XLII (2019)


XLII (2019)


Aspectele regionale ale Culturii Cucuteni faza A din perspectivă statistică. Teorie și studiu de caz asupra variației formei paharelor din cinci așezări

[Regional aspects of Phase A of Cucuteni Culture from the point of view of statistics. Theory and case study on the shape variations of tumblers in five sites]

Our study investigates whether, during the phase A of the Cucuteni culture, a connection exists between observed regional cultural preferences for pottery decoration and pottery shapes. We do so through the statistical investigation of the variation in the shape of beakers, expressed as the ration between maximum diameter and height, from five diagnostic settlements. The use of one way ANOVA allows us to ascertain that there is significant variation between settlements. A post hoc Scheffe test, comparing the pairwise variability of the variation, shows that the specific decoration characteristics used to define each cultural group are also accompanied by preferences in specific beaker shapes. We conclude that, although our data set forces caution on the generalisation of our results, shape variation may be used as an added argument in the identification and characterisation of regional groups.

Keywords: Cucuteni A cultural groups, beakers, shape variation, one way ANOVA, post hoc Scheffe test.


Pseudofakten und Ethnonationalismus am Beispiel der „Geschichte der Daker”: Ein Beitrag zur Dekonstruktion axiomatischer Geschichtsbilder und ihrer Folgen in der Archäologie und Numismatik des Donau- und Balkanraumes

[Pseudo-facts and ethno-nationalism as illustrated by „the history of the Dacians”: a contribution to the deconstruction of axiomatic historical images and their effects on the archaeology and numismatics of the Danubian and Balkanic Area]

The belief in the creation of a Dacian empire or state by “the Dacian king Burebista” became over time and in specific political contexts part of the Romanian national history in as much as the idea of a Dacian or Geto-Dacian people as a homogeneous ethnic unite being a basic notion in the axiomatic conception of autochthony and continuity of the Romanian people within the territories of modern Romania. In reality, there is no scientific foundation for these conceptions, and science is replaced by the dogmata of the Romanian ethno-nationalism. In archaeology, this lead to an ethnic labelling of material cultures or even only of single objects or relicts, with disastrous consequences. At the beginning, the name “Dacians” was a socionym, the self-denomination of a warrior-class in the South-western part of today Romania and in Oltenia, being part of the Padea-Panagjurski Kolonii cultural and social group south of the Danube. The Romans used this name “Dacians” which developed into a summarizing exonym, a pseudo-ethnicity, as the denomination of all population groups north of the Lower Danube who were neither Germans nor Sarmatians. The Getic king Byrebistas had built a short-living power centre in the West-Pontic area of the Black Sea und an overlordship over the different Getic groups and tribes between the hinterland of Tyras and the Haemus mountain range in the 50ies of the 1st c. BC. During the Roman civil war 48-45 BC, he expanded his power into Thrace and subdued the Greek coastal cities which had been under Roman control. Because of his connections to the warrior elite in Southwest-Romania and their allies, the Scordiscans, Byrebistas was involved into their power-struggle with the Taurisci and Boii in the Sava-Drava-Lower Mureş-region. However, there was never a campaign of Byrebistas or of the “Dacians” into Slovakia or western Hungary. All that are only untenable speculations, but with long lasting consequences. The same is true for the ethno-nationalistic dogma that “Burebista” (i. e. Byrebistas!) should be the founder of a Pan-Dacian centre in Sarmizegetusa and that Southwestern Transylvania should be the core of his realm. When Byrebistas died in an internal revolt in 44 BC, his personal regime and its regional dominance collapsed. There was never a succession to “Byrebistas” kingship nor a continuity of his realm. All these pseudohistorical but popular dogmatic speculations and the misinterpretations in ethnic labelling have produced disastrous consequences for archaeological practice and the development of archaeological and numismatic chronologies of the whole Danube region. A contribution the questions of pre-roman coinage and of the Kosōn-coins will be finally provided.

