Conference PaperPDF Available

The Eneolithic Settlement and Necropolis of Sultana-Malu Roşu (Southern Romania)

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

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.
Content may be subject to copyright.
The Eneolithic Settlement
and Necropolis of Sultana-Malu Roşu
(Southern Romania)
Radian-Rom Andreescu, Cătălin Lazăr,
Theodor Ign, Kia Moldoveanu
Sultana-Malu Roşu tell settlement stands out as one of the richest and most spectacular
settlement belonging to the KodžadermenGumelniţaKaranovo 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.
Sultana-Malu Roşu settlement should have an important role in the context of the Eneolithic
not only in Romania but in the Eastern Europe too. Unfortunately a series of both objective
and subjective factors this site less known even though considering the materials discovered
here, Sultana represents one of the richest and most spectacular settlements within the
Kodžadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI cultural complex.
Mostiştea Valley (about 92 km long) where the settlement is located lies in the South-
Eastern Romanian Plane. It is an area rich in archaeological sites, among them being some tell
settlements. The eponym settlement of Gumelniţa culture lies at a distance of 25 km South-
West in the Danube Valley and near Olteniţa town (fig.1: 1).
Sultana village belonging to Mânăstirea commune lies at 35 km WestNorthWest from
Călăraşi, at less than 15 km distance from the Danube.
The tell settlement from Malu Roşu point is placed on the right bank of Iezerul Mostiştei
Lake, on a terrace promontory in the lake waters (fig. 1: 2; 2: 13). It was separated from the
ЗЛАТНОТО ПЕТО ХИЛЯДОЛЕТИЕ. Тракия и съседните райони през каменно-медната епоха
Radian-Romus Andreescu, Cătălin Lazăr, Theodor Ignat, Katia Moldoveanu
Fig. 1: 1. Mostiştea Valley map. 2. SultanaMalu Roşu. The tell settlement and necropolis.
130
ЗЛАТНОТО ПЕТО ХИЛЯДОЛЕТИЕ
The Eneolithic Settlement and Necropolis of Sultana-Malu Roşu (Southern Romania)
rest of the terrace by a deep valley and in the NorthWestern side by another small valley. On
the SouthWestern side a shallow in the terrain probably indicates the existence of a ditch
which separated the tell from the rest of the terrace.
Its position is unusual for the tell settlements which are usually placed on the terrace base
and not on top of it. Unfortunately the settlement and its surroundings suffered substantial
modifications throughout the time. Thus, at least in the last decades, the terrace on which the
site lies, as well as all terraces from the area, suffered intense erosion processes due to the lake
waters and to other phenomena (precipitations, frizzing/melting processes etc.). Parts of the
site are periodically collapsing in the waters together with archaeological remains. Nowadays
what is left of the settlement measures about 35-40 m along the NorthEast–SouthWest
ax and 2530 m along the short ax, SouthEast–NorthWest. To make an idea about the
destructions suffered in the last decades, just note that in 1924 prof. I. Andrieşescu estimated
the long ax at about 71 m (Andrieşescu 1926, 172).
History of the research. The Sultana settlement is related to the beginnings of the Romanian
archaeological school, being the first tell settlement from the Danube Valley academicaly
researched. In 1923 Professor Ioan Andrieşescu and Vladimir Dumitrescu, the assistant of
the National Museum of Antiquities, carried out excavations at Sultana (Andrieşescu 1924,
51107).
Large scale rescue excavations began in Sultana in 1974 and continued at least till 1982.
Unfortunately these researches results which have been carried out at least until 1982 remained
Fig. 2. SultanaMalu Roşu. 1. View from the terrace; 2. View from the South; 3. View from the East;
4. The remains of House no.5.
131
Тракия и съседните райони през каменно-медната епоха
unknown with small exceptions (Isăcescu 1984a; 1984b; Hălcescu 1995). The thickness of the
cultural layer is of about 4 m in the Eastern side of the site while in the Western part the
thickness is only of 2,502,60 m. The little information about the site stratigraphy and the
discovery contexts of the spectacular artifacts lead to restarting of the research in Sultana
Malu Roşu site in 2001 (Andreescu, Lazăr 2007-2008, 5576)
The research carried out within the frame of a project concerning the Neolithic habitation
on Mostiştea Valley, a project which is part of a complex research programme of the Neo-
Eneolithic period in Southern Romania1 (Andreescu 2007, 399401).
