Paleolithic finds in the Prefecture of Rhodope, Thrace, Greece

In this article we present all the information we managed to collect about Paleolithic era finds in the Prefecture of Rhodope, Thrace, Greece.

“In (Greek) Thrace, the earliest human presence dates back to the Middle Paleolithic (200,000-38,000 years ago) and was documented northeast of Ismarus, where an outdoor human location was recognized, while the earliest quarrying of chert at the “Vrachos” position dates back to the end of the Middle and the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic, 45,000-35,000 years ago, Dimitrios Matsas notes.”




Upper Paleolithic Age (35.000-10.000 π.Χ.)

Surface survey in Makropotamos traced residues from the life of the Paleolithic man. Tools made of chert.



“The Krovili-Petrota area provides safe indications of human presence in the Aegean Thrace’s region since the Middle Paleolithic period. The findings revealed by surface surveys in the Rhodope’s SE plain indicate that the area east of the Nestos River had been inhabited by groups of hunters and gatherers at least in the last 100,000 years and long before the emergence of the first permanent agro-livestock settlements of the Neolithic Age. According to surveys and observations made in the area, it seems that the valley during the Pleistocene was inhabited by palaeolithic groups of hunters who resided near the lakes and swamps in the area, as there was also a chert quarry from where they used raw material for the construction of the their tools.”


Tools from the Middle Paleolithic Age were found in Skilomera‘s area


(Photography: N. Efstratiou and A.J. Ammerman, “The First Paleolithic Age Finds in Thrace”, Archaeology and Arts 60 July-Sept. 1966, fig.8)

Map showing Paleolithic settlements in the Krovili area


(Photography: N. Efstratiou and A.J. Ammerman, “The First Paleolithic Age Finds in Thrace”, Archaeology and Arts 60 July-Sept. 1966, fig. 5)


In the Krovili and Petrota region, between Ismaros and Scylorema, archaeological surveys revealed open facilities, which, according to the stone tools that were collected, date back to the Paleolithic era.


“The quarrying / utilization of chert from the Vrachos area in the Middle Paleolithic was perhaps more limited than its quarrying / use in the Holocene (but reservation is required here). The geological trench of the Petrota was inhabited at least in the period 50-45 thousand years before today (Isotopic Stage [MIS] 3), as shown by the presence of “two-faced” tools / weapons (“leaf-shaped peaks”). “Bands” (small goups) of hunters-gatherers camped periodically (seasonally?) In the area of Vrachos and exploited its chert for the construction of sharp weapons and cutting tools and weapons. The area was abandoned prior to the appearance of Aurignacian stone-carving (approximately 40,000 years before) and remained uninhabited until some early phase of the Neolithic, around 6000 B.C. or shortly afterwards (see Ammerman et al., 2008)”


Finally, for the interested reader, we added the following link for the scientific publication “First evidence for the Paleolithic in Aegean Thrace“, which refers to the Paleolithic positions in Aegean Thrace:

Research-Selection-Translation: Philaretus Homerides

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