XXXIX (2016)


XXXIX (2016)


Instituția proxeniei în spațiul pontic. Drepturi și privilegii acordate

(Proxenia in the Black Sea Area. Awarded privileges)

In the context of a monograph on proxenia in the Black Sea area, the author embarked on investigating into the awarded privileges. This article provides him with the opportunity to expand on this topic, starting with a brief reference to the historiographical aporia about the contradiction between the understanding of proxenia as a quasi-contractual office, involving an obligation on the proxenos to perform particular duties, and the honorific aspect of this status which seemed prominent in the rapidly expanding epigraphic record of proxeny decrees for the Hellenistic period. Next, the research is structured according to the main stages encountered in the available documents: I. Ateleia (kai proxenia); II. Proxenia kai ateleia; III. Proxenia kai politeia; IV. Awarded privileges in Hellenistic time; V. Proxeny decrees from Chersonesos in Roman time. However, at each stage, the research approach takes into account the existence of an ‘Ionian Pontic space’, a ‘Dorian Pontic space’, and of the peculiarities of the Bosporan decrees. In the final remarks, the author points out the previous omissions regarding the awarded privileges to proxenoi in the Black Sea area. As an annex to this study two tables, based on an exhaustive catalogue of documents, provide a synthesis of the diachronic and comparative perspectives.

Keywords: Black Sea area, proxenia, proxeny decrees, Greek cities, awarded privileges.


Games and gamers in Dacia

The necropoleis of Braniște and Gura Secului, both found in the village of Nemțișor (Vânători-Neamț commune, Neamț County, Romania), and of Târzia (Brusturi-Drăgănești com., Neamț Co.) produced several small lenticular artefacts made of glass, which were interpreted as counters, pieces used in tabletop games (Germ. Spielsteine). Similar items have been found especially in forts (castra) inside the Empire, particularly along the Rhine, but also in the province of Dacia. Furthermore, such objects have also been recorded in sites from the Barbaricum, which confirms the wide spreading of such games in the Europe of that time. Besides certain links, more extensive than generally agreed, between lands inside the Empire and those outside of the limes, the aforementioned discoveries also signal the adoption of specifically Roman customs, a phenomenon that had profound implications in changing mindsets inside the barbarian world.

Keywords: Dacia, Moesia, tabletop games, gamers, counters, draughts, dice, draught boards.


Contributions to the economic life of the city of Callatis in light of new ceramic finds (2nd – 6th centuries AD)

The authors present a small ceramic collection sheltered by the archaeological museum of Mangalia. The large variety of wine, olive oil, and fish product amphorae suggested by this modest pottery collection confirms the extensive trade network established by this city not only with Pontic centres but also with many eastern Mediterranean areas during early and late Roman times. The kitchen ware also displays a large variety of pots, casseroles, and frying pans. They attest to the advanced level in cookery reached by the Callatian society and the diversified trade connections that allowed it to import Aegean and west Anatolian cooking vessels, while others were locally or provincially made.

Keywords: Callatis, amphorae, kitchen ware, diet, trade.


Un sistem juridic-administrativ de origine veche germanică reflectat într-o familie lexicală românească (ban, bănat, băni, bănui, bântui)

(A juridic-administrative system of Old German origin reflected by a Romanian lexical family (ban, bănat, băni, bănui, bântui)

One can rarely find a series of cognates as significant – for both the post-ancient history of Southeast-Central Europe and for the Old Germanic domain – as the Romanian lexical family that includes  ban¹ ‘feudal title of nobility’ and ban² ‘coin, money’. It is rather surprising that no one has decisively propounded Old Germanic origins for those Romanian words as well as for their obvious relatives in neighbouring languages. Such a situation is most probably due to the fact that some earlier (Avar-Turkic-Hungarian) etymological explanations regarding the ban family came to be considered as definitive solutions, so they became a kind of “etymological axioms” transmitted from author to author up until the present day. The main point of this study is to demonstrate that the Romanian lexical family represented by terms such as ban, bănat, băni, bănui and bântui (plus many significant derivatives) are far from being just borrowings from the languages of today’s neighbours of the Romanians. In their earliest recorded meanings, the Romanian words under discussion show surprising unity, since they all reflect a proto-feudal juridical-administrative system that can be clarified only by reference to the original semantic sphere of Germanic words such as German Bann, Swedish bann or English ban. The general conclusion of this study (divided into two parts, to be published in two consecutive issues of Arheologia Moldovei) is that Romanian, as continuant of the Vulgar Latin spoken in Southeast Europe, preserved a lexical family based on Old Germanic loans with meanings that look even more archaic than the ones of the ban family (of Frankish origin) which survived in the French language.