Objectives, methodology. The main objectives were the determination of the site
stratigraphy and evolution as well as finding the necropolis. There have been identified areas
unaffected by the old research. The research reveled that the first habitation level, Gumelniţa
B1, is almost entirely destroyed by posterior habitations (there have been discovered graves
from the Bronze Age), old excavations and other perturbations.
The research results. The 1970–1980ies excavations revealed the existence of 11 houses, 9
belonging to Gumelniţa A2 phase and two belonging to Gumelniţa B1 phase (Isăcescu 1984b,
12). With only one exception (a semi-sunken house) the houses were surface constructions,
with relative by small dimensions which rarely exceeded 4 m long and 3 m wide. Only one
house belonging to Gumelniţa B1 phase was 7x4 m. They were oriented on the North-South
axis; they had a rectangular shape, with the entrance on the South side. The clay floor stood
in two cases on thick branches oriented East-West. For the other houses, the floor was realized
from a thick layer of clay. The resistance structures were made of wood posts, wattle and daub
and the roof was probably made of straw. A hearth was placed inside, usually in the North-
Western corner (Isăcescu 1984a, 1213).
Regarding the inventory of these houses there is not much information. Only a so called
'potter' house is mentioned. It 'contained many complete vessels, among them plates and
bowls which were placed one on top of the other' (Hălcescu 1995, 11). In another house there
have been discovered: 5 big storage vessels, 7 grinding stones, 4 bone hoes, a loom weight
with a cross sign on it. The author of its discovery thinks of it as an annex for keeping and
processing cereals, considering the absence of a hearth (Isăcescu 1984a, 2728).
The new research lead to the discovery of several house remains. Some of them were
preserved in the SouthWestern side of the tell, at the settlement edge. This area was a bit
higher than the rest of the settlement which is unusual for Gumelniţa tell settlements. The
research revealed the remains of a special construction, powerfully destroyed by fire (fig.
3). It was labeled house no. 2 and it had at least two rooms with different altimetry, one of
them being situated with 0,300,40 m higher than the other. The remains of only one room
were still partially preserved but the materials discovered here are extremely interesting.
The house was oriented almost South-West – North-East and the floor was strongly inclined
to the settlement interior. The remains consist of pieces of building material (0,030,04 m
thickness) mixed with earth. Many vessels, some of them completely preserved were found
among them.
1 The project The Neo-Eneolithic habitation dynamics on Mostiştea Valley is a part of the research programme named
The roots of European Civilization. The Neo-Eneolithic at the Lower Danube. In this project are participating the following
museums: the National History Museum of Romania (NHMR), the Lower Danube Museum – Călăraşi, the Teleor-
man County Museum, the Buzău County Museum, the Archaeology and History County Museum Prahova and
Romanaţi Museum – Caracal. The programme coordinator is PhD. Radian Romus Andreescu, NHMR
Radian-Romus Andreescu, Cătălin Lazăr, Theodor Ignat, Katia Moldoveanu
132
ЗЛАТНОТО ПЕТО ХИЛЯДОЛЕТИЕ
The SouthEastSouth wall of the house was preserved in elevation (0,250,45 m), on a
length of 6 m (fig. 3: 3). It was constructed by two clay plates (0,03-0,04 m thickness) with
small pieces of building material between them, all this structure being fixed with wooden
posts. On the South-East side there was a rectangular clay structure, much of it destroyed,
with the dimensions of 1,50 x 0,80 m, a preserved hight of 0,300,40 m, probably a kind of
bench. An interesting object was discovered near it, a flat stone of about 0,40 x 0,30 m placed
on top of a clay box. Vessels fragments as well as more than 30 clay loom weights were found
both under and near this structure (fig.3: 2).
