Simeon I of Bulgaria
Simeon I the Great ruled over Bulgaria from 893 to 927, during the First Bulgarian Empire. Simeon's successful campaigns against the Byzantines and Serbs led Bulgaria to its greatest territorial expansion making it the most powerful state in contemporary Eastern Europe, his reign was a period of unmatched cultural prosperity and enlightenment deemed the Golden Age of Bulgarian culture. During Simeon's rule, Bulgaria spread over a territory between the Aegean, the Adriatic and the Black Sea; the newly independent Bulgarian Orthodox Church became the first new patriarchate besides the Pentarchy, Bulgarian Glagolitic and Cyrillic translations of Christian texts spread all over the Slavic world of the time. It was at the Preslav Literary School in the 890s. Halfway through his reign, Simeon assumed the title of Emperor, having prior to that been styled Prince. Simeon was born as the third son of Knyaz Boris I of Krum's dynasty; as Boris was the ruler who Christianized Bulgaria in 865, Simeon was a Christian all his life.
Because his eldest brother Vladimir was designated heir to the Bulgarian throne, Boris intended Simeon to become a high-ranking cleric Bulgarian archbishop, sent him to the leading University of Constantinople to receive theological education when he was thirteen or fourteen. He took the name Simeon as a novice in a monastery in Constantinople. During the decade he spent in the Byzantine capital, he received excellent education and studied the rhetoric of Demosthenes and Aristotle, he learned fluent Greek, to the extent that he was referred to as "the half-Greek" in Byzantine chronicles. He is speculated to have been tutored by Patriarch Photios I of Constantinople, but this is not supported by any source. Around 888, Simeon returned to Bulgaria and settled at the newly established royal monastery of Preslav "at the mouth of the Tiča", under the guidance of Naum of Preslav, he engaged in active translation of important religious works from Greek to Medieval Bulgarian, aided by other students from Constantinople.
Meanwhile, Vladimir had succeeded Boris, who had retreated as ruler of Bulgaria. Vladimir attempted to reintroduce paganism in the empire and signed an anti-Byzantine pact with Arnulf of Carinthia, forcing Boris to re-enter political life. Boris had Vladimir imprisoned and blinded, appointed Simeon as the new ruler; this was done at an assembly in Preslav which proclaimed Bulgarian as the only language of state and church and moved the Bulgarian capital from Pliska to Preslav, to better cement the recent conversion. It is not known why Boris did not place his second son, Gavril, on the throne, but instead preferred Simeon. With Simeon on the throne, the long-lasting peace with the Byzantine Empire established by his father was about to end. A conflict arose when Byzantine Emperor Leo VI the Wise acting under pressure from his mistress Zoe Zaoutzaina and her father Stylianos Zaoutzes, moved the marketplace for Bulgarian goods from Constantinople to Thessaloniki, where the Bulgarian merchants were taxed.
The Bulgarians sought protection by Simeon. However, the Byzantine emperor ignored his embassy. Forced to take action, in the autumn of 894 Simeon invaded the Byzantine Empire from the north, meeting with little opposition due to the concentration of most Byzantine forces in eastern Anatolia to counter Arab invasions. Informed of the Bulgarian offensive, the surprised Leo sent an army consisting of guardsmen and other military units from the capital to halt Simeon, but his troops were routed somewhere in the theme of Macedonia; the Bulgarians took most of the Khazar mercenary guardsmen prisoners and killed many archons, including the army's commander. However, instead of continuing his advance to the Byzantine capital, Simeon withdrew his troops to face a Magyar invasion from the north; these events were called "the first trade war in medieval Europe" by Bulgarian historians. Unable to respond to the Bulgarian campaign due to the engagement of their forces against the Arabs, the Byzantines convinced the Magyars to attack Bulgaria, promising to transport them across the Danube using the Byzantine navy.
