XXXVI (2013)


XXXVI (2013)


Fitting the ladder to the tree: A common sense view on the cognitive evolution of the Pleistocene human lineage

The mismatch between the human paleoanthropological ‘tree’ and the paleo-cognitive ‘ladder’ has been recently attributed to epistemological biases affecting the mainstream narratives on cognitive evolution. The present paper takes issue with such a perspective and argues for a rather continuous cognitive development along the human lineage, as documented archaeologically by the early emergence of a ‘familiar’ human mind and by the cumulative features of Pleistocene cultural evolution in general. These facts seriously question the paleo-cognitive relevance of the acknowledged branchy taxonomy and point strongly towards a more anagenetic view on human biological evolution. Moreover, as the prerequisites for complex behavior and a consistent ability for cultural transmission were already among the capacities of the Homo erectus grade, the scope of further major cognitive changes, as usually invoked in connection to the emergence of Homo sapiens sapiens, appears limited.

Keywords: Paleolithic, cognition, paleoanthropology, cultural evolution, Homo erectus.


L’art mobilier du Paléolithique Supérieur en Europe occidentale et méridionale

(Upper Paleolithic Portable Art in Western and Southern Europe)

Our approach focuses on the art of the Upper Palaeolithic portable art in Western and Southern Europe. This geographical area covers roughly the current territory of Italy, Spain, Portugal, France and Belgium. Portable art means all artistic representations on a movable support. In addition, we refer only to the visual arts and we exclude scenic arts, music, dance, and generally any kind of perishable art (including transient visual arts, such as sand drawings or paintings on bark) that has not survived to this day as an archaeological witness. We are analyzing figurines, carved contours, pebbles, pendants, pierced sticks, propellants, harpoons, lamps, pots, spears, spatula, rings, jewellery, and other utilitarian or non-utilitarian object that possess any form of decoration – figurative and / or geometric – and which is portable.

Keywords: Portable art, figurines, pendants, pierced sticks, propellants, harpoons, lamps, pots, spears, spatula, rings, jewellery, stylistic elements.


Cucutenian body ornamenting items: from the raw materials perspective

The paper provides a systematization of the types of the raw materials known and/or processed by the Cucutenian communities for obtaining the body ornamenting items. The main research directions that can be followed by the analysis of the body ornamenting items from the perspective of the raw materials they are also pointed out. In this regard, the paper tackles problems pertaining to the provision of raw materials and exchange relations, to paleotechnology and the level of technical knowledge as reflected by these artifacts. On the same line, the symbolic valences of these items are also pointed out (both as separate items and as assembled items), pointing out various aspects such as typology, intrinsic value of the artifacts, including the complex symbolism of colors and the usage of fruits and seeds of certain plants as body ornamenting items probably due to their medical or magical properties.

Keywords: Chalcolithic, Cucuteni-Tripolye cultural complex, body ornamenting items, raw materials.


Pietate personală şi trăire religioasă. Caracteristicile religiei greceşti plecând de la cultele salutifere

(Personal Piety and Religious Experience. The Character of Greek Religion against the Background of Healing Cults)

Ancient Greek healing cults can be studied in the context of “personal piety.” This article emphasizes personal aspects of the Greek religion. It shows that the concept of “polis religion” does not embrace major aspects of ancient Greek piety. I analyze the direct and personal relation of worshippers in healing cults, especially that of Asclepios, with the deity. By doing so, I put forward a new reading of Greek religion in the context of the concept of “personal piety” developed in Egyptology. The well-known “embeddedness” of religion in the structures of the Ancient Greek city-state led to a one-sided view of ancient Greek religion, as well as to aspects of ritual and “cult” predominating in research. Simultaneously, aspects of “belief” are often labelled as inadequate in describing Greek (and Roman) religion. Religion as ritual and cult is simply one side of the coin. Personal aspects of religion, and direct contact with the deity, based on “belief,” are thus the other side of the coin. It follows that they are also the fundament of ritual. It is necessary to combine “polis religion” with “personal piety” to display a complete picture of Greek religion. The Isyllos inscription from Epidaurus is presented here as a final and striking example for this view. It reports the foundation of a cult of the polis on behalf of a personal religious experience.

