Bulgaria: Sea-Level Change and Submerged Settlements on the Black Sea

Preslav Peev, Helen Farr, Vladimir Slavchev, Michael J. Grant, Jon Adams, Geoff Bailey

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The Black Sea is recognised as having great potential for the preservation of submerged prehistoric sites because of the large area of land exposed on the continental shelf at lowest sea levels, especially along its western and north-western coastlines. However, very few have been discovered to date, and those that are known are located in Bulgaria. Because of the complexities associated with the periodic isolation of the Black Sea from the Mediterranean and its reconnection, offshore research has tended to focus on geological and geophysical investigation of inundation history, with unresolved and strongly held disagreements about the timing and rapidity of sea level rise at the end of the Last Glacial and its potential human impact. In Bulgaria, a rich concentration of underwater prehistoric sites has been discovered, thanks to dredging activities earlier in the twentieth century and a long tradition of underwater archaeological investigations going back to the 1970s. These demonstrate the presence of substantial in situ village settlements of Eneolithic and Early Bronze Age date in shallow water (<10 m), with excellent preservation of large ceramic assemblages, wooden structures and faunal and palynological data on palaeodiet and palaeoeconomy. More recently, large-scale marine-geological and archaeological projects have begun, aimed at integrating shallow-water inshore investigations with offshore survey in deeper water.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Archaeology of Europe’s Drowned Landscapes
EditorsGeoffrey Bailey, Nena Galanidou, Hans Peeters, Hauke Jöns, Moritz Mennenga
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic) 978-3-030-37367-2
ISBN (Print) 978-3-030-37366-5
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameCoastal Research Library
ISSN (Print)2211-0577
ISSN (Electronic)2211-0585

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2020

Open Access
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  • Flood hypothesis
  • Underwater settlements
  • Sea-level change
  • Early Bronze Age
  • Eneolithic


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