Solnitsata: The Oldest, Richest Town in Europe

Some of the Varna treasure, believed to be associated with SolnitsataFor today’s article we have ‘Oldest’ European Town News Misses the Obvious, by Brian Thomas. This is one of those rare archaeology articles, which tend to be unusual in other aspects beyond simply their broader subject matter.

The background here is that the ruins of (what is believed to be) the oldest known ‘town’ in Europe have been discovered in the Varna province of Bulgaria, near to the present-day city of Provadia. The town’s economy is believed to have been based around it’s salt mines, salt having been a very important commodity in the fifth millennium BC. Indeed, the value of said mineral cannot be overstated – the BBC article that Thomas uses as one of his references notes:

[The town’s] discovery in north-east Bulgaria may explain the huge gold hoard found nearby 40 years ago.

Salt really was worth something back in the day. Continue reading