The original homeland of the ancient Bulgarians (or Proto-Bulgarians) was in Middle Asia, in the mountainous region of Pamir and Hindu Coush and may be described as emerging in Antiquity (1-st century BC) when they formed their first state union (Balhara or Baktria). The Ancient Bulgarians constituted an ethnic community of Indo-European origin, the Indo-Iranian element being increasingly considered to be a determinant one. As a highly developed civilization they had culturally influenced the territories of Central Asia for a continued period of time.
They have left to the World a rich cultural heritage in the field of philosophic understanding of the World as well as in the State administration, social structure, military art, writing, linguistic culture, construction, astronomy and matematics. Eloquent exemple of this is their calendar based on the sun cycles, which is perfect from astronomical and mathematical point of view. UNESCO has recognised it as one of the most accurate ancient calendars known so far.
The European appearance of the ancient Bulgarians dates to 165 AD according to the oldest chronicles of the Bulgarian Kingdom (Khanate). The powerfull State Union of the ancient Bulgarians known as Great Old Bulgaria (632 AD) with khan Kubrat at its head existed on the territories between the Caspian Sea and the northern part of the Black Sea until the middle of the VII-th century AD when it expanded and separated into two Khanates – Volga Bulgaria and Danube Bulgaria. As a sign of honor, the Roman emperor Hyracleus conferred to khan Kubrat, who was Christian, the title of “Patrician”.