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The preliminary analysis of Early Neolithic pottery from North Central Bulgaria, and the site of Dzhulyunitsa specifically, yielded surprising results which affect a number of aspects related to the study of the Neolithisation processes. Not all characteristic features traditionally considered as key signal of the Neolithisation processes were confirmed by our mineralogical and chemical analysis. A number of specifics related to the presence of engobe for instance, indicate a considerably more complex picture. In some cases the observations show no additional slip, just a simple burnish of the brownish ware, whereas in others a true slip covers both the inner and the outer surface of the vessels (white or cream-slip ware). With regard to the red engobe specifically, the majority of studied fragments actually have just red-colour surface that results from the oxidation or the rubbing of ochre, and not from the addition of a true slip. These observations raise the following question: do we actually compare same technological approaches, traditionally seen as signal for the spread of the Neolithic way of life? Furthermore, as regards the provenance of the vessels, materials expected to have local origin proved to be imported whereas others, seen as more specific and coming from distant territories were actually made on the spot by local row-materials. Even at this stage the preliminary results do not confirm some of the traditional views on this early material, raise a series of new questions and represent a ground for further interpretations and discussions regarding an eventual fragility of some models suggested for the Neolithisation processes in this part of South-East Europe.

About the authors

Tanya Dzhanfezova

St Cyril and St Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo

Author for correspondence.
Email: dzhanfezova@yahoo.com

PhD, Lecturer, Department of Archaeology, Faculty of History


Chris Doherty

Oxford University, Dyson Perrins Building

Email: chris.doherty@rlaha.ox.ac.uk

Scientific researcher

RLAHA, Oxford University, Dyson Perrins Building South Parks Rd, OX1 3QY UK

Nedko Elenski

Regional Museum of History

Email: diviat@abv.bg


Regional Museum of History Veliko Tarnovo Nikola Pikolo str., 5000 Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria


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Copyright (c) 2015 Dzhanfezova T., Doherty C., Elenski N.

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