengthy periods and at temperatures in excess of 850 æC (Gibson & Woods 1997). Such firing conditions were not impossible to achieve by the firing installations known from Lıga, but to ˆ sustain them over a longer period, a potter would need a kiln (Gosselain 1992) (Fig. V.6). Evidence on pottery kilns is very sparse, as on other types of firing installations. Even putting all security measures aside, firing of pottery within the settlement at Lıga would not have been possible, partly due to ˆ space limitations but mostly to windy conditions at the top of the plateau, making combustion control impossible. So, it is predicted that firing would have been carried out at a more sheltered site below the


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Fig. V.6. Temperature ranges for five kinds of firing, based on thermometric data. 1 – open firing, 2 – open firing with shards covering the pots, 3 – pit firing, 4 – pit firing with shards covering the pots, updraft kiln firing (after Gosselain 1992, in David & Kramer 2001).

plateau, probably close to the stream (and the clay sources). This area has experienced significant erosion and exploitation through its history, leaving minimal chances for discovery of a firing site. There is, however, another source of information, namely representations in clay, often found on Copper Age sites and acting as tokens of non-verbal communication. An interesting find in this respect was made at SadovecEzero: a fragment of a rectangular table-like item with several perforations on the upper face was interpreted as a model of a subterranean up-draught kiln, based on better-preserved historical (Fig. V.7 & V.8), but also Copper Age examples from the Romanian

Cucuteni culture (Gheorghiu 2002, with refs.). The earliest remains of a kiln in Bulgaria were found in the Jagodinska cave in the Rhodopi mountains and are dated to the Transitional Period (Avramova 1992). Such kilns would have been suitable for creating a reduced firing atmosphere. More readily even, dark colour is achieved through smudging – a technique of depositing carbon immediately below the surface (Gibson & Woods 1997), which also improves the surface resistance to abrasion (Skibo et al. 1997). Smudging is easily achieved in open firings, when organic material, for example green leaves, are placed near hot vessels still covered

Lıga ˆ


Fig. V.7. Clay item discovered in Ezero and interpreted as a model of an up-draught kiln.

with fuel (oxygen deficiency is needed). Smudging is considered a vessel improvement due to the glossy surface. Interestingly, even though this procedure is very simple, smudged vessels are being sold at 1/3 times higher prices than their oxidised equivalents (personal observations at potters’ workshops in Benin ´ and Ghana). Another widespread surface-darkening technique is quenching (Carlton 2002). Still hot pots are being submerged in a soupy organic solution (e.g., flour mixed with water) immediately after firing, and as a result, the solid component of the solution carbonise, creating a dark surface colour (Carlton 2002). Evidence on firing conditions is also gained indirectly from graphite painted pottery. Contrary to all assumptions about pyrotechnological advancements – including the idea of firing taking place at 750–950 æ (Todorova 1986) – it appears that graphite painted pottery only requires relatively low firing temperatures, since graphite tends to burn out at temperatures above 700 æC (Milwaukee Archaeological Research Laboratory 2003). True professionalism thus rests with the ability to sustain temperatures above 500 æC, needed to combust carbon from core areas, and below 700 æC. Hence, smudging must be regarded as the most probable reason for dark pottery colours, as it penetrates deeper and creates a more even layer than quenching. Firing conditions along with post-firing treatment may hold cultural implications. It has been noted that the graphite painted pottery of Lıga 1 has a dark ˆ background, while during Lıga 2, graphite paint is ˆ only found on light coloured vessels. Similar observations are made at other Late Copper Age sites. It has been noted, for example, that at Yunatsite (under

influence of the KSB complex) and Sudievo Tells (under influence of the KGK VI complex) in the Thracian Plain ‘‘light-brown burnished pottery is not ornamented’’ (Todorova et al. 2003). The trend at Telish is not clear. Graphite painted pottery from Sadovec Golemanovo Kale has dark surfaces, Redutite II and III have light-coloured surfaces, and the same is the case at the multi-layered site of Pipra. Hence, it might be suggested that dark-coloured graphite painted pottery is earlier. However, a different pattern emerges at the sites of Sadovec-Ezero and SadovecKaleto, where there is no clear-cut division regarding background colour. In earlier Late Copper Age layers light colours prevail here, while towards the latest phase of the Copper Age darker colours dominate. Interestingly, when comparing pottery of all three fully excavated houses at Lıga, only House 2 has dark ˆ surfaced vessels. A most striking case is that all three houses had at least one vessel of the pear-shaped Type ‘‘S’’, which, identically, is decorated with fingernail impressions (pinching) on the main part of the body below the neck and equipped with two horizontal handles. Houses 1 and 3 contained a light coloured representative, while House 2 had a dark coloured one. So, despite the uniformity of shapes, an important pattern of pottery variation emerges, based on technological traditions, individual skills, and perhaps even competition in stressing personal/household particularities – as expressed through material culture. In terms of evidence on pottery production, House 1 is somewhat underrepresented. Perhaps the great amount of figurine parts and miniature vessels, some


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but nevertheless opening new possibilities to get closer to the daily life of prehistoric communities.

Fig. V.8. Roman up-draught kiln from the region of Hotnitsa, Veliko Tarnovo (after Sultov 1969).

of which can be regarded as experimental, may indirectly indicate that clay was also a familiar medium for the residents of this house. The other two houses have undoubtedly produced pottery for their own needs. At the same time, there is also some evidence for exchange at the settlement level: The canonic approach to certain vessel types – the already mentioned pear-shaped vessel (Type ‘‘S’’), for example – may, however, complicate the detection of fingerprints of individual potters. So far, certain evidence on exchange relates to two untypical biconic cups without the usual vertical handles, found in Houses 2 and 3 (symbolic exchange?) (Fig. V.9). Furthermore, a jug from House 2 – an exact parallel is found in Redutite III – exhibits advanced ceramic skills in forming highly curved and only 4 mm thick walls, and thus stands out from the remaining part of the vessels of this house (Fig. III.17). Several more examples can be given, based on comparisons and some speculation,

TYPOLOGY, MENTAL TEMPLATES AND TECHNOLOGY Most archaeologists starting to work in ceramics have the intrinsic belief that pots can tell us more than just exposing their material features or aesthetic values, as comprehended with a modern eye. But often a great deal of studies only results in detailed and comprehensive typological lists, which, despite their thoroughness, have little to offer in terms of wider perspectives. Typology has become a justified goal in itself for many archaeologists working with the rich prehistoric material in Bulgaria (Todorova & Matsanova 2000; Todorova et al. 2003; Katsarov 2003 – just to name a few recent studies). The strength of typological ordering as a tool is the search for repetitiveness, recognition of primal forms and not – as often misperceived – a detection of certain unique characteristics like lip variation. Such arbitrary overclassification is producing a lot of behavioural ‘‘noise’’, with little cultural significance (Arnold 1985). B. Hayden offers a useful definition of typology that ‘‘should properly refer to systems of categorisation, which [...] reveal something about the nature of human behaviour in relation to artefacts, whether this information is by nature evolutionary, functional, technological, temporal, social, or other’’ (Hayden 1984, 80). Ethnoarchaeological research presents a number of studies accounting, for instance, for varieties in functional distinction among pottery types to a degree which is by no means accessible for archaeologists dealing with prehistoric materials. Thus, in present day Ghana, food serving bowls with a distinct classificatory name can be subdivided into several subgroups depending on their size, which reflects the age of a male person consuming the meal (Bredwa-Mensah 2001). Therefore, for the purpose of revealing ‘‘the role of material entities as potentially active components of human behaviour’’ (Fletcher 1992), typology is being based on ‘‘mental templates’’ or ‘‘prototypes’’ (Kempton 1981), understood as the ideal form of an artefact, existing in the cognition of people who share

Lıga ˆ


Fig. V.9. Biconic cups discovered in, respectively, House 2 and 3. Difference in colour and surface is due to different post-depositional effects.

the same culture. Of course, the results produced within the framework of this theoretical category cannot be tested against the classification, which existed among the pottery users themselves. But through mapping of basic attributes and subsequent seriation it is nevertheless possible to arrive at some basic shapes, which at least would have been recognised by the potter, who thought not only in socially constructed concepts by also in terms of technological possibilities and a chaıne operatoire. Such an approach ˆ ´ is in the present case supported by pottery analyses from other KSB sites, confirming that the process of ‘‘cultural replication’’ during the late Copper Age was well progressed (cf. Fletcher 1992). Our own typological ordering is presented in a scheme (Pl. 14 & 15) (and below). Geometrical shape is taken as the starting point for classification: The number of geometrical forms used determines the hierarchical order, unrestricted bowl (or a cone) being regarded as the simplest form. Names given to typological categories encompass their supposed function, which may not always correspond to the intended use but at least is easing verbal communication.


A. Simple bowls. This category incorporates vessels of unrestricted cone shape, with heights varying between 1⁄ and 1⁄ of the maximum diameter and with a wall2 3 base angle ranging between 35 æ and 45 æ. Simple bowls is the most numerous category of the Lıga potˆ

tery assemblage. They also tend to be overrepresented in archaeological reports, since a formal reconstruction can often be performed on a single shard. For this reason, only bowls represented by two or more shards are taken into present consideration. Bowl variation manifests itself through orientation of rim and shape of lip. Inverted or straight rims dominate. Everted rims are usually sharply carinated. Carination might have a chronological significance, as it occurs in great numbers at the Sadovec sites, and is comparatively rare at Lıga. Lip thickening is also conˆ sidered a diagnostic feature of the late Copper Age, at Lıga it is usually reserved for bowls of better quality. ˆ Furthermore, bowls were often modified by adding handles or other attributes with the same functional property. Volumetrically, bowls are a highly varied group. B. Deep straight-sided bowls with thickened rim and height around 1⁄2 of the maximum diameter, wallbase angle ranging between 50 æ and 60 æ. C. Deep hemispherical bowls. Knobs maybe applied below the turning point: Highly placed turning point, diameter of the orifice being 11⁄2 times (and less) bigger than the bottom diameter. A subcategory may have rounded base. D. Deep hemispherical bowls with marked inverted rim. The turning point is marked with a pair of handles, tabs or knobs. Volumetrically this group is uniform. E. Dishes: a shallow vessel form with unrestricted orifice and a height being more than 1⁄3 of its maximum diameter. Dishes in Lıga have wide orifices with ˆ


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the orifice equalling the diameter of the base. This group is closely related to Group ‘‘J’’. M. Globular vessels drawn slightly down, straight or inverted cylindrical rims.

a diameter of 40 cm and beyond. The transition between the low body and a relatively long straight rim is marked with a cordon, decorated with fingernail/ fingertip impressions or shell impressions. Knobs or tab handles are also found on this protrusion. The interior is well smoothed. Volumetrically, this group is uniform. F. Barrel shaped jars: two-partite vessels with the diameter of the orifice roughly equalling the height of the vessel. The orifice is twice larger than the bottom. Volumetrically, it is a uniform group, which indicates a well-defined and fixed function. All have rusticated surfaces and are equipped with massive vertical handles or knobs either on or below the turning point. G. Upright jars with highly placed, sharply angled shoulders and upright or (inverted) flaring necks. The shoulders can be marked with pseudo-winding cordons. Pairs of knobs or horizontally perforated tab handles (or a combination of both) are also placed on the shoulders. As a rule, the lower part of the body is rusticated, while the neck is smoothed and burnished. If decorated, patterns are displayed on the neck and shoulders. The interior is well-smoothed or burnished. Volumetrically, these jars fall in two size categories: medium sized and very large containers. The interior is well-smoothed. H. Biconic jars with rounded shoulders, which can be placed either high or in the middle. Massive vertical handles are placed on or below the turning point. The surface is rusticated. I. Bucket-shaped pot with a conical body and cylindrical neck, represented by a single only partly preserved specimen. J. Restricted spherical two-partite pots with inverted rim and the turning point being in the middle of the vessel’s body. This group is one of the most numerous within the pottery assemblage. A subgroup includes vessels with highly placed turning point. Vessels of this type are found in a variety of contexts and come in a variety of volumetric sizes, but mainly in middle and small sizes. K. Small biconic pots with marked straight rim, closely related both to the ‘‘H’’ and ‘‘J’’ types. Usually, the turning point is in the middle, but occasionally also higher up. Functionally, these pots might be similar to the ‘‘J’’ pots. L. Spherical pots with marked necks, the diameter of


N. Biconic jugs with cylindrical neck: This group is numerous and comes in a variety of different appearances in spite of the fact that they seem to be functionally akin. In general, these thin-walled, symmetrical, and thoroughly made vessels can be regarded as fine pottery. They come with two or one vertical loop handle, sometimes with small horizontally perforated knobs or tab handles, placed on or below the turning point. Another subgroup contains juglets without handles. A particular representative of this group is an amphoralike jug with highly placed shoulders and vertical loop handles connecting rim with shoulder. No parallels have been discovered so far. Generally, this group is considered as typologically robust, since it is also widely represented at other KSB sites, primarily Redutite and Sadovec. As a rule, the jugs are decorated in the most protruding area, i.e., the shoulders. O. Closely related to the previous group are biconic cups. These are shallow vessels usually equipped with two opposing vertical loop handles connecting the shoulders with the rim. But representatives without such handles occasionally appear. This group is numerous and probably one of the most frequent members of a standard pottery set of a household. P. Big biconic jars with cylindrical or slightly everted neck. This group comprises voluminous closed vessels. The turning point is exactly in the middle of the shape. Half the vessels is equipped with vertical handles, placed either on the shoulders or below. Although similar in shape, the volumetric difference and the difference in pottery treatment (smooth versus rusticated surface) imply that, functionally, this group might have been heterogeneous. The type is also widespread on contemporaneous sites. R. Similar to ‘‘P’’, but highly placed turning point and a more globular appearance of the body. S. Biconic jugs with slightly everted rim and two horizontal handles placed at the beginning of the neck (pearshaped). In this case, the handles seem to be a strong typological attribute, as exactly the same shape with

Lıga ˆ
the same type and position of the handles can be found at other sites. Variation may only appear in the type of decoration. The most frequent type of decoration, also appearing at other sites, is made by fingernail impressions on almost the entire surface. All three houses in Lıga contained this type of vessel. A ˆ subgroup is fashioned in a similar way, but the orifice is much wider as compared with the closed representatives of the main group. T. Biconic storage containers can appear with a short everted rim or a long cylindrical neck: wide orifice. U. Globular storage containers with cylindrical neck: wide orifice. V. Storage containers with cone-shaped lower part and long, cylindrical, occasionally slightly inverted upper part.


Fig. V.10. Example of a biconic vessel from Hotnitsa, a Late Copper Age tell settlement under influence of the KGK VI cultural complex. Drawing by S. Makchev.

VESSEL SHAPES Without exclusion, the above list of Lıga pottery ˆ types – primarily based on vessel shapes – are squarely included in the general typological repertoire of the KSB, as well as in the KGK VI cultural complex. This demonstrates that the source of origin is the same for both complexes and must go back to a period before the start of the Copper Age. Where the difference between the two cultural complexes becomes visible is in application of secondary morphological attributes such as handles, knobs, and supplemental thickening, altering the profile curves. For example, characteristic for KGK VI are broad applied bands covering the shoulders of biconic vessels, thus creating the visual effect of a cylindrical body element inserted between a cone-shaped lower and the upper parts of the vessel (Fig. V.10). More puzzling is, however, the abundant use of handles and to some extent also knobs within the KSB culture. A comparative analysis of the material from two houses of the Late Copper Age site of Hotnitsa, Veliko Tarnovo (considered as belonging to the KGK VI sphere of influence) has showed that only 4% of the whole vessels were equipped with handles or perforated tabs. In Lıga this number is more than 70% in the ˆ group of closed biconic vessels with cylindrical necks. What is even more striking is that bowls are also equipped with multiple and varied types of handles, thus 37% of the Lıga 2 bowls and derivatives (knobs ˆ

not included). This marked statistical difference must have cultural explanations. To my best knowledge, ethno-archaeological studies are silent on such matters, morphological attributes like handles entering the formal repertoire of pottery making through functional considerations. Even when shifted into the stylistic domain (by incorporating handles into the general design of a vessel), a functional significance is still preserved. Quite logically, it has been stated that one of the main sources of technological change is ‘‘feedback from the context of use’’ (Schiffer & Skibo 1987, 598). Consequently, handles may reflect much deeper structures than simple stylistic experiments or borrowing under influence from other regions with different cultural affiliations. Handles are disadvantageous in terms of production, since they are bringing an extra complication into the process. They are also uneconomic in terms of space requirements, unless placed below the turning point. Bearing these arguments in mind, it becomes clear that handles must have a behavioural explanation. Their use must be connected with changing ideas on use of space and furniture, for example, when vessels are being kept hanging rather than standing on floors or shelves. But most importantly, handles increase the portability of a vessel, making it more suitable for transportation. Hence, increased frequency in the use of handles advocates for an increased mobility of the population: a cultural phe-


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below) highly acute. The reasoning only ends with a suggestion and not conclusive statements. But whatever interpretation is chosen, it always has cultural implications. Lids for cooking pots would indicate a type of cuisine based on stewed meals. Clay pans would imply baking of wheat bread. Luckily, such interpretations may be tested against organic residue analyses. For example, it has recently been demonstrated that a vessel type, which for half a century has been known in SE Europe as a ‘‘milk jug’’ due to its form and ethnographic analogy, appears to bear no traces of being used as a milk container (Craig et al. 2003). In terms of tempering materials used in pottery production, there is a growing body of evidence that selection of tempering materials is governed by pottery function (Steponaitis 1984; Rice 1987). For example, cooking pots are expected to withstand thermal shock during episodes of repeated heating, which may reach 300–500 æC. Effective resistance to thermal shock can be achieved through the use of organic tempering materials which create greater porosity of a vessel and thus arrests eventual cracks (Rye 1976; Arnold 1985). Chamotte is also a suitable tempering material as it expands at the same rate as the clay matrix and will not cause cracking (Rye 1976; Arnold 1988). This also means that the shrinkage rate is the same, making chamotte tempered pottery resistant even to freezing temperatures. Organic tempering materials can be appreciated for a better workability of the clay and greater strength during forming processes (Schiffer & Skibo 1987). In terms of fiber use, thatch or straws have a reinforcing effect on non-fired or low-fired dry storage containers. Organic tempered vessels are appearing to be friable. In order to increase abrasion resistance – for instance, in the case of cooking, serving and recurrent cleaning actions – a potter had to consider additional constituents that will enhance the performance characteristics of such vessels. In the case of Lıga, potters have achieved ˆ mitigation of friability through addition of chamotte or sand, or through thickening of the walls. It has been noted, that organic tempering is preferred for production of big vessels, as it decreases the total weight of such. A medium size vessel weighs 6–7 kg, so weight must have been considered as an issue, which could not be treated casually.

nomenon of the bearers of the KSB tradition, which is not as yet fully acknowledged.

FUNCTIONAL CONSIDERATIONS Perhaps the most important issue in pottery studies is function. A vessel is considered to be a utilitarian tool (Rice 1987, 208), which occasionally may or may not enter the symbolic domain. The variety of pottery shapes and sizes, surface treatment techniques and decoration designs can be seen as cultural expressions with a clear functional aspect as regards the needs and requirements of the users. Most pottery researchers agree that form, temper and surface treatment reflect and are determined by function (Rice 1987, 208). Consciously, or through ‘‘try and error’’, each artefact is evaluated according to its ‘‘performance matrix’’, that is how the production (procurement of raw materials, tempering, consumption of fuel, etc.), use and maintenance rely to a vessel’s performance characteristics (Schiffer & Skibo 1987). By comparing longevity of vessel types one may establish some particularly robust types: culturally rooted and functionally stable, as well as some weaker types: interim phenomena reflecting the innovative potential of a society. But revealing such variables as form, temper and surface treatment cannot always be unambiguous, as a range of other factors may bias their selection, not least the narrow analytical background of the investigator. Take for example the so-called early Slavic clay pans: clay disks with turned up edges. These have been identified on sites of the sixthseventh century AD, which were regarded as Slavic. Clay pans are interpreted as facilities for baking bread leaves, based on typological links with ethnographic data from the Balkans, where clay pans have been in use until recently (Curta 2002, 295). However, artefacts of the same form are also known from Hallstatt assemblages in Slovakia and Volhynia, where they were used as lids for urns (Curta 2002). Hence, based on the latter analogy, it has recently been suggested that clay pans should be regarded as lids for cooking pots (Curta 2002). No argumentation has been provided as to why the last and not the first analogy is more reliable. Such observations make the problems of functional interpretation of clay pans from Lıga and other prehistoric sites in Bulgaria (cf. ˆ

Lıga ˆ
Less well understood is the use of calcareous components in the clay. At Lıga it is used in rather moderˆ ate quantities, probably partly due to its natural occurrence in the clay sources, but still, its presence cannot be explained away as accidental. In other contemporary sites, like Hotnitsa Tell at Veliko Turnovo, calcareous components make up the most important tempering constituent of the clay matrix (pers. observations). The thermal expansion rates of calcareous materials (CaCO3) is close to the clay they are incorporated into (Rye 1976). At firing temperatures of 620–900 æC, CaCO3 starts to decompose (into calcium oxide and carbon dioxide), leading to spalling and desintegration (Rye 1976). Many recovered vessels do have lime blows but these are believed to be the result of secondary burning, which occurred when the settlement burned down. The use of calcareous clays in any case excludes the use of firing kilns, pointing to the fact that their utilisation must have been limited. Modern potters, producing vernacular pottery in the Balkans, also consider calcareous materials (usually calcite) as the superior tempering material (Carlton 2002). Which qualities exactly make calcite superior are not being formulated, since such matters do not seem to occupy the minds of these potters (Carlton 2002). This leads to another area of understanding of the technological dimensions of tempering materials, namely that their selection (as also the selection of clays) may well be culturally biased. By stating this, technological reasons for favouring one or another element are not rejected, but the real reason may well be coated in different layers of folk beliefs or technological inertia: ‘‘this is how we do it’’. Certain discoveries may lead to results which might be difficult to mediate directly, instead a set of more understandable constrains are being put on community members. For example, in selecting milling stones, the population of southern Benin is constrained to use ´ rock types, which can only be exploited in the northern part of the country, spreading the folk belief that the use of other types of rocks will cause heart diseases and death. This is not an economic attempt to manipulate the population for the benefit of certain rock quarries. In fact, the issue is less dramatic, for the message is meant to warn against soft rock types found in southern Benin, which easily pulverize and ´

may cause dental or nutrition problems. Instead of using complicated explanations, more simple and effective ones are chosen: ‘‘Use the hard rock types and stay healthy/alive’’. The same might be the case with the use of calcareous materials. Potters simply believe that this tempering material is superior. Pottery technicians are trying to understand why technologically complicated materials are chosen, while others, with a chemical background, provide the plausible explanation: Calcareous materials create an alkaline environment and thus inhibits the growth of bacteria, which need an acidic environment to interact with alimentary products (Rehhof et al. 1990). Hence, vessels tempered with calcite or storage containers plastered with lime or gypsum plasters are highly suitable for keeping grain and other dry foodstuffs. Observation must have led to similar conclusions in prehistoric times and then transmitted as a culturally enforced idiom. An important issue in the case of Lıga is to explain ˆ the existence of several different combinations of tempering materials. The existence of a high 11 Tempering Groups – which can be further subdivided according to prevailing constituents within a combination – shows that such are not accidental but practically tried and accepted combinations. Hence, it would not be wrong to equate tempering groups with technological traditions. The usual pattern that emerges from ethnorachaeological research is that ceramic traditions are transmitted through the female line of the family (Graves 1991; David & Kramer 2001). Circumstantially, this is even proven by archaeological evidence at Franchthi, Greece (Vitelli 1993). The variability of combinations of tempering materials might thus be explained in terms of existence of differing pottery traditions, reflecting a range of mating network relying on patrilocal principles of residence. Actually, male potters would not alter the outcome of this reasoning, for in any case such diversity of technological traditions advocate for a significant movement of people and a wide breadth of communication networks of the settlers of Lıga 2. ˆ Turning to the Lıga 1 material, which reflects a ˆ rather high uniformity in terms of pottery traditions (especially as to surface treatment), one may in this


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tery function is surface treatment. In many cases surface treatment alone is informative enough to help deducing the function of a vessel. Thus, the automatism of ‘‘big vessel π surface rusticationΩstorage vessel’’ certainly holds true in many cases. A great variety of surface treatment techniques have been recorded from the Lıga 2 settlement. Surˆ face rustication with barbotine and finger-trailing have already been mentioned under decoration techniques, but the most common type of Lıga 2 surface ˆ treatment is simple smoothing while the paste is still plastic. Perhaps some of the water-worn quartz pebbles found were employed for that, besides usual finger smoothing. A true slip achieved through coating with another layer of clay in order to change the colour or to reduce the permeability is very rare. When found, it is clearly distinctive as a separate layer reaching up to 1.5 mm in thickness. Mainly it occurs on the interior of closed vessels or, sometimes, bowls, which therefore are interpreted as liquid containers. More often, self-slip occurs, a technique where the surface is being smoothed with a wet hand or cloth, thus concentrating the finest particles of the clay matrix as an outermost covering layer (Hodges 1965). The main surfaces of fine pottery, the exteriors of jugs and graphite painted vessels, and the interiors of bowls had burnished surfaces. As mentioned, burnishing reduces permeability and provides effective methods to fasten colour pigments. Despite such technological advantages, burnishing was primarily valued for its visual qualities. Thus, the interiors of closed vessels were mainly burnished in the area of the rim. But interiors were not left untreated. Quite often, traces of brushing are recorded on the interior of closed vessels. Besides surface smoothing this could also be used to better distribute the clay, especially minimizing the transition between the coils. Brushing was done with a tuft of fine twigs or other kinds of fibers. Sometimes the interiors have traces of deep striations, covering the entire surface. Their presence on big biconic jars with long narrow necks shows that this was a special surface compacting technique, carried out in the state when the vessel was leather-hard. Therefore, striations almost appear as deep grooves. The striations are usually 2 mm wide, made with a brush of relatively stiff stems or similar materials, generally following a horizontal direction. It should be

Fig. V.11. Biconic vessels. 1 – from Redutite III (after Gergov 1992a), 2 – from Lıga, House 2. ˆ

find a clarification of the issue of technological change, which occurred after the abandonment of the pertaining settlement. The qualitative differences between the two settlements signify a change of social focus, from self-centred to out-going, from adaptive to explorative, from passive to active. The causes of this change deserve a separate discussion, but more than that, they need to be elaborated through a different approach to the already excavated material, preferably fresh excavations, since regional data are still very weak on this account. Albeit pottery from the neighbouring site of Redutite is not available for closer investigation, whole vessels presented in publications or museum collections show a great affinity with the pottery of Lıga. Very ˆ close parallels are found both in Redutite II and in the temporarily more distant Redutite III (Fig. V.11). This underlines two important points: the longevity of certain vessel types and a sense of territoriality. I here employ the term ‘‘type’’ to indicate an end result, expressed through a combination of shape π secondary morphological attributes π decoration & zones of decoration. Accidental congruence of the three main variables is statistically improbable and can only be explained with a conscious handover of ‘‘production recipes’’. In turn, this indicates that genealogically connected people were constantly resettling the same territory during several hundreds years. In fact, the hiatus layer of 0.2 m between Redutite II and III need considerable time to be formed, much longer than suggested by the excavator: 60–120 years (Gergov 1992a) (cf. above). Further implications of this reasoning would be a return to an earlier (and not very original) assumption, namely that pottery functionality is type bound. The last variable to be considered in terms of pot-

Lıga ˆ
stressed that vessel shape may also dictate the type and areas of decoration, as can be seen from vessels with formal and decorational affinity but volumetric and functional differences. Generally, as it can be seen from the overview of main pottery shapes exemplified by whole vessels, there is a clear correlation between vessel shape and surface treatment. The very strength of the research at Lıga is a fourth ˆ dimension or variable, the context. The position of a vessel within a house, as well as its association with other vessels or artefacts, is an important testimony to the use of such vessel. The following considerations on functionality are therefore explored through the combination of the abovementioned variables: shape, temper, and surface treatment, and, the context. Following the functional categorisation suggested by P. Rice (Rice 1987), pottery is treated in terms of storage, processing, transfer, and other. The last category is a mixed one, encompassing pottery types with special or uncertain functions, e.g., fire-vessels. The conviction, that functionality can be deduced from the available pottery sets, is supported by the fact that despite technological variation, there is a clear trend towards replication among the sets (cf. the above section dealing with production technology). Furthermore, this issue can be elucidated through ethnoarchaeological work, providing examples that potters may have great flexibility in their methods of production (Skibo 1992). Thus, stability may not only be seen as cultural inertia, but as a reflection of evolved functional pottery types corresponding to the needs of the people. Revealing pottery function is the optimal goal for any ceramic study, since such is connecting a range of complicated issues, like subsistence, diet, and even architecture and furniture. It is interesting to observe that the notion of luxury wares as objects visually standing out has also been recognized by the settlers of Lıga, but such wares were not excluded from the ˆ utilitarian sphere. Part of the graphite painted ware has decoration rubbed off as a result of use. So, the exclusiveness was stated through active use and exposition and not as passive exhibition on shelves. Hence, socio- and ideafunctions sensu Skibo (Skibo 1992) cannot be separated from technofunctions (Skibo 1992), at least not in the case of the Lıga 2 material. ˆ Functional deductions are possible on two levels,

intended and actual use (Skibo 1992). The last may be complicated to achieve without supplementary microscale analyses, such as residue analysis. Intended use may be too broad a category to be informative at all. Nevertheless, an attempt is being made below to unveil the functional variability of the Lıga 2 vessels. ˆ Bowls is the largest group of all pottery types. They are traditionally connected with food serving, and as such experience the greatest stress and the shortest use-life (Rise 1987, Table 9.4). Investigation of the refuse area between Houses 2 and 3, interpreted as an immediate discard area of domestic waste, has showed that the highest frequency among pottery fragments was held bowls and small cups. Moreover, these were discovered in big fragments, and occasionally as halves of whole vessels. Two sizes of bowls – up to 25 cm in diameter, and beyond that (usually around 40 cm) – may indicate personal versus group consumption. Slightly inverted rims, as the majority of the bowls has, would prevent spillage but also be very unsuitable for pouring. Numerous bowls found around the ovens imply that such may also have been involved in food processing, but probably not in connection with liquid foodstuffs, simply because the size (usually shallow with wide orifices) and the shape of the bowls recorded at the ovens have practical limitations, making pouring from one container to another a complicated task. The use of bowls for storage of dry foodstuffs cannot be excluded, even though this would be uneconomic in terms of space; in fact, this may explain the need for handles or the like. Rounded ear handles, tab handles perforated both horizontally and vertically, or pierced rims are found on almost half the bowls. In two cases, horizontally perforated tab handles were fashioned as an anthropomorphic face with protruding nose, placed immediately below the turning point and yielding extra character to a recognized pot. There is a certain regularity in the way different types of handles are placed. Vertically perforated tab handles are placed on turning points/ shoulders if these are marked (i.e., the widest part of a bowl), or just below the lip if a bowl has a straight profile line. Piercing is also made immediately below the lip. Clearly, this indicates that such bowls were adapted for (horizontal) suspension. Vertical handles


