“The Agricultural Revolution”
The “agricultural revolution” is the name given to the process of transition from living in caves in tribes to living in houses and villages, from relying on hunting and gathering as a way of living, and therefore wandering from place to place, to relying on agriculture for food and therefore living in the same village all year round. All this happened about 10,000 years ago for reasons that are still unclear. The revolution in lifestyles was accompanied by a revolution in the social structure, and profound changes in the way of human thought and belief. The two places in the world where these changes took place are: the Middle East, which was probably the leader, and the second, not long after, is the Balkans.
The last ice age lasted about 60,000 years during which glaciers covered London and France was frozen tundra. Temperatures in the Balkans were on average only 3 degrees lower than they are today, a fact that made it the most suitable area in Europe for human habitation and for the beginning of plant cultivation and animal domestication.
With the retreat of the glaciers and the rise of sea levels all over the world, the warming of the climate in Europe and the Middle East, humans became farmers and permanent residents in villages, instead of gatherers and hunters living in small tribes and wandering from place to place. They domesticated the animals: the dog, the sheep, the ox, the cow, the donkey and the goat (the camel and the horse were domesticated at a later stage). They domesticated and cultivated the plants: wheat, barley, peas, lentils, fruit trees (and in a later period the olive and the vine), and began to work the land.
An ancient prehistoric Goddess culture appeared in the Balkans, whose remains have recently been discovered, mainly in the Danube region. People began to grow their own food and live in large communities, develop religion, art and writing, and establish large settlements. The final transition to agriculture occurred 8,500 years ago.
The development of human culture is related to a number of important inventions such as weaving and the use of ceramics. The use of ceramics changed human life; From now on it was easier to cook and store things. Every house had a big jar where the grain was stored, the yard had a big jar for water, in the pottery jars you could store oil, lentils, etc. In addition, it was possible to create figurines and models from clay.
Copper began to be produced in the Balkans already about 8,000 years ago, immediately after the beginning of the use of copper in Anatolia. Copper production is a very complicated process that includes many components and requires a high temperature (1,200 degrees). Simply put, it’s not like someone threw a rock into a fire and copper just appeared. Archaeologists are having a hard time understanding how the people of the Stone Age came up with this invention. What is clear is that this is a process that started in one place, possibly by a group of scientists, and from there it spread to the rest of the world. And so, from 4,500 BC to 3,200 BC, we move into the period called the Chalcolithic period (chalco – copper, lithos – stone). Man learned to change materials and create tools using high heat, and at the same time he learned produce higher level of pottery at the pottery wheel, and create more sophisticated stone tolls, like needles for knitting.
The use of ceramics and copper brought about a change in people’s lives, but still the main tool was stone, especially flint. The stone tools were perfected and the use of obsidian increased – a very sharp volcanic glass that is still used in surgeries today. This glass is not found as a raw material in the Balkans and the presence of it in this region indicates the existence of trade relations with distant countries.
Over time there are developments in agriculture: in the Chalcolithic period people learned to produce secondary products from agricultural products, such as cheese out of milk (examination of bones from the period shows a higher calcium concentration than before) or wool. Man learns to use animals to carry loads, the donkey is domesticated as a labor force and so is the ox. This means more power in tillaging the earth and other agricultural works/
During this period men began to grow vines and olives, and one of the questions is where did the cultivation of the vine begin from? The latest findings point to Georgia as the first place where vine cultivation began 8,000 years ago, but until recently it was believed that the place was the Balkans.
The Bulgarian archaeologist Henrieta Todorova claims that until 8,500 years ago Bulgaria was empty, and then people from Asia Minor arrived in groups along the Rivers, they settled north of the Balkan Mountains mainly in the River valleys such as Iskar or Rusenski Lom and established settlements and cultures. Although the settlements were distant and isolated from each other, the similarity in the ceramic vessels shows a common origin. The weather at that time was warmer and it was not convenient to settle south of the Balkan Mountains for fear of drought. In contrast, the northern region was rainy and more protected from drought.
Indeed, near the sources of the Rusansky Lom River, around the village of Turgovishte, there is an ancient mound called Maleva Mound, where the one of first settlement in the Balkan was found (it is interesting to note that inside this mound a huge Roman tower was discovered from the 3rd century AD).
