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The Caves and the Sacred Oven
The Caves and the Sacred Oven

Author(s): Maya Avramova
Subject(s): History, Archaeology, Cultural history, Local History / Microhistory, Ancient World
Published by: Институт за балканистика с Център по тракология - Българска академия на науките

Summary/Abstract: The author examines the cave dwellings, as well as the traces of human activities in caves in the period fifth-third millennium BC on the territory of present-day Bulgaria, which exceed 85 in number, according to the database accumulated. Remains of hearths and/or ovens, quern stones and clay vessels scattered around them, tools and cult objects from the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age, have been found and studied in most of the cave dwellings. The argument defended is that the archaeological research in the central part of the Rhodope Mountains allows discerning the existence of an autonomous archaeological culture that had survived the Late Chalcolithic and the Early Bronze Age. Several cave ensembles are presented in detail: Yagodinska cave, Trite Dupki and Dolna Karanska cave, as well as parallel monuments from Northern Bulgaria: the caves Ermenska and Magura. The author supports the idea of the sacral character of caves and associates their functioning as cult spaces with that of the oven, which – apart from its domestic role – is also perceived as part of a mythical and religious complex.

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: 19
  • Page Range: 23-31
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: English