site.btaThe Lord of the Salt: Sofia Exhibition Tells Story of Prehistoric Salt Production in NE Bulgaria

The Lord of the Salt: Sofia Exhibition Tells Story of Prehistoric Salt Production in NE Bulgaria
The Lord of the Salt: Sofia Exhibition Tells Story of Prehistoric Salt Production in NE Bulgaria
At the opening of "The lords of the salt" exhibition from right: Vice President Iliana Iotova, Tourism Minister Evtim Miloshev, Prof. Vasil Nikolov, former President Georgi Parvanov and Bulgarian Academy of Sciences President Julian Revalski, Sofia, June 11, 2024 (BTA Photo)

An exhibition in Sofia  tells the story of a millennia-old salt production and urban centre in the northeastern Bulgarian town of Provadia.  The exhibition at the National Archaeological Museum is dedicated to the 20th anniversary of archaeological research of the Provadia complex and is titled "The lords of the salt: Provadia-Solnitsata (5600 – 4350 BC).  "This country surprises with inexhaustible riches that we should bequeath to the generations after us, but also to enjoy now and attract more tourists," Vice President Iliana Iotova said in his opening remarks. 

The exhibition presents over 530 finds discovered during the excavations of the oldest salt-production and urban center Provadia-Solnitsata. The exhibits date from Late Prehistory, Late Hellenistic period and Antiquity.  They testify to the large-scale development of the only early salt mining in the region, the salt trade, the accumulation of wealth by the communities in the area, the need for their protection behind the massive stone walls and the social hierarchy of the complex prehistoric society in the period from 5600 to 4350 BC, the exhibition's curator, Dr. Galina Samichkova, said earlier on Tuesday.

The exhibition is the product of a joint efforts of the National Archaeological Institute and Museum with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Provadia History Museum, and Provadia-Solnitsata teams under the scientific guidance of Prof. Vassil Nikolov.  

The exhibition is on display in the Temporary Еxhibitions Hall of the National Archaeological Museum and will remain there until September 18, 2024.

"This exhibition will show us exactly how salt has its millennial history and how it can be the foundation of entire civilizations. And all this happened here, on Bulgarian lands," Vice President Iotova said. "7000 years ago, there was a civilization here that is almost two millennia older than the oldest Egyptian pyramids. People here knew how to defend their wealth, create life around it and be extremely influential. We can also see that they enjoyed high standards of living," Iotova added.

Prof. Vassil Nikolov said, "There were two golden millennia in the history of the Bulgarian lands and these are the sixth and the fifth millennia. A civilization that emerged in southern Bulgaria, but gradually spread across the Danube and thanks to salt it became a remarkable phenomenon in the prehistory of Europe. We have to remember that the roots of Europe are here, in today's Bulgarian lands, in the eastern and central Balkans."

Among the officials at the opening of the exhibition were President Georgi Parvanov (2002 - 2012), Culture Minister Nayden Todorov, Tourism Minister Evtim Miloshev, Provadia Mayor Dimo Dimov and BTA Director General Kiril Valchev. 

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By 21:52 on 13.07.2024 Today`s news

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