Copper Age kilns discovered in Bulgaria

Two Copper Age pottery kilns have been unearthed at the Bazovets Settlement Mound in northeastern Bulgaria. The kilns were found in an archaeological layer dating to the Early Chalcolithic period (ca. 4,800 – 4,600 B.C.) and indicate the prehistoric settlement had a significant pottery-making facility.

Archaeologists from the Ruse Regional Museum of History discovered the first of the kilns in 2019 but were only able to excavate part of it. This season of digs picked up where last season left off, fully unearthing the first kiln and discovered the second one in the same spot on the eastern edge of the village. This area was dedicated to manufacturing activity.

The second kiln has two chambers. The lower one was a fuel chamber that would heat the chamber above it where the pottery was cooked. It has a clay base three by four feet in area on top of which a wood wattle structure was built. Thick layers of clay were adhered to the outside and inside of the wattle structure leaving an opening on the southeast side. The opening was closed during baking with three large stones which were discovered right in front of the kiln.

This kiln was attached to the eastern wall of a rectangular building. A small room near the entrance is believed to have been used to store food as kitchen waste including animal bones and river clam shells were found there.

In addition to the nearly 7,000-year-old Early Chalcolithic pottery-making kilns, during their 2020 excavations at the Bazovets Settlement Mound, the archaeologists have also found and started to unearth a prehistoric building which was even older than the kilns themselves.

The prehistoric building in question was built of wood and clay, and was destroyed by a large fire.

In its southern part, the archaeologists have found several intact pottery vessels and bases as well as a horn tool which were placed on a podium. They are going to continue researching the prehistoric building further during their next excavations of the Bazovets Setttlement Mound.