Keywords: outdated etymologies, proto-feudal structures, Southeast Europe, Germanic lore, Old Germanic bann, West and East Romance.


Descoperiri monetare din Moldova. VIII

(Numismatic finds in Moldavia. VIII)

We continue the regular publishing of the coins found in Moldavia, by presenting several ancient and medieval coins from the collection of the Museum in Vrancea (Focșani). The coins were discovered in the following locations: I. Budești (Cotești commune, Vrancea County) (1 AR, Antoninus Pius, 159-160); II. Coroteni (Slobozia Bradului commune, Vrancea County) (1 AR, imitation of “Huși-Voriești” type); III. Focșani (Vrancea County) (1 AR, Athens,c. 420-405 BC; 1 AR, Istros, 380/360/350-330 BC; 1 AR, imitation of “Thasian type”, 120-80/70 BC); IV. Irești (Vidra commune, Vrancea County) (1 AR, imitation of “Crișeni-Berchieș” type); V. Odobasca (Poiana Cristei commune, Vrancea County) (1 AR, M. Baebius Q.f. Tampilus, 137 BC;1 AR, imitation of “Adâncata-Mânăstirea” type); VI. Poiana Cristei (Vrancea County) (1 AE, Septimius Severus, Tomis); VII. Urechești (Vrancea County) (1 AR, Marcus Antonius, 32-31 BC; 1 AR, Antoninus Pius, 139); VIII. Bătinești (Țifești commune, Vrancea County) (1 AR, Holy Roman Empire, Ferdinand I, 1544); IX. Poiana Cristei (Vrancea county) (1 AR, Spain: Holland, 1576; 1 AR, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth: Riga, Stefan Bathory, 1585; 1 AR, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth: Lithuania, Zygmunt III Waza, 1601); X. Străoane (Vrancea county) (1 AR, Kingdom of Hungary, II. Ulászló, 1500-1502); XI. Vrancea (county)(1 AR, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth: Lithuania, Stefan Bathory, 1585; 1 AR, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth: Riga, Stefan Bathory, 1585; 3 AR, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth: Poland, Zygmunt III Waza, 1588, 1594, 1596).

Keywords: coin finds, Moldavia, Museum of Vrancea, ancient and medieval coins.


Monede descoperite în atelierele meșteșugărești din Târgul Romanului (punctul „La Bibliotecă”)

(Coins uncovered in the craftmen’s workshops of old Roman market-town. The site of “the Public Library”)

In 2012-2013, during the archaeological research conducted in the city of Roman (Neamţ County), at the “at the Library” point, 16 coins were discovered in two closed complexes (two workshops – A.1 and A.2). The coins found in the first workshop (10 pieces) are an Austrian coin minted for Hungary (1 piece), local imitations after an Hungarian coin (1 piece), after small Swedish denominations from Riga and Gdansk, minted by Gustav II Adolf, Christina and Carol × Gustav (8 pieces). Five of them might constitute a small hoard. All the coins discovered in the second workshop (6 pieces.) are Moldavian issues, belonging to Alexander I (2 pieces), Alexander I – Iliaș I (1 piece) and to the period between the reigns of Alexander I and Alexander II (3 pieces). The first workshop was specialised in making iron tools; it can be dated to the second half of the 17th c. An accidental fire might have caused its end. The second workshop produced jewelry during the first half of the 15th c. and it was probably burned down together with the entire city of Roman by Matthias I, in December 1467.

Keywords: coins, archaeological research, Moldavia, Roman, 15th-17th centuries.


Medalii și decorații din colecția Institutului de Arheologie din Iași (II)

(Medals and decorations in the collections of the Institute of Archaeology in Iași)

The authors continue the exhaustive presentation of the medals and decorations stored in the Institute’s Numismatic collection with a small group of five awards. The first three medals are very rare and belong to the Second French Empire, illustrating Napoleon III’s ambition to play a major role in European and world politics. The other two pieces (one Serbian and one French) can be linked with the Balkan War of 1912-1913 and its subsequent cataclysm – “the Great War for Civilization”.

Keywords: Phaleristics, medals and awards, Second French Empire, Napoleon III, Kingdom of Serbia, military decorations, 19th-20th centuries.


