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Salz und Gold: die Rolle des Salzes im prhistorischen Europa Salt and Gold: The Role of Salt

in Prehistoric Europe

Salz und Gold: die Rolle des Salzes im prhistorischen Europa


Akten der internationaler Fachtagung (Humboldt-Kolleg) in Provadia, Bulgarien
30 September 4 October 2010

Herausgegeben von

Vassil Nikolov und Krum Bacvarov

Provadia Veliko Tarnovo 2012


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Salt and Gold: The Role of Salt in Prehistoric Europe


Proceedings of the International Symposium (Humboldt-Kolleg) in Provadia, Bulgaria
30 September 4 October 2010

Edited by

Vassil Nikolov and Krum Bacvarov

Provadia Veliko Tarnovo 2012


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Gedruckt mit Untersttzung der Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung Bonn, Deutschland Printed with the support of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Bonn, Germany

Sprachredaktion: Krum Bacvarov (Englisch), Tabea Malter (Deutsch), Gassia Artin (Franzsisch) Grafikdesign: Elka Anastasova

Vassil Nikolov, Krum Bacvarov (Hrsg.) Verlag Faber, Veliko Tarnovo ISBN 978-954-400-695-2
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Inhalt / Contens
List of Contributors ................................................................................................................................ 7 Vorwort der Herausgeber / Editorial ..................................................................................................... 9 Vassil Nikolov Salt, early complex society, urbanization: Provadia-Solnitsata (5500-4200 BC) ................................. 11 Olivier Weller La production chalcolithique du sel Provadia-Solnitsata : de la technologie cramique aux implications socio-conomiques ...................................................... 67 Hristo Etropolski Technology of salt extraction by means of a Late Neolithic furnace from Provadia-Solnitsata .......... 89 Margarita Lyuncheva Tell Provadia-Solnitsata: The late Neolithic Karanovo III-IV period in the West Black Sea Coast context ..................................................................................................... 93 Viktoria Petrova Tell Provadia-Solnitsata: the Middle Chalcolithic layer in the context of the cultural development of the Western Black Sea area ......................................... 103 Petar Leshtakov The late Chalcolithic at Provadia-Solnitsata in the context of the West Black Sea Coast .................. 109 Krum Bacvarov Saltmaking and boundaries: Within and Without at Provadia-Solnitsata ........................................... 119 Desislava Takorova Long distance contacts in later prehistory: ecological, economical and social implications .............. 123 Dan Monah Lapprovisionnement en sel des tribus chalcolithiques sdentaires et des tribus des steppes du Nord de la Mer Noire ............................................................................. 127 Ion Sandu, Olivier Weller, Marius Alexianu Analyses archomtriques sur les moules sel chalcolithiques de lest de la Roumanie .................. 143 Marius Alexianu, Olivier Weller, Robin Brigand, Roxana-Gabriela Curca Ethnoarchologische Forschungen zu den Salzwasserquellen der moldauischen Vorkarpaten, Rumnien ......................................................................................... 155 Valeriu Cavruc, Antony Harding Prehistoric production and exchange of salt in the Carpathian-Danube Region ................................ 173