Acta Archaeologica
tive diagnostic features. One of the jugs found in House 2 contained a small worked sheep/goat astragalus. Vessels of Types ‘‘F’’ (barrel shaped jars), ‘‘H’’ (biconic jars with rounded shoulders), and ‘‘I’’ (bucket shaped pot) are interpreted as short term (?) dry storage vessels through their association with each other and with the grain pithos in House 2. All have rusticated surfaces and wide orifices but are volumetrically smaller than the following category of dry storage vessels. All vessels of the group are equiped with handles or massive functional knobs, demonstrating their portability. Rusticated surfaces provide firmer gripping and increase abrasion resistance. Long term storage containers are the most voluminous pottery type, corresponding functionally to the permanently installed pithoi, as in the House 2. Their typological and stylistical variety is quite large and probably not fully represented since mending of big containers is a complicated task. The reconstructed types include simple containers with coneshaped lower part and long, cylindrical upper part (Type ‘‘V’’), which can be rusticated and decorated with cordons and bands of fingertip impressions, or have smooth surfaces with incised patterns. Biconic or globular shapes (Types ‘‘T’’ and ‘‘U’’) could also be chosen for such voluminous types as storage containers. Decoration seems to play a double role for these vessels. With few exceptions, voluminous storage containers are decorated. They can be perceived as static sculptures, rarely moved and attracting attention of eventual visitors, signalising the wealth of the owner. At the same time, decoration could have been used for protective purposes in the realm of magic. Spiral-snake patterns are numerous, especially on bowls, where snake heads are added to the spirals, making the equation between snakes and spiral ornamentation more convincing (Fig. V.12). This ornamentation is found on female figurines, stelae interpreted as altars, and other ritual objects, and is also applied to the group of storage containers, either in the form of incisions (Fig. IV.2) or graphite paint (Pl. 12). Certainly, vessels holding the vital resources of a household needed this extra protection to withstand putridity and bacteria, and other menaces. Little doubt can arise in relating vessels of Types ‘‘P’’ and ‘‘R’’ with liquids. Both types have biconic

Fig. V.12. Bowl decorated with painted pattern of snakes, from Redutite II, exhibited at the Regional Historical Museum, Pleven (ØΩca. 40 cm).

or horizontally perforated tab handles are found either above or below the turning point (and could also be used for suspension). Abrasion marks found on the exterior of several pierced bowls (or their fragments) below the holes show that these were in repeated contact with hard surfaces. Hence it was suggested that some bowls were hung vertically on the walls. Jugs, juglets and biconic cups (Types ‘‘N’’ & ‘‘O’’), abundantly represented in each house at Lıga, should ˆ also be seen as part of a serving set. These are often found in association with bowls. Through association, jugs of Type ‘‘S’’ (pear-shaped) may be included in the same group. Their closed orifices and long necks are suitable for pouring. All vessels of the group are so-called strong types, reflecting longevity of tradition, cultural adherence and, through close parallels with the KGK VI pottery, affiliation with broader regional associations. Like the well-known beakers of the TRB culture (Sherratt 1987), such vessels can be seen as tokens of social behaviour connected with common eating and drinking practices. Vessels of this group are acknowledged as the most distinct pottery of the Late Copper Age, but cannot be used as time-sensi-

Lıga ˆ
shapes expanding to an almost globular appearance. In terms of shape, the vessels are typologically related to other biconic specimens, but volumetrically they are much bigger. Uniform in shape, these types cover two functional categories, transfer and storage, vessels with smoothed surfaces equipped with handles being seen as connected with transfer. Furthermore, based on a common ethnographic analogy, such jars are interpreted as being used for carrying water. The biggest one, with well smoothed exterior and interior compacted by deep striations, and equipped with two massive handles, had a capacity of 44 litres, the total weight, when full, being 60 kg. It was found close to the entrance of House 3, which would indicate that it had a higher mobility than a storage container. It is not unusual to carry manual loads of 60 kg in traditional societies, perhaps with a helper. Other representatives of this group, without handles and with rusticated surfaces, were used for storage. One such vessel was found at the pithos of House 2 with a corresponding flat lid. The last major functional issue to be discussed in this generalised presentation concerns food processing pottery. The main division is whether the processing is made with heat or without heat (Rise 1987). Cooking pottery has a very low use-life, higher than food serving pottery but much lower than for example pottery used for storage (Rise 1987). The use-expectancy is usually around one year. Most of the cooking vessels are not discarded immediately after being evaluated as no longer suitable for cooking (for various reasons, but usually due to appearing surface cracks). Instead, they enter another functional domain (pers. observations, various ethnographic situations). In Lıga, there are two big pottery groups that can be ˆ associated with cooking and food processing without heat. Based on surface treatment of interiors (wellworked and compacted through smoothing or burnishing), it has been estimated that upright jars with highly placed, sharply angled shoulders and upright or slightly inverted necks (Type ‘‘G’’) were suitable for holding liquids, e.g., for soaking purposes. Their shape is also optimal for the function of cooking vessel. When placed inside an oven, the lowest heating temperature would be at the base, which would be standing at the same level as the fuel. So, a narrow

base would enable to concentrate the main part of the food higher up, where heating is most intense. The relatively open orifice would enable handling of food more easily, while the slightly inverted neck would prevent ‘‘boiling over and reduce evaporation’’ (Rise 1987). The relative depth would permit to conserve the heat (Rise 1987). However, such assumptions are not supported by scientifically collected ethnographic data from contemporary traditional societies, where food preparation is made over an open fire-place, posing different requirements for cooking pottery, such as rounded bases (see Rice 1987, 239). Examples of close affinities to the group in question can still be found in remote Russian villages, where cooking continues to be made inside an oven, nowadays in metal pots of similar biconic shapes. The circumstance that many vessels of Lıga 2 were ˆ affected by secondary burning made it difficult to recognise eventual bands of soot caused by cooking. Within the present group, part of the jars did have traces of soot on the lower part of the body, but the origin could not be established with certainty. Perhaps the discovery of a spoon inside such a jar in House 2 can be used as evidence that these vessels, resembling modern soup tureens, were connected with food processing, both hot and cold. On the other hand, the great number of Type ‘‘J’’ vessels (closely related to Types ‘‘K’’ and ‘‘L’’) may indirectly be used in stating their involvement in food preparation processes. One of the pots of this group had indeed a band of soot over the lower part of the body (Fig. V.13). These vessels are found in a number of sizes: from small cup-like specimens to medium ones of 3–4 litres. They are believed to be the functionally most universal vessel type, as observed from their reuse. These vessels were for example used for storage of tools. A vessel found west of the oven of House 2 contained a small biconic cup without handles, which was placed on top of water-worn pebbles used in pottery production (cf. the section above of production technology). Another vessel of the same type was found close to the entrance of the same house, it contained a still functional adze. Secondary modifications are also observed on vessels of this type. One smaller representative had a perforation, ca. 1 cm in diameter, made centrally in the base (another base of a small vessel with similar per-


Acta Archaeologica

Fig. V.14. Fragmented vessel with centrally placed bottom perforation.

Fig. V.13. Vessel (Type ‘‘J’’) discovered in House 2 bearing band of soot over the lower part of the body.

exclusion, comprised by miscellaneous vessel types or ceramic types one way or another related to vessels. Deliberately, these items are not listed together with the pottery types, which is the usual practice in Bulgaria. Most of the items have a rather obvious function, which does not depend on the shape, like a lid.

foration is also known); both items are from House 1 and were probably intended as a funnels (Fig. V.14). Vessels of this group are without handles, but instead almost always equipped with two or four knobs placed on the shoulders. The surface is rusticated, usually by finger-trailing which is well-organised and has decoration effect. Such exterior texturing, which has also been noted on a previous group (vessels of Type ‘‘G’’), does not increase a vessel’s heating effectiveness (Skibo et al. 1997), contrary to some belief. Deep exterior texture protects from spalls and reduces cracking produced by thermal shock (Skibo et al. 1997). In any case, the bigger representatives of this group may have been involved in cooking. Even though the search for external soot was a more or less vain task, since impact from secondary burning in most cases could not be ruled out (except for the one rather certain case above), several vessels were in fact discovered with another indication of possible use in food processing with heat. These externally light coloured vessels, volumetrically resembling each other (3–4 litres) were found with totally blackened interiors, until the edge of the rim. This may suggest, that a process similar to quenching was taking place: boiling of wheat or any other flour soup/porridge. The last category to be discussed is a category by


This group includes a number of very small vessels which fall outside the usual functional categories discussed above. Miniature vessels are less than 5 cm in height, but in a way, their shapes echo the shapes of the big vessels, especially biconic jugs (Pl. 16:1–12). Other vessel types like simple or footed bowls are also represented. While some of the tiny vessels may be considered models or even toys, as for example hand molded ‘‘bowls’’ made of untempered clay and lowfired, others appear to have a more regulated functional determination. This assumption is based on the observation that certain miniature vessel types occur as exact copies also at other sites: in the neighbouring Sadovec sites, but also in a remote site like Yunatsite (Todorova & Matsanova 2000) (Pl. 16:13–14). Their porous surfaces do not seem to be suitable to contain liquids, and it can only remain a speculation whether charms or herbal medicine was kept in such vessels. The function of small vessels the size of a coffee cup is not clear either and can in fact cover a range of different purposes (Pl. 16:15–19). The majority has inverted rim, which makes them unsuitable to be used as cups. Two vessels attributed to the group had 2

Lıga ˆ
cm long cylindrical spouts with a diameter of 0.5 cm (‘‘feeding bottles’’). Barrel-like in shape with slightly everted rim, they were too fragmented to be completely reconstructed, but the height was estimated to be 6 cm. Both were found in House 1. None of the representatives of this group has decorated surface.

lower ring-foot. The diameters are 10–18 cm. The surfaces are either plain or decorated with incised spirals. None of the pot stands have traces of having been in contact with fire.


Fragments of lids (Pl. 16:20–24) were very often recovered, but their proper identification is not always straightforward. They can have an appearance of flat discs, just slightly curved. Or they can resemble rather deep, straight-sided bowls. Tempering Group IV prevails. The lids fall in two size categories: those with a diameter of 10–15 cm and those of 20–25 cm. Occasionally, they can be larger, up to 36 cm in diameter. One exceptional example allows reconstruction of a vessel type as yet unknown among the archaeological material, thick walled and with a narrow neck: a bottle-like vessel. A single discovered rim shard might perhaps give some idea of the shape of such vessel (Pl. 16:25). The lid in question is circular, 8 cm in diameter, with slightly concave top and a plug-like circular protuberance that can be inserted into a container with the diameter of 4.2 cm (Pl. 16:24).

In layers attributed both to Lıga 1 and Lıga 2, flat ceˆ ˆ ramic discs with upturned edges have been found, similar to the earlier discussed ‘‘Slavic bread pans’’ (Pl. 16:30–32). Such items are discovered at every KSB site. The size ranges between 15 and 20 cm in diameter. The interpretation as lids (Curta 2001, cf. above) is disputable, due to their massiveness and, especially, to the fact that a variety of more elaborate lids are abundantly represented in the repertoire of Copper Age pottery. Furthermore, a fragment of a similar shape with an upright handle has been discovered. What can be disputed is whether such pans were used for bread baking or something else – like salt production. It is quite certain that this type of pottery was created to be exposed to high temperatures.



Pot stands have been a constant member of the Copper Age house inventory (Pl. 16:26–28). They are often associated with bowls to provide extra stability if the base is narrow, but it cannot be ruled out that their use was connected with social aspirations rather than practicalities. The existence of footed bowls, which perhaps derive from the same aspirations, may be regarded as a kindred type. Footed bowls were rare in Lıga and are only represented as fragments ˆ (Pl.16:29). Each house contained 3–4 pot stands. They are of two types. The usual type has the shape of a low double-cone with an identical size of the orifices. Abrasion marks inform about the standing surface. Another type resembles an egg-cup: a shallow ring-foot supports a deep bowl-like upper part. The difference between the last type and the footed bowls is that pot stands are supported by a broader and

These two types of artefacts are similar in appearance but completely different in function. They have the shape of a bowl and are dotted with holes. The difference between them is that fire-vessels (Fig. III.13:1 & 14) (often rather misleadingly known as Rauchgefässe) have two orifices, a narrow one and a broad. Firevessels have been a typical inventory of every household. In the Lıga 2 settlement complete representaˆ tives were discovered in both House 2 and 3, close to the oven. The use of such special clay devices has been comprehensively discussed by E. Cosack (Cosack 1994). Examples without wholes are also known, but their purpose can be deduced due to traces of secondary burning. The fire-vessels were used to preserve fire during periods when the oven was not in use, typically at night. Ashes with ember could be covered by a fire-vessel, which would then minimize the supply of air, keeping the ember/coal glowing but not burning. Such vessels are known to have been used from the Neolithic through the Migration Period, at least (Cosack 1994). Quite often shards with perforated walls were


Acta Archaeologica

Fig. V.15. Double-conic clay item discovered at the oven in House 3. Fig. V.16. Bowl with antropomorphic tab handles.

found among the excavated material. Through the discovery of fully preserved items, it was established that there are some repetitive differences helping to distinguish between fire-vessels and strainers (Pl. 17:1). Although the size of the perforations may be the same, their density is twice as great on strainers (35 pr 3 cm2 as compared with the fire-vessels’ 16 pr 3 cm2). The holes in strainers tend to get narrower from the centre towards the outer surface, while firevessels keep the same size of the holes. Holes on strainers are distributed from immediately below the edge, while the edge of fire-vessels has a band without perforations. Fire-vessels have far better smoothened outer surfacse than strainers. The inside surfaces are not worked in either. Three nearly complete strainers were found. They have a greatest diameter of 10 cm and a height of 6– 7 cm. The smoothly abraded central part – opposed to a rough rim and rounded bottom – indicates that strainers must have been used together with vessels with an orifice not exceeding 9.5 cm.

the oven and close to the milling platform. It is considered enigmatic since several possible interpretations of its function can be suggested. It is equipped with four small vertical handles approximately in the middle, probably intended for a wide orifice (height 16 cm, Ø1: 18 cm, Ø2: 8 cm) (Fig. V.15, Pl. 11:5). Such objects are also known from other Copper Age and later sites, usually without handles or occasionally with small bosses on the edge of the rim. Traditionally, the items have been interpreted as drums. But other, more mundane functions are also possible, for example a sieve or a funnel, which could be fixed to hide bags or the like.



An enigmatic double conic object with two orifices was found in House 3 of Lıga 2, immediately West of ˆ

One bowl discovered in House 2 was equipped with vertical tab handles horizontally perforated in such a way that a human face with protruding nose and incised eyes was created (Fig. V.16). House 1 contained a vessel, which was equipped with flattened bosses and small protruding zoomorphic heads, most probably resembling an ox (Pl. 17:2). An ox representation was also found in House 3. A fragment of a spherical thin-walled vessel (‘‘oil lamp’’?) had a triangular head

Lıga ˆ
(representation of horns?), a dewlap on the neck and incised almond-shaped eyes (Pl. 17:3).

the original technology if no constrains of this kind are imposed (David & Kramer 2001). Hence, it is suggested that the technological variability of the pottery production of Lıga 2 mirrors a ˆ mixed composition of the occupants. This observation is reinforced by comparative studies of ceramics from Lıga 2 and Hotnitsa Tell at Veliko Tarnovo, the latter ˆ showing a much greater uniformity, thus implying the existence of different patterns of social behaviour. It has been proposed that these differences should be explained by a higher mobility and expanding networks of interaction, which, most importantly, have led to exchange of people through distant alliances and mating strategies. Further studies may confirm the anticipation based on Lıga material, that such differences reˆ flect a general diachronic trend and perhaps can be considered as a diagnostic temporal marker. Another important observation is that the pottery production of Lıga 2 was organised on a household ˆ level, since two of the three fully investigated houses contained certain direct as well as circumstantial pieces of evidence about pottery production. House 3 is the most striking example, with evidence on manufacture of utilitarian graphite painted pottery, which apparently was reserved for the household itself. Exchange between the households was limited and probably exclusively symbolic in nature. Detailed pottery analysis has also revealed that technological superiority cannot be assumed on the basis of pottery decoration and surface treatment. The chief difference between plain and decorated pottery is the investment of time. Thus, burnished graphite painted pottery needed the longest period of manufacture, but was no technological necessity. This raises questions about the composition of the household, assuming that women were responsible for the pottery. If each household required a more or less stable number of vessels per member, how can it be explained that some households could afford to invest three times or more energy in pottery production? The issue of human resources needs further clarification, while the value of visually outstanding pottery as a medium of socially loaded messages remains beyond doubt. Active pottery display even in the most casual situations, like fetching water, can be seen as an instrumental non-verbal claim to maintain the social position of household members.


A number of spoons (Pl. 17:4–6), mainly fragmented, have been discovered. They can be divided into two types: with a handle of circular, or with flattened cross-section. The last group is slightly bigger in size, but generally the length of the spoons varies between 8 and 9 cm. A spoon with flattened handle was found inside a vessel of Type ‘‘G’’ (Pl. 17:4). Surprisingly, all spoons contain some amount of sand in the clay matrix, usually combined with organic matter.

SUMMARY & PERSPECTIVES The body of ceramic data collected during the three field campaigns of 2000–2002 at Lıga is too large to ˆ be presented in its full extent. Nearly every shard has been entered into the artefact database, which has become a vital and as yet not exhausted tool for further studies. The strength of the base lies not only in a very high degree of detailed information regarding material attributes, but also, due to coupling, in contextual information bridging the past with the present. Answering the questions regarding pottery variability posed at the beginning of this chapter, the following conclusions can be made regarding the Lıga ˆ 2 settlement. Firstly, since cultural transmission operates in a hierarchical order, the most important feature is shape, or rather its idealised version, often termed a mental template. Secondary morphological attributes such as handles are often integrated into the general perception of vessels but their place is not always determined, as they drift between demands of the practical and cultural constructs (which again can overlap). Temper, decoration, and method of manufacture also take a secondary significance in the broader cultural perspective, reflecting different technological traditions or ‘‘technological styles’’, helping to determine social rather than cultural boundaries (cf. Stark et al. 1995, with references). There is a number of ethnographic examples of potters changing the repertoire of their production as they move to new places or when market demands change, while they preserve


Acta Archaeologica
nificant part of the information may still be lacking), there is apparently no niche left for organic tools. The presence of ceramic spoons – the most usual type of artefact rendered in bone or wood – underlines the assumption that pottery production has covered most of the needs in terms of containers etc., except for voluminous and light baskets. The potters of Lıga were familiar with the mainˆ stream of pottery production, both locally and elsewhere. Cultural replication can be seen through the shapes and composition of vessels types recovered in each house. But this did not exclude the manifestation of an individual fingerprint, telling about varying skills, motoric abilities, and, not least, varying tastes and artistic talents. Much archaeological fine-typology is simply household variation. The Lıga invesˆ tigation has brought the individual Copper Age household, and its members, into historical focus.

Investigations of shard materials have resulted in two basic conclusions. Stylistic variation taken separately has a very coarse chronological sensitivity, more coarse than is desired by archaeologists. What seems to ensure greater confidence in chronological sensitivity is the percentage of decoration styles and techniques represented. Quite remarkably, even superficial studies of Late Copper Age pottery from the Vaksevo tell in the Sruma valley has already produced evidence supporting this assumption, although withˇ out full acknowledgement of the excavator (Cochadziˇ ev 2001). The wealth of pottery even allows us to question the widely accepted assumption that much prehistoric evidence – such as bone and in particular wooden items – has vanished and left a serious artefactual gap. Looking at the numbers of vessels represented, the distribution of their shapes and sizes (with the reservation that a sig-

TABLET Among the more exceptional finds from Lıga is a clay ˆ disc – a so-called clay tablet with incised lines and dots in a manner that is beyond the accidental. Although simplistic, a communicative load is supposed, as in a letter (Fig. VI.1). The tablet was found in the area of House 3, in a disturbed top layer, 0.20 m below the surface and therefore not attributed to any particular feature. Although fragmented (with recent breakage traces), it provides enough information as to the form and pattern. The tablet has a round shape, 47 mm in diameter, 10–12 mm thick with flat and smoothed backside. The tablet is light grey brown in colour, wellbaked (no traces of secondary burning) and made of clay tempered with fine sand (some amount of organic matter is also present). Its original estimated weight is 35 g. Incised lines were made with a wooden tool with a flat 2 mm wide nib. The dots are slightly deeper than the lines. Parts of the lines contained traces of light (whitish) paste, possibly incrustation. This observation is only based on visual analysis with magnifier. There are, however, other finds, including clay disk from Yunatsite (also known as Ploskata Mogila) discovered in the 1950s, with white incrusted incisions and dots (Gimbutas 1986, 251, Fig. 9.55). Clay tablets remain an enigmatic type of objects, a feature shared with other – no doubt related – items, such as so-called stamp seals and bottoms with signs, abundantly found at the site of Gradeshnitsa (Nikolov 1974). What is conspicuous, is that already in the Neolithic such objects, loaded with communicative value, markedly outweighs the western part of Bulgaria compared with the far better investigated eastern part of the ˇ country (see Dzhanfezova 2003, 98, Map 1; Cochadziˇ ev 2003b; Todorova 1986; 1993). At present, no convincing interpretation can be given. Structurally, the Lıga tablet resembles a map, whether of stars or points ˆ in a landscape, perhaps even a social chart. son being a highly detailed investigation. Two (nearly) complete pieces and 20 fragments were found, all but one attributed to the Lıga 2 settlement. The most ˆ common part among the fragmented pieces are legs (incl. feet: 9, right leg – 4, left leg – 3, both legs – 2) and heads (6). Torsos and arms are seemingly lacking, although there is one wavy clay item with pointed end which could have been part of an arm (Pl. 19:4251). Single pieces account for hips (Pl. 19:8099), knees (Pl. 18:9, Pl. 19:4040) and rump (Pl. 19:5043). Two figurines are represented by their lower part of the body only (Pl. 19: 11 (9086) & Fig. VI.2 (7045). 14 items come from apparently undisturbed units and only two do not have a precise provenience, being accidental finds in loose soil (Pl. 19:UN005/9A, 2001/17). The remaining six pieces were discovered during the course of excavation, but in redistributed fills. Part of a figurine, which can be attributed to the Lıga 1 settlement was discovered below the SW part ˆ of House 1 of Lıga 2 (Fig. VI.3 (8099)). This house ˆ was constructed on remains of an earlier one, the SW part, at the descending slopes, being stabilized by occupational debris of the previous settlement (cf. above, Chapter II). Hence, the original position of the


The corpus of anthropomorphic figurines from Lıga ˆ is very large compared to the area excavated, the rea-

Fig. VI.1. Fragment of clay tablet (‘‘letter’’).


Acta Archaeologica

Fig. VI.2. Lower part of clay figurine (TS 7045) discovered in House 2 (height – 7 cm). Photo: R. Kolev.

fragmented figurine could not be established, although the mixed and compact character of the layer of shards where the fragment was found may indicate that the materials were extracted from an area of regular waste. This would certainly fall in line with observations made on the distribution of figurines in the subsequent Lıga 2 phase. Seven pieces with established ˆ provenience were found in waste areas, mainly along the northern and eastern wall of House 1 (6 cases), one fragment was discovered between Houses 2 and 3 (Pl. 19:10061). Figurines were also present within the houses. A rather exceptional situation was uncovered in the area of House 4, only partly excavated. Close to the eastern wall, facing the presumable entrance in the South, an enstooled clay figurine was discovered, commonly known as a ‘‘sitting goddess’’ (Fig. VI.4, Pl. 5 & 19). The head appeared 1 m North of the body, evenly cut through the neck, in all probability by a plough blade. The body stood somewhat deeper, hence the difference in color: the head being preserved in drier conditions and therefore light brown in color, while the body, located at a humus rich

Fig. VI.3. Fragment of clay figurine of Lıga 1 settlement (TS 8099) ˆ (height – 8.4 cm). Photo: R. Kolev.

trench, had a much darker brown color. The total height of the figurine is 18 cm. Notably, this woman is clearly pregnant. To the left of the figurine was placed a seeming bowl (Ø – 10 cm) with what appeared to be a clay egg in it (Fig. VI.4). The ‘‘bowl’’ was of the shape of a funnel narrowing to half of its upper diameter. The general outline and traces of the breakage at the narrower end suggest that, originally, this clay ‘‘funnel’’ was in fact a skirt (fused with a stool) of a sitting figurine, similar to the discovered whole figurine. Thus, this find also serves as an example of shifting usage within the same – ritual – domain.

Lıga ˆ


Fig. VI.5. Drawing of a ‘‘clay egg’’, part of the composite find centred on the sitting figurine (height – 65.5 mm, Ø max. 44¿48 mm, weight – 90 g).

Fig. VI.4. Clay figurine, type known as ‘‘The sitting goddess’’, and its accessories at the moment of discovery (height of the figurine – 18 cm).