Technique and typology of stone items of levels I Lower and I of Mitoc-Malu Galben

The paper describes in detail the discoveries of stone items in Aurignacian levels I Lower and I, of the large Paleolithic settlement of Mitoc-Malu Galben, on the Prut, in Botoșani County (NE of Romania). In a previous paper, published in 2015, we described the geo-pedological, stratigraphical situation and a short presentation of the lithic finds of the Aurignacian levels I-III of this site belonging to the Upper Paleolithic of the Carpaato-thian-Dniestrean territory. In this paper we shall analyze in detail the lithic finds of the first two habitation level of the communities of Aurignacians, with the presentation of special elements of technique and lithic typology.

Keywords: Early Aurignacian, lithic technocomplex, knapping techniques, lithic typology, carinated items.


Noi depozite de piese metalice ale culturii Cucuteni-Tripol’e din regiunea Nistrului Mijlociu (Ucraina)

(New hoards of metal objects of the Cucuteni-Tripol’e Culture from the Middle Dniester area – Ukraine)

The article describes seven new hoards of metal objects belonging to the Cucuteni-Tripol’e Culture from the Middle Dniester area (Ukraine). The data on these hoards, discovered by amateurs by means of metal detectors, were obtained from web sources. The component parts are summarized, and the chronological and cultural position of the hoards is determined, in relation to already known complexes. Based on the composition and conditions of discovery, the existence of two groups of hoards is revealed: a Southern one (where deposits from the early stages, Precucuteni and Cucuteni A prevail) and a Northern one (in which exclusively deposits of later phases occur).

Keywords: hoards of metal objects, Chalcolithic, Precucuteni-Cucuteni-Tripol’e Culture, Middle Dniester, Ukraine.


Amenajări funerare circulare descoperite pe tronsonul autostrăzii Nădlac-Arad, siturile Nădlac 3 M Nord și 4 M

(Funerary Circular Ditches Discovered on the Line of the Nădlac–Arad Motorway, Sites Nădlac 3 M North and 4 M)

The present paper investigates the circular ditches with a funerary function recently unearthed on the line of the Nădlac‒Arad motorway, Nădlac‒Pecica sector, sites 3 M North and 4 M (Arad County). Until recently, no similar burials encircled by ditches, indicating North-Pontic funerary traditions, have been discovered in the Banat region. This accounts for a certain state of research as well as some particularities in the research methods employed, rather than for any local funerary characteristics. This type of burials was archaeologically identified in the territory of present-day Hungary starting with the 1950’s. Currently, it is generally acknowledged that nearly all Sarmatian cemeteries from the late-2nd century AD until the end of the Sarmatian period included this type of burials. In Western Romania, the first burials encircled by ditches north of the Mureș were published as late as 2013. The recent discoveries of the sites in Nădlac 3 M and 4 M are thus very important for the study of Sarmatian funerary archaeology in Romania.

Keywords: Sarmatian graves, circular ditches, funerary traditions, Great Hungarian Plain.


Roman amphorae from Slăveni, Olt county, Romania

This article focuses on the Roman amphorae, the type of vessels with the largest presence, found inside the Roman auxiliary fort and civilian settlement at Slăveni, Olt County, Romania. There have been published only a small number of vessels of this type coming from this area. During the excavations there were discovered more than one hundred fragments of Roman amphorae, of different types, as follows: Dressel 24, Dressel 24 similis, Kapitan II, Tezgör type Sinope I, Troesmis VIII, Agora M 126, Agora G 199, Dressel 2-4, Africana III B.

Keywords: Roman amphorae, Popilian, Slăveni, auxiliary fort, civilian settlement, oil, wine.


„Zwiebelknopffibeln” din complexul de fortificaţii romane târzii de la Ibida, provincia Scythia

(„Zwiebelknopffibeln” uncovered in the Late Roman fortifications of Ibida, Province of Scythia)

The Late Roman complex of fortifications at Ibida (today’s Slava Rusă, Tulcea County) has provided in the last 15 years of systematic archaeological excavations a variety of „small-find” artefacts. Among the clothing accessories, brooches play an important role and the crossbow fibulas or Zwiebelknopffibeln are, by far, the best represented in the Late Roman period. This study analyses 16 pieces included in this last category, with three types and several variants and which chronological cover the entire 4th century AD. Frequently, the identification of such artefacts, especially in closed complexes, such as the tombs, can be extremely useful in the rendering of many ancient daily-life aspects. On the basis of the analysis of these objects several interesting conclusions can be drawn regarding the military presence in the central region of the Scythia province, the everyday life in a city at the boundary of the Empire, the possible the social stratification that could be flipped through such clothing accessories, the techniques of manufacturing such accessories, as well as their circulation over very large distances within the Lower Danube area and beyond.

