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Prehistoric town
 • Total350 (est.)

Solnitsata (Bulgarian: Солницата, "The Saltworks") was an ancient town located in present-day Bulgaria, near the modern city of Provadia. Believed by Bulgarian archaeologists to be the oldest town in Europe, Solnitsata was the site of a salt production facility approximately six millennia ago;[1] it flourished ca 4700-4200 BC.[2] The settlement was walled to protect the salt, a crucial commodity in antiquity.[3] Although its population has been estimated at only 350,[3] archaeologist Vassil Nikolov argues that it meets established criteria as a prehistoric city.[4]

Salt production drove Solnitsata's economy, and the town is believed to have supplied salt throughout the Balkans. A large collection of gold objects nearby has led archaeologists to speculate that this trade resulted in considerable wealth for the town's residents.[1]

The town is believed to have been destroyed by an earthquake.[5]


  1. ^ a b Maugh II, Thomas H. (1 November 2012). "Bulgarians find oldest European town, a salt production center". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  2. ^ Survival of Information: the earliest prehistoric town in Europe
  3. ^ a b Squires, Nick (31 October 2012). "Archaeologists find Europe's most prehistoric town". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  4. ^ Nikolov, Vassil. "Salt, early complex society, urbanization: Provadia-Solnitsata (5500-4200 BC) (Abstract)" (PDF). Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  5. ^ Ranguelov, Boyko; Nikolov, Vassil (2010). Ancient earthquake data extraction by archeological findings. EGU General Assembly 2010. 2–7 May 2010. Vienna, Austria. Bibcode:2010EGUGA..12.6393R.

Coordinates: 43°07′42″N 27°28′21″E / 43.1284°N 27.4725°E / 43.1284; 27.4725