Category Archives: BULGARIA

7,000 years old Copper Age Kilns Unearthed in Bulgaria

7,000 years old Copper Age Kilns Unearthed in Bulgaria

Bulgarian archaeology records that two kilns were dated between 4800 and 4600 B.C. A team of researchers from the Ruse Regional Museum of History were discovered on the Bazovets Settlement Mound near the Danube River in northeastern Bulgaria.

7,000 years old Copper Age Kilns Unearthed in Bulgaria
The two prehistoric pottery-making kilns found at the Bazovets Settlement Mound are from an archaeological layer from 4,800 – 4,600 BC.

In the excavation season, 2019 one of the two almost 7,000-year-old prehistoric ovens or furnaces was first partially excavated.

In recent excavations on the Bazovets Settlement Mound, it was fully exposed and a second kiln from the same Chalcolithic facility has been found, the Ruse Regional Museum of History has announced.

The 2020 archaeological excavations at the Copper Age settlement in question took place in September and were led by archaeologist Dimitar Chernakov from the Ruse Regional Museum of History, and his deputy, archaeologist Irena Ruseva from the Svilengrad Museum of History, with archaeologists from the Dobrich Regional Museum of History and the Veliko Tarnovo University “St. Cyril and St. Methodius” also participating.

A total of 57 archaeological artefacts from the said Early Chalcolithic period (4,800 – 4,600 BC) have been found during the latest excavations at the Bazovets Settlement Mound.

An aerial view of the Bazovets Settlement Mound, a 7,000-year-old prehistoric settlement in Northeast Bulgaria close to the Danube River.
An aerial view of the nearly 7,000-year-old Early Copper Age structures exposed during the 2020 excavations of the Bazovets Settlement Mound.

These include artefacts made of flint, animal bones, horns, and ceramics – including fragments from anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines. As a result of the research of the Early Copper Age archaeological layer on the site, the archaeologists discovered that the easternmost periphery of the prehistoric settlement was used for manufacturing.

The second of the prehistoric kilns, which was found during the 2020 excavations, had two chambers, a lower chamber for the burning to generate heat, and an upper chamber for the baking of the pottery items.

The Early Chalcolithic kiln was 1.2 meters long, and 1 meter wide, and it was made of wood wattle plastered with a thick layer of clay from the inside and outside.

The opening of the kiln was on its southeastern side, and it was closed with three flat stones which have been discovered right next to it.

The kiln had a groove that would allow for the regulating of the heating temperature, a type of furnaces for the baking of clay that would also be used in later archaeological eras, the Ruse Museum of History notes.

Above the two kilns, the archaeologists have discovered the ruins of a rectangular building with a north-south orientation.

Right next to its entrance, there was a small room seemingly used for food storage where the researchers have unearthed traces from food residues such as animal bones and lots of shells from freshwater mollusks.

In addition to the nearly 7,000-year-old Early Chalcolithic pottery-making kilns, during their 2020 excavations at the Bazovets Settlement Mound, the archaeologists have also found and started to unearth a prehistoric building which was even older than the kilns themselves.

The 2020 excavations of the 7,000-year-old Bazovets Settlement Mound near Bulgaria’s Danube city of Ruse took place in September 2020, building upon the partial exposure of one of the Copper Age kilns in the 2019 season.

The prehistoric building in question was built of wood and clay and was destroyed by a large fire.

In its southern part, the archaeologists have found several intact pottery vessels and bases as well as a horn tool which were placed on a podium. They are going to continue researching the prehistoric building further during their next excavations of the Bazovets Settlement Mound.

In the Neolithic and Chalcolithic, the territory of today’s Bulgaria and much of the rest of the Balkans, for instance, today’s Romania and Serbia, saw the rise of Europe’s first civilization, the prehistoric civilization of the Lower Danube Valley and Western coast of the Black Sea.

This prehistoric civilization from the Neolithic and Chalcolithic, which had the world’s oldest gold, Europe’s oldest town, and seemingly some of the earliest forms of pre-alphabetic writing, is referred to some scholars as “Old Europe”. It predates the famous civilizations of Minoan Crete, Mycenaean Greece, Ancient Egypt and Ancient Mesopotamia by thousands of years.