Cristian Schuster, Ionut Tutulescu Zum Salz im Nordosten Olteniens (Rumnien) in der Vorgeschichte bis ins Mittelalter. Eine Einfhrung .................................................................. 201 Nenad Tasic New evidence on salt use in the Neolithic of Southeast Europe ......................................................... 213 Slavisa Peric Die neolithischen Siedlungen in der mittleren Morava-Ebene und die Slatina-Toponymie ............... 219 Thomas Saile Salt in the Neolithic of Central Europe: production and distribution ................................................. 225 Albrecht Jockenhvel Bronzezeitliche Sole in Mitteldeutschland: Gewinnung - Distribution - Symbolik ........................... 239 Thomas Stllner Prhistorischer Steinsalzbergbau - wirtschaftsarchologische Betrachtung und neue Daten ............. 259 Martin Hees Die Bedeutung der vorgeschichtlichen Salzgewinnung in Sdwestdeutschland ................................ 277 Peter Attema, Luca Alessandri Salt production on the Tyrrhenian coast in South Lazio (Italy) during the Late Bronze Age: its significance for understanding contemporary society ..................... 287 Elisa Guerra-Doce, F. Javier Abarquero-Moras, Germn Delibes-de Castro, Jess del Val-Recio, ngel L. Palomino-Lzaro Salt production at the Villaffila Lake Complex (Zamora, Spain) in prehistoric times ...................... 300 Isabella Tsigarida Bereiche der zentralen Einflussnahme auf Salz im Rmischen Reich am Beispiel der Provinz Dakien ....................................................................... 313 Valeri Yotov Bulgarian control over the Salt Road in Transylvania during the 9th century: The archaeological evidence ............................................................................................................... 323 Evgeny Golovinsky Das Kochsalz - Urgeschichte und Gegenwart einer bedeutenden Substanz ....................................... 333 Mariana Mitewa, Christo Kolev Sodium Chloride: food and poison ..................................................................................................... 341 Petia Penkova Salt as a medicine for gold .................................................................................................................. 345 Anna Coleva-Dimitrova Das Salz in der bulgarischen Mikrotoponymie ................................................................................... 349

V. Nikolov & K. Bacvarov (eds). Salz und Gold: die Rolle des Salzes im prhistorischen Europa / Salt and Gold: The Role of Salt in Prehistoric Europe. Provadia & Veliko Tarnovo, 2012, 119-122.

Saltmaking and boundaries: Within and Without at Provadia-Solnitsata


Krum Bacvarov

Looking for the reason for enclosing a given space, one can give various answers with different degree of complexity and probability. However, even a simple consideration of the enclosed spaces in later prehistory shows that enclosures are not uniform and have different functions. Enclosing is a way for differentiating space, not only physically but also socially, and those within the enclosure (we) distinguish themselves from the other without (they); they emphasize their identity which finds expression, beside all other things, in common history, social relations and means for social reproduction (for a detailed consideration of the phenomenon of enclosing in prehistory, see Harding 2006). But whatever their forms and functions, enclosures have a single common role: they determine the differentiation of inner and outer space. This division has a ritual aspect as well, one that is related to the individuals transitions between these spaces crossing the border, which defines the chronological categories of now and after. This crossing physically follows from the enclosures type, whether a rampart, palisade, wall or various combinations between them, and the complexity of the enclosing pattern determines to a certain degree how much the people inside distinguish themselves from those outside (see the historiographical review in Chapman, Gaydarska 2006). Enclosing defines the time as well as the space characteristics of this border. Its crossing comes down as much to the complex physical act as it does to the social time that had been taken by the ritual itself. The bigger the investment of efforts and time, the more important become the social practices that those within the enclosed space are involved in. Moreover, the cosmological opposition, which is the result of this social differentiation, might find a spatial expression in the complex enclosing pattern connecting it with the environment or with the cardinal points that represent part of the established social order. The representation of reality in the form of enclosure per se is an expression of common efforts and social organization; they allow the community to build its social identity through the very act of construction. Social engagement with the enclosing strengthens the significance of the ritual border crossing and makes the individuals acts inseparable of the preceding acts of the community (Bourdieu 1991). The space at an ancient site with so complicated life story as Provadia-Solnitsata underwent dynamic development that could be considered in the context of economic and social processes as well as of cosmological and religious changes. The inhabited area in the later Neolithic the time of and directly after the foundation of a village which would evolve in the following centuries into a complex settlement featuring layout and enclosures that have been carefully planned for and executed was not enclosed, at least according to the evidence of the excavation thus far1, but the first settlers at Provadia, who came from the plains of Thrace, had chosen a natural elevated ground to make their new home thus separating it from the natural and cultural environment. On the other hand, saltmaking at this early stage was at least partially enclosed within the real/symbolic settlement boundaries and even within the
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This paper was completed before the 2011 season at Provadia-Solnitsata and does not include the spectacular results of the latest excavation.

