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The Eneolithic cemetery is located near the Sultana-Malu Roşu Eneolithic tell, ca. 400 m northeast of the Sultana village, commune of Mânăstirea, in Călăraşi county, southeast Romania. This is a settlement from the second half of the fifth millennium BC (Kodjadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI complex). Between 2008-2009 we found 17 inhumations graves. The graves contained human skeletons in crouched (fetal) position, laying on the left side and oriented generally eastward. Funerary inventory was found in only a few of the graves. The cemetery area also yielded two pits (C6/2007 and C1/2009) from the same period. These complexes contained ceramic fragments, animal bones, shells etc. and reflected probably some commemorating ceremonies or some stages of the funeral ceremony. The burials from the Sultana-Malu Roşu cemetery and the elements of funerary treatment identified here bear similarities with the standard mortuary practices of the Kodjadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI complex.
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New Data on the Eneolithic Cemetery from Sultana-
Malu Roşu
(Călăraşi county, Romania)
Cătălin LAZĂR
*
Radian ANDREESCU
*
Theodor IGNAT
**
Monica MĂRGĂRIT
***
Mihai FLOREA
*
Adrian BĂLĂȘESCU
*
Abstract: The Eneolithic cemetery is located near the Sultana-
Malu Roşu
Eneolithic
tell
, ca. 400 m
northeast of the Sultana village, commune of Mânăstirea, in Călăraşi county, southeast Romania. This is a
settlement from the second half of the fifth millennium BC (Kodjadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI complex).
Between 2008-2009 we found 17 inhumations graves. The graves contained human skeletons in crouched (fetal)
position, laying on the left side and oriented generally eastward. Funerary inventory was found in only a few of
the graves. The cemetery area also yielded two pits (C6/2007 and C1/2009) from the same period. These
complexes contained ceramic fragments, animal bones, shells etc.
and reflected probably some commemorating
ceremonies or some stages of the funeral ceremony. The burials from the Sultana-
Malu Roşu
cemetery and the
elements of funerary treatment identified here bear similarities with the standard mortuary practices of the
Kodjadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI complex.
Rezumat: Necropola eneolitică în discuție se află lângă așezarea de tip
tell de la
Sultana-
Malu Roşu,
la
circa 400 m nord-est de satul Sultana, com. Mânăstirea, jud. Călărași, în sud/estul României. Așezarea aparține
complexului cultural Kodjadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI. Între 2008-2009 au mai fost cercetate 17 morminte de
inhumație. Acestea conțineau schelete depuse în poziție chircită pe partea stângă sau dreaptă, cu orientări
apropiate de est. Inventar funerar a fost identificat doar în câteva cazuri. În zona necropolei au fost identificate și
două gropi (C6/2007 și C1/2009) din aceiași perioadă cronologică. Acestea conțineau fragmente ceramice, oase
de animale și reflectă probabil anumite acțiuni legate de etape ale cermonialului funerar sau alte ritualuri de
comemorare. Mormintele din necropola de la Sultana-
Malu Roşu,
prin elementele de tratament funerar
identificate,
reflectă aceleași standarde funerare specifice complexului cultural Kodjadermen-Gumelniţa-
Karanovo VI.
Keywords: Eneolithic, cemetery, burials, Spondylus, funerary offerings.
Cuvinte cheie: eneolitic, necropolă, morminte, Spondylus, ofrande funerare.
Necropolis research is an important source of information on societies of the past. The
discovery in 2006 of the necropolis from Sultana-
Malu Roșu
was a major step forward in the
knowledge of Neolithic communities from southeastern Romania. The Eneolithic cemetery is located
near the
tell
settlement of Sultana-
Malu Roşu
(commune of Mânăstirea, Călăraşi County, South-East
Romania) (figs. 1, 2/a, b).
Here we present data on 17 new inhumation graves excavated between 2008 and 2009 (R.
Andreescu
et alii
2008, p. 295; 2009, p. 206).
Methods
An area of 780 m
2
was intended to be researched between 2006 and 2012 from which 222 m
2
were excavated to date (figs. 3/c, 4). The geographical coordinates (Latitude / Longitude) of the
research area are:
o 44° 15' 40.3292" N; 26° 52' 2.6103" E
o 44° 15' 40.3577" N; 26° 52' 2.8609" E
o 44° 15' 39.4114" N; 26° 52' 3.0610" E
o 44° 15' 39.1235" N; 26° 52' 1.3720" E
o 44° 15' 39.7711" N; 26° 52' 1.2342" E
o 44° 15' 39.9275" N; 26° 52' 2.6986" E
We carried out sections in the same perimeter where sections had been excavated in previous
campaigns, with the aim to fully investigate the area. Section Son 3/2008 (6 x 8 m) was excavated in
the area between Son 1/2007 and Son 2/2007 (fig. 4), in order to complete the investigation of this
*
National History Museum of Romania, 12 Calea Victoriei, sect. 3, Bucharest, Romania; acltara@yahoo.com
**
Municipal Museum of Bucharest, 3 I.C. Brătianu, sect. 3, Bucharest, Romania; theodor_ignat@yahoo.com
***
University “Valahia”, 2 B-dul Regele Carol I, Târgoviște, Dâmbovița county; monicamargarit@yahoo.com
Studii de Preistorie 6, 2009, p. 165-199.
Cătălin LAZĂR
et alii
area of the necropolis. In order to investigate the slope toward Mostiştea lake we excavated Son
1/2009 (12 x 6 m), a NNW-SSE oriented section perpendicular to Son 1/2007 (fig. 4).
Altimetry measurements were made from point 0 (P0) represented by a terminal located on
the terrace at an elevation of 45.1703 m above sea level. The planimetry of the new sections was
reported on the grid system previously developed on the terrace (C. Lazăr
et alii
2008, p. 132, fig. 3).
Also, for the digital mapping of the cemetery area we used topographic data obtained in the field with
a total station between 2007 and 2009 (fig. 3/a-c). All topographical works
1
were executed in
projecting system of coordinates STEREO-70 and 1975 Black Sea elevation system.
We used the microstratigraphic method to record the stratigraphic data by stratigraphic units
(s.u.). The sediment from the funeral pits was wet sieved in order to recover all the small bones,
seeds, charcoal, and small artefacts. We collected soil samples from the hip (coxal) area from all the
graves, for parasitological analysis, as well as DNA and 14 C samples from the skeletons for future
analyses.
Topography
The necropolis of Sultana-
Malu Roşu
is located on the high terrace of the old Mostiştea River,
about 150 m (±1 m)
West from the
tell
(fig. 2/a, 3/a-c,). The graves were grouped on the terrace
edge and slopes (fig. 4). The situation identified in this site is similar to that seen in other Gumelnița
tells
north and south of the Danube. Thus, most of the known cemeteries were near the
tell
type
settlements in the available high, unfloodable areas (usually on terraces and their slopes):
Căscioarele-
D’aia parte
– 300 m NW near the tell
D’aia parte
, on the terrace and its slopes (D.
Şerbănescu, B. Şandric 1998); Durankulak – 300 m SW of the settlement, on the Dobrudja plateau,
on Lake Durankulak, graves are located on slopes from it (H. Todorova, T. Dimov 1989, p. 291; T.
Dimov 2002, p. 28); Goljamo Delcevo – on the high terrace west of the tell, at a distance of 200 m W
of it (H. Todorova
et alii
1975, p. 53-54); Gumelnița – on the high terrace of the Danube, 250 m E of
the
tell
, as well as on the slopes of the settlement (C. Lazăr 2001, p. 173); Măriuţa-
La Movilă
– on the
high terrace of the former Mostiştea river, aprox. 200 m ENE of settlement, as well as on the slopes of
the settlement; Radingrad – on the high terrace near the settlement, at a distance of 50-100 m W
from the
tell
(I. Ivanov 1982, p. 166); Vărăşti-
Grădiştea Ulmilor
– at 150 m NW of the
tell
Boian B, on
the former lake shore Boian (E. Comșa 1995, p. 55); Vinica – approx. 50 m SSE of the settlement, on
the high terrace of the river Kamčija (A. Radunčeva 1976, p. 142).
Graves
To date, 29 graves were excavated in the cemetery at
Sultana-
Malu Roşu
(tab. 1), including
the graves found in 2006 and 2007 (C. Lazăr
et alii
2008, p. 133-135). Of these, 17 graves (graves
13-29) were excavated in 2008 and 2009 (fig. 4).
Grave 13
(figs. 4, 5/a). Discovered in Son 1/2007, squares 2-3, at a depth of 1.50 m. The
funeral pit had an oval shape (1.18 x 0.70 m) (fig. 5/a). The base of the pit was at -1.68 m (s.u.
T1004). The level of digging of the pit was in s.u. T1003, la -1.29 m. The filling of the funeral pit (s.u.
T1029) was yellowish-brown, homogenous, medium granulated, less compact than the surrounding
sediment, contained carbonates and a few atypical ceramic fragments, and was disturbed by a few
burrows.
The grave contained the skeleton of an adult male (20-30 years) (A. Soficaru, A. Ion 2009, p.
206), laid in a fetal position, on the left side, oriented 82° E – 262° W (fig. 5/a). The legs were
moderately flexed. The right arm was rested aside the body. The left arm was bent with the hand
towards the skull.
The funeral inventory was modest - 19 complete
Spondylus
beads and several more bead
fragments, 8 bone beads and 1 marble bead-, located around the coxal bones (figs. 5/a, 11-14) and a
flint fragment on the coxal bones.
Grave 14
(figs. 4, 5/c). Discovered in Son 3/2008, square A2, at a depth of 0.92 m. The
funeral pit had an oval shape (1.32 x 0.76 m), oriented 80° E – 260° W. The base of the pit was at -
1.17 m. The level of digging of the pit was at -0.83 m (s.u. T1003). The filling of the funeral pit
(s.u.T1056) was yellowish-brown, homogenous, medium granulated, less compact than the
1
In order to accomplish the field research, the following instruments were used: Total station Leica TCR 410,
GPS Thales Mobile Mapper with data post-processing capacities, GPS Garmin GPSMAP 76CS, WAAS/EGNOS
enabled, GPS Garmin Etrex Vista.
166
New Data on the Eneolithic Cemetery from Sultana-
Malu Roşu
surrounding sediment, contained carbonates and a few atypical ceramic fragments, and was disturbed
by a few burrows.
The grave contained the postcranial skeleton of an adult female (30-45 years) (A. Soficaru, A.
Ion 2009, p. 206). Only the lower body bones were preserved in anatomical connection and some
bones of the upper limbs were undisturbed
2
. These may indicate that the individual was in a fetal
position, on the left side (fig. 5/c). The legs were moderately flexed.
