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Rhodopy Mountains

The archaeological research in the Rhodopy Mountains in Bulgaria focuses on the oldest prehistoric cultures in the region, which had never been investigated before. Dr Stefanka Ivanova’s research into the prehistoric rock sanctuaries in the Eastern Rhodopy mountains has been funded by Horizon since 2006, including photo-documentation of the sites in 2006-2007 to prevent looting. Stefanka has discovered and documented he first agricultural societies (7th – 4th centuries BC) and found traces of settlements dating from various periods during the earliest times of human history (the Paleolithic age). She was the first to discover flint artfacts that prove that the region had been inhabited for over one million years by members of the Gens Homo. Stefanka’s current project continues to chart these remainders in the Arkata caves.

The main objectives of the Arkata project are:
– To delve into the deep of two of the caves near Arkata and determine a cultural horizon of the time of the earliest settlements on the European continent.
– To recover materials for scientific investigations from the oldest sediments, such as flint, fauna, small mammals, anthropological findings and materials that can be carbon dated.

To eventually construct a full reconstruction of the living conditions and the changes in the natural environment of 1,5 million years ago of the oldest representatives of the Gens Homo that went on to populate Europe, Asia and the New World.