The Excavation Area of Kanlıgeçit is approximately 3 Kms south of Kırklareli and 300 meters to the Excavation Area of Aşağı Pınar.



Kanlıgeçit dates back to the Early Early Bronze Age in the 3rd Millennium, being the earliest example of urbanization in the Balkans. It is also the only Anatolian colony settlement in Thrace in the Early Bronze Age. The settlement consists of a residential section over a large area, and a citadel surrounded by city walls. The excavations which started in Kanlıgeçit in 1994 were completed in 2009, and the citadel was restored and opened as an open-air museum same year. Settlement in Kanlıgeçit dates back to 3200 BC and it has continued its existence as a large village in wooden architecture until 2400 BC similar to the other parts of the Balkans and Thrace. It has been understood that Kanlıgeçit was completely restructed around that date, and then was exposed to the influence of Anatolian cultures for the first time.


The area is under preservation.

Area Descriptions

The area where the former structures stood was filled to cover earlier remains and to raise the area of the new settlement, imitating the mounds of Anatolia. The citadel was encircled by an enclosure wall and the flanks of the hill were paved with cobbles, like in Anatolian towns. It has been understood that the settlement was planned and structured like the other contemporary Anatolian cities in that phase. The entrance to the citadel was transformed into a monumental gate with a stone tower. Within the citadel there are four buildings called megarons, set parallel to each other, and a large inner court reserved for ceremonies. This settlement is a smaller replica of the typical Anatolian city, the best model of which has been found at the second cultural level of Troy.

While wooden buildings were widespread in the Balkans in that period, Kanlıgeçit is known to be the first Early Bronze Age settlement built by adobe on stone foundations. The biggest megaron of 24 meters in lenght in Kanlıgeçit is only 2 meters smaller than the big megaron on the second cultural level of Troy.

Among the finds of this stage are wheel-made, red burnished vessels and clay figurines, evidently imported from Anatolia, and domestic horse bones.

Kanlıgeçit dates to the era when horse was first domesticated, revolutionnizing long-distance travel. Kanlıgeçit excavations have revealed the richest collection of domestic horse bones in Turkey ; as wild horses were not present in Thrace, their extensive presence surmise that the caravan trade system had already emerged by the Early Bronze Age followed later by the example seen in Kültepe-Kaniş-Karum. After Kanlıgeçit was destroyed in 2050 BC, the area was left uninhabited for a period of thousand years.

Related routes

Project: Green corridors - promotion of natural, cultural and historical heritage in the region of Burgas and Kirklareli. Grant Contract №РД-02-29-173/01.07.2011.

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