A few
Spondylus
beads were discovered around the leg bones (figs. 5/c, 15).
Grave no. Year Section Square
1 2006 Son1/2006 -
2 2006 Son9/2006 -
3 2006 Son8/2006 3 & 4
4 2006 Son8/2006 3 & 4
5 2006 Son8/2006 3 & 4
6 2007 Son2/2007 1
7 2007 Son1/2007 3 & 4
8 2007 Son2/2007 6 & 7
9 2007 Son2/2007 8 & 9
10
3
2007 Son2/2007 7 & 8
11 2007 Son2/2007 9 & 10
12 2007 Son2/2007 6 & 7
13 2008 Son1/2007 2 & 3
14 2008 Son3/2008 A2
15 2008 Son3/2008 B2
16 2008 Son3/2008 A3 & B3
17 2008 Son3/2008 A1
18 2008 Son1/2007 11
19 2008 Son1/2007 4
20 2008 Son1/2007 4
21 2008 Son3/2008 C1 & C2
22 2008 Son3/2008 A4
23 2008 Son1/2007 3 & 4
24 2008 Son3/2008 A1 & A2
25 2008 Son3/2008 B2 & C2
26 2009 Son1/2009 C1
27 2009 Son1/2009 A1 & B1
28 2009 Son1/2009 A1-A2 & B1-B2
29 2009 Son1/2009 A1
Tab. 1. Sultana-
Malu Roşu
necropolis. Locations of graves excavated between 2006 and 2009.
Necropola Sultana-
Malu Roşu
. Localizarea mormintelor cercetate în perioada 2006 – 2009.
Grave 15
(figs. 4, 5/b). Discovered in Son 3/2008, square B2, at a depth of 0.64 m. The
funeral pit had an oval shape (1.35 x 0.77 m) (fig. 5/b). The base of the pit was -0.93 m. The filling of
the funeral pit (s.u. T1032) was gray-brown, homogenous, medium granulated, less compact than the
2
Although this could indicate a posterior intervention in the grave, a superimposed pit was identified.
3
We would like to correct an error from a previous article on the necropolis of Sultana (C. Lazăr
et alii
2008, p.
134): grave 10 mistakenly reported previously as located in Son3/2006, squares 3 & 4.
167
Cătălin LAZĂR
et alii
surrounding sediment, contained carbonates and few archaeological materials (atypical ceramic
fragments, burnt clay fragments), and was disturbed by many burrows.
The grave contained the skeleton of an adult male (25-35 years) (A. Soficaru, A. Ion 2009, p.
206), laid in a fetal position, on the left side, oriented 69° E – 249° W (fig. 5/b). The legs were
strongly flexed beneath the pelvis. The right arm was bent with the hand towards the skull. The left
arm was bent with the hand towards the shoulder.
The grave contained no funeral inventory.
Grave 16
(figs. 4, 5/d, 10/d). Discovered in Son 3/2008, squares A3-B3, at a depth of 0.79 m.
The funeral pit had an irregular circular shape (0.53 x 0.45 m), oriented 76° E – 256° W (fig. 5/d).
The base of the pit was at -0.89 m. The filling of the funeral pit (s.u. T1034) was gray-brown,
homogenous, medium granulated, less compact than the surrounding sediment, contained
carbonates, a few ceramic fragments and burnt clay fragments, and was disturbed by a few burrows.
The grave contained a part of the long bones (both tibia diaphyses, both femur diaphyses and
both fibula diaphyses) of a young adult female (A. Soficaru, A. Ion 2009, p. 206). The bones are
grouped like a package (fig. 10/d). No recognizable grave goods were found in the grave, although
some of potsherds found in the pit may have been associated with it.
This feature probably represents a „re-interment”.
Grave 17
(figs. 4, 6/b). Discovered in Son 3/2008, square A1, at a depth of 1.02 m. The
funeral pit had an oval shape (1.26 x 0.79 m) (fig. 6/b). The base of the pit was at -1.28 m. The level
of digging of the pit was probably at -0.92 m (s.u. T1003). The filling of the funeral pit (s.u. T1036)
was yellowish-brown, homogenous, medium granulated, less compact than the surrounding sediment,
contained carbonates and was disturbed by a few burrows.
The grave contained the skeleton of an adult female (30-40 years) (A. Soficaru, A. Ion 2009,
p. 206-207), laid in a fetal position, on the left side, oriented 88° E – 266° W (fig. 6/b). The legs were
moderately flexed. The right arm was rested aside the body. From the left arm we found only the
humerus, which was oriented parallel to the right one. Many bones (left radius, left cubitus, ribs, all
vertebrae) were missing from this skeleton.
The grave contained no funeral inventory.
Grave 18
(figs. 4, 6/a). Discovered in Son 1/2007, square 11, at a depth of 1.28 m. The
funeral pit had an oval shape (1.33 x 0.82 m) (fig. 6/a). The base of the pit was at -1.44 m. The level
of digging of the pit was probably at -1.02 m (s.u. T1004). The filling of the funeral pit (s.u. T1038)
was yellowish-brown, homogenous, medium granulated, less compact than the surrounding sediment,
contained carbonates and was disturbed by a few burrows.
The grave contained the skeleton of an adult male (30-40 years) (A. Soficaru, A. Ion 2009, p.
207), laid in a fetal position, on the left side, oriented 76° E – 256° W (fig. 6/a). The legs were
moderately flexed. The right arm was rested aside the body, with the hand on the right femur. The
left arm was bent with the hand towards the skull, behind the left shoulder.
The grave contained no funeral inventory.
Grave 19
(figs. 4, 6/c). Discovered in Son 1/2007, square 4, at a depth of 1.34 m. The funeral
pit had an irregular circular shape (0.68 x 0.75 m) and was intersected on its western side by the pit
of grave 20 (fig. 6/c). The upper part of the pit was disturbed by another complex (C9/2008). The
orientation of the pit was probably 74° E – 254° W. The base of the pit was at -1.49 m (s.u. T1004).
The filling of the funeral pit (s.u. T1040) was yellowish-brown, homogenous, medium granulated, less
compact than the surrounding sediment, contained carbonates and few archaeological materials
(ceramic fragments, shells, burnt clay fragments), and was disturbed by a few burrows.
The grave contained the right humerus (lacking the proximal epiphysis) and frontal bone of
an adult male (25-35 years) (A. Soficaru, A. Ion 2009, p. 207). The bones were not grouped. At the
bottom of the pit, apparently in association with the bones, we found fragments of Gumelnita pottery,
as well as an animal bone fragment.
This feature probably represents a „re-interment”.
Grave 20
(figs. 4, 6/c). Discovered in Son 1/2007, square 4, at a depth of 1.11 m. The funeral
pit had an circular shape (0.61 x 0.54 m), oriented 74° E – 254° W (fig. 6/c). This complex intersected
the funeral pit of grave 19. The base of the pit was at -1.44 m (s.u. T1004). The filling of the funeral
pit (s.u. T1042) was gray-brown, homogenous, medium granulated, less compact than the
surrounding sediment, contained carbonates, a few ceramic fragments, burnt clay fragments and snail
shell fragments, and was disturbed by a few burrows.
The grave contained 3 skull fragments (2 fragments of parietal bone and 1 of occipital bone)
of an adult male (25-35 years), the same individual found in grave 19 (A. Soficaru, A. Ion 2009,
168
New Data on the Eneolithic Cemetery from Sultana-
Malu Roşu
p. 207). The bones were not grouped and appeared to have been discarded. This complex represents
a „re-interment”.
At the bottom of the pit we found fragments of Gumelnița pottery which may or may not be
connected to the funerary context.
Grave 21
(figs. 4, 7/a, 10/b). Discovered in Son 3/2008, squares C1 – C2, at a depth of 0.91
m. The funeral pit had an oval shape (1.33 x 0.82 m) (fig. 7/a). The base of the pit was at -1.07 m
(s.u. T1003). The filling of the funeral pit (s.u. T1044) was yellowish-brown, homogenous, medium
granulated, less compact than the surrounding sediment, contained carbonates and a few ceramic
fragments, and was disturbed by a few burrows.
The grave contained the skeleton of an adult female (20-30 years) (A. Soficaru, A. Ion 2009,
p. 207), laid in a fetal position, on the left side, oriented 82° E – 262° W (fig. 7/a). The legs were
moderately flexed. The right arm was rested aside the body. The left arm was bent with the hand
towards the skull (fig. 10/b). A right mandible fragment of a 9-10 year old child was found in the
thoracic zone of this skeleton (fig. 10/c).
A number of Gumelnita pottery fragments were discovered at the bottom of the pit, in
apparent association with the skeletal remains.
Grave 22
(figs. 4, 7/b). Discovered in Son 3/2008, square A4, at a depth of 0.86 m. The
funeral pit had an oval shape (1.37 x 0.64 m) (fig. 7/b). The base of the pit was at -0.94 m (s.u.
T1003). The filling of the funeral pit (s.u. T1046) was gray-brown, homogenous, medium granulated,
less compact than the surrounding sediment, contained carbonates, a few ceramic fragments, burnt
clay fragments, snail shell fragments, and was disturbed by a few burrows.
The grave contained the skeleton of an adult female (30-40 years) (A. Soficaru, A. Ion 2009,
p. 207), placed ventrally, in the fetal position, on its right side, oriented 76° E – 254° W (fig. 7/b). The
legs were strongly flexed beneath the pelvis. The right arm was placed along the body. The left arm
was bent with the hand on the back (fig. 7/b).
The grave contained no funeral inventory, but, a few Gumelnița pottery fragments were found
in association with the bones.
Grave 23
(figs. 4, 6/c). Discovered in Son 1/2007, squares 3-4, at a depth of 1.09 m. The
funeral pit had an oval shape (0.90 x 0.58 m), oriented 74° E – 254° W (fig. 6/c). The base of the pit
was at -1.23 m (s.u. T1003). The filling of the funeral pit (s.u. T1048) was yellowish-brown,
homogenous, medium granulated, less compact than the surrounding sediment, contained carbonates
and a few ceramic fragments, and was disturbed by a few burrows.
The grave contained only a part of the left foot (2 tarsals, 5 metatarsals and 1 phalanx) of an
adult male (A. Soficaru, A. Ion 2009, p. 207), in anatomical connection, deposited in the west side of
the pit (fig. 6/c).
The grave contained no funeral inventory.