Keywords: Ibida, Zwiebelknopffibeln, Scythia province, Late Roman Army, everyday life, small finds.


Rezultatele preliminare ale cercetărilor arheologice de la Isaccea – Noviodunum (jud. Tulcea): sector Curtină 1 (2009-2013)

(Preliminary Results of the Archaeological Investigations at Isaccea – Noviodunum (Tulcea County): Sector Curtain 1. 2009-2013)

At approximately 3.5 km east of Isaccea and about 115km away from the mouths of the Danube the remains of the Roman-Byzantine fortification of Noviodunum were discovered. The fortress was placed near the most important ford along the main road linking the Black Sea and central and southern Europe. In keeping with the objectives of previous years, in 2009-2013 we continued the archaeological excavations in SC1 (Sector Curtain 1 – the ditch is 8.70m wide and 20.50m long). Our main goals were to acquire new data on the building technique of the precincts, to elucidate the chronological sequence of the stone wall restoration, and to investigate the dwellings and other archaeological complexes from inside and outside the fortress during the Byzantine epoch and the Middle Ages. Discovered during the excavations was an impressive quantity of ceramics (both, common and glazed pots (produced in Byzantine and Golden-Horde potteries), terracotta and tiles, objects of adornment (bracelets made by braided metal wires or glassy paste, beads, bells, etc.), small fragments of colored glass, pieces of various household objects, several types of bone artifacts decorated by incision, coins (Roman-Byzantine, Byzantine, Tatar or Genoese-Tatar), nails, spikes, cramps, etc.

Keywords: Noviodunum, Roman-Byzantine and medieval dwellings, Horraeum, Byzantine and medieval pottery, Late Byzantine glazed pottery, “Patriarchal Crucifix”, Tatars.


Notă privind cercetarea perieghetică din comuna Popești – jud. Iași

(Note regarding the fieldwalk of Popești commune – Iași county)

A field research in the village of Popești (Iași County) revealed the existence of a possible prehistoric complex and of a fireplace reported in a hill-spur known as “La Lutărie”. From the commune’s territory several fragments of pottery were also collected dating from Prehistory to the middle Ages; they point to the archaeological diversity and wealth in the southwestern part of the Iasi County.

Keywords: Popești-Iași, surface research, prehistoric fireplace.


Cercetarea de suprafaţă din comuna Strunga (jud. Iași), punctul Dealul Pârjolita

(Field investigation in the commune of Strunga (Iaşi county), at the point of Dealul Pârjolita)

The field research at Strunga (Iași County) revealed a valuable archaeological complex dating from the 4th century AD which, in accordance with the discovered artifacts, belongs to the Sântana de Mureș – Černjakhov culture. The identification of a significant quantity of pottery fragments belonging to at least three types (after morphological features) and two different types of clay, and also of more than 100 human bone fragments alongside animal bones, leads to the hypothesis of a new necropolis, unknown until now, belonging to this cultural horizon well represented in the eastern area of the Carpathians.

Keywords: Strunga-Iași, surface research, Sântana de Mureș- Černjakhov, necropolis, gray pottery, human bones.


Considerații privind vesela de sticlă descoperită în cimitirele din satele Nemțișor și Târzia (jud. Neamț)

(Considerations regarding the glassware discovered in the barrow cemeteries of Nemțisor and Târzia villages (Neamț county)

This short contribution presents a number of 28 fragments of glass discovered in the barrow cemeteries at the Nemțișor and Târzia villages (Neamț County). As part of the funerary inventory in cremation burials these vessels are severely fragmented and deformed and, therefore, very difficult to classify. Still we noted the presence of two gaming pieces (latrunculi), one cone-shaped beaker of Isings 106 type and several fragments of unidentified cups and bowls. The glass vessels discovered in the Carpathian Barrows Culture tombs reflect the level of civilization attained by the Barbarian population in Northern Moldavia in the 3rd-4th centuries AD.

Keywords: Glassware, Carpathian Barrows Culture, Late-Roman period, imported goods, funerary deposits.


The destruction of Armenian churches in 1551 in Moldavia documented by the finds of 2000-2001 archaeological campaign in the Dormition church (Armenian) in Botoșani

The 1551 religious persecution of Armenians in Moldavia is sufficiently documented by written sources, although the archaeological evidence for the alleged destructions is lacking, in spite of a number of excavations carried out inside and around the extant Armenian churches in Moldavia. The campaign of 2000-2001 inside the Dormition of the Virgin Armenian church in Botoșani provided to some extent the archaeological proof for the fact, in form of construction, burnt, demolition and reconstruction stratigraphic units, as well as small finds pertaining to these processes, all associated with a pre-1551 building superimposed by the foundations of the present church.

