In a captivating revelation, archaeologist Nadezhda Karastoyanova from the National Museum of Natural History, in collaboration with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, disclosed the fascinating history of lion hunts on the present-day territory of Bulgaria five millennia ago.
“These were indigenous lions that people in prehistory hunted, brought to settlements, and likely consumed,” Karastoyanova shared. The Bulgarian lions of that era were apparently similar to their African counterparts, with hypotheses suggesting differences such as smaller manes or even a lack of them. However, at this early stage, the archaeological remains are scarce.
Karastoyanova, drawing on her extensive experience, highlighted the diversity in her findings, emphasizing that outcomes varied based on the specific period under scrutiny. Presently, her focus extends to a prehistoric human skeleton discovered at Kozareva Mound in northeastern Bulgaria, near the Black Sea.
“We suspect the man was likely attacked by a lion, although our research is ongoing,” she revealed. Notably, marks on the skull hint at a confrontation with a large predator, aligning with the historical presence of lions in Bulgaria during that timeframe. Remnants of these majestic creatures have been found near Durankulak on the Black Sea coast.
One intriguing detail emerges from the ongoing study: the individual not only survived the lion encounter but also remarkably healed from the inflicted wounds. Karastoyanova’s work sheds light on a chapter of ancient Bulgaria where humans and lions coexisted, offering a glimpse into a remarkable survival story.