Grave 24
(figs. 4, 7/c). Discovered in Son 3/2008, squares A1 – A2, at a depth of 0.89 m. The
funeral pit had an irregular oval shape (1.48 x 0.75 m) (fig. 7/c). The base of the pit was at -1.19 m
(s.u. T1003). The filling of the funeral pit (s.u. T1050) was gray-brown, homogenous, medium
granulated, less compact than the surrounding sediment, contained carbonates and a few atypical
ceramic fragments, and was disturbed by a few burrows.
The grave contained the skeleton of an adult female (20-25 years) (A. Soficaru, A. Ion 2009,
p. 207), in a fetal position, on its right side, oriented 77° E – 257° W (fig. 7/c). The legs were
somewhat flexed. The arms were bent, with the hands towards the skull.
The grave contained no funeral inventory.
Grave 25
(figs. 4, 7/d). Discovered in Son 3/2008, squares B2 – C2, at a depth of 0.91 m. The
funeral pit had an oval shape (1.17 x 0.65 m) (fig. 7/d). The base of the pit was at- 0.98 m (s.u.
T1003). The filling of the funeral pit (s.u. T1052) was yellowish-brown, homogenous, medium
granulated, less compact than the surrounding sediment, contained carbonates and a few atypical
ceramic fragments, and was disturbed by a few burrows.
The grave contained the skeleton of an adult female (40-50 years) (A. Soficaru, A. Ion 2009,
p. 207), in a fetal position, on its left side, oriented 82° E – 262° W (fig. 7/d). The skull and left arm
were missing. The legs were strongly flexed beneath the pelvis. The right arm had a poor state of
preservation, with some parts missing, and was probably placed along the body.
The grave contained no funeral inventory.
Grave 26
(figs. 4, 8/a). Discovered in Son 1/2009, square C1, at a depth of 2.85 m. The
funeral pit had an oval shape (1.10 x 0.70 m) (fig. 8/a). The base of the pit was at -2.93 m (s.u.
T1004). The filling of the funeral pit (s.u. T1058) was yellowish-brown, homogenous, medium
169
Cătălin LAZĂR
et alii
granulated, less compact than the surrounding sediment, contained carbonates, and was disturbed by
a few burrows.
The grave contained a skeleton
4
in a fetal position, on its right side, oriented 166° S – 344° N
(fig. 8/d). The legs were moderately flexed. The arms were bent, with the hands toward the skull.
The grave contained no funeral inventory.
Grave 27
(figs. 4, 8/b). Discovered in Son 1/2009 , squares A1-B1, at a depth of 1.85 m. This
complex cuted the superior part of the NE corner of the grave 28 and the pit of the grave 29 (figs.
8/b, 9/a).The funeral pit had an oval shape (1.40 x 0.60 m), oriented 80° E – 260° W (fig. 8/b). The
terminus post quem
of the pit was at -1.56 m (s.u. T1003), and its base was at -1.95 m, in the
loess
level (s.u. T1004) (fig. 9/a). The filling of the funeral pit (s.u. T1066) was yellowish-brown,
homogenous, medium granulated, less compact than the surrounding sediment, contained
carbonates, a few ceramic fragments, burnt clay fragments, and was disturbed by a few burrows (fig.
9/a).
The grave contained few potsherds, a carbonate sandstone fragment and some randomly
distributed human skeletal remains
5
(the left fibula, right patella, left coxal bone fragment, scapula
fragment, rib fragment, vertebra fragment - thoracic or lumbar -, 3 hand phalanxes and right
metatarsus II) (fig. 8/b). This feature probably represents a „re-interment”.
Grave 28
(figs. 4, 8/c, 10/e). Discovered in Son 1/2009, squares A1-A2-B1-B2, at a depth of
1.90 m. The funeral pit had an oval shape (1.52 x 1.00 m), oriented 68° E – 242° W (fig. 8/c). The
superior part of the pit (NE corner) was cuted by the pit of grave 27 (fig. 9/a). The
terminus post
quem
of the pit was at -1.80 m (s.u. T1003), and its base was at -2.20 m, in the
loess
level (s.u.
T1004) (fig. 9/a). The filling of the funeral pit (s.u. T1060) was yellowish-gray, homogenous, medium
granulated, less compact than the surrounding sediment, contained carbonates and was disturbed by
a few burrows.
The grave contained the a carbonate sandstone fragment, a potsherd, a cow horn and some
human skeletal remains (both femurs, both tibias, the left fibula, right calcaneus, a rib fragment, 3
hand phalanxes) (figs. 8/c, 10/e). The leg long bones were grouped and arranged in anatomical
position (fig. 10/e). This feature probably represents a „re-interment”.
Grave 29
(figs. 4, 8/b). Discovered in Son 1/2009, square A1, at a depth of 1.60 m.
Unfortunately the most part of the pit of this complex was cuted by the grave 27 (figs. 8/b, 9/a). The
funeral pit had probably an oval shape (0.48 x 0.48 m
in situ
preserved), oriented probably 80° E –
260° W (fig. 8/b). The base of the pit was at -1.65 m (s.u. T1003). The filling of the funeral pit (s.u.
T1062) was yellowish-gray, homogenous, medium granulated, less compact than the surrounding
sediment, contained carbonates, a few ceramic fragments, burnt clay fragments, a carbonate
sandstone fragment, and was disturbed by a few burrows.
The preserved part of the grave contains the upper body skeleton of one individual, in
anatomical connection (fig. 8/b). The skeletal remains include the skull, right arm (humerus, cubitus,
and radius), left humerus fragment, cervical vertebrae, and fragments from scapula and clavicle. It is
difficult to approximate the position of the individual based on data recorded in the field. The skull had
fallen to the left, the upper part of the body was deposited on its back; the left arm was bent with the
hand toward the skull.
The grave contained no funeral inventory.
Other complexes
Pit C6/2007
6
– Discovered in Son 2/2007, squares 4-5, at a depth of 0.90 m. The pit had an
irregular circular shape (1.05 x 0.80 m), oriented 80° E – 260° W (fig. 4). This pit was located at
about 4.70 m SW from Grave 6 and 3.50 m NE from Grave 12 (fig. 4). The base of the pit was at a
depth of 1.05 m. The filling of the pit (s.u. T1012) was yellowish-brown, homogenous, medium
granulated, medium compact, and contained charcoal, burnt clay fragments and some carbonates.
Ceramic fragments, animal bones, shells and a bead made of snail shell were recovered from
the bottom of the pit. This complex represents a ritual offering pit.
Pit C1/2009
– Discovered in Son 1/2009, square B2, at a depth of 2.10 m. The pit had an
irregular circular shape (0.80 x 0.53 m), oriented 335° NNW – 155° SSE (figs. 4, 8/c). This pit was
4
Skeletons of the 2009 campaign (in graves 26, 27, 28 and 29) were not analyzed anthropologically.
5
Identification of anatomical elements of graves 27 and 28 was made by Mr. Gabriel Vasile, anthropologist at the
National History Museum of Romania.
6
This complex was identified in 2007 and excavated in 2008.
170
New Data on the Eneolithic Cemetery from Sultana-
Malu Roşu
located at about 0.45 m W from Grave 27 (figs. 4, 8/c). The base of the pit was at a depth of 2.22 m.
The filling of the pit (s.u. T1064) was yellowish-gray, homogenous, medium granulated, medium
compact, contained carbonates and was disturbed by a few burrows.
A carbonate sandstone fragment, 3 ceramic fragments, a horn and other animal bones (see
the archaeozoological analysis below) were recovered from the bottom of the pit. This complex
represents a ritual offering pit.
* * *
Complexes similar to the ones described here have been identified in the necropolis of Vinica
in Bulgaria ("sacrificial" pits I - V) (A. Radunčeva 1976, p. 75-77, 80-81) and the necropolis of
Măriuţa-
La Movilă
(V. Parnic
et alii
2007, p. 231). The presence of such complexes in the area of the
cemeteries may be related to certain stages of the funeral ceremony (possibly remains of the funerary
banquet), or may reflect some commemorating ceremonies. Materials from the pits could be the result
of dedicated deposition of the deceased.
Grave structure
The burials presented here are individual. They consist of ordinary pits devoid of plaster lining
or any traces of related constructions. Based on the data collected to date, the graves from the
Sultana-
Malu Roșu
cemetery were not marked at the surface, or the markings that were potentially
used were made of material that did not preserve.
In most of the cases the upper part of the burial pits is indistinguishable from the surrounding
terrain. The pits have an oval or circular shape. In the complexes that contained skeletons in
anatomical connection, the pits were close in size to the size of the bodies they contained. In the case
of re-burials some of the pits are larger than necessary to fit the skeletal remains (e.g. graves 19, 20
and 23), whereas others are closer in size to the size of the skeletal parts placed in them (e.g. grave
16).
The elevations of the tops of the grave pits with respect to P0 range between 0.65 m and
1.90 m of depth
7
. The levels from which the pits were dug, where this feature was identified, was at
between 0.70 m and 1.80 m of depth beneath the layer considered to represent a paleosoil from the
prehistoric period (s.u. T1003)
8
. The bases of the pits were at -1.03 m and -2.20 m of depth, some in
the prehistoric layer (s.u. T1003) and others in the
loess
layer (s.u. T1004) (tab. 2). There is no
relationship between age, sex and the depth of the graves.
Mutual disturbances of burials were observed in two cases: grave 20 intersected the pit of
grave 19, and grave 27 intersected the pit of grave 29 and the upper part of the pit of grave 28.
These spatial relationships were used to reconstruct the relative chronology of these graves
9
. They
also indicate some intensity of usage of this cemetery
10
.
In terms of planimetry, the graves are placed at variable distances. In some cases they are
placed at distances of under 1 m, forming apparent groups (e.g. graves 14 and 24, graves 25 and
22)
11
, whereas in other instances graves are more distanced from each other (figs. 4; 10/a). In
general, with few exceptions, the graves seem to be aligned into files pointing toward the settlement.
7
To be taken into account that all altimetric measurements were made from P0 and some graves were on the
slope, so that the resulting variation is only consequence of P0 readings with no connection to practical realities
or behavior.
8
This includes graves discovered in the 2006-2007 campaigns.
9
Grave 19 pre-dates grave 20 and graves 28 and 29 pre-date grave 27.
10
This is a preliminary observation. The instances of cross-cutting pits were observed only for re-burials. It is
possible that we are looking at pits dug in order to unearth bones, and not grave overlap.
11
Similar situations have been identified in previous campaigns (e.g. graves 4 and 5; graves 8 and 12; graves 9
and 11).
171
Cătălin LAZĂR
et alii
Stratigraphical
units (s.u.)
of the pit
The level of
cutting of the pit
The base of the
pit
Grave
no.
