The Vinča culture known as Turdaș culture or Turdaș–Vinča culture, was a Neolithic archaeological culture in present-day Serbia and smaller parts of Bulgaria and Romania, dated to the period 5700–4500 BC or 5300–4700/4500 BC. Named for its type site, Vinča-Belo Brdo, a large tell settlement discovered by Serbian archaeologist Miloje Vasić in 1908, it represents the material remains of a prehistoric society distinguished by its settlement pattern and ritual behaviour. Farming technology first introduced to the region during the First Temperate Neolithic was developed further by the Vinča culture, fuelling a population boom and producing some of the largest settlements in prehistoric Europe; these settlements maintained a high degree of cultural uniformity through the long-distance exchange of ritual items, but were not politically unified. Various styles of zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figurines are hallmarks of the culture, as are the Vinča symbols, which some conjecture to be the earliest form of proto-writing.
Although not conventionally considered part of the Chalcolithic or "Copper Age", the Vinča culture provides the earliest known example of copper metallurgy. The Vinča culture occupied a region of Southeastern Europe corresponding to modern-day Serbia, but parts of Romania, Bosnia, North Macedonia, Greece; this region had been settled by farming societies of the First Temperate Neolithic, but during the Vinča period sustained population growth led to an unprecedented level of settlement size and density along with the population of areas that were bypassed by earlier settlers. Vinča settlements were larger than any other contemporary European culture, in some instances surpassing the cities of the Aegean and early Near Eastern Bronze Age a millennium later. One of the largest sites was Vinča-Belo Brdo, it had up to 2,500 people. Early Vinča settlement population density was 50–200 people per hectare, in phases an average of 50–100 people per hectare was common; the Divostin site was occupied twice between 4900–4650 B.
C. and an estimate based on 17 houses suggests that given a lifespan per house of 56 years 1028 houses were built on the site during that period with a final population size estimated to be between 868 and 2864. Another large site was Stubline from 4850/4800 BC. it may have contained a maximum population of 4,000. The settlement of Parţa maybe had 1,575 people living there at the same time; the origins of the Vinča culture are debated. Before the advent of radiocarbon dating it was thought, on the basis of typological similarities, that Vinča and other Neolithic cultures belonging to the'Dark Burnished Ware' complex were the product of migrations from Anatolia to the Balkans; this had to be reassessed in light of radiocarbon dates which showed that the Dark Burnished Ware complex appeared at least a millennium before Troy I, the putative starting point of the westward migration. An alternative hypothesis where the Vinča culture developed locally from the preceding Starčevo culture—first proposed by Colin Renfrew in 1969—is now accepted by many scholars, but the evidence is not conclusive.
The Vinča culture can be divided into two phases linked with those of its type site Vinča-Belo Brdo: In its phase the centre of the Vinča network shifted from Vinča-Belo Brdo to Vršac, the long-distance exchange of obsidian and Spondylus artefacts from modern-day Hungary and the Aegean became more important than that of Vinča figurines. The network lost its cohesion altogether and fell into decline, it is that, after two millennia of intensive farming, economic stresses caused by decreasing soil fertility were responsible for this decline. According to Marija Gimbutas, the Vinča culture was part of Old Europe – a homogeneous and matrifocal culture that occupied Europe during the Neolithic. According to this hypothesis its period of decline was followed by an invasion of warlike, horse-riding Proto-Indo-European tribes from the Pontic-Caspian steppe. Most people in Vinča settlements would have been occupied with the provision of food, they practised a mixed subsistence economy where agriculture, animal husbandry and hunting and foraging all contributed to the diet of the growing Vinča population.