Leo VI may have concluded an agreement with Arnulf to make sure that the Franks did not support Simeon against the Magyars. In addition, the talented commander Nikephoros Phokas was called back from southern Italy to lead a separate army against Bulgaria in 895 with the mere intention to overawe the Bulgarians. Simeon, unaware of the threat from the north, rushed to meet Phokas' forces, but the two armies did not engage in a fight. Instead, the Byzantines offered peace, informing him of both the Byzantine foot and maritime campaign, but intentionally did not notify him of the planned Magyar attack. Simeon did not trust the envoy and, after sending him to prison, ordered the Byzantine navy's route into the Danube closed off with ropes and chains, intending to hold it until he had dealt with Phokas. Despite the problems they encountered because of the fencing, the Byzantines managed to ferry the Magyar forces led by Árpád's son Liüntika across the Danube near modern Galaţi, assisted them in pillaging the nearby Bulgarian lands.
Once notified of the surprise invasion, Simeon headed north to stop the Magyars, leaving some of his troops at the southern border to prevent a possible attack by Phokas. Simeon's two encounters with the enemy in Northern Dobruja resulted in Magyar victories, forcing him to retreat to Drǎstǎr. After pillaging much of Bulgaria and
Christianization of Bulgaria
The Christianization of Bulgaria was the process by which 9th-century medieval Bulgaria converted to Christianity. It reflected the need of unity within the religiously divided Bulgarian state as well as the need for equal acceptance on the international stage in Christian Europe; this process was characterized by the shifting political alliances of Boris I of Bulgaria with the kingdom of the East Franks and with the Byzantine Empire, as well as his diplomatic correspondence with the Pope. Because of Bulgaria's strategic position, the churches of both Rome and Constantinople each wanted Bulgaria in their sphere of influence, they regarded Christianization as a means of integrating Slavs into their region. After some overtures to each side, the Khan adopted Christianity from Constantinople in 870; as a result, he achieved his goal of gaining an independent Bulgarian national church and having an archbishop appointed to head it. When Khan Boris began his reign in 852, the international situation in Southeast Europe was characterized by a race for influence in the region, both cultural and political.
The conflict with the Byzantine Empire for domination over the Slavic tribes in modern-day Macedonia and Thrace was still far from being resolved. In the middle Danube region, Bulgaria's interests crossed with those of the emerging kingdom of the East Franks and the principality of Great Moravia, it was about that period when Croatia emerged on the international scene, carrying its own ambitions and demands for territories in the region. On a larger scale, the tensions between Constantinople and Rome were tightening. Both centres were competing to lead the Christianization that would integrate the Slavs in South and Central Europe; the Bulgarian Khanate and the Kingdom of the East Franks had established diplomatic relations as soon as the 20s and 30s of the 9th century. In 852, at the beginning of the reign of Khan Boris, a Bulgarian embassy was sent to Mainz to tell Louis II of the change of power in Pliska, the Bulgarian capital. Most the embassy worked to renew the Bulgarian-German alliance.
Some time Khan Boris concluded an alliance with Rastislav of Moravia instigated by the King of the West Franks, Charles the Bald. The German Kingdom responded by attacking and defeating Bulgaria, forcing Khan Boris to re-establish an alliance with the German king directed against Great Moravia, a Byzantine ally; the situation held great risk for the weakened Bulgarian state. War broke out with the Byzantine Empire between 855 and 856; the Byzantines wanted to regain control over some fortresses on the Diagonal Road that went from Constantinople, through Philippopolis, to Naissus and Singidunum. The Byzantine Empire was victorious and reconquered a number of cities, with Philippopolis being among them. In 861 Khan Boris concluded an alliance with East Frankish King Louis the German, all while informing him that he would like to accept Christianity according to western rite; this renewed alliance threatened Great Moravia. This was at the same time. Cyril and his brother Methodius intended to draw Great Moravia closer to Constantinople and strengthen the Byzantine influence there.
