Romanian History and Culture

A Library of Knowledge from the Web. An Educational Website.


Mammoths and Dinosaurs Found in Romania- Ice Age in Europe 

See the source image

2,000,000 years  old Mammoth found in Covasna unique in Europe  


 The dinosaur species was discovered by Romanian researchers at the University of Bucharest, in collaboration with Columbia University in New York. He had claws like scythes, which he used to eviscerate animals that were falling prey to him.

The discovered specimen measures only 2.1 meters long. Paleontologists have deduced that he had short legs and very strong muscles. they named the dinosaur the Bondoc dragon.

The Bondoc dragon, the new species of dinosaur discovered after the analysis of a skeleton taken from a complex in Sebes, Alba County, was one of the most terrible predators of its time, says one of the authors of the study.

The very strong muscles of the hind limbs and the excellent claws to grasp and tear the food make the researchers feel better. declares the new dinosaur, "baptized" Romanian Bondoc dragon, the most terrible land predator of 70 million years ago. by Mick Ellison (American Museum of Natural History) published yesterday the article announcing the discovery . We return today with an interview with Zoltan Csiki, from the Paleontology Laboratory of the University of Bucharest, co-author of the study announcing the discovery, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a journal. weekly? of the United States Academy of Sciences.


PHOTO:  - A - dorsal vertebra  of the  Bondoc dinosaur ; B - the claws with which Balaur Bondoc grabs and tears the prey. Source: study "An aberrant island-dwelling theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Romania" Where and when was the fossilized skeleton discovered? Were other fossils found in that area, we're talking about a complex?

Zoltan Csiki: Near the town of Sebes, Glod, from Alba County, in August last year (about a year ago). Exist and other fossil remains in those layers, including dinosaurs and flying reptiles (pterosaurs), and in the wider region. of(Sebes area - Alba Iulia), many fossils of animals and plants are already known, which allow the reconstruction of an entire ecosystem.

Is it a new dinosaur species? What did these animals look like, what did they eat, what made them different from the rest of the dinosaurs?                          T
he "Bondoc dragon" obviously it's a new species, that's why they have a unique name. It was largely similar to the velociraptors, known from Jurassic Park (part I), but with a more robust constitution. posterior defenses of the body. The length of the animal can be estimated at about 2-2.2 m, and the weight at about 30-40 kg.

What were the advantages of these dinosaurs, the Bondoc dragon, facing the rest of the predators of the time? Could he be a victim of them, or was he able to defends himself and even  attacking them?
There were other predators in that community, they are much less known (apart from crocodiles, but they were still related to aquatic areas), and they were no bigger than Dragon. So he was by no means at their mercy, on the contrary, he was one of the most terrible predators in this world. region.

When did you realize that is it a new  species?
Studying the animal together with colleagues in the United States, it quickly became apparent that the animal's characteristics are not found in any other previously known dinosaur.

Will the skeleton be exposed?
Yes, I was just told by the co-author of the article and the discoverer of the skeleton that is it coming at the Society of the Transylvanian Museum, Cluj Napoca.

What was the period when this dinosaur, a Bondoc dragon, lived? What are the species of dinosaurs contemporary with the "dragon"?
The dragon lived in the last part of the Cretaceous period, respectively during the Maastrichtian (72-67 million years ago). Globally, there are many contemporary species. In Romania, today's dwarf dinosaurs from Hateg, Transylvania) are contemporary with it, such as Zalmoxes, Telmatosaurus, Magyarosaurus or Struthiosaurus.

In the article announcing the discovery, it is written that the forelimbs were less developed than the hindquarters. Is it possible that this? species s? be able? s? mearg? and two? limbs, like the amosaur?
Not only is it possible, it is certain that? moving on two? feet, similar to most predatory dinosaurs. This is evident even from the partially preserved skeleton we know.

Which teams took part in the discovery of the skeleton and in its analysis?The skeleton was discovered and excavated by the Cluj geologist and paleontologist, co-author of the study, Matyas Vremir, and his study involved two American researchers, also co-authors. Steve Brusatte and Mark Norell, of the American Museum of Natural History. Along with them, helpful were Akiko Shinya, who prepared well? part of the skeleton, and Mick Ellison, who took the photos.

PHOTO: SUS - A - vertebr? dorsal? of the Balaur Bondoc dinosaur column; B - the claws with which Balaur Bondoc grabs and tears the prey. Source: study "An aberrant island-dwelling theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Romania"; BELOW - images of the fossilized skeleton, offered by the Transylvanian Museum Society and published on

 Read more: The dinosaur from Sebes - "Bondoc dragon was a terrible predator" | PHOTO>

 Exclusive! Sensational discoveries: or new? dinosaur species and egg nests? of prehistoric birds 

 The paleontologist from Cluj, Matei Vremir, made some sensational discoveries in the Sebe, Alba area. Matei Vremir declared, on Monday, for AGERPRES, that? Among the findings of the research team are? a new species? of herbivorous dinosaur and, more importantly, the eggs and nest of some prehistoric birds that lived behind. 68 million years ago.

BELOW - images of the fossilized skeleton, offered by the Transylvanian Museum Society and published on


'Has research continued in the case of a sensational discovery represented by egg nests? and bones of primitive birds (enantiornithes), covered by a flood of 68 million years ago. Is this the first proof? c? this group of primitive birds nested en masse. on the banks of watercourses, similar to current species (flamingos, etc.). Will the discovery be presented? public at the International Congress of Paleontology in Las Vegas (USA) ', said Matei Vremir.

The paleontologist from Cluj added that another? important discovery? do I represent her? leftovers from 'a new? herbivorous dinosaur species, yet? under preparation and research '.

A small skeleton of a multituberculate mammal has also been discovered that has been partially preserved in the filling of a den.

In addition, remains of the largest pterosaur (flying reptile) with wing bones have been discovered. having dimensions 25% larger than the largest discovered until? now in the United States (Quatzatcoatlus northropi). Matei Vremir says that? the wingspan of the Sebe specimen? exceeded 13 m, with 2-3 m above the calculated limit? for the ability to fly. Matei Vremir explain? how the size of the wings raises the question of the possible existence of a gigantic species that had lost its ability to fly and lived in isolation on the lush island? Ha? Eg, f? R? to have enemies to measure? and with food? in abundance, as in a hypermarket without? flat, similar to the giant flying birds of Madagascar (Aepyornis) '.

The paleontologist from Cluj specified that? 'the dozens of recent discoveries are still? in processing '? ic? the results of the research will probably be made public over the next year. 'However, the results until now indicate? the fact that? in the Sebe? area live a series of common species and in the Ha? eg Basin, but also forms that still they weren't discovered there, and that's not so much because? geographical isolation, especially the different fossilization conditions and the temporal differences between different sites and geological layers', added Matei Vremir.

From the international expedition? who made the recent discoveries in Sebe? researchers from England (Gareth Dyke -Southampton and Darren Neish - Porthsmouth), USA (Steve Brusatte - New York) and Romania (Zoltan Csiki - Bucharest, Radu Totoianu - Sebe ?, Matei Vremir - Cluj) are part of it. .

Is Matei Vremir the one who discovered, back? one year old, the skeleton of the 'Bondoc Dragon' - the most complete carnivorous dinosaur skeleton in Europe. Fossil discovered? the Sebe? It is 70 million years old and belongs to a new species of theropod. According to experts, the "Bondoc Dragon" is a relative. close, but 'aberrant', of the well-known Velociraptor discovered in the Cretaceous of Mongolia, which seam? n? rather? with a hybrid between an oversized turkey and a pit bull dog.

Did Matei Vremir also discover a vertebra last year? of the largest flying dinosaur (pterosaur) in the world. AGERPRES


Cluj could be the first city in Romania to have a dinosaur museum. According to some university sources, quoted in the regional press, would this museum be patronized by Babes-Bolyai University, through the Faculty of Biology? Geology, where ichthyosaurs from the Jurassic of Holzmaden (Germany) and some samples of dinosaur fauna from the Hateg Basin and Transylvania are currently exposed:? Struthiosaurus Transylvanicus ?,? Magyarosaurus Dacus ?,? Zalmoxes Robustus? ,? Zalmoxes Shqiperorum? and dinosaur eggs, very well preserved.

The pieces of resistance of this museum would be represented by these "native" dinosaurs. One of them would be the "Salaj Dinosaur", with its scientific name "Zamolxis shqiperorum", a dwarf herbivorous dinosaur that lived about 65-70 million years ago in Transylvania. Bones of this dinosaur were discovered at Somes Odorhei, in the "Jibou Formation". First dated in 1905.


 Aricesti, Prahova. Tomb of a community leader of 1,70 meters high, over 4,500 years old. (move it to Cucuteni)covered with red ocre paint. In position of arians scheletons.


Bone Cave, Pestera cu Oase, Vasile and Ion, R1b

R1b Lineage

  Text and pictures at: 


 The founder of the R1b lineage lived over 35,000 years ago prior to the end of the last Ice Age in southern Europe and Iberia. Members of Haplogroup R1b are believed to be descendants of Cro-Magnon people, the first modern humans to enter Europe. Cro-Magnons lived from about 35,000 to 10,000 years ago in the Upper Paleolithic period of the Pleistocene. When the ice sheets retracted at the end of the ice age, descendants of the R1b lineage migrated throughout western Europe.
The territory of Romania has been continuously inhabited by people since prehistory.

They left behind a legacy that we are just now starting to find and interpret.  A skull found in Peştera cu Oase (The Cave with Bones), near Anina, in 2004-5 bears features of both modern humans and Neanderthals.

According to a paper by Erik Trinkaus and others, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in January 2007, this finding suggests that the two groups interbred thousands of years ago. Radiocarbon dating indicates that the skull is between 35,000 and 40,000 years old, making it the oldest modern human fossil ever found in Europe.

A second expedition by Erik Trinkaus and Ricardo Rodrigo, discovered further fragments (for example, a skull dated ~36,000, nicknamed "Vasile").  Two human fossil remains, found in the Muierii (Peştera Muierilor) and the Cioclovina caves, in Romania have been radiocarbon dated, using the technique of the accelerator mass spectrometry to the age of ~ 30,000 years BP.

These are among the most ancient dated human fossil remains from Romania, possibly belonging to the upper Paleolithic, the Aurignacian period (see Human fossil bones from the Muierii Cave and the Cioclovina Cave, Romania.) 


Pictures of Vasile and text at :

    Scientists reconstructed the facial features of the first European, using a fragment of skull and a jawbone found in Romania  

. Although it doesn’t look at all like the nowadays Europeans the reconstructed man or woman lived in the forests of the Carpathian Mountains.  

 The bones were found in Pestera cu Oase (”The Bones Cave”) in 2002 (the lower jawbone) and in 2003 (the fragments of the skull). The radiocarbon analysis showed that the bones are somewhere between 34,000 and 36,000 years old, times when both the Neanderthal man and Homo sapiens inhabited the  Fig. 1.lands.      



           Photos: The Bones Cave 1 and 2.


 The sex of the person’s whose bones were found in Romania could not be determined. One of the things that  raised controversies was the color of the skin, that was claimed to be darker than modern-day Europeans, due to the known facts that Homo sapiens migrated to Europe from Africa via the Middle East. Anyway the BBC 2 series The Incredible Human Journey which documents human origins and evolution was a major factor in the reconstruction of the first modern European, as they want to show us the way that migratory routes helped us populate Earth. 

By Jonathan Amos
BBC News Online science staff

Fossils picked up in a Romanian bear cave are the oldest specimens yet found of modern humans in Europe, scientists say.

The bones are the oldest found in Europe
One of the items - a male, adult jawbone - has been dated to be between 34,000 and 36,000 years old.

The other pieces, which include the facial bone of an adolescent, are still being tested but are thought to be of a similar age.

This puts the fossils - from three different individuals - in a period in history when modern humans are believed to have shared the continent with Neanderthals, their now extinct hominid cousins.

Indeed, the researchers reporting the discoveries go so far as to suggest the fossils show some degree of hybridization - they are possibly the result of interbreeding between modern humans and Neanderthals, they argue.

This is a position that drives a heated debate among scientists, many of whom doubt there was much mixing of the species.

These researchers point to DNA studies that indicate Neanderthals contributed little or nothing to the genes of humans living today.

Human development

The new finds, made in the Carpathian Mountains, are sure to prompt further argument.

They are detailed by Professor Erik Trinkaus and colleagues in two journals: the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Journal of Human Evolution.

The team says the fossils, while undeniably modern (Homo Sapiens), display some features that are very primitive in nature, such as large molars.

Trinkaus, Photo by Joe Angeles/WUSTL photo
Trinkaus is an expert on Neanderthal biology and evolution (Image by Joe Angeles/WUSTL)
"Both the lower jawbone and the upper jaw of the face have the same pattern in the cheek teeth - the wisdom teeth in particular are simply huge. They are bigger than just about anything else we have from the last 200,000 years," Professor Trinkaus told BBC News Online.

"The best explanation I can put on it is that when modern humans spread out of Africa, they interbred with local populations of archaic humans, including the Neanderthals," said the Mary Tileston Hemenway Professor of Anthropology at Washington University in St Louis, US.

"It shows us that the earliest 'modern Europeans' were considerably less modern than we normally consider them to be, and that significant human evolution in details of anatomy has taken place since they became established across Eurasia."

'Wonderful mosaic'

The fossils were originally discovered in February 2002 in Pestera cu Oase - translated as the "Cave With Bones" - by three Romanian cavers.

It is not known how they got into the cave, but Professor Trinkaus says one possibility is that early humans used the site as a mortuary for the ritual disposal of human bodies.

The currently most popular model for the emergence of modern humans ties their origin to Africa within the last 200,000 years.

Facial fossil, Journal of Human Evolution
The facial fossil comes from an adolescent male
This theory argues that a wave of Homo Sapiens then swept out across the world to replace all other human-like species, including Neanderthals.

Some molecular studies have seemed to refute any possibility that mixing took place - they indicate that our last common ancestor existed before Neanderthals themselves arose.

"The problem with this whole debate is that we have so few specimens in Europe - it's hard to make a hard and fast case," commented Professor Clive Gamble, from the UK's Center of the Archaeology of Human Origins.

"The genetic studies are quite convincing but we need more information and that makes these new fossils very interesting. I'm sure that what we deal with eventually is going to be a more wonderful mosaic."

In June this year, another group of scientists reported the discovery of the oldest ever modern human remains at Herto in Ethiopia. The skulls were said to be about 160,000 years old.

The previous oldest modern human remains in Europe are dated to about 30,000 years ago.