Compared to earlier cultures of the First Temperate Neolithic these practices were intensified, with increasing specialisation on high-yield cereal crops and the secondary products of domesticated animals, consistent with the increased population density. Vinča agriculture introduced common wheat and flax to temperate Europe, made greater use of barley than the cultures of the FTN; these innovations increased crop yields and allowed the manufacture of clothes made from plant textiles as well as animal products. There is indirect evidence that Vinča farmers made use of the cattle-driven plough, which would have had a major effect on the amount of human labour required for agriculture as well as opening up new area of land for farming. Many of the largest Vinča sites occupy regions dominated by soil types that would have required ploughing. Areas with less arable potential were exploited through transhumant pastoralism, where groups from the lowland villages moved their livestock to nearby upland areas on a seasonal basis.
Cattle were more important than sheep and goats in Vinča herds and, in comparison to the cultures of the FTN, livestock was kept for milk, leather and as draft animals, rather than for meat. Seasonal movement to upland areas was motivated by the exploitation of stone and mineral resources. Where these were rich permanen
The Körös is a river in eastern Hungary and western Romania. Its length is 128.6 km from the confluence of its two source rivers Fehér-Körös and Fekete-Körös to its outflow into the Tisza. Its drainage basin area is 27,537 km2, it has three source rivers, all of which have their origin in the Apuseni Mountains in Transylvania, Romania: Crișul Alb, Crișul Negru and Crișul Repede. The confluence of the rivers Fehér-Körös and Fekete-Körös is near the town Gyula; the Körös downstream from Gyula is called the Kettős-Körös. 37.3 km further downstream, near Gyomaendrőd, the Sebes-Körös joins the Criș/Körös. The section downstream from Gyomaendrőd is called the Hármas-Körös; the Körös flows into the Tisza River near Csongrád. It was known in antiquity as the "Chrysus", Crisia, Grisia, or Gerasus, while an archaic German name is Kreisch
A Venus figurine is any Upper Paleolithic statuette portraying a woman, with fewer sculptures depicting men or figures of uncertain sex, those in relief or engraved on rock or stones are discussed together. Most have been unearthed in Europe, but others have been found as far away as Siberia, extending their distribution across much of Eurasia, although with many gaps, such as the Mediterranean outside Italy. Most of them date from the Gravettian period, but examples exist as early as the Venus of Hohle Fels, which dates back at least 35,000 years to the Aurignacian, as late as the Venus of Monruz, from about 11,000 years ago in the Magdalenian; these figurines were carved from soft stone, bone or ivory, or fired. The latter are among the oldest ceramics known. In total, some 144 such figurines are known, they are some of the earliest works of prehistoric art. Most of them have small heads, wide hips, legs that taper to a point. Various figurines exaggerate the abdomen, breasts, thighs, or vulva, although many do not, the concentration in popular accounts on those that do reflects modern preoccupations rather than the range of actual artefacts.
In contrast and feet are absent, the head is small and faceless. Depictions of hairstyles can be detailed, in Siberian examples, clothing or tattoos may be indicated; the original cultural meaning and purpose of these artifacts is not known. It has been suggested that they may have served a ritual or symbolic function. There are varying and speculative interpretations of their use or meaning: they have been seen as religious figures, as erotic art or sex aids, grandmother goddesses or as self-depictions by female artists; the expression'Venus' was first used in the mid-nineteenth century by the Marquis de Vibraye, who discovered an important ivory figurine and named it La Vénus impudique or Venus Impudica, contrasting it to the Venus Pudica, Hellenistic sculpture by Praxiteles showing Aphrodite covering her naked pubis with her right hand. The use of the name is metaphorical as there is no link between the figurines and the Roman goddess Venus, although they have been interpreted as representations of a primordial female goddess.