Khan Boris was more interested in the first Slavonic alphabet Methodius had created. Bulgaria wanted to implement the Slavonic alphabet as well as a means to stop the cultural influence of the Byzantine Empire. In the last months of 863 the Byzantines attacked Bulgaria again after having been informed by their Moravian allies that Boris told the German king he was willing to accept Christianity and Byzantium had to forestall him from taking up Christianity from Rome. A Rome-dependent Bulgaria in the hinterland of Constantinople was a threat to the Byzantine Empire's immediate interests. Before any actual military engagements took place, Khan Boris was forced to sue for peace due to being unprepared for war because of Bulgaria being badly affected by crop failure and earthquakes that year, which Boris may have taken for a sign to convert according to the eastern rite. Negotiations were set up and Boris promised to convert to Eastern Orthodox Christianity along with his people, requesting missionaries to come to Bulgaria and begin the process.
The two sides concluded a "deep peace" for a 30-year period. In exchange for Bulgaria's conversion, the Byzantines returned conquered lands. In the late autumn of 864, a mission from the Patriarch of Constantinople Photios arrived at the Bulgarian capital Pliska and converted the Khan, his family and high-ranking dignitaries. Boris was given the Christian name Michael and, according to most scholars, changed his title to the Slavic equivalent of Prince - Knyaz. After that the Bulgarian population began converting to Christianity. Following the conquests of Khan Krum of Bulgaria at the beginning of the 9th century, Bulgaria became an important regional power in Southeastern Europe, its future development was connected with the East Frankish empires. Since both of these states were Christian, Pagan Bulgaria remained more or less in isolation, unable to interact on grounds, neither culturally nor religiously. After the conversion of the Saxons, most of Europe became Christian; the preservation of paganism among the Bulgars and the Slavs brought another disadvantage — the two ethnic groups' unification was hampered by their different religious beliefs.
Lastly, Christianity had its roots in the Bulgarian lands prior to the formation of the Bulgarian state. Louis the German was not satisfied with Boris' plan, but he did not car
The Odrysian Kingdom was a state union of over 40 Thracian tribes and 22 kingdoms that existed between the 5th century BC and the 1st century AD. It consisted of present-day Bulgaria, spreading to parts of Southeastern Romania, parts of Northern Greece and parts of modern-day European Turkey, it is suggested. Instead, the kings may have moved between residences. A capital was the city of Odryssa. Another royal residence believed to have been constructed by Cotys I is in the village of Starosel, while in 315 BC Seuthopolis was built as a capital. An early capital was Vize; the kingdom broke up and Kabyle was a co-capital by the end of the 4th century BC. The Odrysians were one of the most powerful Thracian tribes that dwelled in the plain of the Hebrus river; this would place the tribe in the modern border area between Southeastern Bulgaria, Northeastern Greece and European Turkey, centered around the city of Edirne. The river Artescus passed through their land as well. Xenophon writes that the Odrysians held horse races and drank large amounts of wine after the burial of their dead warriors.
Thucydides writes on their custom, practised by most Thracians, of giving gifts for getting things done, refuted by Heraclides. Herodotus was the first writer to mention the Odrysae. Thrace had been part of the Persian empire since 516 BC during the rule of Darius the Great, was re-subjugated by Mardonius in 492 BC. During Persian rule, it made part of the Skudra satrapy. Parts were occupied by Scythians and Greek colonists earlier besides the numerous invasions; the Odrysian state was the first Thracian kingdom that acquired power in the region, by the unification of many Thracian tribes under a single ruler, King Teres in the 470s BC after the Persian defeat in Greece. During the reign of Teres or Sitalces the state was at its zenith and extended from the Black Sea to the east, Danube to the north, the region populated with the tribe called Triballi to the north-west, the basin of the river Strymon to the south-west and towards the Aegean - present-day Bulgaria, Romanian Dobruja, Turkish East Thrace and Greek Western Thrace between the Hebrus and the Strymon, except the Aegean and Black seas coasts occupied by Greek cities.
