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BEYOND THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL IMAGINATION. OBSERVATIONS ABOUT KODJADERMEN- GUMELNIŢA-KARANOVO VI ARCHITECTURE BASED ON A STUDY OF EXPERIMENTAL ARCHAEOLOGY

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The experimental archaeology project presented here aimed at the reconstruction of a dwelling, at the 1:1 scale, belonging to the Kodjadermen-Gumelnitsa-Karanovo VI culture (5th millennium BC), based on archaeological data accumulated from research carried out mainly at the site of Sultana-Malu Roşu (South-East Romania). This reconstruction was followed by the estimation of the volume of materials used for raising the construction in conjunction with the human factor and the time needed for building it. Further, a reconstruction and verification of different techniques for the construction of surface area houses was made. The sources for this project were based on archaeological remains discovered in the field, such as, fragments of walls with impressions of building materials, charred fragments of posts, the size and arrangement of the post holes, and on the indirect information provided by miniature house models of Kodjadermen-Gumelnitsa-Karanovo VI dwellings, which are mostly reflected by ethnographic data. These data were used to verify some of our hypotheses.
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1National History Museum of Romania, Calea Victoriei 12, 030026 Bucharest, Romania
2"Ion Mincu" University of Architecture and Urbanism, Str. Academiei
18-20, 010014 Bucharest, Romania
3Museum of Bucharest, B-dul I.C. Brătianu 2, 011413 Bucharest, Romania
4Department for Culture and National Heritage Călăraşi, Str. 13 Decembrie 9,
910014, Călăraşi, Romania
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."k,(.k*-.k^(%)Hk(k#(.,ZkNVTV\
.0()0#;ZkNVVSZkNVVT\k).#/!9k (k).)#Z
OMMQ\k"),!"#/ZkOMMRZkOMMUZkOMMV\k)("
.k &YZk OMMR\k 5-4&@k (k ).#/!9Zk OMMU\
).#/!9ZkOMMV_Y
#.")/.k (3k )/.Zk ."-k 2*,#'(.-
"&*k/-k.)k"#0kkL,k/(,-.(#(!k)
*,"#-.),#k&# 13-k(k#(k."k-'k.#'Z
."3k ,k k 13k .)k )'*&.k ."k ,"i
)&)!#&k .Yk -k "H,k .&&-k /-Zk g`a
,)(-.,/.#)(W#-W)(&3W-W!))W-W."W20.
0#(W/*)(W1"#"W#.W#-W-T ^"H,ZkNVUQZ
QU_Y
(k ."k ).",k "(Zk ."k 2*,#'(.-
*,'#.k/-k.)k0,# 3k(k0&/.k."k/,,(.
"3*)."--k )/.k *,"#-.),#k ")/--Z
-*#&&3k ,!,#(!k ."k )(-.,/.#)(
."(#+/-k (k ,"#..)(#&k -)&/.#)(-
/.#&#4k(k**&#k3k*)*&kSMMMk3,-
!)Yk&-)Zk."k2*,#'(.-k(k)(.,#/.k.)
."k #,."k ) k (1k "3*)."--k (
#(.,*,..#0k+/.#)(-Y
The new experiment: final remarks
"k/#&#(!k.#0#.3k#(kOMNMk,-/&.k#(.)
k ")/-k 1#."k ,.(!/&,k *&(Zk 1#."k )(
,))'Zk ),#(.k iYk "k *,"#-.),#
/#&#(!k-3-.'k**&#k1-k.".k) k")/--
1#."k )/(.#)(k .,("-Zk'k #(k1L&
(k/k."(#+/Zkk.3*k-*#Fk ),k."
()&#."#k)''/(#.#-k ,)'k."k&%(-Y
%N>GN!N7'%N"&',"(',N
(N-!N1)+"&'-%N."%"' N+(&N
.%-'M%.N(5.E
"k /#&#(!k 1-k #(#.#&&3k *&((k .)
"0k Rk '.,-k #(k &(!."k (k Pk '.,-k #(
1#."Zk#'(-#)(-kFL#(!k#(.)k."k.3*)&)!3
) k."k)$,'(i/'&(#Di,()0)
k")/--k ) k -'&&k#'(-#)(-Yk)10,Z
/,#(!k ."k /#&#(!k(k #(!k*,)---Z
."k ")/-k #'(-#)(-k -/,*--k ."
*&((k#'(-#)(-Zk'#(&3k/-k) k."
-.,/./,&k&'(.-k/#&.k(k."k(--#.3
HC WW.W&
" .+ =AGN!NJ(0%N0"-!N-.%"),KN",(/+N
-N.%-'M%.N(5.NH"8+'-N,%,IEN
-,N(+-"('N"',)"+N.,N"'N)"'-"' N-!