However, 8,000 years ago the weather changed and cooled and the settlement north of the Balkan Mountains were abandoned, the inhabitants moved to the south and then the Karanovo culture was created, named after a settlement located not far from the City of Stara Zagora. The Karanovo archaeological mound was inhabited for 4,000 years, from 6,000 B.C. and up to 2,000 BC, and its layers are used by the prehistoric archeologists of the Balkans as a point of reference (another source for dating the archeology of the Balkans is the various layers at the Vinca site in Serbia, these are the two lighthouses of archaeologists in prehistory).
In the middle of the 6th millennium BC, the weather warmed up again and settlements expanded, both in Bulgaria and Serbia. From that time, a mound is found in northeastern Bulgaria called Ovcharovo, and an advanced agricultural culture is named after it, which has urns that are burned a second time and are dark in color, similar to Vinca and Strachevo findings In Serbia, at that time the Balkans were a center for Neolithic agriculture and a model to be followed all over Europe.
At the same time, a dramatic event also occurred: in 5,600 BC, the Bosporus straits were breached and a tremendous stream of water flooded the entire area around the Black Sea at that time, which was a lake of fresh water, 150 meters lower than its current level and half the size of the current sea. Within a few years or months the fertile plains around the “Black Lake” were flooded with water. This event constitutes, according to one of the contemporary theories, the biblical flood, because in those plains there was an advanced human culture that disappeared.
Two researchers named William Ryan and Walter Pitman put forward this hypothesis in 1997, a hypothesis that was proven when in 2012 houses, ceramics and stone tools and advanced human settlements were discovered 150 meters under the black sea water. As in the case of Atlantis, one can also find here a developed culture that sank, whose remnants and colonies remain in surrounding sites such as the Crimean Peninsula or the Strandja Mountains in Bulgaria, and an echo of its disappearance appears in mythology and folk tales.
Refugees from that Civilization found refuge in settlements on the shores of the New Black Sea, and thus, at the end of the 6th millennium BC, a culture with an advanced art called the Hamangia Culture suddenly appeared on the shores of the Black Sea north of Varna. This culture left behind it beautiful statues such as the “The thinking man”. The matriarchal element is strengthened as the emphasis shifts to the human figure, and we have the appearance of many Goddess figurines. One of the interesting things in the Hamangia culture is that they buried men lying on their backs while women lye on their sides in a fetal position, and this means that women were considered to have the possibility of being reborn into the other worlds with the help of Mother Earth while the men were probably denied this possibility.
A little later, at the beginning of the 5th millennium BC, a culture called Gumelnița–Karanovo Culture appears in Bulgaria and Romania, in which the appearance of Goddess worship and a matriarchal society is also prominent. We find more and more representations of female figurines (Goddesses), some with Genitals highlighted. This is also the time of the beginning of copper production and mining (Chalcolithic period), Karnovo Gomelnitsa culture has a mining industry in the Mountains.
In the 5th millennium BC, the unification of the Balkan cultures takes place and the villages become similar to each other, which teach us that there were trade relations and mutual cooperation between villages. The population increases and it is possible that the establishment of the network of Megalithic sites began at this time. In Serbia, an advanced agricultural culture called Vinca appears, it has settlements of thousands of people, Goddess borate houses, workshops, streets, and a wonderful artistic expression.
At the same time a variant of the advanced matriarchal culture of Vinca and elsewhere appears in the Thracian valley in the Plovdiv region and it is called the Kaloyanovets-Maritsa Culture. Another variant of the Goddess culture appears at the end of the 5th millennium in the coastal region of Bulgaria and it is called the Varna Culture. Near the City of Varna there is an ancient cemetery and in it close to 300 skeletons and gold and copper treasures were found (some of it is exhibited in the national history Museum in Sofia), that allow us a glimpse into the life of the times.
At the end of the 5th millennium BC, gold and copper begin to be produced in Bulgaria. The most important mines of copper are in Aibunar – Bulgaria and Majdanpek and Bor in eastern Serbia. The most important gold mines were probably in the area of Perperikon in the Rhodope Mountains, although the identification is not certainly, the copper and gold were probably used in trade relations of the Balkan Civilizations with distant places.
The travelers in Bulgaria today can enjoy the reconstruction of Neolithic villages and houses in their sites. An ancient settlement, including crafts, from 7,000 years ago has been reconstructed near the village of Chavdar in the Balkan Mountains. In the various Museums throughout Bulgaria, and also in relatively small cities such as Vratsa or Kazanlak, it is possible to see relics from prehistoric periods of culture, especially urns and small stone vessels (Microliths), Goddess figurines and burial remains.
