Presentations at the 20th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists

Loredana Solcan, George Bodi, Mihaela Danu

A prickly pear to pick: the deposits of Lithospermum in the Chalcolithic of NE Romania

20th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists

10-14 September 2014, Istanbul, Turkey

Our paper aims at presenting and discussing the discovery of Lithospermum officinale (Gromwell) and Lithospermum purpureo-coerulem (Purple Gromwell) seed deposits from several Cucuteni sites (NE Romania, Vth – IVth millennia CAL. B.C.): Izvoare-Piatra Neamț, Poduri-Dealul Ghindaru and Frumușica. The large number of seeds (in the thousands) in the deposits, the morphological alteration observed in some instances (perforation) and the aesthetically pleasing appearance, suggest, at a first glance, their use as purely decorative body adornments. However, an in-depth contextual analysis and especially their association with other types of artefacts (such as selected animal skeletal parts) allows us to explore different meanings of this category of archaeological finds.

 

George Bodi, Luminita Bejenaru, Loredana Solcan

They die, and leave no sign. On the problem of death associated rituals in the Chalcolithic of NE Romania

20th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists

10-14 September 2014, Istanbul, Turkey

One of the greatest challenges that the Chalcolithic Cucuteni culture (Vth – IVth millennia CAL. B.C.) forces upon Romanian archaeologists is constituted by the reconstruction of the attitude towards death of its population. The different archaeological realities observed have led to various interpretations: deposition of entire body, burial, deposition of body parts, ritual deposition, scattered bones/bone fragments, and ritual anthropophagy or a lack of unconcern for the dead. Our presentation will briefly review the different types of discoveries of human remains and will critically discuss their latest interpretations, presenting our own observations on 31 human bone fragments. We will further anchor our own discourse into an adductive line of reasoning, and we will adopt a philosophical platform rooted in a heideggerian relational ontology. From this theoretical stance we will argue that the various contexts of human remains identified for the Cucuteni culture actually represent only stages of a complex manner of dealing with death.

EAA T05S008 bodi bejenaru solcan
 

Luminita Bejenaru, George Bodi, Vasile Cotiuga

Ritual Use of Animals in the Precucuteni-Cucuteni Civilisation

20th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists

10-14 September 2014, Istanbul, Turkey

Skeletal remains of animals discovered in possible ritual contexts are described in terms of their anatomy and symbolism. In the Chalcolithic sites of the Precucuteni-Cucuteni cultural complex (5050 and 3500 cal. B.C.) although the recovery of animal bones is rather limited, the animals seem to hold an important position in the religion of this ancient population. Zooarchaelogical and archaeological studies highlight specific patterns in animal remains according to species, element and age representation, killing pattern, butchering, stratigraphic details, and association with other artefacts. Different categories of animals or animal parts found in archaeological contexts will be presented, which allow an association with ritual practices to be delineated: burial of complete animals in settlements (e.g. skeletons of pigs discovered in the Cucuteni level. of the Poduri-Dealul Ghindaru tell); parts of animals in settlements (e.g. bucrania and horn cores of bovines discovered in the Precucuteni site of Targu Frumos); parts of skeletons possibly used in divination or good fortune rituals (e.g. deposit of astragali at Poduri-Dealul Ghindaru tell).