19th-Century Polish Sword Unearthed in Bulgaria

19th-Century Polish Sword Unearthed in Bulgaria

A sword in a Bulgarian museum has been identified as a 19th-century Polish nationalist sabre. It was discovered near the city of the Veliko Tarnovo in northern Bulgaria where curators from the Archaeological Museum saw it had a Polish inscription.

An expert from the University of Warsaw recognized the inscription Vivat Szlachcic Pan I foundation wojska (“Long live the Noble Lord and founder of the army”) and engraved iconography as one wielded by Polish patriots during the January Uprising against Russia’s autocratic rule.

The January Uprising (1863-1864) was one several attempts by Polish patriots to re-establish the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth in the Russian Kingdom of Poland. Russian Poland was carved out of the Duchy of Warsaw at the Congress of Vienna in 1815.

The kingdom was supposed to be largely autonomous, nominally under the rule of the Tzar, but governed by its own parliament, defended by its own army and bound by the Polish constitution.

Tzar Alexander I and his successor Nicholas I had other plans, and between the two of them, they quashed the country’s traditional religious and political freedoms and made it a puppet state of the Russian Empire.

Nationalist resistance to Russian rule grew in the wake of its losses in the Crimean War. In January 1863, pro-Russian Polish aristocrat Aleksander Wielopolski, adjutant to the Polish viceroy, ordered the conscription of Polish nationalists into the Imperial Russian Army for 20-year terms.

He knew the movement for Polish independence was working up to an uprising and thought strongarming its young men into military service would break up the movement. Instead, it triggered the very uprising he was trying to prevent.

It was the longest uprising for Polish national unity under Russian rule, but it too ultimately collapsed under the weight of Russia’s superior military strength.

The results were brutal — executions, mass deportations to Siberia, punitive taxation, the complete erasure of the Polish language in government and schools and the replacement of all Polish government officials with Russians.

The newly-discovered sword was inscribed during this period. The curved karabela type, a Polish sabre used during the halcyon days of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 17th and 18th centuries, was an emblem of Polish culture and independence.

During the uprisings of the 19th centuries, they were engraved with slogans and imagery harkening back to the Commonwealth.

[Professor Piotr Dyczek] added: “The sabre was probably the spoils of an officer of the Tsarist army who participated in the suppression of the January Uprising in 1863 and 1864, who then fitted it with a silver hilt typical for a shashka – a sabre with an open hilt with a split pommel.”

19th-Century Polish Sword Unearthed in Bulgaria

Presumably that Russian soldier took the sword out of Poland after the uprising was suppressed. At that time, Bulgaria was under the Ottoman rule as it had been since 1393, but a decade after the January Uprising, Bulgaria had an uprising of its own in April 1876.

Russia was a fan of this one, though, since wresting the Balkans out of Ottoman hands would extend their sphere of influence which had been whittled away by the Crimean War.

They jumped on the opportunity and the Russo-Turkish War began in 1877. It ended when the Imperial Russian Army took Tarnovo in July 1878. The Polish sword was probably used (and lost) in that battle.

Giant Human Skeleton Unearthed in Varna, Bulgaria

Giant human skeleton unearthed in Varna, Bulgaria

The remains of what archaeologists in Bulgaria identified as a “massive skeleton” have been discovered in downtown Varna, a city on the shores of the Black Sea which is rich in culture and civilisation for 7,000 years.

Giant Human Skeleton in Varna, Bulgaria

Sofia News Agency, Novinite, reports that the skeleton was found in what was once the ancient city of Odessos, a trading post established by the Greeks towards the end of the 7th century BC.

Odessos was a mixed community made up of Ionian Greeks and the Thracian tribes (Getae, Krobyzoi, Terizi). Later it was controlled by the Thracians, Macedonians, and then Romans.

The Roman city, Odessus, covered 47 hectares in present-day central Varna and had prominent public baths, Thermae, erected in the late 2nd century AD, now the largest Roman remains in Bulgaria.

Researchers have said that initial analyses suggest the skeleton belongs to a man who lived in the late 4 th or early 5 th century AD, a time when Odessus was an early Christian centre.

Remains of ancient Odessus in Varna, Bulgaria

Valeri Yotov, who is part of the team carrying out excavations there, is reported as telling local news websites that the size of the bones is “impressive” and that they belonged to “a very tall man”. However, Yotov would not reveal the exact height of the skeleton.

