Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica 27(2): 387-401

Felix-Adrian TENCARIU, Radu BRUNCHI, Stanislav ȚERNA, Ana DROB, Maria-Cristina
CIOBANU, Andreea VORNICU-ȚERNA, Casandra BRAȘOVEANU, Denisa ADUMITROAIEI
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ABSTRACT

Besides its contribution to understanding the formation process of large settlements and complex social
organization in the late period of Cucuteni-Trypillia, the site of Stolniceni (Republic of Moldova) provided new data
on the construction and spatial distribution within the site of pottery kilns. The extensive magnetic surveys revealed
a large settlement, with more than 350 burnt dwellings, hundreds of pits, ditches, paths, and 19 kilns. Of the latter,
four were excavated during the 2016-2018 campaigns. Three kilns were more or less similar in terms of sizes and
construction, belonging to the “simple”, dual chambered, updraught type. The best-preserved of them already served
as model for a published experiment conducted in 2017 near the Stolniceni archaeological base. The fourth provided
several surprising building features, like six additional holes arranged around the fire channels and communicating
with them, and two small clay arches above the channels’ ends. A plausible hypothesis of the researchers is that these
elements were meant to improve the draught, by increasing and uniformizing the circulation of hot air throughout
the upper chamber. Thus, in order to test how this technological innovation acts on the firing efficiency, we conducted
a new experiment (August-September 2020, Băiceni-Romania). The firing process and temperatures reached in this
type of kiln proved the concern of prehistoric potters for continuous improvement of their craft, raising questions
about the emergence and socio-economic implications of such innovations.

 

KEYWORDS

Experimental archaeology, Cucuteni-Trypillia culture, Chalcolithic pottery kiln,
technological innovation.

 

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