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boundaries of village buildings, which had further emphasized the formative identity characteristics of the settlement community. Salt production during the later Neolithic was carried out by evaporating brine from the Provadia salt springs in thin-walled ceramic bowls specially made for the purpose which were placed into specially built massive dome ovens. These ovens were located in buildings within the settlement (for all excavation details, see 2008 and Nikolov, this volume). A brine evaporation installation was found on the ground floor of a two-level building. The installation is four-sided, with bulging walls and rounded corners, and dimensions along the two axes 1.70 by 1.50 m. It consists of a solid dome and a thick inner floor, but without the thinner or thicker base raised above the room floor which was typical of the domestic ovens. The brine evaporation vessels represent a specific ware that was identified for the first time in the later prehistory of the Eastern Balkans. These are thin-walled bowls with roughly smoothed surface, wide mouth, and deep biconical body. The technological and economic mechanisms of the Neolithic saltmaking at Provadia-Solnitsata have not yet been satisfactorily explained, nor are the social consequences of that specific activity, which had bestowed huge social prestige, beside everything else, to the prehistoric saltmakers and their community, but it is obvious that beside multiple other factors, this complex assemblage consisting of an open (although naturally delimited) settlement and a closed (at least to a certain degree) production type suggests the existence of clearly defined and structured ideas of within and without. It is reasonable to believe that the techno-economic distinction was even more accentuated by a material culture and traditions that differed very much from the northeast Bulgarian Neolithic milieu. The early development of the colonial-type settlement obviously predetermined complex space and identity negotiations as much within Provadia-Solnitsata itself as with the native northeast Bulgarian Neolithic communities. Brine evaporation in ovens was practiced throughout the later Neolithic, i.e. up to the beginning of the fifth millennium BC but no evidence has been provided so far on an early Chalcolithic production; no such layer has been identified in the excavated area of Tell Provadia-Solnitsata. It seems that in the next occupation period the main elements of this open-settlement / closedproduction pattern swapped their positions and therefore drastically changed their functions and meaning: saltmaking in the middle Chalcolithic was completely or at least mostly moved out of the settlements area which, however, had been enclosed by a complicated system of impressive ditches, walls, bastions and palisades, and controlled and therefore dominated over the surrounding space through various economic, social and ritual practices. The Chalcolithic enclosure consisted of two major parts. A ditch was dug between the low natural elevation which the earlier settlement had been founded on and which naturally delimited it and the surrounding flat landscape, and behind the ditch, a wall was erected consisting of a stone wall made of huge rocks and a palisade of densely spaced and high oak trunks, thickly clay-plastered on both sides. The ditch and the wall completely enclosed the village and outlined an irregular circle covering an area of about 70 ares, which most probably was accessible through two opposite gates, at least the southeastern of which was flanked by two quadrilateral bastions connected to the palisade by short stone walls. A strong earthquake destroyed the bastions but high and thick walls of smaller stones were built behind their remains (fig. 1). The appearance of such a complicated and carefully planned enclosure, which had strictly defined space division and access, should be considered in relation to the drastic change in the saltmaking technology. During the middle Chalcolithic, if not earlier, the dome ovens were replaced with larger open installations: wide pits in which ceramic vessels of a new type were arranged close to each other. These were very deep and thick-walled tubs of much larger volume than that of the later Neolithic bowls. The brine evaporation was performed on an open fire burning on the pits bottom in the spaces between the touching mouth rims of the tubs. Only a small part of the Chalcolithic production site has been uncovered. Now its area seems to be at least 50 ares but in fact it could turn out to be larger. It is located immediately north-northeast of the tell settlement.

