The territory of modern Bulgaria was one of the earliest populated areas in Europe.
6 000 years ago it was inhabited by Thracians, who founded several kingdoms that prospered, reaching a cultural and economic peak during Hellenism.
Thracians were divided into many tribes. Around 480 BC they were united by King Teres in the Odrysian Kingdom.
Dionysus - god of wine, revered by the Greeks and Romans; Orpheus - the great poet of antiquity; and Spartak- the prominent military leader and folk hero are in fact Thracian mythical and historical figures.
Although the Thracians left no written records, their heritage was preserved in numerous tombs and treasures that reveal their amazing civilization.
In Bulgaria there are more than 60,000 mounds, containing nearly 2000 unexplored archaeological sites. Some of the most significant monuments are the tombs in Sveshtari and Kazanlak, the Starosel mausoleum, the ancient capital Seuthopolis and the temples in Tatul and Perperikon. All these are under the protection of UNESCO. More than 80 Thracian treasures were found on Bulgarian territory, including the famous Panagyurishte treasure, Rogozensko and Vulchitrun treasure.
The majority of the golden treasures are estimated to have been forged in 5-6th century BC, however the oldest gold in the world is considered to be the pre-Thracian gold treasure of Varna dated around 4,500 BC. A large number of artifacts, including the golden mask of King Teres were found in the Valley of Roses in central Bulgaria, which thus became known as the "Valley of the Thracian Kings". Thracian gold is increasingly gaining international popularity and recognition.
The exhibition - "The Epic of the Kings - archaeological discoveries in Bulgaria" was opened on 18.04.2015 in the Louvre museum in Paris and will be available until July 20th 2015.
After the disintegration of Great Bulgaria, which was located in the lands of today's Ukraine, two groups of the early Bulgarians led by Khan Asparuh and Khan Kuber settled on the Balkan peninsula and united with the Slavs which had come from the north at the beginning of the VII century and had been –existing with local Byzantines. The leader of the Bulgarians – Asparuh, won a victory over one of the armies of Emperor Constantine IV, which lead to the signing of a treaty agreement between united Bulgarians and Slavs and the Byzantine Empire. Under this agreement, the ancestors of modern Bulgaria were given rights ofer most of the territory between the Balkan Mountains and the Danube river. The treaty of 681 is considered the moment of foundation of the Bulgarian country.
During its 1334-year-old history Bulgaria has contributed seven historical sites and two parks - Pirin National Park and National Reserve "Srebarna" to the UNESCO list of world historical and cultural heritage - without which mankind would not be the same.