2005 International Institute of Anthropology
Lolita Nikolova, Ph.D.
Date of publication: August 19, 2005.

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Last updated: Sept 2, 2005.
Scandals in Bulgarian Post-modern Culture
Dubene (Dabene) gold finds
Early Bronze chiefdom in Western Thrace
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The earliest gold in Karlovo Valley. Newsletters
1, 2, 3,
Dubene-tell, Karlovo (Bulgaria). Early Bronze Age.
The oldest gold objects in Bulgaria and in the world come from later 5th millennium cal BCE, most popular of which are those from the Varna cemetery. We know them even from tells (multilevel settlements) such as Hotnitsa tell in Northern Central Bulgaria.
In the third millennium cal BCE in the Bulgarian lands there is a second period of distribution of gold adornments, this time together with silver objects. Dubene gold ornaments are neither bigger nor older than
Troy's finds in light of recent evidence. It is not a huge hoard but the newly discovered cemetery is very essential for European Prehistory since had confirmed many already well defined theses in historiography and updated them. For instance:
1. During the third millennium Thrace was a flourishing region in close contacts with Troy (I-III) and the northwestern Balkans.
2. In Western Thrace developed a leading cultural center known as Yunatsite culture and there was a chiefdom or chiefdoms.
3. The tell of Dubene-Sarovka to which the cemetery belongs was a central place.
4. Since Dubene was a center of production of bronze objects including a
lead flange axe, the gold objects could be a result of exchange or even local production, but we do not have a detailed publication of the newly discovered finds for more comprehensive interpretations.

For the first time it was also discovered a cremation tumuli cemetery in Thrace that connect the population with the rituals from Western Balkans and Central Europe and confirmed two theses: first, cremation was distributed in the Balkans from west and the tumuli have in the Balkans different origin - some of them are connected with the Steppe nomadic tribes while other (coming with cremation) have Central European origin. The tumuli are very small (c. 6 m in diameter according to preliminary information) and almost invisible (abt 0.50 m high).

The gold finds from Dubene-Balinov Gorun have analogies in many sites in the Agean - Troy, Poliochni, Laukas etc. The cremation rite and the small tumuli  were nother common elements between Laukas and Dubene.

It seems the Dubene social elite was integrated in the Balkan-Aegean-Anatolian network of economic and social contacts while the gold belongs to the first in the world global early Bronze Age horizon connecting Dubene with Troy/Poliochni, Ur and Harappa.

Lolita Nikolova, Ph.D.
Dubene-Cemetery, Karlovo (Bulgaria). Early Bronze Age. Third millennium cal BCE. The photos have been collected from different websites, so the finds are repeated.
Dubene Pottery
Dubene bronze finds
Dubene (Dabane) in the media