The Japan Times, April 16, 1998

72,000-year-old Bulgaria settlement found

SOFIA (AP) Archaeologists have excavated a 72,000-year-old settlement in a cave in northern Bulgaria, the state news agency BTA reported Tuesday.
Bulgarian archaeologists made the find at the Devetashkata Cave near the town of Pleven, 160 km northeast of the capital Sofia.
The cave, one of the largest in Europe, was inhabited during six historical periods, from the Paleolithic to the Middle Ages.
Bulgaria, a Balkan country on the southeastern fringe of Europe, is a crossroads of ancient civilizations.
The country inherited remains of the ancient Bulgarian, Greek, Thracian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman civilizations, and each has left its mark in countless antiquities, burial mounds, temples, graves and churches.
According to experts, this settlement belonged to an unknown culture.
Clay idols were found in each home of the settlement. Among the finds is a cult object with eight openings whose purpose has not yet been identified.
Researchers found the burial site of an 11-year boy in the cave, with unique bronze plates with peacock heads engraved on one side and geometrical figures on the other lying next to the skeleton.