Spatial variability in surface artefact distributions in the Kazanlak Valley

Adela Sobotkova

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This chapter presents the results of spatial analysis conducted on a surface survey data from the Tundzha Regional Archaeology Project (TRAP) in the Kazanlak Valley. It characterises the dynamics of settlement patterns in the valley and reviews factors contributing to them. Diachronic variation in the spatial distribution of human activities in the Kazanlak Valley indicates that both natural and social drivers shaped the locational preferences of past communities within this intermontane landscape. In most periods, site distributions depart from spatial randomness. In the long term, site numbers periodically grow and decline, pointing to changing demographic trends and habitation preferences. Prehistoric settlement patterns seem governed by environmental and economic factors, while socio-political circumstances dominate historical periods. Site dispersal and aggregation are correlated with shifts of political autonomy from local communities to supra-regional polities and vice versa. Given the limitations of survey data and the diachronic approach, the analysis provides a bird’s-eye view of developments in Kazanlak. These results provide context for future explorations of specific periods and sites at a finer scale using other approaches.
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 pages24
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.


  • spatial statistics
  • multi-scalar analysis
  • diachronic settlement patterns
  • cultural and environmental history
  • competition


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