The remains were found near the remains of the ancient city wall and Yotov has suggested that the man may have died while working or during a ceremony held near the city walls.

“His posture, with hands laid on his waist and his body pointing to the east (head) and west (feet), is a clear indication for archaeologists he was buried,” reports Novinite.

It is not the first time that an over-sized skeleton has been found in Eastern Europe. In 2013, the skeleton of a giant warrior dating back to 1600 BC was found in Santa Mare, Romania.

Nicknamed ‘Goliath’, the warrior measured more than 2 meters in height, highly unusually for the time and place, when people were of small stature (approximately 1.5 meters on average). 

The warrior was buried with an impressive dagger that indicated his high stature.

Giant skeleton nicknamed ‘Goliath’ found in Santa Mare, Romania

Roman Woman’s Trendy Earring Unearthed in Bulgaria

Roman Woman’s Trendy Earring Unearthed in Bulgaria

Archaeology in Bulgaria reports that an intact gold earring has been discovered in what was a room of the public bath at Deultum, a Roman colony founded in the first century A.D. by veterans of Augustus’ Eighth Legion near Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast. The artefact matches earrings shown in the second century A.D. 

A genuine ancient gold earring that can be used in some of the so-called Fayum Mummy portraits of Roman Egypt was found by archaeologists in south-east Bulgaria excavating the Deultum Ancient Roman colony near the town of Debelt, district Burgas, near the Black Sea coast.

Deultum was a Roman colony, which according to Roman law signified a status equal to that of the city of Rome itself. In today’s Bulgaria, there are only three Roman cities which enjoyed this status – Deultum (Colonia Flavia Pacis Deultensium) near Burgas, Ratiaria (Colonia Ulpia Traiana Ratiaria) near Archar, Ulpia Oescus near Gigen.

Fayum mummy portraits are portraits on wooden boards which were attached to the mummies of upper-class residents buried in Egypt during the Roman Era, in the 1st century BC – 3rd AD.

Such mummy portraits have been discovered throughout Egypt but most famously in the Fayum Basin, in Hawara and the Roman city of Antinoopolis from the time of Emperor Hadrian (r. 117 – 138). The term “Fayum mummy portraits” is used both as a geographic and stylistic description.

The Roman gold earring discovered in the city of Deultum in Southeast Bulgaria has been found to appear exactly the same as earrings of women depicted in some of the Fayum mummy portraits. Based on that similarity, the earring is dated by the Bulgarian researchers to the 2nd century AD.

The Ancient Roman city of Deultum (Colonia Flavia Pacis Deultensium) was built in the 1st century AD near a previously existing Ancient Thracian settlement called Debelt or Develt. It was settled by Roman military veterans from the Augustus’ Eight Legion (Legio VIII Augusta) near the Mandra Lake (today the Mandra Water Reservoir) where it also had a port connecting it to the Black Sea.

Roman Woman’s Trendy Earring Unearthed in Bulgaria
The gold earring found in the Roman city of Deultum – Debelt in Southeast Bulgaria appears to be the same as the earrings worn by the woman depicted in this Fayum mummy portrait.

The present archaeological excavations in the Deultum – Debelt Archaeological Preserve began on October 1, 2020; the Fayum mummy portrait gold earring was discovered two days later.

The Roman gold earring was found in the joint between tiles in one of the rooms in the ruins of the thermae (public baths) of Deultum, beneath an embankment, informs Krasimira Kostova, head of the Deultum – Debelt Archaeological Preserve, as cited by the Bulgarian National Radio.

“The gold earrings of a noble lady depicted in one of the Fayum Portraits are exactly the same as the earring that we have discovered here in Deultum,” the archaeologist says. She points out that the thermae of Deultum was destroyed in 357 – 358 AD during a major earthquake.

“The gold earring probably was lost as it fell between the tiles, and when the thermae were destroyed by the earthquake, it remained there. Subsequently, the site was levelled with embankments, which is how it remained there. Because the spot of the thermae remained inhabited after that,” Kostova explains.

“This jewel is extremely sophisticated, it is very interesting. We found it has parallels to one of the Fayum mummy portraits, which has led us to date it to the 2nd century AD,” she adds.