Shape of
the pit
Dimensions
of the pit
cut fill s.u. elevation s.u. elevation
1 oval 1.37 x 0.76 m T998 T999 T1003 -0.95 m T1004 -1.29 m
2 oval 0.86 x 0.49 m T994 T995 T1003 -0.83 m T1003 -1.06 m
3 oval 1.10 x 0.90 m T992 T993 - - T1004 -1.30 m
4 oval 1.25 x 0.70 m T990 T991 - - T1003 -1.12 m
5 oval 1.29 x 0.96 m T898 T899 - - T1003 -1.14 m
6 oval 1.24 x 0.72 m T1021 T1010 T1003 -0.78 m T1003 -1.19 m
7 oval 1.29 x 0.82 m T1019 T1005 T1003 -0.85 m T1004 -1.29 m
8 oval 1.33 x 0.68 m T1023 T1008 T1003 -0.65 m T1003 -1.03 m
9 oval 1.29 x 0.83 m T1022 T1007 T1003 -0.70 m T1004 -1.12 m
10 oval 0.84 x 0.78 m T1020 T1009 T1003 -0.65 m T1003 -0.95 m
11 oval 1.47 x 0.72 m T1027 T1013 T1003 -0.85 m T1004 -1.18 m
12 oval 1.32 x 0.85 m T1028 T1014 - - T1004 -1.12 m
13 oval 1.18 x 0.70 m T1030 T1029 T1003 - T1004 -1.68 m
14 oval 1.32 x 0.76 m T1055 T1056 T1003 -0.83 m T1003 -1.17 m
15 oval 1.35 x 0.77 m T1031 T1032 - - T1003 -0.93 m
16 circular 0.53 x 0.45 m T1033 T1034 - - T1003 -0.89 m
17 oval 1.26 x 0.79 m T1035 T1036 T1003 -0.92 m (?) T1003 -1.28 m
18 oval 1.33 x 0.82 m T1037 T1038 T1003 -1.02 m (?) T1004 -1.44 m
19 circular 0.68 x 0.75 m T1039 T1040 - - T1004 -1.49 m
20 circular 0.61 x 0.54 m T1041 T1042 - - T1004 -1.44 m
21 oval 1.33 x 0.82 m T1043 T1044 - - T1003 -1.07 m
22 oval 1.37 x 0.64 m T1045 T1046 - - T1003 -0.94 m
23 oval 0.90 x 0.58 m T1047 T1048 - - T1003 -1.23 m
24 oval 1.48 x 0.75 m T1049 T1050 - - T1003 -1.19 m
25 oval 1.17 x 0.65 m T1051 T1052 - - T1003 -0.98 m
26 oval 1.10 x 0.70 m T1057 T1058 - - T1004 -2.93 m
27 oval 1.40 x 0.60 m T1065 T1066 T1003 -1.56 m T1004 -1.95 m
28 oval 1.52 x 1.00 m T1059 T1060 T1003 -1.80 m T1004 -2.20 m
29 oval (?) 0.48 x 0.48 m T1061 T1062 - - T1003 -1.65 m
Tab. 2. Sultana-
Malu Roşu
necropolis. Characteristics of the grave pits excavated
between 2006 and 2009.
Necropola Sultana-
Malu Roşu
. Caracteristicile gropilor funerare cercetate în
perioada 2006 – 2009.
Treatment of the dead
Most of the graves excavated between 2008 and 2009 in the Sultana-
Malu Roşu
cemetery are
individual graves. The only exception is grave 21, where the right mandible fragment of a child was
found along with the remains of an adult. However, this cannot be considered a double grave and
172
New Data on the Eneolithic Cemetery from Sultana-
Malu Roşu
probably has a different significance
12
. Re-burials (re-interments) are also special cases and are
discussed further below.
Most of the graves are similar to each other and, in terms of basic elements of the rite, they
reflect common burial practices characteristic of the Kodjadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI cultural
complex. The skeletons were found in normal anatomical positions. Most of them had been laid in a
fetal position (lateral, dorsal or ventral) on their left side (figs. 5-7). Only in three cases (graves 22, 24
and 26) the skeletons were lying in fetal positions on their right side (figs. 7/b-c, 8/a). There is no
relationship between the age or sex of the individuals and the positions of skeletons. The deposition
of the dead in a fetal position, preferentially on the left side has been documented in several other
necropolises belonging to the Kodjadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI cultural complex, in Bulgaria (V.
Mikov 1927, p. 280-282; H. Todorova
et alii
1975, p. 59-65; 2002, p. 31-88; I. Angelova 1986, p. 50-
58; 1991, p. 101-104) and Romania (E. Comşa 1980, p. 25; 1995, p. 58-96; D. Şerbănescu 1988, p.
2; C. Bălteanu, P. Cantemir 1990, p. 3; C. Lazăr, V. Parnic 2007, p. 142).
The orientation of the individuals from this cemetery is very consistent, pointing eastward (fig.
9/b). Even the re-burials (graves 16, 19, 20, 23, 27, 28) seem to have the same orientation (figs. 5/d,
6/c, 8/b-c). Grave 26 is the only one with a different orientation, pointing largely southward (fig. 8/a).
There is no relationship between the age or sex of the individuals and the orientation of their graves.
In the most cases the dead were buried with their heads pointing toward the
tell
settlement and the
variations in positioning are determined by the position of the graves in relationship to the particular
topography of the cemetery area.
The eastward orientation of burials is also known in other necropolises belonging to
Kodjadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI cultural complex (V. Mikov 1927, p. 280-282; H. Todorova
et alii
1975, p. 59-65; 2002, p. 31-87; A. Radunčeva 1976, p. 69-92; E. Comşa 1980, p. 26; 1995, p. 58-97;
I. Ivanov 1982, p. 166; I. Angelova 1986, p. 51-58; 1991, p. 101-104; D. Şerbănescu 1988, p. 2-3;
1997; C. Bălteanu, P. Cantemir 1990, p. 3; K. Dimitrov 2002, p. 281-282; C. Lazăr, V. Parnic 2007, p.
142).
Re-burial graves represent a special situation. We use the term „re-interment”
13
with a very
inclusive sense since some of the complexes exhibit features that make tenability of this interpretation
delicate. In the Balkan area, some authors consider this type of discovery as representing secondary
burials
14
(K. Băčvarov 2000, p. 138-139; Y. Boyadžiev 2009, p. 13-14), which requires acceptance of
the assumption of funeral-related practices involving the exposure of bodies or operations involving
the removal of flesh from the bones. We consider these situations as representing the result of
accidental or special circumstances that did not allow for normal conduction of funeral rites (e.g.
accidents or conflicts occurring in locations removed from the settlement, or other circumstances that
do not allow for recovery of the corpse). Alternately, these complexes may reflect differential
treatment of certain individuals of the community, exclusive practices, or occasional habits. Similar
situations are known in the necropolis of Varna I
15
(I. Ivanov 1978, p. 17) or Vărăşti-
Grădiştea
Ulmilor
16
(E. Comşa 1995, p. 66, 70, 82, 90).
To date, eight cases of re-interment were identified
17
, in the necropolis of Sultana-
Malu Roşu
,
of which six (graves 16, 19, 20, 23, 27 and 28) were discovered in the 2008 and 2009 campaigns.
Except for grave 23 all the others contain disarticulated skeletal without anatomical connection,
generally from a single individual. The re-interments can be divided into two categories: graves
containing skeletal remains that were apparently selectively grouped (graves 16, 23, 28), and graves
containing rather random skeletal elements (graves 19, 20 and 27). In one case (grave 23), the
skeletal elements were in anatomical connection. These characteristics, as well as the stratigraphic
12
The presence of human bones from a different individual found associated with a skeleton in anatomical
connection cannot be considered a double grave. Such situations can represent re-burials of skeletal parts of
other individuals, as well as offerings and/or symbols with gift purpose (donation to the deceased), or may be
related to some other practices of unknown significance.
13
The term designates an operation involving the exhumation of the remains of a deceased in order to perform
ritual acts on them and then bury them back into the grave (V. Sîrbu 2003).
14
This is based mainly on bones found not in anatomical position, with skeletal elements missing or having been
emoved (Y. Boyadžiev 2009, p. 13).
15
We refer to the type 1.D, as catalogued by the author of the excavations (I. Ivanov 1978, p. 17).
16
The author of the excavations does not analyze in detail this type of discovery, and presents them without
interpretation (E. Comşa 1995).
17
These include 2006-2007 discoveries (graves 3 and 10).
173
Cătălin LAZĂR
et alii
relationships of these complexes recorded in the field, seem to indicate intentional deposition of the
osteological remains in pits, and exclude the possibility of later intervention.
Grave 21 yielded a right mandible fragment of a child that had been placed near the skeleton
of an adult. This situation probably reflects a different type of re-interment.
In graves 7 and 25 the skeletons were found in anatomical connection for the most part, but
the skulls were missing. It is possible that these represent cases of post-burial intervention in the
graves with the aim to retrieve selected anatomical elements.
When considered in the context of the findings of scattered bones recorded in the
tell
settlement, the graves of the Sultana-
Malu Roşu
necropolis suggest that the Kodjadermen-Gumelniţa-
Karanovo VI cultural complex communities exhibited distinct behaviors for different groups of
individuals, some of which involved complex practices and handling of osteological remains.
Grave goods
Most of the graves in the Sultana-
Malu Roşu
cemetery are devoid of grave goods. Of the
graves investigated in 2008-2009, only two contained material that can be unambiguously assigned to
the funeral inventory (graves 13 and 14). We could not identify any pattern in the deposition of grave
goods. Objects found in other graves are problematic in terms of unambiguous identification as grave
goods. Below we inventory the different categories of materials that were found in the graves.
Ceramic artefacts.
In some cases (graves 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, complex 6/2007 and
1/2009), only a potsherd was found in each complex.
In general, we note the prevalence of semifine ceramics (29 fragment = 63%);these are
followed in frequency by fine ceramics (13 frg. = 28%) and rough ceramics (4 frg = 9%) (fig. 9/c).
The fragments are relatively evenly distributed between oxidizing combustion ceramics (25 frg =
56%) and reducing combustion ceramics (20 frg. = 44%) (fig. 9/c).
Of the 46 pottery fragments, the shape of the original vessel could be determined only for 10
(fig. 9/c). Six of the fragments belonged to truncated, open vessels, three derived from closed bi-
truncated vessels, and one from a spherical vessel, also a closed form.
It is difficult to consider isolated pottery fragments funerary objects. They are most likely to
have been introduced during the filling of the pits, or may be due to post-depositional processes;
neither of these are deliberate gestures related to the burial ceremony. However, in the case of
complexes C6/2007 and C1/2009 (offering pits) the pottery fragments are likely to represent
intentional deposition.