The ‘‘clay egg’’ turned to be a hollow container with slightly inverted rim and pointed bottom (Fig. VI.5). Such items are known from other contemporary sites. The most numerous collection (at least 18) is held by the Bagachina site at Montana (Bonev & Aleksandrov 1996, 49, Fig. 91, 92), where the ‘‘eggs’’ are interpreted as crucibles. The authors mention that some of the items had vitrified surfaces, tentatively confirming their function (Bonev & Aleksandrov 1996, 49). However, it remains puzzling, that items with pointed bottoms and relatively closed form were used for crucibles, since their handling would be complicated by instability. However, in later times, during

the Roman period, similar egg-shaped crucibles are known from other parts of Europe, e.g., England, where their use was made possible by the use of metal tongs (Tylecote 1992, Fig. 13:g). Finally, the confirmed crucibles found at Lıga are of a wholly differˆ ent open shape with flat bottoms (see below). Therefore the allusion of an egg, held in the skirt of a figurine seems more convincing. The coherence of the items is strengthened by the fact, that all three have identical clay fabric (see below). Moreover, they are related through the same variation of brown colors. M. Gimbutas has noticed that many hollow figurines of the Cucuteni period contained within their hollow bellies one or two small clay ‘‘eggs’’, or clay balls (Gimbutas 1986, 245, Fig. 9.40). The symbolism of an egg is rather straightforward, and most likely universal. Furthermore, it corresponds with the pregnant state of the woman in question. The figurine, placed on the floor along with its accessories, was surrounded by vessels beginning to appear 0.36 m below the surface (Pl. 5). All were found on a greenish clayey layer interpreted as a stamped floor (the floor level being ca. 0.55 m below surface). At the time of the conflagration, some vessels were placed higher, perhaps on shelves installed at the eastern wall, as their position implies. Ca. 2 m from the northern edge of the trench, and 5 cm from the figur-


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corded in line with other items (information based on sketches by T. Krısteva). ˆ A rather high number of figurine fragments discovered in the waste area along the northern and eastern wall of House 1 indicates that clay figurines were in active use and that the domains of their use may have been several. Ever since the classical work of P. Ucko in 1968 on figurines (Ucko 1968), nearly every scholar treating the issues of prehistory in Southern Europe has felt the urge to contribute to the interpretation of figurative art. But as D. Bailey has rightly noticed, approaches were few and supported mostly by personal convictions and ephemeral assumptions of psychoanalysis (1994). M. Gimbutas’ work (1974; 1986; 1989) had the greatest impact on forming widely accepted interpretations of figurines as ‘‘sacred images of divine entities’’ (Gimbutas 1986, 226). Regardless this uniformal approach, many observations put forward by Gimbutas are still valid and evoking. She stressed the conventionalism seen in the molding of figurines with little attention given to details of the human body, but with much effort devoted to ‘‘proper placement of fortifying and appropriate symbols’’ (Gimbutas 1986, 226). Such symbolically charged conventionalism can also be recognized in the Lıga material, ˆ especially when compared with other finds of the period. The most clear cut manifestation is the ‘‘sitting goddess’’ with repeated minimalistic rendering of a bird-like face, slightly raised, emphasized hips, and arms collected on the belly. To a modern observer, the reclining obese females seated on a stool with the face pleasantly directed towards the sky first of all emanate a feeling of ‘‘good times’’, perhaps the basic intention, like a happy Buddha. In this context, the observation that the Lıga figurine is visˆ ibly pregnant is important. At the same time, there are also certain signs of individuality, which ask for alternative explanations. In Lıga, this is seen in ˆ some crudely yet precisely captured details, like two cases of rendering of a hucklebone and toes. Ethnographic data provide a string of options (for summaries, see Ucko 1968; Talalay 1993), but what they fail to demonstrate is a multi-dimensional use of figurines within the same society. Examples are also lacking on co-existence of figurines made of different materials, e.g, clay and wood. Despite these limi-

ine, all material remains were swept away by later trenching probably in connection with establishing of a vineyard. Hence, the preserved information is limited to the NE corner of the house, which is sufficient to state that the ritual and the profane were not formally segregated (see Chapter III). House 1 contained a fragmented head (Pl. 18:2 (9427)) and a rolled clay lump furnished with anthropomorphic features (Pl. 18:7 (9405)). The head is interpreted as deriving from a figurine of the ‘‘sitting goddess’’ type, very much alike the above mentioned one (cf. below). A find of a fragment with bent knees (Pl. 18:9 (4040)) outside the SW corner of House 5 may support the assumption that sitting figurines were a rather common attribute of any household inventory, and that only due to difficulties in recognizing them in a fragmented state, the false image of their exclusiveness has been created (Todorova 1986, 200). The same observation was made by V. Gergov on materials from the neighboring Redutite site (Gergov 2000). House 2 also contained two pieces of figurines. One of these – a clay rump discovered in the NW corner – may also represent a sitting figurine but of different kind than the above mentioned (Pl. 19:5043). First of all, the stool is not integrated with the body, and, secondly, it bears a rather naturalistic rendering of a human part which usually is not emphasized. Another fragment discovered in House 2, the lower part of a flat standing figurine with collected legs and oversized hips (Fig. VI.2), indicates that figurines also had an imovable position within the house. This figurine of about 15 cm in height must have been fastened to one of the timbers above the oven (see Chapter III) through a hole of 1.0¿0.7 cm, shaped prior to firing and having traces of wear. The position of the fragment is in concordance with the fall direction of the northern wall – from North towards South. The traces of breakage were fairly recent, but the upper part was not recovered. House 3, with the richest inventory of pottery, contained the poorest evidence regarding figurines. Just a single head was found in the southern part (Pl. 18:4 (10654)). In the same area was also a clay stool, which could be intended for a sitting figurine. Unfortunately, this find was made after the Danish party has departed from the excavation site, thus, it was not re-

Lıga ˆ


Fig. VI.6. Clay items produced by an nine year old girl from East Gonja District, Northern Region of Ghana. Courtesy J.A. Okoro. Note traditional devices such as grinding stones and mortar with pestle along with modern ones: a mobile phone and a microphone.

tations, ethnographic records still remain a source of inspiration. A valuable lesson can be gained from fieldwork in Northern Region of Ghana carried out by J.A. Okoro (pers.comm.) (1). Following the work routines of local pottery producers, all aged woman, he discovered that their 8–10 year old granddaughters were using clay to produce toys, which occasionally could be sold to their playmates. Incidentally, the daughters of the potters were not attracted to the craft. The items that girls were producing are: humans, furniture, grinding stones, microphones, mobile phones, burnished small vessels, ‘‘cousin driving a scooter’’ and so on – everything that is surrounding the children in their daily life (Fig. VI.6). At the same time, the girls tried to come as close as possible in their rendering of the
1. The author is grateful to Dr. John Ako Okoro, University of Ghana, Legon (Accra) for allowing to use unpublished data from his studies, ‘‘The Salaga Research Project’’.

objects, but this does not imply that adult observers would get the same impression. A good example is ‘‘cousin on a scooter’’, which looks like an asexual figurine without legs and holding something in its hands resembling bucranion. A ritual performance? No. In a young potters mind this ‘‘boy of 21 years’’ is holding the handles of a wheel, the legs of the ‘‘cousin’’ being placed on the riding platform – hence they are not important, as they virtually disappear behind the scooter screen. Significantly, these items are true images of real objects, if read properly. Figurines produced by different children had several common features. Massive legs, for example, were necessary to keep the humans upraised. In that way, they appeared as ‘‘standardized’’. When asked about the lacking hair, girls stated that hair would burn during the firing process. However, later on, one of the young potters reflected on this limitation and produced two figurines, a female with long hair was left unfired, while a male figurine was fired together


Acta Archaeologica
other fetishes of the village not taking human embodiment. The members of a community could often decode the meaning of the figurines on the basis of just one single appropriate element. Additional accessories or the position of a figurine could further strengthen the meaning. In Benin, different extended families would also ´ have a special box where several anthropomorphic wooden figurines were kept together. These represent deceased relatives. Although lacking individual features, only sexual ones, the figurines are coupled up with the deceased through special ceremonies. Individual ownership of figurines is often seen among the children. As the cult of twins is very powerful, children who lost their twin would be provided with a figurine representing the deceased twin, fasten to their waist to be used as lucky charm but also as a doll and as an actual person, often being fed. When discarded, or, nowadays, usually sold to tourist-minded merchants, the figurines release their powers or spirits in a ceremonial way, which commonly involve cut marks on arms or legs – a ritual destruction (though not affecting the value of the item as a commodity). Without attempting any direct analogy, the points presented here serve to underline the amplitude of levels on which figurines may circulate both mentally and contextually. First of all, the possibility of identifying children as producers inspired to look more thoroughly at the way figurines were produced. Processing of the flint material from Lıga has yielded ˆ some evidence, that local brownish flint, found on the site, was used as a medium of training. No tools have been made of this poor quality flint, but several knapped cores indicate the practice. All discovered clay figurines, except one, were three-dimensional (Pl. 19). The one two-dimensional figurine (7045) was discovered in House 2, where, as already mentioned, it must have been attached to one of the timbers above the oven. For manufacturing of figurines, two basic techniques were applied. At least in five cases figurines were modeled from one and the same lump of clay (7045, 9405, 9024, 9086, 2001/ 127). This is seemingly also the case of the only figurine of the Lıga 1 settlement (8099). Incidentally, three ˆ of the one-lump-figurines were made of untempered clay (9405, 9086, 2001/127). Another technique in-

Fig. VI.7. Wooden figurine representing the Yoruban deity Baba, Benin. ´

with a bowl-like device which could be put on as its hair. During work in Benin, West Africa, although un´ connected with studies of figurines, there were several occasions to observe the function of figurines within different communities. Figurines protecting the villages could be found at their limits, figurines could be seen both inside and outside houses, and they could have different levels of ownership. At the village of Gekoli to the East of Abomey (the area of Fon) the main fetish was installed in the corner of a kitchen at the chief’s house. A wooden figurine of a male with bent knees and emphasized phallos was said to represent Baba – a Yorouban deity protecting the whole village against illnesses (Fig. VI.7). It was dug into a 10 cm high platform and literally surrounded by kitchen ware. Outside the house, right at its western wall were two other figurines, a female and an apparently asexual being, confirmed to be a child – both said to represent Yorouban Abikou, made for dead children and connecting the world of the living with the world of the spirits (Fig. VI.8). These figurines were also in the ownership of the whole community, as well as

Lıga ˆ
volved individual modeling of separate body parts and then assembling. This was the prevailing technique at Lıga 2. The more informative fragments inˆ dicate that solid limbs and head were attached to a hollow body. The body would be simply modeled with fingers. Small protrusions were made to attach the limbs. This can be seen from the majority of the figurine legs, which were broken off at junctions. In more demanding cases, a wooden stick of 4–5 mm in diameter was used as a core, around which the figurine would be assembled. Thus, holes after such sticks can be seen in both heads (4446, 8000) and legs/feet (9005). In two cases within this group the figurines were manufactured of untempered clay (10226, UN009/9B). Fragments of figurines made of untempered clay have attracted special attention, since they appear as exceptions in the total body of pottery products. Natural clay was readily available at the Lıga site. ˆ This availability could certainly inspire even unskilled members of the community to express their creativity. Natural clay would also be used for ad hoc tasks. Importantly, the discovered fragments of five figurines made of untempered clay were fired, so these items were treated the same way as the others. Of course, the amount of unfired figurines will never be known. All five pieces are somewhat special. One of them – a head (2001/127, unknown provenience) made of a lump of clay – was carved in the manner of a wooden object. The cut marks were slightly smoothened with wet fingers. Carving of clay lumps can be seen as an attempt to transfer manufacturing techniques applied on wooden objects. At the same time, it signalizes a group of items which has disappeared, namely wooden artifacts. Another fragment within this group is the right half of the lower part of a standing female figurine. This figurine has also been produced of a single lump of clay. The shape and incision of a pubic triangle are made with nearly mathematic precision. This was not a product of a novice. The cut made in the middle of the figurine has apparently been controlled, leaving a very plain surface of longitudinal breakage. The item was found in the lower layers of waste accumulated along the eastern wall of House 1. Without going into further considerations it can be mentioned, that similar fragments of Middle Neolithic (5000–4500 BC) figurines at Franchthi, Greece were


Fig. VI.8. Wooden figurines outside Beninoise house, representing the Yoruban deity Abikou.

interpreted by L. Talalay as a kind of contractual devices or identifying tokens enchaining distant contractors, presumably holding the other half of the same figurine (Talalay 1993, 45–46, Plates 11 & 12). The remaining three fragments, deriving from untempered clay figurines might well have been produced by inexpert makers. They include a rolled clay lump with anthropomorphic features and shallow oblique incisions on the back, found in House 1 (9405). Another example is a rather crudely made leg, broken off at the junction and found in the ‘‘street’’ area at the back of House 3 (10226). The third item is a leg of a short-legged figurine with oversized hucklebone (UN009/9B, disturbed fill) – perhaps an attempt to imitate the details seen on masterly produced figurines (cf. 9005). These suggestions do not exclude that other items made of tempered clay could have been produced by children. Indeed, all fragments of figurines can be divided into those made by skillful masters, applying well balanced fabric and surface treatment techniques and those manufactured in more rudimentary fashion. Certain artistic signatures can be recognized when viewing all the small finds together. It has been mentioned that the sitting figurine found in House 4 together with its accessories was made of identical fabric – clay abundantly tempered with sand (quartz par-


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quire special skills to achieve the wanted results. The ‘‘sitting goddess’’ would still be perceived as ‘‘the sitting goddess’’ no matter if one views the elaborate examples found at Lıga and Redutite (Gergov 2000) ˆ or the unsophisticated creations from Zaminec (Nikolov 1975) and Okol Glava (Pernicheva 2002). Reliance on conventionalism probably explains why some of the sitting figurines were not equipped with sexual attributes (see Nikolov 1975) – perhaps the general shape was allusive enough to decode the meaning of such figurine. This could also be true about other types of figurines, like, e.g., the bellshaped figurine discovered in the lower layers of waste East of House 1 (Pl. 18: 1). Produced of a single lump of clay with perforated arm stumps stretched out and seemingly raised and with a raised head, it is being seen as asexual, although similar figurines from Redutite were equipped with breasts (Grancharov 1999, Fig. 25). Nevertheless, avoiding premature conclusions, the mentioned bell-shaped figurine along with a rolled lump figurine from House 1 are here considered ‘‘asexual’’. Certain sexual determination within the Lıga maˆ terial can be made in four cases, and in all, it is a matter of females. The one and only Lıga 1 figurine, ˆ preserved only in half, had incised pubic triangle and a hip belt, an emphasized belly was most likely a reference to pregnancy. Also the back was covered with incisions. Turning to the Lıga 2 material, the fully preserved ˆ sitting figurine has both breasts and incised pubic triangle. Pubic triangle was also seen on a fragment of a sitting figurine discovered in a ‘‘street’’ area (probably re-deposited later, since it had traces of secondary burning, contrary to the finds from the same area). Within the pubic triangle it was richly decorated with incisions forming a double spiral (¬) and dots. A ribbon of linear incisions was running across the thighs (Pl. 18:9). This band is perhaps replicating clothing. A double spiral motif on pubic triangles is a frequently applied element of Copper Age figurines. In fact, this fragment was the only truly decorated figurine fragment at Lıga 2. The third Lıga 2 case ˆ ˆ where a sexual distinction could be made is the lower part of a figurine found at House 1. As already mentioned, its femininity is revealed through a sharply incised pubic triangle (Pl. 18:11).

Fig. VI.9. Clay figurine representing pig.

ticles being 1–2 mm) and organic matter. The same fabric (with the same size and proportion of tempering components) was also identified in a skillfully made zoomorphic figurine rendering a pig (Fig. VI.9). Apparently, this temper combination was considered as minimum risk temper, ensuring that the work invested in production of these items would not be jeopardized during the firing process. Perhaps it can also be interpreted as an individual signature of a potter. The lower part of the figurine discovered in House 2 (Fig VI.2) could be linked with a tripod found in House 5 (Pl. 19:42026, Pl. 20:1) – both have received the same grooving of the surface and were made of the same fabric: abundant presence of organic matter and chamotte (0.5–3 mm) and moderate amount of sand (up to 1 mm). Two massive legs (9014 & 9022) discovered in the waste area at House 1 were made of the same fabric, had the same dark gray brown color and both were burnished in the same fashion. On their soles were impressions of grass leaves, pointing to the fact that their production took place in a not formalized working environment and during warmer part of the year. The legs could easily be taken as belonging to the same standing figurine if only they were not left legs both of them. Incidentally, a similar leg was discovered at Ezero-Kaleto, indicating that this is a type of figurine having a wider regional and temporal distribution. The proportion of the legs suggests that such figurines would have been around 30 cm in height. The conventionalism, which is seen in stressing certain elements in figurines, repetitiveness, and dependence on rules of assembling the figurines, did not re-

Lıga ˆ
It should also be mentioned that one of the heads can perhaps be interpreted as male due to a prominent chin, alluding beard (Pl. 18:4). Two perforations on each side of the head mark the ears. Such perforations were not reserved for female figurines only, since there are several examples of male figurines with ear perforations (Nikolov 1970, 62; Fig. 11; Todorova 1979, Fig. 1). While female figurines are usually equipped with three or more perforations, male figurines tend to have only two. Needless to repeat that no individual, naturalistic facial features can be deduced from the preserved heads. Protruding nose is usually considered sufficient in reproducing human images. Eyes may be rendered as dots, perforations or protrusions. Mouth is reproduced as a depression or a series of dots. Ears would only be marked as perforations. Such artistic puritanism was arguably a conscious choice or restriction in order to avoid blurring of the message. Accepting this view, more stress should be put on the decoration designs of the figurines, perceiving these as symbolic notations with specific meaning. Attempts were made to reconstruct the scale of figurines. The smallest fully preserved one was the bell-shaped figurine of 4.8 cm (9024). The biggest are represented by two massive legs (9014, 9022), one of which is preserved in its full extent. Such figurine is estimated to be around 30 cm. The remaining would fall into groups: 7–12 and 14–20 cm, respectively. The fully preserved sitting figurine was 18 cm in height. It can be noted that similar figurines at Redutite range between 14 and 25 cm (Gergov 2000). In terms of color, there are three basic color categories. Those figurines, which were made of untempered clay stand out by their light gray to gray brown color. In three cases the color is gray black (legs 9014 & 9022, head 10654), which is unusual for Lıga 2 materials. The remaining pieces range beˆ tween light yellow brown to medium brown color (occasionally, with reddish patches). Surface treatment is usually limited to smoothing and evening. Some items, like the fragment attributed to Lıga 1 (8099) ˆ and legs from the waste area at House 1 (9014, 9022), bear traces of burnishing. Regular burnishing is observed on the surface of the head from House 3 (10654). The surface of the skillfully made pair of legs/feet (9005) was smoothed with the help of self-

slip. Pattern decoration using incisions was observed only in three cases (8099, 4040, 9405). Little can be said on organization of production of the figurines. There is, however, some evidence that at least part of the figurines was produced in the same setting as pottery. The most skillfully made item among the discovered pieces of figurines is considered to be a pair of legs/feet (9005) (Pl. 18:10). This not only received the best surface treatment in form of self-slip, but it also demonstrates an exceptional degree of artistic attention paid to such ‘‘small’’ details as toes and hucklebones. The fragment was tempered with fine organic matter and chamotte; on the soles were many particles of sand, as in the case of vessel bottoms. So, a layer of sand was separating the feet from a flat surface, in order to avoid adhesion during the modeling. Looking at the patterns of breakage, there are five fragments which can be linked to deliberate breaking. Naturally, this group might be bigger. The criterion chosen to distinguish between deliberate breaking and ‘‘natural’’ relies on two observations. First of all, the fragment should not be broken at its juncture point. And, secondly, the breakage should reflect a controlled action, like separating figurines into equal halves or creating plain cuts (2). Following these guidelines of separation, the group of deliberately broken items includes the left buttock of the Lıga 1 ˆ figurine (8099), the lower left part of a figurine (9086), a leg of a massive figurine (9014), and a pair of legs/ feet (9005) – all found in a waste area at House 1 – plus a head discovered in House 3 (10654). The Lıga material, although limited, also provides ˆ some clues on ownership of the figurines. The particular location of a sitting figurine on a house floor at the rear end of the room and presumably close to the oven indicates that this was serving group demands. As evidence from Lıga and Redutite sugˆ gests, every house could have been equipped with such a sitting figurine. This also narrows the ownership to a household level. The same can be said about the figurine of which the lower part was discovered in House 2 and which was hung above the
2. The head of the complete sitting figurine, found in a higher layer, 1 m away from the body, also has an even cut, but this is caused by recent ploughing.


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Lastly, accepting the special role of the sitting figurine, it should once again be stressed, that settlement conflagration was not a planned act (cf. Stevanovic 1997), but a nasty surprise, which forced the ´ inhabitants to leave even their idols behind. Such situation can perhaps be illuminated through comparison with historical events. In 1892, in Ghana, the British, under threat of canon fire, forced the whole community of Krobo Hills to flee and abandon their belongings. Thus, community idols can still be found among the ruins, house walls and broken vessels of this huge settlement (Fig. VI.10).

Fig. VI.10. Clay figurine discovered in ruin of a house at the ancient main settlement of the Krobos, Ghana.


oven (Fig. VI.2). Accepting that part of the figurines could have been toys produced by children, it is possible to state that some specimens were individually owned. Bone figurines, treated by P. Zidarov, also provide important points (Chapter IX). As a rule, clay figurines were seemingly designed to serve group demands, while bone figurines belonged to the more individualised sphere of use and ownership. Bone figurines, which are easy to carry, for instance in clothing, are thus not uncommon among grave gifts (see Chapter XI). Manufacturing of bone figurines is also less straightforward and requires special skills compared with production of clay figurines. This naturally sets some restrictions on the number of possible owners as well as putting such items into a different category of value. Bone figurines are also presenting evidence about shifting ownership (see Chapter IX). The only anthropomorphic figurine found at Lıga (attributed to the ˆ Lıga 1 settlement) was decorated twice, maybe even ˆ three times. The first time it received all the conventional markings of the period, the next time a new owner made a more forthright marking of the pubic triangle – but at knee height – seemingly unsatisfied with the allusiveness of the original markings (Pl. 26:6). While the clay figurines seem to belong in the female sphere of pottery production, it is not unlikely that the flat and portable bone specimens were male products.

Anthropomorphic and zoomorphic protomes have been discussed in above sections related to the pottery. Briefly it can be stated that only one anthropomorphic protome and two zoomorphic ones (resembling ox) were found, both attributed to the Lıga 2 ˆ settlement (Fig. V.16 & Pl. 17:2,3). One proper zoomorphic figurine was discovered behind House 4, in the ‘‘street’’ area. It was made of a single clay lump, tempered with fine organic matter and chamotte. The length is 6.6 cm. Although fragmented (part of the head and legs are missing), it holds several details of identification. A hump on the back is typical for oxen (Pl. 17:7). A pair of nubs between the back legs may indicate that it was a bull. The second zoomorphic figurine can truly be considered an artwork, when compared with other figurines of the time. It is made in the best Gumelnita ¸ tradition, with naturalistic, elaborate details not leaving space for speculations on what it was representing. Citing Gumelnita is not accidental, for the closest par¸ allels are from the KGK VI area. The head of the figurine is missing as it was made using a less common ‘‘head-hole’’ insertion technique. The body – length 13.5 cm – bears characteristic features of a pig (Fig. VI.9 & Pl. 17:8). The clay used to manufacture this figurine contained organic matter and abundant amounts of rather coarse sand, the same combination and proportion as in the case of the fully preserved sitting human figurine. Hence, it is likely that the same person was responsible for the creation of both. This animal figurine was found in a top layer South of House 4, where the sitting figurine was discovered.

Lıga ˆ
SMALL TABLES AND SIMILAR DEVICES Among the rather peculiar finds at Lıga are fragments ˆ of small table-like devices, which usually are denominated as altarpieces, cult-tables, oil lamps and the like (Banffy 1997, 8–9; Elster 1986, 303). Such variety in ´ characterization may not only reflect personal convictions of a describing observer, but also a functional amplitude of such items. Moreover, other artefacts, like small bowls or plates, may have overlapping use functions. Use of the self-constructed term ‘‘tablelike’’ is an attempt to avoid straightforward interpretations. Eleven fragments of table-like devices have been discovered at Lıga (Pl. 19–21). One is derived from ˆ Lıga 1 materials, the remaining from Lıga 2 data. ˆ ˆ Among the fragments are four legs, two of which were broken at or below their junction point, so strictly speaking it cannot be determined what they have been supporting. The material provides a very mixed picture, all shapes and types being represented. There are both tripods (4: 42026, 2000/15, 14000, 10659), rectangular (3:2001/250, 9028, 4625), and hexagon pieces (2:8001, 4646.4, 10659). Two speciemen may be considered as nearly complete, since only their legs are partly damaged (42026, 9028). A common feature for this group of items is an integration of a basin with legs supporting it. As the only exception, the one fragment attributed to the Lıga 1 settlement was not equipped with legs (2001/ ˆ 250) (Pl. 20:3). This was rectangular in shape, while the outline of a basin was rounded. The item wellburnished and brown in color. One of the sides was decorated with graphite decoration. The find spot was beneath the western wall of House 1, which was stabilized by debris from the Lıga 1 settlement. ˆ Three of the fragments attributed to the Lıga 2 ˆ settlement were found in uppermost layers, hence their provenience is unclear (4625, 9000, 14000). Three fragments (8001, 9028, 9000) were found in layers of waste accumulated at the NE corner of House 1. Two fragments can be associated with House 2 (4646.4, 2000/15). One fragment was attributed to House 3 (10659), and one was found in the ‘‘street’’ area at the SW corner of House 5 (4343). The best preserved table-like item was found upside down in House 5, at the southern wall (Pl. 20:1 (42026)).


Fig. VI.11. Model of oven discovered among debris attributed to the Lıga 1 settlement. Photo: R. Kolev. ˆ

Despite formal variation there are several common characteristics. Firstly, all but one specimen show manufacturing skills beyond the ordinary, both in terms of surface treatment and decoration. Contrary to the figurines, table-like devices were produced by skillful masters. Only one example, tempered with organic matter, was made in a crude manner with no attention given to the surface finish (9028). Secondly, the range of original colors is limited to light brown and light reddish brown. Thirdly, all Lıga fragments share a very significant ˆ feature, namely that one geometric form is incorporated into another. The round basin is thus incorporated into triangular, rectangular or hexagonal shapes. Such formal antithesis had no doubt a symbolic meaning, thus elevating the table-like devices above the profane. In this light, it becomes matters of peripheral interest to determine whether the devices were oil-lamps or, more abstractly, altarpieces. Certainly, the issue will require more elaborate studies than observations under microscope (cf. Banffy 1997; Schwarzberg 2003). Rather more fully preserved fragments show that legs of the table-like devices experienced the most stress. They bear traces of intense abrasions, caused by rough surfaces. Seemingly, the device continued to


Acta Archaeologica
items also have traces of secondary burning, but of less regular nature (4625, 4343, 8001). Hence, manipulation of fire in relation with table-like devices cannot be excluded. In terms of fabric, the clay is abundantly tempered, the prevailing combination of tempering materials being organic matter, well-sorted sand and chamotte. Although these considerations have not clarified the function of the table-like devices, it has been demonstrated that the production required experienced potters, thus indicating that the context of their use was more restricted than that of the figurines.

Fig. VI.12. Fragment of crucible (4¿4.3 cm). Photo: R. Kolev.

be used after breaking of one or even two legs. This indicates, that table-like devices had a long duration of use. The smallest among the discovered pieces is the crude one (9028), its dimensions are only 6.5¿3.8¿3.8 cm, the diameter of the basin being 2 cm. Other pieces are twice as big, the length varying between 9–12 cm, while the diameter of the basin is 4 (10659), 5 (42026) and 6 (8001) cm, respectively. The greatest variation is seen in height, from 4.5 to 10–12 cm. Based on such variety of shapes and sizes, when practically there are no pieces repeating each other, it can be assumed that alter-like devices were objects used in exchange. In this sense they can indeed be considered as social ceramics, and not only due to their non-utilitarian purpose, as pointed out by E. Elster (1986, 303). The upper surface – the ‘‘visible’’ part – has received the most attention. Table-like devices can be slipped and burnished (8001), burnished (10659), covered with grooves (42026), incised in angular patterns (4343, 10659, 4625), or equipped with extra-modeled protrusions (14000, 2000/15). One of the pieces deserves extra attention (10659). Its outer surface is light reddish brown, while the basin is gray black due to even distribution of sooth. Besides, the basin is intensely burnished and virtually non-permeable. Other

MODEL OF OVEN Models of houses or ovens belong to a group of rarities in Copper Age sites. Only one such item was discovered at Lıga. It is an oven model with arched ˆ opening found beneath the SE part of House 1 of the Lıga 2 settlement (Fig. VI.11 & Pl. 17:9). As has ˆ been mentioned before, this slope area was stabilised with debris deriving from the Lıga 1 settlement, ˆ which thus was redistributed. The oven model was an integrated part of a larger item. The most plausible interpretation is that it was a part of a lid. It remains unclear, however, why a hole of ca. 1.5 cm in diameter was made in the bottom wall of the dome (for pouring?). The hole was made after firing. The ridge of the furnace was originally furnished with three protrusions, of which only two are intact. The surface of the dome is covered with 10 longitudinal, parallel incisions.

CRUCIBLES & METALLURGY The excavations at Lıga have also provided evidence ˆ for metallurgy. It was attested in both Copper Age settlements, as well as in Grave 1 (see Chapter XI). Incidentally, all items related to metallurgy were found in the same excavated area, at the southern slopes of the site. Two fragments of two crucibles were recovered beneath the SW part of House 1. They were in a dense layer of shards and other finds from Lıga 1, which ˆ was created after leveling and stabilizing the slope area prior to construction of House 1 of the Lıga 2 ˆ settlement. Both crucibles were rectangular in shape

Lıga ˆ
with rounded basin and flat bottom. Both were made of clay tempered with moderate amounts of well-sorted sand and were affected by secondary burning, although not vitrified. The bigger one was better preserved, and more crude than the smaller one (Fig. VI.12 & Pl. 17:10) Its estimated length was 7 cm, the width 4 cm, the total height 2.5 cm. One of the sides was equipped with two holes placed on the same level at the middle of the wall. The diameter of the holes is 0.5 cm. The holes were presumably used to fix a handle, two wooden sticks, for example. By using two sticks, a steady grip would be provided and spoiling of melted copper would be avoided. Copper deposit was discovered attached to the bottom of the crucible. The smaller crucible was more thoroughly manufactured with a smooth surface of the internal basin. The preserved fragment, a corner of the crucible, may only allow rather coarse estimations of external dimensions, which were not exceeding 4.5¿5 cm, the height 2.3 cm (Pl. 17:11). As the previous item, it was also equipped with two holes in the middle of the wall. But the holes were only half as big, around 0.25 cm, the diameter narrowing from outside towards the inside. Actual copper items were found in later layers, namely inside House 1 of the Lıga 2 settlement. The ˆ finds include one awl and two pins, lying encapsulated in burned layers of daub at the floor level but in different parts of the house. The awl (8597) was 7.1 cm long and 0.9 cm wide at its widest part. It was gradually narrowing towards one end, which was slightly bent (Fig. VI.13). However, due to corrosion it could not be established with certainty, which end was the working one. The awl had a quadrangular cross-section along its whole length and a pointed end. It was found just outside the dividing structure of House 1. The longer pin (9425) measured 4.1 cm in length and was 2.9 mm wide (Fig. VI.14). It had a quadrangular cross-section. Part of the surface was eroded away, but it could be deduced that the pin was tapering to a point. The pin was found together with the head of a presumably sitting figurine (Pl. 18:2 (9425)) in House 1. The shorter pin (9089), measuring just 2.4 cm in length and 2.5 mm in width, was found near the major concentration of storage and other vessels of


Fig. VI.13. Copper awl and pointed bone tools (length of the Cu awl – 7.1 cm). Photo: R. Kolev.

House 1. This pin also had a quadrangular cross-section. It is very well preserved and therefore gave grounds to think that it was made of bronze. The item was analyzed with X-ray flourescence by B. Gottlieb (3), National Museum of Denmark. It was
3. The author is grateful to Birthe Gottlieb, MA, for carrying out this analysis.


Acta Archaeologica
ing impressions of a presumably copper pin with quadrangular cross-section (Fig. VI.15). Metal could also be associated with the graves (see Chapter XI). Several copper beads, both wide cylindrical (ca. 1.5 cm in length) (Fig. VI.16) and narrow cylindrical (0.2–0.3 cm in length) were found in Grave 1, in the area of the breast of the body. Grave 1 was dug under the NW corner of House 1. The remains of the skeleton together with adjoining soils were moved to the Historical Museum of Pleven for more controlled investigation. As a result, more copper beads were discovered. The beads were made of rolled copper sheet with overlapping edges. The rolled cylinder was then cut into single pieces. The diameter of the beads was around 0.5 cm. The most exclusive item discovered at Lıga is a ˆ golden pendant (see Chapter XI) (Fig. VI.17). The circumstances of its discovery are unclear, as it was discovered in loose soil close to Grave 1. It was made of a narrow strip of golden sheet, 0.1 cm thick cut longitudinally until its approximate midpoint. The terminals were then rolled in opposite directions into spirals. The total length of the pendant is 4.3 cm. At the other end, a hole for hanging was made by cold hammering. The surplus/excessive metal was then recurved. Regardless its uncertain provenience, the golden pendant, likely a phallos (with testicles) can be attributed to the Late Copper Age. The best parallel, also in gold, is exhibited at the National Museum of Greece (Fig. VI.18). Although it is merely part of a bigger confiscated hoard of 70 golden items, the association with so-called ring-idols (Todorova, Vajsov 2001, Pl.22) places it securely in the period around the end of the fifth millennium BC. Copper pins with double spiral head are relatively common on Bulgarian Copper Age sites (Todorova & Vajsov 2001, Pl. 9). Such a pin was also discovered at the neighboring Redutite site (Gergov 1987), indicating that gold pendants as tokens was not foreign to the symbolic realm of the Copper Age at Telish.