The term has been criticised for being more a reflection of modern western ideas than reflecting the beliefs of the sculptures' original owners, but the name has persisted. Vénus impudique, the figurine that gave the whole class its name, was the first Paleolithic sculptural representation of a woman discovered in modern times, it was found in about 1864 by Paul Hurault, 8th Marquis de Vibraye at the famous archaeological site of Laugerie-Basse in the Vézère valley. The Magdalenian "Venus" from Laugerie-Basse is headless, armless but with a incised vaginal opening. Four years Salomon Reinach published an article about a group of steatite figurines from the caves of Balzi Rossi; the famous Venus of Willendorf was excavated in 1908 in a loess deposit in the Danube valley, Austria. Since hundreds of similar figurines have been discovered from the Pyrenees to the plains of Siberia, they are collectively described as "Venus figurines" in reference to the Roman goddess of beauty, since the prehistorians of the early 20th century assumed they represented an ancient ideal of beauty.
Early discourse on "Venus figurines" was preoccupied with identifying the race being represented and the steatopygous fascination of Saartjie Baartman, the "Hottentot Venus" exhibited as a living ethnographic curiosity to connoisseurs in Paris early in the nineteenth century. In September 2008, archaeologists from the University of Tübingen discovered a 6 cm figurine woman carved from a mammoth's tusk, the Venus of Hohle Fels, dated to at least 35,000 years ago, representing the earliest known sculpture of this type, the earliest known work of figurative art altogether; the ivory carving, found in six fragments in Germany's Hohle Fels cave, represents the typical features of Venus figurines, including the swollen belly, wide-set thighs, large breasts. The majority of the Venus figurines appear to be depictions of women, many of which follow certain artistic conventions, on the lines of schematisation and stylisation. Most of them are lozenge-shaped, with two tapering terminals at top and bottom and the widest point in the middle.
In some examples, certain parts of the human anatomy are exaggerated: abdomen, breasts, vulva. In contrast, other anatomical details are neglected or absent arms and feet; the heads are of small size and devoid of detail. Some may represent pregnant women, it has been suggested that aspects of the typical depiction and perspective, such as the large and pendulous breasts, emphasis on the upper rather than lower buttocks, lack of feet and faces, support the theory that these are self-portraits by women without access to mirrors, looking at their own bodies. The absence of feet has led to suggestions that the figures might have been made to stand upright by inserting the legs into the ground like a peg; the high amount of fat around the buttocks of some of the figurines has led to numerous interpretations. The issue was first raised by Édouard Piette, excavator of the Brassempouy figure and of several other examples from the Pyrenees; some authors saw this feature as the depiction of an actual physical property, resembling the Khoisan tribe of so
The Vučedol culture flourished between 3000 and 2200 BC, centered in Syrmia and eastern Slavonia on the right bank of the Danube river, but spreading throughout the Pannonian plain and western Balkans and southward. It was thus contemporary with the Sumer period in Mesopotamia, the Early Dynastic period in Egypt and the earliest settlements of Troy; some authors regard it as an Indo-European culture. Following the Baden culture, another wave of possible Indo-European speakers came to the banks of the Danube. One of the major places they occupied is present-day Vučedol, located six kilometers downstream from the town of Vukovar, Croatia, it is estimated that the site had once been home to about 3,000 inhabitants, making it one of the largest and most important European centers of its time. According to Bogdan Brukner, proto-Illyrians descended from this wave of Indo-European settlers; the early stages of the culture occupied locations not far from mountain ranges, where copper deposits were located, because of their main invention: making tools from arsenical copper in series reusing double, two-part moulds.
The Vučedol culture developed from two older eneolithic cultures: the Baden culture in the Pannonian plain, the Kostolac culture in northern Serbia and western Romania, so the primary region of Vučedol development is eastern Croatia and the Syrmia region. The archaeological stratigraphy of the Vučedol culture can be divided into four phases: Preclassic period A Early classic period B1 Classic period B2 Period of expansion with regional types, C: East Croatian West Bosnian South Bosnian North Serbian West Croatian-Slovenian Transdanubian East Austrian-Czech typeThe Vučedol culture is the final eneolithic culture of the region, displaying characteristically common use of the war axe in its "Banniabik" form. Cult objects suggest the practice of new cults different from the Neolithic Magna Mater conception: cult of the Deer, womb-shaped solar motives, figures of women in clothes without sexual or fertility decoration, symbols of double axe. In pottery, new forms and a new rich decoration, are characterized by the spectacular find, the Vučedol dove.