Keywords: Greek Religion, personal piety, healing cults, Asclepios, Epidaurus.


Euctemon – un producător de lucerne la Tomis (I)

(Euctemon – a maker of lamps in Tomis) (I)

The paper starts by presenting the criteria which allow differentiating the lamps produced in Scythia Minor from the ones brought there from other provinces. It should be noticed that the lamps made in Tomis and in other Dobrudja centres are provided with ring handles instead of lamellar handles. The pottery manufacturer Euctemon – who signs the lamps made in his workshop with one name only, proof of his origin as a slave – produced three types of lamps. The first type stamped Euctemon belongs to the category of Firmalampen, the second type, with a rosette on the disk, is stamped EYKTHMΩN EIIOIEI, in Greek letters on two rows. The third type, with heart-shaped nib, can be further divided into five groups, according to the patterns represented on the disk: rooster, crater, grape, shell and cantharus, all bearing the same stamp in Greek: Euctemon has made it (the lamp). The largest quantity of stamped lamps is to be found in Tomis, a fact that makes us place his workshop in that city. His lamps are dated to the 2nd century AD, but imitations, made in other workshops, circulated from the 2nd to the 4th century AD.

Keywords: Scythia Minor, lamps, workshop, Euctemon.


Les fibules germaniques danubiennes dans le contexte slave (VIe siècle)

(The Danubian Germanic brooches in a Slavic context (6th century)

The fingered brooches (fibulae), of Germanic tradition, belong to the Slavic material civilization of the 6th-7th centuries. They are well known from the sites of three cultures that most specialists consider to be Slavic, namely the one of Prague (ascribed to the Sclavenes of written sources, that is to the Slavs proper), the one of Penkovka (belonging to the Antes), and the one of Koločin, whose representatives remained without a name. But most of the finds under discussion actually represent “international” types, such as the “little” brooches designated as “Slavic” or “Danubian”; or the ones of local origin, such as those designated as “Antean” or “Dnestrian.” We propound a survey of the oldest fingered brooches discovered on Slavic sites. Their origin is Danubian Germanic, most probably Gepidic. They were unearthed in the territory occupied by the Slavs in the 6th century. Such finds could contribute to a better understanding of the formation of the Slavic woman’s costume at the beginning of the Middle Ages.

Keywords: fingered brooches, Sclavenes, Slavs, Antes, Danubian Germanic, woman’s costume.


Dinamica economiei agricole din Moldova oglindită în izvoarele veacurilor XIV–XVII

(The dynamics of the medieval agrarian economy reflected in 14th-17th-century written sources)

The present article contains a thorough analysis of the medieval rural world of the Eastern Carpathian area. Such an article meets the necessity of an enlarged database, as it takes into consideration information provided by foreign travelers, by chroniclers and chronographers, as well as by simple clerks, scribes and copyists. By corroborating disparate and often anachronistic or confusing data, the author points out agrarian aspects, directions and methods used by local medieval communities of Moldavia. Special aspects of interest are the evolution of agricultural technologies and of specific implements, the development of work relationships (in both craftsmanship and commerce) and of social-legal regulations, etc. 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.

