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Hall 1 Prehistory (the 6th – 2nd Millennium BC)

The Room Prehistory  represents the development and culture of the population that inhabited the present – day Bulgarian lands from the beginning of the 6th millennium to the end of the 2nd millennium BC – the time of the Neolithic, Chalcolithic and the Bronze Age.
 
The stone tools of well – polished surface, ceramics, sickle, and others came into use during the Neolithic (New Stone Age). Agriculture and stockbreeding were developed as well as the first tells and multi – layered settlements emerged. Religious beliefs appeared, part of which is the Great Mother – Goddess cult. The anthropomorphic figurines from the village of Topolnitsa are probably vestiges of them.
 
At the beginning of the period the ceramics was richly decorated with paints of different colours, but at its end – with many engravings. This is illustrated with an anthropomorphic vessel from the Early Neolithic settlement near Gradeshnitsa, a village in the Vratsa region and with a vessel with white decoration from the Neolithic settlement Galabnik, the Pernik region.
 
The ore – mining and copper metallurgy emerged during the Chalcolithic Period (Stone Copper Age) (from the 5th to the middle of the 4th millennium BC). One of these production centres is situated in the neighbourhood of Ay – Bunar, near Stara Zagora. New fortified settlement appeared, and the ceramics acquired various shapes and decorations.
 
All this led to changes in the stratification and the recognition of the figure of the chieftain – priest. The graves from the Varna Chalcolithic necropolis are a good illustration of the above with grave No. 1 shown in the Room.
 
The Bronze Age began at the end of the 4th millennium BC. It is associated with the use of new metal – bronze. At first, it was an alloy of copper and arsenic, and subsequently – an alloy of copper and tin.
 
The existence of tells continued. Sometimes peripheral settlements – satellites were situated around them as well. Also, the contacts with the neighbouring lands increased, cups of the Troy type and vessels from the tell Galabovo in the Radnevo region being an example of them.
 
At the end of the Early Bronze Age new changes in the society occurred. Exactly then the role of distinct person – chieftain – priests became outstanding again. The numerous gold adornments from the graves in the tumulus near Dabene, a village in the Karlovo region, are an example of this.

At the end of the Bronze Age the tribes who inhabited today’s Bulgarian lands consolidated and appeared on the stage of history with their own names in the written sources.