Keywords: Early Modern religious persecution, prince Ștefan Rareș, Botoșani, Armenian diaspora, urban archaeology, murals.


Prospectările geomagnetice de la Scânteia

(Geomagnetic prospections in the site of Scânteia)

Over the time several magnetic prospectings have been performed for the investigation of the site: 1993-1994, M. Ghiţă, G. Manea; 2001-2004, Fl. Scurtu; 2007, 2015, C. Mischka; 2008, D. Micle, L. Măruia. Some of the magnetic anomalies have been verified through excavations (Surfaces I-VII/1995-2005). According to the last magnetic prospecting the site includes a very complex defensive system; two ditches surround an area of 6ha (external ditch) and respectively 4ha (internal ditch). Moreover, in the southern part another ditch has a parallel route with the two mentioned ditches. On the S and W part this ditch seems to have had a 5-8m width, while the others 3-5m. This outermost ditch does not have a clear outline on the N part. In the middle of the external ditch there is an entrance (6-7m) bordered by two parallel edges, 15m long, permitting the access. If to these ditches we add the defensive wall (crossed by our excavations in 2005), and the possible palisade (Fig. 10), as well as the entrance, we can consider the settlement as a real fortress. In the inner ditch (enclosing 4ha) 55 dwellings with massive fired clay structures have been identified; we should also consider some unburned dwelling with rectangular foundation ditches which have not given enough signals to be integrated into magnetograms.

Keywords: Cucuteni culture, magnetic prospecting, planimetry of the site, fortification system.


Geomagnetic survey of Cucuteni-settlements in Moldova – results of the FAU – campaign 2015

In spring 2015, the Cucuteni sites of Scânteia (Iași County), Izvoare, Răucești (both Neamţ County), Ţigǎnești, Stănișești and Fulgeriș (all Bacău County) where surveyed by gradiometer. At Scânteia, more than 50 burned houses, ordered in parallel lines, as well as a threefold ditch system were encountered. The magnetograms from Fulgeriș, Izvoare and Răucești revealed also the typical, massive ditch systems, which were used on most Cucuteni sites for the settlement’s delimitation. To a certain extend, at Fulgeriș the spatial order of a settlement, aligned along a central pathway is visible, while the other sites where not similarly informative. As a multi–layer settlement Izvoare exhibits a condensed picture of overlying structures, while Răucești, Ţigǎnești and Stănișești show different stages of destruction by erosion, caused by modern land–use. These range from disarticulated, but still present features up to the presumably complete annihilation of any archaeological substance. The results show the extraordinary potential of the Cucuteni sites for future, extensive landscape–archaeology, but they also indicate the probably short time during which these unique sources of archaeological information will remain intact for analysis under the circumstances of today’s more and more mechanized agriculture.

Keywords: Cucuteni Culture, geophysical survey, Neolithic, Copper Age, prehistoric settlements, prehistoric enclosures.


Un grup de morminte din Epoca Bronzului descoperit la Roman – Arhiepiscopie. Abordări pluridisciplinare

(A group of Bronze-Age tombs discovered at Roman-Arhiepiscopie. A multidisciplinary approach)

The present study describes several burial complexes, dated to the Bronze Age, as they were recently discovered in Roman (Neamţ County, Romania). Four tombs represent inhumation rites, and two of them are possible cenotaphs, which were identified during the research of a medieval necropolis (dated to the 15th-17th centuries). The archaeological inventory consists mainly of pottery (whole or fragmented vessels), with features of different neighboring cultural environments. Considering the geographic area within which the tombs were discovered‚ we presume they represent burial complexes of a Monteoru culture community, which also sustained contacts with representatives of the Komarov culture. Aiming to obtain further data regarding the burial ritual, several sediment samples were taken to be analyzed from an archaeobotanic perspective, for pollen and phytoliths. This type of analyses was also used in order to obtain data regarding the vegetal environment contemporary with the funerary context of that time. It was determined anthropologically that the skeletal remains come from four male individuals, of ages ranging from 20 to 50 years. The traits of these individuals suggest a mixture of nordic and europoid elements. Only in one case we identified mongoloid elements. The archaeological materials discovered within this funerary suggest a dating to a final stage of the Middle Bronze Age period or even the beginning of the following one.

Keywords: Bronze Age, burials, inhumation, contacts, Monteoru culture, Komarov culture, anthropology¸ phytoliths.