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Sea Urchin Fossil Found at Mesolithic Site in Bulgaria

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

OHODEN, BULGARIA—Archaeology in Bulgaria reports that four blades made from obsidian, which originated some 250 miles away in the western Carpathian Mountains, and a 40-million-year-old fossilized sea urchin have been unearthed at the site of the Ohoden Early Neolithic settlement in northwestern Bulgaria. Georgi Ganetsovski of the Vratsa Regional Museum of History said the sea urchin fossil was recovered from one of two large pits. It is thought to have been found and kept by the early agriculturalists. In addition, new radiocarbon dating of a deer horn altar uncovered at the site suggest it is about 9,000 years old, or 1,000 years older than previously thought. “It has turned out that the site has an even earlier layer since the time of the end of the Middle Stone Age, or the Mesolithic,” Ganetsovski said. “This is giving us the rare opportunity to trace the key moment of transition of these human communities from hunting and gathering towards sedentary life and agriculture.” To read about prehistoric hunter-gatherers' transition to more sedentary communities in southern Africa, go to "Our Coastal Origins."

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