'(+-!M,-+'N'N'(+-!M0,-+'N,",N
(N-!N1)+"&'-%N."%"' E
' -!N (N -!
!(.,N -N -!
+(.'N%/%NH&I
"

PYQU

RYOU

PYPN

RYPP
.)kk-/**&'(.,3k&3k ),kF(#-"#(!k."
1&&-Yk)Zk."kF(&k#'(-#)(-k) k."k")/-
.k ."k !,)/(k &0&k ,k *,-(.k #(k ."
&kPY
"k/#&#(!k"-kk'2#'/'k"#!".k )
OYOVk 'YZk (k ."k 1&&-k "0k (k 0,!
."#%(--k) kMYOMiMYORk'YZk0,#.#)(-k)1#(!
.)k ."k ')&#.3k ) k )(-.,/.#)(Yk (k ."#-
,!,Zk#.k"-k.)kk,'#(k.".Zk-*#.
)/,k H),.-k ),k ).#(#(!k /(# ),'k (
,!/&,k 1&&-Zk ."#,k F(&k )/.&#(k 1-
#,,!/&,k/-k) k."k13k."k),#(!
) k ."k 1&&-k  ),'k )&&)1#(!k ."
*,)---k) k&&#(!k."k&3k(k&.,Zk."
,3#(!k) k."k&3Y
"k,)) Zk.",)/!"k."k**&#k."(#&
-)&/.#)(-Zk'k&,!,k."(k#.-kF(!,*,#(.
.k-)#&Zk-k )&&)1-[
ik."k-)/."i-.,(k-#Zk1#."kMYOMk'.,-k#(
&(!."\
ik."k(),."i-.,(k-#Zk1#."kMYSMk'.,-k#(
&(!."\
ik."k(),."i1-.,(k-#Zk1#."kMYORk'.,-k#(
&(!."\
ik."k-)/."i1-.,(k-#Zk1#."kMYTQk'.,-k#(
&(!."Y
"k 0&/.#)(k 'k J,k )(k 3,
')(-.,.-k .".k ."k /#&#(!k "0
0,3k1&&Zk-*#.k) k."k&)1,k.'*,./,-
(k"#!"k*,#*#..#)(-k/,#(!k ."k1#(.,Z
-*#Fk ),k ."k .'*,.i)(.#((.&
&#'.k ) k )'(#Yk (,k ."-
)(#.#)(-Zk ."k ,*#,#(!k 1),%k 1-
'#(#'&Zk)."k ,)'k*)#(.k) k0#1k) k."k,1
'.,#&-k/.#&#4Zk(k) k."k,.#)k.1(
.#'k(k&)/,Yk
"k)'*,#-)(k) k)/,k,-/&.-k1#."k.")-
) k ).",k 2*,#'(.&k *,)$.-k ,)'k ."
&%(-k jk //.(#k ^).#/!9k (k ).)#Z
OMMQ_Zk*)0)k^.0()0#;ZkNVVSZkNVVT_k(
9-.,k ^"),!"#/Zk OMMV_k jk ,)'k ."
*,-*.#0k ) k ."k /.#&#4k ,1k '.,#&-
-")1-k)(k0,!k-#'#&,k+/(.#.#-k) k,1
'.,#&-k ^&k Q_\k -)'k -'&&k #H,(i
.#.#)(-k,k*,-(.k/k .)k."k#'(-#)(-
) k."k,&#4k/#&#(!-Yk)10,Zk1k(
().k#!(),k."k .k.".k#(k')-.k) k."k--Z
."k+/(.#.#-k) k,1k'.,#&-k/-k#(k."
2*,#'(.-k,k().k#(.!,&&3k*/&#-"Y
)k,-/'Zk."k *,)$.k)H,k(1k.
,!,#(!k ."k /#&#(!-k -*#Fk .)k ."
)$,'(i/'&(#Di,()0)k 
/&./,Zk(k*&-k*/.k&&)1k#(-.k)
*,'#Lk k (k 0&/.#)(k ) k ."k /#&#(!
."(#+/-k (k ,"#../,&k -)&/.#)(-
/.#&#4k3k."-k)''/(#.#-Y
The archaeologist imagination:
interpretation se'ings
"k ,")&)!#&k #(.,*,..#)(k #-k 
)'*&2k#--/k-#(Zk/k.)k.'*),&k*."\
1k'/-.k )( ,)(.k -)#&k ),'.#)(-k) k (
/(%()1(k),!(#-.#)(k(k-.,/./,Yk(k
-(-Zk , ")&)!3k '#!". k k ,%)(k -
#(!k &#,.k ,)'k &#.,,3k -)/,-k (
&#0#(!k #( ),'(.-Zk -/!!-.#(!k .".
