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Machairodus giganteus. Drawing: (c) Velizar Simeonovski
Machairodus giganteus. Drawing: (c) Velizar Simeonovski
Proboscidean tusk. Photo: (c) Aleksandar Zarichinov
Proboscidean tusk. Photo: (c) Aleksandar Zarichinov
Gazella. Photo: (c) Aleksandar Zarichinov
Gazella. Photo: (c) Aleksandar Zarichinov

Palaeontological Museum in Asenovgrad

[A branch of the National Museum of Natural History, Sofia]
Opening hours

Tuesday — Friday 9:00 — 17:00; Saturday 9:00 — 16:00

Palaeontological Museum
Badelema Quarter, 212 St, 4230 Asenovgrad, Bulgaria

Admission fees


— Adults: 2.00 BGN
— Children, pupils, students, people with disabilities, retirees: 1.50 BGN

History


The existing of the museum as a structural branch of the National Museum of Natural History at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences has started on 22 February 1990, when a Contract between the NMNHS-BAS on one hand, and the Asenovgrad city-town Council, on the other hand, was signed.

The Palaeontological Museum in Asenovgrad was created thanks to an impressive quantity of fossils collected over three decades by the teacher Dimitar Kovachev and his numerous pupils from the local secondary school. Over the last decade, the collection has increased significantly thanks to the work of two specialised, paid-rolled conservators in the museum’s staff, extracting fossils out of the tons fossils-holding mass of sediments from the locality of Hadzhidimovo Village, brought to the museum.

On 21 May 2010 the Palaeontological Museum in Asenovgrad turned 15 years since its opening. For this modest period it has become a magnet for all who are interested in the mysterious world of the prehistoric animals that inhabited our lands in ancient times.

Hyaena Adcrocuta eximia, locality Hadzhidimovo. Photo: (c) Assen Ignatov
Hyaena Adcrocuta eximia, locality Hadzhidimovo. Photo: (c) Assen Ignatov
Hippotherium brachypus, locality Hadzhidimovo. Photo: (c) Aleksandar Zarichinov
Hippotherium brachypus, locality Hadzhidimovo. Photo: (c) Aleksandar Zarichinov

Exhibition


The ground floor of the museum’s exhibition was completed and opened in 1995. It shows the evolution of the proboscid animals. Especially remarkable among all of the exhibits there is the cast of the Turolian Deinotherium from Ezerovo, more than 4 m in height. Expanded in 1998—1999, the exhibition on the second floor of the museum reveals in 30 glass cases the so-called ‘hipparion fauna’ and its diversity during Turolian [* Turolian is an age (stage) of the Late/Upper Miocene epoch (series)] in Bulgaria.
The Deinotherium skeleton in the Palaeontological branch of the NMNHS in Asenovgrad. Photo: (c) Aleksandar Zarichinov
The Deinotherium skeleton in the Palaeontological branch of the NMNHS in Asenovgrad. Photo: (c) Aleksandar Zarichinov

Collections


The imposing palaeontological collection of the museum is holding corals, ammonites, fossil sea echinoids and remnants of fossil turtles. The main part of the collection consists of fossil mammals. After its scope, this is the largest collection of Neogene vertebrates in Bulgaria. The scientific collection of Late Miocene mammals includes more than 25000 specimens of more than 40 species. Here are numerous remnants of species, which are now in process of active investigations: predominantly hipparions and bovids, and also carnivores, rhinoceroses, proboscideans, dears, primates, Tubulidentata, etc., including types of the newly described taxa.

Staff


Nedko Nedyalkov — Dr, curator
Manol Kavrashilov — preparator
Nadka Atanasova — cashier

Scientific supervisor of the museum is Prof. Dr Nikolai Spassov, from the NMNHS