Goddess culture is characterized by aesthetics and an artistic sense. On the urns there are decorations in geometric shapes, spirals, animal and human figures. The decorations are not necessary for usage, so they probably have a symbolic meaning. in addition to the decorative motives on the urns, a kind of language (script) of symbols appears, indicating that the script may have been invented in Bulgaria already 6,000 years ago.
In the Balkan Mountains, written tablets were found from the 4th millennium BC called the Gradeshnitsa Tablets, they are exhibited in the Vratsa Museum of History. The tablets are attributed to a culture that is considered to be the most developed Goddess culture, as appears in the books of Maria Gimbutas about the ancient Goddess Civilization.
In the 4th millennium appears the most developed Goddess culture in prehistory called Cucuteni-Trypillia culture. It covers large areas in Romania, Moldova and parts of Bulgaria and Ukraine. In addition to the advanced sculpture, the developed arts and crafts, and the lively trade, you can find huge settlements of that culture where tens of thousands of people lived in harmony and prosperity. However, the settlements were abandoned and burned from time to time, and based on the findings of the destruction layers in these settlements Gimbutas developed her theories. According to her, Indian-European tribes that came from the west of Russia, with a patriarchal culture and a warlike orientation, destroyed the peaceful Goddess communities.
According to the Bulgarian archaeologist Todorova, the Neolithic culture reached its peak at the beginning of the 4th millennium BC, but in the second half of the 4th millennium BC and the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC this advanced culture disappeared. The reason for this is, According to Todorova, climatic changes that occurred during this period. The last phase of global warming raised the temperature in the Balkans by 3 degrees above what they are today, the sea flooded areas and there were periods of drought. This situation caused the settlements to be abandoned and destroyed and a period of emptiness started that ended only with the beginning of the Bronze Age in the 3rd millennium BC.
There are also other theories concerning what happened in prehistory: researcher Zechariah Sitchin identifies periods of regression in human culture all over the world, with the end of the Chalcolithic period being one of them. The reason is that the impulse to establish the advanced Civilizations of the Stone Age came as a result of the intervention of outside visitors, and when they disappeared humans could not sustain the developmental impulse and returned to their old ways (until the new outside intervention with the establishment of Sumer, Egypt and the beginning of history). It is interesting to note that at that time people throughout the Balkans returned to settle, live and visit caves such as the Yagodina Cave, finding refuge in them. We see a similar phenomenon in Israel.
Either way, after a period of hundreds of years of empty settlements, new communities begin to appear in the 3rd millennium BC alongside new inventions such as the wheel and bronze. In Bulgaria it is a culture called the Ezeo Culture, which was probably influenced by the center in Troy. in this time (of which not much is known) populations begin to appear India is European and they form together with the remains of the local proto-Thracian peoples.
Before we continue to tell about the development of history, I would like to go back a little to delve into the Goddess culture that appeared in Bulgaria, and its preoccupation with the establishment of Megalithic sites.
Prehistory in the Balkans begins with the transition to agriculture that happened about 10,000 years ago and ends with the invasions of Indo-European tribes 4,000-5,000 years ago. During this time there were local developed cultures that believed in the Goddess society was led by priestesses who worshiped Mother Earth and sanctified the crafts of the home and the field, it was a kind of “human golden age”.
During this long period, there was no war; it did not exist at all. Before the domestication of the horse, man could take with him only what he could carry, therefore conquests were not relevant, no one thought of establishing an empire. The social organization was designed to deal with problems of existence such as the flooding of Rivers or common worship and it took place in villages, some of them large, where the values of peace and equality were high lightened.
The deity was female, maternal values were the norm, property and name passed from a woman to her daughter. Men and women cooperated with each other in the survival effort and there was no class distinction, as evidenced by tombs found in the archaeological sites in Bulgaria which were equal in size and style. The technology was entirely devoted to the production of tools for agriculture. There was no glorification of aggressive and violent impulses; on the contrary, the values were of responsibility and caring, awareness and vigilance.
