Fundraising Campaign for the Varna Necropolis

The Varna Chalcolithic Necropolis was discovered accidentally during digging works in the Western Industrial Zone of the city of Varna in the autumn of 1972. Even in the first graves, an incredible amount of gold and copper items was discovered. That immediately caused a media and scientific sensation on a global scale. Dated to the Late Copper Age (second half of the 5th millennium BC), the necropolis reveals the picture of a rich society with members of a diverse social and material status, with complex organization and established power structures. With its variety of burial practices and the huge number of finds made of different materials, the Varna Chalcolithic Necropolis remains the most remarkable and significant prehistoric site not only in the Balkans and Europe but in the entire world.

First and foremost, the Necropolis arouses people’s interest with its variety and abundance of grave offerings. Among them, the gold items attract the greatest attention. There are over 3,000 of them, with their total weight exceeding 6 kg. Their distribution in the graves is quite indicative: they were found only in 62 complexes, but the weight of the gold items found in graves 1, 4, 36, and 43 alone is over 5 kg. So far, no similar concentration of gold artifacts from the 5th millennium BC has been discovered. The weight and quantity of the gold finds from the Varna Necropolis surpass several times over those of all synchronous objects made of this precious metal discovered worldwide.

However, no less important is the significant difference in the number and type of other offerings found in individual graves. The Varna Chalcolithic Necropolis illustrates the first stages of the emergence of a class society, making it a testimony to the appearance of the first civilization – earlier than the Sumerian and Egyptian civilizations by more than half a millennium. The gold objects mark the social status of their owners and are not expressions of their personal wealth. It appears that here were buried the inhabitants of the socio-economic center of a highly developed community inhabiting the Northwestern Black Sea region in the second half of the 5th millennium BC.

The excavations of the necropolis, with a few interruptions, lasted for 13 seasons from 1972 to 1991. During this period, a total area of 7,500 square meters was excavated, and 301 graves were studied, of which 93 were of men, 67 of women, and 47 were symbolic – without a body laid in them. The rest were disturbed to various degrees by later burials, construction, and agricultural activities.

The finds from the excavations are kept in the Varna Archaeological Museum, where thousands of visitors from all over the world come annually to see them and learn more about this brilliant site. In 2021, the museum resumed excavations – almost half a century after they began and thirty years after they were interrupted. In three seasons – until the end of 2023 – another 26 graves were studied. The funding received from the state has unfortunately been insufficient to achieve the goals set by the team. The Municipality of Varna provided financial assistance last season, but it has not budgeted such assistance for 2024. This is why the Varna Regional Museum of History appeals for help to all who want to contribute to the research. The amount needed to conduct one month of excavations is about 50,000 BGN. Raising more funds will allow for a longer duration of fieldwork. Any remainder will be transferred for research in the next season, with archaeologists aiming for the complete study of the eastern part of the necropolis by the end of 2026. Any assistance – whether financial, material, transportation, or other means – will be greatly appreciated! Become a part of history, help in the exploration of Bulgaria’s most significant archaeological site!
The bank account of the Varna Regional Museum of History is:
For transfers in BGN:
IBAN: BG 04 CECB 97903124160300
For transfers in EUR:
IBAN: BG 12 CECB 97903424160301
When making the transfer, please indicate “For the research of the Varna Necropolis.” The amount of funds collected and their expenditure will be published monthly on the museum’s website –
The museum can enter into donation agreements with interested companies and provide necessary documents. Each donor, upon request, will receive a certificate of donation.
For clarification on financial matters:
Zheliazka Dyulgerova, Chief Accountant
Phone: +359 52 681 015
For organizational, scientific, and practical information:
Dr. Vladimir Slavchev, Chief Assistant
Phone: +359 52 681 027
+359 88 291 6952

This online platform was developed under the project  № BGCULTURE-1.001-0005-C01 “Developing the Varna Regional Museum of History as a Multifunctional Public Space for Science, Art, Culture and Communication”, funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants and Norway Grants 2014-2021, Programme PA14 Cultural Entrepreneurship, Heritage and Cooperation. Varna Regional Museum of History is fully responsible for the content of the of the online platform and under no circumstances can be assumed that this online platform reflects the official opinion of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area and the Operator of the   Programme PA14 Cultural Entrepreneurship, Heritage and Cooperation.

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