Ada Tepe Exhibition

Ada Tepe is the mountain peak where the oldest known gold mine in Europe has been found and studied. Now gold is being mined again and all traces from the Bronze-Age mining technology will disappear. The main challenge of the project is to reveal the “absent” heritage of ancient gold mining.

Ada Tepe Exhibition is planned to be in a disused room of a local community centre. The exhibition covers several topics: gold mining in the Bronze Age and now, the life at the mine, the peak, the excavations, the gold, the nature, and the future of the mine. Their manifestations in terms of spatial and architectural appearance interweave to stimulate all senses.

The main featuring element is the inclined plane of the “mountain slope”. It divides the exhibition room in two but simultaneously connects the topics – physically and meaningfully. The aboveground space is dark, mysterious and unknown. Here are the stories and facts from the past (mining, life, topography) compared to similar contemporary activities. A massive trench leads to the underground space – just like the way ancient miners and today’s archaeologists “entered” the mountainside. All is bright and golden here as a reference to the underground treasures but also to the enlightening role of science for unveiling the distant past.

The exhibition encourages people to roam around the space, to climb the “mountain slope”, to venture underground, to touch, hear, feel, and experience this important yet unconventional heritage of the region.

  • Authors:
    Miroslav Velkov, Donika Georgieva, Dessislava Kovacheva, with Yordanka Kandulkova
  • Collaborators:
    Hristo Popov and Yana Dimitrova (archaeologists), Atanas Georgiev (structural engineer), Veronika Tabakova (sound), Virginia Petrakieva and Todor Petrakiev (electrical engineers), Grigori Markov (lighting design), Petar Petrov (WSS), Maria Botseva (fire safety), Kaloyan Kulev and Nikolay Delchev (HVAC), Fantina Rangelova (safety and health)
  • Year: 2019
  • Client: Krumovgrad Municipality
  • Status: under construction