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View Full Version : Europe oldest stone fortifications of a small town in bulgaria.



LeBrok
19-01-14, 04:56
This is the oldest fortified stone town discovered in Bulgaria. It was built around salt mine almost 7,000 years ago.
http://i.wp.pl/a/f/jpeg/30116/bulgaria_miasto_epa_600.jpeg

Vasil Nikolov, a professor from Bulgaria's National Institute of Archaeology, said the stone walls excavated by his team near the town of Provadia are estimated to date between 4,700 and 4,200 B.C. He said the walls, which are 6 feet high and 4 ½ feet thick, are believed to be the earliest and most massive fortifications from Europe's prehistory.
Nikolov said the settlement near Provadia was home to some 350 people who likely produced salt from the nearby rock-salt deposits.
"They boiled brine from salt springs in kilns, baked it into bricks, which were then exchanged for other commodities with neighboring tribes," Nikolov said, citing as possible evidence the gold and copper jewelry and artifacts that have been unearthed in the region.
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/11/01/bulgarian-archaeologist-says-team-has-unearthed-europe-oldest-town-near-salt/

bicicleur
19-01-14, 12:38
very interesting
I wonder why they needed such fortifications

first Indo-European invasion into the Balkans was only 4000 BC, much later

hope
19-01-14, 16:34
I think I read that this area had a good supply of timber.
Add that to the fact, usually fortifications of this period were timber based, I think it is safe to say the choice for stone walls were a serious attempt to keep that salt resource safe.

The community showed signs of wealth, reinforcing the high value salt had. You can understand why they would want to build walls around it.
Seems this was a busy , well established small town.

kamani
19-01-14, 19:49
must be those E1b1b property-oriented "Egyptians". Until then everybody was equal and no evil existed, then they got there and started building walls and locking doors, and everything went sour after that.

LeBrok
19-01-14, 20:43
must be those E1b1b property-oriented "Egyptians". Until then everybody was equal and no evil existed, then they got there and started building walls and locking doors, and everything went sour after that.
lol, if no evil existed in first place why would they have built walls? There was no evil to be afraid of and reason for walls, so why spend millions of dollars (in today's money) to build something that is not needed? They must have been terribly stupid.

Aberdeen
19-01-14, 21:20
lol, if no evil existed in first place why would they have built walls? There was no evil to be afraid of and reason for walls, so why spend millions of dollars (in today's money) to build something that is not needed? They must have been terribly stupid.

As hope has already mentioned, salt was a valuable commodity. I suspect that defensive walls became necessary wherever and whenever someone has a lot of a valuable commodity. It's difficult for modern people to realize how essential and valuable salt was in the ancient world, but it's easy to do an internet search that will provide lots of information on the subject. If you wanted to preserve food back then, you needed lots of salt, and difficulties in transportation meant that salt was very valuable anywhere that was very far from a body of salt water or an easily extractable salt deposit. I am a bit surprised to see a wealthy salt city in the Balkans, not far from the sea, but perhaps they produced a high quality salt that was better than what someone could produce by evaporating sea water.

LeBrok
20-01-14, 01:50
As hope has already mentioned, salt was a valuable commodity. I suspect that defensive walls became necessary wherever and whenever someone has a lot of a valuable commodity. It's difficult for modern people to realize how essential and valuable salt was in the ancient world, but it's easy to do an internet search that will provide lots of information on the subject. If you wanted to preserve food back then, you needed lots of salt, and difficulties in transportation meant that salt was very valuable anywhere that was very far from a body of salt water or an easily extractable salt deposit.
That's right. Looking at this most fortified structure of the era, we can conclude that they were the richest people at this time and places. No wonder they needed a good protection not to be an easy prey for every armed group. Knowing life, usually something, like robbery need to happen first, before people come to conclusion that they need finally do something with it. They've built big stone walls even though it must have cost them a fortune.


I am a bit surprised to see a wealthy salt city in the Balkans, not far from the sea, but perhaps they produced a high quality salt that was better than what someone could produce by evaporating sea water.
It seems to be the case.

Dalmat
20-01-14, 07:46
That's right. Looking at this most fortified structure of the era, we can conclude that they were the richest people at this time and places. No wonder they needed a good protection not to be an easy prey for every armed group. Knowing life, usually something, like robbery need to happen first, before people come to conclusion that they need finally do something with it. They've built big stone walls even though it must have cost them a fortune.