The most important researcher of these ancient Goddess Civilizations that existed in the Balkan is archaeologist Marija Gimbutas (1921-1994). According to her, throughout Europe and in the Balkans in particular, there were utopian matriarchal societies much more advanced and sophisticated than we know and think of today, but they were destroyed around 5000 years ago by invading tribes, who brought with them use of iron, the horse, war, patriarchal society and male Gods. These were the Indo-European tribes that invaded the Balkans and began settling in the Balkans starting from the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC (Korgan hypothesis).
Gimbutas, a Lithuanian by origin, was a professor at Harvard University and considered to be the greatest expert on the prehistory of Eastern Europe. A turning point in her career was independent excavations she led in Southeast Europe where she found thousands of figurines of Goddesses and few (if any) figurines of Gods. According to her, the female figure reflects the central status of women in religious and cultural life.
She visited every Museum and every excavation of Neolithic finds in Eastern Europe and tried to trace what happened in Europe before the arrival of the Indo-Europeans. Little by little, the story of the Goddess culture and its disappearance was revealed to her. In all places she discovered an advanced and sophisticated human Civilization with a religion of a different kind. For the purpose of understanding the ancient religion, she developed a new research method called “Archeo-Mythology” which includes comparative religion, mythology, language and history, together with archaeology. In 1968 she coined the term “Old Europe” to denote the matriarchal cultures she studied.
The first book detailing her new world view was called “The Gods and Goddesses of Old Europe 3,500-7,000 BC”. The book was published in 1974. It was later rewritten under the title “The Goddesses and Gods of old Europe: Myth and Cult Image”. With this she met with resistance from the academic establishment. The interpretation of prehistoric ideology was considered taboo, the way she reached her conclusions was considered unscientific. Indeed, she relied heavily on intuition, and one might even say on channeling. At the same time, her conclusions cannot be dismissed. The greatest discoveries in history were made in this way. The recent findings at the Middle East support her hypotheses.
In 1989 she published the book “Language of the Goddess” in which she claims that the symbols of appearing on artifacts from the Goddess cultures “represent the grammar and syntax of a kind of super language through which a whole array of meanings passes.” This super language tells of sacred relationships between human beings and the natural world. According to her, in the figurines, paintings, urns of the ancient Goddess culture in Europe appears a language consisting of symbols that have not yet been deciphered, which shows that the ancient Goddess culture could think in a symbolic and abstract way and that this was probably a human ability from 30,000 years ago.
In 1991 she published the book “Civilization of the Goddess”, in which she claims that ancient Europe is a true culture that supports good. Parts of this culture merged with the invading tribes. Her last book published posthumously in 1999 was called “The Living Goddess”.
According to Gimbutas, old Europe was not fortified and this is evidence of a peaceful life. In the Balkans there were peaceful matriarchal societies that did not know wars, it was a time of “time of utopia” under the patronage of the Goddess that existed for thousands of years. Women’s lives were socially liberal and linked to the religious system that ensured their supremacy. Sex was considered sacred and existed freely between women and random men, so it was sometimes impossible to know the identity of the child’s father, the family was naturally centered around the mother, women ran the houses and the settlements were led by priestesses. There were no husbands but men played important roles in art, trade and construction.
Old Europe was homogeneous, with equal rights to everyone, without human or animal sacrifice. The ancients were more philosophers than is commonly thought, human actions such as grinding wheat, baking bread, weaving and spinning, were part of a sacred ritual. The house was a temple, the Goddess ruled over all stages of human life, the ancient religion centered on the cycle of life: birth, growth, maturity, aging, death and rebirth, as well as animal husbandry and agriculture. In addition to that humans were connected with the cycles and the forces of nature. These had many appearances and forms but behind all of them stood one principle – that of the all encompassing Goddess.
The use of clay starting around the 7th millennium BC enabled humans to express religious concepts. Small models of temples, altars and musical instruments have been discovered, which make it possible to reconstruct the ancient religion. In every location of clay workshop there was a temple to the Goddess.
According to Gimbutas, there is a big difference between the Paleolithic – the time before the beginning of prehistory and the end of the Ice Age (10,000 years ago), and the Neolithic period that followed when the agricultural revolution took place. Neolithic art separates from the naturalistic expressions of nature in the cave paintings and produces art that is mostly symbolic and based on the images of the Goddess. It expresses a complex and developed society that lives in large settlements; there is a burst of creation of many figurines with the human body as the main point of reference. Art refers to the human body as supporting, enriching, creating. It is not presented in a natural way, but as they perceived its spiritual function – the representation of the body of the Goddess is in an abstract or exaggerated way and not by chance.
