The first known European settlement contains a 7,000-year-old tomb complex where corpses were chopped in two before being positioned upright…as if to prevent the dead from rising again and running amok, but allowing them to face each other and converse. The Daily Mail reports:
Residents of what is thought to be Europe’s oldest town cut their dead in half and buried them from the pelvis up, according to archaeologists. The newly discovered ancient settlement, thought to date back to 4700 BC, is near the Bulgarian town of Provadia, about 25 miles from the Black Sea coast.
Archaeology professor Vassil Nikolov led the dig which focused on the town itself and its necropolis, where the strange and complex burial rituals were discovered.
Nikolov [said] the town’s 300 to 350 residents lived in two-storey homes and earned their living mining the surrounding area for salt, which was as important to the ancient world as oil is today. ‘Salt produced was used as money because salt was essential for both humans and animals.’