Archaeologists in Croatia have discovered a city they believe is 7,000 years old — and it's apparently the biggest Stone Age city to ever be discovered in the region, covering more than 100,000 square meters.
The research team, led by Maja Krznaric Skrivanko and Hrvoje Vulic of the Vinkovci Municipal Museum, announced the findings, which were made just west of the Croatian city of Vinkovci this week.
Vulic told Croatia's Jutarnji List that the city had been just a few feet beneath the Earth's surface for thousands of years before the discovery. "At the beginning," Vulic said, "we found the remains of tanks, wells, and ceramic items dating back to the Stone Age, and we decided to further investigate." Vulic's team found the first of the artifacts just 30 inches below the Earth's surface.
Vulic's team is now conducting a concentrated search of a 3,000-square-meter area, where they've already found more than 300 objects, including kilns, wells, fences, and ceramic items, such as dishes. In addition to the artifacts, the archaeologists have also found graves for infants and children. The researchers speculate that the city was connected with the Sopot culture, which spanned across Croatia, Bosnia, and Hungary in the fourth and fifth millenniums B.C.E.