Sovereignty was never exercised over all of its lands. Historian Z. H. Archibald writes: The Odrysians created the first state entity which superseded the tribal system in the east Balkan peninsula, their kings were known to the outside world as kings of Thrace, although their power did not extend by any means to all Thracian tribes. Within the confines of their kingdom the nature of royal power remained fluid, its definition subject to the dictates of geography, social relationships, circumstance This large territory was populated with a number of Thracian and Daco-Moesian tribes that united under the reign of a common ruler, began to implement common internal and external policies; these were favorable conditions for overcoming the tribal divisions, which could lead to the formation of a more stable ethnic community. This was not realised and the period of power of the Odrysian kingdom was brief. Despite the attempts of the Odrysian kings to bolster their central power, the separatist tendencies were strong.
Odrysian military strength was based on intra-tribal elites making the kingdom prone to fragmentation. Some tribes were rioting and tried to separate, while others remained outside the borders of the kingdom. At the end of the 5th and the beginning of the 4th century BC, as a result of conflicts, the Odrysian kingdom split into three parts; the political and military decline continued, while Macedonia was rising as a dangerous and ambitious neighbour. According to the Greek historians Herodotus and Thucydides, a royal dynasty emerged from among the Odrysian tribe in Thrace around the end of the 5th century BC, which came to dominate much of the area and peoples between the Danube and the Aegean for the next century. Writers, royal coin issues, inscriptions indicate the survival of this dynasty into the early 1st century AD, although its overt political influence declined progressively first under Persian, Macedonian Roman, encroachment. Despite their demise, the period of Odrysian rule was of decisive importance for the future character of south-eastern Europe, under the Roman Empire and beyond.
Teres' son, proved to be a good military leader, forcing the tribes that defected the alliance to acknowledge his sovereignty. The rich state that spread from the Danube to the Aegean built roads to develop trade and built a powerful army. In 429 BC, Sitalces allied himself with the Athenians and organized a massive campaign against the Macedonians, with a vast army from independent Thracian and Paeonian tribes. According to Thucydides, it included as many as 150,000 men, but was obliged to retire through the failure of provisions, the coming winter. Greek as a lingua franca had been spoken at least by some members of the royal household in the fifth century and became the language of administrators. After the kingdom had split itself in three semi-independent kingdoms Philip II of Macedon invaded and conquered much of Thrace; some Odrysian kings and other Thracian tribes were submitted and paid taxes at times during different periods to Philip II, Alexander the Great and Philip V. Two of the three kingdoms were forced into vassal status by Philip II in 352 BC, while in 342-341 BC he conquered the Odrysian hear
Second Bulgarian Empire
The Second Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state that existed between 1185 and 1396. A successor to the First Bulgarian Empire, it reached the peak of its power under Tsars Kaloyan and Ivan Asen II before being conquered by the Ottomans in the late 14th and early 15th centuries, it was succeeded by the Principality and Kingdom of Bulgaria in 1878. Until 1256, the Second Bulgarian Empire was the dominant power in the Balkans, defeating the Byzantine Empire in several major battles. In 1205 Emperor Kaloyan defeated the newly established Latin Empire in the Battle of Adrianople, his nephew Ivan Asen II made Bulgaria a regional power again. During his reign, Bulgaria spread from the Adriatic to the economy flourished. In the late 13th century, the Empire declined under constant invasions by Mongols, Byzantines and Serbs, as well as internal unrest and revolts; the 14th century saw a temporary recovery and stability, but the peak of Balkan feudalism as central authorities lost power in many regions.
