Contributions to the Bulgarian Archeology / Приноси към българската археология <p>Within the series “Contributions to Bulgarian Archaeology. December Days of the Bulgarian Medieval Archeology "Prof. Stancho Vaklinov" are published mainly reports, presented at the scientific conferences "December Days of Bulgarian Medieval Archeology". Each volume is dedicated to a prominent Bulgarian archaeologist who had worked in the field of mediaeval archeology.</p> <p>В поредицата "Приноси към българската археология. Декемврийски дни на българската средновековна археология "проф. д.и.н. Станчо Ваклинов” се публикуват предимно доклади, изнесени на научните конференции „Декемврийски дни на българската средновековна археология“. Всеки том е посветен на виден български археолог, който е работил в областта на средновековната археология.</p> National Archaeological Institute wth Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences / Национален археологически инситут с музей, Българска академия на науките en-US Contributions to the Bulgarian Archeology / Приноси към българската археология 1310-7976 Средновековековният некропол от Гълъбник <p>The article presents one of the few medieval cemeteries excavated in the Upper Struma valley. The yielded artifacts allow to conclude that the cemetery functioned in the period between the 11th and the early decades of the 13th century.</p> <p>The grave pits were cut deep into the deposits of Tell Galabnik, accumulated in the Еarly Neolithic. Re­mains of a settlement were discovered next to the cemetery. The settlement was situated on the only dry area in this region covered by swamps, and it functioned at the same time with the cemetery.</p> <p>The cemetery at the village of Galabnik is among the important archaeological sites in the Upper Struma valley. The grave goods it yielded greatly outnumber other medieval cemeteries excavated in this region, such as the cemeteries in Pernik, Priboy and Kyustendil. Most of the personal ornaments yielded by the burials were typical for the period and were also found in a number of cemeteries excavated in present-day Bulgaria, Mac­edonia and Serbia.</p> <p>The small number of burials, the simple burial structures and the fact that there were no later burials cut­ting through earlier ones allow to suggest that the cemetery functioned for a relatively short period. It has been argued that people of a relatively high living standards, who inhabited the area for a short period of time, were buried in the cemetery.</p> Philip Mihaylov Orlin Rachev ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-03-28 2018-03-28 8 265 296 Средновековен некропол на улица „Tодор Балабанов“ № 1 в град Враца <p>The article presents the results of the rescue archaeological excavations carried out in 2016 in connection with an investment intention in the central part of the town of Vratsa. 39 burials which yielded bones of 40 individuals were excavated in the construction area. 38 out of 39 burials can be dated back between the 11th and the 14th century. The cemetery was used by a Christian community inhabiting the territory of medieval Vratitsa or some of its suburbs.</p> <p>Most of the grave pits have yielded grave goods, such as personal ornaments, elements of clothing and coins. The artifacts are made of glass, copper alloy, iron, and some are silver plated.</p> <p>The information provided by the stratigraphic evidence, numismatic artifacts and the grave goods allow to develop a more precise chronology of the cemetery functioning, dividing it into several phases. The early phase between the 12th and the first half of the 13th century is documented by plenty of evidence. The upper chronological limit is set by burial № 22, which yielded a coin of Tsar John Alexander (1331-1371) and his son Michael Asen.</p> <p>Despite the fact that the cemetery on 1 Todor Balabanov Str. was not entirely excavated, it provided suf­ficient information to place it among contemporary cemeteries on the territory of present-day Bulgaria and its neighboring countries. The study of the cemetery allowed to gather more information about the territory of the medieval Vratitsa.</p> Alexandra Petrova Maria Hristova ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-03-28 2018-03-28 8 255 264 „Страва“ и „тризна“ в контекста на ранносредновековните езически некрополи (археологически данни за поменалните обреди) <p>The article presents the studies of a phenomenon documented during the archaeological excavations of the early medieval pagan cemeteries in present-day Bulgaria – material remains of activities performed during the process of the burial or a certain period after it. They comprise mainly fragmented ceramic vessels and animal bones. Between 1970s and 1990s these remains were referred to using various terms, but the most commonly used terms were “strava” and “trizna”. As neither word is part of the Bulgarian language vocabulary, a detailed study of their origin and meaning in the Russian language was made. The terms were studied in details by A. Kotlyarevskii (1868). He believed that “trizna” meant the performing of military demonstrations (horse rac­ing, imitation of duels, exercises with arms), and “strava” – a rich funerary feast.</p> <p>His conclusions about the terms’ meaning were used by L. Niederle as well as by other researchers. How­ever, the semantics of the concepts have changed over the time.</p> <p>The observations during the archaeological excavations show that fragmented ceramic vessels and separate animal bones were found in different contexts – on the bottom of the grave, in the filling of the grave pit or at the level of the ancient surface. The interpretation of these artifacts is related to commemorative rituals and practices at the time of the burial or sometime after it. Such artifacts have been found in ca. ¼ of the burials in Balchik and Topola – two of the large pagan cemeteries in present-day Northeastern Bulgaria. They were recorded in the contexts in which their presence could not be regarded as a coincidence.</p> <p>When processing artifacts yielded by earlier and, more importantly, future archaeological excavations, spe­cial attention should be dedicated to this understudied practice of the daily life of the Early Medieval people.</p> Metodi Daskalov Yuri Pulchev ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-03-28 2018-03-28 8 245 254 Градът Карвуна? (Извори и археология) <p>This study reviews all available sources and publications about the territory known in the 11th–14th century under the name of the Karvuna land (Karvunskata zemya), Karvona chora, Karvuna archontate and the town of Karvuna.