Fig. VI.14. Copper pin (length – 4.1 cm).

Fig. VI.15. Bone handle with impression presumably of copper pin of quadrangular cross-section (Ø – 1 cm).

Fig. VI.16. Cylindrical copper bead found in Grave 1 (length – 1.2 cm). Photo: R. Kolev.

demonstrated that the pin was made of copper deriving from two different sources, a result perhaps achieved through remelting of different copper items. It should be mentioned that at the western wall of House 3 was found a bone socket (Pl. 27:6) still bear-


The number of spindle whorls is limited to six complete and one unfinished specimens, all in clay and

Lıga ˆ
all from uncertain contexts. However, due to their general appearance and clay matrix they can be attributed to the Lıga 2 settlement, despite the fact that ˆ shapes of spindle whorls show limited temporal sensitivity. Four different shapes are represented in the Lıga material: ˆ (a) Biconical; represented by two of the whorls. One of these has truncated top and base (Pl. 17:12,13). (b) Spherical; represented by one finished and one unfinished whorl (Pl. 17:14). (c) Flat; made of recycled pottery shards, which were shaped into a rounded disc and pierced, represented by two items (Pl. 17:15). (d) Conical; with a flat base, represented by one item (Pl. 17:16). The dimensions of the whorls are indicated in Fig. VI.19. In terms of temper, there is an equal division into two groups – those produced of natural clay and those tempered with organic matter and coarse-grained sand. One wheel-like object also deserves to be mentioned in this context (Fig. VI.20). It has the form of a flat perforated rondel, but the hole is seemingly too small for the rod of a whorl. The rondel itself is 5.3 cm in diameter, while the diameter of the perforation is just 3.5 mm. The edges are well smoothed, indicating that these were in repeated contact. The function remains uncertain; perhaps it is a miniature wheel due to the small hole. Despite thorough investigations, traces of textiles were only found in one case at Lıga. An impression ˆ of a Z-laid cord 0.77 cm thick was found below the rim of the big pithos in House 3 (Fig. VI.21). Apparently, the cord was used to withstand the pressure during drying of this huge container.


Fig. VI.17. Golden pendant (‘‘phallos’’) (height – 4.3 cm). Photo: R. Kolev.

Fig. VI.18. Golden pendant (height ca. 6 cm), exhibited at the National Museum of Greece. Unknown provenience.


Three loom weights were discovered at Lıga, two lyˆ ing together outside the northern wall of House 4, close to the surface and hence with uncertain provenience. All weighs are conical in shape with rounded base and horizontal perforation at the top (Fig. VI.22). Their height varies between 9–10 cm, the diameter of the base being 7–8 cm. Such weights are interpreted as parts of warp-weighted looms. The

Fig. VI.19. Table of spindle whorls.


Acta Archaeologica

Fig. VI.20. Perforated clay rondel. Fig. VI.21. Shard of storage container with impression of cord.

weight of each item is around 0.5 kg, pointing to relatively thick threads. All loom weights were made of untempered clay with single inclusions of larger sand grains (ca. 3 mm), occasional small pebbles and ochre. In terms of fabric, they do not differ from clay used for daubing the upper layers of house walls. The strikingly small number of loom weights is perhaps an indication that these artefacts were used unfired and thus disintegrated if not exposed to fire during settlement conflagration. At the same time, the lack of such evidence within three rather wellpreserved houses opens up for two options: (a) that weaving was carried out outside the houses, accepting that the conflagration took place during the warm period of the year; (b) that weaving was not as common as generally assumed, and in fact narrowed to a limited number of specialists, unlike the pottery production.

cedures (see Chapter X). The total absence of fish remains at most Copper Age sites cannot be explained merely by excavation procedures. Some meticulously carried-out fieldwork, as recently at Karanovo or in the Drama valley, have not produced fish bone material at all (Bökönyi & Bartosiewicz 1997, 386). At Sadovec-Ezero, two fish vertebrae were found, both with secondary abrasions of the edges, which transforms the pieces into a category of tools/ worked bone, and certainly ruling out an assumption of unfavourable conditions of preservation. On the other hand, very few fish bones would survive passing through dogs. To add to the confusion, both items discovered at Lıga are made of poorly baked clay, abundantly temˆ pered with organic matter and therefore seemingly unsuitable for lengthy periods in water.


Two cylindrical clay weights were recorded from disturbed layers in the area of House 2 (Fig. VI.23). Traditionally, by analogy, such are associated with fishing nets. Some Late Copper Age sites, for instance, Bagachina have produced abundant numbers of weights (Bonev & Aleksandrov 1996). However, only two fish bones were collected from Lıga, despite flotation proˆ

Three clay beads were discovered, all attributed to Lıga 2 layers (Pl. 17:17–19). A common feature is that ˆ they are made of untempered clay. Two of the beads are spherical (10 and 20 mm in diameter), one discoidal (21 mm in diameter). Traces of wear indicate that the latter was hung with the rounded side out, perhaps as a cloth weight. Two beads were found in a ‘‘street’’ area, one in front of House 2.

Lıga ˆ


Fig. VI.22. Clay loom weights (one square of the background plate equals 1 cm).


Recycling of pottery shards has been a wide-spread practice at Lıga. In most cases their secondary funcˆ tion could be deduced either through the shape (e.g., spindle whorls) or traces of wear (e.g., pottery burnishers). But there is a group of modified shards, which do not provide any explicit clues as to their function. These are ceramic discs of nearly regular circular shape, ca. 2 to 4 cm in diameter (Pl. 17: 20– 21). There are no explicit traces of wear. A handful of such items were recorded in Lıga 2 layers, those ˆ with exact provenience came from areas outside the houses. A suggestion is that they were gaming pieces.

Fig. VI.23. Cylindrical clay weights (length of the item to the left – 7.4 cm). Photo: R. Kolev.

by Søren Albek et al.

THE INDUSTRY Smaller flint tools and debitage are often overlooked in common excavations. At Lıga, after the short initial ˆ phase of the excavation, all flints, worked and unworked, were collected, washed, recorded and studied. Many pieces of very poor quality flint – washed out and brittle – were found, the majority unworked. Among the worked flints – almost all of good quality material – the percentage of tools is unusually high. The finds are of a blade industry, only a very few tools are made from cores (or flakes). The measures below are of complete items. Some Hammerstones at Lıga are in flint (Pl. 24:1). ˆ All are of fist size or a little smaller, with clear crushing marks. Apart from a single oval specimen, all are spherical. Debitage makes up a very heterogeneous group, with items ranging from 1–10 cm. Some items are cores or spalls, others flakes large and small. Notably, the debitage is only making up some 30% of the worked flints items (Fig. VII.1). Artefact group

Fig. VII.1. Flints. Debitage, blades & tool types (numbers).

Cores and Fragments of Cores comprises exhausted and non-exhausted cores, and fragments and flakes of cores, the latter from making or rejuvenation of striking platforms. Blades are oblong flakes – length more than double the width – made in direct percussion technique. However, most tools were made in indirect percussion techniques, since bulbs, ripples and even scars are mising. The quality is generally high. Many speciments are broken. The tools are classified according to functional characteristics: primarily, shape (morphology, including dressing and retouche), secondarily, work traces (traces of hafting, macroscopic use-wear marks, gloss, crushing-marks). Accordingly, a number of macromorphological types have been established (Fig. VII.1), although some items cannot be determined any closer than ‘‘Knife or Sickle-blade’’, or ‘‘Unknown Tool’’, the former are often very small or fragmented specimens, difficult to determine due to limited size. The latter group comprises items made from blades or blade-like flakes, which cannot be determined, either because they are reworked or multipurpose in character. The cross-section is triangular or trapezoid, the length 3.0–4.0 cm, the width 1.5– 3.0. Items here classified as Scrapers are made from thick flakes, drop-shaped in outline and with a steep scraping edge (Fig. VII.2:1, Pl. 22:1,4). The length is 3.5–5.0 cm, the width 1.5–2.5. End-scrapers make up a highly uniform group of tools: all made on long and well-shaped blades or flakes, typically 5.0–7.0 cm long, the width being 2.0– 2.5. Many have traces of hafting; the scraping edge is less steep than at the above Scapers. Many specimens are broken (Fig. VII.2:2–5, Pl. 22: 2–3,5–8). Borers make up a heterogeneous group, all made on massive blades, often triangular in cross-section; the length is 3.0–6.0 cm, the width 1.5–3.0 (Pl. 23:6– 8).

Lıga ˆ


Fig. VII.2. Some of the scrapers of Lıga 2 settlement. Photo: R. Kolev. ˆ

Knives is a large group of retouched blades used for cutting. The variation in length is considerable, 4.0–8.0 cm, the width 1.5–3.0 – no doubt a reflection of differential use (Pl. 22:9–12, Pl. 23:10–14). The cross-section is usually trapezoid, either equilateral or oblique, the long side used for cutting. Many specimens carry traces of hafting, which likely was longitudinal. Sickle-blades are, like the above End-scrapers, a very homogeneous group of tools made on mediumsized blades (Pl. 23:2–5). They all have gloss on the one edge, sometimes on both. Most of the sickleblades have smooth or only lightly retouched edges, only very rarely are these dented. The length is 4.0– 5.0 cm, the width 2.0–2.5. The cross-section is usually oblique trapezoid with the steep short side used for cutting. To judge from wear marks and gloss, there were seemingly two types of sickle. The first type had one (or more) blades attached at the one end directly to the shaft, the second type had blades inserted along the one side of a curved shaft or even into the middle

piece of a handle. Many sickle-blades are broken, likely during use. Burins do not enter this assemblage; the above End-scrapers, etc. were probably used for working in both wood, bone and antler. Additional Tools comprises bifacial points (arrow heads) (Pl. 23:16, 18), a fragment of a biface (likely a core axe), a biface knife with fine pressure flaking of the surfaces (Pl. 23:17), and a heavy pointed oblong tool with secondary retouche on two sides (dagger blade or large borer?) (Pl. 23:1). The fact that the points were seemingly made from cores (or flakes), not blades, is perhaps surprising, as is certainly their small number. Other weapons than the above ones in flint are unknown, except perhaps for some bone points, which may have served as arrow heads (cf. Chapter IX) and, of course, the stone axes, which also were tools (cf. Chapter VIII). Finally, a few of the flints might be (Early) Bronze Age in date, including one of the arrow heads (Pl. 23:18).


Acta Archaeologica
Senon and Maastricht (Valev 1992) (Fig. VII.5). Pipra is c 8 km to the south of Lıga; Pipra flint is quite ˆ sturdy. Much of the foreign flint – supposedly, mainly from far away, often to the South of the Balkan range – is of high quality. From the table (Fig. VII.3), it transpires that half the flint is local, one third is regional, and the rest foreign. Interestingly, there is a high percentage of debitage only in local flint, suggesting that non-local flint arrived mainly in finished or nearly finished form. In House 3 at Lıga is a group or hoard of 9 ˆ blades (only the proximal end is preserved of one specimen) stemming from the same core (Fig. III.24, Fig. VII.6, 7). Otherwise, flint is rare inside the structures, no doubt a reflection of floors being regularly swept. It should be added that flint was commonly found in spaces between structures, likely temporary work-shops, while animal bones mainly came from particular garbage areas. Looking at the most common artefact types, two thirds of the Sickle-blades, with a short life span, are made from local Sadovec flint, but only one third of the knives, of which even a fourth is of foreign flint (Fig. VII.4). The End-scrapers are divided equally between local and regional flints, only a tenth being foreign (Fig. VII.4). The foreign (and regional) flints – in particular the knives – probably reflect exchange systems, perhaps articulated through sheep/goat transhumanence (cf. elsewhere in the publication, including Chapter XII).

Fig. VII.3. Flint types, tools and debitage. Table of percentage of flint items recovered at Lıga according to flint sources. ˆ

Fig. VII.4. Flint types, chaıne operatoire, and selected tools. Nuˆ ´ merical/percental distribution of worked flint according to flint sources.

RAW MATERIALS The types of flint employed were mainly determined on the basis of known geological occurrences and only to a limited degree on data from other settlements. Foci of the determination are colours, inclusions (including fossils), grain size, specific surface conditions (both cortex and fractures). Local sources were isolated and samples taken from two localities. Visiting Bulgarian geologists assisted in the work. Also an archaeologist, R. Zlateva-Uzunova, Sofia, highly knowledgeable on flint in Bulgaria, has provided valuable advice, including a detailed table of reference for stone and flints. A general introduction to the problems is by C.I Nachev & I.K. Nachev (Nachev & Nachev 1986). A division has been made between local, regional, and foreign flint sources (Fig. VII.3). The identified sources used at Lıga are the following: Local flints, ˆ including Sadovec and Pipra (0–10 km – return the same day); regional flints (10–30 km – return the next day); foreign flints ( 30 km, often much more – return after some days). Sadovec is c 9 km East of Lıga, ˆ the locality comprising two flint-bearing formations,

CONCLUSIONS & COMPARISONS The following observations should be noted regarding the flints of Lıga (cf. Fig. VII.1). There are virtually ˆ no weapons or hunting-related tools among the flints. By contrast, the sample is dominated by scrapers, knives, borers and sickle-blades for crafts and agricultural work. Local flint is widely used and has delivered the majority of cores, flakes and flakes. Artefacts with a short life span (sicles) are mainly of local flints. Knives are often of foreign flints, suggesting an import of fine blades. Numerically, a standard tool-kit seems to have consisted of an end-scraper, a knife, a sickleblade plus one to two blades, or multiples thereof. To this comes some raw material. Almost no parallel materials have so far been exca-

Lıga ˆ


Fig. VII.5. Flint nodules at Sadovec. For scale: knife ca. 20 cm, left part of the photo.

Fig. VII.6. Eight flint blades and part of a blade (proximal end) found together at the oven in House 3.

vated and published in Bulgaria. However, what little data there are, seem to confirm findings of Lıga. From ˆ Neolithic-Copper Age Karanovo, Southern Bulgaria comes a rich sample of flints, but mainly from early phases (Gatsov & Kurcatov 1997). Blades and blades ˇ with various retouches dominate; some are sickles. From beyond Bulgaria, a few parallel data-sets have been published. With a few exceptions, no decent typology or numerical tables have been presented, though. In Serbia, the Neolithic material from Divostin (sixth millennium BC) has been studied by somewhat other methods than at Lıga (Tringham et ˆ al. 1988). Nevertheless, a dominance of blades/knives and end-scrapers is noted, while sickle-blades seem relatively few (correct identification?), as are also scrapers that are not end-scrapers; by contrast, borers are quite plentiful. From Neolitic Anza (late seventh-sixth millennium BC), former Yugoslav Macedonia, comes a sample studied by yet other methods (Elster 1976). Borers are rare, as are end-scrapers, while blades and knives are common. Sickle-blades are only identified as a subset of blades. A more recent study is on Neolithic Selevac (early fifth millennium BC) in Serbia (Voytek 1990). Here end-scapers are very common, and knives (including denticulated specimens), borers, and sickle-blades common. A somewhat atypical sample, however Copper Age in date, and Bulgarian, comes from Durankulak cemetery (Sirakov 2002). Here, according to N. Sirakov, is a clear dominance of blades (117), while knives (28), end-scrapers (16), and microliths/transverse arrow-

Fig. VII.7. Collectively found flint blades in House 3 refitted together.

heads (14) are relatively rare. In other words, the suggested ‘‘Lıga’’ tool-kit is present in a version with a ˆ high number of blades. Microliths have not been identified at Lıga. ˆ From the settlement of Hotnitsa-Vodopada, Northern Bulgaria, dated to the so-called Transitional Period (to the Bronze Age, cf. elsewhere in this publication), comes a sample dominated by ‘‘flakes’’, perhaps, indeed, flakes (65) (Sirakov & Tsonev 1995). There are some blades (18), as well as blades with various retouches, etc. (including knives) (19), and


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Gatsov, I. 1993. Neolithic Chipped Stone Industries in Western Bulgaria. Varia CCCXIII. Krakow (Jagellonian University ´ Publications). – 1998. Technical and Typological Analysis of the Chipped Stone Assemblages from Troia. Studia Troica 8. 115ff. Gatsov, I. & V. Kurcatov. 1997. Neolitische Feuersteinartefakte. ˇ Mineralogische Untersuchung und technisch-typologische Charakteristik. Hiller & Nikolov 1997. 213ff. Gergov, V., I. Gatsov & S. Sirakova. 1985. Kremachni orudija ot praistoricheskoto selishte v m. Redutite pri s. Telish, Plevenski okrag. Izvestija na muzeite v Severozapadna Balgarija 10. 11ff. Gimbutas, M. (ed.). 1976. Neolithic Macedonia. As reflected by Excavation at Anza, Southeast Yugoslavia. Monumenta Archaeologica 1. Los Angeles (Institute of Archaeology, University of California). Hiller, S. & V. Nikolov. 1997. Karanovo. Die Ausgrabungen im Südsektor 1984–1992. Österreichischbulgarische Ausgrabungen und Forschungen in Karanovo Vol. 1;1–2 (Text & Tafel). Salzburg (Archäologisches Institut, Universität Salzburg)/ Horn, Wien (Ferdinand Berger) & Sofia (Archäologisches Institut, Bulgarische Akademie der Wissenschaften). McParron, A. & D. Srejovic (eds.). 1988. Divostin. And the Neo´ lithic of Central Serbia. Ethnology Monographs 10. Pittsburgh (Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh). Nachev, C.I. & I.K. Nachev. 1986. Distribution and Evolution of the Siliceous Rocks in Bulgaria. Comptes rendus de l’Academie ´ bulgare des Sciences. 39;8. 81ff. Sirakov, N. 2002. Flint artifacts in prehistoric grave-good assemblages from the Durankulak necropolis. Todorova 2002/1. 213ff. Sirakov, N. & T. Tsonev. 1995. Chipped-Stone Assemblage of Hotnitsa-Vodopada (Eneolithic/Early Bronze Age Transition in Northern Bulgaria) and the Problem of the Earliest ‘‘Steppe Invasion’’ in Balkans. Prehistoire Europeenne 7. 241ff. ´ ´ Todorova, H. (ed.). 2002. Durankulak II. Die prähistorischen Gräberfelder 1–2. Berlin (Deutsches archäologisches Institut). Tringham, R. 2003. Flaked Stone. Elster & Renfrew 2003. 81ff. Tringham, R. & D. Krstic (eds.). 1990. Selevac. A Neolithic Village ´ in Yugoslavia. Monumenta Archaeologica 15. Los Angeles (Institute of Archaeology, University of California). Tringham, R.E., A. McParron, J. Gunn & G. Odell. 1988. The Flaked Stone Industry from Divostin and Banja. McPharron & Srejovic 1988. 203ff. ´ Uenze, S. (ed.). 1992. Die spätantiken Befestigungen von Sadovec (Bulgarien). Ergebnisse der Deutsch-Bulgarischen-Österreichischen Ausgrabungen 1934–1937. Münchner Beiträge zur Vorund Frühgeschichte 43. Text. Valev, P. 1992. Geologische und geographische Einführung. Uenze 1992. 23ff. Voytek, B. 1990. The Use of Stone Resources. Tringham & Krstic ´ 1990. 437ff.

end-scrapers (15). There are also various tools with gloss – including ‘‘truncations’’ – no doubt sickleblades (14), arrow heads (7), borers (4), plus other tools and demi-tools. It should be noted that also this classification is differing from the present one concerning Lıga. Nevertheless, some resemblance with ˆ Lıga is noted. ˆ The material from Sitagroi, northern Greece (sixth-third millennium BC) is of several different types of raw-material, even a very little obsidian (Tringham 2003). Also so-called honey-flint, which makes up a little more than half the material, was brought to the site seemingly from far way, possibly even northeastern Bulgaria (although other sources have also been suggested). Blade-tools dominate the sample, including 192 sickle-blades, 169 end-scrapers and 114 so-called truncated blades (knives). There are 47 so-called retouched blades (also knives), 17 small points (likely drills), 16 borers, 13 so-called denticulates (saw-blades), and a few other artefacts. Notably, only three arrowheads were found at Sitagroi. A certain resemblance to Lıga is noted. ˆ Incidentally, at (Early) Bronze Age Troy, with industries dominated by ‘‘flakes’’, there is a high number of ‘‘notched tools’’ (supposedly for smoothing rounded objects like arrows) (366), end-scapers (224), ‘‘truncations’’ (possibly sickle-blades) (195), and arrow-heads (170), while ‘‘retouched blades’’ (likely knives) are relatively rare (40) (Gatsov 1998). Also this study is following classifications of its own. Indeed, both the relatively high number of items found (652) and their detailed treatment and study makes the Lıga sample quite unique and a highly ˆ valuable reference base for the future.

Elster, E.S. 1976. The Chipped Stone Industry. Gimbutas 1976. 257ff. Elster, E. & C. Renfrew. 2003. Prehistoric Sitagroi. Excavations in Northeast Greece, 1968–1970 Vol. 2. The Final Report. Monumenta Archaeologica 20. Los Angeles (Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA).

(including contribution by Søren Albek)

INTRODUCTION Ground stone tools, despite their abundance on many prehistoric sites, are usually only listed by naming their assumed functional properties. There are few attempts to treat ground stone industries with methodological consistency (Kanchev 1970; Kanchev & Nikolov 1983). Therefore, besides general statements, as with the flints (Chapter VII), detailed comparisons are not possible. However, the present study is inspired by the methodology applied at the Neolithic site of Divostin in Serbia (Prinz 1988; Galdikas 1988). The excavations at Lıga have produced a considerˆ able amount of stone tools, indeed nearly 400 in all, reflecting the diversity of daily activities in the Copper Age. Every rock discovered was treated as a potential implement, since the geological environment of Lıga ˆ holds pebbles and small cobbles only (rarely reaching 8–9 cm). Thus, raw-materials for the larger stone implements, if not the tools themselves, must have been carried to the site from a distance. Micro-wear analysis has not been possible, so the present classification is based on morphology combined with functional assumptions, as reflected by macro-wear traces. The first and main set of definitions, mainly by I. Merkyte, is analytical and primarily broadly functional. The second set of definitions, by S. Albek, is primarily typological and relates to the numerical specifications of a table (Fig. VIII.6) (cf. below).

HAMMERSTONES, HAMMERS, POUNDERS, AND PESTLES Stone tools used for crushing and pounding/hammering make up the most numerous group. Although similar in function, the specimens reflect different applications. Hammerstones are regular, water rolled flint/chert rocks or, occasionally, sandstone balls with a diameter reaching 9–9.5 cm (Pl. 24:1). There are usually no preferences as to the surface used, since the hammerstone is rotated around its own axis. Some hammerstones are slightly flattened on the ventral

side. All except one of the crushing stones were found outside the houses. Pounders and hammers, on the other hand, were found in the houses. Some of these, lying close to the ovens, may be connected with food processing activities, while others, found on the floors, had likely fallen down from their storage places (as the hammers in the middle of House 2). Stone hammers are massive, frequently flat stones with an almost rectangular shape, and are often heavily flaked with stepped scars indicating striking blows on solid surfaces (Pl. 24:2– 4). The majority was produced of very hard, dense and smooth stone (like diabase and diorite porphyry, or other igneous rocks, but sandstones are not unusual either) and they are generally ground over the entire surface. In several cases both ends were used. Some hammers were reused broken large stone axes. The length varies between 8.5 and 10.0 cm. Pounders were also made of hard smooth stone bearing less heavy traces of macro-wear, such as chipping scars or flaking. The ends usually have a uniformly abraded or roughened surface. Pounders are elongated in shape, often cylindrical; the cross-section is rounded (Pl. 24:5,6). A few tools held multiple functions. A combination tool (16.6 cm long, 5.8 cm maximum width) made of diorite porphyry was used as a pestle (the circular flat end has grinding traces at the edges and roughened surface), as a hammer (the opposite bevel end witnessed heavy flaking), and, possibly, as a hand stone (the rounded sides reflecting mis-colouring) (Pl. 25:1). It should be mentioned that practically every stone found had some traces of use, often due to short periods of ad hoc working – like pecking and crushing – which leave traces which are not unambiguous macroscopically.

MILLING STONES (QUERNS) A dozen milling stones (querns), usually complete, were discovered at Lıga. The majority was found outˆ side the houses or in uncertain contexts. However, a


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Fig. VIII.1. Stone adze discovered outside northern wall of House 3.

Fig. VIII.2. Stone adze (serpentine).

walled grinding platform with a massive permanently installed milling stone (45¿40¿18 cm) was discovered in House 3, at the oven (Fig. III.12). In the vicinity was found a smaller milling stone with a flat surface, which most likely was used as a hand stone together with the stationary milling stone. A third milling stone also comes from this area, but the original context is uncertain (found outside the house next to the wall) (Fig. III.11). Only the stationary milling stone had traces of intensive use, which resulted in deep troughs on the grinding surface. A number of both intact and fragmented milling stones were discovered in ‘‘street areas’’ and at House 1. One big square milling stone (39¿16¿14 cm) made of fine-grained sandstone was found along with limestone rocks in the wall basis of House 4 (i.e., reused as a foundation stone). Some specimens, especially those fashioned of sandstone, were fire-crazed. All the discovered milling stones were flattened on one side and had a plano-convex cross-section, indicating their unifacial utilization, a fact supported by macro-wear analyses. The length varies between 27 and 37 cm with a maximum width of 20–25 cm, the thickness between 11 and 13 cm. The weight of the intact portable speciments is between 5.0 and 7.5 kg. The usual shape is oval, only one specimen is rectangular. The grinding surfaces are smooth and slightly concave, reaching a depth of 5–11 mm measured from surrounding edges. Some milling stones showed traces of deliberate pecking to roughen the grinding face. All were fashioned from medium-grained (in one case, coarse-grained) rocks, often sandstones but also other types, like granite, which has quartz components and a grainy structure, were appreciated.

Milling stones dominate over hand stones (including mortars), which are smaller, not exceeding 20 cm. Remarkably, all four hand stones were found within houses. Apart from the one mentioned as coming from House 3, three specimens were found at big storage containers in, respectively, House no. 1 (two specimens) and 2 (one). Two types can be distinguished: big flattened specimens with rounded sides to work with both hands in a back-and-forth motion, and smaller round ones (not exceeding 11 cm in diameter, only one found) to work in rotary motion. Both types were found in House 1. Excavations at Sadovec-Kaleto have demonstrated that utilization of milling stones was not limited to cereal processing. Colour pigments, such as ochra, could also be ground on such stones. Some worn-out milling stones or querns with time became mortars with different ranges of application. Ethnoarchaeological analogies suggest that even soft foods could be processed on milling stones.

AXES, ADZES, AND CHISELS In separating these three categories of implements, attention was paid to their shape, especially the crosssection of the cutting edge, where axes have a symmetrical cross-section with the working edge located in the middle, while the working edge of adzes is skewed. Attention was also paid to use-wear striations seen on the cutting edges. Micro striations perpendicular to the cutting edge indicate the utilization as an adze (i.e., chipping), while utilization as an axe (i.e., chopping) is leaving striations diagonal to the cutting edge (Semenov 1964; Prinz 1988).

Lıga ˆ
The majority of adzes have a regular trapezoidal shape with the sides tapering towards the butt end (Fig. VIII.1, Pl. 25:2). The working edge is convex (only in some cases straight and oblique) with a characteristic adze asymmetry. The cross-section is usually rectangular, but sometimes ellipsoidal. The butt end is rounded or straight. The length varies between 5.0 and 6.5 cm, the maximum width being about 4.0–4.3 cm. One of the discovered adzes was almost triangular in shape, reaching 7.8 cm; it had a flat base and a straight cutting-edge. Such implements were used to work on or to create rounded surfaces (Prinz 1988). Several implements had traces of hafting noted by opposite/diametrical depressions, ca. 1/3 from the butt end. Such traces indicate that adzes were hafted perpendicularly to the shaft. Another adze type has similarities with the chisels, being narrower than the first type, width ca. 2.5 cm. It is rectangular and symmetrical in shape while the convex working edge with perpendicular striations reflects utilization as an adze. Fine-grained igneous rocks, like basalt, were preferred but softer rocks, like serpentine, were also used (Fig. VIII.2). Macroscopic flaking is often seen on the cutting edge, especially on the lower face; butt ends are usually intact. Axes appear in a variety of sizes and shapes. The common feature for them all is heavy use-wear traces. Often axes are broken, despite the use of hard types of rock. The prevailing rock type among the large axes is diorite porphyry, while it is basalt among the smaller types. The smaller axes (up to 9.0¿4.5 cm) are almost rectangular with slightly tapering sides towards the rounded butt end (Pl. 25:3, 4). The crosssection is rectangular and the working edge straight and symmetrical. Another type (10.8¿4.5 cm) is the highly ground axe, also rectangular in cross-section and with straight cutting edge, but with a more elaborate side curvature, being twice as thick as the above described types (Fig. VIII.3, Pl. 25:5). The third type is not known as a whole piece; the discovered fragments indicate that it was rather long, reaching perhaps 15 cm with a maximum width not extending beyond 5 cm. It was rectangular with a convex edge and flattened butt end, the sides tapering towards the cutting edge, which is the narrow part of the implement. The edge is symmetrical, bevelled, the angle from the side being 40 æ (Pl. 25:6, 7). Some


Fig. VIII.3. Stone axe discovered in House 1 (length – 10.8 cm). Photo: R. Kolev.

Fig. VIII.4. Two chisels (1, 2) and axe (3) made of soft white stone.

macroscopic chipping may be found on the edge, and rounded flake removals on the butt end. The function of this implement type is not certain. The lack of flakes on the cutting edge indicates a rather short uselife while the narrowing towards the edge suggests that such tools might have been used as chisels for working with hard materials. Among the axes there is also a conspicuous specimen made of soft white stone (Fig. VIII.4:3, Pl. 25:8). Precise identification of the rock type is not possible without specialist studies, since a variety of rocks resemble white compact chalk (Antonovic 1997). The ´


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implement of 8.6¿3.3 (maximum) cm, made of finegrained soft and porous sandstone, with a bevelled asymmetrically rounded edge and flattened butt end. It has ellipsoidal cross-section and a rough surface. The cross-section of the edge indicates that it might have been used as a digging implement (Pl. 23:19).