Bulgaria was divided into three parts on the eve of the Ottoman invasion. Despite strong Byzantine influence, Bulgarian artists and architects created their own distinctive style. In the 14th century, during the period known as the Second Golden Age of Bulgarian culture, literature and architecture flourished; the capital city Tarnovo, considered a "New Constantinople", became the country's main cultural hub and the centre of the Eastern Orthodox world for contemporary Bulgarians. After the Ottoman conquest, many Bulgarian clerics and scholars emigrated to Serbia, Wallachia and Russian principalities, where they introduced Bulgarian culture and hesychastic ideas; the name most used for the empire by contemporaries was Bulgaria, as the state called itself. During Kaloyan's reign, the state was sometimes known as being of both Vlachs. Pope Innocent III and other foreigners such as the Latin Emperor Henry mentioned the state as Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Empire in official letters. In modern historiography, the state is called the Second Bulgarian Empire, Second Bulgarian Tsardom, or the Second Bulgarian Kingdom to distinguish it from the First Bulgarian Empire.
An alternative name used in connection with the pre-mid 13th century period is the Empire of Vlachs and Bulgars. However, Arabic chronicles from the 13th century had used only the name of Wallachia instead of Bulgaria and gave the Arabic coordinates of Wallachia and specified that Walachia was named "al-Awalak" and the dwellers "ulaqut" or "ulagh" In 1018, when the Byzantine emperor Basil II conquered the First Bulgarian Empire, he ruled it cautiously; the existing tax system and the power of low-ranking nobility remained unchanged until his death in 1025. The autocephalous Bulgarian Patriarchate was subordinated to the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople and downgraded to an archbishopric centred in Ohrid, while retaining its autonomy and dioceses. Basil appointed the Bulgarian John I Debranin as its first archbishop, but his successors were Byzantines; the Bulgarian aristocracy and tsar's relatives were given various Byzantine titles and transferred to the Asian parts of the Empire. Despite hardships, the Bulgarian language and culture survived.
Most of the newly conquered territories were included in the themes Bulgaria and Paristrion. As the Byzantine Empire declined under Basil's successors, invasions of Pechenegs and rising taxes contributed to increasing discontent, which resulted in several major uprisings in 1040–41, the 1070s, the 1080s; the initial centre of the resistance was the theme of Bulgaria, in what is now Macedonia, where the massive Uprising of Peter Delyan and the Uprising of Georgi Voiteh took place. Both were quelled with great difficulty by Byzantine authorities; these were followed by rebellions in Thrace. During the Comnenian Restoration and the temporary stabilisation of the Byzantine Empire in the first half of the 12th century, the Bulgarians were pacified and no major rebellions took place until in the century; the disastrous rule of the last Comnenian emperor Andronikos I worsened the situation of the Bulgarian peasantry and nobility. The first act of his successor Isaac II Angelos was to impose an extra tax to finance his wedding.
In 1185, two aristocrat brothers from Tarnovo and Asen, asked the emperor to enlist them into the army and grant them land, but Isaac II declined and slapped Asen across the face. Upon their return to Tarnovo, the brothers commissioned the construction of a church dedicated to Saint Demetrius of Salonica, they showed the populace a celebrated icon of the saint, whom they claimed had left Salonica to support the Bulgarian cause and called for a rebellion. That act had the desired effect on the religious population, who enthusiastically engaged in a rebellion against the Byzantines. Theodore, the elder brother, was crowned Emperor of Bulgaria under the name Peter IV, after the sainted Peter I. All of Bulgaria to the north of the Balkan Mountains—the region known as Moesia—immediately joined the rebels, who secured the assistance of the Cumans, a Turkic tribe inhabiting lands north of the Danube river; the Cumans soon became an important part of the Bulgarian army, playing a major role in the successes that followed.
