New evidence on the Copper Age in the Yantra River Valley: the settlement site of Orlovets–Erendzhika
Keywords:Yantra River basin, Copper Age settlement pattern, Copper Age house construction, Middle Copper Age/Late Copper Age pottery
The article presents the results of a receintly excavated site near the village of Orlovets in the eastern part of present-day central north Bulgaria. The trenches had a total area of 77 sq. m, and the archaeological excavations were carried out in 2003 and 2004. The seven trenches revealed that 2-4 houses were situated on an occupied area of ca. 300-400 sq. m. Sectors of three houses related to two preserved Chalcolithic construction levels were unearthed. Artefacts dated back to the Chalcolithic, Late Antiquity (6th century) and the medieval period (13th century) were yielded by the plough soil.
This paper provides a description of construction techniques, “bloodless offering”, construction of ovens and platforms, floors and wall paintings. Attention is given to various tools made from stone, bone and antler as well as to several small ceramic artefacts. Archaeozological studies reveal that the layer has yielded bones of wild boar, deer, badger and wild horse. The domestic animals are represented by cattle, sheep and goat. The focus is on the pottery comprising more than 60 complete and fragmented ceramic vessels, most found in “closed contexts”. The manufacturing techniques, the shapes and the decorative patterns as well as their parallels in Ruse, Radingrad, Ovcharovo and Vinitsa sites are described.
The paper also discusses the place of the pottery assemblage from Orlovets-Erendzhika in the chronological chart within the context of the Chalcolithic in the Yantra River basin.