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


Noi analize şi interpretări privind moneda romană republicană

(New analyses and interpretations regarding Republican Roman coin)

In Kris Lockyear’s recently published book, which also represents his doctoral thesis (Patterns and Process in Late Roman Republican Coin Hoards, 157-2 BC, BAR International Series 1733, Archaeopress, Oxford, 2007, 328 pp. [139 Figs. + 5 Tables, includes in the text]), the Roman coin of Dacia is also extensively treated. Lockyear sustains the use, on a large scale, of statistics in numismatics, and he wishes that the numismatists and statisticians could find better ways to cooperate. For his analysis, the author chooses three areas of Europe (Spain, Italy and Dacia) where the presence of the Roman coin was particularly strong. We must observe that, in order to reach statistic results as credible as possible, the gathering, organizing, correcting and handling of information must be very correct. There are some observations to be made regarding the methodology that was used by the author under discussion: e. g. hoards are included even if they contain a very small number of coins (1-5). The list of the hoards of Roman coins found in Dacia can be completed with eleven more which have not been registered. This author has analyzed the problem of supply with coins, their circulation as well as the process of hoarding. He used the correspondence-analysis method to study the hoards, and he pointed out that the great number of hoards of Republican Roman coins closed with the one of the years 74-73 BC found in Romania. He also mentioned that the hoards of Roman Republican coins of Dacia have an archaic profile and, probably, they reached the north of the Danube much later than the date of their last coins. As for the problem of the circulation speed of the coins, Lockyear used the cluster-analysis method. This author (like Lockyear) reached the conclusion that – although statistics does not manage to clear up all the numismatics problems – diversity of methodologies used for the study of the coins is to be recommended.

Keywords: Lockyear, Republican Roman coin, Dacia, denarii, hoards.


Sigilii dobrogene inedite. II

(Inedited Dobroudja seals. II)

The author presents three unedited Byzantine lead seals discovered in Dobroudja (Paradounavon/Paristrion Theme. – Pl. 1). 1) The seal of  empress Euphrosina Kamaterina Doukaina (1195 – 1203); 2) The seal of the Byzantine historian Georgios Kedrenos (end of the 11th c.); 3) The seal of Demetrios Katakalon, katepano of Paradounavon (50th – 60th of the 11th c. ).

Keywords: Dobroudja, Byzantine seals, Euphrosina, Kedrenos, Katakalon, Paradounavon.


Un tezaur de monede moldoveneşti de la începutul secolului al XVI-lea în legătură cu înfiinţarea Mănăstirii Armeneşti Adormirea Maicii Domnului „Hagigadar” din apropierea oraşului Suceava

A hoard from the beginning of the 16th century regarding the establishment of the Armenian monastery Assumption of the Virgin – Hagigadar near the city of Suceava

The article presents some information about the foundation of the Armenian monastery Assumption of the Virgin – Hagigadar near Suceava, and about its founder, Drăgan Dănovac. The archaeological investigation made there in 2010, unearthed a hoard of seven Moldavian coins issued under Bogdan III (1504-1517). The presence of this hoard was linked with the start of the building site, probably between 1511 and 1512. Drăgan Dănovac, an Armenian merchant, lived in Suceava in the first half of the 16th century. His name was recorded in documents that reflect a series of legal disputes between the Armenian community of Suceava and Saint Elias’ Monastery about a landed property in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Keywords: hoard, Armenian community, Suceava city, the 16th century, Drăgan Dănovac.


Descoperiri monetare în aşezările rurale medievale de la Borniş, jud. Neamţ (secolele XV–XVII) (I)

(Numismatic finds in the medieval rural settlements at Borniş, Neamţ County (15th – 17th centuries) (I)

The numismatic finds of Borniș „Silişte” consist in 23 pieces, which are isolated finds (Moldavia – 1 pc., Poland – 8 pcs., Hungary – 3 pcs., Sweden – 4 pcs., Ottoman Empire – 1pc., Romania – 1 pc.) as well as a small „hoard” (Sweden – 5 ex.). Most of the coins were uncovered during the archaeological excavation in the medieval site, mainly inside houses, with well-defined archaeological contexts. Only two pieces were random finds. The range of dates of issue is very wide, of more than two centuries. However, most of the dates of issue are within the last decades of the 16th and most of the 17th century. The chronological limits could frame the habitation of most of houses within the settlement of Borniş „Silişte”. The most recent coins are the ones of the „pocket hoard”, uncovered in feature (house) No. 4. The occupation of the site ends in the last years of the 17th century and the core of the village moves to an adjacent area. The total nominal value of the uncovered coins is relatively small (with the exception of two Leeuwendaalders), but the large number of small denominations uncovered indicates the frequent use of metallic means of payment and the connection of the settlement to the monetary circuits of the time.