“We are construing the discovery of the gold earring like the earrings depicted in that Fayum mummy portrait as evidence that the female inhabitants of the Roman colony of Deultum were following the fashion trends in the Roman Empire, and were up to date with fashion,” the archaeologist emphasizes.

The Fayum portrait gold earring from Deultum – Debelt is fully intact save for a slight bent in its upper part.

It has a cassette filled with white glass with a slight yellowish nuance; below it comes a filigree holder with three pendants, each of which ends with a white glass ball. The patina on the three balls gives them the appearance of pearls.

In addition to the gold earring similar to those in one of the Fayum mummy portraits, the archaeologists excavating the ruins of the Roman city of Deultum have already discovered a large number of bronze coins.

Their digs are now focused on exposing more from the ruins of the thermae (public baths) of the Roman colony. The later homes, which were built on top of the ruins of the Roman thermae in Deulum, were researched during last year’s archaeological season, with the current excavations now targeting the layers beneath.

Once it is fully studied, the gold earring similar to the ones seen a Fayum mummy portrait from Roman Egypt is going to be put on display at the museum of the Deultum – Debelt Archaeological Preserve.

Bulgarians find oldest European town, a salt production center

Bulgarians find oldest European town, a salt production center

Archaeologists in eastern Bulgaria say they have unearthed the oldest prehistoric town ever found in Europe, along with an ancient salt production site that gives a strong clue about why massive riches were discovered in the region.

Excavations at the site near the modern-day town of Provadia have so far uncovered the remains of a settlement of two-storey houses, a series of pits used for rituals as well as parts of a gate, bastion structures, and three later fortification walls — all carbon dated between the middle and late Chalcolithic age from 4,700 to 4,200 BC.

“We are not talking about a town like the Greek city-states, ancient Rome or medieval settlements, but about what archaeologists agree constituted a town in the fifth millennium BC,” said Vasil Nikolov, a researcher with Bulgaria’s National Institute of Archeology, after announcing the findings earlier this month.

Fortified walls at Solnitsata, believed to be the earliest town in Europe.

Nikolov and his team have worked since 2005 to excavate the Provadia-Solnitsata settlement, located near the Black Sea resort of Varna. A small necropolis, or burial ground, was also found, but has yet to be studied more extensively and could keep archaeologists busy for generations.

Archeologist Krum Bachvarov from the National Institute of Archeology qualified this latest find as “extremely interesting” due to the peculiar burial positions and objects found in the graves, which differed from other neolithic graves found in Bulgaria.

“The huge walls around the settlement, which were built very tall and with stone blocks … are also something unseen in excavations of prehistoric sites in southeast Europe so far,” Bachvarov added.

Well fortified, a religious center and most importantly, a major production center for a specialized commodity that was traded far and wide, the settlement of about 350 people met all the conditions to be considered the oldest known “prehistoric town” in Europe, the team says.

“At a time when people did not know the wheel and cart, these people hauled huge rocks and built massive walls. Why? What did they hide behind them?” Nikolov asked.

The answer: “Salt.”

As precious as gold

The area is home to huge rock-salt deposits, some of the largest in southeast Europe and the only ones to be exploited as early as the sixth millennium BC, Nikolov said.

This is what made Provadia-Solnitsata what it was.

Nowadays, salt is still mined there but 7,500 years ago it had a completely different significance.

“Salt was an extremely valued commodity in ancient times, as it was both necessary for people’s lives and was used as a method of trade and currency starting from the sixth millennium BC up to 600 BC,” the researcher explained.

Salt extraction at the site first began in about 5,500 BC when people started boiling brine from the nearby salty springs in dome kilns found inside the settlement, Nikolov said, citing carbon dating results from a British laboratory in Glasgow.

“This is the first time in southeast Europe and western Anatolia that archeologists have come upon traces of salt production at such an early age, the end of the sixth millennium BC, and managed to prove it with both archeologic and scientific data,” Bachvarov confirmed.

Salt production was moved outside the settlement towards the end of the sixth millennium and productivity gradually increased. After being boiled, the salt was baked to make small bricks. Nikolov said production increased steadily from 5,500 BC when one load from the kilns in Provadia-Solnitsata yielded about 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of dry salt. By 4,700-4,500 BC, that amount had increased to 4,000 to 5,000 kilos of salt.