Complex C1/2009 yielded five pottery fragments that were reconstructed into a profile derived
from a spherical, globular vessel displaying plastic decoration. The outer surface of the vessel was
prepared by application of unorganized barbotine and an alveolar band was added at about 1 cm
below the rim, surrounding the entire circumference of the vessel. A double hump protuberance was
applied below, on the vessel shoulder. The impression left by another such protuberance can be seen
elsewhere on the vessel. The paste is coarse, contains crushed pottery fragments, and is burned in
partially oxidizing conditions from black to red-brick. The rim is 13 cm in diameter.
Complex C6/2007 yielded 25 ceramic fragments that we could not reconstruct; they probably
derived from a truncated cone-shaped vessel without decoration. The paste is coarse, contains
crushed pottery fragments, and is burned in partially oxidizing conditions from black to red-brick.
Lithic artefacts (?).
Three of the graves (graves 13, 16 and 20) have yielded flint chips. As in
the case of most of the pottery fragments, it is delicate to interpret these items as funerary inventory.
Their presence in the graves is more likely accidental or due to post-depositional processes.
Ornaments.
Graves 13 and 14 yielded ornaments consisting of beads made of
Spondylus
gaederopus
shells, bone and marble.
Grave 13
produced a rich inventory comprising five tubular beads, two biconvex beads and a
cylindrical bead, all made of bone; nine tubular and one cylindrical
Spondylus
beads, and a cylindrical
marble bead.
Tubular bone
beads
(figs. 11, 16/a; tab. 3)
Morphology: circular (3) or rectangular (2) section, straight parallel sides and horizontal,
slightly oblique ends.
Technique: the bone was sectioned transversally by sawing, producing a facet cut obliquely
relative to the item’s axis. Fine saw marks are often present around extremities. Sometimes, the
sawing was incomplete and was followed by flexion breaking (fig. 11/a-b, magnification respectively
50x and 100x). The final grinding produced very fine parallel grooves oblique to the long axis; a very
strong luster is conspicuous, probably caused by extended wearing of the item, as the luster is
174
New Data on the Eneolithic Cemetery from Sultana-
Malu Roşu
situated near the perforation (fig. 11/d-e, magnification 200x). The perforation was performed, with
only one exception, from one side, as evidenced by characteristic grooves produced by the rotation
technique used (fig. 11/c, magnification 50x).
Biconvex (2) and cylindrical (1) bone beads
(figs. 12, 16/a; tab. 3)
Morphology: three beads with circular profile, convergent convex (2) and straight parallel (1)
sides, and rectilinear horizontal ends.
Technique: the same technique was used as for the items of the previous category, the
perforation being executed in all cases through rotation, from just one side. One of the beads exhibits
a conspicuous area of strong luster near the perforation (fig. 12/a-b, magnification 100 x, 30x).
Tubular Spondylus beads
(figs. 13, 16/b; tab.
4)
These include four entire beads, two longitudinally fractured beads and three fragments.
Morphology and morphometry are recorded for the entire items.
Morphology: circular section, straight parallel sides, horizontal ends, slightly irregular because
of some multiple fractures.
Technique: strips representing the raw material for the beads were contour-cut from valves.
The technique can be reconstructed only for the transversal processing – sawing, as evidenced by the
specific morphology conspicuous on some of the specimens (magnification 100x). This technique was
chosen as, unlike percussion, it allows for a good control of the cutting direction and, thus, pre-
visualization of the form of the final piece produced. Cut surfaces, as well as the rest of the surface of
specimens, were finely polished, which created a luster aspect (fig. 13/a, magnification 100x) and
masked the traces produced during longitudinal cutting. Perforation was achieved from just one side,
through circular motion, producing a conical profile with conspicuous helical grooves (fig. 13/b-c,
magnification 50x).
Height
(cm)
Diameter of item
(cm)
Diameter of
perforation (cm)
0.6 0.5 0.3
0.8 0.57 0.3
0.66 0.4 0.28
0.8 0.6 0.3
Tubular beads
0.7 0.6 0.3
0.3 0.7 0.24 Biconvex beads
0.3 0.6 0.26
Cylindrical bead 0.22 0.6 0.24
Tab. 3. Sultana-
Malu Roşu
necropolis. Bone beads from grave 13.
Necropola Sultana-
Malu Roşu
. Mărgele de os descoperite în M13.
Cylindrical Spondylus bead
(figs. 14/a, 16/b; tab. 4)
Morphology: circular section, straight parallel sides and horizontal, slightly oblique ends.
Technique: the surface of the specimen is significantly degraded, so that most of the
processing marks are not preserved. The technique is likely similar to that used for the specimens in
the previous category, except that the perforation was achieved from both sides, trough rotation, as
evidenced by morphology and telltale grooes (fig. 14/a, details, 50x).
Cylindrical marble
bead
(fig. 14/b)
Morphology: circular section, straight parallel sides, horizontal ends.
Morphometry: height – 0.23 cm, diameter – 0.7 cm, perforation diameter – 0.22 cm.
Technique: a raw core was obtained from a block of raw material and was then thoroughly
ground and polished. The perforation was achieved from one side, as evidenced by characteristic
grooves (fig. 14/b, detail, 100x).
175
Cătălin LAZĂR
et alii
Height
(cm)
Diameter of item
(cm)
Diameter of
perforation (cm)
0.95 0.4 0.2
1 0.6 0.3
0.8 0.6 0.3
0.9 0.6 0.3
1.1 - -
Tubular beads
0.77 - -
Cylindrical bead 0.3 0.5 0.23
Tab. 4. Sultana-
Malu Roşu
necropolis.
Spondylus
beads from grave 13.
Necropola Sultana-
Malu Roşu
. Mărgele de
Spondylus
descoperite în M13.
Grave 14
produced two tubular
Spondylus
beads (figs. 15, 16/c; tab. 5)
Morphology: circular section, straight parallel sides and horizontal, slightly oblique ends.
Technique: identical to that described for the tubular beads excavated from grave 13,
respectively sawing (fig. 15/e, detail, 100x) to produce strips of raw material and rotation perforation
performed from one side. (figs. 15/a, b, c, d, details, 50x).
Height
(cm)
Diameter of item
(cm)
Diameter of
perforation (cm)
1.47 0.6 0.37 Tubular beads
1.3 0.6 0.3
Tab. 5. Sultana-
Malu Roşu
necropolis.
Spondylu
s beads from grave 14.
Necropola Sultana-
Malu Roşu
. Mărgele de
Spondylus
descoperite în M14.
* * *
According to S. Price (1999, p. 530), the ornament represents a specific cultural idiom, which
can make the difference between nature and culture. Ethnology studies have shown that traditional
societies use a great diversity of supports for their art objects, more numerous than those used for
their subsistence activities. These supports are not chosen randomly, each one carrying different
symbolic connotations. Unfortunately, we cannot retrieve the esthetic and cultural criteria of the
prehistoric societies, in order to identify the qualities attributed to each kind of support. Maybe only
the rarity or the exotic support could be approachable archeological dimensions. Moreover, exotic raw
materials “move” between societies, traveling great distances and offering the archeologists the
possibility to explore regional relations and interactions between different societies. As they come
from very far away and their number is limited, they become items conferring prestige, their
possession maintaining and confirming social ranks and hierarchies (M. B. Trubitt 2003, p. 244).
Acquisition of the raw material. The raw materials used for the funeral inventory excavated in
the Sultana-
Malu Roşu
necropolis include
Spondylus
gaederopus
valves (10 items coming from grave
13 and 2 from grave 14), bone (8 items from grave 13) and marble (1 item from grave 13). Of these,
most discussions are elicited by the
Spondylus
valves, whose origin is still debated. M. Seferiades
(1995, p. 289-356) considers that they are of Mediterranean origin, rejecting the presence of this
species in the Black Sea, whereas H. Todorova (2002, p. 182-185) or V. Dimitrijević and B. Tripković
(2006, p. 247) support a Black Sea origin.
Another possibility is that fossil
Spondylus
specimens were used to make the beads (a practice
encountered in several prehistoric communities), but the difference between living and fossil valves
can only be evidenced through isotopic analyses (J. Shakelton, H. Elderfield 1990, p. 312-315). In the
case of imports, it would be interesting to know whether the raw material or the finite products were
imported, and whether those were acquired by direct exchange or as a result of a chain of exchanges
176
New Data on the Eneolithic Cemetery from Sultana-
Malu Roşu
between several groups (as in the kula type exchanges of Polynesia). The special socio-economic or
religious importance of
Spondylus
cannot be neglected, considering its pan-European presence during
the Neo-Eneolithic. Apparently, this importance was so deeply engrained in the collective mind, that
when the shells could not be procured the beads were copied in clay in Central Europe (M. Seferiades
1995, p. 289-356) or in stone (“big man’s tomb” from Varna I) (M. Seferiades 1995, p. 289-356). This
is also evidence for the importance of cultural tradition.
The technical aspects regard the modalities to achieve the two main operations leading to the
finite object: cutting and finishing. The first stage consists of transversal cutting by sawing (both for
items made of bone and for those made of valves), followed by flexion breaking, at least in the case
of the beads made of bone. For the
Spondylus
beads, longitudinal cutting of the valves preceded the
transversal cutting, but the technique used cannot be identified. Perforation was invariably achieved
through rotation, without prior preparation of the area to be perforated. The finishing stage consisted
of very fine polishing which in most cases erased the marks left by previous processing. The similar
sizes and morphology of the beads (tabs. 3-5) reflect an intentionality toward standardization which
creates a certain aesthetic impact, suggesting that they were parts of composite ornaments.
Significance: the aesthetic role ornaments cannot be denied, but certain types of ornament
can bear more specific meanings, such as membership in certain ethnic or social groups (tribe, caste,
clan), differences in gender (male – female) or age (child, adolescent, adult, elder), or may have ritual
(wizard, shaman) or political significance (warrior, chief). Studies of traditional populations have
shown that specific combinations or arrangements of ornaments can also mark a special contexts
(war, feast, initiation or funeral ritual). The ornaments can be as well exchange items, such as the
cauri shells of the Pacific, which circulate as part of the kula exchange system (G. Burenhult 1995, p.
110-111), or communication systems, such as the bead belts (wampum) of the North American
Indians, marking specific political events (C. Waldman 1985, p. 214). Given this multitude of possible
significances, ornaments have been used by scholars to reconstruct social hierarchies within
communities and to identify geographic boundaries within which groups moved, as well their systems
of exchanges (Y. Taborin 1993, p. 321-328).