Keywords: coins, medieval village, Moldavia, 15th – 17th centuries.


Descoperiri monetare din Moldova. V

(Monetary Discoveries from Moldavia. V)

We continue the regular publication of the coins found in Moldova, by presenting a hoard and some isolated finds from different points of this part of Romania. The coins date back to the Roman, medieval and modern times and were found in the following locations: I. Gâdinți (jud. Neamț) (1 AR denarius, Traianus, Roma, 114-116); II. Hârtoape (com. Vânători, jud. Iași) (1 AR denarius, Marcus Aurelius, Roma, 174); III. Huși (jud. Vaslui) (hoard with 23 tetradrachms „Huși-Vovriești” type, c. 250-150 B.C.); IV. Rădăuți-Dornești (jud. Suceava) (1 AR denarius, Vespasianus, Roma,77-78; 1 AR denarius, Caracalla, Roma, 211); V. Roşiori (com. Dulceşti, jud. Neamţ) (1 AR denarius, Traianus, Roma, 105-107/107-108); VI. Turturești (com. Girov, jud. Neamț) (1 AR, didrachm, „Adâncata-Mânăstirea”type, Dacia,c. 150-120 B.C.; 1 AR denarius,L. Manlius Torquatus, Roma, c.109/113-112 B.C.; 1 AR denarius, C. Norbanus, Roma, c.80/83 B.C.; 1 AR denarius, C. Servilius C.f., Roma, c. 62-63/57 B.C.); VII. Doljești (jud. Neamț) (1 AR 5 kreutzer, Franz II. (I.), Wien, anul 1820); VIII. Iaşi (jud. Iaşi) (1 AR Denar, Maximilian, Kremnitz, 1573; 1 AR Denar, Rudolf II, Kremnitz, 1590-1599).

Keywords: coin finds, Moldavia, museum collections, Roman coins, medieval coins.


Gropile de cult din aşezarea Poieneşti –Măgura/Dealul Teilor

(The offering pits in the settlement of Poieneşti-Măgura/Dealul Teilor)

In this study we present the artifacts discovered in two offering pits (705, 905) at Poieneşti – Măgura/Dealul Teilor. This settlement is considered to represent a secondary one, archaeological complexes being of small size and archaeological material very fragmentary. The settlement was entirely excavated during the 20th century by C. Cihodaru, R. Vulpe and a team led by M. Babeş (starting with 1979). Over the time in this site over 40 pits have been investigated; offering pits are represented only by pits 705, 905, as well as maybe pits 351 and 81-86, investigated by R. Vulpe. We present the main archaeological inventory from these pits, that include some very interesting cultual pots (pit 705 – a bowl with a zoomorphic protome; a fragment of a bowl whose handle was shaped as a human face; a pot-stand; pit 905 – a basket type pot; a small chair; an altar-table), as well as other entire or fragmentary artifacts, animal bones, ashes and charcoal fragments. We connect these offering pits to important seasonal events of the local community.

Keywords: Cucuteni A phase, offering pits, archaeological inventory, cultual pots, altar-table, ornaments.