Fig. VIII.5. Stone chisel (basalt).

butt end of this axe has been broken in prehistory, but the axe was used after that. The convex symmetrical edge was damaged during the excavation. The present dimensions are 4.8¿3.8¿1.6 cm. Flake removals over the surfaces and the direction of the flaking indicate that the flattened butt end had been exposed to blows. The cross-section is ellipsoidal. Although macro-wear traces reveal that this soft axe was in active use, its utilization remains unclear. Two types of chisels have been identified. The first type is a rather massive implement up to 6.0 cm in length and 2.5 cm in width, with a heavily battered butt end (Fig. VIII.5). The chisels are almost rectangular and symmetrical, with bevelled curved edges and a triangular or rectangular crosssection. Basalt is the preferred type of rock for these heavy duty chisels. The cutting edge often has traces of bilateral macroscopic flaking. The second type of chisel is a relatively long and narrow one, reaching 4.2 cm in length with the width varying between 1.2 and 1.6 cm (Fig. VIII.4:1, 2, Pl. 25:9). The cross section is rectangular (angular or rounded). Despite the small size and the assumption that soft woods were worked with such chisels, damage can be seen on both the cutting edge and the butt end. The cutting edge of both chisel-types is located in the middle. Careful and fine grinding is noted on all the mentioned implements within this group of tools. To the group should also be attributed a unique adze-like

SHAFT-HOLE AXES: CORES Although no shaft-hole axes was found, the discovery of two cylindrical cores from axe-hole drills indicates that this type of axes was also known and produced on the site. One core was complete, 3.2 cm long with end-diametres of 1.00 and 0.75 cm. It was made of schist with clear groves reflecting the rotating movement of the drilling tool. The other specimen was made of serpentinite with an overall diameter of 1.35 cm; this was broken, the maximum preserved length being 2.7 cm. The two cores show that two different perforation techniques were known.

SLING-STONES A number of sling-stones was discovered, mainly in the area of Sector 1/House 1. These are 3.5–4.0 cm long double-conical pebbles with a round cross-section (Pl. 24:7). It should also be mentioned that some sling-stones were in clay (Pl. 24:8). Presence of sling-stones supports the zoological analysis (Chapter X), demonstrating hunting of small animals, in particular.

RUBBING STONES AND POLISHERS Several items, different in form, can be attributed to this group. Flattened shiny surfaces indicate that the tools were applied on organic materials like leather or wool. Two schist pebbles had a natural bowl form (4.0¿3.7 and 5.9¿3.0 cm), one piece was used on the rounded ‘‘bottom’’ side, while the other had wear traces on the ‘‘edges’’. Other finds include a rounded quartzite pebble (5.4¿3.6¿3.3 cm) (Pl. 23:20). Within House 1, a fine-grained reddish flat sandstone was discovered, rectangular in shape (10¿12 cm), which could be identified as polisher, used both for stone and bone tools: firm conclusions not possible without micro-wear analysis.

Lıga ˆ

plication of stone implements in food processing numerically far outweighs their use in wood-working. Besides milling, stone tools were used for crushing, pounding, smashing, and so on. Stone tools were also very important in pottery production. Some stones were used for their natural appearance, hence, a cone of locally found flint/chert was recorded from Lıga. This had a round cross-secˆ tion; a natural hole through the middle of the stone made a use likely as loom-weight possible without further modifications. Prehistoric carpentry is a relatively unknown field, since little evidence on the final products has survived. Often, suggestions can only be made on the basis of the tools identified as relating to wood-working. Wooden supports and split-logs used for construction of houses evidently demanded massive axes and chisels, and adzes or flint scrapers for debarking. The presence of finer tools, especially those made of bones, suggests broader demands and skills for more sophisticated tasks than construction. Stone tools were no doubt also used in other, as yet not fully acknowledged areas such as masonry, including extraction and fashioning of the lime slabs found at Lıga. ˆ A separate issue is identification of the sources of the raw-materials used, including both geological and thorough comparative studies; such have not been possible in the present case.

An interesting find was made in House 2. One medium size vessel contained a small biconical vessel and 14 water-rolled pebbles (Fig. V.3). These can be grouped according to their size, shape and stone type. The main part is quartzite with whitish or reddish tinge while three pieces (fragmented) are of brown black siltstone. As to shape and size, there are five oval and one flat quartzite stone (2.7–3.1 cm long), four big quartzite balls (3.0–4.8 cm long), three oblong pointed siltstones (3.8–4.5 cm long), and two triangular quartzite pieces (4.6 cm long). In spite of the remarkable numeric order of the stones, these are most likely tools connected with production and surface treatment (smoothing and burnishing) of tiny biconical cups. Analyses of burnished pottery have led to the identification of a tool with a pointed edge, 2– 3 mm broad. Among the discovered implements such a tool seems to be lacking, the siltstones being the only pointed ones. Another group of implements connected with pottery production is also found in structures (House 1 and 2). It is a matter of rounded or oval stone discs, 4.5–5.0¿3.1–4.6 cm, and 0.8–1.0 cm thick, thinning out towards the edges, used in smoothing, for evening of surfaces, and for scraping surplus clay away (Fig. V.5). The shape was more significant than the rock type and hence tools of both sedimentary and metamorphic rocks were found. Pottery surfaces could also be smoothed with rather more massive stone implements, flat in cross-section, with a flat dorsal edge, and a ground surface on both sides of the edge. The shape of such tools resembles pottery shards, which are also used for pottery smoothing (Fig. V.4). Two finds of heavily burned fragile coarse-grained sandstones should also be mentioned, perhaps prepared for crushing and use as pottery tempering material.

SUMMARY Ground stone implements are a varied and important class of artefacts, finding application in all spheres of daily life. The identification of their utilization is often problematic, probably explaining why these tools – perhaps apart from the wood-working ones – only have received limited attention in scientific publications. At any rate, during the Copper Age, the ap-

ARCHAEOLOGICAL TYPES The table Fig. VIII.6 refers to the following typology of stone artefacts developed by S. Albek, which deviates some from the above classification: Stones with facets are of fist size and with one or more facets. Rock types are quartzite and finely grained granite. The type is very common and no doubt had several functions. Ball-shaped stones are small smooth quartz-stones, 1– 2 cm in diameter, often found several together. These are quite common, perhaps used in production of colours and medicines. Quern-stones are of two parts: a sleeper and a runner. The oval sleeper is 35–50 cm in length. It is usually made of reddish and greyish granite or sandstone. The runner can be rectangular, circular or oval, varying in size from 35 to less than 12 cm, it is often in


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ments, the original size being 5–15 cm. The real number is higher, since some specimens not identified during excavation. Stone hammers and pounders are finely worked tools of very hard finely grained rock or diabase, often with sharpened or finely polished areas. Some are re-used axes (without edge), others made for hammers; crosssections are rectangular or square. Stone chisels are finely made in diabase or basalt, the edges fine and sharp; the length is about 5 cm, the width 1–2 cm. Stone axes & adzes are, like hammers and chisels, finely made, often polished to the like of metal. Two drilling cores were found but no shaft-hole axes (see Other). Other comprises a fragment of a mould for a likely copper axe with slightly protruding edges, a fragment of a possible mould for metal plate (both sandstone), a drop-shaped flat limestone with very smooth surface, and two cylindrical cores from shaft-hole axes (cf. above). Tempering. Many stones found had the surfaced systematically hammered away, likely to produce temper for ceramics. The material is coarse sandstone, red with coarse grains, or yellow-green with fine grains, and with mica.

Fig. VIII.6. Table of stone artefacts.

hard fine-grained stone. These are quite common, and several were found in situ. Mortars are oblong, slender stones with percussions at one or both hemispherical ends, diameter about 5 cm; hard rocks were used, mostly granite, length 10– 15 cm. Polishing stones are smaller stones, less than 6–8 cm, the whole surface of which is usually finely polished and shiny, probably used in ceramic or textile production. Quartzite is used or other very hard finely grained rocks. The shape varies from egg, flatly oval to ball-shaped or other. A few may well be sling-stones. Hammerstones are up to fist size and used for hammering or crushing; there is much variation and both single and multiple hammering/crushing areas: no doubt both an ad-hoc and a specialized tool, the latter probably specimens in near perfect ball shape. Hard materials were selected; some specimens are just a coarse piece of unworked rock, of which one or two areas were used. Whetstones come in two types: finely grained sand stone and very hard amorphous rock. The specimens are flat, one or both sides with traces of sharpening, about 8 cm in length. Stones with smooth areas do not form a type of tool per se. Nevertheless, they have been used by man, and smaller or larger areas were being polished. Some or all may originally be cobbles. Hard granite but also some quartz and basalt were used. Most are frag-

COMPARISONS The best parallel to Lıga in terms of stone tools is the ˆ settlement of Sitagroi, Northern Greece (sixth to third millennium BC), one of the very few localities in the Balkans with published stone material from the Neolithic-Copper Age (Elster 2003). The determined raw materials used at Sitagroi are local (46 cases), nonlocal (67), and unknown (58), respectively. The high number of non-local rock likely reflects high mobility. Sitagroi also used much foreign flint (Chapter VII). The artefacts from Sitagroi were divided into Primary Tools (axes, etc.), Processors (stationary and movable grinding stones etc.), and Presenters (symbols, including mace heads), 505 specimens in all. The primary tools comprise 171 specimens (or 34%). The pertaining artefact types are: axe blades, 143 specimens, shaft-hole axes, 13, adze blades, 7, and, other, 8. The processors make up 307 specimens (61%). The pertaining types comprise: oval grinders/

Lıga ˆ
rubbers (106), flat querns (61), saddle querns (39), balls/pounders (37), hammer stones (29), and, other (37). The presenters make up 27 specimens (5%). The most marked difference to Lıga is the high ˆ number of primary tools, mainly axes, at Sitagroi in relation to other worked stone. The reason for this is probably that all stones were collected and studied at Lıga, since they evidently had come from some place ˆ else. This raises the number of ‘‘non-axe tools’’ at the Bulgarian site. By contrast, at Sitagroi, ‘‘common’’ stones have only been collected (and recorded) in the case of evident tools, not just ‘‘somewhat worked’’ stones. Finally, at Lıga some ‘‘worked stones’’, supposˆ edly, in the main common ‘‘hammer stones’’ and ‘‘stones with facets’’ may, as least in part, have been cobble stones from the first phase (Lıga 1) re-used in ˆ Lıga 2. ˆ The stone artefacts from Karanovo, in spite of an Early Copper Age date, make up the best comparative material to the Lıga sample (Hiller & Nikolov ˆ 1997). At Karanovo there is a very high number of axes (mostly adzes) – about 2/3 of the tools collected; there are some chisels too. In addition were found: quernstones (sleepers and runners), many hammerstones, polishers (including round ones of quartzite) and stones with traces of polishing, etc., including several types not found at Lıga (f.ex., polishers of arrowˆ shafts). BIBLIOGRAPHY

Antonovic, D. 1997. Use of Light White Stone in the Central Balk´ ans Neolithic. Rsaqinaq XLVIII, Belgrade. 33ff. Elster, E. 2003. Grindstones, Polished Edge-Tools, and Other Stone Artifacts. Elster & Renfrew 2003. 175ff. Elster, E. & C. Renfrew. 2003. Prehistoric Sitagroi. Excavations in Northeast Greece, 1968–1970 Vol. 2. The Final Report. Monumenta Archaeologica 20. Los Angeles (Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA). Galdikas, B. 1988. Milling Stones. McPherron & Srejovic 1988. ´ 338ff. Hiller, S. & V. Nikolov. 1997. Karanovo. Die Ausgrabungen im Südsektor 1984–1992. Österreichischbulgarische Ausgrabungen und Forschungen in Karanovo Vol. 1;1–2 (Text & Tafel). Salzburg (Archäologisches Institut, Universität Salzburg)/ Horn, Wien (Ferdinand Berger) & Sofia (Archäologisches Institut, Bulgarische Akademie der Wissenschaften). McParron, A. & D. Srejovic (eds.). 1988. Divostin. And the Neo´ lithic of Central Serbia. Ethnology Monographs 10. Pittsburgh (Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh). Prinz, B. 1988. The Ground Stone Industry from Divostin. McPherron & Srejovic 1988. 255ff. ´ K{nxfc K., 1970: Kamfnni oq{eiÄ os nfolisnoso rflizf kqai r. Xaceaq, Rouiirki okq{d. AqvfolodiÄ, kn. 4, XXX. K{nxfc K. & Nikoloc B. 1983. Oq{eiÄ na sqtea i rsopanrkiÄ gicos na rfliza os valkolisnasa fpova c{c Cqaxanrko. IhcfrsiÄ na mthfisf c rfcfqohapaena B{ldaqiÄ, 8, Cqawa. 9ff. Semenov, S. 1964. Prehistoric technology: An experimental study of the oldest tools and artefacts from traces of manufacture and wear. London, Cory, Adams and Mackay.

by Petar Zidarov

STATE OF RESEARCH The primary data under study here come from recent excavations at the settlement and cemetery of Lıga in ˆ Telish, Pleven district, Northern Bulgaria. In previous publications the site is referred to as Telish-Lıga, or ˆ simply, Lıga (Gergov 2001; etc.) to discern it from ˆ neighboring Telish-Redutite, the latter being the only completely investigated Copper Age multi-layered settlement in the area of the Krivodol-Salcuta-Bubanj ˇ ¸ Hum Ia (KSB) cultural complex (Gergov 1985; 1992a; 1992b). Redutite also has an important bone artefact assemblage. The site of Lıga, located 1.2 km from Redutite, is ˆ supposed to have been settled during periods when Redutite was not occupied. Unfortunately, the worked bone finds from Redutite have not yet been made available with only a few single objects being published (Gergov 1987; Ribarov & Boev 1997) or exhibited at the Historical Museum in Pleven. Thus, in the present study it will only be possible to present an account of the observations from Lıga, leaving out ˆ possible discussions on diachronic processes. Other archaeologically related sites are Sadovec-Golemanovo Kale (Todorova 1968; 1992), Devetashka Peshtera (Mikov & Dzhambazov 1960; Kunchev 1973), Krivodol (Nikolov 1984) and Zaminec (Nikolov 1975) in Bulgaria, as well as Salcuta in Romania (Berciu 1961) ˇ ¸ and Selevac in Serbia (Tringham & Krstic 1990). ´ Only Selevac has furnished comparable material, all other sites having only been studied through test trenches aimed at establishing the stratigraphic sequence. The only attempt to evaluate the role of bone tools – in comparison to chipped and polished stone tools from Copper Age sites in NW Bulgaria – is thus based on relative calculations of tools recovered from sounding trenches (of different dimensions) at various sites, disregarding association with archaeological structures as well as the nature of the particular de-

posits (Kanchev & Nikolov 1983). Such studies are therefore considered irrelevant to the Lıga material ˆ and will not be considered here. Since 1998, the author has had the opportunity to study several unpublished bone artefact collections recovered during systematic excavations at various sites roughly synchronous to Lıga. These are the tell settleˆ ments at Durankulak, Kableshkovo-Kozareva Mogila, Yunatsite, Hotnica, and Krivodol, as well as the cemeteries at Durankulak and Varna, courtesy of the respective project directors and museum curators, Prof. Dr. H. Todorova (Archaeological Institute and Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences), Dr. P. Georgieva (Sofia University), Mrs. V. Matsanova and Mrs. S. Ignatova (Museum of Pazardjik), Mr. N. Elenski (Museum of Veliko Turnovo), Mr. G. Ganecovski (Museum of Vratsa), and Dr. V. Slavchev (Museum of Varna). The purpose of the present study is to offer a general presentation of the characteristic traits of the assemblage. Thus microscopic examinations of use-wear patterns will not be addressed here.

THE SAMPLE The bone artefacts from Lıga belong to three distinct ˆ periods of human activity at the site, from subsequent phases of the Late Copper Age. Following the terminology developed for this publication, they are described respectively as: Lıga 1 – the initial occupation, ˆ a level greatly disturbed by activity in subsequent building horizons although recognizable as a distinctive unit on the basis of architectural elements (socalled House 0 – postholes, walls, plastered floor), pottery, small finds, etc., Lıga 2 – three completely excaˆ vated buildings with adjacent inter-building spaces and waste areas, and Lıga 3 – a cemetery. The stratiˆ graphic distribution of the bone tools is shown in Fig. IX.1. The majority of artefacts (72%) come from an intensively occupied area of Lıga 2. It represents an ˆ

Lıga ˆ


Fig. IX.1. Stratigraphic distribution of bone tools.

Fig. IX.2. Functional classes of bone artefacts: chronological distribution (count).

area with the highest percentage of bone tools per household as compared to contemporary settlements at Durankulak, Yunatsite, Hotnitsa or KableshkovoKozareva Mogila (Zidarov in print; unpublished personal observations). However, it must be noted that all of the latter are at least 200–350 km from Lıga ˆ and located in different types of landscapes, presenting various adaptive challenges and resulting in economic specializations. The said sites also differ significantly from Lıga in terms of methods of recovery and ˆ examination. Lıga is the only site where extensive ˆ screening was used during excavation and where all faunal remains were checked for traces of manufacture and wear. From a functional point of view, one can divide the finds roughly into classes by identifying the tools and the handles for tools as critical objects, in order to distinguish them from body ornaments, figurines, and flattened short bones, all referred to as ‘‘non-utilitarian’’ objects. Fragments bearing traces of manufacture and/or use, as well as manufacturing waste, are grouped as ‘‘other’’ (Fig. IX.2). Interestingly, whereas the proportional ratio between utilitarian and nonutilitarian finds in Lıga 1 and Lıga 3 tends to match ˆ ˆ the expectation that there would be more tools found in a habitation area and more body ornaments and figurines in graves, Lıga 2 contained 55% non-utiliˆ tarian finds. Specifics about their distribution related to dwelling structures in Lıga 2 are provided in Fig. ˆ IX.3. From a typological point of view, bone artefacts constitute three main groups: tools, ornaments, and miscellaneous. Typically for prehistoric sites, the most numerous tools are points, followed by bevel-edged and spatulate implements. The category of tools is closely associated with bone and antler hafts. At Lıga, ˆ antler was used to fasten chipped- or ground-stone tools. The single handle from sheep metacarpus may

Fig. IX.3. Lıga 2. Spatial distribution of functional classes of bone ˆ artefacts (count).

have held a metal awl to judge by contemporary examples from other contemporary sites. Ornaments comprise beads, pendants and applique. ‘‘Miscel´ laneous’’ is the term used to group non-utilitarian objects such as figurines or flattened short bones. To a great extent this division is mirrored in the archaeological context. Body ornaments at Lıga for instance, ˆ are almost exclusively recovered from graves, unlike the other two categories, occurring in habitation areas.


Seven bone artefacts can be attributed to the earliest occupational level at the site (Fig. IX.1): two beveledged tools (Pl. 26:1,4), one point (Pl. 26:3), one antler haft (for a polished stone chisel?), one flat anthropomorphic figurine (Pl. 26:6), one transversely sawn deer antler tine without signs of use, probably manufacture waste (Pl. 26:2) and finally, a fragment of boar tusk with rounded edges that has undergone dramatic alteration due to extreme heat and subsequent weathering, but which was likely employed as a scraping/ smoothing tool (Pl. 26:5). All tools from Lıga 1 are ˆ made in an expedient manner from long bones of large mammals, seemingly from pieces retrieved from kitchen refuse, unlike the tools from Lıga 2 discussed ˆ below. The single point and one of the bevel-edged tools are most likely from cattle tibia splinters, whereas the second bevel-edged tool is from cattle


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Lıga 2 are very carefully planned, manufactured in a ˆ uniform way, and often reworked. The large numbers of worked bone per household clearly demonstrates that as a category of artefacts they must have had a certain importance, in spite of the co-existence of copper technology, revealed in by metal implements (Lıga 2) and crucibles (Lıga 1), cf. Chapter VI. ˆ ˆ

ˆ LIGA 3: CEMETERY Fig. IX.4. Lıga 2. Summary: bone artefacts and their spatial distriˆ bution (count).

ulna. In all three cases, the natural form of the pieces is basically preserved and only the active ends are elaborately shaped through rubbing against abrasive stone. Although relatively worn from use, the working parts of all the tools are fully functional after minor sharpening. Recent damage on two tools prevents discussion on whether they were discarded when fully functional, or deposited in another way.


The finds of bone tools from Lıga 2 and their types, ˆ are listed in Fig. IX.4, cf. Pl. 27. As noted, tools are relatively evenly distributed. Each of the houses yielded at least two pointed tools. There were points only in House 2, while there is a tendency for further specialization in the others. In House 3 there was a concentration of bevel-ended tools while in House 1 five spatulate tools were found as well as 3 bone awls π 1 copper awl (Fig. VI.13) and 2 copper pins (Fig. VI.14). All hafts were concentrated in House 3. These belong to different types: one is an antler sleeve with two openings, one of which was inserted into a wooden shaft. The other was meant to hold a polished stone tool, possibly an adze (Pl. 27:8). The third one, made of sheep metacarpus, served as a socket for a tiny metal tool: a copper pin or drill (Fig. VI.15, Pl. 27:6). The distribution of the non-utilitarian finds also reveals a clear asymmetrical pattern with a significant concentration in House 1. The possible implications are discussed below. Generally speaking, the majority of the tools from

Several graves held artefacts made of animal skeletal materials, mostly different combinations of bone and shell. In possible association with Grave no. 1 – a child of 6–7 years – a domestic pig metatarsus with a flattened distal articulation was found (Fig. IX.5, Pl. 28:1). Such finds are specific for the Late Copper Age in Bulgaria and are usually interpreted as a particular kind of anthropomorphic figurine, having very close counterparts made in clay (cf. Fol 1988, 254ff.; Biehl 2003). They are termed ‘‘prismatic figurines’’ (Comsa ¸ 1984), based on the outline, or ‘‘stupalni [foot] idoli’’ (in Bulgarian), emphasizing their biological origin (Chilingirov 1910). In this particular case, the proximal end is missing but the important distal end is seemingly intact. To judge by other specimens with preserved copper earrings (Todorova & Vajsov 2001, Pl. 44), this part is supposed to represent the head of the figurine. Deposition of pars pro toto goods is often seen in Late Copper Age burials in Bulgaria, for instance at the cemeteries of Durankulak (Todorova 2002), and Varna (Ivanov & Avramova 2000; Fol & Lichardus 1988). The attention paid to various small bones in the Copper Age is discussed below. Another possible pars pro toto item from Lıga is the cattle ˆ horncore recovered in Grave no. 5 (Fig. XI.7–9), cf. the cattle skulls (bucrania) recovered in cemetery of Durankulak (Todorova 2002). Another prismatic figurine, with an identical fragmentation pattern, was discovered 1.2 m NE of Grave no. 2 (Pl. 28:2). The grave pit is dug into settlement debris, making the association with the grave questionable. A rectangular bone plate decorated with diagonal rows of encircled dots (Pl. 28:11) was discovered in Grave no. 4, in the area of the chest, under the bent left arm. It is made on the split rib of cattle or aurochs and has perforations on both short sides. With regards to context, it seems to have hung on a long string around the neck.

Lıga ˆ
Similar specimens are known from the Varna cemetery (exhibition, National Historical museum, Sofia) and from Kirilovo (Todorova & Vajsov 2001, Pl. 24). Shell necklaces of different compositions were recovered in Graves nos. 6 and 7. In the first case, the necklace consisted of 8 cylindrical dentalium beads divided at the front by a bone imitation of a red deer canine (Fig. XI.12, Pl. 28:10); it was recovered under the mandible and between the skull and the atlas of an 18–19 year old male, thus, hanging around his neck. In Grave no. 7, a double grave of an adult male (25–30 years) embracing a ca. 11⁄2 year old child, dentalium shells again dominate, this time complemented by cardium shells (Fig. XI.11); a single large dentalium bead was found below the scapula of the adult, thus showing that it either hung loosely from the neck or was a separately deposited grave gift. A double necklace of altering dentalium and cardium shells ornamented the neck of the child (Fig. XI.15). The composition of the necklaces requires particular attention. The two shell families, Dentalium and Cardium are marine species and their presence more than 300 km from the nearest seashore raises the question of their provenance. A study by Willms (1985), updated by Todorova (1995), demonstrates that the Spondylus and Dentalium finds have their highest concentration in the area of the Varna culture but also spread gradually along the Danube and its tributaries North-Westwards to the Rhine Valley. Thus, the proximity of Lıga to the river Vit, one of ˆ the principal southern tributaries of the Danube in Bulgaria conforms well with the general distribution pattern. Nevertheless, a working hypothesis was tested that the shells could be mined fossils. In fact, in the vicinity of Pleven (25 km from Lıga) fossil dentalium ˆ and possibly cardium shells have been collected on the surface at least until the 1970s (N. Zidarov, pers.comm.). Although the survey of the Lıga team in ˆ 2001 was not successful in obtaining reference samples, a report by N. Andreasen, Copenhagen & Cambridge universities, discards the fossil interpretation. Another interesting issue is raised by the discovery of the imitation of a red deer ‘‘Grandel’’, a canine, in Grave no. 6. Its central position on a necklace of imported exotic shells suggests a particular value, likely due to the fact that only the adult red deer stag


Fig. IX.5. Pig metatarsus with flattened articulations of the distal epiphysis, a so-called prismatic idol, found in Grave 1. Photo: R. Kolev.

has a representative pair of such teeth. During the Holocene, with very few exceptions, the wearing of red-deer canines as beads is a phenomenon characteristic for a timeline starting at the end of 6th and ending sometime in the 4th millennium BC. The custom was widely spread throughout Europe only to be replaced by predators’ canines sometime in the early 3rd millennium BC, possibly reflecting a significant change in ideology towards warrior/hunter-related values mediated through symbolic display. Usually found in very rich graves, the canines are seen as signs of prestige or clan affiliation (Choyke 2001). Contemporary graves from Varna and Durankulak – with necklaces of dozens of real canines (Todorova & Vajsov 2001, Tab. 24) – are highly suggestive. The


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Hence, it cannot be excluded, that certain items might have been intentionally deposited under the floor of House 1 in a foundation ritual. Particularly characteristic for the Lıga 2 assemˆ blage is the attention paid to the shaping of various kinds of short bones, such as astragalus, the 1st and 2nd phalanges of medium-size ungulates, and pig metapodials (Pl. 28). To avoid confusion, the adjective ‘‘short’’ applied to a bone in the following discussion will be used in a casual sense and thus somewhat incorrectly in terms of anatomy. In general, skeletal elements are divided into three principal classes: long bones – the tubular bones of the extremities that are roughly round in section at the diaphysis and have distinct epiphyses, such as the femur, tibia, etc.; flat bones – mainly the bones of the cranium, the pelvis and the ribs; and short or irregular bones – mainly from elements of the vertebral column and the cubic bones of the extremities, such as phalanges, astragali, etc. Strictly speaking, the metapodials are always classified as long bones, but in fact pig metapodials do, in size, anatomical position, as well in overall appearance, closely resemble phalanges and would probably be approached accordingly by anyone who is not aware of present day taxonomy. That is why, with regards to past cognition and for the purposes of the present study, it was found appropriate not to separate these bones from the short bones. The flattening of the lateral sides of the astragali is a characteristic trait for Anatolia, the Balkans and the Carpathian Basin since the Neolithic. The assigning of stylized anthropomorphic features to pig metapodial is documented repeatedly at Late Copper Age sites from the eastern parts of the Balkans, the two major cultural areas of Krivodol-Salcuta-Bubanj Hum Ia ˘ ¸ and Kodzadermen-Gumelnita-Karanovo VI. Both ¸ ˇ bones appear commonly in excavation reports, often with the assumption that the former were used as gaming pieces and the latter anthropomorphic idols. Flattening of phalanges has only occasionally been reported. R. Popov published a flattened red-deer phalanx from Tell Kodzadermen, mentioning that ˇ similar finds were discovered in his earlier excavations at Salmanovo and Madara (Popov 1918:91f.). Another single find of a 2nd phalanx of sheep is known from Tell Kozareva Mogila near Kableshkovo, in the Burgas region (Zidarov in print). This has been flat-

phenomenon of hoarding larger amounts of rare and valuable items becomes clearly articulated towards the end of the Bulgarian Late Copper Age (Gaydarska et al. 2004).