   An early modern human from the Peştera cu Oase, Romania

The 2002 discovery of a robust modern human mandible in the Peştera cu Oase, southwestern Romania, provides evidence of early modern humans in the lower Danubian Corridor. Directly accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon (14C)-dated to 34,000-36,000 14C years B.P., the Oase 1 mandible is the oldest definite early modern human specimen in Europe and provides perspectives on the emergence and evolution of early modern humans in the northwestern Old World.
The moderately long Oase 1 mandible exhibits a prominent tuber symphyseos and overall proportions that place it close to earlier Upper Paleolithic European specimens. Its symmetrical mandibular incisure, medially placed condyle, small superior medial pterygoid tubercle, mesial mental foramen, and narrow corpus place it closer to early modern humans among Late Pleistocene humans.
However, its cross-sectional symphyseal orientation is intermediate between late archaic and early modern humans, the ramus is exceptionally wide, and the molars become progressively larger distally with exceptionally large third molars. The molar crowns lack derived Neandertal features but are otherwise morphologically undiagnostic.
However, it has unilateral mandibular foramen lingular bridging, an apparently derived Neanderthal feature. It therefore presents a mosaic of archaic, early modern human and possibly Neanderthal morphological features, emphasizing both the complex population dynamics of modern human dispersal into Europe and the subsequent morphological evolution of European early modern humans.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 01/10/200310/2003; 100(20):11231-6.
ISSN: 0027-8424
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2035108100

Ion a fost gasit intr-o pestera din Anina. De Vasile au dat tot in acea pestera, dar, cu toate ca se aflau la mica distanta unul de altul, Ion si Vasile nu s-au cunoscut niciodata, pentru ca Ion si Vasile au trait la 14.000 de ani distanta. Ion este de fapt o mandibula, dar nu orice fel de mandibula: este cea mai veche ramasita de homo sapiens din Europa descoperita pana in prezent.

Maxilarul de homo sapiens botezat Ion, vechi de circa 40.000 de ani, a fost descoperit in anul 2002 de un grup de speologi de la Timisoara intr-una din cele 200 de pesteri din Muntii Aninei. Dupa ce procedurile de datare s-au incheiat, cercetatorii au ajuns la concluzia ca osul nu este unul oarecare, ci reprezinta cel mai vechi rest de om modern din Europa. Pestera in care a fost gasita pretioasa fosila umana este partial inundata. Grupul de speologi timisoreni, Proacvagrup, care a facut istorica descoperire a fost nevoit sa treaca printr-un sifon, o galerie inundata complet, prin care se poate trece numai cu costum de scafandru si cu echipament complet.

Silviu Constantin, un speolog de la Institutul de Speologie "Emil Racovita" din Bucuresti, care lucreaza acum la pestera, ne-a relatat povestea descoperirii. "Acolo au avut surpriza sa gaseasca, pe langa alte oase care banuiau ca sunt de urs, de alte animale, o mandibula de om. Au scos mandibula, au dus-o la sectia din Cluj a Institutului «Emil Racovita»", povesteste Silviu Constantin. Mandibula trebuia insa datata si au fost gasiti cativa savanti straini dispusi sa ajute, pentru ca procedura datarii cu Carbon 14 nu este una ieftina, o astfel de procedura costand minimum 500 de dolari.

"L-am gasit pe profesorul Erik Trinkaus, un antropolog cunoscut, care a fost de acord sa faca datarile. In general, se fac probe duble, la laboratoare diferite, ca sa fim siguri. Acum lucrurile sunt evidente, pentru ca stim ca omul e vechi. Cand s-a scos mandibula, nu se stia cat de vechi este. Daca avea 10.000-15.000 de ani, nu era extrem de interesant. Varsta este de aproximativ 40.000 de ani. O sa gasiti in anumite articole cifra de 35.000-36.000 de ani, care este data in anii carbonici.

Si este o diferenta intre anii carbonici si anii calendaristici! Eu tot ce va spun va spun in anii calendaristici. Mandibula este de homo sapiens, de om modern. Cel mai vechi om modern din Europa. Cele mai vechi resturi de om modern sunt in Africa, iar in Europa, pana la descoperirea din Muntii Aninei, erau undeva in jurul a treizeci si ceva de mii de ani", spune speologul Silviu Constantin.

MANDIBULA. Ion, cel mai vechi homo sapiens descoperit pana acum in Europa, este doar un maxilar

VECHIME. "Prin faptul ca in zona asta s-a gasit un rest de om modern mai vechi decat tot ce era cunoscut in Europa Occidentala, ne da indicatii ca putea fi un culoar de trecere pe aici in ceea ce priveste raspandirea populatiei de homo sapiens pe continentul nostru.

Iarasi e important, pentru ca inseamna ca in aceeasi perioada, in Europa, homo sapiens traia in paralel cu omul de Neanderthal, doua specii diferite", afirma speologul. Omul de Neanderthal traia in Europa in aceeasi perioada in care primii oameni moderni, urmasii lui homo erectus, populau Africa.

Problema care nu le dadea pace paleoantropologilor privea intalnirea dintre cele doua specii, in perioada de timp in care homo sapiens a plecat din Africa spre Asia si Europa.

Fosila lui Ion, homo sapiens de la Anina, veche de 40.000 de ani calendaristici, este chiar din perioada in care populatiile de oameni moderni intrau in contact cu cele de neanderthalieni.

"Aceasta este importanta fosilei", spune antropologul Jo"o Zilh"o, de la Universitatea din Portugalia. "Ramasitele de la Anina sunt exact din perioada in care homo sapiens intra in Europa, dar chiar in acele timpuri omul de Neanderthal disparea din Europa. Inevitabil s-au intalnit unul cu altul", spune Jo"o Zilh"o.

TEORII. Antropologii vor insa sa stie ce s-a intamplat cu neanderthalienii si care a fost cauza disparitiei acestora. Exista mai multe teorii, printre care cea potrivit careia populatia de oameni de Neanderthal a fost decimata de catre homo sapiens.

Dar mandibula lui Ion si alte fosile de om modern demonstreaza ca neanderthalienii si oamenii moderni nu s-au razboit intre ei, ci s-au amestecat, pentru ca Ion are unele trasaturi caracteristice omului de Neanderthal.

Cercetatorii au crezut la inceput ca omul, botezat la scurt timp Ion, a locuit chiar in pestera respectiva, in plina epoca de piatra. Dar, dupa investigatii ulterioare, s-a ajuns la concluzia ca pestera nu a fost locuita. Nu s-au gasit unelte, prin urmare Ion a trait si a murit in alta parte, dar, in cele cateva zeci de mii de ani de la moartea sa, mandibula a ajuns in adancimea pesterii. Dupa datarea cu Carbon 14, situl a devenit extrem de interesant pentru savanti.


 Modern human cranial diversity in the Late Pleistocene of Africa and Eurasia: Evidence from Nazlet Khater, Peştera cu Oase, and Hofmeyr

The origin and evolutionary history of modern humans is of considerable interest to paleoanthropologists and geneticists alike. Paleontological evidence suggests that recent humans originated and expanded from an African lineage that may have undergone demographic crises in the Late Pleistocene according to archaeological and genetic data.
This would suggest that extant human populations derive from, and perhaps sample a restricted part of the genetic and morphological variation that was present in the Late Pleistocene.
Crania that date to Marine Isotope Stage 3 should yield information pertaining to the level of Late Pleistocene human phenotypic diversity and its evolution in modern humans. The Nazlet Khater (NK) and Hofmeyr (HOF) crania from Egypt and South Africa, together with penecontemporaneous specimens from the Peştera cu Oase in Romania, permit preliminary assessment of variation among modern humans from geographically disparate regions at this time.
Morphometric and morphological comparisons with other Late Pleistocene modern human specimens, and with 23 recent human population samples, reveal that elevated levels of variation are present throughout the Late Pleistocene.
Comparison of Holocene and Late Pleistocene craniometric variation through resampling analyses supports hypotheses derived from genetic data suggesting that present phenotypic variation may represent only a restricted part of Late Pleistocene human diversity.
The Nazlet Khater, Hofmeyr, and Oase specimens provide a unique glimpse of that diversity. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2009. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American journal of physical anthropology. 01/06/200906/2009;
ISSN: 1096-8644
DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.21080
Upper Paleolithic
In 2002, the oldest modern human (Homo sapiens sapiens) remains in Europe, have been discovered in the "Cave With Bones" (Peştera cu Oase), near Anina. [4] Nicknamed "John of Anina" (Ion din Anina), his remains (the lower jaw) are approximately 42,000 years old.

As Europe’s oldest remains of Homo sapiens, they are likely to represent the first such people to have entered the continent. [5] According to some researchers, the particular interest of the discovery resides in the fact that it presents a mixture of archaic, early modern human and Neanderthal morphological features, [6] indicating considerable Neanderthal/modern human admixture, [7] which in turn suggests that, upon their arrival in Europe, modern humans met and interbred with Neanderthals. Recent reanalysis of some of these fossils has challenged the view that these remains represent evidence of interbreeding. [8] A second expedition by Erik Trinkaus and Ricardo Rodrigo, discovered further fragments (for example, a skull dated ~36,000, nicknamed "Vasile").

Two human fossil remains, found in the Muierii (Peştera Muierilor) and the Cioclovina caves, in Romania have been radiocarbon dated, using the technique of the accelerator mass spectrometry to the age of ~ 30,000 years BP. These are the most ancient dated human fossil remains from Europe, possibly belonging to the upper Paleolithic, the Aurignacian period (see Human fossil bones from the Muierii Cave and the Cioclovina Cave, Romania).

The first skull, and scapula and tibia remains were found in 1952 in Baia de Fier, in the Muierii Cave, Gorj county in the province Oltenia, by Constantin Nicolaescu-Plopşor.

In 1941 another skull was found at the Cioclovina Cave near Commune Bosorod, Hunedoara county, in Transylvania. The anthropologist, Francisc Rainer, and the geologist, Ioan Simionescu, published a study of this skull.

The physical analysis of these fossils was begun in the summer of the year 2000 by Emilian Alexandrescu, archaeologist at the Institute of Archaeology 'Vasile Parvan' in Bucharest, and Agata Olariu, physicist at the Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering-Horia Hulubei, Bucharest, where samples were taken. One sample of bone was tajen from the skull from Cioclovina, as well as samples from the scapula and tibia remains from Muierii Cave. The work continued at the University of Lund. AMS group, by Göran Skog, Kristina Stenström and Ragnar Hellborg. The samples of bones were dated by radiocarbon method applied at the AMS system of the Lund University and the results are shown in the analysis bulletin [2] issued on the date 14 December 2001.

The human fossil remains from Muierii Cave, Baia de Fier, have been dated to 30,150 ± 800 years BP, and the skull from the Cioclovina Cave has been dated to 29,000 ± 700 years BP. [9][10][11]


Coliboaia Cave, Mitoc, Cosauti, Cuina Turcului

What the Modern Human Was Doing 30,000 Years Ago?

Pestera Coliboaia - Coliboaia Cave Rock Art

 Central Europe's oldest cave paintings discovered at Coliboaia Cave, Romania

This photograph from the site:

IASI INVEST - business quotidian online

The oldest cave paintings in Central Europe, estimated at between 35 000- 23 000  BP, have been discovered by a team of Romanian speleologists at the Coliboaia Cave, Campani, Bihor County, western Romania, and certified by French paleontologists. The chairman of the Federation of Romanian Speleologists says it is the first time that Paleolithic paintings so old have been certified in Central Europe. Judging by their style, they could be rated as Gravettian or Aurignacian.
These paintings are older that The Horse, from the Cuciulat Cave, 13,000 BCE (Salaj County, Romania) unearthed on the right bank of the River Somes.Those who discovered the paintings nearly three months ago are speleologists Tudor Rus (the Spedova Stei Cave Exploration Club), Mihai Besesek, Valentin Alexandru Radu and Roxana Laura Toiciu (the Seowest of Arad Cave Exploration Association), Marius Kenesz (Speo Club of Zarand), who explored the Dealul Secaturii - Coliboaia Cave in the Sighistel Valley, near the village of Campani.
After the discovery, protection was secured for the paintings while French specialists, who arrived in Romania on 16th May 2010, conducted further research for certification.
The Coliboaia Cave is crossed by an underground river that branches off in several sumps, which makes cave exploration even more difficult. The paintings were conserved in a high gallery. Other paintings were probably destroyed by water.
The black cave paintings depict animals, including a bison, a horse and possibly a feline; one or two bear heads and two rhinoceros. Some engravings were also discovered at the same place, where the floor is scattered with bear bones.
During their stay in the cave, the bears are said to have scratched the cave walls. 
A French team composed of speleologists Marcel Meyssonnier and Valerie Plichon; Michel Philippe, a paleontologist specializing in cave bears; historian Francoise Prudhomme and cave art specialists Jean Clottes and Bernard Gely have attested to the authenticity of the paintings. Clottes is also an honorary General Heritage Conservationist and cave art expert for ICOMOS and UNESCO.
The cave has been placed under the conservation care of the Federation of Romanian Speleologists and the Apuseni Natural Park Administration, under the archeological authority of the Cris Lands Museum of Oradea and the Bihor County Council.
 Rhinoceros Head.

Photo: Andrei Posmosanu © Romanian Federation of Speleology - FRS

Bison. This artwork appears to make use of the relief of the cave wall to enhance the shape and impact of the image.
Amulet-Pendant from Branzeni
The Aurignacian culture was located in Europe and south west Asia, and
flourished between 32000 BCE and 21000 BCE. It may have been contemporary with the Périgordian (a contested grouping of the earlier Châtelperronian and later Gravettian cultures.
Incrusted with a two-line and a three-line incising, this is the amulet-pendant  from Branzeni, (Moldova), on the Prut River, approx. 32,000 BCE made out of mammoth tusk. 

Found in a carstic groto, Branzeni, Moldova,
Number 27 is the first number inscribed by Homo Sapiens on Columbia from Branzeni--38.000 BP--, the oldest known document to date, that deals with Primordial language.       text and pictures at:



 Another Face of the Modern Human

                             26,000 year old face carved in mammoth ivory

 from Dolni Vestonice, (Chechoslovakia) site of many fine paleolithic finds. Face of the person which could have made and wear a piece similar to the Amulet from Mitoc.  Picture at:

  The Amulet from Mitoc, 26,000  BCE from ARCHEOLOGIA, nr. 353, fevrier 1999, France, p. 63. One of these artifacts, that for some reasons is the most representative proof for this  recording, lay in the bowels of the Earth for approximately 26.000 years until 1981 when archeologist

Vasile Chirica brought it to light.  This artifact, called  the "Amulet from Mitoc" --Dealul Galben,  Prut, (now Moldova) bearing the name of the place where it was discovered-- has been researched ever since. Its own discoverer, Vasile Chirica, in his work "The Gravettian in the East of the Romanian Carpatians" (Iasi, 1989) described it as an anthropomorphism.The amulet from Mitoc, near Botosani, NE Romania. Faces A and B. It is, at first, the "mathematical" little medallion from Mitoc-Dealul Galben, near Botosani, NE of Romania (26.000 years BC); these are, at second, drawn "by a geometrical writing" madonnas from Vinca, Rast and Turdas (5.000 years BC) and, way not, the perfect rhombus-triangle connections from Carbuna, Basarabia (Cucuteni civilization, 3.600 years BC). the excellent (drawn with meanders and angles) Mezin birdies from Pripiaty river, in Ukraine (18.000 years B.C.); it's the drawn rhombus, the meanders and encyclopaedia from Cuina Turcului, on Danube, near Caras-Severin, W Romania (11.000 years BC).
Some years later, Andrei Vartic, in his book "A question with regard to Paleoinformatique" surmised that "The amulet from Mitoc is possibly the first calculator of the Homo Sapiens". They would thus be the world's earliest known form of counting.