,")&)!3k ,.",k -")/&k 2*&),k ."
*)--##&#.#-k ) k k -)#)&)!3k ) k '.,#&
/&./,Zk k 0#.&k .)*#k .".k )(&3k ,(.&3
!/(k.)kk#-/--k#(k."k-)#&k-#(-
^"&(,kOMMNZkNiO_Y
-k 1k "0k -")1(k .k ."k!#((#(!k)
."#-k ,.#&Zk ."k #(.,*,.#0k *,)--k )
*,"#-.),#k,")&)!#&k #-)0,#-Zk ),
1"#"k )'*&'(.,3k -)/,-k )
#( ),'.#)(k ,k &%#(!Zk (k ."k ,"i
)&)!#&k 20.#)(k ')-.k )J(k )H,-k /-
)(&3k ,!'(.-k) k.Zk&#%k."k*#-k) k
*/44&Zk(kk,#-%3Yk(k."-k#,/'-.(-Z
."k,")&)!#-.c-k#'!#(.#)(k#-k)'#(!
0,3k *,#)/-Zk (k -)'.#'-k 0(
#(#-*(-&Zk 1#.")/.k (3k (!.#0
)(()..#)(k --)#.Yk &,.k #(-.#(c-
--,.#)(k 'k )(k (k #(.,0#1[k d`."a
#'!#(.#)(W LLLW #-W '),W #'*),.(.W ."(
%()1&!LW()1&!W#-W&#'#.LW'!#(.#)(
(#,&-W."W1),&TW^#,%kNVOVZkNT_Zk#-k.,/
),k ."k F&k ) k ,")&)!3k -k 1&&Y
)10,Zk 1k "0k .)k k , /&k 1"(
**&#( !k .)k ."k #'!#( .#)(Zk -k ."k -. *
,)'k k *,/(.k /-k ) k."k#'!#(.#)(k .)
#'*)-./,k#-k0,3k-'&&Y
-*#.k ."k **,(.k ,)'k )
."),#4#(!k.".k*,"#-.),#k#-)0,#-k)H,Z
."k,")&)!#-.k#-k)(-.,#(k(k&#'#.
WWWWWWWWW HD
3k."k2#-.#(!k.Zk1"#"k&-k#(0#.&3Z
().k#( ,+/(.&3Zk.)k-*/&.#0k"3*)."-#-Z
2!!,.k),k/(,&#-.#Zk-k"0#&3k)(
."k #'!#(.#)(k ),k #!(),(k ) k ."
,-,",Yk )1k (k ,")&)!#-.k #-
#(.,*,.#(!kk#-)0,3k#-k.,'#(k3
-0,&k .),-Zk #,.&3k),k #(#,.&3Yk"
*,*.#)(k) k."k,&#.3k^)."k*,-(.k(
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... Nevertheless, after 2000, under the impulse of a new generation of archaeologists, experimental archaeology in Romania entered a new dimension, oriented mainly toward three fields: architecture (the replication of the construction techniques, the materials used and the manner of degradation and burning e e.g., Cotiug a, 2009;Dumitrescu, 2011;Gheorghiu, 2009;Laz ar et al., 2012;Laz ar, 2015;Monah et al., 2004), ceramics (the techniques of manufacturing, moulding and firing the pottery e e.g., Buzea and Briewig, 2010;Cotoi, 2012;D anil a, 2014;Tencariu, 2011) and salt exploitation (e.g., Buzea, 2012;Tencariu et al., 2015). Tangentially, other aspects were also emphasized: lithic industry (Barbu, 2008;Barbu and Barbu, 2014;Vornicu, 2015) or hard animal materials industry (Barbu, 2012;M arg arit et al., 2014a;M arg arit, 2015;Mihail and Provenzano, 2014;). ...
... Nevertheless, after 2000, under the impulse of a new generation of archaeologists, experimental archaeology in Romania entered a new dimension, oriented mainly toward three fields: architecture (the replication of the construction techniques, the materials used and the manner of degradation and burning e e.g., Cotiug a, 2009;Dumitrescu, 2011;Gheorghiu, 2009;Laz ar et al., 2012;Laz ar, 2015;Monah et al., 2004), ceramics (the techniques of manufacturing, moulding and firing the pottery e e.g., Buzea and Briewig, 2010;Cotoi, 2012;D anil a, 2014;Tencariu, 2011) and salt exploitation (e.g., Buzea, 2012;Tencariu et al., 2015). Tangentially, other aspects were also emphasized: lithic industry (Barbu, 2008;Barbu and Barbu, 2014;Vornicu, 2015) or hard animal materials industry (Barbu, 2012;M arg arit et al., 2014a;M arg arit, 2015;Mihail and Provenzano, 2014;). ...
