Varna Necropolis

Last year at a developers' conference in San Francisco I met a man who bragged about how he visited every continent. When I asked him where the oldest processed golden artifacts were discovered he was quick to point to Egypt.

He didn't know that this is wrong, most likely because no selfies are allowed at the museum where the oldest processed golden artifacts are.

One can only assume that no pictures are allowed to be taken at this museum because the original
artifacts were sold. #NoOtherLogicalReason

Most people who were not born and raised in Bulgaria don't know that thousands of years before the pyramids in Egypt were built, there existed a culture, which utilized gold, copper, and pottery long before the Egyptian culture.

Unfortunately, not much is known about this culture because its rulers did not invest in a written language. They seemed to be more concerned about taking their golden artifacts to their graves than educating people and investing in future generations.

In a number of graves found in the area of present day Varna, Bulgaria, there were many intricate gold artifacts dating to 3000 years before the pyramids. The area is now known as Varna Necropolis. While these artifacts are beautiful pieces of art showcasing great craftsmanship in their intricate designs, some of them could be representing something much more than just the beauty of art.

The grave with the most golden artifacts was empty prompting
some scholars to believe that it was a homage to a goddess

Within one grave, likely belonging to a prominent citizen of the community because of the large number of gold artifacts (but not the grave with the most golden artifacts) in it, was found a rectangular gold plate.

While it is not known who this person is,
the size of his penis is known because he had
a golden penis cover. By the way, I took this
photo from Wikipedia and not from the museum

In another nearby grave that contained no human remains, were found two golden bulls, one larger than the other.

Looked at in isolation from other artifacts, these bulls and this plate seem to have little function, however, thanks to the investigations of Professor Hristo Smolenov in cooperation with many other European scholars from several different disciplines, an interesting story unfolds.

It appears that the two bulls and the gold plate are actually precise tools of measurement that were used by the ancient Varna and Zagora area cultures. In his book Zagora-Varna the Hidden Superculture, Smolenov shows how the dimensions of these three artifacts are all related to each other, and how they might have been used as measurement tools in the construction of many other artifacts, including other gold pieces, tools, and pottery.

For example, the height of the gold plate is equal to the height of two large bulls plus two small bulls, and the width of the gold plate is equal to the width of one large bull plus one small bull.

There are bone artifacts whose heights and widths correspond to multiples of large and small bulls. There are many pieces of pottery whose height, opening radius, middle radius, and base radius all correspond to multiples of the dimensions of the bulls or the golden plate, indicating that these were most likely measuring devices and not simply pieces of art.

5th - 4th century BC Some scholars believe the ancient people
who lived around these parts communicated with statuettes

Even more interesting is that there are pieces of pottery predating the graves where the bulls and plate were found by 1000 years that also can be measured precisely in terms of the bulls and plates! This suggests that the civilization in the Varna-Zagora region was using precise forms of measurement and mathematics 4000 years before the Egyptians. A great example is a grain container from the 6th century BC found in the Zagora region. It has a top diameter equal to the length of two golden plates, a height equal to 16 golden bulls, and a middle diameter equal to the length of 4 golden plates.  The distance between lines of the pattern on the outside of this container can also be expressed in multiples of the dimensions of the plates or the bulls.

The most groundbreaking point made by Smolenov is that these measurement tools used by the ancient cultures in the Varna-Zagora region are likely the predecessors and direct decedents of the famous measuring tools used by the Egyptians and Sumerians (the Royal Cubit and Sumerian Cubit). Smolenov explains how the width plus height plus diagonal of the golden plate (or 4 times the width of the golden plate) is equal to the length of the Egyptian Royal Cubit.

 Empirical evidence suggests this mysterious super-culture
traded heavily with African super-cultures

The Egyptians and Sumerians both have myths about how their cubits were brought to them by either another ancient civilization or some type of gods or "Titans". Perhaps these were the ancient peoples of the Varna-Zagora region who acted like they were greater than they actually were because they had measuring tools (and gold plated penises)

A statuette of an African goddess found
near Panaguyrishte, Bulgaria

This is not all that Smolenov explains in his book. He also describes links between the measurements used by the ancient Varna-Zagora culture and the "golden ratio," and of other links between the Varna-Zagora super culture and the ancient Egyptians and other ancient cultures but  I won't talk about these here because people should read more books. Reading is fun.

Another interesting book to consider is The Varna Eneolithic Necropolis And Problems of Prehistory in Southeast Europe, which is a collection of papers by European historians specializing in prehistory.