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November 10 2012

At "Europe's Oldest Town," Unusual Fortifications Hint at Prehistoric Riches


It's controversially being called Europe's oldest known town. But whatever Solnitsata's place in history, it's becoming clear that the 6,500-year-old Bulgarian site—not far from the continent's earliest known gold hoard—had something very much worth protecting.

Researchers announced last week they'd discovered 10-foot-tall (3-meter-tall), 6-foot-thick (1.8-meter-thick) stone walls around the settlement. The find is among the evidence for Solnitsata's oldest-town status—and further proof of an advanced Copper Age Balkan trade network, according to dig leader Vasil Nikolov, a Bulgarian archaeologist.

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