Keywords: “Dacians” as a pseudo-ethnos, the denomination „Dacians“, modern Dacism, Romanian national history, Getae, Boii, Byrebistas, Dekaineos, Akornion, Aristagoras, Cotiso, Caesar, M. Licinius Crassus, Augustus, Strabo, Timagenes, Jordanes, pre-Roman coinage of the Middle and Lower Danube area, the Kosōn-coins, Histria, Olbia, Bratislava, constructions of axiomatic chronologies in archaeology and historiography.


Farming and trading in Medieval Moldavia:  The circulation of products based on historical sources

The present article contains a thorough analysis of the written sources on the agricultural economy and the medieval rural communities in the Eastern Carpathian area. Withal, the main objective of the research is to introduce in the field of historical research a series of information provided by foreign travelers, by chroniclers and chronographers, as well as by simple clerks, scribes and copyists, relevant to the medieval agricultural economy and, in particular, to the dynamics of the production of food commodities, agricultural goods and tools. The historical background, as determined by the political and military context of the epoch, became a decisive factor for state individualization in the area between the Carpathians and the Nistru (Dniester). The repeated invasions, the conflicts with nomadic populations and with the armies of neighboring states, as well as climatic variations, epidemics and natural disasters, all influenced the rate of economic development of the Moldavian state. In other words, under the impact of the above-mentioned factors, the dynamics of agrarian economy displayed stages of involution, but also of real progress, when the Moldavian territory became a market, a place of storage and a source of raw materials for most of the neighboring states. The study of certain categories of documentary sources revealed that the agriculture and crafts activities, as well as the trade, were the fundamental fields of the economy of the Romanian medieval states. Technological innovations and advances in agricultural machinery have primarily supported the progress of demographic, economic and political factors. The agricultural and pastoral activities represented decisive endeavors for meeting the food and daily needs of the medieval communities. As a result, the most spectacular changes in the natural landscape were recorded during the 16th – 18th centuries. Thus, according to needs, agriculture has contributed decisively to the transformation of the environment, with decisive effects on all ecosystems.

Keywords: medieval agrarian economy, Moldavia, written sources, cereals, cattle, trade, tribute, tithe, honey.


Some remarks on the configuration of urban space in the pre-modern town of Iaşi

The morphology analysis of the pre-modern town in the East-European space is encumbered by the lack of maps and zoning plans, as well as by the small quantity of preserved documentary sources. In the case of Iași, the Russian military maps of the 18th century, together with the General plan of Iași made by the French engineer Joseph Bayardi, creates the base for analysis, corroborated by the historical documentary sources recently edited. The general analysis we carry out considers the origins, emergence, evolution and distribution of the town quarters/cores, the streets configuration as well as the size, distribution and evolution of urban plots. The analysis uses both cartographic and documentary sources, supported by analogies with the similar situations in the rest of Moldavia, which are documented by archaeology, and in Central and Western Europe, when the analogy is appropriate.

Keywords: pre-modern European town, pre-modern Iaşi, town-planning


Descoperiri numismatice și arheologice din nordul Bucovinei

[Archaeological and numismatic discoveries in Northern Bukovina](I)

The article discusses some archeological and numismatic artefacts found in the medieval settlement, which was identified as the old nucleus of the modern village of Oprișeni, situated in the Hliboca district (also called Adâncata district), Cernăuți region, Ukraine. These are Moldovan coins (15 ex.), cloth seals originated from Mechelen and Gdansk (of Tudors rose type) (2 ex.), jewellery: earrings, finger rings, buttons, cloth hook, decorative appliques; household items; religious objects used in cults, as well as fragments of various other objects (48 ex.), which dates back from the end of the 14th century until the modern times. The importance of these objects, as well as the localization of these settlements, is extremely important for the history of the Moldovan medieval Principality. Due to the fact that the current territory of Cernăuţi region, known from the written sources as Șipeniț/Șipiniț Land (Ţara Șipenițului/Șipinițului) has been part of Moldovan principality since the 14th century. Moreover, the favorable geographic location of this village on the international trade route The Moldovan Route (Drumul Moldovenesc), benefited to the arrival of the goods coming from the south and the north. The existence of these contacts is proven by the detection of coins and decorative objects as well as the customs seals for textiles.

Keywords: The Șipeniț/Șipiniț Land, The Principality of Moldova, Archaeology, Moldovan Coins, Cloth Seals, Jewellery.