It seems to be the case.


why do you think it would cost fortune?


Balkans is a rocky terrain, karst, when you clear land in order to flatten it out, you get bunch of rocks pulled out of the earth, those rocks were still mainstreamley used for building walls or houses even 50 years ago.

http://www.dragodid.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/P1010836.JPG

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/40/Velebit_Ljuotic_Mataci.JPG

http://www.dragodid.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Veli-Iz-2010-suhozidi13.jpg

http://www.liburnija.net/wp-content/uploads/suhozid1.jpg

http://www.jutarnji.hr/multimedia/archive/00417/suhozid_417160S1.jpg


this is quite traditional for Croats, when you build like this, its like puzzle game, you seek flat parts of stone for outer part of the build, and occasional hammer work to fit stones next to each other, and to break larger ones apart


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70JptMKB1NY


example for habitats, houses

http://www.hrvatskainfo.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/kamena-kuca-na-bracu.jpg

http://uputstva.org/uputstva/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/stara-kamena-kuca.jpg

http://narodni.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Dalmatinska-kamena-ku%C4%87a.jpg

http://www.adrian.hr/modules/mod_news/data/113_4.jpg



Tool shed, or place for stockpile in field, or shelter from elements, what we call Bunja, and IMO this was probably most logical use of that find in Bulgaria.
Its kind of similar to egloo, but difference is its made from stone, and its permanent

http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/2558/46869.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/12/Bunja_Sibenik.jpg

http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/68/dsc01601r.jpg

http://www.tribunj.hr/Administration/_Upload/LargeImages/bunja%208.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/31/Kazun,_Croatia.JPG


It is efficient use of materials you get as byproduct, and not some excessive use of wealth and resources

Bit eye candy for the end :D

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x41/trajina/mocira.jpg

LeBrok
20-01-14, 08:48
why do you think it would cost fortune?


Balkans is a rocky terrain, karst, when you clear land in order to flatten it out, you get bunch of rocks pulled out of the earth, those rocks were still mainstreamley used for building walls or houses even 50 years ago.


I gother you never build wall like this yourself, otherwise you would know how much work it takes. Just bringing these rocks to the place it is a heavy physical work and we are taking about thousands of metric tons for the described wall. Now they didn't know the mortar cement, so they needed to make sure that rocks fit well with each other. Either you spend time looking for perfect one or you use copper tools to chisel one. With this method one person can place about 5 stones an hour, and if you want a perfect fit, it might take hours for one stone. I can't judge how precise their job was from the picture above. If this wall was 1,000 feet long 6 foot high and 5 thick, to encircle a village of 350 people, then we are talking about 100,000 stones. That's a lot of stones to bring in place without wagons, wheelbarrows, picks, horses, etc, just pure man labour. And even more labour to select or shape stones with copper tools and put them in place well enough to make sure the wall is steady and strong.
In today's labour cost we are talking about few million dollars.

Dalmat
20-01-14, 09:01
I gother you never build wall like this yourself, otherwise you would know how much work it takes. Just bringing these rocks to the place it is a heavy physical work and we are taking about thousands of metric tons for the described wall. Now they didn't know the mortar cement, so they needed to make sure that rocks fit well with each other. Either you spend time looking for perfect one or you use copper tools to chisel one. With this method one person can place about 5 stones an hour, and if you want a perfect fit, it might take hours for one stone. I can't judge how precise their job was from the picture above. If this wall was 1,000 feet long 6 foot high and 5 thick, to encircle a village of 350 people, then we are talking about 100,000 stones. That's a lot of stones to bring in place without wagons, wheelbarrows, picks, horses, etc, just pure man labour. And even more labour to select or shape stones with copper tools and put them in place well enough to make sure the wall is steady and strong.
In today's labour cost we are talking about few million dollars.


actually i have built it :P, and have wall on my olive field, water cistern, as well as Bunja, all built by me

I have placed video up there to show how its built.

It could be expencive in a place where stone isnt abundant, so you need to import it, but its not expensive at all here.

Today, labor work is more expensive to build stone house, because it requires more work and talent then using bricks, but material you get here is free.

