In the wider region of the Varna lakes (before the 1900s, freshwater) and the adjacent karst springs and caves, over 30 prehistoric settlements have been unearthed with the earliest artefacts dating back to the Middle Paleolithic or 100,000 years ago. BC) the area around Odessos had been populated with Thracians. BC local Thracians had active commercial and cultural contacts with people from Anatolia, Thessaly, Caucasus and the Mediterranean Sea.
These links were reflected in some local productions, for example, forms of bronze fibula of the age, either imported or locally made.
The city is referred to as the maritime capital of Bulgaria and headquarters the Bulgarian Navy and merchant marine.
In 2008, Varna was designated seat of the Black Sea Euroregion by the Council of Europe.
Thracians engaged in farming, wood processing, hunting and fishing.
Among their art crafts is metal processing – especially weapons, excelling processing of bronze, making of bracelets, rings, Thracian type of fibulas, horse ornaments, arrowheads.
Probably after the downfall of his kingdom, Celts blended with the greatly numbered Thracians in the country. BC in present Dobrudja land between Dyonissopolis (Balchik) and Odessos were created many small Scythian states.
Arkovna, 80 km near Odessos, was probably the permanent capital of Celts' last king Kavar (270/260-216/210 BC).The latter is often said to be of Carian origin, though no modern scholarship supports this.Varna Peninsula on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after Varna.The Thracians in North-East Thrace seems to be underdeveloped compared to their counterparts in South Thrace.The people lived in two types of settlements: non-fortified, located in fertile lands near water sources and stone built fortresses in hard to reach mountain environment, where were usually located the kings’ residences.In Swedish, the meaning of värn is "shield, defense" – hence Varna could mean "defended, fortified place". Varuna), or from Proto-Slavic root varn "black", or from Iranian bar or var "camp, fortress" (see also Etymological list of provinces of Bulgaria).