Presentations at the 21st Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists

George Bodi, Loredana Solcan, Mariuca-Diana Vornicu, Luminita Bejenaru

Large felines representations on Cucuteni – Trypillia pottery. The long journey of an image

21st Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists

2-5 September 2015, Glasgow, Scotland

The Cucuteni–Trypillia cultural complex develops on the territories of Romania, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. The regional chronology situates its’ early phases during the Middle Neolithic (approx. 5.000 Cal. BC) while its’ ending is positioned in the Final Chalcolithic (approx. 3.500 Cal. BC). Our paper will focus on the final phase of existence of the Cucuteni–Trypillia cultural complex when, in addition to the traditional geometric motifs, representations of large felines are also depicted on the pots. Studies on the historical geographical distribution of large felines during Early and Middle Holocene indicate the foreign origin of the image in the territory of reference. Given the well documented connections of the Neolithic in our area of interest with the Greek and Anatolian Neolithic, a general existing consensus regards the latter as the source of this exotic image. We will put the current theory to the test and search not only for the origin area of the image, but also the path it followed, through an analysis on the shifting dynamics of the trade routes from a geographical space starting west of the Carpathian Mountains and including all the territories surrounding the Black Sea, with a focus on the Middle and Late Chalcolithic. In order to achieve our goal, we will follow the movement of exotic raw materials, diagnostic artefacts and new technologies.

CucuteniAR_Cucuteni_figurine
 

Senica Turcanu

Symbolic linkages in the Balkan-Anatolian Chalcolithic: copper and anthropomorphic figurines

21st Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists

2-5 September 2015, Glasgow, Scotland

Area of cultural convergence, the Central-Eastern Europe faces an outstanding booming of the Chalcolithic civilizations during the 5th–3rd millennia BC. Among these, the Cucuteni-Tripolye civilization represents a climax of the ancient human communities’ achievements, its exceptional manifestations rivaling with those of the civilizations in the Near East. Last year’s researches allowed the identification within the anthropomorphic figurines of the Cucuteni-Tripolye cultural complex of another type of adorning the figurines, consisting in the use of metal inserts. The aesthetic goal of such adornment manner was doubled by other less obvious aspects, pertaining more to the symbolic field. The recent identification of the presence of a copper chip in the ceramic material of an anthropomorphic figurine in the Tripolyan area is an argument in this regard. Starting from this, our aim is to centralize and analyze the anthropomorphic figurines (made of fired clay and of bone) which in various circumstances were associated to metal. The main objective of this research is the identification of the symbolic valued of such linkages. Visible on the outer surface of the items or included in their paste, metal inserts and accessories allow the identification and development of new direction of interpretation of the importance of metal into the cultural and social processes of the Balkan-Anatolian Chalcolithic (5th-3rd millennia BC).

George Bodi, Andrei-Victor Oancea, Adina Coroaba,
Valentin Nica, Corneliu Cotofanu, Mihaela Olaru

The contribution of archaeometric studies on pottery to the understanding of social structures. A case-study from Calcholithic NE Romania

21st Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists

2-5 September 2015, Glasgow, Scotland

The Cucuteni Culture belongs to the Chalcolithic period of Central and South-East Europe (approx. 4525/4500-3350 cal. BC) and it is a part of Ariușd–Cucuteni–Trypillia cultural complex, which covers areas of todays’ Romania, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. Our paper is dedicated to the complex archaeometric characterization of selected pottery shards originating from the Cucuteni settlement from Hoisesti – La Pod (Iași County, Romania). The concerted use of SEM-EDX, FTIR, XRD and XPS spectroscopies aimed both on the surface and on the bulk of the artefacts will provide chemical, morphological and structural data which will be used to assess the production technology employed in the manufacture of the pottery. This information will be correlated with an integrative model that takes into account the influence of social structures and natural environment factors in order to test our previous assumptions regarding the existence of specialized potters.

Luminita Bejenaru, Mihaela Danu, Simina Stanc

Economic resources in Chalcolithic society: bioarchaeological study concerning the Cucuteni site of Costesti (Iasi County, Romania)

21st Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists

2-5 September 2015, Glasgow, Scotland

Bioarchaeological research of pollen and spores, non-pollen palynomorphs, phytoliths and animals remains was performed in Chalcolithic settlement of Costesti (Iasi County, Romania). Archaeological research unveiled a stratigraphy with levels belonging to Cucuteni Chalcolithic culture (Vth-IVth millennia CAL B.C.). Archaeobotanical results are integrated with those of archaeozoology in order to achieve an inventory of economic resources exploited by this Cucuteni community. Archaeobotanical analysis testified the presence of deciduous trees such as linden (Tilia) and oak (Quercus). Willow (Salix), alder (Alnus) and birch (Betula) inhabited banks of river whose course goes right near the site. Regarding the herbaceous plants, there were identified both spontaneous taxa and other taxa which could be cultivated. Cereals are evidenced by the dendritic phytoliths. Anthropogenic pollen indicators (sorrel – Rumex type; knotgrass – Polygonum aviculare type, wormwood – Artemisia) are present too. The majority of animal remains are from domestic mammals (about 71%), with the predominance of sheep/goat (Ovis aries/Capra hircus), followed by cattle (Bos taurus) and pig (Sus domesticus). The hunting of wild mammals is quite important in the food provisioning system, whereas the frequency of these remains is about 23%; as game species, red deer (Cervus elaphus), wild boar (Sus scrofa) and aurochs (Bos primigenius) are dominant. Harvesting was mainly addressed to molluscs, but the number of remains attributed to this group is small. According to these data, the economy of Chalcolithic settlement from Costesti was based on the cultivation of plants and animal husbandry, and also on forest and aquatic resources.

Chalcolithic-cultures-Southeastern-Europe
 

Vasile Cotiuga, Stefan Caliniuc

The deliberate destruction of Cucutenian houses: a case of affordance?

21st Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists

2-5 September 2015, Glasgow, Scotland

The study addresses the issue of house building in the Chalcolithic Cucuteni culture of North-Eastern Romania, with reference to a contentious issue of European archaeology, namely the interpretation of the so-called burned house horizon. In light of the results of an archaeological experiment carried out in the eponymous settlement of the Cucuteni culture, where a number of timber and cob houses were built and subsequently fired in order to reproduce the conditions that left behind the type of evidence present in the archaeological record, the paper explores the question if the phenomenon of house firing as a deliberate act — for religious or practical reasons — was engendered by the very nature of the construction material used to raise the structures. Did timber afford the Cucutenians with the necessary material setting for developing idiosyncratic beliefs, of a religious or practical nature, different from those of the contemporary Pontic, Mediterranean, Anatolian and Middle Eastern cultures? The paper develops on a research carried out in the framework of the CNCSIS-UEFISCDI project PN-II-ID-PCE-2011- 3-0885, Religion and Art in the Cucuteni–Tripolye Civilization (V-IV Millennia CalBC).