Rousse Regional Museum of History
"All that I experienced afterwards had already been in Roustchouk". Elias Canetti
TELL KOSHARNA

Dimitar Chernakov

 The settlement mound stands 3 km south of the village of Kosharna, Slivo pole municipality. The tell resembles a truncated cone, with a diameter of 66 m at the base, average height of 5 m, and an area of 2.7 decares. It is situated on a south-eastern facing slope, close to a small spring.
Archaeological investigations, directed by Dimitar Chernakov, began in 2007. To date, four habitation layers, dated in the Late Chalcolithic and the Gumelnitsa culture (4500–4100 B.C.E) have been studied through test trenches. Destructions of several burnt dwellings have been uncovered, oriented according to their short walls north-south. Fixed in the ground beams supported the wattle-and-daub structure. In certain dwellings the floor had several renovations of yellow or green clay, periodically fired.
      In 2009 a sector of a dwelling of the third habitation layer was studied. Oriented in accordance with the rest of the buildings, it is 6 m wide, while the entire length has not yet been established. Its destructions include charcoals, pottery fragments, wall plaster and traces of burnt wooden construction. The eastern wall is marked by an irregular line of ten post holes with outer clay plaster. The western wall is marked by five line post holes. The dwelling featured at least two rooms, separated by an internal wall, executed in a similar to the outer wall manner. Three layers are distinguished on the clay floor. In the southern room two complete vessels were found, as well as stones used as ground stones. In the second room there were three vessels, two of which were fragmented in the destruction of the dwelling. One of those contained a collective find of 24 flint blades, two fragments of decorative Spondylus artefacts and a river clam shell. Those finds are characteristic of the Late Chalcolithic period.
 A child’s skeleton, in contracted position to the right, head to the south-west, was excavated beneath this dwelling. The skull is crushed under the pressure of the overlying strata, and the bones of one of the hands are found behind it. Animal bones were found dispersed around the skeleton, animal bones, and a shell atop of the back of the skull.
    In the central part of the mound, a large pit was discovered. It resembles an inverted bell, with oval section and an upper diameter of 1.80 m and a bottom diameter of 1.00 m. It cuts through habitation layers I through III. The walls of the pit were not plastered. Four stages of accumulation have been distinguished, with the fill consisting of pieces of burnt wall plaster of various sizes, fragments of pottery vessels, animal bones, stones and burnt wood. Four skeletons were found in the pit – of a lamb, of a doe, of a dog and two of rabbits. The lamb skeleton is complete, while that of the doe’s lacks a skull, the skeleton of the dog is dismembered of 3 parts. The pottery found in the pit dates its creation to the end of the tell’s habitation – second phase of Gumelnitsa culture. It belongs to a complex of features located in the central part of the settlement. It is possible that the pit was used for ritual purposes, and the several stages of accumulation testify to its numerous uses. 
The last season work began on the necropolis, belonging to the tell, 160 m north-west of the tell. Our test trenches located three graves. The skeletons are all placed in contracted position on the left with heads to the north-east. Burial inventory is lacking, but on the bones of the skeleton lumps of red ochre were found. The three graves stand on average some five meters apart and are almost aligned. In immediate proximity to the three graves a clay structure was located, destroyed by intense fire. In it, a collective find of 33 ceramic vessels, as well as a flat stone (most likely ground stone). They stood on the burnt floor level, partly covered by burnt wall plaster. This collective find is also of Late Chalcolithic date (Gumelnitsa culture).

 

EMAIL ADRESSES OF CONTRIBUTORS

Dimitar Chernakov, dpristensis@yahoo.co.uk

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Bibliography

Чернаков, Д., and M. Гюрова. 2008. Аварийни археологически разкопки на селищна могила № 1 до с. Кошарна, община Сливо поле, Русенска област. –  Археологически открития и разкопки през 2007 г.:68-72. Sofia: Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
__________. 2009. Археологически разкопки на селищна могила № 1 до с. Кошарна,  Русенско. –  Археологически открития и разкопки през 2008 г.:90-93. Sofia: Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
__________ Археологически разкопки на селищна могила и некропол до с. Кошарна, Русенско. –  Археологически открития и разкопки през 2009 г.:73-75. Sofia: Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.