“The afterlife” of money. The coins found in the necropolis of Brad (Negri Commune, Bacău County)

The medieval necropolis of Brad overlaps the fortified section of the Geto-Dacian fortress of Zargidava, located on the left bank of the Siret River. Altogether, 962 graves were researched here during the years 1963-2004. The numismatic material consists of 158 coins that were discovered in 146 graves. The coins are small silver and bronze denominations that belong to various issuers and date back to an extremely generous chronological range (14th-19th centuries). More than half of the coin finds from Brad were issued by the Ottoman Empire (86 pcs.). Those originating in the Christian world came mainly from German (34 pcs.), Polish (21 pcs.) and Austrian territories (9 pcs.). Besides these, there are also small amounts of Russian (3 pcs.), Swedish (2 pcs.), Moldavian (1 pc.) and Hungarian (1 pc.) coins. Based on the numismatic discoveries, the commencement of the necropolis of Brad can be dated at the beginning of the 15th century. But the site starts to be used intensively only from the second half of the 16th century and the beginning of the next one. Immediately after the church was rebuilt (in 1697), the burial place attained its maximum level of use, which extended throughout the 18th century, reaching the peak of exploit to its end and continuing at the beginning of the next century. In these times the Ottoman paras and the Austrian small denominations of silver (late denars and duarii) and bronze (Kreuzer) have been deposited inside the graves. The coins from the studied batch can be interpreted as having a special status since they were part of grave inventories. Only hypotheses can be assumed in regard to the possible meanings of these coins in the funerary practices of the epoch. A significant part of the coins from Brad are pierced (66 pcs.). We believe that the perforations are not connected to funeral customs, but rather had a practical role, facilitating the activity of the usurers, who used to gather the small change into a certain unit of account, using a thin wire or thread.

Keywords: Brad, medieval necropolis, coin finds, 14th-19th centuries, funeral inventory, piercings.


Descoperiri monetare din Moldova

[Numismatic finds in Moldavia] (XI)

The paper presents new coin finds from various places in Moldavia. The coins belong to hoards or they are stray finds in some cases. They date back to the ancient, medieval and modern times and they were discovered in the following locations: I. Botoșani (Botoșani County) (1 AR, Vespasianus: Domitianus, Rome, 76; 1 AR, Traianus, Rome, 101-102; 1 AR, Marcus Aurelius, Rome, 177; 1 AE, Constantinus I, Cyzicus, 324-330; the first three coins may belong to a Roman imperial coin hoard); II. Fedești (Vaslui County) (1 AE, Phillip II, “Apollo” type, c. 359-336 BC (or postum); the coin might be part of the well-known Fedești hoard); III. Horodiștea (Botoșani County) (hoard containing more than 600 coins, of which only 10 denari were recovered: 1 AR, Vitellius, Rome, 69; 3 AR, Vespasianus, Rome, 70, 73, 76; 1 AR, Vespasianus: Domitianus, Rome, 76; 1 AR, Domitianus, Rome, 92; 1 AR, Traianus, Rome, 108-111; 1 AR, Antoninus Pius, Rome, 152-153; 1 AR, Antoninus Pius: Diva Faustina I, Rome, after 141; 1 AR, Marcus Aurelius, Rome, 176); IV. Botoșani (Botoșani County) (1 AE, Lithuania, Wilna/Brześć, Jan Kazimierz, szeląg, 1666); V. Iași (Iași County) (all coins come from archaeological research: A. Mihai Eminescu Street no. 5: 1 AE, Polish Crown, Ujazdów, Jan Kazimierz, szeląg, 1664; 1 AE, Swedish Empire, Riga, Kristina, Schilling, 1653; Ottoman Empire, Mustafa III, Islâmbol, para, 1771/1772; B. Toma Cozma Street nos. 7B-9: 1 AR, Austrian Empire, Wien, Franz II. (I.), 3 Kreuzer, 1820; C. Zugravi Street no. 64: 1 AE, Russian Empire, Ekaterina II Alekseevna, Sadagura, 2 paras/3 kopecks, 1772).