NON-UTILITARIAN BONE FINDS Lıga assemblages are particularly interesting because ˆ of the number and variety of so-called ‘‘non-utilitarian’’ bone finds. Most of those interesting finds come from reliable archaeological contexts. The flat anthropomorphic figurine from Lıga 1 (Pl. ˆ 26:6) raises key questions regarding attitudes towards such objects in Copper Age society. Close examination reveals at least two (if not three) superimposed patterns of incised decorations on both faces. As previously recognized, the use-life of this kind of figurines was extended by reshaping after damage, unlike the clay figurines which, to my knowledge, were never repaired or reused after breaking. A classic case of novel use is a flat bone figurine from KableshkovoKozareva Mogila (Zidarov in press); this was broken in two at the ‘‘waist’’, but the important lower part was carefully preserved and furnished with a suspension hole. The dotted decoration pattern on this piece (as well as numerous others) corresponds closely to the Lıga specimen in the organization of the motive. ˆ Thus, it possibly designates an element of the costume that in this particular archaeological context might be associated with the round gold cloth appliques, found ´ in great numbers in the Copper Age cemetery of Varna I. The two superimposed decoration patterns on the Lıga figurine show that it was decorated by two differˆ ent owners having differing ideas about the motif. The first carver prepared a stylized outline with proportions closely following the natural ones, the termination of certain body parts being marked with incised lines. The second carver, by contrast, departed completely from the nature of the female figure, significantly changing the place of the pubic triangle, thus imposing rather abstract signifiers for body parts and ornamental elements (costume?). Unfortunately, the reasons for the deposition of the item cannot be determined: it was found ca. one metre from the outer southern wall of a house belonging to the Lıga ˆ 1 settlement, under the floor of House 1 of Lıga 2. ˆ

Lıga ˆ
tened on its palmar side, like the finds from Lıga, but ˆ also on the caudal one at the distal epiphysis where, additionally, a suspension hole was drilled. To my knowledge, the interpretative implications of these finds has never attracted particular scientific interest. They seem to be underrepresented in excavation reports as well. One of the reasons could be that faunal material was often sampled during recovery and such minor modifications would easily go unnoticed by non-specialists. It is noteworthy that the major part of the worked phalanges from Lıga were recovered only ˆ after a thorough search of the faunal remains (cf. Chapter X). Here an interpretative analysis of the possible utilization of various flattened short bones will be suggested, taking into account contextual data. Phalanges from the extinct Equus Hydruntinus were recovered in Copper Age graves at the cemtery of Durankulak (Todorova 2002). H. Todorova pays special attention to the strict association of these items with male graves rich in supposed ceremonial finds, and suggests their possible use in ritual practices. Along the same line of interpretation is the discovery of more than 200 phalanges and astragali intentionally deposited under the floor of a Late Copper Age building at Tell Hotnitsa in the Veliko Turnovo region (Chokhadzhiev & Elenski 2002:15). This assemblage, recovered within half a square meter, pertains to a wide range of wild and domesticated animals, including red-deer, cattle, aurochs, wild boar, sheep and goat; the find could be interpreted as a foundation deposit. These cases also give rise to the idea that unworked phalanges could have been associated with apotropaic powers over individuals and property. The identification of flattened pig metapodials as stylized anthropomorphic representations – prismatic figurines or ‘‘stupalni idoli’’ in Bulgarian – was the subject of one of the very first articles on worked bone artefacts in Bulgarian archaeological literature, the morphologically identical clay figurines being known already at that time (Chilingirov 1910). A century later, there are many publications of such finds, both in clay and bone, some allowing a better understanding of the stylized details encoded in the image. On some figurines, facial traits are marked and metal earrings attached to the articulations of the distal epiphysis, thus, identifying the head, whereas others have a

significant opening at the lower part. Flattened prismatic figurines are likely to be identified with femalerelated powers, whereas their modest size implies apotropaic use as personal talismans. Often it is hard to find contextual information in the excavation reports about these artefacts. Luckily, during the first excavation season at Lıga, one slightly worked pig ˆ metapodium was found in Grave no. 1 (Pl. 28:1), another might be associated with Grave no. 2 (Pl. 28:2), cf. Chapter XI. The flattened astragali are traditionally seen as gaming pieces due to their similarity to the ones used in the game of knucklebones. Varieties of this game have been recorded in written and pictorial sources from the Mediterranean ever since Homer (Iliad XXIII.88). The rapid decrease in popularity of the game seems to coincide with the industrialization of traditional societies. In the past, astragali were also intentionally deposited as votives in sacred places. This custom is frequently documented during Classical Antiquity but often overlooked by archaeologists dealing with prehistoric periods. Again, the limited attention paid in the early days of archaeology to the particular context of finds is not helpful when searching for the possible ritual use of flattened astragali. Nevertheless, a golden model of a sheep astragalus furnished with a suspension hole, was recovered from Grave 36 from the Copper Age cemetery of Varna I. Grave 36 is a symbolic grave (cenotaph) in which no human remains were found. Still, it is extremely rich in goods, among which gold and copper regalia, zoomorphic representations in gold and clay, as well as numerous cloth and body ornaments were mostly found arranged as if ornamenting a human figure (Ivanov 1998:196f.). The composition of this extraordinary find complex is certainly intended to reflect conceptual constructs, furnishing clear evidence that during the late 5th millennium BC laterally flattened astragali played a role in ritual activities. As indicated by the suspension hole, in this particular case, the golden astragalus must have been worn as an ornament, probably signaling a role in society not linked per se to a particular person but rather – as indicated by the symbolic grave – to the institution that the powers in question embodied. Thus, the various small bones with flattened sides – the prismatic figurines from pig metapodials and the laterally flattened astra-


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wide variety of tool types, especially in the Lıga 2, is ˆ a testimony to the many craft activities practiced by inhabitants of the village. Of special interest is the abundance of non-utilitarian objects in the same phase. The association of flattened astragali and phalanges with other special finds, or their occasional occurrence in funeral contexts, suggest that these small bone items could have been possibly used for apotropaic purposes rather than as gaming pieces. Finally, body ornaments recovered in the graves help in the reconstruction of the personal ornaments of the period. The necklaces, mostly composed of marine shells, likely travelled several hundred kilometres, demonstrate the wider limits and the directions of contacts at Copper Age Lıga. ˆ

gali, even palmar-flattened phalanges, all seem to be associated with ritual practices. If one considers the particular archaeological situations in which various flattened short bone objects were recovered at Lıga, noteworthy patterns emerge ˆ (Fig. IX.4). The plotting of bone artefacts reveals a significantly high concentration of various kinds of objects in the interior and the area immediately outside House 1. Interestingly, this structure also displays a concentration of a wide spectrum of special finds, like ‘‘clay altars’’, ‘‘baby feeding bottles’’, copper artefacts, anthropomorphic figurines, in addition to the astragali, etc. (cf. Chapter VI). The latter come in two sizes (cattle and sheep), one, with a perforation, is also decorated (Pl. 28:5). This combination of finds having a presumably ritual use reveals some particular aspects of the life of the occupants, as well as a context for the use of flattened phalanges and astragali in ritual practices. By contrast, the occurrence of few astragali and phalanges in dwellings with mostly mundane inventories probably indicate their popularity as personal talismans, possibly also used in divination (rather than as a gaming piece). It should be mentioned, that one of side-flattened sheep astragalus was discovered inside a fine ware vessel in House 2 (Pl. 9:1).

Berciu, D. 1961. Contributii la problemele neoliticului in Romania in lumina noilor cercetari. Bucuresti. Biehl, P. 2003 Studien zum Symbolgut des Neolithikums und der Kupferzeit in Südosteuropa. Saarbrücker Beiträge zur Altertumskunde 64. Bonn: Habelt. Choyke, A.M. 2001. Late Neolithic Red Deer Canine Beads and Their Imitations. In: Choyke & Bartosiewicz (eds.), Crafting Bone: Skeletal Technologies through Time and Space, 251ff. Proceedings of the 2nd meeting of the (ICAZ) Worked Bone Research Group, Budapest. BAR IS 937. Oxford: Archaeopress. Comsa E. 1984 Figurines d’os prismatique d’epoque Neolithique ¸ ´ en Roumanie. Pontica XVII: 15–23. Fol A., Lichardus, I. et al. 1988. Macht, Herrschaft und Gold. Saarbrücken. Gaydarska B., Chapman J., Angelova I., Gurova M., Yanev, S. 2004 Breaking, Making and Trading: the Omurtag Eneolithic Spondylus Hoard. Archaeologia Bulgarica VIII/2, 11–34. Georgieva, P. 1990. Periodization of the Krivodol-Salcuta-Bubanj ˘ ¸ Culture. In: Vinca and It’s World. 167–171. Beograd. Ivanov, I., Avramova, M. 2000. Varna Necropolis. The dawn of European civilization. Sofia: Agatho. Jovanovic, B. 1998. Salcuta IV, Krivodol and Bubanj: Similarities ˘ ¸ ´ and Differences in the Late Eneolithic of the Central Balkans. In: In the Steps of James Harvey Gaul, vol. I, 197–202. Sofia. Todorova Simeonova, H. 1968. Die vorgeschichtlichen Funde von Sadovec (Nordbulgarien). Jahrbuch des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums Mainz 15:15–63. Todorova, H. 1992. Bericht über die Kontrolgrabung von 1979 auf Golemanovo Kale und Neueauswertung des prähistorischen Fundgutes in die spätantiken Befestigungen von Sadovec (Bulgarien). Münchner Beitrage zur Vor- und Fruhgeschichte 43. München. Todorova, H. 1995. Bemerkungen zum fruhen Handelsverkehr ¨ wahrend des Neolithikums und des Chalkolithikums im ¨

SUMMARY The bone artefacts from Lıga are significant in several ˆ respects, in particular since their general contexts are known – occupation levels, houses, and graves, as well as differences in the composition of the documented assemblages. Interestingly, the Lıga 1 assemblage is ˆ characterised by expediency with regards to craft peoples’ attitude towards bone as a worked material. By contrast, a clearly attested tendency towards planning and careful execution of manufacture seems to have been customary in Lıga 2. ˆ The remarkable flat figurine reveals high workmanship skills compared to the less careful work on most Lıga 1 tools. The secondary decoration of the ˆ figurine testifies to development in decorative concepts through time (or across space, if imported) and the co-existence of different perceptions. Change of ownership is suggested by re-location of lines demarking body regions on the same figurine. The rather

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westlichen Schwarzmeerraum. Hansel, B., Hrsg., Handel, Tausch ¨ und Verkehr im bronze- und fruheisenzeitlichen Sudosteuropa. Prahist. ¨ ¨ ¨ Arch. Sudosteuropa 11: 53–66. Munchen, Berlin. ¨ ¨ Todorova H. 2000. Die Spondylus-Problematik heute. In S. Hiller and V. Nikolov (eds.), Karanovo III: Beiträge zum Neolithikum in Südosteuropa, 415–422. Wien. Todorova, H., 2002: Durankulak, Band II. Die prähistorischen Gräberfelder von Durankulak. Teil 1. Deutsches Archäologisches Insititut in Berlin. Sofia. Todorova, H., Vajsov, I., 2001. Die kupferzeitliche Schmuck Bulgariens. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner. Tringham, R., Krstic, D., 1990. Selevac: A Neolithic Village in ´ Yugoslavia. Monumenta Archaeologica 15. Los Angeles: University of California. Willms, C. 1985. Neolithischer Spondylusschmuck. Hundert Jahre Forschung. Germania 63: 331–343. Zidarov, P. In press. Worked Bone Collection from Tell Kozareva mogila, Southeastern Bulgaria. Proceedings of the 3rd Meeting of the (ICAZ) Worked Bone Research Group in Basel, Switzerland. Basel. Dfqdoc, C. 1985. Pairsoqixfrkoso rflizf c m. Qfetsisf pqi r. Sfliy. Mthfi i pamfsniwi na ktlstqasa XXV 1: 31-33. Dfqdoc, C. 1987. Mfeni navoeki os pqairsoqixfrkoso rflizf c m. Qfetsisf pqi Sfliy, Plfcfnrki okq. AqvfolodiÄ XXVIII 4: 44–48. RouiÄ. Dfqdoc, C. 1992a. MÄrsoso na rflizfso Sfliy-Qfetsisf c PqfvoeniÄ pfqioe k{m QBF. AqvfolodiÄ 2. RouiÄ. Dfqdoc, C. 1992b. Eoirsoqixfrkof porflfnif SfliyQfetsisf. Studia Preaehistorica 11–12: 347–357. RouiÄ. Dfqdoc, C. 2001. Aqvfolodixfrki qahkopki na pqairsoqixfrkoso rflizf c m. ‘‘L{da’’ pqi r. Sfliy, Plfcfnrka Oblars, pqfh 2000 d. Aqvfolodixfrki oskqisiÄ i qahkopki ha 1999–2000 d., c. 15–17. XL HAK. RouiÄ.

K{nxfc, K. 1973. Ha obqaboskasa i ihpolhcanfso na korssa pqfh nfolisa, fnfolisa i bqonhocasa fpova. AqvfolodiÄ XV, 2. K{nxfc, K., Nikoloc B. 1983. Oq{eiÄ na sqtea i rsopanrkiÄ gicos na rfliza os valkolisnasa fpova c{c Cqaxanrko. IhcfrsiÄ na mthfisf c rfcfqohapaena B{ldaqiÄ, 8: 9–35, Cqawa. Mikoc, C. 1934. Ieolnasa plarsika pqfh nocokamfnnasa fpova. IhcfrsiÄ na B{ldaqrki aqvfolodixfrki inrsists 8: 183–214, RouiÄ. Mikoc, C. 1948. Pqfeirsoqixfrkoso rflizf eo Kqicoeol, Cqaxanrko. Qahkopki i pqotxcaniÄ. 1: 26–56. RouiÄ. Mikoc, C., Egambahoc N. 1960. Efcfsaykasa pfzfqa. RouiÄ. Nikoloc, B. 1975. Haminfw, pqairsoqixfrkoso rflizf pqi r. Doqna Kqfmfna. RouiÄ. Nikoloc, B. 1984. Kqicoeol – eqfcni ktlstqi. RouiÄ. Popoc, Q. 1918. Koega-Efqmfnrkasa modila pqi dq. Ytmfn. IhcfrsiÄ na aqvfoloditfrkoso eqtgfrsco VI, 1916–18. RouiÄ. Qibaqoc, D., Bofc, H. 1997. Korsni orsanki os eici i eomayni gicosni os pqairsoqixfrkoso rflizf ‘‘SfliyQfetsisf’’ pqi r. Sfliy (Plfcfnrko). Historia naturalis bulgarica 7: 61–70. RouiÄ. Xilindiqoc, A. 1910. Rs{palni korsni ieoli. IhcfrsiÄ na aqvfolodixfrkoso eqtgrfrsco. RouiÄ. Xovaegifc, R., N. Flfnrki 2002. Aqvfolodixfrki pqotx˘ caniÄ c rfliznasa modila kqai rflo Vosniwa, Cflikos{qnocrko, pqfh 2001 d. XLI Nawionalna aqvfolodixfrka konufqfnwiÄ. Aqvfolodixfrki oskqisiÄ i qahkopki 2001: 15. RouiÄ.

by Jesper Sørensen Østergaard

THE SAMPLE The animal bones from Lıga were studied already ˆ during excavation and analyzed in the field (Fig. X.1). Close instruction of the excavators raised the number of animal bone fragments recovered several times over. The location of every specimen was mapped and the item individually classified according to degree of preservation: no damage, damage old, or damage recent (Fig. X.2). A distinction was also made between natural damage, damage due to context, to excavation tools, recovery, drying, transportation, or to storage (in paper bags). Such notes are quite useful since damage is much harder to classify after a period of storage (and drying). In addition, information was thereby obtained on the level of preservation of organic material in the different areas and levels of the excavation, which aided the procedure of work. An example is sondages 8A and 8B (refuse area), with good preservation throughout. The thin bones, such as shoulder blades, ribs, and hips, are the weakest (large surface). These bones also tend to generate a lot of fragments when excavated, especially when dry. Also here notes on the state of preservation are helpful, as are words on the weather conditions during excavation (dryness generate more fragments). Such time-consuming exercises are necessary to determine the degree of representation of a bone sample from different areas and layers in an excavation. Flotation was carried out on important soil samples (in and around ovens, for example). Dry sieving was not productive and was abolished. Some bone microfossils were probably lost, but not too many (for details of excatation techniques, see above). 4820 bone fragments (N) were identified and analyzed according to standard methods and procedures (Fig. X.1). All data were entered into an Access database – point of departure for further studies as well as the present tables and statistics. The number of fragments may seem limited, but compared with the

modest extension of excavated area (275 m2) (Fig. X.4). it is much higher than at other sites. Many bones suffering from drying and splintering were refitted. Unfortunately, it was not permitted to take the bones to Denmark for a period of comparative studies (for this reason, teeth and jaws were excluded when determining age of individuals). 716 of the fragments (N) could be identified as to species. The rather more uncertain minimum number of individuals (MNI) was also established for each species (on the basis of paired bones). Among the domesticated animals (164 MNI), cattle amounts to

Fig. X.1. Amounts and percentages of animal bones distributed in the excavated sondages, cf. Fig. II.3.

Lıga ˆ
36, sheep/goat to 94, pig to 17 and dog also to 17; wild animals amount to 24 MNI. The ratio domesticated animals versus wild ones is, in percentages, 87 to 13% on basis of the limited MNI numbers of the present sample. Also age profiles were tentatively established, by looking at the stage of growth of the bones and joints. In the end, fragment numbers (N) were employed generally, including teeth, to determine the differing weight of the species (Fig. X.3).



Some bones with traces of wear and work – even fragments of bone tools – were recovered during the detailed study of the bone sample, otherwise consisting of refuse from meals and work (cf. Chapter IX on quality bone artefacts). These fragments of tools, worked bones etc. are not added to the species list. Fragments of bone tools and figurines, and bones with marks of work and wear amount to 150 (cf. Fig. X.2). Among these bones, a few are with certainty cervidae (dear antler) or bos (horn of cattle). Pig-phalanxes without wear, which may have been used for gaming pieces (or in rituals), are included in the above species lists. The techniques of manufacture and the function of tools were also studied. A correlation exists between the thickness of the wall of the bone and the type of tool. Bones with walls above 0.5 cms are used for heavy tools (blows and stabs), bones with walls below 0.5 cms are used for light tools (awls, etc.). Tools were never made from casual fragments: quite the contrary, a thorough selection is noted with regards to hardness of the material – soft tissue being ignored and older animals preferred. Probably, the heavy duty tools came from old large animals, in particular cattle, with large massive tick-walled bones. The smaller tools are likely from sheep/goat, the bones of which are easily turned into awls.

Fig. X. 2. State of preservation and patterns of use of/damage to the Lıga bone sample. ˆ


The following settlements in the Balkans have yielded published animal bone samples of some size and interest to the current study (cf. Fig. X.5).

BULGARIA Karanovo, Nova Zagora. Largest Neolithic tell in Bulgaria, 250¿150¿121⁄2 m. Continuity Early NeolithicLate Copper Age, and Early Bronze Age. Excavated by V. Mikov 1936, G.I. Georgiev & V. Mikov 1947– 57, S. Hiller & V. Nikolov 1988–2000. Sofia-Slatina, Sofia. Early Neolithic (Karanovo I & II). Bones (from upper level of settlement strata) studied by S. Bökönyi. Vaksevo, Kjustendil. At River Elesnica feeding Struma. 850 m2 excavated. Early Neolithic, Late Copper Age, and Early Bronze Age. The Vaksevo sample is a collective one from neighbouring sites (two) at Studeno Voda and (one) at Skaleto; studied by H. Uerpmann & L. Ninov. Ovcharovo-Gorata, Targoviste. Investigated by H. Todorova at the beginning of the 1980s. Karanovo II. Bones studied by G. Nobis. Golyamo-Delchevo, Varna. Tell 4.9 m high. Karanovo I–II, III–IV, V & VI. Excavated by H. Todorova 1968–70. In Karanovo VI a cemetery of 31 inhumations in hocker. Ovcharovo, Razgrad. Tell 60 m across¿41⁄2 m. Poly-


Acta Archaeologica

Fig. X.3. Lıga bone sample. N – number of bones, MNI – minimal number of individuals. ˆ

anica (Karanovo V) & Gumelnita-Kodzadermen-Ka¸ ˇ ranovo VI. Excavated by H. Todorova 1971–1973. Vinitsa, Shumen. Tell 55¿45¿5 m. Karanovo V, Sterile layer VI. Totally excavated 1965–69 by A. Raduncheva. At the site were 46 inhumations from Karanovo VI. Drama, Yambol, Tundza Valley. Tell 160¿20 m. Kar-

anovo V, VI & Early Bronze Age. Excavated by Bulgarian-German team 1983. Ezero, Nova Zagora. Tell 200¿145¿10 m. Karanovo III, IV, V, VI & Early Bronze Age/Ezero A-B. Excavated by V. Mikov 1952–58, by Bulgarian-Soviet team 1961–71 headed by V. Mikov, R. Katincarov & N.J. Merpert.

Lıga ˆ


Fig. X.4. View from NE towards the excavated area. Front – area of Sector 2, back – area of Sector 1. In the background, the plain where Telish village is situated.

GREECE Sitagroi, Thessaly. Northeast of Thessaloniki, East of the mouth of Struma. Tell. Cultural layer of 101⁄2 m, Neolithic & Early Bronze Age. Close similarities to the Balkan cultures in pottery and figurines. Excavated 1968–69 by international team headed by M. Gimbutas & C. Renfrew. Ca. 15,000 bones studied by S. Bökönyi. Platia Magoula Zarkou (P.M. Zarkou), Thessaly. On Volos Bay near River Peneios. Tell. Neolithic to Early Bronze Age. 11,613 animal bones studied by C. Becker. Otzaki Magoula, Thessaly. On Volos Bay near River Peneios. Tell. Neolithic to Early Bronze Age. 776 bones studied by J. Boessneck Achillion, Thessaly. On Volos Bay. Neolithic to Early Bronze Age. 7,779 bones studied by S. Bökönyi. Kastanas, Macedonia. On River Axios. Excavated at

the end of the 1970s. Early Bronze Age to Iron Age. Ca. 90,000 bones from all layers, 35,104 determined according to species, of which 926 Early Bronze Age. MACEDONIA Anza. Between Skopje and Stip (Ovce Polje region), near Nikolskaja, a tributary to the Vardar. Excavated in 1960, and 1969–70 by a joint Yugoslav-American campaign headed by M. Garasanin and M. Gimbutˇ as. Cultural layers mainly from Early Neolithic to Copper Age. Ca. 45,000 bones of which 19,185 could be identified as studied by S. Bökönyi.

COMMENTS The data from Telish-Lıga have been compared to ˆ published samples from Bulgaria and Northern Greece, and, in a single case, from Macedonia (cf. above &


Acta Archaeologica

Lıga ˆ


Fig. X.5. Comparative table of studies other than Lıga of animal bones in Bulgaria, Greece, and F.Y.R. Macedonia. BGΩBulgaria, GRΩ ˆ Greece, YMCΩ(Former) Yugoslav Macedonia. EΩEarly, MΩMiddle, LΩLate; NΩNeolithic, CAΩCopper Age, BAΩBronze Age. Karanovo: traditional settlement phases of Karanovo tell are applied here for the sake of temporal orientation (Roman numbersΩrespective phases). Figures: either nos. of bones (N), or calculated minimum nos. of individuals (MNI), all in% under individual species. Scholars use two approaches concerning statistical presentation. In some cases, percentages of domesticated animals are calculated on the basis of the whole sum of species, i.e., including the wild animals (marked here with grey colour). In these cases, wild animal percentages must be added to the domesticated ones to give 100%. In most cases, however, domesticates are calculated separately, adding up to 100% without incorporating the wild animals. Site references: Sofia-SlatinaΩBökönyi 1992; KaranovoΩHiller & Nikolov 1997; VaksevoΩNinov 2001; Ovcharovo-GorataΩNobis 1988; Golyamo-DelchevoΩIvanov & Vasilev 1975; DramaΩBökönyi 1990; Brenitsa, Gradeshnitsa, Krivodol, Ovcharovo & VinitsaΩVasilev 1978; EzeroΩGeorgiev & Merpert 1979; SitagroiΩBökönyi 1986; P.M. Zarkou, Achillion & Otzaki MagulaΩBecker 1991; 1999; KastanasΩBecker 1986; AnzaΩBökönyi 1976.

Fig. X.5). Other Yugoslav (or ex-Yugoslav) sites, like famous Bubanj in eastern Serbia, has only yielded poor data (only the Early Bronze Age evidence is perhaps of some value, including 11 horse bones: early evidence of domesticated horse in the Balkans) (Bökönyi 1991). Also the published Romanian data are of low quality (Comsa 1989). A single KSB-cul¸ ture site, at Sfogea near Cuptoare in Southern Romania, has only 52% domestic animal bones – perhaps an indication of flexible economic strategies (1). The Copper Age settlement of Redutite near Lıga ˆ is particularly interesting, but, unfortunately, the data – amost 6,000 animal bones – were not collected stratigraphically and have only been published in terms of measures of certain bones, plus a summary
1. A recent excavation at the Copper Age settlement of Magura ˘ (tell) Gorgana at Pietrele near the Danube has yielded a small animal bone sample seemingly with a lot of fish (76 fragments) (N. Benecke in Hansen et al. 2004). Wild animals are common ( 50 fragments, mainly wild boar, plus some deer. Among the domesticated animals are 11 fragments of cattle, 28 of pig, but only 7 sheep/goat; 5 fragments were of dog. This sample is not entered in the tables, or otherwise. Adaptation to a particular environment is clear. The high number of fish bones is raising questions about their rarity at Lıga. ˆ

list of species (Ribarov & Boev 1997). In northwestern Bulgaria as a whole there are few published studies; exceptions are Brenitsa, Gradeshnitsa and Krivodol (Vasilev 1978). Apart from the fine work of Bökönyi, Boessneck & Driesch, there is substantial variation in the quality of study in the Balkans (and Greece), in particular concerning investigations before the mid1980s. Very uncertain samples are not included here. A general trend is the decline of cattle in the Late Neolithic and the Copper Age, which also see more old individuals. Sheep/goat is on the rise in the same periods, but also these individuals are older than before. The number of pig is the same, but most were killed young in later times. These comments on age do not transpire from the tables. Wild animals amount to about 10% or a little more in the Neolithic, but the percentage rose in the Copper Age (sometimes very high percentages of hunted animals are seen, as at Sfogea), as well as in the Early Bronze Age. Thus, in the Copper Age, with older domestic animals, more stress was probably put on the socalled ‘‘secondary’’ products, like power (cattle), milk, and wool. Likely, a more mobile system of husbandry was also introduced, including transhumance (sheep/ goat). This may also explain the high percentage of


Acta Archaeologica
la Pevkakia in Thessalien. I. Die Nichtwiederkäuer. Aus dem Institut für Paläoanatomie, Domestikationsforschung und Geschicthe der Tiermedicin der Universitet München. InauguralDissertation zur Erlangung der tiermedizinischen Doktorwürde des Fachbereichs Tiermedizin der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. München. Boessneck, J. & Driesch, A. 1979. Neue Tierknochenfunde aus der Magula Pevkakia in Thessalien. II. Die Wiederkauer. Aus dem Institut für Paläoanatomie, Domestikationsforschung und Geschicthe der Tiermedicin der Universitet München. Inaugural-Dissertation zur Erlangung der tiermedizinischen Doktorwürde des Fachbereichs Tiermedizin der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. München. Bökönyi, S. 1974. History of Domestic Mammals in Central and Eastern Europe. Budapest. Bökönyi, S. 1976. The Vertebrate Fauna from Anza. In Gimbutas, M. 1976. ed., Neolithic Macedonia: as reflected by excavation at Anza, Southeast Yugoslavia. Monumenta archaeologica 1: 313–316. Los Angeles. Bökönyi, S. 1986. Faunal Remains. In Renfrew, A.C., M. Gimbutas & E. Elster 1986, eds., Excavations at Sitagroi, vol. 1. Monumenta archaeologica 13: 63–132. Los Angeles. Bökönyi, S. 1989. Animal Remains. In: Gimbutas, M., Winn, S., Shimabuku, D. 1989, eds., Achilleion: a Neolithic settlement in Thessaly, Greece, 6400–5600 BC. Monumenta Archaeologica 14: 315–332. Los Angeles. Bökönyi, S. 1990. Erster vorläufiger Bericht über Tierknochenfunde der Karanovo-V-Besiedlung in Drama. Berichte der RömischGermanischen Kommission 70: 123–127. Bökönyi, S. 1992. Eine vorläufige Mitteilung über die Tierknochenfunde von Sofia-Slatina, Bauhorizont I. Acta praehistorica et archaeologica 24: 245–247. Berlin. Bökönyi, S. 1991. Prehistoric animal remains from Bubanj-Hum at Nis. Starinar XL–XLI, 1989/1990. Belgrade. ˇ Clason, A.T. (ed.), 1975. Archaeozoological studies. Papers of the archaeozoological conference 1974, held at the Biologisch- Archaeologisch Institute of the State University of Groningen. Amsterdam, North Holland/ American Elsevier. Comsa, E. 1989. Le developpement socio-economique en territoire ¸ ´ ´ roumain pendant l’Eneolitique. Prehistorica XV-XIV. Interna´ tionales Symposium, Univerzita Karkova. Praha. 115–120. Davis, S.J.M. 1987. The Archaeology of Animals. London: Yale University Press. Degerbøl, M og Fredskild, B. 1970. The urus [Bos primigenius Bojanus] and Neolithic domesticated cattle [Bos taurus domesticus Linne] in ´ Denmark: With a revision of Bos-remains from the kitchen middens: Zoological and palynological investigations. Det Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab, Biologiske Skrifter 17,1. København. Driesch, A. von den, 1976a. A Guide to the Measurement of Animal Bones from Archaeological Sites. Peabody Museum Bulletin 1. Harvard: Peabody Museum. Driesch, A. von den, 1976b. Die Tierreste aus der Agia Sofia-Magula in Thessalien. Beiträge zur ur- und frühgeschichtlichen Archäologie des Mittelmeer-Kulturraumes 15: 15–54. Bonn. Driesch, A. von den, 1987. Haus- und Jagdtiere im vorgeschichtlichen Thessalien. Prähistorische Zeitschrift, 62/1:1–21.

wild animals, making up for losses in meat, and anyway more available to mobile populations. The composition of a particular domestic animal population – even as seen from the dry bones of excavation – is usually a close reflection of the natural catchments of a settlement and its potential, in fact the availability of water and fodder for the animals throughout the year. As to pig, these are often, if numerous, indicators of nearby forests, while a high number of sheep/goat is a reflection of open landscapes, including dry plains and mountains; cattle may be kept where water is plentiful, along streams, and in forests too. The lower-lying meadows at Lıga ˆ (at the stream) would have been a fine and easily guarded area for cattle; such may also have grazed in the supposed light forest ‘‘behind’’ Lıga. Open plains ˆ are optimal for sheep/goat herding. Probably, the latter also took place further away, during the summer likely in the lush mountains to the South.