The Goddess is the creator of plants, animals and humans, to whom everything returns, she represents all stages of life. Part of the art is schematic and is mainly expressed in geometric designs like triangles symbolizing the female genital organ, stripes symbolizing eyes, circles and lines forming the shape of a bird, spirals, two or three parallel lines, meanders (twists), ribbons, and more. There is a kind of language here.
Many of the figurines found have characteristics of animals such as a bear, pig, bird, and snake. These are totem animals associated with the Goddess. Figurines/statues have snake eyes; ram horns, bird’s beak and other animal characteristics. The Goddess was represented by a fish, a deer, a snake, a frog, a lamb, a pig, a dog, a bear, all of them have an important role in the ancient Goddess religion – the divine appears through the animal. And so wearing animal masks connects man with the Goddess.
At the end of the Goddess culture period and in connection with it, sacred complexes and Megalithic sites appear, consisting of huge stones. Initially these are local natural rocks with a special appearance and in energetic places on the earth, and then people starting to bring rocks from elsewhere and create huge Megaliths structures, sacred structures and sites. In the beginning most of the rocks had natural appearance, but later some were shaped.
Megaliths and earth energies
Bulgaria has some of the most beautiful and impressive Megalithic (Mega – big, Lithos – stone) sites in the world. The Megaliths first appeared in the Chalcolithic period, starting from 5th millennium BC until after the 3rd millennium BC (even though some claim they are much older). It was a phenomenon that spread throughout the world and has remnants in many places. Impressive appearances of Megaliths are found throughout the western part of Europe, from Ireland, Denmark and Sweden, through England, large parts of France, Spain and Portugal, as well as in Central Europe and the Balkans, the Middle East (including Israel) and the Caucasus. With the beginning of classical history, the Sumerian and Egyptian kingdoms in the Middle East (3rd millennium BC), the construction of Megalithic buildings stopped gradually and the emphasis of holy places shifted to temple buildings which were made of mud bricks or polished, rather than raw or shaped stones as part of nature.
At the time of the Goddess culture, it seems that the Megaliths had dual function, they were both a part of the earth, its ultimate expression (the great Goddess Sibel symbolized by rocks), and a connection to the sky, being directed towards the heavenly bodies, connecting with stones (meteorites) falling from the sky, or thrown from volcanoes, in a way that certainly Made a strong impression on the ancients.
According to Mircea Eliade, the Megaliths are the greatest enigma of prehistory and may be related to the cult of the dead and the quest for eternal life. The stone is a symbol (Hierophany) of eternity, so it is only natural that it would symbolize the eternal spirit and connect to the stars in the sky.
According to Professor Salman, the first Megaliths appeared in the 5th millennium BC in Portugal and Spain, reached Britain in 4,200 BC, and in 3,800 BC Megalithic burial chambers were built in northern Germany and Scandinavia. The construction of the Megaliths is representation of astronomical configurations of the sun, moon and stars, and shows the connection of their builders to the northern spiritual School of Atlantis. This connection began to be established among populations of hunter-fishermen in Western Europe and changed due to the arrival of agriculture in the region. The distribution of the Megaliths from the Atlantic coast to the east proves the existence of the lost continent, but the findings from the Balkans complicate this theory, because some of them are older than those of Western Europe.
According to Salman, the Megaliths were built to mark important events, as a tool in making areas of land more fertile through their energetic charging properties, as a means of communicating with the dead, and the stars. Ceremonies of connection and communication were held mainly in stone circles where the community gathered. The light passing through the stones was a means of meditating on the properties of light and spirituality, the underground chambers allowed the light to enter them in a special way and fertilize the earth; the rituals included prayer, dance and music, and perhaps shamanic ecstatic rites.
Something needs to be emphasized here: we take for granted the conditions prevailing today on Earth in terms of atmosphere, electrical conductivity, energies, magnetic field, and so on. But in the past the conditions were not necessarily similar to today. It is very possible that in ancient times there was a more charged atmosphere, different in its function. Today the atmosphere is isolating; there are many disturbances in the air, electromagnetic waves, and transmissions. These disturbances do not allow the appearance of angels, energetic influences. But in the past the situation was different: nature shone with a supernatural light, the worlds were closer to each other and in that case the stones had a different meaning and had a different function – the spiritual light appeared through and around them.