The Vučedol culture exploited native copper ores on a massive scale. The settlement sites destroyed earlier eneolithic settlements, new Vučedol settlements developed in regions where none existed; the rise of a dominant hunter-warrior class is a preview of the changes that will be characteristic for the east and middle European early Bronze Age. Compared to earlier and contemporary cultures the Vučedol culture exploited a diversity in food sources: the Vučedol people were hunters and agrarians, with some strong indications that they cultivated certain domesticated animals, thus the culture was more resilient to times of want. The community chief was the shaman-smith, possessing the arcane knowledge of avoiding poisonous arsenic gas, connected to the technology of coppersmithing as well as understanding the year cycle. Still, the whole life of shaman-smith could not pass without biological consequences of chronic arsenic exposure: slow loss of body movement coordination, at the same time, stronger sexual potency.
"That is why", according to Aleksandar Durman, "all eneolithic, or gods of metallurgy are identified with fertility, why all gods in all early cultures – limp". It was a society of deep social changes and stratification that led to the birth of tribal and military aristocracy. Vučedol people had enough time to express their spiritual view of the world. In modern times, Vučedol ceramics have become famous worldwide. A characteristic bi-conical shape and typical ornaments evolved, in many cases with typical "handles" which were non-functional, but were key to understanding ornaments that had symbolic meanings, representing ideas such as "horizon", "mountains", "sky", "underworld", "sun", "constellation of Orion", "Venus", et cetera. One of the most famous pieces of Vučedol is the ritual vessel made between 2800 and 2500 BC, called by the speculative attribution of M. Seper, who found it in 1938, the "Vučedol Dove"; the latest interpretation, however, is that the vessel is in the shape of the male partridge, a symbol of fertility, whose limping defensive behavior against attack by predators on a partridge nest on the ground linked it to the limping shaman-smith, according to the recent interpretation by Aleksandar Durman of Zagreb.
The figure is a remarkable example of artistic creation and religious symbolism associated with a cult of the Great Mother. The "Vučedol Dove" is a 19,5 cm high ritual vessel made from baked clay. Three symbols of double axes and a necklace were incised on its neck with lines covering its wings and chest, an unusual crest on the back of the head. If the shape of the crest and delineated wings and chest, prove the figure to be the domesticated dove it was being raised in Europe 4,500 years ago, much earlier than we think; the "Vučedol Dove" is the oldest dove figure found in Europe so far. The ritual vessel is depicted on the reverse of the Croatian 20 kuna banknote, issued in 1993 and 2001. Among the most famous pieces is a vessel bearing inscribed images corresponding to what has been alleged to be the oldest Indo-European calendar, based on an Orion cycle, shown by precise sequence of constellations on a vessel found in an Eneolithic mound in the center of the modern town of Vinkovci; the climatic conditions in that latitude bring about four yearly seasons.
The simple explanation of the Vučedol Calenda
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe. It borders the Black Sea to the southeast, Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, Serbia to the southwest, Moldova to the east, it has a predominantly temperate-continental climate. With a total area of 238,397 square kilometres, Romania is the 12th largest country and the 7th most populous member state of the European Union, having 20 million inhabitants, its capital and largest city is Bucharest, other major urban areas include Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, Iași, Constanța, Brașov. The River Danube, Europe's second-longest river, rises in Germany's Black Forest and flows in a general southeast direction for 2,857 km, coursing through ten countries before emptying into Romania's Danube Delta; the Carpathian Mountains, which cross Romania from the north to the southwest, include Moldoveanu Peak, at an altitude of 2,544 m. Modern Romania was formed in 1859 through a personal union of the Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia.
