Ahtopol Meeting, Bulgaria, May 2011

[img_assist|nid=25|title=|desc=Outside the Underwater Museum, Sozopol. SPLASHCOS members: front row, L to R, Glicherie Caraivan, Preslav Peev, Geoff Bailey; Back row, 2ndL Hristina Angelova, 7L Fritz Lüth, 11L Vince Gaffney|link=none|align=left|width=400|height=266]

Members of SPLASHCOS took part in an international conference on 26–30 May on Archaeology and Predictive Modelling, with contributors from Europe and North America and specialists from a wide range of disciplines. The conference was held on the Black Sea coast at Ahtopol, and was organised by the Centre for Underwater Archaeology, Sozopol, under the direction of Hristina Angelova, in collaboration with other Bulgarian colleagues and institutions.

A number of underwater villages of Neolithic and Bronze Age date are present along this stretch of the Bulgarian coastline. The settlements have produced a substantial quantity of well-preserved materials, and represent a body of evidence of comparable importance and interest to the better known underwater Neolithic and pre-Neolithic settlements of the Baltic and the East Mediterranean.

[img_assist|nid=26|title=|desc=Conference session, Ahtopol. Anders Fischer (R row, far end)|link=none|align=right|width=400|height=300]

Some of this material has recently been published in Filipova-Marinova, M., Giosan, L., Angelova, H., Preisinger, A., Pavlov, D., Vergiev, S. 2011. Palaeoecology of the submerged prehistoric settlements in Sozopol Harbour, Bulgaria. In J. Benjamin, C. Bonsall, C. Pickard, A. Fischer (eds.) Submerged Prehistory, pp. 230–44. Oxford: Oxbow.

The conference was dedicated to discussion about methods of underwater survey and excavation of prehistoric submerged settlements, the significance of the Bulgarian material and its relationship to settlements on land and to environmental change, and the possibilities for future discovery and research on the submerged landscapes of the region.