Keywords: coin finds, Moldavia, ancient, medieval and modern coins, hoards, stray finds.


Medalii și decorații din colecția Institutului de Arheologie din Iași

[Medals and decorations in the collection of Institute of Archaeology in Iași](V)

The authors present 29 medals with official or commercial character issued by the Kingdom of Romania between 1881 and 1928 in order to commemorate various events like the proclamation of the Kingdom (1881), the jubilee years of 1891 and 1906, Emperor Franz Joseph’s visit to Romania in 1896, the inauguration of some monuments for the heroes of the 1877-1878 Independence War, commemoration of military manoeuvres or universal exhibitions. All these official or so called “popular medals” were created by famous artists of the era, some – like Carniol or Radivon – being official supplyers of the Romanian royal family. Apart from their artistic value, these medals represent very efficient means of political and ideological propaganda in service of the ruling Hohenzollern Dinasty. By associating himself with historical figures like Emperor Trajan, Mircea the Elder or Stephen the Great, king Charles I of Romania sought to legitimate his reign, his mission and his accomplishments. Thus, these medals preserve in their engraving important parts of our history from the past centuries.

Keywords: Phaleristics, medals and awards, “popular medals”, 19th-20th centuries, Kingdom of Romania.


Les grattoirs de Mitoc

[The flint scrapers of Mitoc]

The following contribution is focused on the lithic end-scrapers found in Mitoc, considering the statistics of finished pieces (tools), their percentage (%) and number, in comparison to other types of finished tools. The authors took into consideration end-scrapers discovered in five systematically excavated sites: Malu Galben, La Sărături, Valea Izvorului, Pârâu lui Istrate, Valea lui Stan, and La Pisc (La Chisc). The latter site yielding small sized pieces, in the context of a Dufour bladelet. Based on their dimensions, as well as the retouch manner, the end-scrapers discovered here during surface investigations can be assigned to a specific Gravettian cultural aspect, which was not identified in other sites form Mitoc, Crasnaleuca, Cotu Miculinți or Ripiceni. While re-examining the lithic collections from Mitoc, especially those from Valea lui Stan and La Pisc (La Chisc), we noticed the existence of specific aspects pertaining to the presence of human communities, different from those encountered in the habitation levels from Malu Galben and Pârâu lui Istrate, or Valea Izvorului and La Sărături.

Keywords: Upper Palaeolithic, lithic tools, systematic excavations, microliths.


Noutăţi arheologice din zona bisericii Talpalari din Iaşi

[New archaeological finds in the area of Talpalari church in Iasi]

The Talpalari Church in Iasi, dedicated to „Nativity of the Virgin”, was built, according to the existing documents, in the middle of 17th century, by the great vistiernic (treasurer) Iordache Cantacuzino, the brother-in-law of prince Vasile Lupu. There was a cemetery around it, about which we also have information from contemporary sources. In view of the consolidation works to be carried out on „Milescu” House, a heritage building, the Institute of Archeology in Iasi provided the archaeological assistance. The excavations near the Talpalari church, conducted in 2016 and 2017, led to the identification of the skeletal remains of 14 individuals in relatively certain funerary contexts. It was also possible to estimate, based on minimum number of individuals calculation method, the presence of 11 other individuals from which we have only disparate fragments due to repeated disturbance events. The present paper presents a detailed analysis of the funerary features, from historical, archaeological and anthropological points of view. The research focuses on both elements of funerary inventory (including potsherds), and animal osteological remains identified in a secondary context. Six coins have been identified as a grave goods. The excavation of the features has led to the finding of several buttons and hook-eye fasteners. In particular, based on the interpretation of the numismatic material, we could see that the graves corresponding to this level in the cemetery of the Talpalari church can be chronologically framed between the last decades of the sixteenth century and the first decades of the next. Therefore, the written sources of the time argue for the existence of Talpalari church in the seventeenth century, however, the field research leads us to the hypothesis that this place of worship was preceded by another one that operated in the previous century and which hosted the cemetery of that neighborhood.

Keywords: Iaşi, Talpalari church, medieval cemetery, anthropological analysis, grave goods.