Other interesting materials were discovered in the NorthEastern side of the house where
there were found many building material pieces, some of them fashioned and a massive
hearth with three constructive phases, strongly damaged by fire (fig.3: 3, 4). The hearth had
impressive dimensions and even though it was much destroyed it can be suggested it had
about 1,8 m for one side and 1 m high. The most interesting thing about it is that it was found
fallen down in a horizontal plan, with the active side towards the NorthWestern part of the
house. It collapsed over a vessel as its fragments were recovered from the floor.
The remains of another burn house labeled L5 possibly with two rooms were discovered
in the North-Eastern side of the settlement, near the lake (fig.2: 4).
The archaeological artifacts revealed by the new research confirm the fact that Sultana-
Malu Roşu settlement is one of the richest and most spectacular site within the Kodžadermen-
Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI cultural complex.
Fig. 3. SultanaMalu Roşu House no. 2: 1. General view; 2. Clay box and loom weights;
3. Wall and hearth; 4. Hearth detailed view.
The Eneolithic Settlement and Necropolis of Sultana-Malu Roşu (Southern Romania) 133
Тракия и съседните райони през каменно-медната епоха
The ceramics is of a very good quality, made of a good, homogenous and well burn paste
(fig. 5: 26). A special piece is represented by a conic shape support-vessel with four triangular
handles at the upper part, painted in white and red (fig. 5: 1a, 1b).
Another rare discovery in the Gumelniţa culture settlements is represented by a little
pendant made of golden foil, in a flat tubular shape, perforated, which was discovered near
the hearth of the house no. 2 (fig 7: 2).
The Necropolis. The identification of the necropolis belonging to the settlement was another
objective of the new research. In our approach to find the Eneolithic cemetery from Sultana-
Malu Roşu we have considered the necropolises South of the Danube, in Bulgaria (Todorova
2002; Радунчева 1976, 6992; Ivanov 1978, 13; Ангелова 1986, 4958) and the two primary
elements in establishing a funeral area the topographic and the visual factor (Lazăr et al.
2008, 132). Twenty four sections were made between 20022009. Twenty nine inhumation
graves were found so far (Lazăr et al. 2008; 2009).
From the topographical point of view, the necropolis from Sultana-Malu Roşu was identified
on the high terrace of the old Mostiştea River, at about 200 m West from the tell (fig. 1: 2). The
graves are grouped on the terrace edge and slopes. From the stratigraphical point of view,
the graves are found at depths between 11,6 m. The grave pits were dug up to -0,80-1,30
m and they went deep in the loess from the terrace bottom. The funerary pits had an oval
shape, with various dimensions, between 0,86 x 0,49 m and 1,47x0,72 m. Most of the graves
contained the defunct deposed in fetal position (lateral, dorsal or ventral), on their left side.
Graves 3, 10, 16, 19, 20, 23, 27 and 28 represent reburials and grave 2 belonged to a very
little child, its osteological remains being in a poor preservation state, which made unknown
the position of the body in the grave. The defuncts presented an orientation close to the East.
In most cases, the funeral inventory was missing or it was modest (graves 11 and 12 – flint
blades; grave 6 – a small pot; graves 13 and 14 – a few Spondylus beads) (fig. 4). The funerary
inventory from grave 1 contains: 60 malachite beads, 40 Spondylus beads, a flint blade and a
polished stone axe, not perforated (Lazăr et al. 2008, 136138).
The burials from Sultana-Malu Roşu cemetery and the elements of funerary treatment
identified here confirm the similarity to the standard mortuary practices of the Kodžadermen-
Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI complex.
The cultural context. Sultana-Malu Roşu settlement belongs to Gumelniţa culture,
integrated in the Kodžadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI cultural complex. The site evolution
goes through all phases of Gumelniţa culture, Gumelniţa A1, A2 and B1. The house no. 2
belongs to Gumelniţa A2 phase and it seems that all spectacular finds from Sultana belong
to this phase. The archaeological materials indicate some connections of the settlement with
the West-Pontic area of Kodžadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI culture, the proof being the
support–vessel. Vessels of this kind have discovered in Varna (Le premier or... 1989, 148, no.
