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“Magura” Cave, RabishaCod 2634


“Magura” cave is situated in northwestern Bulgaria, 25 km from the town of Belogradchik. This was formed in the limestone mound of Rabisha (461 m ASL), which represents a small grotto, a remnant of the mantle of Mesozoic Belogradchik. The basis grotto is made of Triassic, colored with red sandstone above, in which are the Jurassic and Cretaceous carbonate rocks.
“Magura” is one of the largest caves in Bulgaria, with a total length of about 2,500 m of the existing galleries. It consists of a main gallery, which goes to the southeast – northwest and has three lateral branches.
Lanes have impressive dimensions. Length of over 200 meters, a width of 50 meters and a height of over 20 meters. The cave itself was formed in lower Cretaceous white limestone, with an average thickness of 100 m, with stalactites and stalagmites that are reveal themselves, to the visitor, in an underground story.
The average annual temperature in the cave is around 12 degrees. The humidity of the air is from 55% to 80%. Fast dripping of water is undoubtedly linked to small ponds located in the gallery, on the vault. The presence of air currents in the cave is explained by the regular replacement of the heated air from the cave with the cold from outside and vice versa.
Typical cave animals – troglobionts (bodies who are blind or partially sighted, with atrophied wings and discolored body), in the “Magura” cave were established two types – woodlice and snow diplura.
The permanent and interesting residents of the cave are the kolenbolata – jumping insects, like a flea ,greater than 2 mm. There are also different types of centipedes, earthworms, beetles, small spiders.
In Bulgaria were met 29 of the 30 species of bats identified in Europe.In the “Magura” cave were found four species of bats – big horseshoe, horseshoe little bat, bat-mouse and the bat Schreiber.
Favorable living conditions and the location are the factors that made the man to live in the cave. The first traces of its presence refers to the end of the Paleolithic / 8,000 years B.C. During this period, the cave was used mainly for temporary shelter.
Since then are also the cave paintings in the gallery. In subsequent eras – Neolithic and Eneolithic, Magura cave became the permanent home of prehistoric man who was expressing his spiritual state by creating dance scenes with people, hunters and animals. Can be seen evidence of life in the Bronze Age / 3200-2100 years BC .. Here are located homes, furnaces and forges. Were found stone and bone tools, weapons and jewelry.
The ceramic material is represented by the bowls, pots, cups with thin walls with large handles, decanters, handmade fuse. The well manteined dishes have polished surface with black and dark brown or with another dark color, with geometric ornaments decorated with deeply incised circles and lines, executed with a nail or a thin blade. It was also found a clay askos – an extremely rare piece for this period.
Humans have left the cave in the Roman period, in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, and settled in the pre-entry area on the nearby slopes, and have built protective facilities along the top of the mound.
The Art Gallery is located at 375 meters from the natural entrance of the cave. Total number of images exceeds 750 paintings with unfossilized guano and are the widest chronological range (from epi-Paleolithic to the Early Iron Age – 8000-600 BC).The images include hunting stories, mythological, rituals and scenes of ithyphallic (is described a fire fungus containing a substance with a narcotic effect) arranged in frieze. In the “Sanctuary” is presented, entirely preserved in the cave art from Europe, an anual solar calendar of the end of the Neolithic era.




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