The sub-Carpathian area of Moldavia (Romania) represents the ideal framework to perform extensive ethno-archaeological research as the area harbours over 200 salt springs near which are found remarkable archaeological deposits related to salt exploitation, in particular from Neolithic and Chalcolithic times (6000-3500 BC). Nowadays, these mineral springs are still exploited at an unexpected degree of intensity by members of rural as well as of urban communities. The main research focuses on the identification of all salt springs in sub-Carpathian Moldavia and on the completion of complex ethno-archaeological research (exploitation, uses, distribution networks, trade, social contexts, symbolism, etc.) in order to propose new and more varied models for explaining prehistoric situations.
The current paper aims to present and discuss a series of funerary discoveries which indicate specific mortuary practices by the communities of the Transylvanian Neolithic and Eneolithic, both older and more recent. A special attention was given to the cremation rite, still considered an unusual practice for the period and area under research. We believe that these new funerary discoveries confirm the practice of cremation of the N-W Romanian Neolithic communities.
Oblique Air Photography for Chalcolithic Sites from Eastern Romania. Analysis and Interpretation. Some Examples
To intervene efficiently in protecting the archaeological heritage it requires precise information, as well as the exact location, the limits of the site or the geomorphological features of the area. As such, an interdisciplinary research based on non-destructive, complementary methods of investigation, which can provide precious information on the underground archaeological remains, is required. The most convenient (affordable) prospection methods employed by archaeologists are, on the one hand, surface research (fieldwalking), which provides the data necessary for a chronological setting, and, on the other, air photography, which offers the possibility to identify the buried structures. The present paper focuses on the use of oblique air photography in the study of prehistoric sites and a case for generalising such practices in archaeological research, with reference to preliminary results obtained for a number of sites from north-eastern Romania.
Animals in the Economy and Rituals of the Cucuteni Settlement from Poduri–Dealul Ghindaru (Bacău County, Romania)
The present paper represents a synthesized archaeozoological approach to the Cucuteni site of Poduri–Dealul Ghindaru (Bacău County, Romania). This study explores various roles of animals in the economy and rituals of a Chalcolithic community. Animal remains are described in terms of frequencies, anatomy and taphonomy. Temporal analysis of several characteristics, including taxonomic frequency, indicates changes in the prehistoric local economy. Types of special animal deposits are described, as well as the interpretation of their ritual meaning.
The Early Bronze Age in the area between the Eastern Carpathians and the Lower Danube constituted the topic of numerous attempts. A recent contribution concerning this theme was made by Radu Băjenaru, who presented me with the opportunity to have an updated reading of the manner in which archaeological monuments can be analysed. The critical scrutiny, rigorous analysis, direct access to sources, field experience, suggestions for classifying the impressive lot of artefacts analysed, are just some of the author’s cards. In the following, the author of these lines has only the merit of bringing to a written conclusion a number of friendly observations.
The authors’ intention is to bring to the notice of specialists a decorated disc-butted axe recently discovered east of the Carpathians, in the Moldavian Plateau. This type of axe (A1, according to the established typologies), with few known items, is a typical discovery (mainly as a component of hoards or as an individual find) for the Middle Bronze Age from the area west of the Carpathians — the Wietenberg, Suciu de Sus and Otomani-Füzesabony cultures. The microscopic investigations on the decoration techniques prove the ability of the metallurgical craftsmen to handle complex alloys, as well as a refined artistic sense, qualities used to achieve a certain impressive appearance. The corroboration of all available data on this artefact offers new possibilities for revealing the social and symbolic function of the disc-butted axes of the Bronze Age.