332) and Durankulak (Todorova 2002, 98, fig. 113), South the Danube.
SultanaMalu Roşu bears a larger discussion about certain specific features in the Gumelniţa
culture context. Which are the arguments leading to the idea that Sultana could have a special
place among the Gumelniţa settlements? In the first place it is its location. Usually Gumelniţa
tell settlements are placed in naturally well protected places, in most cases in the floodplains,
close to the terraces. Some times they are placed on the terrace, not on its top but on its slope,
on some kind of a step. SultanaMalu Roşu settlement brakes this pattern, being placed on a
dominant position on the higher terrace of Iezerul Mostiştei and visible from a long distance.
Radian-Romus Andreescu, Cătălin Lazăr, Theodor Ignat, Katia Moldoveanu
134
ЗЛАТНОТО ПЕТО ХИЛЯДОЛЕТИЕ
Fig. 4. SultanaMalu Roşu Necropolis: Grave 6; 2. Flint blade Grave11; 3. Graves 8 and 12;
4. Grave 6 (plan); 5. Vessel from Grave 6.
The Eneolithic Settlement and Necropolis of Sultana-Malu Roşu (Southern Romania)
12
3
45
135
Тракия и съседните райони през каменно-медната епоха
The aspect of visibility is a very important one because many Gumelniţa culture settlements
are usually hidden in the environment (Andreescu, Mirea 2008, 2834).
Unlike these, Sultana settlement dominates the landscape and its dimensions are quite big
considering that Andrieşescu approximated at least 130 m for its long diameter. (Andrieşescu
1926, 172). Another unusual matter for the Gumelniţa settlements is the existence of a higher
Fig. 5. SultanaMalu Roşu. 1a,b, 3. Supportvessel. 2. Plate decorated with graphite,
5. Globular vessel; 4, 6. Lids. Different scales.
Radian-Romus Andreescu, Cătălin Lazăr, Theodor Ignat, Katia Moldoveanu
1a
23
4
5
6
1b
136
ЗЛАТНОТО ПЕТО ХИЛЯДОЛЕТИЕ
area placed at the South-Eastern edge, close to the terrace. In this area house was placed
no. 2 which itself has some interesting characteristics. In the first place the two rooms with
different altimetry. In the preserved room there were many structures and special elements.
Among these, there were a grinding-stone embedded in a clay box and more than 30 loom
weights around it (fig. 3: 2). Another special element is represented by the house hearth.
First it stands out by its dimensions and massiveness, one side being estimated around 1.80
m. Its construction mode is also unusual, made from a compact clay core covered with clay
plates in later phases. The socle that rises directly from its active part is also inedited (fig. 3:
4). A structure considered as shrine with a similar socle had been discovered at Hârşova, in a
house interpreted as sanctuary with a very rich ceramic inventory (Haşotti 1997, 8081). The
golden pendant was found near the hearth, probably placed on it or on its annexes. All these
structures and elements, together with the archaeological inventory make this house special
among the Gumelniţa culture houses.
The rich archaeological inventory is another important argument for the special character
of the site. First it is the ‘Lovers’ Vessel, piece which can be considered a real masterpiece of
the prehistoric art, considering both its manufacturing mode and its meaning (Andreescu
2002, 52, fig.38; fig.IV) (fig. 6: 1). The anthropomorphic vessels discovered in the site,
the ‘Goddess’ of Sultana (fig. 6: 2) or the anthropomorphic Vessel with ‘palms’ (fig. 6: 3)
represent exceptional work of those times artisans. The ‘Duck’ Vessel represents one of the
most spectacular zoomorphic vessels found in the Gumelniţa culture settlements (fig.6: 6).