The archeological context is crucial in the interpretation of the significance of ornaments. In
this sense, the funeral context is a special one, as it can be associated with a specific moment (a
funeral ceremony) and can, thus, provide insights into the life of the population. Moreover, if the
ornamental items preserve their original position on the skeleton, they allow for identification of the
original morphology and specific function (necklace, bracelet, bonnet, belt, etc.) of composite
ornaments. Such is the case of the ornaments excavated from grave 1 in the necropolis of Sultana (C.
Beldiman
et alii
2008, p. 63).
Animal Bones
The faunal material is relatively scarce and comes from four complexes that were found in the
necropolis on the terrace: C1/2009 (pit), C6/2007 (pit), grave 19 and grave 28 (fig. 4)
18
.
Complex C1/2009 yielded six mammalian faunal remains (fig. 8/c). Domestic cattle (
Bos
taurus
) are represented by a diaphysis fragment of a humerus and an almost complete right horncore
with a part of the frontal bone attached at the base (fig. 17/c). Deer (
Cervus elaphus
) is present by a
fragment of an unfused lumbar vertebra, which comes from an individual less than 4-5 years old. The
inventory is supplemented by two fragments of a lumbar verterbra (representing lateral and dorsal
apophyses) which could not be identified taxonomically (
Bos
/
Cervus
) due to pronounced degradation,
as well as two fragments of long bones diaphyses coming from large mammals.
Grave 28 yielded domestic cattle (
Bos taurus
) neurocranium pieces including a left horncore
(figs. 8/c, 10/e). Although highly fragmented due to soil pressure, they were carefully collected and
reconstructed (fig. 17/c). Very interestingly, this left side of neurocranium includes the pair of the
piece of neurocranium attached to the right horncore found in C1/2009 (fig. 17/b). This surprising
finding indicates that the two complexes, distanced at about 0.45 m, are contemporaneous.
18
This material was studied in the Archaeozoological Laboratory of the National Center for Multidisciplinary
Research at the National History Museum of Romania. Taxonomic identifications are based on literature (E.
Schmid 1972; R. Barone 1986), as well as on the extensive comparative anatomy collection of the Laboratory.
177
Cătălin LAZĂR
et alii
Circumference
(mm)
Anteroposterior
diameter (mm)
Transverse
diameter (mm)
Flattening index
(mm)
Right horncore 184 60.1 51.4 0.86
Left horncore 182 59.3 49.3 0.83
Tab. 6. Sultana-
Malu Roşu
necropolis. Sizes of domestic cow (
Bos taurus
) horns from
complex C1/2009 and grave 28 (measurements follow A. von den Driesch 1976).
Necropola
Sultana-Malu Roşu
. Dimensiunile proceselor cornulare de vită (
Bos taurus
)
descoperite în complexele C1/2009 şi M28 (măsurătorile sunt după A. von den Driesch 1976).
The morphology of the horncores, oval in cross section and pointing up and backward,
indicates that they belong to an adult male. Although both horncores have broken tips, their length
probably exceeded 220 mm. Their biometric data (tab. 6) are compared with the dimensions of other
horncores found in Hamangia and Boian cultures (A. Bălăşescu, V Radu 2004, p. 146, tab. 48) (fig.
17/a).
Complex C6/2007 yielded four faunal remains. These include three right upper molar (M
3
) of
Bos taurus
(domestic cattle) that belonged to relatively young individuals of about 30-36 months,
based on dental wear (W. Higham 1967, p. 104), and a left lower jaw of
Sus domesticus
(pig) with
several teeth (P
3
, P
4
, M
1
, M
2
and M
3
) based on which we inferred an age of about 18-20 months (M.-P.
Horard-Herbin 1994, p. 52). The pig jaw is transversally broken at the level of P3 which precluded
identification of the sex of this individual. Two
Unio
sp. shells were also found in the complex. This
complex is, thus, characterized by the presence of cranial remains (teeth) that represent body parts
associated with low meat content.
Grave 19 produced, from the bottom of the pit, a bone fragment belonging to a large animal
but taxonomically unidentifiable.
* * *
Generally, the presence of animal bones in graves may be linked with offerings made by
participants in the funeral ceremony of burial. Similar situations are found in other necropolises of the
Kodjadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI cultural complex (H. Todorova
et alii
1975, p. 62; A. Radunčeva
1976, p. 70, 75-81, 90-91; C. Lazăr 2001, p. 174; C. Lazăr, V. Parnic 2007, p. 143 etc.).
The situation of the
Bos taurus
skull split between grave 28 and complex C1/2009 is
particularly informative, indicating contemporaneity of the two complexes and providing additional
information on the history of the community
19
.
Conclusions
Archaeological excavations in the cemetery of Sultana-
Malu Roşu
are ongoing, with a total of
29 graves discovered to date. Data on the graves investigated in the 2008-2009 campaigns
supplements the data obtained previously (2006-2007). Based on the available information we can
conclude that the necropolis of Sultana-
Malu Roșu
corroborates many of the characteristics
documented in other cemeteries belonging to the Kodjadermen-Gumelnița-Karanovo VI cultural
complex. Specific information on grave size, location, orientation and grouping, on the anthropological
characteristics, position and orientation of skeletons, as well as on grave inventory, recorded in this
cemetery, supplements the data currently available on the Kodjadermen-Gumelnița-Karanovo VI
prehistoric communities.
Acknowledgments
We thank Dr. Mihai Tomescu (Humboldt State University, Arcata, California) and Ciprian
Astaloș (University London College) for improvement of the English translation, and to Mr. Gabriel
Vasile (National History Museum of Romania) for the identification of anatomical features of the
remains in graves 27 and 28. We also thank to Mr. Constantin Haită (National History Museum of
Romania) for the identification of the rocks fragments from graves 27, 28 and complex C1/2009.
19
We will debate the problem related to them in a future study.
178
New Data on the Eneolithic Cemetery from Sultana-
Malu Roşu
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1975 H. Todorova, I. Ivanov, V. Vassliev, M. Hopf, H. Quitta, G. Kohl,
Selistnata mogila pri Goljamo Delčevo
. Razkopki i proucvanija, V,
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Atlas of the North American Indian
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Fig. 1. Map Romania and location of - şu site.
Harta României i localizarea sitului de la Sultana-Malu Rou.
of Sultana Malu Ro
şş
Romania
0 60 km
New Data on the Eneolithic Cemetery from Sultana-Malu Roşu
183
Fig ..2 a-b. Location of Sultana Malu Ro .
a-b.
- şu tell settlement and cemetery
Localizarea a ezării de tip tell i a necropolei de la Sultana-Malu Ro u.şş ş
a.
b.
Cătălin LAZĂR et alii
184
Fig ..3 Digital terrain model of the Sultana Malu Ro V
O
.
V
5.
- şu cemetery: a. iew from North-West;
b. Altimetric profile of the ongoing reserach area; c. ngoing reserach area 2006-2012
(the reference is )
Modelul digital al terenului din zona necropolei de la Sultana-Malu Ro u: a. edere dinspre
nord-vest; b. Profilul altimetric al zonei în cercetare; c. Zona propusă spre cercetare 2006-2012
(referinţa altimetrică a planului este Marea Neagră 197 )
ş
1975 Black Sea elevation system
40,88 m
35,5 m
45,75 m
Ongoing research area 2006-2012
Mostiştea Lake
Tell Settlement
Cemetery
a.
b.
c.
New Data on the Eneolithic Cemetery from Sultana-Malu Roşu
45.0 m
42.5 m
40.0 m
35.0 m
37.5 m
32.5 m
10 m
20 m
30 m
40 m
50 m
60 m
A
B
A
B
185
Fig. 4. - şu cemetery (2006-2009)
Planul necropolei de la Sultana-Malu Ro u (2006-2009).
Plan of Sultana Malu Ro .
ş
Son9/2006
Son2/2007
Son1/2007
Son7/2006
Son1/2006
Son3/2008
Son1/2009
Cătălin LAZĂR et alii
186
Fig. 5. a. b. Grave 15; c. Grave 14; d.
a. Mormântul M13; b. Mormântul M15; c. Mormântul M14; d. Mormântul M16.
Grave 13; Grave 16.
x
x
x
Spondylus beads
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
Spondylus, bone
and marble beads
T1029
-1.67 m
-1.65 m
-1.64 m
-1.17 m
-1.14 m
-1.14 m
-1.11 m
-1.12 m
-1.16 m
-1.64 m
-1.63 m
-1.66 m
-1.53 m
a.
b.
c.
d.
T1032
-0.88 m
-0.89 m
-0.91 m
-0.91 m
-0.92 m
-0.93 m
-0.77 m
T1056
T1034
-0.79 m
-0.87 m
-0.86 m
-0.86 m
Grave 13
Grave 15
Grave 14
Grave 16
10 cm
10 cm
0
0
10 cm
0
10 cm
0
187
Fig. 6. a. b. Grave 17; c. Graves 19, 20 and 23
a. Mormântul M18; b. Mormântul M17; c. Mormintele M19, M20 þi M23.
Grave 18; .
a.
b.
c.
T1038
T1036
T1048
T1040
Grave 19
Grave 20
Grave 23
T1042
sherds
Grave 18
Grave 17
10 cm
0
10 cm
0
10 cm
0
-1.49 m
-1.45 m
-1.44 m
-1.41 m
-1.41 m
-1.36 m
-1.38 m
-1.35 m
-1.34 m
-1.34 m
-1.31 m
-1.39 m
-1.42 m
-1.42 m
-1.45 m
-1.47 m
-1.39 m
-1.34 m
-1.23 m
-1.23 m
-1.20 m
-1.20 m
-1.19 m
-1.21 m
-1.41 m
-1.39 m
Cãtãlin LAZÃR et alii
188
Fig. 7. a. b. Grave 22; c. Grave 24; d. Grave 25
a. Mormântul M21; b. Mormântul M22; c. Mormântul M24; d. Mormântul M25.
Grave 21; .
a.
b.
c.
d.
Grave 21
Grave 24
Grave 25
Grave 22
T1044
T1046
T1050
T1052
-1.16 m
-0.96 m
-0.96 m
-0.98 m
-0.97 m
-0.95 m
-1.18 m
-1.19 m
-1.17 m
-1.17 m
-1.15 m
-1.06 m
-1.07 m
-1.00 m
-1.02 m
-1.03 m
-0.88 m
-0.91 m
-0.94 m
-0.92 m
-0.92 m
-0.90 m
-1.00 m
-1.10 m
10 cm
10 cm
10 cm
10 cm
0
0
0
0
189
20 cm
0
C1/2009
T1064
-2.18 m
-2.22 m
-2.20 m
-2.20 m
Grave 28
T1060
-2.10 m
-2.10 m
-2.11 m
-2.14 m
-2.16 m
-2.08 m
-2.13 m
human bones
animal bones
sherds
Bos taurus horn
10 cm
0
a.