“At a time when salt was as precious as gold you can imagine what this meant,” he said.

The salt trade gave the local population huge economic power, which could explain the gold riches found in graves at the Varna Necropolis and dating back to around 4,300 BC, Nikolov suggested.

The 3,000 jewelry pieces and ritual objects have been internationally recognized as the oldest gold treasure in the world, raising questions as to how a culture of farmers and stock-breeders from a region otherwise poor in natural resources could acquire such wealth. The excavations have however suffered from a chronic lack of state funding, which Nikolov replaced with private donations.

A British anthropologist, a Japanese ceramics expert, and a team of radiocarbon specialists from Germany have worked on the site for free this season.

8,000-Year-Old Human Skeletons Found In Neolithic Village Of Slatina, Bulgaria

8,000-Year-Old Human Skeletons Found In Neolithic Village Of Slatina, Bulgaria

Four Early Neolithic tombs, believed to date back 8000 years, were discovered by a Bulgarian archeologist team at the Slatina site in the capital Sofia, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences said on July 28.

There are skeletons of three adults and one child.

Together with two graves discovered at the Slatina site in 2019, these are the earliest in the territory of Sofia.

Team leader Vassil Nikolov said that it was the first time in the ritual complex that such extremely rare finds had been made.

Excavations in the area have been going on for more than 30 years and the objects found so far show that the village was inhabited by farmers and pastoralists.

The settlement itself existed for about 500 years, from the end of the seventh to the middle of the sixth millennium BCE.

It is assumed that the civilization of Europe started from the Neolithic settlement in Slatina, Nikolov said.

The graves discovered date from the beginning of the sixth millennium and very little is known about the rituals of this period. Probably there were houses, which unfortunately were destroyed, archaeologists believe.

During the excavations, archaeologists from the National Archaeological Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences came across a double grave – most likely a man with a child.

The other remains are of a woman lying on her stomach and of a man who was laid out in a very special way – one of his hands remained under the skeleton.

Anthropologists from the Institute of Experimental Morphology, Pathology, and Anthropology of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences are to continue their research in laboratory conditions.

DNA analysis may show if there was a relationship.

The work in Slatina is part of rescue archeological excavations due to new housing construction. Among the new finds are objects such as ceramic vessels, weights for a loom, a furnace plug shaped like a human image, and part of a spindle.

Roman-Era Coins Unearthed at Spa Complex in Bulgaria

Roman-Era Coins Unearthed at Spa Complex in Bulgaria

More than 40 ancient coins, most of which from the 4th century CE, have been discovered since the excavations were started in the summer of 2020 on the site Aquae Calidae near Bourgas on the southern Bulgarian Black Sea coast.

This was announced by the head of the archaeological dig, Associate Professor Dimcho Momchilov. During the current archaeological season, excavations are being carried out in the north-eastern sector of the complex.

“The idea is, if possible, to complete the northeastern apoditerium (vestibule) of the ancient, early Byzantine and medieval bath this year,” Momchilov said.

This will be followed by partial conservation and restoration. Among the interesting new finds from the current archaeological season is a monumental step that bore a roof structure.

Momchilov said that remnants of construction from the Roman period, and the Roman period, had been found. Apart from the coins, other items from the fourth century CE had been found.

“Our desire is to explore the shaft we found east of the building. It is from an early period and is very interesting. There are partially preserved water pipes and we will try to open it this year.

It had a variety of materials, but only after when I open it, I can say how long it has been for sure. In any case, for me, this shaft is connected with the early Roman bath, and the construction of the whole early Byzantine bath was in accordance with this shaft,” he said.

Excavations at the Aquae Calidae archeological complex are scheduled to continue until the end of July. Aquae Calidae Thermopolis originated around the warm Bourgas mineral springs in Thracian times, in the first millennium BCE.

The Thracians turned the hot spring into a revered sanctuary of the Three Nymphs. The spa complex has an area of ​​six acres. In the north-south direction, its length is 86 meters.

In the late Middle Ages, Aquae Calidae became known as Therma or Thermopolis. By the sixth century, the settlement already had expanded baths and fortress walls.

In the 16th century, Ottoman ruler Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent built a contemporary Turkish bath at the site.