As soon as the rebellion broke out, Peter IV attempted to s
The Cyclades are an island group in the Aegean Sea, southeast of mainland Greece and a former administrative prefecture of Greece. They are one of the island groups; the name refers to the islands around the sacred island of Delos. The largest island of the Cyclades is Naxos; the significant Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Cycladic culture is best known for its schematic, flat idols carved out of the islands' pure white marble centuries before the great Middle Bronze Age Minoan civilization arose in Crete to the south. A distinctive Neolithic culture amalgamating Anatolian and mainland Greek elements arose in the western Aegean before 4000 BCE, based on emmer and wild-type barley and goats, tuna that were speared from small boats. Excavated sites include Saliagos and Kephala with signs of copperworking, Each of the small Cycladic islands could support no more than a few thousand people, though Late Cycladic boat models show that fifty oarsmen could be assembled from the scattered communities, when the organized palace-culture of Crete arose, the islands faded into insignificance, with the exception of Delos, which retained its archaic reputation as a sanctuary throughout antiquity and until the emergence of Christianity.
The first archaeological excavations of the 1880s were followed by systematic work by the British School at Athens and by Christos Tsountas, who investigated burial sites on several islands in 1898–1899 and coined the term "Cycladic civilization". Interest lagged picked up in the mid-20th century, as collectors competed for the modern-looking figures that seemed so similar to sculpture by Jean Arp or Constantin Brâncuși. Sites were looted and a brisk trade in forgeries arose; the context for many of these Cycladic figurines has been destroyed and their meaning may never be understood. Another intriguing and mysterious object is that of the Cycladic frying pans. More accurate archaeology has revealed the broad outlines of a farming and seafaring culture that had immigrated from Anatolia c. 5000 BCE. Early Cycladic culture evolved in three phases, between c. 3300 – 2000 BCE, when it was swamped in the rising influence of Minoan Crete. The culture of mainland Greece contemporary with Cycladic culture is known as the Helladic period.
In recent decades the Cyclades have become popular with European and other tourists, as a result there have been problems with erosion and water shortages. The Cyclades comprise about 220 islands, the major ones being Amorgos, Andros, Delos, Kea, Kythnos, Mykonos, Paros, Serifos, Sikinos, Syros and Thira or Santoríni. There are many minor islands including Donousa, Gyaros, Koufonisia, Makronisos and Schoinousa; the name "Cyclades" refers to the islands forming a circle around the sacred island of Delos. Most of the smaller islands are uninhabited. Ermoupoli on Syros is the chief town and administrative center of the former prefecture; the islands are peaks of a submerged mountainous terrain, with the exception of two volcanic islands and Santorini. The climate is dry and mild, but with the exception of Naxos the soil is not fertile. Cooler temperatures are in higher elevations and do not receive wintry weather; the Cyclades are bounded to the south by the Sea of Crete. The Cyclades Prefecture was one of the prefectures of Greece.
As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the prefecture was abolished, its territory was divided into nine regional units of the South Aegean region: Andros Kea-Kythnos Milos Mykonos Naxos Paros Thira Syros Tinos The prefecture was subdivided into the following municipalities and communities. These have been reorganised at the 2011 Kallikratis reform as well. Province of Amorgos: Amorgos Province of Andros: Andros Province of Kea: Ioulis Province of Milos: Milos Province of Naxos: Naxos Province of Paros: Paroikia Province of Syros: Ermoupoli Province of Tinos: Tinos Province of Thira: ThiraNote: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greece. Local specialities of the Cyclades include: Brantada Fava santorinis Fourtalia Kalasouna Kalogeros Kakavia Ladopita Louza, similar to the Cypriot lountza Mastelo Strapatsada Lazarakia Melopita Aegean cat Nisiotika music Santorini wine Mosaics of Delos J. A. MacGillivray and R. L. N. Barber, The Prehistoric Cyclades 1984. R. L. N. Barber, The Cyclades in the Bronze Age 1987.
