Thursday, April 28, 2011

Archaeologists Explore Site for Answers About First European Farmers

It is a small, quiet village in Bulgaria. Before now, few people knew of its existence. It sits adjacent to mountains in a river valley and any photographer might say that, from a distance and at the proper elevation, viewing it from afar would be a scenic experience. What may place this little village on the map, however, has nothing to do with scenery. In the coming months, it will be the focus of a group of archaeologists who hope to find some answers to questions about the first farmers of Europe.

Nestled in the small Middle Struma River Valley in southwestern Bulgaria, a site near the town of Ilindentsi is one of six early Neolithic settlements that have been mapped by scientists as archaeological sites that contain evidence left behind by some of Europe's earliest agriculturalists. Initial excavation probes were conducted at the site from 2004 to 2009 by archaeologists from the Blagoevgrad Regional Museum of History.

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