(DISCLAIMER: This blog is not an official Fulbright Program blog; the views expressed are my own and not those of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State or any of its partner organizations.)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"How old is this town" is a silly question

"How old is this town" is a silly question when you are in the cradle of civilization.  Towns here have been inhabited since the neolithic period. The Varna area has the richest collection of Paleolithic tools in southeast Europe.  The first European culture sprang up here about 5000 B.C., predating Egypt and Mesopotamia.  Nearby is a necropolis (archeologists' cemetery) with the oldest gold ornaments in world history, showing an advanced civilization in 4600-4200 B.C.  Thrace ruled the Black Sea coast from 1500 BC, rivaling the Greek city states and Macedonia.  Odessos, today's Varna, was founded in 585-530 B.C. on the ruins of an earlier settlement and became a prosperous trading center between the agricultural areas of Thrace, with wood, leather, grain, trading with the markets of Greece and Asia Minor for marble, pottery, wine and oil.  Philip of Macedonia lay seige to the city in 341 B.C.
  In our culture, there was a time when there was only prairie, then someone came along and decided that this would make a good settlement.  Here, the good settlement is the first premise, already there.

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