O descoperire de bronzuri uitată: depozitul de la Prisăcăreni (nordul Bucovinei)

(A forgotten discovery: the bronze hoard from Prisăcăreni (Northern Bucovina)

The recovery of old lost information regarding the discoveries of bronze hoards on the territory of the former historical province of Bucovina has a special importance. During the second half of the 19th century, there were found several bronze deposits which were “hidden” to the specialists’ eyes, being only summarily published in Viennese magazines, or in unknown provincial publications. In the present study we submit for the first time to the attention of the searchers the hoard of Prisăcăreni (today on the territory of Ukraine). In 1885, the former Mayor of the town of Siret, Captain Josef von Gutter pointed out the discovery of a bronze hoard consisting in a bronze cauldron, containing a clay urn full of ash. The urn was surrounded all around by 12 bronze axes (celts). After analyzing these elements, we believe that the deposit can be ascribed to the Gáva-Holihrady culture (the Grăniceşti cultural group), characteristic of the Early Hallstatt in the northeastern Carpathian space. This deposit can be considered to be a votive offering connected to certain cult practices/ religious ceremonies and to the religious pantheon of the Gáva population, or it may also be a sacrificial tomb.

Keywords: bronze hoard, Bucovina, Prisăcăreni, Gáva-Holihrady culture, Grăniceşti cultural group, Hallstatt B.


Noi bronzuri figurate din Dobrogea

(New figural bronzes pieces from Dobrudja)

Recent studies concerning the figural bronze pieces from Dobrudja have shown their iconographic diversity and the influences that occurred in northeastern Moesia. New discoveries, presented in the present article, bring contributions to the domain of minor statuary pieces, furniture appliqués and zoomorphic representations of the region between the Danubius and the Pontus. Seven fragments of statuettes are presented, of which three made of silver, appliqués representing divinities, mythological characters (such as Amor, Attis, Gorgona Medusa), anonymous or animal-like figures, an oenochoe handle with the image of a maenad, and one of the rare enameled figurines representing a rooster. The hereby presented figural bronze pieces, discovered in an unknown place on the Dobrudjan territory, chronologically belong to the 2nd-3rd centuries AD.

Keywords: early Roman period, Moesia Inferior, Dobrudja, figural bronze pieces, fragments of statuettes, decorative appliqués.


The Christian basilica of (L)Ibida. Elements of interior decoration

There are very few details known about the Christian basilica within the large fortified Late Roman town of Ibida (6th century AD). In the course of time, the few archaeological excavations carried out, as well as a series of random finds, uncovered a varied range of decorative marble elements. These finds are structural elements (bases, columns and capitals) as well as pieces of liturgical apparatus (pilasters, small columns and finials of the chancel bannister). The pieces were manufactured from the best material available, Proconnesus and Aphrodisias marble. The range of decorative motifs of the finds is limited to crosses and vegetal decoration (acanthus leaves), very simplified and schematic. The occurrence of such marble pieces at the site of Ibida, proves the inclusion of this religious edifice in the wide beautification program attributed to the reign of Justinian I, which was implemented on the whole territory of the Scythia Province.

Keywords: Scythia, basilica, marble, capitals.


Two mediaeval axes discovered at Tulucești (Galați County)

In this short presentation we discuss two iron axes spotted on a school “museum corner”. The artifacts refer to have been discovered accidentally, most probably in isolation, in the Tuluceşti village area, hence they lack any archaeological context. The only reference point we have concerns their identification in the old village Vorniceni, north from Tuluceşti, towards Tătarca. They have not been associated with other archaeological material. We do not know whether they were found in the same place. The first one is an iron hammer-axe with narrow elongated body, a semicircular blade which is edged on both sides, well profiled, spread out almost symmetrically from the body. The second iron axe has a triangular body in longitudinal profile, a narrow blade, asymmetrical for the longitudinal axis, broadens towards the curved cutting edge, executed on both sides.

Keywords: medieval, archaeological findings, iron axes, fortuitous discoveries, tool, weapon, Tulucești, Prut River, Moldavia.


Cercetări arheologice în aşezarea rurală de la Băiceni (jud. Iaşi)

(Archaeological research in the rural settlement at Băiceni (Iaşi County)

The present paper presents the late medieval archaeological finds from the site of rural settlement of Băiceni, located at the point known as „Dâmbul lui Pletosu”. The paper discusses the pottery and some other categories of finds from a dwelling dating from the first decades of the 17th century. The point known as „Grădina lui Pascal”, revealed some features dating from the end of 18th – the beginning of 19th century. The paper analyzes the finds from these features (three dwellings and a garbage dump), with special attention for the tobacco pipes, which contribute significantly to the chronological definition of the features.

