BHFS Affiliates at the “Early Neolithic in Europe” 2019 conference

(November 6-8, 2019)

The “Early Neolithic in Europe” conference took place in Barcelona in November 6-8, 2019 and gathered a large number of participants (about 170 specialists). The conference brought together scientists from around the world with an interest in Early Neolithic Europe and was the place for informal discussions and new contacts.

Dr. Małgorzata Grebska-Kulov and Petar Zidarov presented a report on the Early Neolithic settlement of Ilindentsi-Masovets in Southern Bulgaria, which is part of the Balkan Heritage Field School portfolio. Their presentation “Early Neolithic in Southwestern Bulgaria – supra-regional connections”  emphasized the diverse cultural contacts of the settlement during the developmental phase of the Early Neolithic. The prehistoric settlement of Ilindentsi, and in particular the Early Neolithic pottery with organic temper, was the topic of another report presented at the conference by Dr. Tanya Dzhanfezova from Oxford University. She presented a variety of organic material used in the pottery from Ilindentsi compared with two other Early Neolithic sites: Magura in Romania and Dzhulunitsa in Northern Bulgaria.    

An electronic publication of the results from the excavations in Ilindentsi-Masovets is currently in the making by an international team of authors.

Dr Małgorzata Grębska-Kulow and Petar Zidarov were the driving force behind the archaeological field school called “The Birth of Europe – Excavations at the Neolithic Settlement Ilindentsi”. The Balkan Heritage Foundation in collaboration with the Regional History Museum in Blagoevgrad, New Bulgarian University, the Municipality of Strumyani and the Institute for Field Research (IFR) in the US, conducted the field school in Ilindentsi, Southern Bulgaria from 2011 until 2018. During this period  over a hundred students and volunteers with interests in the Neolithic participated in the field school. Check out the project gallery here!

The end of one prehistoric BHFS project commemorates the beginning of another BHFS prehistoric project. Dr. Darko Stojanovski, another affiliate of the Balkan Heritage Foundation, who also attended the conference will be dig co-director of the new project “Neanderthal Crossroads: Excavations at the Middle Paleolithic Site Uzun Mera.” The first season of the field school is going to start on June 27, 2020 in Shtip, North Macedonia.

You can find a selection of pictures from the Ilindentsi field school below and on the first picture, you can see Prof. Isabelle Sidera (CNRS), Dr Tanya Dzhanfezova (Oxford University), Dr Małgorzata Grebska-Kulov, Prof. Bernhard Weninger (Cologne University) and Dr Darko Stojanovski.