Locuirea bastarnă de la Roșiori. Plăcuțe decorative de la cățeii de vatră

[The Bastarnae level from the Roșiori settlement. Fire-dogs decorative plates]

During the 2017 archaeological campaign from Roșiori, commune Dulcești, Neamț County was excavated section IX of the settlement where we discovered four fragments of decorative plates belonging to two or three fire-dogs. They are rectangular shaped, modeled from clay, black (three pieces) or yellow (one piece). The objects present incised geometrical motifs. Considering the disposition of the geometric decoration we can assume that the three black fragments belong to one or two fire-dogs while the other fragment (incompletely burned) is a part of another fire-dog. All of the pieces were discovered on the archaeological level attributed to the bastarnae, 2nd-1st centuries before Christ specific to the Poienești – Lukașevka culture.

Keywords: Bastarnae, decorative plates, fire-dogs, geometric motifs, Roșiori, the Poienești – Lukașevka culture.


Recent addenda to the mapping and ethnoarchaeological research of the brine springs from Bistrița-Năsăud county

The archaeological evidence confirmed that the brine of the salt springs from the Subcarpathian area was used to obtain salt, through the evaporation-crystallization processes, as far back as the Early Neolithic. This region is nowadays unique in Europe, for its traditional and non-industrial ways of salt water exploitation, still intensively applied. This inestimable scientific resource has been, in the last decade, the subject of an extensive ethnoarchaeological research conducted by a Romanian/French team, with impressive results. The paper deals with some results of the ethnographic inquiries, focusing on the traditional ways in which the brine is used in its original state, mainly for preserving different types of food, but also for daily cooking and in preparing feed for animals. The paper also explores the possible implications for the prehistoric archaeology, using the premises of the ancient exploitation of the brine and the (most probable) need to conserve aliments like meat, cheese, etc. (with few options available). Therefore, techniques similar to those known today, are highly likely/probable of having been used in prehistoric times, though much more difficult to establish than brine recrystallization.

Keywords: Ethnoarchaeology, brine springs, Subcarpathian area, Bistrița-Năsăud county, food preservation.


O necesară reconsiderare a originii cuvântului românesc boier și a boieriei ca instituţie specifică românilor, albanezilor şi slavilor medievali

[A necessary reconsideration of the origin of the Romanian term boier and of boyarship as an institution specific to medieval Romanians, Albanians and Slavs] (I)

The history of the Romanian (Rm.) term boier (a medieval aristocratic title) is long and rather confusing. Practically, all dictionaries that include entries on that term present it as ultimately derived from Old Church Slavonic (OCS) bolʹarinʺ. The latter, in its turn, has been presented – in keeping with a suggestion coming from Miklosich – as a “Turanian” word borrowed by South-Danubian Slavs from their Turkic (Bolgar) ruling elite of the 7th – 9th centuries. The present author considers, however, that the mainstream etymologic interpretations of Rm. boier and of its putative OCS source-word are hardly tenable. Part I of this study provides a linguistic-ethnologic-historical background for a new hypothesis, which does not center on the above-mentioned OCS term (as supposedly borrowed from Turkic), but rather on the deeply-rooted tradition of boyarship in Romania and on two lexical families that display striking correspondence (in roots and suffixes), namely Romanian boiér-boiereásă-boieréşte-boieríe-boierí and Albanian bujár-bujoréshë-bujarísht-bujarí-bujerój. Worthy of attention is the fact that the latter lexical family appears to be etymologically linked with the Albanian verb buj ‘to lodge, to take up one’s lodging’, a word for which Gustav Meyer – in his etymologic dictionary of Albanian, 1891 – indicated a significant series of Old Germanic cognates. (Actually, Alb. buj may be a borrowing proper, from Old Germanic, like several other Albanian words for which the respective origin has already been demonstrated.) Such facts open the way for a discussion on the probable connection between the medieval Southeast European boyarship and the Roman institution of hospitalitas, whose earliest beneficiaries were East Germanic foederati. Further arguments along that line – as well as final conclusions – will make up part II of the present study, to be published in a future issue of Arheologia Moldovei.

Keywords: etymology, history, ethnology, onomastics, OCS bol’arinʺ, Rm. boier, Alb. bujar.