Keywords: rural settlement, ceramic, tobacco pipes, the 17th–19th centuries.


Mircea Éliade et la pensée mythique au Paléolithique Supérieur

(Mircea Eliade and the mythical thought of the Upper Palaeolithic)

In regard to the Upper Palaeolithic, abundant data shed light on symbolic functions. Beyond simply technical activities, it is possible to reconstruct certain elements of mythical thought, comparable to that described by ethnologists and historians of religion. Their study does not enable us to identify the myths recounted, but rather to clearly envisage their nature and their fundamental role in the functioning of Palaeolithic societies. During the 1990s, the discovery of the Chauvet Cave challenged the linear evolution of parietal art established by André Leroi-Gourhan. The recent discovery of very similar paintings in Romania, at the Coliboaia Cave enables us to complement the approach to the initial phases of that art. The similarities between the images in the two caves suggest we should return to the concept of myth.

Keywords: Mircea Eliade, myth, religious beliefs, Upper Paleolithic, parietal art, Chauvet, Coliboaia.


„Protimisis” şi „sultan-mezat” în peisajul sonor al Moldovei pre-moderne. Puterea politică și controlul spațiului urban

(„Protimesis” and „Sultan-mezat” in the acoustic landscape of the pre-modern Moldavia. The political authority and the control over the urban space)

A particular feature of the land law in the Post-Byzantine world is the priority of seller’s relatives in any land exchange. This right of preemption, “protimesis” (προτιμήσις) was strictly enforced, any irregularities in the transaction resulting in it annulment, even one year after the fact. The “crying” of the sale, at the crossroads and in the majority of public places, had precisely the role of determining the relatives of the seller or, in certain cases, one of the previous owners of the land, to make known his/her formal option of accepting or declining the purchase, exerting or waiving thus the right of preemption. The crying procedure used the same personnel as the procedure of public auction announcement in the cases of sale of sequestered/confiscated goods or properties (sultan-mezat). As the official gazette was inexistent, the crying is the only public address instrument, for official announcements and commercial advertisement, the professional criers being equal in importance to the executors and the land surveyors. In certain cases, the crier was also employed as one of the latter, and this versatile profession is one of the bases of the concept of public servant in modern Moldavia. The main documentary source consists in the legal decisions and court orders bearing on disputed and/or seized property. As there is no clear-cut evidence for the existence of public space in the Romanian Middle Ages, the presence of the criers in the documentary sources indicate the reality of an implicit public space, with visual and sonorous existence, even though it lacks a materiality that is clear, stable and formally defined. The fixed “crying spots” at the crossroads are augmented by the mobile announcements of the infamies during the “walk” of the felons from the court to the place of punishment, which could be in certain cases the one’s domicile or the scene of one’s crime.

Together with the cried official announcements, both fixed and mobile, of the government’s decisions, the real estate market is the main formal contributor to the sound-townscape in the Proto-Modern European Orient.

Keywords: Protimesis, sultan-mezat, tax-farming, preemption, town-criers, auctioneers, soundscape, real estate, post-Byzantine


Un vas Kraak Wanli păstrat în colecţia de arheologie medievală a Muzeului Bucovinei din Suceava

(A “Kraak Wanli” plate kept in the Bucovina Museum’s collection of medieval archaeology from Suceava)

The Bucovina Museum’s medieval archaeological collection includes a fragmentary plate and some Chinese porcelain fragments from other six plates that belong to the category of “Kraak Wanli,” dating from the period 1610-1630. The fragments were found at the Citadel of Suceava and it may be related to the reign of Vasile Lupu, prince of Moldavia, who undertook the last works of redevelopment of the citadel.

Keywords: Chinese porcelain, „Kraak Wanli”, 17th century, Suceava’s citadel.