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The Azmak settlement mound has T a very favourable position: it is situated in the midst of a fertile plain, surrounded on three sides by marsh land, from which it takes its name, Azmak being the Bulgarian for marsh. It is 7.94 m. high, with a diameter at its base of 80 m.; it covers an area of 5,500 sq. m.
The excavations between 1960 and 1963 yielded no less than 10,000 finds, mainly from the Neolithic and Eneolithic periods. The thickness of the accumulated cultural levels was 7-5 m., of which 3 m. belonged to the Neolithic period and 4-5 m. to the Eneolithic and Bronze Ages. The 3 m. belonging to the Neolithic period consisted of six building levels, five of which can be attributed to the culture known as Karanovo I, and the sixth, much destroyed, to the culture known as Karanovo 111, especially as known from the Jassa Tepe I level at Plovdiv.
Culture includes not only the material products of a human society, but also its non-productive acts and practices. Yet it is these of which we can know so little in regard to prehistoric peoples. However, there is one class of natural objects which, although as a general rule having no obvious practical value, have been noticed, picked up and evidently regarded with some interest since the earliest times: fossils. Certain types of fossil have attracted more attention than others, probably because they are both fairly common and of striking appearance. It occurred to me that it would be worth while attempting to gauge what kinds of ideas may have been associated with such fossils in the various stages of culture.