Ancient Bones Found in Bulgarian Cave Are Oldest Evidence of Modern Humans in Europe

Ancient Bones Found in Bulgarian Cave Are Oldest Evidence of Modern Humans in Europe

According to new research, modern humans have overlapped with Neanderthals in Europe longer than previously thought. Remains of Homo sapiens found in a Bulgarian cave are roughly 44,000 to 46,000 years old, making them the oldest directly dated remains of modern humans in Europe, reports Bruce Bower for Science News.

Nicola Davis for the Guardian reports that Neanderthals had been stumpy, cold-adapted hominins living across Europe and as far east as Siberia until about 40 000 years ago.

Neanderthal remains to live on in modern human DNA, indicating that our species and theirs met and interbred, but how long the two groups overlapped is unclear.

Excavations at the Bacho Kiro Cave in Bulgaria uncovered ancient human bones along with stone tools, animal bones, bone tools, and pendants.

Other human remains previously discovered in the United Kingdom and Italy have been dated to between 41,000 and 45,000 years ago, but their ages were measured indirectly, relying on the fossils’ archaeological and geological surroundings rather than the specimens themselves, reported Jonathon Amos for BBC News in 2011.

The direct dating of these newly unearthed remains from the Bacho Kiro Cave in northern Bulgaria comes from two sources: radiocarbon dating and DNA extracted from a tooth and six shards of bone identified as belonging to H. sapiens.

Both methods dated the remains to around 44,000 to 46,000 years ago, the researchers report in two papers published in the journals Nature Ecology & Evolution and Nature.

“Our work in Bacho Kiro shows there is a time overlap of maybe 8,000 years between the arrival of the first wave of modern humans in eastern Europe and the final extinction of Neanderthals in the far west of Europe,” Jean-Jacques Hublin, a paleoanthropologist at the Max Planck Institute and co-author of the research, tells the Guardian.

The new estimate adds as much as 5,000 years of biological, cultural, and behavioral interaction between the species compared to the chronology suggested by other researchers, he tells the Guardian.

Hublin and his colleagues began their new excavation at the Bacho Kiro Cave in 2015. The site was first excavated by archaeologists in 1938 and then again in the 1970s.  The new dig turned up animal bones, tools made of stone and bone, beads and pendants, and, of course, a handful of ancient human remains.

The team had some 1,200 fragments of bones and teeth, but only a single molar could be visually identified as having come from a modern human. To figure out which species all the other fragments belonged to, the researchers extracted proteins from each specimen.

The protein’s structure can be used to tell species apart. This massive screening process yielded six additional chunks of human remains. Genetic evidence also corroborated the identities of six out of the seven fossils.

“In my view, this is the oldest and strongest published evidence for a very early upper paleolithic presence of Homo sapiens in Europe, several millennia before the Neanderthals disappeared,” Chris Stringer, an expert in human origins from London’s Natural History Museum, tells the Guardian.

In 2019, Stringer was part of a team that reported an incomplete skull found in Greece may have belonged to a modern human that lived some 210,000 years ago. However, both the age and species assigned to the skull have been disputed.

Initial Upper Paleolithic artifacts, including blades and a sandstone bead, from the Bacho Kiro Cave in Bulgaria.

The tools and ornaments found alongside modern humans remain at Bacho Kiro, such as pendants made of cave bear teeth, closely resemble artifacts from Neanderthal sites in western Europe dated several thousand years later, Hublin tells Science News.

The similarities provide “evidence that pioneer groups of Homo sapiens brought new behaviors into Europe and interacted with local Neandertals,” Hublin adds.

Stringer tells the Guardian that he has doubts about whether subsequent Neanderthal jewelry and tools were influenced as a result of interactions with early modern humans. In an interview with Science News, Stringer cites Neanderthal jewelry made out of eagle talons from roughly 130,000 years ago.

The new findings highlight the mystery of why Neanderthals disappeared when they did, if, as these new findings suggest, they coexisted with modern humans for millennia. If they were able to persist side by side for so long, what finally drove Neanderthals to extinction?

According to Richard Klein, a paleoanthropologist at Stanford University who was not involved in the research, who spoke with Tom Metcalfe of NBC News, “that’s the ultimate question.”

Stringer tells the Guardian that there simply may not have been enough of these early modern human pioneers in Europe to establish and sustain a significant presence, adding that an unstable climate could have also kept them at bay.