 Amulet from Cosauti, (Moldova) approx. 16,000 BC
COSAUTI, Archaeological site near Cosauti vilage on the Nistru river, North of Moldova. Was found by archaeologist I. Borziac. East Gravettian stratums in which appeared Human and Zoomorphic figurines, incrusted Bones with mathematical and geometrical paintings". On a stone amulet was incrusted a real mathematical encyclopedia of the Paleolithic man. (I. Borziac, Inceputurile istorie Moldovei, Stiinta 1996; A. Vartic, Intrebarea cu privire la paleoinformatica)
Cosauti, rep. of Moldova, 18. 000 a. C.

     Venus from Cosauti



    V. Chirica,The Gravettian in the East of the Romanian Carpathians, Iassy, 1989 (for Amulet)

I. Borziac, Inceputurile istoriei Moldovei , Stiinta, 1996, p. 84-94 ( for Venus)

 An entire collection of art objects dating from the Paleolithic era was discovered at the Cosauti station (Judets of Soroca), among which it is worth to mention an anthropomorphic statuette, a fragment of hand-made zoomorphic statuette and various ivory and bone objects decorated by incision, dating back to approximately 22 000 years BC.

The Real Eve: Modern Man's Journey Out of Africa - Google Books Result by Stephen Oppenheimer

Le Gravettien de Moldavie (30 000-23 000 BP)

Pierre Noiret at:  p. 159-179

In Moldavia, three sequences serve as the basis for the chronological context for Gravettian (and Epigravettian) occupations. Two technological phases have been identified, showing independent development, homogenous in both technological and typological attributes. The Gravettian (20,000-17,000 BP) is characterized by large retouched blades, followed by shouldered points (29,500-23,000 BP), succeeded by the Early Epigravettian (20,000-17,000 BP) then by the Late Epigravettian (13,500-11,000 BP).

 Localisation des principaux sites gravettiens de Moldavie
Mitoc–Malu Galben (1), Ciuntu (2), Cotu–Miculinti (3), Molodova V (4), Korman IV (5), Babin I (6), Voronovitsa I (7), Cosauti (8), Ciutulesti I (9).
Mitoc–Malu Galben (1), Ciuntu (2), Cotu–Miculinti (3), Molodova V (4), Korman IV (5), Babin I (6), Voronovitsa I (7), Cosauti (8), Ciutulesti I (9).    



MATH IN THE GRAVETIAN? (Romanian only)

2.5. Revenirea la arealul carpato-dunarean si nistrean

 Text at :

Sa revenim acum la consideratiile noastre privind algoritmul in baza cifrei 9 aparut

pe unele piese de arta mobiliara de la Brinzeni (Rep. Moldova, pe Racovat, in bazinul Prutului mijlociu), Mitoc (Moldova, Romania de Est, pe Prutul mijlociu), Tibrinu

(Dobrogea, Romania de Sud, linga lacul Tibrinu), Cosauti (Soroca, Rep. Moldova,  

pe malul Nistrului mijlociu) si Cuina Turcului (Oltenia, Romania de Vest, pe Dunare, la Portile de Fier).

Fig. 24. "Columbia" de la Brinzeni, rep. Moldova

Fig. 26. Piesa de arta mobiliara de la Tinbrinu, Dobrogea, Romania de Sud. 

Fig. 25. Amuleta de la Mitoc, fata A, Moldova, Romania de Est.

 Fig. 27. Amuleta cu siruri numerice de la Cosauti, rep. Moldova (vechea Clepidava) 

Fig. 28. Cuina Turcului, Oltenia, Romania de Vest, fata A  


 Picture at:

Pe " Columbia" de la Brinzeni [aprox. 32.000 BC] grupul 7&9 apare in numarul  63 care reprezinta numarul de puncte de pe partea exterioara a aripioarelor "Columbiei", dar multiplii lui 7 si 9 se pot citi atent si pe liniile punctiforme de pe partea laterala a piesei.

Fig. 29. Linii punctiforme pe partea laterala a "Columbiei" de la Brinzeni Exceptional a rezolvat problema legaturii 3, 7, 9 si "savantul" paleolitic de la Mitoc [aprox. 26.000 BC] care a incrustat superba tabla matematica in baza multiplilor lui 2 si 3 [Fig. 25] . Se poate, insa, observa ca grupul din trei linii din centrul fetei A, unite unghiular intr-un punct central (care imparte suprafata rotunda a piesei in 3 parti), au alipite in partea stinga sus si stinga jos cite 2 linioare. Or, 3 + 2 + 2 = 7. Acest 7 formidabil cuprinde grupul de 9 linii din dreapta si se leaga magistral cu structura primordiala a tri-line-ului.
La fel de spectaculos si de subtil cele 9 liniute de pe piesa mobiliara de la Tibrinu (din partea de jos, dar si din zig-zaguri) ne permit si citirea lui 7 (vezi numararea din dreapta la stinga, cind dupa a 7-ea liniuta apare un fel de alipire speciala a celorlate 2), dar 7 se poate citi si in alte "speculatii" matematice ale desenului (de pilda cele 4 linii ale celor doua fasii vericale + cele 3 linioare din interior, de sus).    La patria "port-ac-ului" preocuparile matematico-geometrice ale omului paleolitic apar intr-o arie atit de larga, pe artefacte atit de deosebite, in formule atit de variate incit au permis unui grup international de cercetartori {Borziac, Noiret, Otte, Piese de arta paleolitica si de podoaba de la statiunea paleolitica cu mai multe niveluri de locuire Cosauti din zona Nistrului Mijlociu, Revista arheologica, Nr. 2, Chisinau,1998} sa puna in evidenta la Cosauti un adevarat centru spiritual din gravetianul central european. O cercetare arheologica fundamentala, multidisciplinara, de proportii academice a statiunii si a imprejurimilor (vezi si articolul  nostru " Pelerinaj in paleolitic" in Dava International, nr. 4, 2001), se cere realizata aici cit mai curind pentru a se deschide noi luminisuri de cercetare in multe alte statiuni paleolitice din Europa si Asia.
Desigur, amuleta de la Cosauti, incrustata cu linioare punctate, este capul acestor preocupari si la ea vom reveni mai jos. Aratam aici prezenta impunatoare a grupului de 7&9 in partea de sus a formidabilei piese mobiliare cu o "desectie" a omului (toate desenele cosautiene sint retiparite dupa lucrarea fundamentala {Borziac, Noiret, Otte, op. cit., 1998})
Fig. 30. Piesa de arta mobiliara cu o pictura simbolica, matematica, geometrica si, posibil, anatomica realizata pe un os, de la Cosauti, rep. Moldova.Sub semnul de tip M, intretaiat de 2 linii paralele trase oblic, se citeste o stranie structura de 9 linioare trase si ele oblic spre o linie centrala si 7 linioare sub acea linie. Citirea atenta a "capului" figurii de sub acest semn arata ca sus, in interior, avem un tri-line care are in dreapta o structura de 7 linii si in stinga una de 9.
Fig. 31. Placheta ornamentata pe ambele suprafete, Cosauti, rep. Moldova, fata A si B Pe alta piesa (o  placheta ornamentata pe ambele suprafete plate din niv. 7) citim in dreapta 7 linioare dupa care urmeaza o structura din 2 linii, care are incrustata in interior un grup de linii indiscifrabil. Cele 7 linioare din dreapta + cele 2 ale structurii centrale ne dau in suma 9. Interesant este ca cele 5 linii din stinga (si sirul cifrei 5 este la fel de impresionat cercetat de omul paleolitic devine 7 cu adaugarea celor 2 linii a structurii centrale. Pe partea opusa a plachetei observam iarasi uimitoare grupuri de 3, 7 si 9.  O linie orizontala centrala imparte placheta in 2 parti. In stinga ea este intretaiata de 2 grupuri a cite 3 linioare, dar de fapt avem un grup de 7 linioare datorita unei alipiri subtile in partea de jos a inca unei linii. Ca acest lucru nu este intimplator ni-o demonstreaza chiar structura centrala, de alaturi. Sub linie se pot citi alte 6 linii care devin 7 datorita "secantei" care uneste linia 5 cu 6. Mai la dreapta mai avem un rup de 2 linioare. 7 + 2 = 9. Structura incizata deasupra liniei centrale, foarte deteriorata, sugereaza, insa, acelasi aramjament matematic ingenios. 


Fig. 32. Harpon paleolitic de la Cosauti, incrustat cu incizii matematice?.  



Si pe vestitul harpon de la Cosauti se pot urmari atent aceleasi grupuri, lucru de care ne-am ocupat in "Intrebarea cu privire la paleoinformatica".

         Photo: Cosauti archeological site:  

    Photo: Nistru river at Cosauti, Soroca, Moldova at:


 O cercetare atenta demonstreaza ca grupul lui 7 si 9 este prezent si  la Cuina Turcului (vezi grupurile de 2 linioare de sub cele 9 linii centrale a fetei B), iar vechimea acestei piese (11.000 BC) aduce simbolul in mezolitic, inclusiv in cel anatolian, sumerian si egyptean. Dezvoltarea de mai departe a civilizatiei "geometrice" {A. Vartic, Istoria s-a inceput la Mitoc, Dava International, nr. 1, 2000; A. Vartic, O istorie geometrica a lui Homo Sapiens, Basarabia, 2000} a grupurilor umane de la Schela Cladovei, Romania, si Lepensky Vir, Yugoslavia, nu mai apare acum ca un import anatolian, ci ca un "focar" de civilizatie europeana {V. Boroneant, Dunarea in zona Portilor de Fier, focar de dinamica istorica in civilizatia antica, Dava International, nr. 4, 2001}

Fig. 33. Piesa de arta mobiliara cu structura de 7&9 linii de la Cuina Turcului, fata B.   Oricum, aparitia impresionantului material simbolic, geometric si matematic in statiunile din Moravia si din nordul Moldovei clasice (estul Romaniei, vestul Ucrainei, nordul rep. Moldova) nu mai pare o enigma atit de naucitoare.
Fig. 39. Piatra de riu cu siruri de incrustari de 7 & 9, descoperita de paleontologul T. Obada linga Koroliova, Ucraina de Apus, in apele Tisei. T. Obada sustine ca aceasta piatra a fost sculptata antropomorfic. Pe fata antropomorfica se afla o incrustare cu 7 lini si alta, mai putin evidenta, de 7+7, iar pe cea opusa una de 9 linii. Pe fata care arata grosimea pietrei se pot distinge clar cel putin trei tri-lineuri.
Mai mult decit atit: uriasul complex musterian din zona grotei Buzdujeni, rep. Moldova (din imediata apropiere a statiunilor paleolitice de la Ripiceni-Izvor, Mitoc, Cotu-Miculinti, din dreapa Prutului si a celor de Brinzeni, Trinca, Duruitoarea, Gordinesti etc, din stinga Prutului)  si cel de la Molodova, statiune care se afla pe riul Nistru, la vre-o 70 km mai sus de Cosauti, nu mai poate fi ignorat. Ca a fost sau nu a fost o transmitere constienta de informatie, vitala pentru fiintarea omului, din musterian in aurignacian, in opinia noastra, nici macar nu e o tema de discutie de senzatie. Tocmai de aceea sint necesare cercetari fundamentale anume aici, unde straturile musteriene si aurignaciene sint descoperite in relatii de interferenta (ca la Brinzeni si Molodova)  si unde rostul fundamental de fiintare al omului, acel to be care il exclude pe not to be, iese senzational din ascunderea lui milenara. Citirea acestui mesaj tulburator a devenit, brusc, posibila dupa descoperirea de catre arheologul Ilie Borziac a port-ac-ului paleolitic de la Cosauti, incrustat cu superba structura de 7&9, structura care incarca omul din paleoliticul superior cu cunostinte profunde despre sine si despre univers, dar mai ales despre locul sau, al omului sapiens, in acest paradoxal si magnific univers.



Grota de la Branzeni se afla în localitatea Mersâna-Moldova.Grota prezinta o nisa în stratul de calcar adânca de 9 m, lunga de 18 m si înalta de 4 m, situata la 62 m înaltime fata de nivelul apei a raului Racovat. Intrarea se afla în partea nordica a pesterii. Au fost studiate trei straturi de cultura care apartin perioadei timpurii a paleoliticului târziu (60 cm) si mezolitului. În straturile amesticate s-au pastrat ramasite ale culturii Cucuteni-Tripolie si ale epocii de bronz. Obiectele de cremene numara peste 8000 de unitati. Ele prezinta aschii, placi, nucleusuri în forma de disc, prisme, cutite, rozatoare, toporase de mâna etc. În stratul de cultura timpurie a paleoliticului târziu a fost gasita o amuleta asemanatoare unui peste, taiata din colte de mamut si împodobita cu ornament punctat, care în partea de sus are o gaurica pentru curelusa sau ata. Este primul obiect de arta ce dateaza dintr-o epoca straveche gasita în Republica Moldova. Cetatuia Branzeni consta din doua portiuni - partea întarita - "cetatuia" si partea nefortificata din jurul ei. Cetatuia este situata pe un promontoriu calcaros, la 150-170 m de la nivelul apei r. Racovat. Din trei parti promontoriul este înconjurat de stânci, partile abrupte ale carora ajung la 50-70 grade. Cetatuia este separata de partea nefortificata printr-un sant cu val de aparare. Ocupa o suprafata de 100x150m si are un strat cultural de 30-50 cm. Au fost dezgropate ramasitele a 37 de salasuri terestre din lut. Ele erau cu doua etaje, ridicate pe stânca sau pe terase artificiale, cu lungimea de 5-12 m, latimea - 4-5 m, dreptunghiulare sau patrate în plan. Înauntru erau vetre adâncite de forma rotunda sau patrulatera. Uneltele de munca sunt din silex - ciocane, secere, cutite, rozatoare, sfredele, topoare de lupta, imitatii din arama - tesle, urme de tesaturi în forma de amprente. Ceramica era pictata pe fundal portocaliu cu nuante de cafeniu închis si rosu. Subiectele sunt urmatoarele: ovale si spirale descompuse, siluete feminine, pasari, mamifere, scene cu imagini de orante, semne solare.
 Text at:  


Archaeological site near Cosauti vilage on the Nistru river, North of Moldova, Was found by archaeologist I. Borziac. East Gravettian stratums in which appeared Human and Zoomorphic figurines, incrusted Bones with mathematical and geometrical paintings". On a stone amulet was incrusted a real mathematical encyclopedia of the Paleolithic man. (I. Borziac, Inceputurile istorie Moldovei, Stiinta 1996; A. Vartic, Intrebarea cu privire la paleoinformatica)  DAVA INTERNATIONAL 2001  


Partial view from the Cuina Turcului natural shelter, before the archaeological excavations began.

Text at :

These are the oldest known dates for each area


Alibeg horizon II 7I95 B.P.
Padina A933I B.P.
Lepenski Vir Ia7360 B.P.
Vlasac II 7937 B.P.
Cuina Turcului I I2600 B.P.
Cuina Turcului II I0I25 B.P.
Icoana II8605 B.P.
Razvrata II 7690 B.P.
Ostrovul Banului III 8040 B.P.
Ostrovul Corbului I 8093 B.P.

