A 60-century-old cup was found behind a municipal fence


With every deep excavation in Musina, ancient finds from the Neolithic age come out

A small ceramic cup with an initial dating of 6,000 years was donated to the Regional History Museum – Veliko Tarnovo by the mayor of the village of Musina Hristo Ivanov.

The 6,000-year-old cup discovered by the mayor of Musina, Hristo Ivanov.

He discovered it this spring in an excavation behind the town hall, and it is not the only find from ancient times. In the last two or three years, wherever he digs deep into the village, something valuable always comes out. “We were planting a tree and in the excavated soil, digging around, I found the cup. There were also quite a few fragments of at least 6-7 different vessels. It is likely that the house was damaged in a fire, because it can be seen that the ceramics were damaged by the high temperature. We also had to uproot a few walnuts at one end of the village, Neolithic buildings and ceramics came out there. Near the auto center, the plumbing was fixing an accident and they were digging. Then I found a stone hatchet, also from this period. And all this – in the last two or three years. Because I know that the territory of modern Musina coincides with the Neolithic settlement, during every excavation I necessarily go and observe, because objects always come out. In the lower end, along the river and catchment, there were Roman villas. People in ancient times valued the place, that’s why the settlements and cultural layers during the eras are one on top of the other – Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Roman”, Hristo Ivanov, who is known for his knowledge and love of history, tells “Borba”. According to some historians, the Thracians were the first inhabitants of the village, and the name Musina has a Thracian origin.


Since the end of the Neolithic (8000 – 5000 BC) the Musina Cave has been inhabited by people.

There was also a fairly large settlement in this area from that time. And near the cave, about 300 meters from its entrance, there is a Chalcolithic mound (4800-4000 BC). Discovered pottery in the cave itself since then confirms that there was life there thousands of years ago. There is also a recorded medieval burial inside. The space around it developed during Roman times, when in II century Emperor Trajan founded the Roman city of Nicopolis ad Istrum. Then the western aqueduct was built, which supplied the City of Victory with water at a distance of 23 km. The source of the river, which is immediately next to the entrance of the cave, has been captured, a channel has been built. “Then the landscape in front of the cave was probably reshaped, maybe they extracted the material for the catchment from the rocks in front of the cave itself. More recently, in the middle of XIX century, two mills were built, again next to the entrance. There is information about them in “Tsarigradski vestnik” in a letter from Musina from the 1970s. In it, it is reported that at the southern end of the village there is a cave from which a river springs, and it feeds two mills. Since the Musina cave has two galleries – dry and water, then two dams were built in the water one, which exist to this day, although destroyed. Their purpose is to prevent the water from escaping through the Roman catchment and to be able to turn the mill wheel in case of low water. Unfortunately, in the 1990s XX century the mill was demolished and nothing remained of it, and the lower mill was demolished already at the beginning of the last century. Only photographs remain of them”, continues the amateur historian.

The Musina cave is open for visiting, but only during certain periods, as it is a habitat for bats for wintering and during their breeding period. Even from December 1 of this year, the cave will be officially closed for the winter, reports the mayor.

The Musina cave has been mapped and is about 380 meters long, but most of it is inaccessible.

Archaeologist Kalin Chakarov (left) and the mayor of Musina Hristo Ivanov.

In its depth is the Blue Lake (Blue Pool), which is also the beginning of a very dangerous water siphon that can only be crossed with a diving suit. Thus, the accessible part is about 150 meters. An underground river flows in the water gallery, which comes from tens of kilometers along the karst faults and caves. In fact, water is the greatest wealth of the Musina cave and it has never dried up, even during the greatest droughts, explains Hristo Ivanov. He himself entered the siphon in the dry gallery as a volunteer during the expedition in 2017. Then the Historical Museum in Pavlikeni organized archaeological excavations of the Roman catchment in front of the cave entrance and its cleaning under the leadership of Kalin Chakarov. Until then, the facility was known to science, but no excavations were conducted.


There are not many legends about treasures in the Musina Cave, but they continue to arouse interest among treasure hunters.

The cleaning of the Roman catchment in 2017.

One was documented by Dimitar Tsonchev in 1931, when he made a description and plan of the natural landmark. Villagers told him that there was a silver grate in the catchment. “It really is a legend because in 2017 we hit rock bottom and there was nothing like it. Nothing but rock,” says the mayor of Musina. Then it was established that the catchment was filled with stones when the mill was demolished, and the Peshterska river had silted it up. They had to be pulled with an excavator and a rope. The other more recent legend is about Roman gold submerged in the water of the cave, but to this day there is no word that anyone has found it.

And maybe it is because a guard protects the Musina cave from encroachment. In the play of light and with greater imagination, an image of a man standing steadfast can be seen in the rocks. However, there are no sculpted figures – neither by human hands, nor by water.

Anna Rajkovska

Sn. Facebook and archive of “Borba” village

The article is in bulgaria

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