Standing stones, Dolmens and stone circles, became some of the most important religious structures for human society starting from the 5th millennium BC until the 1rd millennium BC in the Balkans as well as elsewhere. Many of the Megalithic sites of Bulgaria are related to the Thracians that inhabited the land in the 1st millennium BC, but they continue an early tradition, in the same way that the Celtic druids used Stonehenge as a place of worship in the 1st millennium BC, but continued much older traditions and usage of the site
Archaeologist Ana Raduncheva from Plovdiv argues that the network of Megalithic sites in Bulgaria is not from the Thracian period, as many would mistakenly think, but most of them are from much older periods such as the Neolithic or Chalcolithic, from the time of the existence of an ancient and advanced pre-Thracian Goddess culture.
According to her, the Megalithic sites were established in places of magnetic anomaly, they have thrones and basins of water that were charged by the strong energy in the place, and thus people who stayed at these sites, sat in the thrones and drank from the charged water, had a different experience than usual. The sites were part of a nationwide network, they all have similar characteristics and at the same time each one is different and unique. They have astronomical orientations, the appearance of Ethnomorphic (Human) figures and animals separate and combined. The Megalithic sites have caves, stairs leading to nowhere (to heaven), water reservoirs, and sometimes the engraving of shapes related to the different phases of the solar and lunar cycles. In some sites they relied on natural rocks and only shaped or “improved” them.
According to Raduncheva’s, the beginning of the construction of the Megalithic sites is around 8,000 years ago in the Neolithic period, which considered the Mountains sacred and had regional cults of the mother earth. People would come to the sites that were usually located on top of the Mountains and see the giant figures carved on the rocks or expressed in the shape of the site, and learn about spirituality and the mysteries of human life. This network was built and operated until the end of the Chalcolithic period, i.e. 5,000 years ago, and then the sites were abandoned for 2,000 years. When the Thracians arrived in the area 3,000 years ago and discovered the sites, they put some of them to secondary use.
According to Radoncheva, the archaeological evidence in the Megalithic sites is mainly of Chalcolithic layers. In addition to this, there is a similarity in their construction and the figurines found in them belong to the Neolithic period. For example, at the Harman kaya site in the Rhodope Mountains, there is a stacking of stones in a form that creates a person in a manner similar to the creation of the Goddess figurines at sites from the 5th millennium in the Middle East, which are made up of different parts joined together.
The biggest change in history
Maria Gimbutas argued that the original peaceful inhabitants of Europe were conquered and their culture destroyed by Indo-European horse riders who came from the west of Russia and Asia starting from the 3rd millennium BC, “History shows us that between 8-10 million women had to die for her (Goddess)”.
In her Kurgan hypothesis (“Kurga” – a mound of dirt over a grave in Turkish), she claims that tribes of men-warriors-nomads arrived in four main waves of conquest, destroyed the ancient settlements and established their own settlements characterized by an artificial mound. Most of the languages spoken in the world today were derived from the languages of the conquerors. According to linguistic evidence, the origin of the Indo-Europeans is the Russian steppes. The first presentation of her hypothesis was in Congress in 1956. Today there is a verification of her theories by a genetics researcher from Stanford named Luca Luigi Cavalli Sforza
In Greece, it was the Ionians and the Dorians who destroyed the ancient Minoan and Mycenaean kingdoms, and established archaic and classical Greece. They arrived in two waves, one about 4,000 years ago and the other about 3,000 years ago. Before them, the female deity ruled – Gaia, the Goddess of the earth, and after them, Zeus and the Olympian Gods came to power. In the Balkans, there were three additional Indo-European invading peoples that are mostly unknown: in the southeast it was the Thracians that invaded and settled, and they appear on the stage of history as early as the Trojan War. Today it is increasingly becoming clear that they had a deep spirituality and advanced material culture; In the western Balkans on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, it was the Illyrians tribes that invaded and settled. They built Fortresses, traded in the Adriatic Sea and competed with the Romans for hegemony in the area; and in the central south of the Balkans, north of Greece, it was the Macedonians who invaded and settled the fertile plains, later they adopted Greek culture and became the strongest power in the world. In addition to this, there was a large invasion and settlement of Celts in the central northern Balkans, mainly in the areas of Serbia today. Some of the elements of the ancient Goddess culture were preserved within the frameworks and traditions of the new people, who brought with them a different way of religion and society.