The new state named Romania since 1866, gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1877. Following World War I, when Romania fought on the side of the Allied powers, Bessarabia, Transylvania as well as parts of Banat, Crișana, Maramureș became part of the sovereign Kingdom of Romania. In June–August 1940, as a consequence of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and Second Vienna Award, Romania was compelled to cede Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to the Soviet Union, Northern Transylvania to Hungary. In November 1940, Romania signed the Tripartite Pact and in June 1941 entered World War II on the Axis side, fighting against the Soviet Union until August 1944, when it joined the Allies and recovered Northern Transylvania. Following the war, under the occupation of the Red Army's forces, Romania became a socialist republic and member of the Warsaw Pact. After the 1989 Revolution, Romania began a transition back towards a market economy; the sovereign state of Romania is a developing country and ranks 52nd in the Human Development Index.
It has the world's 47th largest economy by nominal GDP and an annual economic growth rate of 7%, the highest in the EU at the time. Following rapid economic growth in the early 2000s, Romania has an economy predominantly based on services, is a producer and net exporter of machines and electric energy, featuring companies like Automobile Dacia and OMV Petrom, it has been a member of the United Nations since 1955, part of NATO since 2004, part of the European Union since 2007. An overwhelming majority of the population identifies themselves as Eastern Orthodox Christians and are native speakers of Romanian, a Romance language. Romania derives from the Latin romanus, meaning "citizen of Rome"; the first known use of the appellation was attested to in the 16th century by Italian humanists travelling in Transylvania and Wallachia. The oldest known surviving document written in Romanian, a 1521 letter known as the "Letter of Neacșu from Câmpulung", is notable for including the first documented occurrence of the country's name: Wallachia is mentioned as Țeara Rumânească.
Two spelling forms: român and rumân were used interchangeably until sociolinguistic developments in the late 17th century led to semantic differentiation of the two forms: rumân came to mean "bondsman", while român retained the original ethnolinguistic meaning. After the abolition of serfdom in 1746, the word rumân fell out of use and the spelling stabilised to the form român. Tudor Vladimirescu, a revolutionary leader of the early 19th century, used the term Rumânia to refer to the principality of Wallachia."The use of the name Romania to refer to the common homeland of all Romanians—its modern-day meaning—was first documented in the early 19th century. The name has been in use since 11 December 1861. In English, the name of the country was spelt Rumania or Roumania. Romania became the predominant spelling around 1975. Romania is the official English-language spelling used by the Romanian government. A handful of other languages have switched to "o" like English, but most languages continue to prefer forms with u, e.g. French Roumanie and Swedish Rumänien, Spanish Rumania, Polish Rumunia, Russian Румыния, Japanese ルーマニア.
1859–1862: United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia 1862–1866: Romanian United Principalities or Romania 1866–1881: Romania or Principality of Romania 1881–1947: Kingdom of Romania or Romania 1947–1965: Romanian People's Republic or Romania 1965–December, 1989: Socialist Republic of Romania or Romania December, 1989–present: Romania Human remains found in Peștera cu Oase, radiocarbon dated as being from circa 40,000 years ago, represent the oldest known Homo sapiens in Europe. Neolithic techniques and agriculture spread after the arrival of a mixed group of people from Thessaly in the 6th millenium BC. Excavations near a salt spring at Lunca yielded the earliest evidence for salt exploitation in Europe; the first permanent settlements appeared in the Neolithic. Some of them developed into "proto-cities"; the Cucuteni–Trypillia culture—the best known archaeological culture of Old Europe—flourished in Muntenia, southeastern Transylvania and northeastern Moldavia in the 3rd m