</p> <p>The analysis contradicts the claim that Tsar Ivan Alexander’s charter form 1230 given to the merchants from the city of Dubrovnik includes all territories within the Bulgarian kingdom. The thesis that these territories have always been named after their administrative centers has also been rejected. This is supported by the Privilegium given by Emperor Alexios III Angelos to Venice in 1198. It is widely accepted, based on the territories listed in the Dubrovnic Charter – Tarnovo and entire Zagora, and Preslav, and the the Karvuna chora, that the centers of these two territories were the new and the old capital cities of Tarnovo and Veliki Preslav, and not a town named Karvuna. According to the written sources, other ports and fortresses did not exist to the north of the present-day city of Varna and the Danube estuary until the late 13th and the early 14th century. The data allows to reject the suggestion of the existence of a district center named Karvuna in the 10th–13th century. It has also been established that the theses that a town named Karvuna has given the name of the territory in the 11th century is based on sources dating back as late as the 14th–18th century.</p> <p>The archaeological evidence for the two towns claiming the title of administrative center of the Karvuna – Kavarna and Balchik has also been reviewed. The conclusion is that this evidence does not support the possibility of the existence of a fortress and an administrative center with this name. There is no reason to believe that either town was the center of the Karvuna archontate. The studies reveal that the fortress and port named Karvuna developed as late as late 13th century and existed in the 14th century when a port with this name appeared on the portolan charts and sea maps.</p> <p>The analysis of the written sources dated back to the 14th century reveals that the information they provide is not about the town of Karvuna but about a territory – the Karvuna chora and the Karvuna archontate. One of the sources provides information about a fortress but its name is Karnava-Kavarna and not Karvuna. The evidence form written and archeological sources examined in this study does not support the longstanding thesis that this 14th century fortress gave the name of the area – Karvuna/Karvuna chora/Karvuna land – in the 11th century. The origin of the name of the Karvuna land/chora area is a subject of further research, but it seems possible that this is the name given by the Bulgarians to the Slavic toponim Hundred hills (Stohalmie). Since there is no information about the location of the fortress/town of Karvuna in the 11th–13th century, it seems more logical that the name of the harbour or the fortress of Karvuna marked on a number of maps and portolan charts after the 14th century was taken from the name of the district.</p> <p>Finally, this study argues that Karvuna is not the “first capital” of the Karvuna archontate/principality. There is no evidence of the existence of a castle or residence in any of the fortresses claiming this name; similarly, there is no evidence of an intense urban life in the 14th century. Such evidence exists only for the Kaliakra fortress, which functioned as the center of the principality from its establishment in the 1320s until its possible relocation to Varna after 1385.</p> Valentin Pletnyov ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-03-26 2018-03-26 8 21 32 Могилният комплекс при Кабаюк и началото на Плиска <p>A complete study of the assemblage of four mounds near the earthen fortification facility in Kabayuk excavated by R. Rashev was published in 2014. The researchers’ attention focused specifically on a burial under one of the barrows. It is a burial of a young aristocrat buried with an abundance of luxurious grave goods in accordance with the pagan ritual. The authors suggest that the burial dates back to the very late 7th or very early 8th century, and the barrow dates back to the early 9th century.</p> <p>&nbsp;Recently, St. Stanilov has argued that these results provide strong evidence supporting the argument about the functioning of a royal residence at this location form the late 7th and the early 8th century. This allowed him to defends the traditional view that Pliska, which is situated ca. 15 km away from it, has emerged as the center of the First Bulgarian Kingdom during the reign of Khan Asparukh (in the years after 681).</p> <p>&nbsp;This article reports the results of a critical comparison of the burial and barrow assemblage, which concludes that there is no clear chronological difference between the two archaeological structures. The burial preceded the barrow assemblage, and its location was carefully hidden. The four barrows were accumulated immediately after that in two stages. The barrows were smaller during the first stage, and barrow  4 covered the burial whose grave pit was cut into the bedrock. Pits and ovens were made at the periphery of the barrows. They were used for preparing ritual meals and grave goods during commemoration ceremonies. Following the completion of the funerary and commemorative ceremonies, the covers of the barrows were finalized.</p> <p>&nbsp;The author believes that the assemblage cannot be dated earlier than the beginning of the 9th century. A parallel can be made with similar assemblages in Pliska, the Fortification of Khan Omurtag on the Ticha River among others, all dating back to the first half of the 9th century. He believes that the four barrows in Kabayuk have important characteristics, but they cannot be linked to a ruler of the capital Pliska; it is more reasonable to link them to an inhabitant of a nearby earthen fortification.</p> <p>The author also reports the results of stratigraphic and comparative analyses used to establish the chronology of the grave good yielded by the burial under the barrow. R. Rashev’s conclusions that the barrows represent elements of certain activities form the early 9th century have been taken into consideration. Commenting on Rashev’s thesis and recent studies on the so-called Vrap–Velino group dated back to the 760s, the author suggests that the artifacts yielded by the burial are similar to others yielded by several individual burials excavated in the Pliska Field. The author believes that the earliest burials (such as burial  5 under barrow III, situated between Pliska and Madara ritual center) can be linked to the two important crossroads (crosswise and parallel) in the Pliska field. The field is situated between two territories: the Black Sea Coast and Dobrogea and the territory to the north of the Stara Planina Mountain, both densely populated with Bulgars in the 8th and 9th century.</p> <p>These finding allow to conclude that the currently available evidence does not support the argument of the existence of Pliska as an administrative and political center of the First Bulgarian Kingdom before the end of 8th century.</p> Pavel Georgiev ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-03-26 2018-03-26 8 33 46