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Raw materials deriving from the aquatic environment were systematically used for personal ornamentation by modern humans throughout their entire history. In this study we analyse three types of raw materials: Lithoglyphus sp. shells, Unio sp. valves and Cyprinus carpio opercular bones. The central purpose of this paper is to initiate a database of the way in which wear develops according to the system of attachment and the longevity of use. In order to identify the costs invested in the manufacturing of these types of items, both from the point of view of time and effort, an experimental programme has been developed, which permits the recording of all the variables (means of gathering the raw material, technological stages, time recorded for each operation, and tools used). Furthermore, it was set the task of wearing the beads experimentally processed, as adornments, for two years, and of periodically evaluating the perforation and the surface of the pieces under a microscope. Moreover, observations made on archaeological specimens were compared to experimental replicas. The archaeological assemblages from the Romanian Neolithic were used as a case study to illustrate the relevance of the results. (c) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
... Arheologia experimentală, în ciuda naturii sale aparent 'imitative', are ca scop principal verificarea tehnicilor, procedurilor şi proceselor ce stau la obţinerea anumitor obiecte sau structuri construite, iar ulterior să evalueze teoriile şi ipotezele bazate pe datele arheologice (Asher 1961;Reynolds 1999;Mathieu 2002;Cavulli şi Gheorghiu 2008), ceea ce îi conferă posibilitatea de contribuţii la cunoaşterea şi înţelegerea trecutului (Lazăr et al. 2012). Astfel, pe lângă numeroasele date de natură tehnică ce completează informaţiile arheologice, arheologia experimentală implică şi 'învăţarea prin practică' (Shea et al. 2002: 60), ceea ce ajută la procesul de interpretare al situaţiilor şi artefactelor arheologice, dar, în acelaşi timp, conduce la o serie de experienţe personale (de natură senzorială şi emoţională), ceea ce îl aduce pe arheolog mai aproape de subiectul studiat (Gheorghiu 2008b: 168, 174-5). ...
... Astfel, cele mai multe dintre experimentele arheologice sunt dedicate arhitecturii neo-eneolitice. Majoritatea acestor proiecte au fost realizate pentru studierea construcțiilor atribuite culturilor Vădastra, Precucuteni, Boian, Gumelniţa şi Cucuteni, vizându-se reconstituirea tehnicilor de construcție, modul de realizare, materialele utilizate și cantităţile folosite sau modul de incendiere (Gheorghiu 2003;2005a;2008a;Monah et al. 2003;László şi Cotiugă 2008;Cotiugă 2009;Dumitrescu 2011;Lazăr et al. 2012). A doua direcţie de cercetare experimentală ce s-a bucurat de o atenţie sporită din partea arheologilor o constituie domeniul ceramicii. ...
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This paper presents a synthesis of the Archaeodrom Project in the context of Romanian contemporary experimental archaeology. This project represents an original interdisciplinary approach applied to one of the key periods of Romanian prehistory – the Eneolithic (ca. 5000-3700 B.C.). Due especially to the lack of complementary sources of information (written sources, oral information, direct observations), research into all material and spiritual aspects of Neolithic life presents a greater challenge compared with other historical times (e.g. the Greek-Roman epoch, the Byzantine period, the middle-age). Only data obtained through archaeological excavations can help, in a limited way, understanding these prehistoric communities and their material creations. For that reason the project proposes an interdisciplinary approach to the Romanian Neolithic that integrates knowledge gained from contemporary archaeological discoveries with experimental archaeology studies and will allow a scientific validation of the existing theories and concepts.
... Pandrea, 2000;Bem, 2001;Voinea and Neagu, 2006), occupational sequences of the tell-settlements (e.g. Ștefan, 2010;Lazăr et al., 2012a;Ilie, 2015), ceramics (e.g. Voinea and Neagu, 2006;Ignat et al., 2013;Opriș and Ștefan, 2016), funeral rites (e.g. ...
