Българско е-Списание за Археология (Jun 2015)

The Population of the Medieval Settlement near the Village of Zlatna livada, Chirpan Region, Bulgaria (Based on Pottery Studies)

  • Rumyana Koleva

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 5, no. 1
pp. 37 – 52


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The archaeological excavations at the medieval settlement near the village of Zlatna livada, Chirpan municipality, provided important information about the character of the pottery assemblage in Thrace in the Early Medieval period. They provided evidence suggesting that the first inhabitants settled on the eastern part of the excavated area. The pottery which can be related to the earliest structures in this part of the excavated area is very uniform. The jars are of the most common shape. Most have marks indicating that the vessel were turned on a slow wheel without centering and throwing. Two pots differ from the rest and their characteristics undoubtedly indicate that the vessels were made by throwing. Some of the pots are covered by a thin mica coating. In contrast to the opinion that there were no such jars in the Byzantine pottery assemblages, a similarity to jars discovered in present-day Greece and Turkey is found. Similar jars were found at other sites in Thrace as well. The pottery group from Zlatna livada is dated to the 9th–10th century AD based on parallels and stratigraphic observations. The technological and formal characteristics of the pottery found at Zlatna livada provide evidence that it was manufactured by people who had long adopted and assimilated the experience, the skills and the technical competence of the Byzantine pottery makers. The presented pottery group, and in particular the observed technological changes and some typical features of the later 11th–12th century AD pottery can be regarded as an indicator of continuity between the pottery production of the Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages on the territory to the south of the Balkan.