T1058
20 cm
0
Grave 27
Grave 26
Grave 29
T1062
T1066
-1.95 m
-1.90 m
-1.92 m
-2.93 m
-2.91 m
-2.91 m
-2.88 m
-2.86 m
-1.88 m
human
bones
sherds
b.
c.
Fig. 8. a. b. Graves 27 and 29; c. Grave 28 and complex C1/2009
a. Mormântul M26; b. Mormintele M27 ºi M29; c. Mormântul M28 þi complexul C1/2009.
Grave 26; .
Cãtãlin LAZÃR et alii
190
0
5
10
15
20
25
N
NNE
NE
ENE
E
ESE
SE
SSE
S
SSW
SW
WSW
W
WNW
NW
NNW
.
oxidizing
combustion
56%
reducing
combustion
44%
truncated
60%
bi-
truncated
30%
spherical
10%
rough
ceramic
9%
semifine
ceramic
63%
fine
ceramic
28%
Fig. 9. a. Graves 27, 28 and 29 - SSE profile; b.
; c.
a. Mormintele M27, M28 þi M29 - Profilul SSE; b. Orientarea indivizilor descoperiþi în necropolã (2006-2009);
c. Ceramica fragmentarã descoperitã în necropolã: forma vaselor (stânga), tipul de ardere (centru), pasta (dreapta).
Orientation of skeletons in the graves excavated between
2006 and 2009 in the Sultana-Malu Roºu necropolis Pottery found in the Sultana-Malu Roºu necropolis:
Sha p e of t h e ve s sels ( left ) . Co m b u sti o n ty p e (c e n t er) . Q ual i ty of the c l ay ( r igh t ) .
burrows
human bones
grave pit
Grave 28
T1060
Grave 27
Grave
29
T1062
T1003
T1003
T1003
T1002
T1004
T1004
T1066
a.
b.
c.
191
Fig. 10. a. b. Grave 21; c. M
a. Vedere generalã din necropolã; b. Mormântul M21; c. Mandibulã de copil
(9-10 ani) descoperitã în M21; d. Mormântul M16; e. Mormântul M28.
General view of cemetery;
.
andible fragment of a child
( 9 - 1 0 y e a r s ) f o u n d i n g r a v e 2 1 ; d . G r a v e 1 6 ; G ra v e 2 8
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
Cãtãlin LAZÃR et alii
192
Fig. 11. Grave 13: .
Mormântul M13: Mãrgele tubulare realizate din os.
Tubular pearls made of bone
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
193
i 1 3 .F g. 2. Grave 1 :
l g o ve e þ l nd i eal z i sMormântu M13
: Mãr ele bi
c n x i ci i r ce r i ate d n o .
n i pear neBico
nvex and cyli dr cal ls made o
f bo
Cãtãlin LAZÃR et alii
194
Fig. 13. Grave 13: .
Mormântul M13: Mãrgele tubulare realizate din Spondylus.
Tubular pearls made of Spondylus valve
1 cm
a.
b.
c.
195
Fig. 14.
Mormântul M13: Mãrgele cilindrice realizate din Spondylus (a) þi marmurã (b).
Grave 13: .Cylindrical pearl made of Spondylus valve (a) and marble (b)
a.
b.
Cãtãlin LAZÃR et alii
196
Fig. 15.
Mormântul M14: Mãrgele tubulare realizate din Spondylus.
Grave 14: .Tubular pearls made of Spondylus valve
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
197
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
Tubular
pearls
Tubular
pearls
Tubular
pearls
Tubular
pearls
Tubular
pearls
Tubular
pearls
Cylindrical
pearl
cm
Height Diameter of the item Diameter of the perforation
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
Tubular
pearls
Tubular
pearls
Tubular
pearls
Tubular
pearls
Tubular
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a. Morphometrics of bone beads from grave 13; b.Morphometrics of Spondylus
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... The Sultana -Malu Roşu cemetery is located in the northern area of the Balkan region, in the southeast of Romania, on the right bank of the old Mostiştea River, at about 7 km from the Danube River, near the border with Bulgaria ( Figure 1). Administratively, the site is located in the Sultana village, Călărași County 2009). ...
... Most of them are single primary inhumations with simple, irregular oval shaped pits, without other traces of funerary constructions, with the deceased laid out in the foetal position on the left side, E-W oriented. Secondary burials and graves with deliberate removal of some skeletal materials (especially skulls) were also documented 2009;Lazăr, Voicu and Vasile 2012). ...
... The last category of grave goods is represented by adornments. They were found in nine graves (1,13,14,36,43,46,48,62 and 67) 3 (Beldiman, Lazăr and Sztancs 2008;Lazăr et al. 2008;2009). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Most archaeologists agree that funerary practices are directly connected with beliefs in the existence of an afterlife, and that objects placed in graves are sometimes extremely helpful in reconstructing past social systems or other types of identities (economic, cultural, ethnic, racial, etc.). However, this assertion is only partially valid, because the archaeological context offers only a slice of past realities. The aim of this paper is to explore the significance of the grave goods associated with human skeletons from Sultana – Malu Roşu cemetery, in relation to the archaeological contexts and various post-depositional processes that affected them over time. Originally published in Homines, Funera, Astra 2 Life Beyond Death in Ancient Times (Romanian Case Studies) (ed. Kogălniceanu et al.) ISBN 9781784912062, Archaeopress 2015. This version published in Archaeopress Open Access 2015, available here. For more information regarding Archaeopress Open Access please visit the Archaeopress website.
... In Bulgaria 17 extramural (Vinica, Goljamo Delčevo, Durankulak, Devnja, Radingrad, Varna I, Tărgovište, Liljak, Omurtag, Demir Baba Teke-Sboryanovo, Pomoštica, Kosharna, Smyadovo-Gorlomova koria, Poljanita, Ovčarovo, Stara Zagora-Bereketska Mogila, Stara ZagoraRupki) and three intramural (Kubrat, Ruse, Yunatsite) Eneolithic cemeteries have been partially or completely studied (Georgiev and Anghelov, 1957;Todorova, 1971Todorova, , 2002Radunčeva 1976;Ivanov, 1982Ivanov, , 1989Angelova, 1991;Kalčev, 2002;Băčvarov, 2003;Boyadžiev, 2006). In Romania only 11 extramural cemeteries belonging to this culture are known-Vărăşti-Grădiştea Ulmilor, Gumelnița I, Gumelnița II (Valea Mare), Chirnogi I (Terasa Rudarilor), Chirnogi II (Şuvița Iorgulescu), Cetatea Veche-Grădiştea, Căscioarele-D'aia Parte, Radovanu, Dridu, SultanaMalu Roşu I, Măriuța-La Movilă, along with four other hypothetical cemeteries (Pietrele-Gorgana, Hârşova, Palazu Mare, Sultana-Malu Roşu II) (Comşa, 1960(Comşa, , 1974(Comşa, , 1980(Comşa, , 1995Şerbănescu 1985;Bălteanu and Cantemir, 1990;Haşotti, 1997;Lazăr, 2001aLazăr, , 2001bHansen et al., 2005;Lazăr and Parnic, 2007;Lazăr et al., 2008Lazăr et al., , 2009Toderaş et al., 2009). ...
... This situation is similar to that observed in other Kodjadermen-Gumelnița-Karanovo VI tell-settlements north and south of the Danube. Most of the known cemeteries are found near the tell type settlements in high, unfloodable areas (usually on terraces and their slopes): Căscioarele-D'aia parte-300 m NW of the D'aia parte tell, on the terrace and slopes (Şerbănescu and Şandric, 1998); Durankulak-300 m SW of the settlement, on the Dobrudja plateau, on Lake Durankulak, graves are located on slopes (Todorova and Dimov, 1989); Goljamo Delcevo-on the high terrace west of the tell, at ca. 200 m ( Todorova et al., 1975); Gumelnița-on the high terrace of the Danube, 250 m E of the tell and on the slopes of the settlement (Lazăr, 2001b); Sultana-Malu Roşu-on the high terrace of the old Mostiştea river, about 150 m W of settlement and on the slopes of the settlement ( Lazăr et al., 2008Lazăr et al., , 2009; Radingrad-on the high terrace near the settlement, ca 100 m W of the tell (Ivanov, 1982); Vărăşti-Grădiştea Ulmilor-150 m NW of the Boian B tell, on the shore of the old lake Boian (Comşa, 1960(Comşa, , 1974(Comşa, , 1995; Vinica-approx. 50 m SSE of the settlement, on the high terrace of the Kamčija River (Radunčeva, 1976). ...
... Such situations are known in other prehistoric cemeteries (e.g. Durankulak, Goljamo Delcevo, Sultana-Malu Roşu, Chirnogi I and II etc) (Todorova et al., 1975;Todorova, 2002;Lazăr, 2001a;Lazăr and Parnic, 2007;Lazăr et al., 2008Lazăr et al., , 2009). In the current stage of research we do not have a relevant explanation about this phenomenonthe reusing of previous funerary areas by communities from different historical periods. ...
Article
Full-text available
In the last decades, ground‐penetrating radar (GPR) has been successfully used in archaeological and forensic anthropological applications to locate relatively shallow features, even though the technique can also probe deeper into the ground. GPR is a non‐destructive method based on the propagation of electromagnetic waves in soil, rocks or other media. This prospection method has rarely been used previously in Romanian archaeology and never for a necropolis. GPR surveys of the Măriuța ‐ La Movilă necropolis (Călăraşi county, southeastern Romania) led to the identification of several new structures: a prehistoric pit belonging to the Kodjadermen‐Gumelnița‐Karanovo VI culture (Complex 1/2008), a grave from the IVth century A.D. (Complex 2/2009) and a modern burrowing pit (Complex 1/2009).
... From a methodological point of view, our research of the cemetery involved a series of geo-magnetic prospects, a cartographical platform managed through a Geographic Information System (GIS), aerial research to investigate the evolution of the landscape, microstratigraphic methods used to record the stratigraphic data, and sampling for paleoparasitological, paleodietary, DNA, and 14 C analysis 2009). ...
... The orientation of the individuals from the Sultana-Malu Roşu cemetery was determined by the orientation of the funerary pits. In most cases (92%) they were placed with the head close to the eastern direction, in the range between 65° ENE and 88° E (Lazăr et al. , 2009). There is no relationship between the position of the individuals and their orientation. ...
