© The Sofia Echo
A settlement dating back about 7,000 years has been discovered by a hill near the village of Ivanovo, in Shoumen municipality, in eastern Bulgaria, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) reported on July 26 2010.

The settlement, 900 square miles in area, lies between two rivers on the south face of the hill. In spite of its natural defenses, the settlement was fortified with a defensive wall of "unusual shape", BNT said.

"The shape of the fortification was not circular or oval-like, which was typical for the time but an irregular pattern resembling an octagon," archaeologist Svetlana Venelinova said in a television interview for BNT.

Additionally, the entire settlement was encircled by a moat outside the fortification.

The houses within the settlement faced south, and some of them were two-store high and "aristocratic".

"We found copious amounts of wood in the houses, which suggests that in those days people were aware of hydro-insulation techniques, installing wood planks on the floor," Venelinova said.

The artifacts unearthed suggest that those residing in that settlement enjoyed a "high social status", the report said.