 Zei?a de la Cuina Turcului ?i Armonia de Aur


1) La prima întâlnire cu desenul am exclamat: ? o misterioas? oper? de art? în care geometria vrea s? ridice spre puncte înalte frumosul?, apoi am privit minunea de sute de ori, în multe feluri din partea mea ?i la diferite sc?ri de propor?ie ale operei transpus? pe suport plan. Este genul de imagine despre care nu po?i spune nimic de r?u,mai mult privind-o prime?ti satisfac?ia c? privind te îmbog??e?ti ?i,în plus,are magnet: de ce prive?ti tot ai mai privi.
?S-ar putea ca acest construct romanellian de la Portile de Fier sa reprezinte simbolic misterul nasterii omului. Sau relatia omului cu Divinitatea Suprema. Sau puterea omului de a calcula posibilitatile de fiintare din probabilitatile de fiintare? ? Andrei Vartic.
?Printre cele mai frumoase piese se numara o falanga de cal salbatic care are ca ornament o silueta umana schematizata.? ? la adresa
Care-i secretul acestei lucr?ri f?cut? de om, mai ales c? vechimea ei a crescut de la 11000 de ani la 26000 ? 32000 ani ( probabil au fost aplicate metode de ultim? or? pentru determinarea vârstei unor asemenea vestigii sau procedându-se prin compara?ie ?).
Am imprimat desenele pe cartoane ?i , f?r? explica?ii le-am ar?tat unui creator de modele feminine: ? Da, un model de rochie mai pu?in obi?nuit, dar pentru o tân?r? zei?? ? este posibil ! ?

2) Despre felul cum au fost alese fe?ele spre a fi incizate
Alegerea a fost ideal?: concavitate ? convexitate ?i inten?ia mesajului.

3) Despre semnele incizate pe fa?a A.
Evident ? sunt elemente geometrice. S? not?m: în acele vremuri artistul ce a incizat osul st?pânea bine urm?toarele no?iuni: vertical?, orizontal?, segment,unghi,romb,triunghi de Aur (exagerare,coinciden?? sau adev?r !), labirint,ax? de simetrie, contur,elemente de perspectiv?, punerea în eviden?? a fundalului,rela?ia element (segment) -- num?r, s.a.
Am m?rit desenul prin copie la scar?: erorile de m?surare a unghiurilor ( evident prin tehnologia oferit? de un calculator) sunt mici ( sub un grad).
Triunghiurile notate sunt Triunghiuri de Aur ( I I ) unghiul AKB are m?sura de 108 grade ?i , evident, ABK are m?sura de 36 grade. Din punctul de vedere al rela?iilor dintre elementele unei figuri geometrice aceste triunghiuri sunt cele mai ? corect? desenate; am ales ca vertical? axa de simetrie a figurinei ?i orizontala fa?? de care raport?m m?surile unghiurilor este tot a figurinei. Laturile triunghiurilor ABK se prezint? astfel: doar latura de mijloc BK are o eroare de o jum?tate de grad ( aceste propozi?ii sunt afirma?ii ?i nu imputa?ii; genialul artist nu a lucrat cu laserul !). Laturile AK au erori prin adaos de 2-3 grade . Nici un triunghi ABK nu are incizat? baza pentru c? , din cele ce se pot observa, laturile ce compun unghiul de 108 grade comunic? , bazele acestor triunghiuri sunt l?sate pentru imagina?ie, ?i este realizat? linia continu? a unui labirint care înconjoar? piesa independent? ? rombul ? care la rândul ei ne prezint? , într-o perspectiv? halucinant? a simplit??ii ? Oceanul Primordial ? (C? am venit ca apa si-o s? plec?m ca vântul - OMAR KHAYYAM ) ? simbol pentru locul din care toate
s-au n?scut ( ac?iunea vine de Sus ? cele cinci V-uri).
Autorul percepea D2-ul: sus - jos, stânga - dreapta,cuno?tea simetria plan? geometric? ? axa de simetrie a figurii, ne îndeamn? s? gândim simetria lumilor , iar grani?a dintre ele are dualitate ( diagonala mic? a rombului) - Na?terea înseamn? primul act care une?te prin ac?iune.
Autorul percepe D3-ul: pe lâng? cele dou? axe din plan al?tur? pe a treia: fa?? - spate, centrul sistemului ( Buricul Lumii) ? centrul rombului.
Sim?ul spa?ialit??ii se deduce ?i din aceea c? nu las? desenul pur ?i simplu pe suprafa?a de lucru: prin apele din romb asigur? perspectiv?, iar prin acele linioare pereche ? creeaz? fundalul. Prin u?oara curbur? pe care o are osul imit? arhitectura corpului uman, curburile te îndeamn? s? identifici ondula?iile trupului feminin ? statueta este un tors.

The Last Glacial Maximum


 Text and Picture:

     Map of Europe in the epoch of rupestre painting -- the glacier also holds in its "claws" Central Europe. England was still part of the continent, and the passing to Minor Asia from the Carpatho-Danubian space did not cause problems to the first Homo Sapiens. The great glacier held a big part of the planetary amount of water, so the passing from the Danube to Minor Asia was no problem until recently. The maps we present here, all of them confirmed archeologically, demonstrate that the Carpatho-Danubian and the Sumerian spaces were the harbors of the civilized world, the centers which produced spiritual and material values later on taken over by the rest of the world. 

 As today, so yesterday. We live where the living is good, most of us ­ by the water! Oceanfront. Seaside; lake shores; along riverbanks.
The great bulk of our former grandeur as a trading, culture-making species prior to the last true global flood in ca. 12,500 BP, must now be buried under at least 300 to 400 feet of water worldwide, or otherwise washed away. No wonder Graham Hancock gone scuba-diving. Someday perhaps the entire archeological profession will follow him. Or will we have to wait until the next Ice lifts the curtain?
The dramatic scale and speed of the transformations of the landscape of our prehistory are almost inconceivable to us. Before the onset of the Würm, “Thick forest mantled a Europe only a short time before covered with treeless tundra” (Fagan) while the Sahara was “semi-forested grassland, abounding with streams and lakes and rivers, teeming with life” (DeMeo ­ a status that particular region did not acquire again for 90,000 years). Vast tracts of earth were covered by water and then, shockingly, stripped bare, exposed. France was joined to its future nemesis, England; Gibraltar was separated from Africa by a five-mile-wide oceanic river; great plains stretched miles off the eastern coast of Spain into a smaller sea; Corsica and Sardinia, one big island, almost touched the bloated boot of Italy on the north; Sicily, joined to Italy, stretched to the south a mere 30 or so miles from Libya; the Black Sea was a deep inland freshwater lake; the Red Sea, a long thin lake at the end of which the Arabian peninsula was joined to the horn of Africa; the Persian Gulf, an Edenic plain filled with game...back and forth from inundation to exposure.
The shifts in whole regional climates throughout the last Ice Age “from freezing cold to warm was abrupt in every cycle, perhaps lasting only centuries” (Ryan & Pitman; my italics). Sheets of ice one, two miles thick, cliffs of ice fronting the Thames (London Town: did Virginia Woolf know this ice age too when she wrote Orlando?), stretched across Hamburg-to-be and eastward to the Pacific, along the way touching down toward the northern shores of the Black and Caspian Seas, while mountains such as the Jura were completely buried in Alpine glacial ice. All these began to melt.
The Bosphorus Flume
Vulcanism, on a scale we have difficulty imagining, marked the entire epoch (Dickson), an unremembered echo behind our casual enchantment with the tantalizing paradox of “fire and ice.” When the last really great meltdown began 20,000 years ago, immense glaciers covered all the high mountains of Europe, Asia, North and South America. This was the titanic, the last and biggest “thaw” of the great Ice Age. And it went in spasms, advancing, retreating and advancing. A writhing Gaian fury beyond our reckoning. “Ages” ago.
In the end, the great inventive Upper Paleolithic cultures of Cro-Magnon (Homo sapiens sapiens ­ which inflated moniker I will not use again here), the Aurignacian, Gravettian, Sousterian, and Magdalenian, whose art has never been surpassed, vanished (but at not without some memorable traces).



Last Ice Age Europe (18,000 years ago)

At the end of the last ice age, around 14,500 years ago, the world began to slowly warm. Between 5000 and 2500 B.C., the world reached its warmest in the millennium following the ice age—during this period, the average global temperature was about four to six degrees Fahrenheit higher than it is today. Never again would the world be as warm as it was in these two centuries. Here's the exciting thing: corresponding the steady warming of the earth was the development of agriculture, the single most important technological invention of human beings. Corresponding the warmest period since the last ice age were tremendous innovations in human habitation. It was in this period that human beings all over the world began to live in a more sedentary manner—at the beginning of this period, human beings begin to live in substantially sized villages; towards the end of this period, the very first human cities appear.

Last Glacial Maximum: refuge and re-colonization

About 25,000 years ago began the most recent very cold period (the Last Glacial Maximum, LGM), rendering much of Europe uninhabitable. According to the classical model much of northern and central Europe was vacated and people took refuge in climactic sanctuaries (or refugia) as follows:

  • Northern Iberia and Southwest France, together making up the "Franco-Cantabrian" refugium.
  • The Balkans.
  • Ukraine and more generally the northern coast of the Black Sea.[73]
  • Italy[75]

This event decreased the overall genetic diversity in Europe, a "result of drift, consistent with an inferred population bottleneck during the Last Glacial Maximum".[76] As the glaciers receded from about 16,000-13,000 years ago, Europe began to be slowly repopulated by populations within the above-mentioned refugia, leaving traceable genetic signatures.[77]

In particular, some Y haplogroup I clades appear to have diverged from their parental haplogroups sometime during, or shortly after, the LGM.[23] Haplogroup I2 is prevalent in the western Balkans, as well as the rest of southeastern and central-eastern Europe in more moderate frequencies. Its frequency drops rapidly in central Europe, suggesting that the survivors bearing I2 lineages expanded predominantly through south-eastern and central-eastern Europe.[78]

In addition, Cinnioglu sees evidence for the existence of an Anatolian refuge, which also harboured Hg R1b1b2.[79] Today, R1b dominates the y chromosome landscape of western Europe and the British Isles, suggesting that there could have been large populations composition changes based on migrations after the LGM.

Semino, Passarino and Pericic place the origins of haplogroup R1a within the Ukrainian ice-age refuge. Its current distribution throughout eastern Europe and parts of Scandinavia are thus, in part, reflective of a re-peopling of Europe from the southern Russian/Ukrainian steppes during the Late Glacial Maximum.[80][81][82]

From an mtDNA perspective, Richards et al. found that the majority of mtDNA diversity in Europe is accounted for by post-glacial re-expansions during the late upper Palaeolithic/ Mesolithic. "The regional analyses lend some support to the suggestion that much of western and central Europe was repopulated largely from the southwest when the climate improved. The lineages involved include much of the most common haplogroup, H, as well as much of K, T, W, and X." The study could not elucidate clearly whether there were new migrations of mtDNA lineages from the near east during this period; however, a significant input was deemed unlikely.[61] The alternative model of the more refugees was discussed by Bilton et al.[83]

Neolithic migrations

As mentioned above, one major cline in genetic variation which has long been recognized in Europe seems to show important dispersals from the direction of the Middle East. This has often been linked to the spread of farming technology during the Neolithic, which has been argued to be one of the most important periods in determining modern Europen genetic diversity.

The duration of the Neolithic varied from place to place, starting with the introduction of farming and ending with the introduction of bronze implements. In SE Europe it was approximately 7000-3000 BC while in NW Europe 4500-1700 BC. During this era, the so-called Neolithic revolution led to drastic economic as well as socio-cultural changes in Europe, and this is also thought to have had a major impact upon Europe's genetic diversity, especially concerning genetic lineages entering Europe from the Middle East into the Balkans. There were several phases of this period:

  • In a late European Mesolithic prelude to the Neolithic it appears that Near Eastern peoples from areas which already had farming, and who also had sea-faring technology, had a transient presence in Greece, for example at Franchthi Cave.[84][85]
  • There is strong consensus that agricultural technology and the major breeds of animals and plants which are farmed entered Europe from somewhere in the area of the Fertile Crescent and specifically the Levant region from the Sinai to Southern Anatolia[86][87] (Less certainly, this agricultural revolution is sometimes argued to have in turn been partly triggered by movements of people and technology coming across the Sinai from Africa.)
  • A later stage of the Neolithic, the so-called Pottery Neolithic, saw an introduction of pottery into the Levant, Balkans and Southern Italy (it had been present in the area of modern Sudan for some time before it is found in the Eastern Mediterranean, but it is thought to have developed independently) and this may have also been a period of cultural transfer from the Levant into the Balkans.

An important issue regarding the genetic impact of neolithic technologies in Europe is the manner by which they were transferred into Europe. Primarily, this question pertains to whether farming was introduced by a significant migratory movement of farmers from the Near East (Cavalli-Sforza's biological demic diffusion model), or a mere "cultural diffusion", or some combination of the two. Secondarily, population geneticists have tried to clarify whether any detectable genetic signatures of Near Eastern origin correspond to the expansion routes postulated by the archaeological evidence.[88]

Martin Richards estimated that 11% of European mtDNA is due to immigration in this period. Gene flow from SE to NW Europe seems to have continued in the Neolithic, the percentage significantly declining towards the British Isles. Classical genetics also suggested that the largest admixture to the European Paleolithic/Mesolithic stock was due to the Neolithic revolution of the 7th to 5th millennia BC.[89] Three main mtDNA gene groups have been identified as contributing Neolithic entrants into Europe: J, T1 and U3 (in that order of importance). With others they amount up to around 20% of the gene pool.[90]

In 2000, Semino's study on Y DNA revealed the presence of haplotypes belonging to the large clade E1b1b1 (E-M35). These were predominantly found in the southern Balkans, southern Italy and parts of Iberia. Semino connected this pattern, along with J haplogroup subclades, to be the Y-DNA component of Cavalli-Sforza's Neolithic demic-diffusion of farmers from the nEar East.[91] Rosser et al. rather saw it as a (direct) 'North African component' in European genealogy, although they did not propose a timing and mechanism for to account for it [92] More recently, Underhill and Kivisild (2007) also described E1b1b as representing a late-Pleistocene migration from Africa to Europe over the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, evidence for which does not show up in mitochondrial DNA.[93]

The distribution of the V-13 sub-lineage of haplogroup E1b1b in Europe

Concerning timing the distribution and diversity of V13 however, Battaglia et al. (2008) proposed an earlier movement whereby the E-M78* lineage ancestral to all modern E-V13 men moved rapidly out of a Southern Egyptian homeland, and arrived in Europe with only Mesolithic technologies. They then suggest that the E-V13 sub-clade of E-M78 only expanded subsequently as native Balkan 'foragers-come-farmers' adopted Neolithic technologies from the Near East. They propose that the first major dispersal of E-V13 from the Balkans may have been in the direction of the Adriatic Sea with the Neolithic Impressed Ware culture often referred to as Impressa or Cardial. Peričic et al. (2005), rather propose that the main route of E-V13 spread was along the Vardar-Morava-Danube river 'highway' system.

In contrast to Battaglia, Cruciani et al. (2007) suggest (i) a different point of V-13 origin, and (ii) a later dispersal time. Cruciani argues that V-13 arose in western Asia, where it is found in low but significant frequencies, from whence it entered the Balkans sometime after 11 kYa. It later experienced a rapid dispersal which he dated to c. 5300 years ago in Europe, coinciding with the Balkan Bronze Age. Like Peričic et al. they consider that "the dispersion of the E-V13 and J-M12 haplogroups seems to have mainly followed the river waterways connecting the southern Balkans to north-central Europe".