Conference Paper
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The Eneolithic cemetery of Sultana-Malu Roşu is located in the southeast of Romania, Sultana village, in the commune of Mânăstirea, Călăraşi County. From a cultural point of view it was used by two communities belonging to the Boian and the Gumelniţa cultures. Between 2006 and 2011 50 inhumation graves have been discovered there. Most of the graves are similar to each other and, in terms of basic elements of the rite and funerary rules, they reflect common burial traditions characteristic to the Eneolithic sequence. Most of the skeletons were found in normal anatomical position. Most of them had been laid in a foetal position (lateral, dorsal or ventral) on their left side. Only in three cases were the skeletons lying in foetal positions on their right side. There is no relationship between the age or sex of the individuals and the position of the skeletons. Re-burials represent a special situation. We consider these situations as representing the result of accidental or exceptional circumstances that did not allow for normal conduction of funerary rites. This paper will try to present the traditions, rules and exceptions identified in the cemetery from Sultana- Malu Roşu based on the archaeological evidence.
... va (Romania) (Galbenu 1963) or Omurtag (Bulgaria) (Gaydarska et al. 2004). Moreover, the probable difficulty in procuring this raw material forced the Chirnogi community to imitate the ornaments of this raw material in bone, as we have seen in grave no. 7. The situation is not unique, as it is also identified in the necropolis of Sultana-Malu Rosu (Lazȃr et al. 2009). ...
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The Necropolis of Chirnogi – Suvita Iorgulescu (Calarasi county) was located on the high terrace of the Danube and was investigated by Done Serbanescu (in 1989) by means of the archaeological excavations carried out for the construction of the Danube-Bucharest Channel. For this study, we analysed the archaeological assemblage preserved in the Museum of Gumelnita civilization from Oltenita (Calarasi county) coming from 10 graves, out of a total of 58, which are attributed to the Gumelnita culture (the second half of the 5th millennium BC). The personal adornments are mainly bracelets made of Spondylus valve (16 specimens) which appear in most of the graves, along with an equal number of perforated plates made of Sus scrofa canine, this time the pieces being grouped into two graves. The funeral inventory is complemented by small cylindrical, tubular or biconvex beads, made of various raw materials: Spondylus valve, bone, malachite, cooper and green slate. At the technical level, attention is drawn towards the technological transformation scheme of the raw material, which is extremely uniform for the two main categories of ornaments. Also, the analysed pieces showed different degrees of use-wear, demonstrating on the one hand that they were worn before the deposition in graves, and on the other that the accumulation of these items took place over time.
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The ornaments made by Spondylus shells play a significant role in evolution and development of human communities from the 5th millennium BC in the Balkans. This paper focuses on the Spondylus ornaments discovered in Southeastern Romania dated to the Eneolithic (c. 5000-3900 cal. BC). These items enabled identification of the same technological elements (manufacturing process), economic activities (exchange networks), but also the social expression and symbolism of the Spondylus ornaments used by past communities in domestic activities or in funeral contexts as part of construction, affirmation and maintenance of ideologies, identity and personhood. Our approach will include a malacological study, a techno-typological examination, and use-wear analysis. Another issue targeted is the evaluation of the relationship and ratio of Spondylus with other species of shells (e.g. Glycymeris, Dentalium, Cardium and Unio) used by local communities, in order to understand Eneolithic people’s preferences for these exotic raw materials and to determine the differential use of these artefacts in various activities or rituals.
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The new discoveries from the Eneolithic site of Sultana-Malu Roșu made possible to obtaining new data about vegetal species used by prehistoric communities from here, but also to understand the paleoenvironment. By using and studying the plant remains from House no. 2 and House no. 5, we could identified the species as Chenopodium album (fat hen), Lithospermum arvense (field gromwell), Polygonum lapathifolium (pale persicaria), Corylus avellana (hazelnut) or Rosa sp. (dog-rose). A part of these species can demonstrate that this group of people knew and were able to farm. For instance, at some species like Triticum monococcum (wheat) or Hordeum sativum (green barley), althought with not so many descovered seeds, the findings of spikelet forks or base glumes may suggest processing the cereals before their consumption. Nevertheless, we mentioned the Vitis vinifera (grape vine) seeds for the first time in Sultana-Malu Roşu site.
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SSultana-Malu Roşu tell settlement stands out as one of the richest and most spectacular settlement belonging to the Kodžadermen–Gumelniţa–Karanovo VI cultural complex. The tell settlement is placed on the right bank of Iezerul Mostiştei Lake, about 15 km N from the Danube. The initial research was carried out in 1923, followed by rescue excavations in the 1970–1980ies. The research was restarted in 2001 with spectacular results. Many special artifacts have been discovered at Sultana, as the 'Goddess' from Sultana or the 'Lovers' vessel. Considering that the site is placed on a dominant position, in contrast to the other Gumelniţa settlements which are usually hidden in the landscape, and the richness of the inventory (including golden objects), the following question is raised: what did Sultana site represent within the Gumelniţa culture? Was it a power centre, a cult centre or just a very rich settlement? Even though there are reasons for such a hypothesis, for example the site position and the archaeological inventory, the answer to this question depends on a deeper knowledge of Gumelniţa civilization.
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The study of funerary rites and rituals used by different prehistoric communities is one of the most difficult issues of the scientific research, because of the complexity of the phenomenon itself and the so-called "opacity" of the archaeological discovery. Given these conditions, the subject needs careful attention, both from the perspective of the structure of the existing data but also of the different types of possible interpretations.
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During the archaeological campaign of 2012 in the area of the Sultana-Malu Roșu cemetery, Mânăstirea commune, Călăraşi County, a large pit (C3/2012) was discovered. What caught our attention in particular was the stratigraphic relation and also the unusual size of the pit as compared to other complexes discovered in necropolis. Pit contained pottery, animal and human bones, burnt clay fragments, flint and polished stone artefacts. From de chrono-cultural point of view C3/2012 belongs to Vidra phase of the Boian culture. Contextual observations and complex analysis of ceramics, bone and lithic material from the filling of the pit allowed us to extract information regarding the chrono-cultural placement and functionality of the pit mentioned above.
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The eneolithic tell Măriuţa-La Movilă is situated at 200 m north-west by Măriuţa village in the Călăraşi County. This is a settlement from second half of the fifth millennium (Kodjadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI complex). The first research of the tell was started in the period 1984-1990 by Mihai Şimon. In the year 2000 the excavations were resumed by The Lower Danube Museum Călăraşi. In the year 2004 new excavations were started on the terrace, near the tell. The goal of this new excavations, was to detect the cemetery of the tell. It was very complex and complicated, because at this moment we don’t have a concrete method for identification of cemeteries. The only dates we have are from Bulgaria, where we have some examples of cemeteries. Eleven extramural eneolithic (Vinica, Goljamo Delčevo, Durankulak, Devnja, Varna I, Tărgovište, Liljak, Radingrad, Omurtag, Demir Baba Teke - Sboryanovo, Pomoštica) and three intramural (Kubrat, Ruse, Junacite) cemeteries on the territory of Bulgaria have been partially or completely studied. In Romania are known just ten extramural cemeteries (Vărăşti-Grădiştea Ulmilor, Gumelniţa, Gumelniţa-Valea Mare, Chirnogi-Terasa Rudarilor, Cetatea Veche-Grădiştea, Chirnogi-Şuviţa Iorgulescu, Căscioarele-D’aia Parte, Radovanu, Dridu, Sultana-Malu Roşu) belonging to this culture. As it would now appear, the location of extramural cemeteries was generally established within a range of 300 m of the settlement, on the high places (especially terraces), non-floodable. In most cases the cemetery was situated to the west (Goljamo Delčevo, Radingrad, Demir Baba Teke - Sboryanovo, Tărgovište, Radovanu, Sultana-Malu Roşu etc.), north-west (Pomoštica, Căscioarele-D’aia Parte, Vărăşti-Grădiştea Ulmilor), south-west (Durankulak), south-east (Vinica) or east (Gumelniţa) of the settlement. Pointing out these examples we started our research on the high terrace of Mostiştea River near the settlement. The terrace is at 100 m north-east range of the tell. The area of terrace was divided in a grid of twenty-one 20 x 20 m units for a better management of the excavation. Excavation methodology consist in sondages of different dimensions (3 x 1 m, 9 x 1 m or 8 x 2 m) situated at 10-15 m range one of the other, in order to cover a wider surface. During the period 2004-2006 we accomplish 22 sondages, and we researched a surface of 134 m2 of the terrace. In this sondages we found five inhumations graves. Four of this graves (M1, M3, M4, M5) are from Kodjadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI period and last one (M2) is a sarmatic burial. The eneolithic graves contain skeletal in contracted position on left side (M3, M4, M5) and on right side (M1). The legs were moderately or strongly flexed. Orientation was ESE 109° – VNV 239° (M1), E 99°– V 279° (M3), ENE 65°– VSV 245°(M4) and E 95°– V 275° (M5). Funerary gifts were found in just two graves: M4 – a stone chisel, a cooper tool and a flint blade; M5 – a fragmentary flint blade. In grave M1, near the skull, we found a funerary offering (one animal vertebra). In grave M4 it was discovered red ochre, on the left hand. The burials from Măriuţa-La Movilă cemetery and the elements of funerary treatment identified here confirm similitude to the same standard mortuary practices of the Kodjadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI complex.
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The Sultana-Malu Roşu Eneolithic tell is located 400 m North-East of Sultana village, commune of Mânăstirea, in the Călăraşi county, South-East Romania. This is a settlement from the second half of the fifth millennium (Kodjadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI complex). Sultana-Malu Roşu was the first Gumelniţa site to be submitted to scientific research, in the 1920s. After 1975 the site was researched almost entirely. The excavations were resumed by the National History Museum of Romania and the Lower Danube Museum Călăraşi in 2001. In 2002 new excavations were started on the terrace, near the tell. The goal of these new excavations was to discover the cemetery of the tell. It was not an easy task, because at the moment we don’t have a solid method for identification of cemeteries. The methodology used at the Sultana-Malu Roşu cemetery took into account the size of the terrace (about 3.5 ha) and the particular aspects posed by the research of a prehistoric cemetery. In 2003 a series of geo-magnetic prospects were conducted on the terrace, near the tell, in order to identify the necropolis. The area of terrace was divided in a grid of 50 m x 50 m units for a better management of the excavation. Between 2002-2007 we accomplished to dig 22 sections. In this sections we found 12 inhumations graves. The graves were from Kodjadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI period and contained human skeletons in crouched (fetal) position, laying on the left or on right side. Funerary inventory was found in four graves only. The burials from Sultana-Malu Roşu cemetery and the elements of funerary treatment identified here confirm similitude to the standard mortuary practices of the Kodjadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI complex.
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