Peter Saundry, C. Michael Hogan & Steve Baum. 2011. Sea of Crete. Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. M. Pidwirny & C. J. Cleveland. National Council for Science and Environment. Washington DC. Jeremy B. Rutter, "The Prehistoric Archaeology of the Aegean": Lessons 2 and 4: chronology, bibliography Cyclades The Official website of the Greek National Tourism Organisation
Spondylus is a genus of bivalve molluscs, the only genus in the family Spondylidae. They are known in English as spiny oysters; the many species of Spondylus vary in appearance. They are grouped in the same superfamily as the scallops, they are not related to true oysters. The two halves of their shells are joined with a ball-and-socket type of hinge, rather than with a toothed hinge as is more common in other bivalves, they still retain vestigial anterior and posterior auricles along the hinge line, a characteritic feature of scallops, though not of oysters. As is the case in all scallops, Spondylus spp. have multiple eyes around the edges of their mantle, they have well-developed nervous systems. Their nervous ganglia are concentrated in the visceral region, with recognisable optic lobes connected to the eyes; the genus Spondylus appeared in the Mesozoic era, is known in the fossil records from the Triassic Cassian beds in Italy onwards. About 40 extinct species are known. Fossils of these molluscs can be found in fossiliferous marine strata all over the world.
For example, they are present in Cretaceaous rocks in the Fort Worth Formation of Texas, in the Trent River Formation of Vancouver, as well as in other parts of North America. Spiny oysters are found in all subtropical and tropical seas close to the coasts. Spondylus are filter feeders; the adults live cemented to hard substrates, a characteristic they share, by convergent evolution, with true oysters and jewel boxes. Like the latter, they are protected by spines and a layer of epibionts and, like the former, they can produce pearls; the type of substrate they use depends on the species: many only attach to coral, the largest diversity of species is found in tropical coral reefs. Others still are found attached to other shells the most common belonging to the genus Malleus. Archaeological evidence indicates that people in Neolithic Europe were trading the shells of S. gaederopus to make bangles and other ornaments throughout much of the Neolithic period. The main use period appears to have been from around 5350 to 4200 BC.
The shells were harvested from the Aegean Sea, but were transported far into the center of the continent. In the LBK and Lengyel cultures, Spondylus shells from the Aegean Sea were worked into bracelets and belt buckles. Over time styles changed with the middle neolithic favouring larger barrel-shaped beads and the late neolithic smaller flatter and disk shaped beads. Significant finds of jewelry made from Spondylus shells were made at the Varna Necropolis. During the late Neolithic the use of Spondylus in grave goods appears to have been limited to women and children. S. Crassisquama is found off the coast of Colombia and Ecuador and has been important to Andean peoples since pre-Columbian times, serving as both an offering to the Pachamama and as currency. In fact, much like in Europe, the Spondylus shells reached far and wide, as pre-Hispanic Ecuadorian peoples traded them with peoples as far north as present-day Mexico and as far south as the central Andes; the Moche people of ancient Peru regarded the sea and animals as sacred.
Spondylus were harvested from the Gulf of California and traded to tribes through Mexico and the American Southwest. Today, there are collectors of Spondylus shells, a commercial market exists for them. Additionally, some species are sometimes found in the saltwater aquariums. S. limbatus was ground for mortar in Central America, giving raise to its junior synonym, "S. calcifer". Some Mediterranean species are edible and, in particular S. gaederopus, is consumed in Sardinia. Tropical species, tend to bioaccumulate saxitoxin. Spondylidae taxonomy has undergone many revisions due to the fact that identification is traditionally based on the shell only, this is variable. To add to this, while some shallow-water species are common, at least two deep-water ones are known from a single specimen, while a third was only rediscovered after 77 years. At least another common species has a different shell. See also: Tikod amo, an undescribed species Spondylidae pictures of the shells of most extant species.