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Elenski, N. 1997. Kosteni idoli. Izvestiya na Istoricheskiya Muzei na Veliko Turnovo XII: 81–90. Georgiev, G. Merpert, N. 1979. Ezero: rannobronzovoto selishte. Sofia. Gimbutas, M. ed., 1976. Neolithic Macedonia: as reflected by excavation at Anza, Southeast Yugoslavia. Monumenta Archaeologica 1. The Institute of Archaeology The University of California, Los Angeles. Gimbutas, M., Winn, S., Shimabuku, D. eds. 1989. Achilleion: a Neolithic settlement in Thessaly, Greece, 6400–5600 BC. Monumenta Archaeologica 14. The Institute of Archaeology The University of California, Los Angeles. Grayson, D.K. 1978. Minimum Numbers and Sample Size in Vertebrate Faunal Analysis. American Antiquity 43:53–65. Grayson, D.K. 1979. On the Quantification of Vertebrate Archaeofaunas. In: Schiffer, M.B., 1979, ed., Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory 2: 199–237. Academic Press, New York. [Schiffer, M.B., 1979, ed., Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory 2: 199–237. Academic Press, New York.] Grayson, D.K. 1981. The Effects on Sample Size on Some Derived Measures in Vertebrate Faunal Analysis. Journal of Archaeological Science 8: 77–88. Greenfield, H.J. 1986. Paleoeconomy of the Central Balkans (Serbia): A Zooarchaeological Perspective on the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age (ca. 4500–1000 B.C.). B.A.R., International Series 304, Vols. 1 & 2. Greenfield, H.J. 1989. Zooarchaeology and Aspects of the Secondary Products Revolution: A Central Balkan Perspective. Zooarchaeologia, 3 (1–2): 191–200. Halstead, P. 1989. The economy has a normal surplus: economic stability and social change among early farming communities of Thessaly, Greece. In Halstead, P. & O’Shea J., 1989, eds., Bad year economics: cultural responses to risk and uncertainity. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Hansen, S., A. Dragoman, N. Benecke, J. Görsdorf, F. Klimscha, S. Oanta-Marghitu & A. Reingruber. 2004. Berich über die ¸˘ Ausgrabungen in der kupferzeitlichen Tellsiedlung Magura ˘ Gorgana bei Pietrele in Muntenien/Rumänien im Jahre 2002. Eurasia 10. Deutsches archäologisches Institut. Eurasien Abteilung. 1ff. Hiller, S. & Nikolov, V. 1997. Karanovo. Die Ausgrabungen in Südsektor 1984–1992. Band 1. Salzburg und Sofia. Ivanov, S., & Vasilev, V., 1975. Prouchvane na zhivotinskiya kosten material ot praistoricheskata selishtna mogila pri s. Golyamo Delchevo. In: Todorova et al., 1975, Selishtnata mogila Golyamo Delchevo. Razkopki i prouchvaniya V: 245–302. Sofia. Leshtakov, K., ed., 1997. Maritsa Project. Rescue archaeological Excavations along Maritsa Motorway in South Bulgaria. Vol. 1. Sofia. Lichardus, J. (ed.), 1991. Die Kupferzeit als historische Epoche. Symposium Saarbrücken und Otzenhausen 6.–13.11.1988. Teil 1 und 2. Saarbrucker Beiträge zur Altertumskunde 55. Bonn. Miljocic, V., et al. 1976. Die deutschen Ausgrabungen auf Magulen um ´ Larisa in Thessalien 1966: Agia Sofia-Magula, Karagyös-Magula, Bunar Baschi. Beiträge zur ur- und frühgeschichtlichen Archäologie des Mittelmeer-Kulturraumes 15. Bonn: Rudolf Habelt Verlag. Milojcic, V., Boessneck, J. & Hopf, M. 1962. Die deutschen Ausgrab´

ungen auf der Argissa-Magula in Thessalien, I. Das Präkeramische Neolitikum sowie die Tier- und Pflanzenreste. Bonn: Rudolf Habelt Verlag. Ninov, L. 1990. Animal bones from boreholes and Early Neolithic settlement near village Kovacevo. Studia Praehistorica 10: 197– 200. Sofia. Ninov, L. 2001. Zhivotnite ot praistoricheskoto selishte kraj s. Veksevo, biotopat im i izrabotenite ot tekhnite ostanki artefakti. ˇ Cohadziev, S., Vaksevo – praistoricheski selishta. Veliko Turnovo ˇ Nobis, G. 1988. Ovcarovo-Gorata (Fauna). Studia Praehistorica 9: 37ff. Sofia. Noe-Nygaard, N. 1987. Taphonomy in Archaeology with Special Emphasis on Man as a Biasing Factor. Journal of Danish Archaeology 6: 7–26. Payne, S. 1975a. Partial Recovery and Sample Bias. In Clason, A.T. 1975, ed., Archaeozoological studies: 7–17. Amsterdam. Payne, S. 1975b. Faunal Change at Franchthi Cave from 20,000 B.C.–3000 B.C. In Clason, A.T. 1975, ed., Archaeozoological studies: 120–131. Amsterdam. Payne, S. 1985. Zoo-Archaeology in Greece: A Reader’s Guide. In Wilkie, N.C. & Coulson, W.D.E., 1985, eds., Contributions to Aegean Archaeology: Studies in Honor of William A. McDonald: 211–44. Minneapolis. Raduncheva, A., Matsanova, V., Gatsov, I. 2002. Neolitno selishte do grad Rakitovo. Razkopki i Prouchvaniya 29. Sofia. Reitz, E.J. & Wing, E.S. 1999. Zooarchaeology. Cambridge Manuals in Archaeology. Cambridge. Renfrew, C., Gimbutas, M. & Elster, E. S. (eds.), 1986. Excavations at Sitagroi. A prehistoric village in Northeast Greece, vol. 1. Monumenta Archaeologica 13. The Institute of Archaeology The University of California, Los Angeles. Ribarov, G. & Boev, Z. 1997. Kostni ostanki ot divi i domashni zhivotni ot praistoricheskoto selishte ‘‘Telish-Redutite’’ pri s. Telish (Plevensko). Historia naturalis bulgarica, 7. 61–70. Sherratt, A. 1997. Economy and society in prehistoric Europe: changing perspectives. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Todorova, H. et al., 1975. Selishtnata mogila Golyamo Delchevo. Razkopki i prouchvaniya V. Sofia. Todorova, H. 1986. Kamenno-mednata Epoha v Bulgariya. Sofia. Todorova, H. 1978. The Eneolithic Period in Bulgaria in the Fifth Millenium BC. B.A.R. International Series 49. Todorova, H., 1982: Kupferzeitliche Siedlungen in Nordostbulgarien. Materialien zur Allgemeinen und Vergleichenden Archäologie, Band 13. Verlag C.H.Beck München. Tringham, R. & Bruckner, B., 1985. The Opovo Project: a Study of Socio-economic Change in the Balkan Neolithic. Journal of Field Archaeology 12: 425–444. Vasilev, V. 1978. Sravnitelnıe issledovaniya roli zhivotnovodstva i ˆ ohotı dlya praistoricheskih poselenij Bolgarii. Thracia Praehistorˆ ica, Supplementum Pulpudeva 3: 301–310. Wilkie, N.C. & Coulson, W.D.E. eds., 1985. Contributions to Aegean Archaeology: Studies in Honor of William A. McDonald. Kendall Hunt Publishing Co., Dubuque, Iowa Minneapolis. Wilson, B. 1996. Spatial Patterning among Animal Bones in Settlement Archaeology. An English regional exploration. B.A.R., British Series 251.

INTRODUCTION Seven graves (with eight bodies, all males and children) were found in the southern half of the Lıga ˆ settlement (Fig. XI.1 & Pl. 29) (1). Bone samples taken from Grave no. 1 were AMS-dated by the Uppsala laboratory. Calibrated, this burial is dated to ca. 4000 BC (Fig. II.12, II.13 & III.5). The scanty grave goods also support a final Copper Age date. Grave no. 1 was discovered in 2000, the remaining in 2001. The age and sex of the skeletal remains (except the poorly preserved Grave no. 3) were determined by Y. Yordanov (2) of the Bulgarian Academy of Science. In his report is noted that the adults have a medium to expressed massiveness of the post- and cranial bones, and medium to strong relief, indicating a welldeveloped musculature. Reconstruction of the burial arrangements was complicated by the circumstance, that all graves were intrusive in relation to earlier Copper Age debris with very rich material remains. nised as human. The grave pit was also only distinguished at its lower level. Despite possible loss of information, this burial contained the richest grave goods as compared with the other burials. In the area of the chest were 5 tiny copper beads made of rolled-up copper sheet (Fig. VI.16). Due to the presence of these beads it was decided to lift the grave in a metal frame with the intention of a more controlled excavation. In the area of the chest was also found a zoomorphic bone idol made of pig metatarsus (Fig. IX.5; Pl. 28:1). Two rather big flint blades, perhaps representing cutting tools, were discovered at the skull and at the feet, respectively; these might also be associated with the burial. During the cutting of the soil, when the metal plate of the frame was pushed under the skeleton, a rounded shell ca. 2 cm in diameter and with a hole in the middle reaching almost 1 cm in diameter was discovered below the right hip. Unfortunately it was crushed in the process. The nasal bone of the child had a greenish discolouration indicating perhaps a vanished copper item. It remains a mystery whether the only gold find at the site – a pendant with rolled up terminals, and hence interpreted as a phallic symbol – can be associated with the grave (Fig. VI.17). It was found in loose soil close to the grave but a few days after the burial was recognised. All the soil around the skeleton in the demarcated area of 2¿2 m was being collected separately for flotation. Thus, the attention invested in the excavation of the grave and the fact that it was only superficially excavated before being taken out in the metal frame speaks against direct association with the gold find. The pendant has raised many speculations not only due to its uncertain association, but also its uncertain and possibly late date. However, the form and manner in which the pendant is produced can also be found in a group of copper pins known from Late Copper Age sites (Todorova & Vaisov 2002). Such a pin has been discovered in the neighbouring Redutite settlement (Gergov 1987). The skeleton was exhibited in its frame at the National museum in Sofia in 2000 (in connection with

GRAVE NO. 1. INFANT I, 7–8 YEARS This burial of a child was found 0.65 m below the surface at the southern slopes of the site in an oval grave pit of 0.93¿0.72 m, intersecting the outer western wall of House 1. The skeleton was orientated NS, the head being in the S with a slight eastern deviation (159 æ/360 æ N). The body was placed in supine position with flexed legs, the head lying on the left side facing WNW (Fig. XI.2 & XI.3). The legs were contracted on the left side and the arms collected on the abdomen. The dead child was placed on a naturally deposited layer of pebbles. Unfortunately, the burial was only recognised when the top of the skull became visible. Situated in an area with abundant remains of animal bones, the higher lying fragmented bones of the underarm were not immediately recog1. The graves were recorded together with Petar Zidarov. 2. The author is very grateful to Prof. Yordan Yordanov, Institute of Experimental Morphology and Anthropology, Sofia for undertaking anthropological investigations of the recovered bone material from the graves.

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Fig. XI.1. Photo of graves during the excavation process, view from the West.

the official visit to the country by the Queen of Denmark). On that occasion, Yordanov inspected the skeletal remains and concluded that the skull of the

child was bearing traces of an artificial deformation made by a single ribbon bound behind the coronal suture (Yordanov, pers. comm.).


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lection and arrangement at the bottom of the grave pit. The biggest density of shards was observed below the head and the upper part of the body. Beyond the southern edge of the burial pit two postholes were seen, each measuring 0.17 m in diameter, the distance between them being 0.32 m. The postholes are quite shallow in relation to the burial, just some 0.16 m deep as measured from the level of the skull and therefore their temporal association with the grave is not certain. The preservation of the bones is very poor with high fragility and surface erosion. The upper part of the skull has been cut-off by ploughing. It should be noted that all teeth of the skeleton, including the frontal ones, show very heavy wear, with exposed dentine. The heaviest attrition is seen on the premolars and the molars of the mandibula, their buccal edges being abraded away. These traces would indicate, that the teeth were actively exploited as a tool for a purpose which demanded chewing, pulling and tracking while the molars were kept clenched. The cranial walls were twice as thick as those of the other individuals, reaching 0.8 cm. Thickened cranial walls were one of the indications of an artificial cranial deformation in Grave no. 1. However, the poor preservation of the cranial bones of the present grave does not allow any conclusion on this account. No recognizable grave-gifts were found in the grave, although it might be assumed that a bone idol made of a pig metatarsal bone found 1.20 m NE of the burial might be associated with this (Pl. 28:2). The same type of idol was discovered in Grave no. 1.

Fig. XI.2. Drawing of Grave no. 1 prior to its lifting in a metal frame. The lower part of the skeleton is covered with soil containing pieces of burned daub. Strong lines mark pottery shards stemming from house debris of Lıga 2. A coherent nodule of burned ˆ wattle is marked with oblique striation.

GRAVE NO. 2. ADULT MALE This person was buried in a flexed (hocker) position, on the right side and with the knees tightly contracted at the chest, the hands collected and placed under the head (Fig. XI.4). The grave was discovered 0.47 m below the present surface, its orientation being N-S, the head orientated towards the N with a slight deviation towards the E (25 æ/360 æ N, following the main axis, connecting the top of the skull with the middle point of the pelvis); the face was facing West. The burial was found in an oval pit with maximum dimensions of 1.10 (N-S)¿0.82 (E-W) m. The burial is intrusive in relation to the Copper Age settlement and was placed in the area between two dwelling structures (Houses 2 and 3). A large amount of flint chips was collected during the excavation, indicating production and re-sharpening of flint tools in the area during the time of the Lıga 2 settlement. The skeleton ˆ seems to have been placed on top of a layer of rather large ceramic shards. The shards originate from different vessels (all could be recognized as stemming from Lıga 2 assemblages) and their even distribution ˆ underneath the skeleton points towards deliberate col-

GRAVE NO. 3. INFANT I, 4–6 YEARS The dead person is an Infant I, according to the dentition of 6 years; however, the size of the humerus, 134 mm, corresponds to an individual of 3.5–4.5 years (Bass 1987). The skeletal remains were found 0.49 m below the present surface (Fig. XI.5). This burial was almost totally destroyed by ploughing as refelected by wavy depressions, one of which was exactly overlapping the skeleton, as seen in the profile. The position of the legs is not known. The traces of the other bones (a few fragments of skull and mandibula, outlines of the right humerus, part of the right radius and three ribs) indicate a flexed position

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Fig. XI.3. Grave no. 1.

Fig. XI.4. Grave no. 2.


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Fig. XI.5. Grave no. 3.

with the right hand placed under the head. The assumed orientation of the head is N-NW. The grave is intrusive in relation to cultural debris of the Lıga 2 ˆ settlement.

GRAVE NO. 4. INFANT I, 1–11⁄2 YEARS The skeletal remains of this child were discovered 0.53 m below the surface. The body was lying in a flexed position, the legs being bent and contracted at the front until the line of the pelvis (Fig. XI.6). The child was placed on the right side, the right hand under the head, the left hand bent and placed over the right one. The burial was found in an oval pit with maximum dimensions of 0.80 (NNE-SSW)¿ 0.60 (NNW-SSE) m. The dead was orientated towards the N, with a slight eastern deviation (25 æ/ 360 æ N, following the main axis, connecting the top of the skull and the pelvis); the face was turned towards the West. The grave pit was dug through the outer wall of House no. 2 of the Lıga 2 settlement. ˆ

The skeletal remains were fairly well preserved, not taking into account the missing upper part of the skull, parts of the pelvis bones, and ribs and feet. A bone plate was discovered as the only grave gift (Pl. 28:11). This was located beneath the left hand on the breast, placed upside down, i.e., the decorated face towards the ground. It was rectangular in shape (measuring 7.4¿3.8 cm, the thickness being 0.25 cm) and decorated with evenly spaced dots surrounded by circles. The reconstructed corner holes indicate that it was used as a breast-plate. Although the described type of punched decoration makes its wide appearance during the Bronze Age, a pendant with similar decoration is known from Cucuteni (Schmidt 1932). Similar bone plates, sometimes supplemented with anthropomorphic heads, are not unusual in Late Copper Age contexts and are recorded from Karanovo VI levels, e.g., Merdzumekiˇ ja at Drama, and other sites (Sidera 1997). Breast´ plates are also occasionally found in graves (Todorova & Vajsov 2002).

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Fig. XI.6. Grave no. 4.

GRAVE NO. 5. INFANT II, 8–9 YEARS The outline of this grave pit was visible 0.35 m below the surface, immediately beneath the ploughing layer. The skeletal remains appeared at a depth of 0.48 m. The dead child was placed in flexed position (tightly drawn-up hocker), the legs being bent and fully contracted (to the chest) (Fig. XI.7). The body was lying on the right side, both hands bent and pressed to the chest, both wrists turned towards the claviculae. The orientation of the skeleton is N-S, with a small deviation towards the E (the head is towards the N), 24 æ/360 æ N. The face was turned towards the West. The maximum dimensions of the oval pit was 1.04 (N-S)¿0.62 (E-W) m. The skeleton was dug into cultural debris of the Lıga 2 settlement at the inter-strucˆ tural space between Houses 2 and 3. The burial carried traces of special marking: three pairs of postholes, 6–8 cm in diameter, were surrounding the area of the

upper part of the body. The first set was found 0.68 and 0.49 m E of the grave. The set at the head was just 11–12 cm North of this. The western set of postholes was 0.50 m from the skeleton. A single posthole was found 0.09 m from the feet. The state of preservation of the main part of the bones was rather good, despite the shallow depth. Several ribs were eroded, or displaced, like the upper part of the skull. The only recognizable burial gift was a cattle horn, 14.5 cm long with a maximum width of 5.5 cm (Fig. XI.8). Both the proximal and the distal end of the horn were framed by two vertically placed pottery shards, almost like bed-posts. The horn was situated 7 cm to the N-NW of the skull, with the pointed end towards the head. The horn was otherwise following the orientation of the skeletal remains. A particular aspect is the presence of intrusive human bones in association with the grave, most prob-


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Fig. XI.7. Grave no. 5.

ably due to displacement by ploughing (Fig. XI.9). 0.07–0.10 m from the maxilla, in northwestern direction, was a left adult clavicula. 0.10 m in northwestern direction from the right tibia was the proximal end of an adult radius with totally fused epiphysis. None of the excavated adult specimens were lacking these bones.

GRAVE NO. 6. JUVENILE MALE, 18–19 YEARS These skeletal remains of a young man were discovered 0.76 m from the surface. The body was placed in a flexed position, legs bent and contracted until the line of the pelvis. The body was laid to rest on the right side, hands bent and collected below the sternum so that the underarm of the right hand was perpendicular to the axis of the spinal column, while the left hand embraced the upper part of the right hand (Fig. XI.10). The orientation of the dead was N-S, the head towards N, with a slight eastern deviation, 40 æ/

360 æ N, following the main orientation line, connecting the top of the skull and the pelvis. The face was turned towards the West. The outline of the burial pit was not clear, albeit it could be recognised through a looser soil structure and a slightly darker coloration in the western periphery of the grave. Somewhat higher, an occurrence of small particles of charcoal was observed around the bones and especially in the area around the sternum when compared with the surrounding soil. The preservation of the bones was very good. All bones were present and in anatomic order. The only exception was the phalanges of the left hand and of the left foot, which were detached from their original place due to post-depositional disturbances. The burial deposits include 8 dentalium shells (Fig. XI.11) in a row and a polished bone pendant (2.0¿1.5 cm) made as an imitation of a red deer tooth, the so-called Grandel (Pl. 28:10). The pendant was in the middle of the row of dentalium shells,

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Fig. XI.8. Cattle horn found in Grave no. 5.

forming a rather tight necklace (Fig. XI.12). All shells and the pendant were found under the mandible or between the mandible and atlas.

GRAVE NO. 7A–7B. ADULT MALE, 25–30 YEARS & INFANT I, 11⁄2 YEARS This is a double grave containing an adult male and a small child (Fig. XI.13, 14). The grave was discovered 0.80 m below the surface. The adult body was placed in a supine flexed position. The legs were bent and originally the knees were pointing upwards, calves and haunches forming and angle of some 45 æ with 0.13–0.14 m between the heels. In a course of decay, the legs had fallen down to the right side. The left arm was contracted and the hand placed on the manubrium (the top part of the sternum). The right arm was contracted to the right shoulder, which, from below and above, was holding the head of the child. The head of the adult was laid on the right side, facing the child, and West. The child was buried in a flexed position on its right side, the upper part of the body lying on the chest, the legs bent. The left leg was contracted till the line of the pelvis bones (forming a 90 æ angle with the spinal axis), while the right leg was slightly contracted, forming a 135 æ angle with the spinal axis. The hands of the child were placed under the head, which was also turned towards the West. The child was placed at the right side of the adult. All bones were well preserved, but the bones of the

Fig. XI.9. Drawing of Grave no. 5, with specification of discovered bones.

child to a lesser degree those of the adult. All the principal bones of the skeleton of the adult were found in anatomical order. There is a seeming displacement of the bones of the left leg, where the distance between the distal end of the femur and the proximal end of the tibia is 0.15 m. The displacement occurred in the process of decay, when the vertically placed flexed legs had fallen to the right side. The bones of the child are disturbed. The hipbones were found 0.30 m from each other, the sacrum 0.25 m to the SW of the right hipbone. Also the teeth carry signs of post-depositional disturbances, found scattered in the area of the mandible and the neck. One tooth was found close to the left hipbone, which was the northernmost bone belonging to the skeleton of the child. Post-depositional disturbances were also attested through the presence of one metatarsus and


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Fig. XI.10. Grave no. 6.

few phalanges belonging to another adult found close to the child’s right femur. Yordanov estimates the height of the adult to be between 165.78 cm (after the formula of Pearson-Lee) and 174.29 cm (the formula of Trotter-Gleser). The atrition of the masticatory teeth of the adult is determined to be of 3rd degree, i.e., a strong attrition reaching the pulp chamber. For the same adult, a pathology of the vertebral column was established, manifested in spondylosis and spondilo-chondrosis of the articular surfaces. Several animal bones were found in the grave, the majority being of Bos Taurus (Fig. XI.13). A part of these bones was close to the adult human bones, a cattle calcaneaus at the bones of the right foot. 0.04 m South of the neck vertebrae was a molar of young cattle. A massive cattle rib was crossing both the left human ulna and the radius in the medial area. It is probable that these bones were part of the burial inventory. At the 2nd lumbar vertebra of the adult, on the southern side, was a 5 cm long flint end-scraper

with a retouch at the proximal end and utilisation traces on the lateral edge. 0.02 m South of the right patella was a flint blade, which association with the burial is not certain, however. Under the right scapula of the adult, close to the right humerus, was a dentalium shell, 2.7 cm long. The only burial gift of the child was a rather loose double necklace of shells, where each pair of dentalium was separated from the subsequent one by a cardium shell (Fig. XI.15). Both skeletons were placed on a layer of shards. The less ordered distribution of the shards does not indicate obvious intentionality, but the high concentration together with the fact that the shards belong to different vessels speak in favour of a built layer, in fact a mat. The layer was more compact in the area of the legs and feet of the adult. Finally, a dozen shells of the Zebrina Detrita species (as reported by N. Andreasen, Copenhagen & Cambridge universities, in 2001) were collected from Graves nos. 6 and 7. These shells were discovered everywhere in the excavated area, although mostly in

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Fig. XI.12. Grave no. 6, reconstruction of necklace. Fig. XI.11. Dentalium and cardium shells discovered in Graves Nos. 6 (upper row) and 7B (lower row).

the lower layers, belonging to the Lıga 1 settlement, ˆ and should not be considered as intentional depositions in the graves.

CONCLUSIONS All graves were discovered in the southern to southwestern part of the Lıga hillock. The regular distriˆ bution allows the area to be interpreted as a formal burial ground or cemetery, consciously chosen for the purpose. Except for Grave no. 1, the graves were organized in both longitudinal and latitudinal rows. Graves nos. 3, 4 and 5 were forming a frontal line of burials organized along an E-W axis. These graves were remarkably evenly spaced. Measuring from the presumed centres of the skulls, the distance between Graves no. 3 and 4 was 3 m, the distance between Graves no. 4 and 5, 3.20 m. (Similar results are achieved by measuring the distance in a straight line from the humerus to the border of the next grave pit, i.e., 2.40 m and 2.36 m. The humerus was the only bone of Grave no. 3 with a fully preserved outline). The distance between the burial pits of Graves nos. 4 and 5 was 2.22 m. Graves nos. 6 and 7 are forming the next row of burials, orientated E-W and confirming the latitudinal spatial organisation of the burials. The distance between Graves nos. 6 and 7 was ca. 2 m, as measured from the centres of the skulls (skull 7B, child, of the double grave). The protrusive position of Grave no. 2 demonstrates that the burials were also organised in a longitudinal manner, following the N-S direction but par-

tially staggered, so that Grave no. 5 was slightly behind Grave no. 2, yet in a more westerly position than Grave no. 2. The remaining burials were also organised in this manner, Grave no. 7 being behind Grave no. 4, and Grave no. 6 behind the destroyed Grave no. 3. The distance between the rows was limited. Only 0.36 m was separating the grave pits of Graves nos. 4 and 7. A similar distance was observed between the Graves nos. 2 and 5. Despite the fact that several fragments of human bones were discovered in sondages nos. 7 and 6B of the excavation, Graves nos. 2, 3 and 4 were marking the northern edge of the burial ground. Grave no. 5 was the easternmost grave, and Grave no. 1 the southernmost. In 1979, during sounding work at the site, skeletal remains of a child were found (V. Gergov, pers.comm.). Nobody realized the significance of the find, then. The said skeletal remains were presumably discovered in ‘‘Trench II’’ (‘‘Izkop II’’). During the reexcavation of this trench, two cranial bones of a child were discovered, indicating that the western borders of the burial ground are probably somewhere in area of ‘‘Trench II’’. Thus, it is possible to predict that the burial ground originally was occupying an area of 120 m2, with a predicted number of graves at 25. One important question remains unsolved, namely the burials of the females, made ever more acute since children were interred with adult men. Possibly, the explanation lies in regulation of burial space between the sexes, women being buried in a separate part of the Lıga cemetery. Such interesting division is, e.g., ˆ observed in the Copper Age cemetery at Targoviste, ˆ ˇ also in an old settlement (data, Angelova 1991), where 11 graves were discovered. Among these, four were


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Fig. XI.13.Graves nos. 7A-B.

identified as male and four as female, lying in two separate clusters. Thus, at Lıga, affiliation with a gender-defined laˆ bour group was more important to stress in death, than the family-groups evident in the highly individual households of this egalitarian society. The children are likely of the same sex as the adults they are accompanying, thus the boys with men. It is uncertain whether the two big postholes found at the rear end of Grave no. 2 are related to the burial, while the association of the sets of smaller postholes with Grave no. 5 is certain. The latter posts,

grouped regularly around the skeleton, demonstrate that the place and position of the dead were held in respect. Despite some 400 years, which temporarily separate the last Copper Age settlement and the establishment of the burial ground, the position of the graves was clearly influenced by the structural debris of Lıga ˆ 2. Thus, the burial pit of Grave no. 1 was dug through the outer western wall of House 1. Graves nos. 3 and 4 were intersecting the outer southern wall of House 2. The latter graves, together with neighbouring Graves nos. 2 and 5, had the smallest depth

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Fig. XI.14. Upper part of Graves nos. 7A–B.

below the present-day surface, not exceeding 0.50 m. It is known from other Copper Age burial grounds, like Varna and Durankulak, that differentiation in depth was used to reflect status, gender and age (Todorova 2002). In the case of Lıga, another factor was ˆ seemingly also playing a part. The terrain after the abandonment of the Lıga 2 ˆ settlement was sculptured by disintegrating walls of burned houses, which eventually formed house mounds. Through field work in Southern Mexico and southwestern Iran, M. & A. Kirkby have actually demonstrated that the disintegration process of mud houses has a certain pace and can even be used as a means of dating (Kirkby & Kirkby 1976). Thus, in the Oaxaca valley, with 500–700 mm annual rainfall, the house mounds survive with recognisable profiles for 500–800 years. Lower precipitation rates significantly prolong the period of survival. The present yearly precipitation in NW Bulgaria is 500–600 mm (as measured during 1950–1990 (GHCN)). Regardless

of whether this number was higher or lower at the end of the Copper Age, house mounds formed of burned daub were distinguishable for several centuries. Hence, it can be assumed that the collapsed house walls of the Lıga 2 settlement created prominent ˆ points in the terrain, which were selected for burials. Later impact has levelled the terrain to its present state. Thus, the depths of the graves at Lıga bear witˆ ness to the level of the ancient surface and can hardly be considered a reflection of social differences among the dead. The above observations should perhaps be applied to other Copper Age sites where insufficient observations are limiting understanding of the proper relations between graves and dwellings, mainly the issue of intermural burials versus formal deposition sites (Bojadziev 2001). Thus, V. Mikov notes that at the ˇ Kubrat (Balbunar) tell in NE Bulgaria, where 25 skeletons were found, the majority of the burials concentrated in the area with remains of destroyed houses


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were also used in the graves, bucrania, for example, is an important token in both houses and burials (Hodder 1990; Todorova 2002). Following this line of argument, it is natural to assume that the arrangement of wooden poles around Grave no. 5 acted not only as a marking but also as an enclosure, indeed, a metaphoric house. In the same grave was a cattle horn, likely a replacement of the deer antlers of the Mesolithic as a most valued agent within the symbolic and ritual sphere (cf. Tilley 1996). Nevertheless, the red deer is not entirely removed from the symbolic repertoire. In Grave no. 6 was a bone pendant in imitation of a red deer tooth. The tooth is a Grandel, a rudimentary upper canine (caninus) of the male red deer (Cervus elaphus), which never erupts and thus preserves its pearlwhite colour (Todorova 2002, 187). The practice of imitation is well-known from the Late Copper Age Varna I burials (Todorova 2002). Both imitation and real teeth are here found in association with male burials (Todorova 2002). Two graves at Lıga contained necklaces made of ˆ shells. The necklace of Grave no. 6 combined a bone pendant and dentalium shells (Fig. XI.11, 12). The child of Grave no. 7A-B had a double necklace comprised of dentalium and cardium shells (Fig. XI.11, 15). The relative ages of the dentalium shells actually correspond to those of the accompanying humans: tiny, not fully grown juvenile representatives with the child, while the dimensions of the dentalium shells found in the grave of the young adult are significantly bigger, reaching 30¿9 mm. Dentalium shells are estimated to be a rather costly item in the graves of Durankulak and Varna (Todorova et al. 2002, 185). They might be collected in the Mediterranean and probably the Black Sea close to Bosporus (Todorova 2002). In the region of Pleven are several outcrops with fossils of different geological periods (Grancharov 1999). The most readily available deposits are found at the village of Opanets (with a possible Copper Age settlement), where fossilized dentalium (of Miocene date) can be collected on the surface (as reported by N. Zidarov, Director of the Institute of Geology, Sofia). This source lies less than 25 km from Lıga. Malacological analysis has, however, proved a ˆ recent marine origin of the dentalium shells, which were not affected by a long process of fossilization (N. Andreasen, Copenhagen and Cambridge universities,

Fig. XI.15. Grave no. 7B, reconstruction of necklace.