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Fig. 1. The liminal space between within and without: the southeastern gate of Tell Provadia-Solnitsata (photo Petar Leshtakov)

The central and eastern parts of one of the production pits have been excavated which was subsequently transformed into a dumping area for production remains from the salt production in other similar installations. Its length is about 10.50 m and the maximum width of the excavated part is 5 m. The maximum pit depth is 1.75 m. It is irregular, almost oval in shape, narrowing in its northern part. In the southeastern part of the installation, a chute of nearly southeast-northwest orientation has been found. Its uncovered part is 3.80 m wide and 5.20 m long. This was probably the access way to the production pit. The pit was completely filled with mainly large sherds of very deep and wide thick-walled tubs and a great amount of white wood ash. The mouth diameter of the tubs varies from 30 to 70 cm, the bottom diameter is about 18-20 cm and their depth is probably 50-80 cm. The wall thickness varies between 1.5 and 2.5 cm. The outer surface is rusticated and under the mouth pairs of large conical buttons have been attached. The inner surface is smoothed. The ceramic sherds show secondary firing. Only several thin-wall sherds have been uncovered in the pit permitting to date the installation back to the beginning of the late Chalcolithic Varna culture. The change in the saltmaking technology by brine evaporation is obvious; the ovens of the later Neolithic were replaced with much more productive installations. The deep pottery tubs were probably arranged on the pits bottom in such a way that their mouths touched and the periphery vessels touched the pit walls. Bearing in mind their height and inverted conical shape, often with considerable advantage of the mouth diameter to that of the bottom, large spaces widening downwards were left between the parts of the vessels under the mouths. These spaces were probably filled with firewood. During the whole evaporation process the fire heated laterally mainly the upper part of the brine in the tubs; during the evaporation its level dropped down and so did the level of the fire burning outside. With the fire dying away the temperature dropped down thus creating conditions for salt crystallization. Hard conical salt cakes remained in the tubs which were convenient to transport at long distances.

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It is still not known whether the outer production area had also been enclosed or only delimited because the control exercised from within the walled tell settlement could have been sufficient to isolate the production area from any undesired outside forces. Whether this was so or not, it is certain that the inhabitants of the inner space also controlled the extensive trade contacts as well as undoubtedly huge for the time sphere of culture and economic influence of the Provadia saltmakers related to their trade expansion. The small areas of the Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlements excavated thus far as well as of the Chalcolithic production area do not give enough evidence to draw detailed conclusions but it is obvious that all these complex and clearly defined spatial oppositions determine strict organization and probably stratification of the social landscape. The fact that such an impressive enclosure which included construction elements built of stone blocks weighting several tons each, and which had efficiently restricted the access to and respectively the exit of the inner space at Provadia-Solnitsata actually enclosed a Chalcolithic settlement that has thus far failed to yield massive architectural remains, drastically contradicts the true value of the raw material which the Provadia community dominated over. Moreover, almost no metal items have been uncovered at the site, neither copper nor golden ones, nor do we have any finds that can be considered as direct evidence of extensive exchange networks. Of course, the reasons for this obvious incongruity could be many: for example, the later disturbances related to the erection of the Thracian tumulus upon the tell, during which a considerable part of the prehistoric cultural layer had been completely destroyed, as well as the recent occupations of the area, but there are also other factors for this seeming destitution hidden behind Cyclopean walls, which have to be looked for. And I see this research strategy as an especially important aspect of the future investigation of the life and death of the prehistoric saltmakers of Provadia.

References
2008: . (.). -. 2005 2007 . , 2008. Bourdieu 1991: P. Bourdieu. Language and symbolic power. Cambridge, 1991. Chapman, Gaydarska 2006: J.C. Chapman, B. Gaydarska. Does enclosure makes a difference? A view from the Balkans. In: A. Harding, S. Sievers, N. Venclov (eds). Enclosing the past: Inside and Outside in Prehistory (Sheffield Archaeological Monographs, 15). Sheffield, 2006, 20-43. Harding 2006: A. Harding. Enclosing and excluding in Bronze Age Europe. In: A. Harding, S. Sievers, N. Venclov (eds). Enclosing the past: Inside and Outside in Prehistory (Sheffield Archaeological Monographs, 15). Sheffield, 2006, 97-115.

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