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BULGARIA
A LAND OF ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS

The lands of present day Bulgaria arc situated at a crossroads - very important in antiquity - connecting culturally undeveloped Europe with the developed civilizations of Asia Minor. The migrations through over it were directed from the poor North to the rich South, and cultural influences were going in the opposite direction.

The compactness of the ancient cultural layers in the Bulgarian lauds is so saturated that even the large scale treasure-hunting during the last two decades was not able to destroy it.

The finds from the Neolithic period (7-6 millennia BC) give an idea of beliefs and art of the first farmers, who were closely connected with the Anatolian culture.

The Chalcolith the Copper Age (5th millennia BC) gave birth to a new European civilization. The Varna necropolis comprises quantities of splendid gold objects unseen before - symbols of power and sacred symbols of the early rulers.

The Bronze Age starts a new page in the ideology of the ancient world. At the very end of this period the Thracians - the most numerous people after the Indians, came to the Balkans.

The presence of the Thracians is marked through ritual burials of treasures. Thrace shows the richest in Europe findings of this kind. Many precious objects came to us from the treasures and burials.

The stone tombs hide interesting wall paintings and sculptural decorations under die high mounds. They witness the faith in immortality, which the Thracians were known for.

The end of this rich culture was put by die Roman conquest in the beginning of the AD era. Thrace was divided into several provinces, new administrative, religious and building politics commenced. In the frameworks of this global culture Thracians do keep theit own role - in the thousands of votive relieves die Thracian horseman is galloping as an everlasting symbol of this brave people, who have reached immortality.

Ivan Marazov