A cist is a small stone-built coffin-like box or ossuary used to hold the bodies of the dead. Examples can be found in the Middle East. A cist may have been associated with other monuments under a cairn or long barrow. Several cists are sometimes found close together within barrow. Ornaments have been found within an excavated cist, indicating the wealth or prominence of the interred individual. EnglandHepburn woods, NorthumberlandEstoniaJõelähtme stone-cist graves, Harju CountyGuatemalaMundo Perdido, Petén DepartmentIsraelTel Kabri, Upper GalileeScotlandBalblair cist, Inverness Dunan Aula, Craignish and Bute Holm Mains Farm, Inverness Kistvaen Dartmoor kistvaens Pretanic World - Chart of Neolithic, Bronze Age and Celtic Stone Structures
The Varna culture belongs to the Neolithic of northeastern Bulgaria, dated ca. 4400-4100 BC. It is contemporary and related with Gumelnița in southern Rumania considered as local variants, it is characterized by polychrome pottery and rich cemeteries, the most famous of which are Varna Necropolis, the eponymous site, the Durankulak complex, which comprises the largest prehistoric cemetery in southeastern Europe, with an adjoining coeval Neolithic settlement and an unpublished and incompletely excavated Chalcolithic settlement.294 graves have been found in the necropolis, many containing sophisticated examples of copper and gold metallurgy, high-quality flint and obsidian blades and shells. The site was accidentally discovered in October 1972 by excavator operator Raycho Marinov. Research excavation was under the direction of Ivan Ivanov. About 30% of the estimated necropolis area is still not excavated; the findings showed that the Varna culture had trade relations with distant lands including the lower Volga region and the Cyclades exporting metal goods and salt from the Provadiya rock salt mine.
The copper ore used in the artifacts originated from a Sredna Gora mine near Stara Zagora, Mediterranean spondylus shells found in the graves may have served as primitive currency. Burials at Varna have some of the world's oldest gold jewelry. There extended inhumations; some graves do not contain grave gifts. The symbolic graves are the richest in gold artifacts. 3000 gold artifacts were found, with a weight of 6 kilograms. Grave 43 contained more gold. Three symbolic graves contained masks of unfired clay. “The weight and the number of gold finds in the Varna cemetery exceeds by several times the combined weight and number of all of the gold artifacts found in all excavated sites of the same millenium, 5000-4000 BC, from all over the world, including Mesopotamia and Egypt”. The culture had sophisticated religious beliefs about afterlife and developed hierarchical status differences: it constitutes the oldest known burial evidence of an elite male; the end of the fifth millennium BC is the time that Marija Gimbutas, founder of the Kurgan hypothesis claims the transition to male dominance began in Europe.
The high status male was buried with remarkable amounts of gold, held a war axe or mace and wore a gold penis sheath. The bull-shaped gold platelets also venerated virility, instinctive force, warfare. Gimbutas holds that the artifacts were made by local craftspeople; the discontinuity of the Varna, Vinča and Lengyel cultures in their main territories and the large scale population shifts to the north and northwest are indirect evidence of a catastrophe of such proportions that cannot be explained by possible climatic change, desertification, or epidemics. Direct evidence of the incursion of horse-riding warriors is found, not only in single burials of males under barrows, but in the emergence of a whole complex of Indo-European cultural traits. Solnitsata Old Europe Vinča culture Vinča symbols Sesklo culture Hamangia culture Cucuteni–Trypillia culture Gumelniţa–Karanovo culture Butmir Culture Boian culture Tisza culture Linear Pottery culture Lengyel culture Funnelbeaker culture Starčevo culture Karanovo culture Varna Archaeological Museum.
Varna Necropolis Cultural Tourism page on the Golden Sands Resort web site. Another photo by Ivo Hadjimishev The Durankulak Lake Town - Kibela's Temple Very detailed information about findings in Varna necropolis I and II - in Bulgarian language Khenrieta Todorova, The eneolithic period in Bulgaria in the fifth millennium B. C. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports, 1978. BAR supplementary series 49. Henrieta Todorova, Kupferzeitliche Siedlungen in Nordostbulgarien. München: Beck 1982. Materialien zur allgemeinen und vergleichenden Archäologie 13