ISAW Lecture: The Late Copper Age in the East Balkans and the Case of Varna

NYU Institute for the Study of the Ancient World Exhibitions Lecture: Vladimir Slavchev
The Late Copper Age in the East Balkans and the Case of Varna

Speaker: Vladimir Slavchev
Location: 2nd Floor Lecture Room
Date: Thursday, January 21 2010
Time: 6:00 p.m.
*reception to follow

The Varna Necropolis, a cemetery that lies in the western industrial zone of Varna, Bulgaria, is one of the premiere archaeological sites in the world for the research of world pre-history. The massive interest in this cemetery is due to the abundance and variety of objects recovered from its graves, namely gold artifacts. Dr. Slavchev will discuss these grave goods (and the necropolis from which they came) in relation to Varna culture as a whole. The presence of artifacts in a wide range of materials at the cemetery, one of the burial sites of the highly-developed local community that inhabited the shore of Varna Bay at the time, suggests that the community was part of a developed network of medium and long range trading, transport and distribution of prestige items. Dr. Slavchev will argue that the local manufacturing of goods was predominantly aimed at the local community and its needs. Therefore, such prestige items could have functioned as gifts for exchange with neighboring cultures or as goods to be sold in the trading network.

This lecture is associated with the Lost World of Old Europe exhibition, currently showing at ISAW.