Varna in prehistorical times


The first residents of contemporary Varna and the surroundings were from a very old, over 10000 years old civilization. The flint and mesolite objects, that were found left from the first people here, are 12000 years old.

In these times the level of the Black Sea was about 60 m lower than it is today. After several millenniums it connects with the Marmara Sea and the Aegean Sea, the level gets higher and in the V century B.C. it is just two meters lower than nowadays. This causes irrigation of the areas around the lakes and the Provadiiska River, and Varna Bay forms inside the land. In response to the challenges of nature the people use their knowledge and skills. The first settlements appear around Varna.


Some remnants from the settlements are found along the lake coasts. In 1907, during the digging of the first channel sea - lake, they discovered the platform poles, upon which the houses were constructed. In 1921 during the digging works on the channel between Beloslav lake and Varna lake constructors came upon many objects from everyday life - pieces of pottery, stone, bone and copper utensils were. In 1957 around these places even more descriptive remnants were found. In the next years the discoveries are mainly in the areas of "Ladgata", "Maksuda", etc. One of the most important objects in the lake region is the one tree-boat, found in 1970 near the Topoli vilage. It is a more than 3 meters-long boat made of oak, using stone tools and burning where necessary. The seats that are also strengthening the construction are impressive.


The construction of the pole-based settlements became possible only because of the common work of the people from the primitive community. Upon the poles were placed beams - a base for the platform, upon which two houses were constructed. They were wooden, covered with cane, mud and straw. A kind of wooden bridge was used for going down to the floor. The house has an unusual disposition - fireplace, stone mill, and pottery. The presence of copper and straight stone instruments leads to the transition to the Stone-copper Age. With the time the house look improves, the pottery becomes finer, and the labour tools more complicated. The animal bones and remnants from wheat plants, discovered from this period, provide information for the way of life of the people.

In the end of the Stone-copper Age new tribes come from the north and settle down in the area. They have more experience in animal -breeding and agriculture: and use pewter and bronze. The local population is growing, relations between neighbour tribes and further located nations are established. The requirements for beauty and esthetic appearance of the objects, clothes, idols are getting more detailed and precise.

From this century dates also the Chalcolithic necropolis that was discovered in 1972 in the surroundings of Varna. It is only meters from the northern coast of Varna lake - the location of the West Industrial Zone nowadays. It includes hundreds of graves in which the oldest hand-designed gold in the world was found. The decorations and objects found in the necropolis are descriptive about the high level of culture and aristocracy of the antic civilization on these lands.

In the middle of the IV millennium B.C. the ice melting raises the water level with a few meters and the area of the bay is abandoned, the houses left, and life gradually dies. In the beginning of the III millennium B.C. the sea level lowers and the contemporary Beloslav lake and Varna lake are formed - separated from the sea by the sand strip. After many years of loneness the earliest Thracian tribes arrive, appreciating the location and fertile land.


There is not much information about the early history and origin of the Thracians. The most acceptable opinion is that they, together with the other Indo-European tribes, came after the end of the neolith era and settled for longer than a millennium. A solid information resource is the ancient Greek mythology as well as "Iliad" and "Odyssey" where the Thracians, their kings and treasures are described. Herodotus says "Among all people the Thracian nation is the biggest - after the Indian of course..." He also mentions a form of country organization with the Gethians, together with the Crobisian and other Thracian tribes. The theory is that the first settlers on the bay area were the gethians, and the major presence of the crobises. In the beginning they live in the inner part of the peninsula, but in VI century B.C. they move towards the water and settle between The Balkan Mountain and Batova River. People from these two tribes formed the majority of the antique town citizens. Towards the end of the VI century B.C. Odrysians' King Sitalkes united the Thracian tribes in a single country. All seacoast cities including Odessos, become part of it, the Thracian customs and culture, combined with the Hellenic traditions brought by the Milletian colonists form the city as an important cultural and trade center on the west coast of the Pontos.

Special thanks to Milena Minkova for the translation of this page.




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