Two other spectacular artifacts are represented by a lid in the shape of a human head, with
extremely realistic details, including the hair, and another lid with horns on the edge and a
figurine modeled on top of it (fig. 7: 3, 4). Among the materials discovered at Sultana there is
a house model with perforated walls by two or three round holes (fig. 7: 5). In an unusual way
it has three round holes in the roof for each ridge (Şerbănescu 1997, 236). The ceramics stand
out by its quality, diversity and elegance of shapes, together with a varied and sophisticated
decoration in some cases (Andreescu, Popa 2003, 59-69). Some of these examples are the
‘Tulips’ Vessel (fig. 6/5) and a biconical vessel paint with graphite (fig. 6: 4)
Last but not least, the biggest objects treasure from Northern Danube has been discovered
at Sultana, during the old excavations (Hălcescu 1995, 11-15) (fig. 7: 1).
It is true that spectacular pieces, together with good quality ceramics have also been
discovered in other settlements, but none can rival their number in SultanaMalu Roşu, some
of them being unique in the KodžadermenGumelniţaKaranovo VI culture context.
In brief, could the site placement, the special structures found in house no. 2 and the
archaeological inventory discovered at SultanaMalu Roşu constitute sufficient arguments for
attributing to the site a special character?
The context of discussion should be a bit enlarged in order to answer this question.
Considering this, our approach regards the initiation of an analysis of the dynamics of
Gumelniţa society evolution (this assertion will not be developed here; it is beyond the frame
of this paper). Among other things this dynamics supposes the existence of settlements with
certain characteristics, cult or power/authority within the society. Besides the existence of
such power centers had been reiterated throughout time by several researches (Todorova
1978, 74-79; Renfrew 1978, 199-203; Sherratt 1983, 188195). In order to emphasize this
theory it must be underlined that by special character it should not be understood necessarily
cultic or power centers. It can only be a community richer than others.
The Eneolithic Settlement and Necropolis of Sultana-Malu Roşu (Southern Romania) 137
Тракия и съседните райони през каменно-медната епоха
Fig. 6. SultanaMalu Roşu. 1. The 'Lovers' Vessel; 2. Anthropomorphic Vessel The 'Goddess' from
Sultana; 3. Anthropomorphic Vessel with 'palms'; 4. Vessel decorated with graphite;
5.Vessel with 'tulips'; 6. Zoomorphic 'Duck' Vessel. Different scales.
Radian-Romus Andreescu, Cătălin Lazăr, Theodor Ignat, Katia Moldoveanu
1
23
4
5
6
138
ЗЛАТНОТО ПЕТО ХИЛЯДОЛЕТИЕ
Fig. 7. SultanaMalu Roşu. 1. The treasure from Sultana; 2. Golden pendant;
3. Anthropomorphic lid; 4. Lid with horns and anthropomorphic figurine;
5. House model. Different scales.
The Eneolithic Settlement and Necropolis of Sultana-Malu Roşu (Southern Romania)
12
34
5
139
Тракия и съседните райони през каменно-медната епоха
Our conviction is that this kind of settlements with a specific character (which is named
cult or power centers in a conventional way) existed, being integrated in a normal evolution
for a complex society as the one belonging to Gumelniţa culture. The problem is that the
few researches on Gumelniţa society do not bring too many arguments in this matter. Large
scale researches are almost missing for financial and methodological reasons, in most cases
the research being centered on a small part of the settlement. Under these circumstances the
information about the whole of the Gumelniţa society in scarce and hypothesis and theories
about the different aspects of this society have a poor sustainability in the material proofs.
On the basis of the known researches made so far (unfortunately there are still unpublished
materials) it is clear that SultanaMalu Roşu site stands out by the mentioned aspects from the
rest of the other Gumelniţa culture settlements.
The assignation of a special character to this site is a hypothesis conditioned by the real
knowledge of the Gumelniţa culture (and the Eneolithic civilization) as a whole. This is only
possible by a complex program of research of this civilization, which should look in the first
place to the integral excavation of the settlements.
