|Balkan Prehistoric Household
Periodization of Balkan Prehistory
Early Neolithic - later 7th - mid 6th millennium cal BCE (abt 6200 - 5500 cal BCE)
Late Neolithic - mid 6th Millennium - end 6th millennium cal BCE (abt 5500 - 5000/4900 cal BCE)
Early Coper Age - beginning of the 5th millennium - mid 5th millennium cal BCE (abt 5000/4900 - 4500 cal BCE)
Late Copper Age - mid 5th millennium cal BCE - end 5th millennium cal BCE (abt 4500 - 4000 cal BCE)
Final Copper Age - beginning 4th millennium cal BCE (abt 4000 - 3600 cal BCE)
Early Bronze Age
Early Bronze I - abt 3600 - 3000 cal BCE
Early Bronze II - 3000/2500/2400 cal BCE
Early Bronze III - 2500/2400 - 2000 cal BCE
Middle Bronze Age - abt 2000/1900 - 1600/1500 cal BCE
Late Bronze Age - abt 1600/1500 cal BCE - 1200/1100 cal BCE
References: Nikolova L. 2001, Nikolova L. 2000е, Nikolova 1999a, Görsdorf J., Bojadžiev J. 1996, ,
Ovcharovo Tell (Northeast Bulgaria)
Ovcharovo 1-7 - Early Copper Age (Boyan culture)
Ovcharovo 8-13 - Late Copper Age (Gumelnitsa culture)
Ovcharovo is one of the rare completely excavated tells in
the Balkans, as rescue excavations of Henrieta Todorova
with team in 1971-1972. Because of the employed
macrostratigarphy we do not have almost any detailed
information about the households of the Ovcharovo
community except for modelled plans, some photographs
of excavations and some pottery published by modelled
levels, without stratigraphic data.
This model of Ovcharovo household is based on data about
a clay model of a one-room house found in Ovcharovo B
(horizon 9) , a model of possible oven (Ovcharovo A,
horizon 7) , plan of Ovcharovo 9 village (according to the
model of Todorova, without opportunity for verification
because of missing published excavation information with
depths and description of the found houses) , and a
photo of House 2 from village 9 .
If figure 2 shows a model of oven based on the analogy
with Figure 1, then we can think about some continuity in the
tradition of building ovens with two-sloping roof. It is unclear
whether this roof resembles the house roof, or it is a
simplified presentation of more complex symbolism, known
for instance, from the Slatino model of oven .
The house 2  from Ovcharovo 9 shows that the oven
was against the east wall. There is a concentration of
vessels in the central part but it is unclear whether they
were in situ.
The village plan of Ovcharovo 9 shows possible 8
houses (in the text - 10 (Тодорова et al. 1983: 37), but
missing micro-stratigraphy makes impossible to conclude
whether these houses co-existed. All the houses were
burnt. Todorova believes the burnt horizons from later Early
Copper - Late Copper in Northeast Bulgaria were a result of
big conflicts (war?) ( ibid., loc. cit.). Although there is a
transition in the ceramic style Boian - Gumelnitsa, about the
mod of the 5th millennium ends the Hamangia ceramic
style replaced by Gumelnitsa. If we accept the war model it
occurs that the expansion of the Gumelnitsa - Karanovo VI
style reflects a political expansion of a Gumelnitsa core of
population, that made impossible the Hamangia
communities to continue their traditions. Another
explanation model is based on the presumption that the
fashion of Gumelnitsa style became wide distributed and
Hamangia communities accepted that style as fashionable
and as a way to integrate themselves as a part of a vast
interrelated communities in the eastern Balkans known as
Gumelnitsa - Karanovo VI - Varna culture complex.
In the context of the recent discussion about why we
discover burnt houses, Ovcharovo represent an instance in
which in some cases the village was burnt and in other not.
In other words the destroyed houses did not have traces of
burning or did have traces of burning. The common in this
cases is tradition of destruction of the houses and
rebuilding the village space. Then, this tradition can include
burning or non-burning. The tradition of rebuilding can
accept innovation like intentional burning before rebuilding.
Accordingly, burning itself does not make any argument
about historical process.
Тодорова Х., Василев В., Янушчиев З., Ковачева М., Вълев
П. 1983 Овчарово. БАН. София. Разкопки и проучвания
Ivanov, Totyo. Radingrad. Tell and necropolis (V – IV mill. A.
Model of house from house 9,
Ovcharovo 9. Discovered
together with the cult scene.
Late Copper Age.
Model of oven. Ovcharovo 7 (Early Copper Age).
Ovcharovo 9. Plan of the village according to Henrieta Todorova. No published
data for verification.
Ovcharovo 9. House 9. Here was discovered the cult scene.