New archaeobotanical evidence about Olea europaea subsp. europaea from the territory of Bulgaria


  • Tzvetana Popova National Archaeological Institute with Museum – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 2 Saborna Str., 1000 Sofia


olive, archaeobotanical evidence, ritual practices, Bulgaria


This paper presents new data on the appearance of the olive in the territory of Bulgaria, based on archaeobotanical studies.To date, evidence for the presence of olive findings is still limited and unpublished.

This paper will focus on results of olive remains found in 9 archaeological sites in the territory of Bulgaria.The results from the archaeobotanical analysis show that these findings belong to the cultivated form Olea europaea subsp. europaea. The earliest remains from the territory of Bulgaria date back between the 5th and 3rd century BCE. During this period olives were not only consumed, but were also transformed into olive oil and other derivative prod- ucts and this was traded. So far, the presence of olives in the territory of Bulgaria has been very poorly recorded.The material resulting from the ritual hearths in the cemetery at Sozopol (Apol- lonia Pontica) provides important information about some of the practices of funerary rites as- sociated with the use of plants. In the light of this paucity, the archaeobotanical evidence from these 9 archaeological sites is of particular interest. It is obvious that in the 3rd  century BCE olives were imported together with other species such as stone pine nuts, figs, etc. Its presence shows contacts with the Mediterranean region.The information obtained sheds light on the of significance of Olea europaea subsp. europaea, not only as a nutritional resource, but also as an important component in ritual practices.






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