Bibliography
Andreescu 2003: R. Andreescu. Plastica antropomorfă gumelniţeană. Analiză primară. Bucureşti,
2002.
Andreescu 2007: R. Andreescu. Începuturile civilizaţiei europene. Neo-eneoliticul la Dunărea de Jos. –
Cronica Cercetărilor Arheologice din România. Campania 2006, Bucureşti, 2007, 399401.
Andreescu, Lazăr 2007-2008: R. Andrescu, C. Lazar. Valea Mostiştei. Aşezarea gumelniţeană de la Sul-
tana Malu Roşu, Cercetări Arheologice, Bucureşti, nr. XIVXV, p. 5576
Andreescu, Mirea 2008: R. Andrescu, P. Micrea. Tell Settlements: a pattern of landscape occupation in
the Lower Danube. In Douglass Bailey, Alasdair Whittle and Daniela Hofmann (eds.): Living well to-
gether? Settlement and materiality in the Neolithic of South-East and central Europe, Oxbow Books,
Oxford, p. 2834
Andreescu, Popa 2003: R. Andreescu, T. Popa. Sultana Malu-Roşu. Catalog selectiv. – Cercetări Arhe-
ologice, XII, 2002, 5970.
Andrieşescu 1924: I. Andrieşescu. Les fouilles de Sultana. - Dacia, I, 1924, 51107.
Andrieşescu 1926: I. Andrieşescu. Sultana. Descoperirile arheologice din vara anului 1923. – Buletinul
Comisiunii Monumentelor Istorice, XIX, 50, 1926, 170185.
Haşotti 1997: P. Haşotti. Epoca neolitică în Dobrogea, Constanţa, 1997.
Hălcescu 1995: C. Hălcescu. Tezaurul de la Sultana. - Cultură şi Civilizaţie la Dunărea de Jos, XIII
XIV, 1995, 1118.
Isăcescu 1984a: C. Isăcescu. Săpăturile de salvare de la Sultana, com. Mînăstirea. - Cercetări Arheolo-
gice, VII, 1984, 2742.
Isăcescu 1984b: C. Isăcescu. Staţiunea eneolitică de la Sultana, com Mânăstirea. - Documente recent
descoperite şi informaţii arheologice, Academia de ştiinţe sociale şi politice, Bucureşti, 1984, 1120.
Ivanov 1978: I. Ivanov. Les fouilles archéologiques de la nécropole chalcolithique à Varna (1972
1975). Studia Praehistorica, 12, 1978, 1326.
Lazăr et alii. 2008: C. Lazăr, R. Andreescu, T. Ignat, M. Florea, C. Astaloş. The Eneolithic Cemetery
from Sultana-Malu Roşu (Călăraşi County, Romania). Studii de Preistorie, 5, 2008, 131152.
Lazăr et alii. 2009: C. Lazăr, R. Andreescu, T. Ignat, M. Florea, M. Mărgărit. New dates about Eneo-
lithic Cemetery from Sultana-Malu Roşu (Călăraşi county, Romania). Studii de Preistorie, 6, 2009,
165199.
Le premier or... 1989: Le premier or de l’humanité en Bulgarie, 5è millénaire, 17 janvier-30 avril
1989, Ministere de la Culture, Paris, 1989.
Renfrew 1978: C. Renfrew. Varna and the Social Context of Early Metallurgy. - Antiquity, 52, 1978,
199203.
Radian-Romus Andreescu, Cătălin Lazăr, Theodor Ignat, Katia Moldoveanu
140
ЗЛАТНОТО ПЕТО ХИЛЯДОЛЕТИЕ
The Eneolithic Settlement and Necropolis of Sultana-Malu Roşu (Southern Romania)
Sherratt 1983: A. G. Sherratt. The Eneolithic period in Bulgaria in its European Context. In: A. Poul-
ter (Ed.), Ancient Bulgaria, part I, Nottingham, 1983, 188198.
Şerbănescu 1997: D. Şerbănescu. Modele de locuinţe şi sanctuare neolitice. - Cultură şi Civilizaţie la
Dunărea de Jos, XV, 1997, 232251.
