The project aims to shed new light on the Neolithization process in the Central Balkans by analyzing green amulets from sites all over the Balkan region with the potential impact of new production technologies and the localization of deposits or Nephrite in the area of study. Starting point is a new exceptional find at the ongoing excavations at Svinjarička Čuka.


A representative sample of artefacts made of green stone (Nephrite) could be studied and analyzed in depth, including detailed documentation, microscopic analysis, petrological definition and GIS mapping. All artefacts are embedded in contextual investigations. The cultural connectivity will be analyzed in a cultural context approach.

The Fourier-Transform-Infrarot Spectrometer (FTIR) is used to analyseč the special selected green stone objects. This is a device for measuring infrared spectra, which allows to determine the type and provenance of various materials, such as these lithic objects. The FTIR is equipped with a module for absolutely non-destructive analyses.

First results of the project were already presented at the EAA Budapest 2022.

In the framework of the long-standing and successful collaboration with NIAM-BAS and its director Hristo Popov a fieldtrip to several museums across Bulgaria was organized in 2023.


We would like to thank our Bulgarian colleagues, the involved national and regional museums in Bulgaria, their directors and staff for the warm welcome to their museums and willingness to share the artefacts and provenance information of the objects with our team.

Principal investigator


  • Hristo Popov, director NIAM-BAS,
  • NIAM-BAS (co-operation partner Vassil Nikolov, Krum Bačvarov)
  • RHM Sofia (co-operation partner Vassil Nikolov)
  • RHM Blagoevgrad
  • RHM Chirpan (co-operation partner Peter Leshtakov)
  • RHM Vratza (co-operation partner Georgi Ganezovski).
  • RHM Russe (co-operation partner Dimitar Chernakov)  
  • RHM Razgrad (co-operation partner Dilen Dilov)
  • RHM Targovishte (co-operation partner Stefan Ivanov)
  • RHM Kazanlak (co-operation partner Dessislava Andreeva)
  • RHM Kardzali (co-operation partner Daniela Kodžamanova)