(Mikov 1927, cited by Bojadziev 2001). Based on the ˇ uniformity of the treatment the dead, it can be argued that the site was used as a formal burial ground and therefore should be separated in time from the settlement. Despite the temporal congruence between the settlement and the burials, an apparent link exists between the two. The burials should be seen as reflections of the same ideas that governed the spatial organisation of the settlement, similarity being observed in the matching N-S orientation of the dwellings and the burials, and in the uniform and regulated spacing patterns. In addition, the cemetery arrives as a virtual Lıga 3 ‘‘settlement’’. Such translation of the principles ˆ applied for establishing settlements into the sepulchral sphere is challenging strictly functional interpretations of settlement organisation, which have been criticized, e.g., by J. Brück and M. Goodman (Brück & Goodman 1999). The idea of a conceptual affiliation between houses and burials, as seen through their architectural similarity, has also been cultivated in NW Europe for quite some time (Milisauskas 1978; Hodder 1984; 1990). Evidence of interrelatedness between realms of the living and the dead is thus found in SE Europe too, albeit in a rather circumstantial manner. Connections between houses and burials have lately been attested at Durankulak, where the stone architecture of this multi-layered settlement was paralleled in graves covered or framed with stone slabs (Todorova 2002). Besides echoing the orientation of the houses, certain elements of the domestic inventory

Lıga ˆ
2001). Whether of eastern or southern origin, these shells are found at considerable distance from their natural source. Even the cardium shells included in the necklace of the child of Grave no. 7A–B, were juvenile (1.2¿1.4 cm). Part of the umbo was intentionally ground away and a small hole created for threading. This type of marine shells is more widespread and might have been collected anywhere in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean (Todorova 2002, 186). In terms of treatment of the dead, no apparent differentiation can be noted, as might have been expected from the data in NE Bulgaria, in casu the famous Varna graves. The only striking exception is Grave no. 1. The two AMS-dates (based on bone collagen), giving a late Copper Age date, are both from this grave, so it is possible that the remaining graves (with another orientation) are of a different, likely later date, possibly the ‘‘Transional Period’’ (3). If so, they are contemporary with the nearby Redutite IV settlement. The relative proximity of the burials, together with the whole grave material, allows for a holistic view, however. The exclusiveness of the young dead person in Grave no. 1 is stressed by the ‘‘reverse’’ southern orientation (the head still facing West, though) and the comparative richness of the grave gifts, as well as the artificial deformation of the skull, even though the practice of deformation during the Copper Age was not unusual and commonly applied towards the end of the period (Yordanov & Dimitrova 2002). Hence almost 11% (23) of all skulls studied (mostly fragmented) at Durankulak and attributed to the Middle and Late Copper Age have traces of morphological changes of the one-ribbon circular type (Yordanov & Dimitrova 2002). Perhaps the child of Grave no. 1 originated in Eastern Bulgaria. In Anatolia and other Near Eastern regions, where artificial deformation is widespread in the Neolithic, the practice is interpreted as the result of a need for ethnic markers in an expanding system of communication and exchange (Özbek 2001). The distribution of the phenomenon is tightly clustered in the Near Eastern region. Skull deformations in Bulgarian graves should probably also be seen as exceptions,
3. Further samples will be submitted for dating later.

hence the separation of the child compared to the other dead persons discovered at Lıga: no doubt a ˆ testimony to a growing complexity of society, which may even have encompassed hereditary positions. Skull deformations gain an even wider distribution in the Early Bronze Age: thus, 14 of the 36 skulls discovered in the burials of the Grave-Pit culture in Bulgaria have traces of changes in the morphology of the skull, conducted through the same one-ribbon method (Yordanov & Dimitrova 1989).

BURIALS IN THE KSB CULTURE AND THE ‘‘TRANSITIONAL PERIOD’’ Despite the surprising Lıga discovery, the absence of ˆ burials in the area occupied by the KSB culture remains unresolved; the same can be said of the Thracian plain, densely dotted with tell settlements. This is in stark contrast with NE Bulgaria, where large burial grounds, along with smaller deposition sites at the settlements, have produced several thousands of graves. Y. Bojadziev lists nine localities with regular ˇ burial grounds and two sites with possible intra-mural burials in the NE part (including the coastal areas) of Bulgaria (Bojadziev 2001). In the Thracian plain, ˇ there are only two known burial sites, so far, both containing multiple Late Copper Age skeletal remains, Okrazhna Bolnitsa in Stara Zagora (three skeletons) and Yunatsite at Pazardzik (Bojadziev 2001). ˇ ˇ In NW Bulgaria, graves associated with Copper Age remains were found in the Devetaki Cave. The temporal position of the earliest skeletal find of 1926 – the body being placed in a flexed position – is not known with certainty (Gaul 1948). During an excavation in 1952, burials of four children were recorded, loosely attributed to the Copper Age (Boev 1959). Repeated excavations in the cave in the 1990s have produced one more child burial, which held pottery typical of the KSB culture (Gergov, pers. comm.). The Yugoslavian data on burials in the area of the KSB culture are even more penurious than in Bulgaria. The only grave, which can be associated with the KSB culture, was discovered in 1967 at Lepenski Vir (Letitsa 1972). It was the burial of a female, 40–60 years old and 1.54–1.56 m tall, dug into an area occupied by numerous Mesolithic and Early Neolithic burials. The skeleton was found orientated N-S (163 degrees), with


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males are usually found in a stretched supine position (Todorov 1986), even though a right hocker has occasionally been applied. In Lıga, all bodies rested on ˆ the right side, in flexed positions of varying degrees. Two of the bodies (Graves nos. 2 and 5), one of which was determined to be a male by Yordanov, were even post-mortally bound in an extreme flexed position, with the knees pressed towards the breast. The coastal areas of Bulgaria have been defined as divergent in terms of burial practices, when compared to the sites of the inland (Todorova 1986, 2002). The governing principle in the inland ever since the Neolithic was to bury the dead in a flexed position on the left side, the head orientated towards the East (Todorova & Vajsov 1993). Almost without exception, such rules of burial were recorded in the Copper Age burial grounds at Golyamo Delcevo, Ovcarovo, Polyˇ anitsa, Radingrad, and others, all in the NE part of the country (Todorova 1986). In this light, the ritual behaviour recorded at Lıga ˆ poses interesting questions about cultural traditions. The investigations at Durankulak have demonstrated that throughout the whole Copper Age a northern orientation was dominant, and that the shift from a northern to an eastern orientation (in flexed position on the left side) only took place with the emergence, even the arrival, of novel social groups during the so-called Transitional Period (termed ‘‘Proto-Bronze Age’’ by I. Vajsov) (Vajsov 2002,159 ff). Hence, the burials at Lıga might be seen as witnesses to the arˆ rival in the Northwest of people with affiliation to the coastal areas. Or, if preferred, they can be viewed, neutrally, as regionally specific elements of the KSB cultural package. The presently available material does not allow any conclusive generalisations concerning the rites of the KSB, although the parallel to the East is evocative.

the head towards the S. The dead person lay in a prone position and on the face, with backwardly crouched legs. The Lepenski Vir grave was dated on the basis of four vessels characteristic of the KSB culture. One of these vessels, a big bowl (destroyed prior to the deposition), was almost completely covering the legs, a feature typical of Gumelnita burials. ¸ Records of the Romanian burial material related to the KSB culture is also very limited. With some reservation, three single child burials from as many sites, Baile Herculane (Nikolova 1999, 55), Vadastra, ˜ and Orlea (Letitsa 1972), can be attributed to the latest phase of the culture. The same can be said of two burial grounds, Ostrovul Corbului at the Iron Gates and Draganesti-Olt at Corboaica (Nikolova ¸ ˜ 1999, 57, 58 & 359 ff.). 51 graves were discovered at Ostrovul Corbului, dominantly with bodies in a flexed position on the left side and orientated towards the East (Nikolova 1999, 57, 58 & 359 ff.). The presence of Bodrogkeresztur pottery among the grave goods dates these burials at least 100–200 years later than Grave 1 from Lıga (Forenbaher 1993). Similar rites ˆ were employed in the somewhat later burial ground of Draganesti-Olt, with 9 skeletons (Nikolova 1999, ¸ ˜ 57 & 363).

RELATIONS WITH THE COAST In general, the Lıga graves demonstrate close ties with ˆ the burial traditions known in the coastal areas of Bulgaria, despite a temporal difference: the last Copper Age burials in the East being dated to ca. 4200 BC, as at Durankulak (Todorova 2002, 61ff). In all known burial grounds – Varna, Devnya, and Durankulak, as well as Lıga – a northern orientation of the skeletons ˆ dominates. A flexed position on the right side is prevailing among female burials (Todorova 1986). The

FACTUAL SUMMARY The archaeological Late Copper age site of Lıga is ˆ situated about one kilometre north of the modern village of Telish in Cherven Briag Municipality, Pleven County (Fig. I.1). Nearby, 1.2 km south of the site, lies another famous site from the same period known as Redutite. This contained three building horizons of the Copper Age and one of the so-called Transitional Period. The research objectives for Lıga were to a ˆ high degree dictated by the excavations at Redutite, supplemented by information from Sadovec-Golemanovo Kale and Pipra sites. These data were considered a good starting point for building-up a local sequence of land-use at Lıga, and, most importantly, ˆ for tracing movements of peoples and ideas. So far, the majority of settlement investigations in Western Bulgaria have produced a mass of isolated phenomena, coupled up merely with the help of particular types of artefacts. A different situation presented itself around Telish, with an opportunity to produce and to piece together evidence into coherent historical sequences, resembling those of the southern area of Bulgaria (with the impressive tells). In this light, issues such as spatial organisation, changes in the planning of settlement and its architecture, duration and causes of abandonment, etc. could be set in a broader temporal and geographical perspective, revealing the ‘‘dialectics’’ of a Late Copper Age settlement. The site of Lıga is situated at the edge of a broad ˆ plateau, 20 m high, 195 m above sea level (Fig. I.2 & I.3). The Redutite site is located on the same plateau. Towards southwest and northeast the plateau has a wavy appearance. The hillock chosen for the Lıga ˆ settlement is deliminated by ravines in the south and north, created during seasonal runoff of water. At the foot of the site there used to be stream, presently a system of three dams known as the Lake of Gorni Dabnik. In all, 275 m2 were excavated, excluding survey trenches. The depth of the excavated trenches varied between 0.5 and 1.2 m. The excavation strategy was aimed to concentrate on few areas where the archaeological contexts could be investigated fully and at great detail (Fig. XII.1). As a result, it has been established that the site was in use several times until the present. The earliest occupation – Lıga 1 – is datˆ ed to the beginning of the Late Copper Age. Traces of this settlement were only established in some parts of the excavated area. Remains of one dwelling were recorded on the southern fringes of the site. This structure was supported by a wattle frame, resting on massive timbers. It was 7.6 m long, the estimated internal space being 39–40 m2. The orientation of the dwelling was N-S. At the SE corner of the house was part of a regular stone pavement made of water-worn well-sorted cobbles of sandstone and brown flint (Fig. II.5). The pottery from the house had dark lustrous surfaces, often painted with graphite and occaionaly with red and yellow pigmens (Pl. 6:1–7), in this sharply contrasting the generally light pottery of the following phase. The Lıga 1 settlement was abandoned for ˆ reasons as yet unknown. Around 4400 BC (calibrated) a new settlement – Lıga 2 – was established at the site. Level terraces ˆ were created on the remains of the Lıga 1 dwellings, ˆ causing severe destruction of the debris of the previous occupational phase. The archaeological excavations at Lıga were concentrated on the material ˆ vestiges of this settlement. Three dwellings were fully investigated. Their identification was uncomplicated due to the settlement was burned down, and reddish burned daub clearly outlined the structures. In the northern part of the excavated area, numerous limestones were discovered, displaying a semi-circular or oval pattern. Stones in such configurations obviously belong to structural features, in fact house foundations, even when lacking preserved burned daub. House 1 was discovered almost exactly on top of the house from the previous occupational phase. With a slight deviation towards the East, it even followed the orientation of the earlier construction (Pl. 2). The size was 6.50¿5.70 m, the internally available area 28.3 m2. House 2 is perhaps the one, which applies the best to a supposed standard, since a partly excavated neighbouring house had a similar length (Pl. 1). External dimensions of House 2 are 7.4¿6.0 m, the internal area being 34.5 m2. House 3 was the longest among the investigated houses (Pl. 1). It was 8.45 m long and 5.90 m wide in the middle part (external


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Fig. XII.1. Working at Lıga, view from the East. ˆ

lengths). The internally available area was 37.80 m2. The houses were orientated N-S. Except for House 1, the uncovered remains indicate that usually the entrance was in southern wall, while the oven of the house stood at the northern wall. The western part of the Lıga site was left unoccuˆ pied. During Lıga 2, the slopes of the hillock were ˆ made steeper by a shallow ditch or trench (0.8 m deep), an arrangement intended to inhibit movement up and down the slopes, thus perhaps made to protect livestock, kept in the 500–550 m2 unoccupied area. Sounding of the terrain established that the houses of Lıga 2 were occupying an area of ca. 50¿55 m. The ˆ total area with burned remains of buildings extended over ca. 1900 m2 (Fig. II.1). The Lıga 2 settlement was abandoned after the conˆ flagration. The proximity of C-14 and AMS dates available from Redutite and Lıga implies that soon ˆ after the abandonment of the Lıga 2 settlement a new ˆ settlement was established at Redutite – Redutite II. The abandonment of the Lıga site lasted until ca. 4000 ˆ BC. At that time, the southern part of the site was se-

lected for a cemetery with several burials. In the excavated area alone, seven graves have been discovered, one grave holding remains of two individuals. During the Early Bronze Age, the excavated area was part of a marginal activity zone for a settlement higher up on the plateau. The occupational debris of this was partly overlapping with the eastern limits of the Lıga 2 settlement, as has been established through ˆ drillings. Besides scattered pottery shards, found during the excavation, one pit is with certainty attributed to the EBA, Orlea-Sadovec culture. Another pit, intersecting House 3, contained vessels of Early Iron age Basarabi culture. This pit is dated to 875 BC. Some materials from Lıga are attributed to the Late ˆ Antiquity. Material recovered from the Lıga site was subjected ˆ to several specialist studies. Pottery investigations (Chapters IV & V) demonstrated a great degree of individuality in pottery production, questioning established chronology. Ceramic sets from widely different periods of the Copper Age, according to traditional chronology, were found in contemporary houses.

Lıga ˆ


Fig. XII.2. Comparative chronological table. KSB Ia – the Krivodol-Salcuta-Bubanj Hum Ia cultural complex, KGK – Kodzadermen˘ ¸ ˇ Gumelnita-Karanovo cultural complex, LN – Late Neolithic, FN – Final Neolithic, TN – Early Neolithic, MN – Middle Neolithic. ¸

Flint studies (Chapter VII) revealed reliance on both local but also regional sources of flint. Research on ground stone tools (Chapter VIII) shows that these were as important as flint and bone tools. Bone artifacts (Chapter IX) demonstrate the amplitude of concepts applied to bone as medium for answering both utilitarian and non-utilitarian demands. Finally, important in understanding past economies, the animal bones (Chapter X) show a stress on sheep/goat but also cattle as being a vital source of subsistence.

PERSPECTIVES The main challenge of the Lıga project has been to ˆ carry out highly detailed excavations producing a huge data-set, other fieldwork, analyses, and studies of the available archaeological data from the Telish region in Northern Bulgaria during the Late Copper Age of the fifth millennium BC; this in order to create a historical perspective on a general cultural process. In addition, very may other studies in and out of Bulgaria were accomplished.

The original aspiration was to arrive at an understanding of the the ‘‘Copper Age Gap’’, the ephemeral period of transition to the Bronze Age. But gradually it was acknowledged that the Copper Age proper held the key to an understanding: a period following upon the Neolithic, but powered to become a historical shortcut which – if it had been successful – would have created a totally different European development in the fourth millennium BC (Fig. XII.2). The excavations at Lıga were at first regarded as ˆ the crucial bit of evidence, which, when pieced together with regional data – including the neighbouring site of Redutite – would provide data to bridge the ‘‘Gap’’. Contrary to expectations, Lıga has instead ˆ become a cornerstone anchoring data and studies, not least the still unpublished material from Redutite. Through a context orientated research programme, with maximum focus on details, new standards have been set for future projects in the area. Although very time consuming (1.3 tonnes of ceramic sherds were analyzed, for example), such a strategy has provided a new basis for understanding daily life in a Late Cop-


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support of this are the few studies on paleoecology related to the Copper Age conducted in Bulgaria so far. For instance, palynological evidence collected from Pirin Mountains in South-western Bulgaria (belonging to the KSB area) points towards seasonal upland pasturage beginning in the Copper Age (Stefanova & Bozilova 1995). Distribution maps of KSB sites show that these were located on routes of ancient communication, determined by passages across the Balkans. Emphasis on geographical setting is clearly demonstrated by the remains of Roman roads, which used the same localities to build their strongholds and road stations in order to protect traffic. Telish, as attested through the remains of Late Roman strongholds at Sadovec and Pipra, was situated at a very cross-roads, which later on, in Roman times (as also today), led along the Iskar River to the Oeskus (at Gigen, where the Romans built a bridge across the Danube in 328 AD) in the North and to Serdica (Sofia) in the South, to Montana in the West and to Storgozija (Pleven) in the East, and from there on to mighty Philippopolis (Plovdiv) in the southeast (Neikov 2001). The high degree of mobility in the Lıga-societies ˆ can even be observed from the flint where a high 18% of the tools are from localities more than 30 km away. Analyses of 16 copper items from Redutite show that these come from 15 different sources (Pernicka et al. 1997). One of the awls is probably from the Majdanpek-region in Eastern Serbia, also under influence from the KSB-complex. Higher mobility required a more complex settlement system, which even encompassed five different types of settlements in the Telish area, from fortresses to permanent open settlements like Lıga and caves ˆ used only temporarily. By contrast, the patterns of settlement in areas dominated by tells, e.g. around the Polyanitsa Tell in NE Bulgaria (Todorova 1982), demonstrate close range networking between several coexisting settlements within a distance rarely exceeding five km. The contemporary KSB sites are not spaced that densely; instead the settlers were relying on a system of strongholds and refuge places and basing their networking on regionally remote alliances. They were thus delineating a structure characteristic of much of Europe in the fourth millennium BC and later.

per Age settlement and – through this – detected and explained the main currents of regional socio-economic development and thereby even larger processes. Several archaeological periods are represented at Lıga, but the fullest account was achieved in the ˆ layers of Lıga 2. This settlement provided testimony ˆ on a community, which possessed the operational instruments to organize its members into viable cooperative networks ensuring day-to-day survival. This dependence on fellow members is manifested by the uniform layout of the nucleated settlement, resembling most of all the hutments of a military camp. Bigger houses reflect bigger households and are not openly aimed to undermine the communal equality. Arenas for rivalry and competition – so to say – were created inside the houses, for example by various forms of display of graphite painted pottery. From the outside, all structures might well have looked the same: clay houses with dull grey walls likely undecorated. It has been demonstrated that proliferation of technological variability in pottery production is a reflection of new modes of networking, based on, and with implications for, the economic orientation. The traditional archaeological approach to the Copper Age in the Balkans views the Krivodol-Salcuta-Bubanj ˘ ¸ Hum (KSB) Ia-complex’s open settlements (in the West) in contrast to the tells in rich plains of the Kodzadermen-Gumelnita-Karanovo VI group (in the ¸ ˇ East). A main achievement of the present study is that such settlement strategies should not be viewed as excluding and opposing each other, but as parallel in nature. In terms of social complexity, sense of territoriality, and settlement arrangements they exhibit and stem from a common background. By shifting from the easily tillable plains to exploitation of new and varied environments, wholly different requirements were set on these innovative and symbolically intelligent communities, recognised as the bearers of the KSB-complex (cf. Sherratt 1980). A point, which has also been developed in the present study is that animal husbandry (mainly sheep/goat but also cattle) was increasing in importance over time, from being merely a supplement to agriculture to an equally vital source of subsistence. Animal husbandry would inevitable lead to increased mobility and, likely, to a regular practice of transhumance. In

Lıga ˆ
Detachment from ground-water agriculture (cf. Sherratt 1980) was the one factor which first of all provided the higher flexibility of the bearers of the KSB-complex – the last of the Copper Age groups – thus preparing them for the changes that caused the termination of the Copper Age: Likely climatic worsening, decline in population, perhaps warfare

and even migration along the alliance routes, likely towards the North. Significantly, Central Europe is seeing marked growth almost everywhere, eventually also in metallurgy, in the fourth millennium BC, while the ‘‘Copper Age Gap’’ signals a decline in SouthEastern Europe.


Plate 1. Sector 2. Plan of archaeological remains. L2 – Lıga 2 (CA), L3 – Lıga 3 (CA), L4 – Lıga 4 (EBA), L5 – Lıga 5 (EIA), R – recent ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ disturbance. 1 – Layer of compact daub, 2 – Layer of less compact daub, 3 – Layer with loose particles of daub, 4 – Mixed artefacts: shards, animal bones and stones, 5 – Layer of charcoal, 6 – Traces of wattle.

Lıga ˆ


Plate 2. Sector 1. Plan of archaeological remains. L1 – Lıga 1 (Late Copper Age), L2 – Lıga 2 (Late Copper Age), L3 – Lıga 3 (Late Copper ˆ ˆ ˆ Age), LA – Late Antiquity/Lıga 6; p – posthole of undetermined date, later than L1 & L2, R – recent disturbance. 1 – Layer of compact ˆ daub, 2 – Layer of less compact daub, 3 – Layer with loose particles of daub, 4 – traces of calcinated wood, 5 – mixed artefacts: shards, animal bones and stones, 6 – remains of oven.

Plate 3. Profile drawings of the central area of Sector 2 and of the Southern wall of Sondage 8A. Debris accumulated in this sondage held the most complete information on the earliest settlement, Lıga 1, including remains of a lime plastered floor destroyed by later construction. 1 – humus layer, dark brown, h2 – older humus layer containing ˆ charcoal, brown black, 2 – layer of naturally deposited pebbles, 3 – layer of clay and coarse sand with moderate amounts of organic matter, dark grey; very compact (original surface of the plateau), 4 – layer of clay mixed with gravel, grey (together with Layers 2 and 3Ωthe original surface), 5 – layer of grey clay, like 3, but without coarse sand, therefore interpreted as anthropogenically created, i.e., transported clay for house foundations, medium to light grey, 6 – layer of compact burned daub, red to orange, 7 – like 6, but less compact, 8 – mixed layer of humus, burned daub, animal bones and shards: house debris (note the dashed line which marks the floor level), brown reddish, 9 – like 8, but with higher contents of humus, 10 – layer of domestic waste with high contents of ashes, light grey, 11 – clay-rich layer, firm, abundant organic matter and lime, with small (1–2 mm) particles of charcoal containing finds attributed to Lıga 1, light grey, 12 – posthole, attributed to Lıga 1, medium grey, 13 – ˆ ˆ blackish spots, clay rich with high content of organic matter, possibly traces of wooden beams, 14 – sandy silt loam, light grey, 15 – layer no 11 mixed with humus layer (layer no 1), 16– layer of burnt organic matter, grey black, 17 – clay loam with high content of lime, loose, grey whitish, 18 – remains of lime plastering (floor level of Lıga ˆ 1 structure, Sondage 8A), 19 – lime rich layer, grey yellow, 20 – posthole, consisting of fill from layers nos. 8 and 11 mixed with organic matter, post-Lıga 2 date (indicated ˆ by presence of particles of burnt daub), 21 – layer (pit), consisting of fill from layer no. 8 mixed with layer no. 11, post-Lıga 2 in date, 22 – stones, 23 – pottery shards. ˆ ST – survey trench 1979, R – Recent disturbance, L4 – Bronze Age pit (Lıga 4), L5 – pit interpreted as ritual and attributed to the Early Iron Age (Lıga 5). ˆ ˆ

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Plate 4. Example of a section plan produced with Total Station (A), and as hand drawing (B). The area includes Sondages 5, 7, 6A & 6B – mainly House 2.


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Plate 5. Floor level at the E part of House 4 (Sondage 4G). Signaturec: cross – bone, right striation – limestone, x – flint blade, dashed line – profile balk.

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Plate 6. Examples of pottery from Lıga 1 settlement (1–7) and pottery recovered from Lıga 2 settlement (8–21), varying provenience. ˆ ˆ


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Plate 7. Pottery from House 1.

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Plate 8. Pottery from House 2.


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Plate 9. Pottery from House 2.

Lıga ˆ


Plate 10. Pottery from House 3.


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Plate 11. Pottery from House 3.

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Plate 12. Pottery from House 3. 1–3 – pottery with incised decoration, 4–17 – pottery with graphite painted decoration.


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Plate 13. Comparative arrangement of pottery from Houses 2 & 3.

Lıga ˆ


Plate 14. Scheme of typological ordering of shapes of vessels discovered in Lıga 2 settlement. Bowls and their derivatives. ˆ


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Plate 15. Scheme of typological ordering of shapes of vessels discovered in Lıga 2 settlement. Biconic vessels with cylindrical necks. ˆ

Lıga ˆ


Plate 16. 1–19 – Small and miniature vessels from Lıga 2 settlement (7 – possibly a template for biconic cups, see Pl. 6:21); 20–24 – lids; ˆ 26 – vessel rim; 26–29 – pot stands and a lower part of a footed vessel; 30–32 – clay pans. 13–14 – miniature vessels from the Late Copper Age site at Sadovec-Golemanovo Kale (after Todorova 1992).


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Plate 17. 1 – milk strainer; 2–3 – vessels with zoomorphic representations; 4–6 – clay spoons; 7–8 – clay zoomorphic figurines; 9 – model of oven; 10–11 fragments of crucibles (no. 10 contained copper deposits at the bottom); 12–16 – spindle whorls; 17–19 – clay beads; 20–21 – abraded pottery shards.

Lıga ˆ


Plate 18. Fragments of anthropomorphic clay representations, all of Lıga 2 settlement. 1 – 9024 (internal numbering system of finds at Lıga, ˆ ˆ given here for reference), 2 – 9427, 3 – 8000, 4 – 10654, 5 – 2001/127, 6 – UN005/9A, 7 – 9405, 8 – 2001/4, 9 – 4040, 10 – 9005, 11 – 9086, 12 – 9022.

Plate 19. Distribution chart of fragments of anthropomorphic representations (1) and small table-like devices (2). Numbering stems from the system applied during excavations. Fragments nos. 14000, UN005/9A, and 2001/127 are of unknown or uncertain contexts. Weak provenience has been established for items nos. 2000/15 & UN009/9B, therefore, their position is only specified as to sondage. Numbers in white correspond to house numbering. a – scale applied for fragments, b – scale applied for the background plan, 3 – Late Copper Age houses, 4 – place of oven inside Lıga 2 houses, 5 – graves, 6 – destructions of post-Copper Age date. ˆ

Lıga ˆ


Plate 20. Representations of table-like devices and fragments of such, nos. 1 & 2 of Lıga 2 settlement, no. 3 – of Lıga 1 settlement. – No. 1 – ˆ ˆ 42026 (internal numbering system of finds at Lıga), 2 – 9001, 3 – 2001/250. ˆ


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Plate 21. Fragments of representations of table-like devices, all of Lıga 2 settlement. – No. 1 – 4625 (internal numbering system of finds at ˆ Lıga), 2 – 10659, 3 – 14000, 4 – 2000/15, 5 – 9028. ˆ

Lıga ˆ


Plate 22. Flake and blade tools, including scrapers (1–6, 8), scraper with concave working edge (7), knives (9, 10–11) & retouched crested blade (knife?) (12).


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Plate 23. Flint (1–18) and stone tools (19–20), including heavy pointed tool (a large borer?) (1), sickle-blades with gloss (2–5), borers (6–8), exhausted core (9), knives (10–14), scraper (15), part of a pointed biface (16), biface knife (17), and an arrow head (18). Stone tools: digging implement (?) (19), and rubbing stone (20).

Lıga ˆ


Plate 24. Items of stone (1–6) and clay (8), including hammerstone (1), stone hammers (2–4), pounders (5–6), sling stone (7) and ‘‘sling stone’’ of clay (8).


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Plate 25. Some ground stone tools, including combination tool (1), adze (2), different types of axes (3–8), and chisel (9).

Lıga ˆ


Plate 26. Lıga 1 – Various objects. Bevel-edged tools on long bone splinter (1) and cattle ulna (4); unfinished object/debitage on antler tine ˆ (2); pointed tool on long bone splinter (3); side-scraping tool on boar’s tusk (5); and, flat anthropomorphic figurine (6).


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Plate 27. Lıga 2 – Various tools. Pointed tools on metapodium of small (1–2) and large ungulates (7, 9); pointed tools on long bone splinters ˆ (3, 5); manufacture waste from production of pointed tool on metapodium of small ungulate (4); haft for metal tool on metatarsus of small ungulate (6); and, antler haft/sleeve (8).

Lıga ˆ


Plate 28. Lıga 2 and 3 – Non-utilitarian finds and body ornaments. Prismatic figurines of pig metapodium (1–2), side-flattened sheep (3–5), ˆ and, cattle (12); astragals with (3, 5) or without (4, 12) incised decoration or stringing hole (3); palmar flattened phalanxes of small ungulates (6–8, 13); unworked incisivus of large ungulate (9); imitation of red-deer canine bead made on long bone splinter, from Grave no. 6 (10); decorated pectoral on rib, from Grave no. 4 (11); unidentified worked bone object, possibly manufacture waste from production of flat figurine (14).

Plate 29. Distribution of graves in Sector 2.

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