Most likely, the demographic history of V13 is complex, as later population movements further amplified it's frequency in the Europe.[94] (See below.)

After an initial focus upon E1b1b as a Neolithic marker, a more recent study in January 2010, looked especially at Y haplogroup R1b1b, which is much more common in Western Europe. Mark Jobling, who led the research, said: "We focused on the commonest Y-chromosome lineage in Europe, carried by about 110 million men, it follows a gradient from south-east to north-west, reaching almost 100% frequency in Ireland. We looked at how the lineage is distributed, how diverse it is in different parts of Europe, and how old it is." The results suggested that the lineage R1b1b2 (R-M269), like E1b1b or J lineages, spread together with farming from the Near East. Dr Patricia Balaresque, first author of the study, added: "In total, this means that more than 80% of European Y chromosomes descend from incoming farmers. In contrast, most maternal genetic lineages seem to descend from hunter-gatherers. To us, this suggests a reproductive advantage for farming males over indigenous hunter-gatherer males during the switch from hunting and gathering, to farming".[95][96][97][98]

A more recent article concerning R1b however made the counter claim that "the data are still controversial and the analyses so far performed are prone to a number of biases" and presented some evidence that R1b was also part of "an earlier, pre-Neolithic dispersal of haplogroups from a common ancestral gene pool".[99]

Genetic History of Europe

Calatorie genetica  at only)

 The genetic history of Europe can be inferred from the patterns of genetic diversity across continents and time. The primary data to develop historical scenarios coming from sequences of mitochondrial, Y-chromosome and autosomal DNA from modern populations and if available from ancient DNA. European populations have a complicated demographic and genetic history, including many successive periods of population growth.

The diversion of Y chromosome haplogroup Haplogroup F and its descendants.

Genetic studies

One of the first scholars to perform genetic studies was Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza. He used classical genetic markers to analyse DNA by proxy. This method studies differences in the frequencies of particular allelic traits, namely polymorphisms from proteins found within human blood (such as the ABO blood groups, Rhesus blood antigens, HLA loci, immunoglobulins, G-6-P-D isoenzymes, amongst others). Subsequently his team calculated genetic distance between populations, based on the principle that two populations that share similar frequencies of a trait are more closely related than populations that have more divergent frequencies of the trait. From this, he constructed phylogenetic trees which showed genetic distances diagrammatically. His team also performed principal component analyses, which is good at analysing multivariate data with minimal loss of information. The information that is lost can be partly restored by generating a second principal component, and so on.[1] In turn, the information from each individual principal component (PC) can be presented graphically in synthetic maps. These maps show peaks and troughs, which represent populations whose gene frequencies take extreme values compared to others in the studied area.[2]

Peaks and troughs usually, but not necessarily, connected by smooth gradients, called clines. Genetic clines can be generated in several ways: including adaptation to environment (natural selection), continuous gene flow between two initially different populations, or a demographic expansion into a scarcely populated environment with little initial admixture with pre-existing populations.[3] Cavalli-Sforza connected these gradients with postulated pre-historic population movements based on known archaeological and linguistic theories. However, given that the time depths of such patterns are not known, ?associating them with particular demographic events is usually speculative?.[4]

Studies using direct DNA analysis are now abundant, and may utilize mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), the non-recombining portion of the Y chromosome (NRY) or autosomal DNA. MtDNA and NRY DNA share some similar features which have made them particularly useful in genetic anthropology. These properties include the direct, unaltered inheritance of mtDNA and NRY DNA from mother to offspring, and father to son, respectively, without the 'scrambling' effects of genetic recombination. We also presume that these genetic loci are not affected by natural selection, and that the major process responsible for changes in base pairs has been mutation (which can be calculated).[5]

The smaller effective population size of the NRY and mtDNA enhances the consequences of drift and founder effect relative to the autosomes, making NRY and mtDNA variation a potentially sensitive index of population composition.[4][6][7] However, these biologically plausible assumptions are nevertheless not concrete. For example, Rosser suggests that climatic conditions may affect the fertility of certain lineages.[4]

Even more problematic, however, is the underlying mutation rate used by the geneticists. They often use different mutation rates, and therefore studies frequently arrive at vastly different conclusions.[4] Moroever, NRY and mtDNA may be so susceptible to drift that some ancient patterns may have become obscured over time. Another implicit assumption is that population genealogies are approximated by allele genealogies. Barbujani points out that this only holds if population groups develop from a genetically monomorphic set of founders. However, Barbujani argues that there is no reason to believe that Europe was colonized by monomorphic populations. This would result in an overestimation of haplogroup age, thus falsely extending the demographic history of Europe into the Late Paleolithic rather than the Neolithic era.[8] (See also Genetic drift, Founder effect, Population bottleneck.) Greater certainty about chronology may be obtained from studies of ancient DNA (see below), but so far these have been comparatively few.

Whereas Y-DNA and mtDNA haplogroups represent but a small component of a person?s DNA pool, autosomal DNA has the advantage of containing hundreds and thousands of examinable genetic loci, thus giving a more complete picture of genetic composition. However, descent relationships can only to be determined on a statistical basis because autosomal DNA undergoes recombination. A single chromosome can record multiple histories; a separate history for each gene. Autosomal studies are much more reliable for showing the relationships between existing populations but do not offer the possibilities for unraveling their histories in the same way as mtDNA and NRY DNA studies promise, despite their many complications.

Genetic studies operate on numerous assumptions and suffer from usual methodological limitations such as selection bias and confounding. Furthermore, no matter how accurate the methodology, conclusions derived from such studies are ultimately compiled on the basis of how the author envisages their data fits with established archaeological or linguistic theories.

Relation between Europeans and other populations

Percentage genetic distances among major continents based on 120 classical polymorphisms

AfricaOceaniaEast AsiaEurope
East Asia20.610  

According to Cavalli-Sforza's work, all non-African populations are more closely related to each other than to Africans; supporting the hypothesis that all non-Africans descend from a single old-African population. The genetic distance from Africa to Europe (16.6) was found to be shorter than the genetic distance from Africa to East Asia (20.6), and much shorter than that from Africa to Australia (24.7). He explains:

...both Africans and Asians contributed to the settlement of Europe, which began about 40,000 years ago. It seems very reasonable to assume that both continents nearest to Europe contributed to its settlement, even if perhaps at different times and maybe repeatedly. It is reassuring that the analysis of other markers also consistently gives the same results in this case. Moreover, a specific evolutionary model tested, i.e., that Europe is formed by contributions from Asia and Africa, fits the distance matrix perfectly (6). In this simplified model, the migrations postulated to have populated Europe are estimated to have occurred at an early date (30,000 years ago), but it is impossible to distinguish, on the basis of these data, this model from that of several migrations at different times. The overall contributions from Asia and Africa were estimated to be around two-thirds and one-third, respectively".

This particular model used an Out of Africa migration 100,000 years ago which separated Africans from non-Africans followed by a single admixture event 30,000 years ago leading to the formulation of the European population. The admixture event consisted of a source population that was 35% African and 65% East Asian. However the study notes that a more realistic scenario would include several admixture events occurring over a sustained period. In particular they cite the spread of farming from a source population in West Asia 5000?9000 years ago may have played a role in the genetic relatedness of Africans and Europeans since West Asia is sandwiched in between Africa and Central Asia. The model assumed an out of Africa migration 100kya and a single admixture event 30kya. However, most contemporary studies have more recent dates that place the out of Africa migration 50-70kya. The study also involved a direct comparison between Sub-Saharan Africans (Central Africans and Senegalese) and Europeans. North Africans population were omitted from the study as they are known to have both Eurasian and Sub-Saharan admixture. These considerations might help explain the apparent short genetic distance between Europeans and Africans[9][10][11]

A later study by Bauchet, which utilised ~ 10 thousand autosomal DNA SNPs arrived at similar results. Principal component analysis clearly identified four widely dispersed groupings corresponding to Africa, Europe, Central Asia and South Asia. PC1 separated Africans from the other populations, PC2 divided Asians from Europeans and Africans, whilst PC3 split Central Asians apart from South Asians.[12]


The Hungarian Point of View

The Hungarian Point of View

Due to the turbulence and social disintegration, Transylvania at the


The prehistory of the mountain-ringed Transylvanian basin cannot be separated that of the surrounding regions. Since time immemorial, traders and migrants have made their way along the valleys of the Szamos, Maros, and Olt rivers. The high mountain ranges did not deter men from seeking out rich mineral deposits, whereas some less imposing mountains have served as boundaries between proximate cultures even in prehistory: such is the case of the Csík-Háromszék basin, which was sheltered by the Hargita and the Barót mountains, or of the Barcaság and the adjoining high plateau of Fogaras. Because of recurrent migration into the region, and because of its distinctive topography, periods of cultural and ethnic homogeneity have been more the exception than the rule.

The first human settlement of Transylvania occurred relatively late. Although the hand axe unearthed at Kiskapus is considered representative of the Acheulian culture and formally classed with other finds from the penultimate (Riss) glaciation period, the lack of stratigraphic data makes this purely conjectural. The chopper found in the Olt valley at Rakovica, south of Nagyszeben, also gives scant guidance. To be sure, similar large pebble tools (?) have been found in the Dîrjov and the Argyas valleys, along with ? though not in the same sites as ? fauna from Pleistocene period. Until it is linked to evidence of settlements, the Rakovica find remains simply a pebble with a sharp edge.

The earliest authentic vestiges of human activity date from the Middle Palaeolithic period. At the beginning the last (Würm 1) glaciation, palaeoanthropoids sheltered in caves of the Middle Maros region, at Ponorohába, Csoklovina, and Nándor. There is evidence in some of these sites of links with more of less contemporary {1-18.} cave settlements in the Western Balkans. The tools ? cutterscrapers, bores, and tips ? are all fashioned of quartz, and they evoke techniques similar to those identified in Italy and the south of France. A distinctive feature is that while these people, who belonged to the so-called Charente, hunted young cave bears at their open-field settlement in Érd, Hungary, somewhat later, others in the Hátszeg region hunted mainly wild horses.

The caves were heated by fires that were seldom allowed to go out. At the Bordul Mare cave in Ponorohába, three fireplaces were found, one of them double and enclosed by flat stones. They contained traces of ash, charcoal and carbonized animal bones; the latter were probably used to keep the fire going. This site yielded the first human remnants: three fragments of finger bones.

Traces of Charentian culture were found not just in the Hátszeg region but throughout the south Carpathian region, at the Pestera site in the Törcsvár pass as well as at Baia de Fier on the southern flank of the mountain range. Interestingly enough, evidence from some sites in the proximate Banat indicates that quartzite culture survived until the Epipalaeolithic period.

The other Middle Palaeolithical finds in Transylvania, at Csoklovina and in the Torda Gap, are so atypical that few conclusions can be drawn from them. This uncertainty extends to the widespread traces of a so-called Moustier culture, some of which, at Vizakna, belong to the Late Palaeolithic period.

Judging from evidence found at the cave in Nándor-Fels?, groups that made fully-worked flint implements appeared in Transylvania at the end of the Middle Palaeolithic period; they are commonly linked with the broadly-defined Szeleta culture, which produced leaf-shaped instruments. There is no evidence that they had any direct contact with earlier local cultures, and the two-faced tips in late Charentian finds can at best be attributed to their influence. With regard to the Aurignac culture, the implements found in Transylvania date from its later phase, during the second cold period {1-19.} of the last Ice Age (Würm 2); a few temporary cave dwellings (at Csoklovina, Ponorohába-Bordul Mare, and Barcarozsnyó) indicate the presence of Aurignacians, who gradually took the place of the leaf-blade-using bear hunters in the interglacial period between Würm 1 and 2. The richest sites were at Pestera, and at Szitabodza-Cremenea, the only place where an open-air tool workshop was uncovered; the implements found include not only the characteristic blades, but also scraper-like objects. What is missing everywhere, except at the Aurignac hill at Baia de Fier, is this culture's short-lived innovation, the polished bone tip. The fire sites at Csoklovina indicate cave-bear hunters who, judging from a skull fragment, might have belonged to the Protonordic anthropological group (Predmost race).

In the Würm 2/3 period, the mammoth and reindeer hunters of the eastern Gravettian culture apparently skirted the southeastern Carpathian region. Only two cave sites near the source of the Dîmbovi?a, at Barcarozsnyó-Ödweg and Pestera, testify to the passage of hunters from the plains. Szitabodza (Cremenea), where evidence of implement production was found, is also on Transylvania's periphery.

After the retreat of the ice sheet covering the Carpathians, the repopulation of the Transylvanian basin proceeded very slowly. Epigravette-Tardenois sites have been discovered only in southeastern Transylvania, along the upper reaches of the Bodza, at Szitabodza-Cremenea and Gîlma. The former is situated on the lower terrace of the river, while the latter is on a mountain peak. Besides tiny blades, tips, and scrapers, the characteristically trapezoid tools of the Epigravette-Tardenoisian culture are also present. At the same time, in the southwestern Carpathians and at the Iron Gates, Romanello-Azilian protoeuropids began to domesticate dogs and experiment with grain cultivation and pig husbandry (Schela Cladovei, Cuina Turcului, Icoana, Ostrovul Banului, Vlasac, Lepenski Vir). There is no evidence of similar activity in {1-20.} the Southeastern Carpathians, where only workshop sites have been uncovered so far.

On the other hand, farther east, along the Dniester River, groups that made Epigravette-Tardenois tools were breeding pigs and cattle around 5500 B.C. (!), and it is conceivable that their western cousins did likewise.

The Epipalaeolithical groups' moves toward food production were interrupted by the arrival of people who belonged to the Star?evo-Körös culture of the southern Balkans. The latter brought from their homeland the practices, assimilated from Anatolian migrants, of wheat and barley cultivation and goat and sheep husbandry. The cultivation of millet and the domestication of cattle may have been their own 'invention'.

Their settlements, found on the banks and lower terraces of rivers, had above-ground dwellings constructed of posts, and wattle and daub (Bedeháza, Lécfalva), as well as dugout huts (Lécfalva, Maroscsapó). They buried their dead within the settlements (Sepsiszentgyörgy, Bedeháza, Kolozsvár-Bácstorok). Whereas the Epipalaeolithical Cro-Magnons buried their dead in a supine position, the people of the Star?evo-Körös culture laid the dead on their side, with knees bent, and did not usually put other objects in the grave.

The excavations reveal a varying but clear pattern of food production. At some sites, there is evidence in equal measure of hunted and domesticated animals; at others, the ratio of domesticated to hunted animals is better than six to one. Although goats and sheep were the first to be domesticated, the breeding of cattle became more prevalent; at some sites, there is evidence of a large number of pigs, while at others there is no trace of this animal. Such variations (based on data extrapolated to Transylvania) may owe to chronology, but they could also be explained by environmental factors.

