Numerous gold items have been recovered at archeological sites in Bulgaria. [AFP]
Bulgarian archaeologists announced two major finds at the close of the 2012 excavation season, and hope to obtain state and other financial support to shed more light on the life and culture of the early Balkan civilisations.
Vasil Nikolov, former head of the country's National Archaeology Institute, unearthed Europe's oldest urban settlement near Provadia, 50 kilometres west of Varna on the Black Sea, which is dated between 4700 and 4200 BC.
The site is more than 100 metres in diameter, is encompassed by a 3-meter high stone wall and has two-story structures housing nearly 350 residents.
The settlement is one part of a much larger complex from the same period, which includes a salt production unit, a sanctuary and a necropolis.
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