What you write shows you have no experience in subject at all.

LeBrok
20-01-14, 09:22
actually i have built it :P, and have wall on my olive field, water cistern, as well as Bunja, all built by me

I have placed video up there to show how its built.

It could be expencive in a place where stone isnt abundant, so you need to import it, but its not expensive at all here.

Today, labor work is more expensive to build stone house, because it requires more work and talent then using bricks, but material you get here is free

Now I understand your dalmat, sorry, dilemmat :grin:. I'm sure they got stone for free. But knowing how much labour it takes, building your wall, I'm not sure why you claimed it wasn't expensive to build such massive wall as they did? Sure we are not talking about building an Egyptian pyramid, but still a huge wall by their standards and for 350 residents (mostly kids, probably 70 adults). They probably used cheap labour from neighboring villages, but still a big project by their standards.

PS. Pyramid of Cheops took 30 years to build by at least 10 thousand people for 12 hours a day, that's about 50 billion dollars in labour, stone was free. Half the price of international space station.

LeBrok
20-01-14, 09:26
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=70JptMKB1NY
By the way, nice to see you. :)

Dalmat
20-01-14, 09:28
Now I understand your dalmat, sorry, dilemmat :grin:. I'm sure they got stone for free. But knowing how much labour it takes, building your wall, I'm not sure why you claimed it wasn't expensive to build such massive wall as they did? Sure we are not talking about building an Egyptian pyramid, but still a huge wall by their standards and for 350 residents (mostly kids, probably 70 adults). They probably used cheap labour from neighboring villages, but still a big project by their standards.

PS. Pyramid of Cheops took 30 years to build by at least 10 thousand people for 12 hours a day, that's about 50 billion dollars in labour, stone was free. Half the price of international space station.


think of it this way, today it expensive to build it in France for example, but this is due modern market and labour prices, as well importing stone..

Here you only need to be willing to do this, and have some experience in making it..

Actually the thing is you need to make it, because you would have heaps of stone clogging your field, terrain or what ever.


I am not experienced in making pyramids :grin:, so i dont know about that

Dalmat
20-01-14, 09:40
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=70JptMKB1NY
By the way, nice to see you. :)


nah thats not me, but hired worker showing how its built :laughing:


its from this page, has some interesting stuff in pictures

http://www.dragodid.org/ucili-smo-od-profesionalaca-kako-se-radi-suhozid/




I made my own in privacy with my cousins


Here is one vid how to make fireplace from stone


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUFjYtfqV1Y

Aberdeen
23-01-14, 17:05
If you're farming or herding livestock on stony land, you have to move all the stones out of your fields, and you have to put them somewhere. If you also happen to have a commodity that other people really covet (such as salt nearly 7000 years ago), you might decide to spend the time and energy to use those stones to build a wall around your village, so that other people can't raid your village and kill you for your salt. Doing that doesn't cost money in a pre-money society. it does cost time and energy, but would probably be cheaper than having half your people killed and your stockpile of salt stolen. And building a wall isn't nearly as difficult as building a pyramid. I know, because I had practice building stone walls while I was growing up in the country. You need walls to fence in livestock. And I believe the Balkans area was already in the early Neolithic at that point.

LeBrok
23-01-14, 18:38
Doing that doesn't cost money in a pre-money society. it does cost time and energy, but would probably be cheaper than having half your people killed and your stockpile of salt stolen. Exactly, I was using modern equivalent of work (time and energy) in dollars to show approximate value to construct this wall. Though not very precise measure, it gives us some perspective to quantise their efforts.



I know, because I had practice building stone walls while I was growing up in the country. You need walls to fence in livestock. And I believe the Balkans area was already in the early Neolithic at that point.Good point, they already knew the process of building smaller walls, they've just kick it up a notch for this one.


And building a wall isn't nearly as difficult as building a pyramid.
It is amazing that till modern times the most labour, skill and money intensive single projects were the ones not benefiting lives of populous. They were the religious structures of the times like pyramids, panteon, basilics and cathedrals. It should tell us something about power of human spirituality, in form of organized religions.

Aberdeen
23-01-14, 19:04
I guess these people were pragmatists - protective walls before pyramids. Maybe a group of early humanists.