Due to the scarcity of data, such variations can only be surmised in the case of cultivated and gathered foodstuffs. Grinding stones found at some Transylvanian sites were evidently used for {1-21.} grinding seeds, but these could have been other than cereal grain. Few of the stone tools have the short blade, with one corner polished to a dull shine, that would indicate a sickle. The Star?evo-Körös communities were nevertheless food-producers, even if they continued to hunt and scavenge. It also appears that some of the groups in Transylvania specialized in processing minerals; this would explain why they settled in certain caves that had remained unoccupied since the Late Pleistocene period (Ponorohába, Csoklovina).

The Star?evo-Körös people probably came to Transylvania from the Banat. Their earliest known settlement is at Kolozsvár (Bácstorok). By this time, around 5500 B.C., they were crafting spherical vessels, with a red coating sometimes decorated with white spots. Some of them moved down the Szamos valley and settled in the Great Hungarian Plain, there to mix with the local Epipalaeolithical population; this may explain the discovery at Bácstorok of both Alpine and Cro-Magnon types, buried, according to the custom of the age, within and between the dwellings.

Around 5000 B.C., new migrants reached Transylvania, probably along the Maros valley. Their material culture, traces of which are also found in the southern part of the Great Hungarian Plain, dominates the archaeological finds from this period in Transylvania. Their earliest trace is the settlement at Szászhermány, where, besides coarse vessels made of clay mixed with chaff, finer bowls were bound bearing the white-spotted, red coating seen in the earlier period. Such painting is as rare in the Transylvanian settlements as it is in the southern part of the Great Hungarian Plain. Another exception is the Lécfalva site, where evidence of multicoloured painting was found. The finds of the early period show strong Bulgarian traits; the end of their settlement coincided with the final stage of the Star?evo-Körös culture.

During a brief, transitional period, southern Transylvania was inhabited by people of the Dude?ti culture, whose settlements had spread in western Wallachia; their presence is attested by finds in {1-22.} the lower stratum of Tordos IV and at K?halom. Then, in the Middle Neolithic period, the unity that had characterized the Early Neolithic disintegrated, and new groups migrated into Transylvania from many directions. The Vin?a-Tordos culture appeared in the central reaches of the Maros River, between the southern Carpathians and the Érc Mountains, and in the east as far as Fogaras; other immigrants, identified by ceramics bearing linear decoration, moved from Moldavia into southeastern Transylvania, and in the northwest as far as the Mez?ség. Traces of the Szakálhát group, which was present in the southeastern part of the Great Hungarian Plain, are found along the Szamos River (St Mihály cathedral, Kolozsvár), while farther north lived groups, known for painted ceramics, that were related to people of the northeastern Great Plain.

The Middle Neolithic pattern of population in Transylvania remained dominant until the end of the Copper Age. First to leave their Transylvanian home were a majority of the best-known, Vin?a-Tordos people. When people from the central regions of the Balkans chose to settle around the Érc Mountains, they must have been drawn by the region's mineral riches; early copper tools were unearthed at Balomir and Radnót, and one of the oldest gold mines is in nearby Zalatna. They grew wheat and kept many animals, mainly cattle; domesticated animals provided some 70% of the meat consumed. Their raised, clay-floored dwellings were constructed of logs or wattle and daub. Their vessels include graceful cups, mostly with a red coating; spaces between the meandering incised lines have been indented with small sticks. Their culture is exceptionally rich in anthropomorphic and zoomorphic sculptures; these small clay figures may well have played a part in a fertility cult.

Of particular interest are small pictographic tablets, found at T?rt?ria (Alsó-Tatárlaka) in 1961, which bear a remarkable resemblance to Protoelamite and Protosumerian objects. Given the distance {1-23.} in space as well as time ? at least a millennium ? between such finds in Transylvania and in Mesopotamia, it is questionable whether any contact might have existed between the two regions; early linear-geometric scripts bore common features even when they were developed in isolation. However, the inscribed tablets of T?rt?ria reinforce the supposition that some of the signs on the clay products of the Vin?a-Tordos culture were a form of writing. Thus, significantly, attempts at writing occurred in the Maros valley around 4000 B.C.; this implies the existence in the region of a quasi-state, focused on some simple shrine, and with a division of labour among the communities. Such a development would be scarcely conceivable if certain groups had not begun to use local metal ores and come to depend on others for grain and meat.

The attempt in Transylvania to construct a productive society marked by the central distribution of goods ultimately failed. New migrations interrupted this process. In the southeast, where the line-decorated ceramic culture had predominated, with people who practised primitive agriculture and animal husbandry (hunted animals accounted for at least 50 per cent of their consumption), the newcomers were people of the sheep- and goat-breeding, Boian culture in Moldavia and eastern Wallachia. Coming from the Olt valley, some smaller groups got as far as the middle reaches of the Maros, where their large pots and plates, decorated with excised triangular patterns and bunched lines, have been found in settlements of the Vin?a-Tordos culture.

However, the major break came with the migration of painted-ceramics groups from the Szamos region in northern Transylvania, southward along the Maros valley. Their white or orange vessels, bearing red, and at times black, painted decoration, make an early appearance in the top layer of the Vin?a-Tordos settlements, indicating a mingling of the two populations. Since finds of a later date show little evidence of this integration, it is likely that the majority of the Vin?a-Tordos people fled or simply migrated along the Maros.

{1-24.} Thus, for a brief period at the beginning of the Late Neolithic age, most of Transylvania was inhabited by a uniform population, while the people of the Boian culture lived on in the southeastern highlands. Communities of the Petre?ti culture, which had emerged from the painted pottery groups, occupied southern and some of central Transylvania for a long period. Their dwellings, constructed on a wood foundation in wattle and daub, were situated on river terraces and hills; some were built on stilts on dry land (Nagylak, Hermány). Their access to metal ore led them to forge contacts with distant peoples, in Wallachia, Dobrudja, and perhaps even farther south. Their pots, baked to produce a metallic ring, were painted with curved and spiral designs in black, red, and brown colours. Dishes, shouldered mugs, and cylindrical underplates indicate a capacity to melt metals, and copper finds support this. Originals and copies of laminated gold jewellery, found as far as Bulgaria, Greece, and, in the north, the Kassa basin, suggest exploitation of the local gold deposits. The smaller number of finds relating to agriculture and animal husbandry may be explained by the spread of metallurgy.

The Petre?ti culture continued to evolve until the end of the Copper Age, but only in the territories formerly inhabited by the Vin?a-Tordos people. Sweeping across the eastern Carpathians from the Pontic steppes, mounted Protoeuropids, who were cattle-breeders, occupied the settlements of the painted pottery people in the Szamos region (Magyarpalatka). Departing from earlier Neolithic custom, they buried their dead in large cemeteries at some distance from their dwellings (Marosdécse, Melegföldvár), laying the bodies supine, with knees slightly bent; the graves also hold large Pontic stone knives, bulbous-headed stone maces (Vizakna, Gredistye), and simple cups. In keeping with eastern custom, they put red and ochre paint alongside the corpse.

At about the same time, people of the Cucuteni-Tripolje (Er?sd) culture arrived to settle in area of the Boian culture, in {1-25.} southeastern Transylvania. Migrations in led to recurrent alteration in the character of the populations in the eastern half of the Carpathian Basin; the newcomers mixed with the earlier inhabitants, changing lifestyles and material culture.

This latest incursion gave rise to the Tiszapolgár culture, which became established in the Tisza region, northern Transylvania, and the Banat; some of its bearers reached southeastern Transylvania (Bögöz), others spread out from the Banat to the middle reaches of the Maros River (Szászsebes, Maroskarna, Déva). The primitive hut settlements (Kalota) of these cattle-herding, agricultural peoples consisting of simple huts and the villages of the Cucuteni-Tripolje culture ringed the region inhabited by people of the Petre?ti culture; if the latter survived peacefully in this turbulent era, it was probably thanks to the surrounding peoples' dependence on their metal craftsmen.

The Petre?ti people passed on skills in painting vessels to their new neighbours of the Cucuteni-Tripolje culture. One of the most important finds of these vessels, which were decorated in two or three colours (black, white, and red) prior to firing, was at a mountain settlement at Er?sd-Tyiszk, in a layer over four meters deep. The dwellings were constructed of posts and wattle and daub and had rimmed open fireplaces made of clay. The inhabitants of Er?sd were partially dependent on agriculture for their sustenance; their main crop was wheat, sown in single rows. Although they raised livestock, mainly cattle, much of their meat came from hunting. Most of their tools, such as axes and hoes, were made of stone and bone; copper was used only for awls and jewels. Small clay figurines and clay seals used for body-painting evoke their rites and clan structure.

The Cucuteni-Tripolje culture extended to the upper reaches of the Maros, where it came into contact with the Tiszapolgár culture. The latter's settlement area was subsequently occupied by the Bodrogkeresztúr culture, whose bearers sometimes settled in their {1-26.} predecessors' villages (Déva, Marosgezse). Since conditions for intensive agriculture and animal husbandry were more favourable in the Banat and on the Hungarian Great Plain, the extension of the Bodrogkeresztúr culture to Transylvania can only be explained by the lure of the region's mineral deposits. It is significant that the incidence of copper tools grows rapidly as one moves from Transylvania towards the central area of the Bodrogkeresztúr culture. Long and short axes as well as 'double-edged' pickaxes from the copper-mining districts made their way to the Great Plain, and small pieces of gold jewellery are commonly found in the burial places of the Tisza region. It is therefore not surprising that only one of these small gold objects was found in Transylvania, in a Bodrogkeresztúr site at Marosvásárhely.

In other respects, Bodrogkeresztúr finds in Transylvania are similar to those in the Great Plain. Their tombs contain bodies lying on their side, with bent knees, and surrounded by double-handled or flowerpot shaped jugs and by shallow bowls. They villages probably consisted of dwellings constructed at ground-level; one group, which settled among Cucuteni-Tripolje people erected small, wooden-floored, wattle and daub houses (Réty).

By the time the Bodrogkeresztúr people reached the Háromszék basin, a peculiar process of integration was emerging in Transylvania. Mixed elements of the Bodrogkeresztúr, Petre?ti and Cucuteni-Tripolje cultures start appearing on the eastern fringe of the Mez?ség (Somkerék, Dedrád), while, around the middle reaches of the Maros, the mix involves the Bodrogkeresztúr and Petre?ti cultures. At the end of this process of amalgamation, one finds the material remains of a culture that was the common legacy of southwestern Transylvanian and Oltenian tribes (B?ile Herculane-Cheile Turzi group).

Some elements of the Transylvanian cultural mix reached the Great Plain (Hunyadihalom group), whilst others ? obviously following the Szamos River ? reached Ruthenia and eastern Slovakia, {1-27.} where their material culture became more simplified and, at a later time, cremation became the practice (La?nany group).

The B?ile Herculane-Cheile Turzi group frequently lived in caves (Herkulesfürd?, Nándor, Torda Gap). These regions were more suited to hunting than to grain cultivation cattle-breeding. Farmers, animal breeders, metal workers, and gold dealers did not freely choose to withdraw to the isolation of bleak caves. The impulse came from shepherds from the eastern steppes, descendants of the Srednii Stog culture, who by this time were grazing their flocks in Wallachia and Moldavia (Herkulesfürd? II/b); their bands stormed over the Carpathians and scattered the local communities, driving the people of the B?ile Herculane-Cheile Turzi culture into the mountains, caves, and distant regions. Although the local population seems to have managed to cohabit with the first wave of invaders (Herkulesfürd?, B?ile Herculane III, La?nany), the succeeding waves of eastern shepherds drove them first into the highlands, and then beyond.

Thus began a new era in the history of Transylvania, and indeed of East Central Europe. On the lower reaches of the Danube, the newcomers from the east blend with the local population, as do arrivals from the southern Balkans and perhaps also from Anatolia. Bearers of the evolving new culture (Cernavoda III) settle as far as the middle reaches of the Maros (Péterfalva,T?rt?ria- Alsó- Tatárlaka, Baráthely-Paratély). Judging from the layout of the settlements, they were no longer entirely dependent on animal husbandry, and traces of their log-based dwellings indicate a protracted period of residence. They raised cattle, along with sheep, goats, and pigs. Of the cattle bones uncovered, most belong to old males, and a large number of oxen is a common sign of cultivation by plough, whether of the wooden or horn type.

A similar mixture is found in other spheres of material culture. These people made pots, adorned with ribs, out of clay mixed with sand or crushed shells; they also produced shiny grey mugs with {1-28.} channel decoration. Their axes and rhomboid swords are fashioned from copper or bronze; evidence of their faith includes both clay statuettes of Caucasian derivation, representing stylized sitting figures, and idol-like objects peculiar to the earlier inhabitants.

The slow emergence of this culture is abruptly halted around 2000 B.C., when a new wave of migration once again transforms Transylvania's population: groups of shepherds from the Macedonian and Bulgarian highlands move into southeastern Carpathian region. Their settlements appear first in Oltenia (Co?ofeni I culture), southwestern Transylvania (Karácsonfalva, T?rt?ria-Alsó Tatárlaka); later, during the Early Bronze Age, they spread over the entire territory of Transylvania (Co?ofeni II, Kolozskorpád I). Evidence of their settlement can be found virtually everywhere, from the highlands to alluvial grasslands, and often in mountain caves. They were the first in Transylvania to cremate the dead, although skeletons ? often powdered in ochre ? have been found in the lower levels of their early burial grounds; they may have borrowed the latter custom from their eastern neighbours (Folte?ti II culture), although it is equally conceivable that they were preserving their own, essentially East European traditions. The environment and nature of their numerous, scattered dwellings, fit the lifestyle of a semi-nomadic shepherd population. Signs of rudimentary agriculture appear only at a later time, together with a change in the structure of their dwellings: there is evidence at Kolozskorpád that one of their later communities used wattle and daub over a log foundation or log floor.

Although these people originated in an environment similar to that of the Cernavoda III culture, their pottery is radically different. In the early period (Co?ofeni I), their large-handled, splayed water scoops, spherical jugs, and urns are decorated with short incised lines and striated indentations; a similar ornamentation and some similar vessels were also used in the Cernavoda III culture. Later (Co?ofeni II), the decoration was elaborated with the addition of {1-29.} lentil-shaped designs. Another decorative innovation, mainly within Transylvania, is a line of small indentations designed for the encrustation of lime.

In the period of the Co?ofeni II-Kolozskorpád culture, shepherd tribes from beyond the Carpathians flooded into southeastern Transylvania. People of the Folte?ti III-Z?bala culture spread from the Háromszék Basin (Zabola) and the Brassó area (Gesprengberg) to the middle reaches of the Maros (Vládháza, Nándor). Little is known of their settlements. Their dead were buried on their side, with their legs pulled up, sometimes in simple pits, at other times in stone chests covered by mounds of earth. Their spherical, two-handled vessels, tall, barrel-like amphorae, and ribbed coarse pots evoke not only the east, but also the west, where similar pieces have been found in the middle reaches of the Tisza River (Hatvan culture). Since these finds are sometimes mixed with those of the Co?ofeni culture, it is possible that in some localities the two populations had merged.

Towards the middle of the Early Bronze Age, the people of the Folte?ti III-Z?bala culture were supplanted in southeastern Transylvania (and throughout Wallachia) by a new wave of immigrants: the people of the Glina III-Schneckenberg culture. The new settlers built their villages on hills. There were fireplaces inside their small dwellings, and some had a stone bench next to the wall. Their domestic animals included many sheep, and primitive ploughs fashioned from antlers indicate that they ploughed the land.

