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Forty years ago, archeologists in Bulgaria found a huge hoard of gold near the town of Provadia. Experts quickly cited the discovery as the oldest known stockpile of gold found anywhere in the world, but as to why the hell it was there, no one had the slightest idea. At least until now.

Not far from the hoard of gold, authorities have uncovered ancient ruins that date back to somewhere between 4700 and 4200 BC. The Greek civilization is commonly thought to have started approximately 1,500 years later, which would make this unnamed site in Bulgaria the oldest uncovered town in Europe.

According to BBC, the Bulgarian settlement included extremely high stone walls, two-storey houses, a necropolis, a gate and some odd pits that were probably used for rituals. Experts suspect local residents probably produced and traded salt bricks. That would explain how they acquired all the gold and why they needed to build such a fortified structure.

Based on the discovery of other, less ancient settlements in Bulgaria and Romania, experts have long theorized many groups of people grew wealthy and banded together in the local areas once they discovered how to make salt a tradeable commodity. Hopefully, the unearthing of this town will offer new insights into how our ancestors lived and perhaps even yield clues as to where archeologists should look next.

We’ll let you know if anything else fascinating emerges from this Bulgarian find.