Kazanlak survey results

Adela Sobotkova, Shawn Ross

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This chapter presents the results of three seasons of pedestrian surface survey in the Kazanlak study area conducted by the Tundzha Regional Archaeology Project (TRAP), covering an area of 86 sq km. Survey strategies were applied adaptively depending on ground visibility, and survey efficiency increased during each season. Archaeological remains included 82 surface artefact concentrations and 773 burial mounds. The sizes of artefact concentrations show the dominance of small, < 1 ha examples. The recovery rate of nearly one artefact concentration per sq km indicates the high survey productivity of the Kazanlak study area, despite the adverse effect of post-depositional processes on the valley floor. Direct comparison of recovery rates with other studies is difficult due to the lack of compatible datasets from other parts of Bulgaria. The density of burial mounds is high compared to parallels in Lydia, and is exceeded only by Bronze Age mound necropoleis of Bahrain and similar in Eurasia. The size profile of the burial mounds in Kazanlak favours mounds less than 1 m high due to a local anomaly, the Gorno Sahrane necropolis, consisting of nearly 400 small mounds. The data also shows that the preservation of mounds is affected not only by mound size, but also surrounding land use, with mounds in pasturelands best preserved.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Tundzha Regional Archaeology Project
Subtitle of host publicationSurface Survey, Palaeoecology, and Associated Studies in Central and Southeast Bulgaria, 2009-2015 Final Report
EditorsShawn Ross, Adela Sobotkova, Georgi Nekhrizov, Julia Tzvetkova, Simon Connor
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxbow Books
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781789250541
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • burial mounds
  • intensive survey efficiency
  • Kazanlak
  • Seuthopolis
  • site definition
  • site recovery rates
  • surface concentrations


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