The clay model of a chariot found at Kucsuláta signals the beginnings of beast-drawn vehicles. They had curved stone knives and polished stone axe-adzes, but only a few copper tools have been found: awls, chisels, flat axes, and swords. Their coarser vessels were made of clay mixed with sand and ground shells, whilst the surface of their single and double handled mugs and small, handled cups was worked smooth. Their dead were buried lying on {1-30.} their side in a crouched position in stone coffers, with, in rare cases, their personal effects.

While the region along the Olt River was settled by people of the Glina III-Schneckenberg culture, the other parts of Transylvania remained populated by the Co?ofeni people. In this late period, their vessels' principal form of ornamentation is the stab and drag decoration (Cîlnic culture), while the lentil shape becomes less common or disappears. By now, as a consequence of a more settled way of life, their wattle and daub houses (Kelnek) have two rooms as well as a fireplace and oven. There may well be a link between their longer residence in one location and the fact that the Cîlnic culture's densest network of settlements is in the area of the Érc Mountains (Muntii Apuseni). The so-called eastern copper axes ? precursors of which date from the Cernavoda III period ? are common finds in the region (Sáromberke). To be sure, this weapon, widely used throughout East Central Europe, was not produced solely in the Cîlnic area; it is nevertheless significant that a major 'treasure,' consisting of over forty axes, was unearthed in this region, at Bányabükk.

Towards the end of the Early Bronze Age, when the Glina III-Schneckenberg and Cîlnic cultures were fading away, a group that decorated ceramics mainly with a cord pattern appeared in the eastern and northeastern parts of Transylvania. The artifacts of those who settled in the Csík Basin (Jigodin culture) had much in common with those of the Glina III-Schneckenberg culture, as well as some similarities with vessels produced by people who lived in the same period around Hungary's north-central mountains (Hatvan culture).

On the eve of the Middle Bronze Age, groups from Moldavia began to settle in the Háromszék Basin of southeast Transylvania. This Ciomortan culture was related to the Monteoru and Costi?a cultures. Their settlement on the Várdomb [Castle Hill] at Csík-csomortány was fortified with earthworks. A few of their two-handled {1-31.} jugs, spherical dishes, and cups have been found in graves, where the dead were buried on their side, their legs pulled up.

They did not survive long in their few fortified settlements. Unable to halt the influx of new waves of people of the Monteoru culture, they were forced to move to the more westerly parts of Transylvania. Their vessels' typical decoration of scratched-in triangles and pairs of lines filled with dots, as well as their broad mugs are found again in the later Wietenberg culture.




The Wietenberg culture encompassed virtually all of Transylvania, expelling or absorbing groups of the Tei culture in southern Transylvania. Only the region beyond the Hargita remained beyond their reach; the Háromszék Basin was won by the {1-32.} Monteoru people, who had managed to displace the people of the Ciomortan culture.

Wietenberg settlements were situated on the lower terraces of rivers, on plateaux, and on easily defended hilltops. Their dwellings were of wood beams or on wooden foundations, although sunken dwellings have also been found (Radnót). Little evidence remains of their agricultural activity, but hunting and animal husbandry, mainly of cattle, played an important role. Since they had exclusive control over Transylvania's metal ores, they must have traded gold for their neighbours' grain.

Wietenberg settlements have yielded finds of all the types of bronze objects and gold jewellery known in East Central Europe at the time, but only rarely as part of a hidden treasure. Yet their territory is ringed by treasure-troves. This fact, along with their 'citadels', leads to the conclusion the Wietenberg people had a numerically strong and militant aristocracy. Their weapons included not only eastern-type bronze axes and double axes, but also rapiers identical in form with those favoured by the Mycenaean Achaeans (Sáromberke, Énlaka, Gyulafehérvár, etc.). The latter were not a customary weapon in Eastern Europe, and it is also noteworthy that, in contrast to the neighbouring regions, there is no evidence in Transylvania of horseback riding; then again, long rapiers were ill-suited to mounted combat.

Since there are other apparent links between the Wietenberg and the Mycenaean cultures (the prevalence of spiral decoration is often cited) it is conceivable that, in the 15th and 16th centuries B.C., warriors from the south had come to rule over the population of Transylvania. This aristocracy grew wealthy thanks to the spreading exploitation of mineral deposits and the sale of metal products. The latter are found most often outside the settlement area of the Wietenberg culture, where their traders could easily have fallen prey to treasure-seeking foreigners. This may explain the hoard of gold axes, disks and other jewellery found at Cófalva, {1-33.} in the area of the Monteoru culture), and the gold swords and rapiers unearthed at Per?inari, in Wallachia, where the Tei culture prevailed, as well as other, similar finds on the periphery of the Wietenberg culture's domain.

The prosperity induced by gold was apparent in all aspects of life. Women, dispensed of agricultural labour, engaged in decorative household crafts; the principal evidence consists of richly decorated clay vessels. Their spherical pots, shallow, handled bowls, and dishes were decorated with impressed and incised, wavy and spiral designs. Ascoi, mixing bowls with multiple openings, and chariot models were produced to serve in their diversified rituals. The main feature of their religious buildings was the decorated, sacred fireplace, such as the one found near Segesvár, at Wietenberg ? the place that gave its name to their culture.

At the end of the 14th century B.C., the Carpathian Basin was invaded from the north by Central European tribes of shepherds. The invasion set off a chain reaction of migrations, and these destabilized ? directly or indirectly ? the economy of the Transylvanian goldsmiths, merchants, and warriors. Familiar trading routes were now overrun with strangers. When groups of the latter seek refuge in Transylvania, local people bury their valuables (Igenpataka, Déva, Somogyom). Moving along the Maros on the heels of the fleeing locals, people of the Tumulus (Hügelgraber) culture occupied the entire area of southern Transylvania, as attested by finds near Nagyszeben (Hermány), in the Mez?ség (Mez?bánd, Malomfalva), and even beyond the Hargita (Kézdiszentlélek). They, together with former inhabitants of the Great Hungarian Plain, settle also in southwestern Transy beginning of the Late Bronze Age became easy prey for shepherds of the eastern steppes. There are no treasure finds to indicate the resulting movement of peoples, presumably because by then locals had little treasure left to conceal. The new occupiers, people of the Noua culture, reached Transylvania through the Carpathian mountain passes and spread as far as the middle reaches of the Szamos River in the north and the Érc Mountains in the west. Some followed the Szamos all the way to the eastern Great Plain, where they were absorbed into an already mixed population, the Berkesz-Demecser group.

Little is known about the settlements of this cattle- and sheep- breeding people. Their dwellings were presumably similar to the light, wooden constructions they had erected in Moldavia. Burial grounds (Brassó, Keresztényfalva, Hermány, Tövis, etc.) reveal their dead lying on their side, legs drawn up, or the remains of cremation. Most of their simple, rib-decorated pots and two-handled jugs were produced by assimilated groups from Monteoru culture. Their three-edged bone arrowheads, triple-pierced bridle links made of bone, knobbed bronze pins, and sickles with hooked handles all evoke a distant eastern culture, that of Sabatinovka people, who lived between the Dnieper and Dniester rivers. These Protoeuropids (Alpine and Mediterranean anthropological types were also present in Transylvania) probably spoke Ancient Iranian, and thus settlement of the Noua people in Carpathian Basin represents the first appearance of Iranian groups in the region.

It is noteworthy that most of the metal tools identified with the newcomers were found beyond their area of settlement, in the territory of the Fels?sz?cs culture. The weapons and tools of the conquerors appear to have been produced by the Late Bronze Age {1-35.} descendants of the Wietenberg culture. The relationship between the two peoples was peculiarly symbiotic in some places: the tumuli of Oláhlápos contain objects from both the Fels?sz?cs and the Noua cultures.

Sometime around 1000 B.C., the inhabitants of Transylvania and the Szamos-Tisza region were driven to bury their accumulated treasures (Fel?r, Domahida, Ópályi). It was, however, mainly the people of the Fels?sz?cs culture who hid their valuables, as seen at Fel?r and Domahida. To escape servitude, most of the Noua people fled eastward.

The new conquerors, groups of people of the Gáva culture, occupied the Küküll? region (Medgyes), then the Olt valley (Réty), the Mez?ség, and the Szamos region (Oláhlápos). Some of their dwellings were built of wood beams or on wooden foundations, others were oval or square, sunken huts with a central, plastered fireplace; some of their settlements were fortified. They bred mainly cattle but also kept many horses. Although many bronze sickles have been found, agriculture was not a major activity, and they obtained much of their meat by hunting.

Their arrival sparked off a renaissance of bronze craft in the region of the Érc Mountains. Almost all of their implements, weapons, and jewellery was fashioned from bronze; huge stores of axes, sickles, swords, lances, belts, pins, and vessels have been unearthed at Ispánlaka, Fels?marosújvár, Nagysink and Marosfelfalu (Cincu-Suseni 'horizon').

By the end of the Late Bronze Age, the people of the Gáva culture, who buried cremated remains in urns, and related groups had expanded their domain. Their settlements and burial places are found not only in Transylvania, but also in the Banat, in areas east of the Tisza, and, east of the Carpathians, in Galicia and Bessarabia (Holihrad and Kisinyov cultures). Some of their groups travelled across the wooded steppes as far as the Dnieper River. Judging from the material evidence, peoples who lived at this time south of {1-36.} the Carpathians, in Wallachia and northern Bulgaria, spoke a language related to that of the Gáva culture (Babadag and P?eni?evo cultures). This region is roughly contiguous with the subsequent settlement areas of the Dacians, Gaetians, and Mysians.

Between the end of the Late Bronze Age and the first mention of these peoples in ancient sources, there were no migrations significant enough to radically alter the composition of the population. It is therefore likely that the finds from the Gáva culture and related groups are the legacy of ancestors of Dacians, Gaetians and Mysians. Their origins are clear: the indigenous communities of Middle Bronze Age people and conquerors bearing the Tumulus culture had coalesced by the end of the Late Bronze Age into a group of peoples speaking identical or related languages. The stability of this pattern is reinforced by the organizing skills of an equestrian group that arrived from the east in the middle of the Late Bronze Age. To be sure, the latter's rule was short-lived; well before the end of the Late Bronze Age, they were driven to hide their characteristic harness pieces and Caucasian axes ? not only in Transylvania, but also in Transdanubia and in the region between the Drava and Sava rivers (Fels?marosújvár, Ispánlaka, Karánsebes, K?farka). The first evidence of iron tools seems to coincide with their appearance in the region (Oláhlápos, Bogda, Babadag). There followed an extended period of peace in Transylvania; storehouses dating from the end of the Late Bronze Age (Mojgrád, Pusztatóti, etc.) reveal that blacksmiths produced mainly axes and sickles. Although such tools could be used in battle, their primary purpose was cultivation.

The peaceful life of miners and merchants was disrupted at the end of the Late Bronze Age. Once again, horsemen from Asia broke into the Danubian region and the Carpathian Basin. This culturally mixed group, given to much infighting, sowed chaos, devastating villages and depopulating entire regions. When the resulting waves of forced migration subside, small and, for the most part, {1-37.} culturally-mixed communities appear along the Danube (Balta Verde, Bosut, Dálya, Mez?csát groups). On the territories of the Gáva culture and its related groups, new populations emerge. The majority of Transylvania's Late Bronze Age inhabitants thus left the region, most probably for destinations beyond the Carpathians. Their deserted villages were occupied by newcomers as well as by settlers from the Lower Danube and a smaller number of migrants southern Transdanubia.

The people of the Basarab culture settled initially along the middle reaches of the Maros (Gyulafehérvár, T?rt?ria- Alsó-Tatárlaka), and then throughout the Transylvanian Basin (Marosvásárhely, Maroscsapó, Kolozsmonostor). Their settlements in Transylvania, unlike those in Wallachia, were occupied for a considerable period of time, and many were fortified. They erected wattle and daub dwellings as well as some light, above-ground structures, and lived mainly off animal husbandry. A significant part of the population must have been involved in metalworking; significantly, finds in the border regions contain bronze objects that were seldom if ever used by Transylvanians, but which were commonly used in the surrounding areas (Marosportus, Alvinc, Vajdéj).

The Basarabi culture was marked by advanced ironworking; iron objects include not only weapons and tools, but also a growing number of harness pieces and clothing accessories. The newcomers soon shed their former bronze objects; the earlier bronze bridle links and bits (Maroscsapó) soon give way to replicas made of iron (Maroscsapó, Maroskeresztúr). Their weapons ? swords and "Scythian" daggers ? often resemble the swords with open, ringed hilts of the Late Bronze Age (Aldoboly, Maroscsapó). Single-edged, curved daggers have also been unearthed, bearing T-shaped hilts similar to those found on the typical weapons of the neighbouring Balta Verde group (Miriszló, Borosbenedek).

{1-38.} Although little has transpired about their ability to work gold, it is not unlikely that they produced many of the gold objects found in the Carpathians. A case in point is the early treasure unearthed at Mihályfalva; it includes counterparts of a bracelet found at Dálya and a winged pearl find from the Micha?kowo hoard. Since gold objects appear infrequently even in later finds, it can be surmised that the Basarabi goldsmiths produced mainly for 'export'.

The burial rituals of the time are uniform throughout Transylvania. The dead were interred flat on their back, with their heads pointing east or west, along with their weapons and tools as well as jewels and clothing. The graves contained food, principally beef, and, judging from the vessels, drink. According to a strict ritual, only three types of vessels were placed next to the corpse: urns, cups with handles, and bowls with narrowed openings. In the early period of settlement, shortly after the end of the Late Bronze Age, there is evidence of interment in burial mounts, complete with the deceased's horse (Maroscsapó, Nagyenyed), but the vessels in these graves are similar to the later ones.






Building 23,000 years old in Kalambaka, Meteora, Greece

Paleontologii greci au descoperit cel  mai vechi zid de piatră din tara lor, datând din urmă cu peste 23.000 de ani, care barează intrarea într-o pesteră din regiunea Tesalia.


 Acest vestigiu, considerat unul dintre cele mai vechi de acest tip din lume, ;i-a relevat vârsta cu ajutorul unei analize de datare prinluminiscentă optică, potrivit unui comunicat emis de Ministerul Culturii elen. "Vârsta lui corespunde cu cea mai rece perioadă din ultima eră glaciară, ceea ce indică faptul că a fost construit de către oamenii care locuiau în paleolitic în această pe;teră, pentru a se proteja de frig", se afirmă în acela;i comunicat.

Zidul bloca două treimi din intrarea în pe;teră, amplasată în apropiere de Kalambaka, o localitate din zona complexului monahal Meteora din centrul Greciei, devenit un obiectiv turistic. Situl arheologic este cercetat de peste 25 de ani de către paleontologii greci.

Prehistory of Southeastern Europe

rehistory of Southeastern Europe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

For the history of Earth before the occupation by the genus homo, including the period of early hominins, see Geology of Europe and Human evolution.

The prehistory of Southeastern Europe , defined roughly as the territory of the wider Balkans peninsula (including the territories of the modern countries of Albania, Croatia, Bosnia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Moldova) covers the period from the Upper Paleolithic, beginning with the presence of Homo sapiens in the area some 44,000 years ago, until the appearance of the first written records in Classical Antiquity, in Greece as early as the 8th century BC.

