Neolith and Halcolith


Among the idols discovered, the most numerous are the figures of pregnant women. Common clay figurines schematically represent a female body with emphasis on the hips and pelvis. They are sitting, sitting halfway or standing. The seated idols most probably represent a female deity - the Great Mother Goddess, the ancestor, associated with the idea of fertility, and the upright ones portray praying priestesses dedicated to ancient cults.

Zoomorphic ceramic figurines were also widespread. Their appearance was associated with the deification of ancestral animals (totems) and the cult of the dead. The bull-shaped figurines represent the other supreme deity in the Prehistoric pantheon: the totem ancestor. In the minds of the tribes, it was as powerful as the Great Mother Goddess, who gave birth to the family and clan. The bull is a symbol of the fertilising force and of the masculine principle. He also performed all protective and preventive functions with respect to members of the clan. Sanctuaries were also built for the cult of the bull.

Neolithic people worshipped the sun, the moon, and the natural elements on which their harvest and sustenance depended. The idea of fertility developed among them and grew into a cult and female fertility was associated to it. Women became responsible for the abundance of harvests because they knew the "mystery" of creation. The connection between humans and gods was made by priestesses. In order to appease the gods, these sacred women performed various rites, which applied to individual families, clans, and the whole tribe.

Developed religious beliefs during the late Eneolithic led to the appearance of the first cult constructions: sanctuaries. The temples were arranged so as to represent an earthly projection of the myth of the divine space: the sky being the centre, where lived the main deities. The abode of the priests, the intermediaries of the deities in the village, was also in the centre. This is how a sacred place was formed, sanctified by rituals and prayers, in which the connection with superhuman beings took place. That is why the territory around the sanctuary was not used for construction. Living there was only considered worthy for the gods and their divine intermediaries: the priests.

The development of cults and rituals before the late Neolithic led to the appearance of various ritual items, sacred signs: they later became the basis of writing, symbols with which time was measured and marked. Excavations revealed clay tiles with signs, scale models of homes, tables, chairs, utensils. These items were sacred and were used during various ceremonies.

The spiritual life of the late Neolithic society was shaped and controlled by the representatives of the priestly class. It periodically organised and performed cult rituals, held mainly in the temple. Priests established the spiritual connection of the ancient people with their gods, which was a prerequisite for high social status. In this way, over time, some priests gained considerable power and later became tribal leaders. An eloquent example of a king-priest is the burial in the Varna Chalcolithic necropolis. All indicates that he was the bearer of the religious and secular power of his people, as evidenced by the various artefacts found.

You can see a wax figure of the king-priest from the Varna Chalcolithic necropolis and its symbols of power and prestige in the Historical Park. Various votive figures and household items in the restored homes from the Neolithic era will help you feel more fully the spirit of the era and experience an exciting adventure, becoming part of the most ancient historical period of the Bulgarian lands.