Shells at the Rotterdam Natural History Museum Session Abstracts on Spondylus research at the 13th Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists at Zadar, September 2007 Information about Spondylus from the website of the Gladys Archerd Shell Collection at Washington State University Tri-Cities Natural History Museum Article on "notched" Spondylus Neolithic artifacts in Europe A full and updated bibliography on Spondylus spp. in Aegean, Balkan and American contexts Lamprell, Kevin L.: Spondylus: Spiny Oyster Shells of the World, E. J. Brill, Leiden, 1987 ISBN 90 04 0839 4
The Gumelniţa–Karanovo VI culture was a Neolithic culture of the 5th millennium BC, named after the Gumelniţa site on the left bank of the Danube. At its full extent the culture extended along the Black Sea coast to central Bulgaria and into Thrace; the aggregate "Kodjadermen-Gumelnita-Karanovo VI" evolved out of the earlier Boian and Karanovo V cultures. In the East it was supplanted by Cernavodă I in the early 4th millennium BC. One of the most flourishing civilizations from the last half of the 5th millenium BC is Gumelniţa Culture... absolute chronology, still under discussion, according to the latest calibrated data, assigns this culture to the limits of the last half of the 5th millenium BC and maybe to early 4th millenium BC. —Silvia Marinescu-Bîlcu, "Gumelniţa Culture" This matches the view of Blagoje Govedarica. The first periodization of Gumelnita culture was suggested by VI. Dumitrescu who split the civilization of Gumelniţa into two phases: A and B. On, Dinu V. Rosetti divided the civilization into Al, A2 and B1, B2.
With a centric evolution from geographic point of view, the intensity of the cultural trends decreased from the center towards peripheral area. Having a strong Boian background at the origins, mixed with Maritza elements, the Gumelnita culture lasted short of a millennium from the beginning of Chalcolithic to the start of the fourth millennium BC. 4700-4350 Gumelnita-Karanovo VI-Kodjadermen is aggregated with Varna culture, still are debates along historians considering the distinctive character of Varna culture. 4500-3950 The regional characteristics of A1 phase are diminished, a more uniform characteristics is identified in discovered artifacts. The evolution of the Gumelniţa-Kodjadermen-Karanovo VI is ended on the north bank of the Danube after the arrival of Cernavoda cultures population; the layers at Karanovo are employed as a chronological system for Balkans prehistory. The Gumelniţa is remarkable by the richness of its zoomorphic representations; some consider the achievements of prehistoric craftsmen to be true masterpieces.
The representation from Gumelnița art differ by other cultures by the following: statuettes morphology characterised by expressivity and attitude. Modelling technique arms pozitions on the belly, stretched laterally, in the position of the “thinker” sex representation decoration patternSeashell ornament is common. At least some of the shellfish used come from the Aegean regions, for example the spondylas and the dentals; as evidence from archaeology, thousands of artifacts from Neolithic Europe have been discovered in the form of female figurines. As a result a goddess theory has occurred; the leading historian was Marija Gimbutas, still this interpretation is a subject of great controversy in archaeology due to her many inferences about the symbols on artifacts. Gumelniţa culture has some sign of work specialisation:...we do not have enough data on the internal organization of the community, but next to the dwellings themselves, arranged or not in a certain order, we encounter workshop-dwellings for processing lithic material, horns, statuettes, etc.).
—Gumelniţa Culture by Silvia Marinescu-Bîlcu During the Middle Copper Age, the Danube script appears in three horizons: The Karanovo VI–Gumelniţa–Kodžadermen cultural complex, the Cucuteni A3-A4–Trypillya B, Coțofeni I. The first, rates 68.6% of the frequencies. Old Europe Vinča culture Tărtăria tablets Vinča symbols Sesklo culture Cucuteni–Trypillia culture Hamangia culture Butmir Culture Tisza culture Linear Pottery culture Lengyel culture Funnelbeaker culture Stefan Hiller, Vassil Nikolov, Karanovo III. Beiträge zum Neolithikum in Südosteuropa Österreichisch-Bulgarische Ausgrabungen und Forschungen in Karanovo, Band III, Vienna, ISBN 3-901232-19-2. Cimec.ro Cimec.ro Brukenthalmuseum.ro Civa.uv.ro Civa.uv.ro Bulgariatravel.org Worldmuseumofman.org Culture.gouv.fr Cimec.ro Cimec.ro Arheologie.ulbsibiu.ro Pnas.org Arheologie.ro