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Prehistoric personal adornments have benefited from detailed studies because they are an inexhaustible source of reflection. From these objects can be identified the symbolic and religious behaviour of prehistoric groups; they may also reflect the socio-economic aspects of these communities and may even serve as markers of cultural boundaries and exchange networks in prehistory. Appreciating the considerable potential of personal adornments, the central purpose of this study is to analyse and compare the types of ornaments used by Eneolithic communities (c. 5000-3500 BC) in the area to the north of the Danube, to provide an integrated image on the ways in which the use of certain types of ornaments had socio-economic effects. Among local species, the shells of Lithoglyphus sp. gastropod were used to make bracelets and necklaces and the valves of Unio sp. were processed into small circular beads. Alsoidentified were beads made of Cyprinus carpio opercular bones, a unique find for this stage of European prehistory. Exotic raw materials are represented by various forms of Spondylus adornments, bracelets of Glycymeris valve or tubular beads of scaphopod shells. While in the first case, we have identified pieces in various processing stages, from entire valves, shells or bones, simply perforated, and irregular fragments, to finished beads, used as decorative objects – certainly processed in situ; the artefacts of exotic raw materials arrived at the communities north of the Danube in a finished form, as a result of inter-community exchanges. Very interesting is the fact that the ornaments of exotic raw materials (e. g., Spondylus sp., Glycymeris sp., Antalis sp.) were identified mainly in funerary contexts and less in settlements, proving they were prestige goods and accompanying the deceased to “the other world”. Therefore, it seems, apparently depending on the local or exotic origin of the raw material, that these personal adorments had differing socio-economic meanings.
... Cob architecture is traditionally thought to be associated with Neolithic populations of south-east Europe, sometimes appearing as tells, as in Central Europe (e.g. Kovacevo ;Brochier 1994) or in the Middle East, some of which were destroyed by fire (Chapman 1999;Stevanovic 2002;Lazȃr et al. 2012). These types of remains, which form an anthropogenic hill, have not been encountered in continental and Western Europe. ...
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The west European Neolithic is famed for its funerary and ceremonial monuments, but the evidence for houses is sparse. Can this be explained by the materials of which they were built? On the northern coast of Brittany, the site of Lillemer rises from the surrounding marshes and presents abundant evidence of Middle Neolithic occupation, contemporary with the passage graves of the region. Surprisingly, their evidence includes the remains of collapsed earthen-walled structures, providing the northernmost example of this type of architecture in a Neolithic context and a possible explanation for the invisibility of much Neolithic domestic architecture.
... Direcţiile cercetării prin experiment au vizat problematici particulare -tehnicile de construcţie ale caselor preistorice (Cotiugă şi Cotoi 2004;Lazăr et al. 2012), ale instalaţiilor de foc (Buzea et al. 2008), modul de degradare a argilei lutoase în cernoziom şi tehnicile de săpătură (Monah et al. 2003: 65-8), ...
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Les progrès des archéologues roumains ces dernières années dans le domaine de l’archéologie expérimentale ont permis la diffusion des connaissances vers un public plus large, notamment au travers d’activités éducatives et de camps de vacances organisés par les musées départementaux. Le présent article détaille l’un de ces ateliers péri-scolaires, organisé à Târgovişte du 7 au 14 avril 2014 dans le cadre du Complex Naţional Muzeal ‘Curtea Domnească’. L’implication des participants, âgés de 4 à 18 ans et dépourvus de toute expérience préalable en archéologie, nous a permis d’émettre quelques hypothèses de travail quant à la confection de parures préhistoriques à partir de bois, d’os, d’argile ou de coquillages.
... A study, analogous with Klima-X from the Lejre experiments (Rasmussen 2007), was that of the airdraught of the household instruments (Gheorghiu 2002;2005c;. (Lazăr et al. 2012), and at Bragadiru, where different methods of building were tested. ...
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The permanent archaeological exhibition at the Teleorman County Museum includes a room dedicated to the Gumelniţa culture. Drawing on archaeological results and ethnographic data, the archaeological reconstructions show the complex nature of this prehistoric society. Among other materials, the Gumelniţa house roof plaiting used experimental vegetable fibres. The domestic inventory includes baskets made using two techniques - by coiling and by weaving, a basket trap for fish and a vertical loom. Rush stems and leaves (Typha angustifolia), reed stems (Phagmites australis), willow inner and outer bark (Salix triandra), lime inner bark (Tillia tomentosa), elm branches (Ulmus glabra) and hop stems (Humulus lupulus) were used. Different plants and elm bark were used for other experiments. Rush, knitted or made into strips, was used for the roof bindings and for the four baskets, and proved a flexible, lasting and malleable material. Elm twisted twigs gave good results when used green. Willow bark and lime are excellent materials for most of the bindings. When it is green, hop is an easily knotted material, flexible and with great durability. The experiments demonstrated that vegetable raw materials are highly reliable, suitable for different sizes and uses of binding and for household object production.