The paper examines, through the richness of salt in Transylvania, the causes that led to the migrations from Anatolia to the southern Balkans and then to central Europe, especially in Transylvania. Among the factors that led to these migrations were firstly climate changes: warming in Holocene, favourable climate in Transylvania around 6000 BC, the salt riches here that provide salt for several millennia. The Holocene warming has led to desertification (the disappearance of forests in the lowlands of Anatolia), the settlements have a shorter timespan, and most of them have only one habitation level (after 6000 BC). These have led to migrations towards the Aegean Sea (Kirokitia) and through the islands or the coasts of Thrace to mainland Greece and from there through the Balkans to the Carpathian Zone, where important salt deposits can be found. Successive migrations have also determined a great cultural unity, observable especially in the evolution of ceramics in the Early Neolithic in the Balkans and southern Central Europe, situations analysed and presented with similar developments from those areas.
The present paper uses the parameters revealed by archaeometric investigations of the Foeni group Early Eneolithic pottery from Alba Iulia–Lumea Nouă site, in order to make possible the experimental reconstruction of the black-topped pottery local firing technique. The distinctive features of this fineware category are the well burnished red body, with black (sometimes metallic) look on the rim, as well as on the pot interior. The results indicate the chromatic effect is due to the controlled mixed firing, oxidation and reduction atmosphere, in one step operation technique. This process was carried out using an updraught kiln with a circular base having 0.80 m in diameter and a height of 0.90 m. During firings the temperatures reached did not exceed the temperature indicated by the analyses (700–850°C), and both firing atmospheres had been achieved simultaneously. The experimental samples resembled Foeni vessels completely. The most important aspect of the firing method which we used is the fact that the results are controllable and repeatable.
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.