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Culture and heritage of the region



On the territory of the complex 'Maritsa - East " the earliest traces of human activity dated back to the Neolithic period. They are concentrated mainly in settlement  mounds located in the villages of Bozduganovo, Sarnevo, Kovachevo, Znamenosec and Polski gradec. The only investigated  flat area of the same period is near the village of Sarnevo, at present along the highway "Trakia".
From the next historical epoch - Chalcolithic  there are investigated monuments in the land of the village of Znamenosets and the town of Radnevo. Chalcolithic burials were studied in the non-existing villages Malka and Golyama detelina.
Interesting scientific issue was registered in the study of "Iamna culture" - a phase of the Early Bronze Age. It is characterized with the  specific mode of burial where a heaping of mandatory mound was carried out on the burial hills. Similar mounds have been studied in the villages of Ovchartsi,Kovachevo and Golyama detelina. This practice was maintained in the Late Bronze Age, as burial gifts were considerably more and more luxurious. The practice  to carriy burial in earlier mounds or heaping new remained. There was also an increase of the technology for the production of ceramics. Then bronze ware, gold and silver  began to enter the home.  Such rich burials were discovered near the villages of Ovchartsi and Troianovo. There are no registered settlement structures of this era.
Scientific interest is the study area "Ovcharitsa - 1" in the village of Targovishte, where was registered the first continuity between the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age.
From the Iron Age have been registered settlements with  sanctuaries and religious pits,which are partially or fully investigated in the villages of Gledachevo, Ovchartzi ,Polski gradec and Radnevo. The grave equipments  in this period were typically mounds. We have similarly examined in the villages of Ovchartsi  and Staroselets. There have also been registered human sacrifices – near the villages of Polski gradec and Gledachevo. The use of iron tools entered widely in the household.
The next investigated period is the Roman  epoch  I - V century AD in the area  of two villages near the village of Ovchartsi. Typical for the funeral rites of this era is essentially cremation. There were detected masonry graves installed in embankments of tombstones. We found the similar near  the villages of Gledachevo, Kovachevo, Byal bryag and Ovchartsi. At the end of this era Christianity widely entered in the diocese of Thrace. There is a  Monolithic monument connected with the Christian cult near Polish gradec. It is a nave and two aisles Basilica with a narthex. It existed until the middle of the V century. Its destruction is associated with large Huns invasions at the end of the first half of the V century.
In the sixth century fortifications began to be built widely on  river valleys as well as  in the dominating surrounding hills. There are two fortresses near the village of Polski gradec, a fortress near Radnevo and a fortress near the village of Znamenosec. Typical for them is that they were shelters which did not grown into settlements. The mentioned  above fortresses are abandoned and demolished in the late sixth century  and these destructions  were caused by the invasions of Slavs and Avars.
For a period of approximately two  to  three centuries we haven’t got  registered cultural monuments. The only exception is the dug border ditch Erkesiya that crosses the territory of Radnevo in the south.
The urban system of Middle Byzantine period  - X-XII centuries is relatively well studied. During  this era the settlements were located on the first, rarely on the latter unflooded terraces of  the river beds.They were located at a distance of 3 to 6 km apart. Dwellings are skeleton- wooden structure ,densely located, with no separate square spaces and courtyards and streets. For the construction of the buildings located on the slopes of the mountains was widely used stone. Rural necropolis are close to them, one of them has a small single nave church and one apse church. Perhaps they had two functions - as  a grave and  rural. Similar settlements were studied near the village of Gledachevo - three of them, near the village  of Ovchartsi - two near the village of Polski gradec - one near the villages of Gipsovo and  Znamenosec and Radnevo.
Material culture is typical of  this era. Besides the local traditions there is an influence from the Byzantine cultural centers - Constantinople, Adrianople and Thesalonika. For now the only medieval village, which has material from the beginning of the thirteenth century is under investigation near the village of Ovchartsi. In XIII-XIV century as a result of frequent hostilities between the Bulgarian state and the Byzantine Empire in the lowlands of Radnevo no traces of human activity left.
Radnevo is a place with a rich history. The first settlements date back to 4000 years ago. Evidence of this are numerous archaeological findings. The first ethnic group inhabited the region is Thracian tribe pirogeri. According to the historical data, on the territory of the municipality was located the Roman road station Arzus. In the Middle Ages, after the foundation of the Bulgarian state, the region became a buffer zone between Bulgaria and Byzantium. According to the most plausible legend of creation of Radnevo  grandfather Radni along with other Bulgarians settled in the area around 1700. They found  it the most suitable because of its fertile black soil, the presence of large amounts of water and mild climate. Gradually in the settlement  there was built convent and mother  monastery. The construction of  the church "St. Ivan Rilski " began in 1873 with funds from donations. 70s of the 19th century were crucial for the development of  Radna Mahle and the region. A railroad Simeonovgrad-Radnevo-Nova Zagora was built by the French company "Baron Hirsch" in 1872-1873. After its building  the trade in the region increased at a very fast pace. In 1906  Radna Mahle was renamed  as Radnevo, and since 1911 it  acquired the right of a the acounty center. On September 7, 1964 Radnevo was declared a city. The  development of energetic complex “Maritsa- East'' after 1960 changed radically the lives of people in the community, connecting them permanently with mining and energy.





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