6,000-Year-Old Bizarre, Mouthless ‘Alien’ Mask Unearthed In “The Salt Pit” Settlement In Northeast Bulgaria

A bizarre prehistoric clay mask or a figurine, lacking a mouth but featuring human and animal traits, has been discovered during the latest archaeological excavations of the Provadiya – Solnitsata (“The Salt Pit”) Settlement Mound in Northeast Bulgaria.

This ancient settlement is also known as the oldest town in Europe.

The mouthless prehistoric clay mask or figurine from the Late Chalcolithic, i.e., the period before 4,000 BC (5,000 BC), is one of many impressive artifacts found in the latest digs in the Salt Pit settlement near Bulgaria’s Provadiya.

Archaeology in Bulgaria writes that the mask has highly intriguing features. The prehistoric mouthless, triangular mask or figurine dates back to the Late Chalcolithic (Aeneolithic, Copper Age)  was discovered in the Provadiya – Solnitsata Settlement Mound in Northeast Bulgaria. Its front side sticks out and has the image of a human-like face.

Each of the two angles of the top side of the prehistoric mask or figurine has a short protuberance sticking out, “probably stylized ears.”

The “ears” of the “alien” figurine have small holes that were probably used to insert a thread and wear or hang up the artifact. The researchers point out that the mask’s facial features were shaped through cut-in lines setting apart courser and polished sections.

“[The face] has shaped eyebrows, a stylized nose, and elliptical eyes. The artifact was most probably a status symbol hanging on the chest of the person worthy of it. Interestingly, the artifact does have even a hint of a mouth,” the archaeological team explains concerning the mouthless prehistoric mask.

“That is certainly not accidental and bears its symbolism. The emphasis is on the eyes – their shape, their size, as well as the vertical polished bands beneath them are saying a lot more than the missing mouth,” Prof. Vasil Nikolov said.

“Staring into them [the eyes of the prehistoric mask], one senses power, superiority, wisdom. It is curious that when this image is viewed from a different angle, one notices traces from different emotions,” the team adds.

Another prehistoric figurine from ca. 5,000 BC but discovered in Southeast Bulgaria, near Kapitan Andreevo on the border with Turkey, also has “triangular” facial features and is known as “the goddess with hair in a bun.”

The discovered artifacts offer evidence of common similarities between neighboring cultures and civilizations. The Vinca culture, for example, also produced almost identical artifacts with triangular facial features.

Prof. Nikolov said that  the “mask is just another jewel in the crown of finds discovered in the oldest urban and salt-mining center on the European continent,”

However, there is no way to know what precisely the 6,000year-old clay mask or figurine might have been used for by the prehistoric people.

Judging by the two holes in the stylized ears of the mouthless mask, it might have hung on a wall or might have even been the lid of a pottery vessel that could be lifted or lowered using a thread.

The world’s first farmers who inhabited the Neolithic site Provadiya – Solnitsata used the huge cone-shaped rock salt deposit located about 13 meters underground. Some 1,250 years after the extraction of rock salt started at the Provadiya – Solnitsata prehistoric town, the climate changed. The salt sources dried out, and the once vibrant prehistoric community was ripped apart by internal strife.

The residents of the Solnitsata (“The Salt Pit”) built Europe’s first fortress walls made of stone to protect their riches accumulated from the large-scale production of salt some 6,700 years ago. Those early fortress walls were very thick – 3 to 4 meters in width.

In 2015, the excavations revealed a 6,300-year-old gold jewel. In 2016, several about 6,500year-old gold artifacts were discovered at the site of Salt Pit town, together with numerous other finds, including an almost 6,400-year-old water well.

This ancient site was one of the earliest significant settlements from Europe’s civilization that emerged in the Neolithic on what today is Bulgaria and parts of the neighboring countries such as Romania and Serbia, Balkans, and the Lower Danube Valley and near 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 by some scholars as “Old Europe.”

Another mysterious prehistoric artifact that has fed “alien” speculations, and for which no rational explanation has been offered, also from the Chalcolithic (5,000 BC) found in Bulgaria is a “space rocket” or “space ship” artifact discovered near the town of Telish. The same prehistoric settlement near Telish in Northwest Bulgaria has also yielded the world’s largest collection of Chalcolithic Era clay goddess figures sitting on thrones and displaying triangular heads with stylized features.

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