Human prehistory in Southeastern Europe is conventionally divided into smaller periods, such as Upper Paleolithic, Holocene Mesolithic/Epipaleolithic, Neolithic Revolution, expansion of Proto-Indo-Europeans, and Protohistory. The changes between these are gradual. For example, depending on interpretation, protohistory might or might not include Bronze Age Greece (2800-1200 BC),[1] Minoan, Mycenaean, Thracian, Lemnian, and Venetic cultures. By one interpretation of the historiography criterion, the Southeastern Europe enters protohistory only with Homer (See also Historicity of the Iliad, and Geography of the Odyssey). At any rate, the period ends before Herodotus in 5th century BC.[2]



[edit] Palaeolithic

[edit] Balkan Transition to the Upper Palaeolithic

There is evidence of human presence in the Balkans from the Middle Paleolithic onwards, but the number of sites is limited. According to Douglass W. Bailey[3]:

it is important to recognize that the Balkan Upper Palaeolithic was a long period containing little significant internal change. Thus, the Balkans transition was not as dramatic as in other European regions. Crucial changes that define the earliest emergence of Homo sapiens sapiens are presented at Bacho Kiro at 44,000 BCE. The Bulgarian key Palaeolithic caves named Bacho Kiro and Temnata Dupka with early Upper Palaeolithic material correlate that the transition was gradual.

The Palaeolithic period, literally the “Old Stone Age”, is an ancient cultural level of human development characterized by the use of unpolished chipped stone tools. The transition from Middle to Upper Palaeolithic is directly related to the development of behavioural modernity by homonids around 40,000 years BP. To denote the great significance and degree of change, this dramatic shift from Middle to Upper Palaeolithic is sometimes called the Upper Palaeolithic Revolution.

In the late Pleistocene, various components of the transition–material culture and environmental features (climate, flora, and fauna)indicate continual change, differing from contemporary points in other parts of Europe. The aforementioned aspects leave some doubt that the term Upper Palaeolithic Revolution is appropriate to the Balkans.

In general, continual evolutionary changes are the first crucial characteristic of the transition to the Upper Palaeolithic in the Balkans. The notion of the Upper Palaeolithic Revolution that has been developed for core European regions is not applicable to the Balkans. What is the reason? This particularly significant moment and its origins are defined and enlightened by other characteristics of the transition to upper Old Stone Age. The environment, climate, flora and fauna corroborate the implications.

During the last interglacial period and the most recent glaciation of the Pleistocene (from 131,000 till 12,000 BP), Europe was very different from the Balkans. The glaciations did not affect southeastern Europe to the extent that they did in the northern and central regions. The evidence of forest and steppe indicate the influence was not so drastic; some species of flora and fauna survived only in the Balkans. The Balkans today still abound in species endemic only to this part of Europe.

The notion of gradual transition (or evolution) best defines Balkan Europe from about 50,000 BP. In this sense, the material culture and natural environment of the Balkans of the late Pleistocene and the early Holocene were distinct from other parts of Europe. Douglass W. Bailey writes in Balkan Prehistory: Exclusion, Incorporation and Identity: “Less dramatic changes to climate, flora and fauna resulted in less dramatic adaptive, or reactive, developments in material culture.”

Thus, in speaking about southeastern Europe, many classic conceptions and systematizations of human development during the Palaeolithic (and then by implication the Mesolithic) should not be considered correct in all cases. In this regard, the absence of Upper Palaeolithic cave art in the Balkans does not seem to be surprising. Civilisations develop new and distinctive characteristics as they respond to new challenges in their environment.

[edit] Upper Paleolithic

In 2002, the oldest modern human (Homo sapiens sapiens) remains in Europe were discovered in the "Cave With Bones" (Peştera cu Oase), near Anina, Romania.[4] Nicknamed "John of Anina" (Ion din Anina), the remains (the lower jaw) are approximately 42,000 years old.

As Europe’s oldest remains of Homo sapiens, they are likely to represent the first such people to have entered the continent.[5] According to some researchers, the particular interest of the discovery resides in the fact that it presents a mixture of archaic, early modern human and Neanderthal morphological features,[6] indicating considerable Neanderthal/modern human admixture,[7] which in turn suggests that, upon their arrival in Europe, modern humans met and interbred with Neanderthals. Recent reanalysis of some of these fossils has challenged the view that these remains represent evidence of interbreeding.[8] A second expedition by Erik Trinkaus and Ricardo Rodrigo, discovered further fragments (for example, a skull dated ~36,000, nicknamed "Vasile").

Two human fossil remains found in the Muierii (Peştera Muierilor) and the Cioclovina caves in Romania have been radiocarbon dated using the technique of the accelerator mass spectrometry to the age of ~ 30,000 years BP. These are the most ancient dated human fossil remains from Europe, possibly belonging to the upper Paleolithic, the Aurignacian period (see Human fossil bones from the Muierii Cave and the Cioclovina Cave, Romania).

The first skull, scapula and tibia remains were found in 1952 in Baia de Fier, in the Muierii Cave, Gorj county in the province Oltenia, by Constantin Nicolaescu-Plopşor.

In 1941 another skull was found at the Cioclovina Cave near Commune Bosorod, Hunedoara county, in Transylvania. The anthropologist, Francisc Rainer, and the geologist, Ioan Simionescu, published a study of this skull.

The physical analysis of these fossils was begun in the summer of the year 2000 by Emilian Alexandrescu, archaeologist at the Institute of Archaeology 'Vasile Parvan' in Bucharest, and Agata Olariu, physicist at the Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering-Horia Hulubei, Bucharest, where samples were taken. One sample of bone was taken from the skull from Cioclovina; samples were also taken from the scapula and tibia remains from Muierii Cave. The work continued at the University of Lund, AMS group, by Göran Skog, Kristina Stenström and Ragnar Hellborg. The samples of bones were dated by radiocarbon method applied at the AMS system of the Lund University and the results are shown in the analysis bulletin [2] issued on the date 14 December 2001.

The human fossil remains from Muierii Cave, Baia de Fier, have been dated to 30,150 ± 800 years BP, and the skull from the Cioclovina Cave has been dated to 29,000 ± 700 years BP.[9][10][11]

[edit] Mesolithic

The Mesolithic period began at the end of the Pleistocene epoch 10th millennium BC and ended with the Neolithic introduction of farming, the date of which varied in each geographical region. According to Douglass W. Bailey[12]:

It is equally important to recognize that the Balkan upper Palaeolithic was a long period containing little significant internal change. The Mesolithic may not have existed in the Balkans for the same reasons that cave art and mobiliary art never appeared: the changes in climate and flora and fauna were gradual and not drastic. (…) Furthermore, one of the reasons that we do not distinguish separate industries in the Balkans as Mesolithic is because the lithic industries of the early Holocene were very firmly of a gradually developing late Palaeolithic tradition

The Mesolithic is the transitional period between the Upper Palaeolithic hunter-gathering existence and the development of farming and pottery production during the Postglacial Neolithic. The duration of the classical Palaeolithic, which lasted until about 10,000 years ago, is applicable to the Balkans. It ended with the Mesolithic (duration is 2–4 millennia) or, where an early Neolithisation was peculiar to, with the Epipalaeolithic.

Regions with limited glacial impact (e.g. the Balkans), the term Epipalaeolithic is more preferable. Regions that experienced less environmental effects during the last ice age have a much less apparent, straightforward, and occasionally marked by an absence of sites from the Mesolithic era. See the above Douglass W. Bailey quote.

There is lithic evidence in Serbia, southwestern Romania, and Montenegro. At Ostrovul Banului, the Cuina Turcului rock shelter in the Danube Gorges and in the nearby caves of Climente people make relatively advanced bone and lithic tools (i.e. end-scrapers, blade lets, and flakes).

The single site representing materials related to Mesolithic in Bulgaria is Pobiti Kamini. There is no another lithic evidence on the period. There is a 4,000-gap between the latest Upper Palaeolithic material (13,600 BP at Temnta Dupka) and the earliest Neolithic evidence presented at Gulubnik (the beginning of the seventh millennium BCE).

At Odmut in Montenegro there is evidence for human activity in the period. The research of the period was supplemented with Greek Mesolithic well represented by sites such as Frachthi Cave. The other sites are Theopetra Cave and Sesklo in Thessaly that represent the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic as well as the early Neolithic period. Yet southern and coastal sites Greece, which contained materials from the Mesolithic are less known.

Activities began to be concentrated around individual sites where people displayed personal and group identities using various decorations: wearing ornaments and painting their bodies with ochre and hematite. As regards the point of identity D. Bailey writes, “Flint-cutting tools as well as time and effort needed to produce such tools testify the expressions of identity and more flexible combinations of materials, which began to be used in the late Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic.”

The aforementioned allows us to speculate whether or not there was a period which could be described as Mesolithicin [[southeastern Europe, rather than an extended Upper Palaeolithic. On the other hand, lack of research in a number of regions, and the fact that many of the sites were close to the shore (it is evident that the current sea level is 100 m higher, and a number of sites were covered by water) means that Mesolithic Balkans could be referred to as Epipalaeolithic)Balkans which would better describe its gradual continuity and poorly-defined development.

[edit] Neolithic

Europe in ca. 4500-4000 BC
Europe in ca. 4000-3500 BC

The Balkans were the site of major Neolithic cultures, including Vincha, Varna, Karanovo, Hamangia.

The Vinča culture was an early culture of the Balkans (between the 6th and the 3rd millennium BC), stretching around the course of theDanube in Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Montenegro [Albania] the Republic of Macedonia, although traces of it can be found all around the Balkans, parts of Central Europe and Asia Minor.

"Kurganization" of the eastern Balkans (and the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture adjacent to the north) during the Eneolithic is associated with a first expansion of Proto-Indo-Europeans.

[edit] Bronze Age

The Bronze Age in the Balkans is divided as follows (Boardman p. 166)

  • Early Bronze Age: 20th to 16th centuries BC
  • Middle Bronze Age: 16th to 14th centuries BC
  • Late Bronze Age: 14th to 13th centuries BC

The Bronze Age in the Central and Eastern Balkans begins late, around 1800 BC. The transition to the Iron Age gradually sets in over the 13th century BC.

The "East Balkan Complex" (Karanovo VII, Ezero culture) covers all of Thrace. The Bronze Age cultures of the Central and Western Balkans are less clearly delineated and stretch to Pannonia, the Carpathians and into Hungary.

See also Cucuteni-Trypillian culture. From this mix of native neolithic populations and the invading Indo-Europeans, a new ethnos emerged—the Thracians. See also Thraco-Cimmerian.

[edit] Iron Age

Thracian tribes before the Roman period.
Distribution of "Thraco-Cimmerian" finds

After the period that followed the arrival of the Dorians , known as the Greek Dark Ages or Submycenaean Period, the classical Greek culture began to develop in the southern Balkan peninsula, the Aegean islands and the western Asia Minor Greek colonies starting around the 9–8th century (the Geometric Period) and peaking with the 5th century BC Athens democracy.

The Greeks were the first to establish a system of trade routes in the Balkans and, in order to facilitate trade with the natives between 700 BC and 300 BC, they founded several colonies on the Black Sea (Pontus Euxinus) coast, Asia Minor, Dalmatia, Southern Italy (Magna Graecia) etc.

The other peoples of the Balkans organized themselves in large tribal unions such as the Thracian Odrysian kingdom in the Eastern Balkans in the 5th century BC, and the Illyrian kingdom in the Western Balkans from the early 4th century.

Other tribal unions existed in Dacia at least as early as the beginning of the 2nd century BC under King Oroles. The Illyrian tribes were situated in the area corresponding to today's former Yugoslavia and Albania. The name Illyrii was originally used to refer to a people occupying an area centred on Lake Skadar, situated between Albania and Montenegro (= Illyrians proper). The term Illyria was subsequently used by the Greeks and Romans as a generic name to refer to different peoples within a well defined but much greater area.[13]

Hellenistic culture spread throughout the Macedonian Empire created by Alexander the Great from the later 4th century BC. By the end of the 4th century BC Greek language and culture were dominant not only in the Balkans but also around the whole Eastern Mediterranean.

By the sixth century BC the first written sources dealing with the territory north of the Danube appear in Greek sources. By this time the Getae (and later the Daci) had branched out from the Thracian-speaking populations

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Classical World
  2. ^ e.g. Thrace in book V.
  3. ^ Balkan prehistory Page 15 By Douglass W. Bailey ISBN 0-415-21597-8
  4. ^ Trinkaus, E., Milota, Ş., Rodrigo, R., Gherase, M., Moldovan, O. (2003), Early Modern Human Cranial remains from the Peştera cu Oase, Romania in Journal of Human Evolution, 45, pp. 245 –253, [1]
  5. ^ João Zilhão, (2006), Neanderthals and Moderns Mixed and It Matters, in Evolutionary Anthropology, 15:183–195, p.185
  6. ^ Trinkaus, E., Moldovan, O., Milota, Ş., Bîlgăr, A., Sarcina, L., Athreya, S., Bailey, S.E., Rodrigo, R., Gherase, M., Hilgham, T., Bronk Ramsey, C., & Van Der Plicht, J. ( 2003), An early modern human from Peştera cu Oase, Romania. Proceedings of the National Acadademy of Science U.S.A., 100(20), pp. 11231–11236
  7. ^ Andrei Soficaru, Adrian Dobo and Erik Trinkaus (2006), Early modern humans from the Peştera Muierii, Baia de Fier, Romania, Proceedings of the National Acadademy of Science U.S.A., 103(46), pp. 17196-17201
  8. ^ Harvati K, Gunz P, Grigorescu D. Cioclovina (Romania): affinities of an early modern European. J Hum Evol. 2007 Dec;53(6):732-46
  9. ^ Olariu A., Alexandrescu E., Skog G., Hellborg R., Stenström K., Faarinen M. and Persson P, Dating of two Paleolithic human fossil bones from Romania by accelerator mass spectrometry, NIPNE Scientific Reports 2001-202, pag. 82
  10. ^ Olariu A., Skog G., Hellborg R., Stenström K., Faarinen M. and Persson P. and Alexandrescu E., 2003, Dating of two Paleolithic human fossil bones from Romania by accelerator mass spectrometry,
  11. ^ Olariu A., Stenström K. and Hellborg R. (Eds), 2005, Proceedings of International conference on Applications of High Precision Atomic & Nuclear Methods, 2–6 September 2002, Neptun, Romania, Publishing House of Romanian Academy, Bucharest, ISBN 973-27-1181-7, Dating of two Paleolithic human fossil bones from Romania by accelerator mass spectrometry, 235-239
  12. ^ Balkan prehistory Page 36 By Douglass W. Bailey ISBN 0-415-21597-8
  13. ^ The Illyrians. John Wilkes

[edit] External links


Pestera Scarisoara

Peștera Scărișoara sau Ghețarul de la Scărișoara adăpostește cel mai mare ghețar subteran din România. De aici îi vine și numele de „ghețar” iar „Scărișoara” provine de la comuna Scărișoara situată 16 km mai jos, de care aparținea administrativ în vremea când a fost numită astfel. Acum aparține comunei Gârda de Sus, județul Alba.


Recent Videos

Recent Blog Entries

Newest Members