Todorova 1978: H. Todorova. The Eneolithic Period in Bulgaria in the Fifth Millennium B.C., British
Archaeological Report (BAR), International Series, no. 49, Oxford, 1978.
Todorova 2002: H. Todorova. Die Sepulkrakeramik aus den Grabern von Durankulak. In: H. Todoro-
va (Ed.) Durankulak, Band II. Die Prähistorischen Gräberfelder, teil 1, Sofia, 2002, 81116.
Ангелова 1986: И. Ангелова. Праисторически некропол при гр. Търговище. Интердисциплинарни
изследвания, ХІVА, 1986, 4966.
Радунчева 1976: А. Радунчева. Виница – енеолитно селище и некропол. София, 1976 (Разкопки
и проучвания VІ)
Тодорова et al. 1975: Х. Тодорова, С. Иванов, В. Василев, М. Хопф, Х. Квита, Г. Кол. Селищната
могила при Голямо Делчево. София, 1975 (Разкопки и проучвания V).
Животът и смъртта на брега на езерото.
Енеолитно селище и некропол от Султана Малу-Рошу
Радиан-Ромус Андрееску, Каталин Лазар, Теодор Игнат, Катя Молдовеану
Селищната могила Султана Малу–Рошу се откроява като едно от най-богатите и им-
позантни селища, принадлежщи на културния комплекс КоджадерменГумелницаКа-
раново VI. Село Султана (община Мънъстиря) се намира на около 35 км на запад-севе-
розапад от гр. Кълъраш и на по-малко от 15 км на север от р.Дунав. Селищната могила
се намира на десния бряг на езерото Йезерул Мостищей. Сега оцелялото селище е с
размери 35–40 м по оста североизток-югозапад и 25-30 м по оста югоизток-северозапад.
Останалата част от селището е била унищожена от водите на езерото. Първите изследва-
ния са били извършени през 1923 г., последвани от спасителни разкопки през 70-те80-
те години на миналия век. За съжаление повечето от резултатите от тези изследвания
остават непубликувани. Проучвателите разкриват 11 жилища, 9 принадлежащи към
фаза Гумелница А2 и 2 към фаза Гумелница В1, някои от тях с много богат инвентар.
Някои артефакти са истински шедьоври на неолитното изкуство, като съдът с „Влю-
бените“ или „Богините от Султана“. В селището е открито и малко съкровище, съставе-
но от няколко златни предмета.
Проучванията са подновени през 2001 г. с впечатляващи резултати. Разкрито е го-
ряло жилище с много вътрешни структури ( пейка, огнище) и много богат инвентар,
включващ малка, златна висулка. Направените няколко сондажа в западната част на
селището довеждат до откриването на некропола на селището през 2006 г. Досега са
разкрити 25 гроба. Най-много гробове от некропола на Султана Малу–Рошу са с по-
койници, положени в свито положение, на лява страна. Гробният инвентар не е много
богат. В три гроба са открити гърне, хляб изработен от мрамор, малахит и спондилус,
както и каменни артефакти ( огладени каменни брадви и кремъчни ножове).
Сонджите, направени на терасата, водят до разкриване на интензивно обитавано
селище, принадлежащо към култура Боян.
Като се има предвид, че селището е разположено на доминираща позиция, за раз-
лика от другите селища от култура Гумелница, които обикновено са скрити в ландшаф-
141
Тракия и съседните райони през каменно-медната епоха
та, както и богатият инвентар, включително и златни предмети, възниква въпросът:
какво представлява селището Султана в рамките на култура Гумелница? Било ли е то
властови или религиозен център, или просто богато селище? Въпреки, че съществу-
ват основания за подобни хипотези, като например местоположението на селището
и археологическите находки, отговорът на този въпрос зависи от по-задълбоченото
познаване на цивилизацията Гумелница.
Radian-Romus Andreescu, Cătălin Lazăr, Theodor Ignat, Katia Moldoveanu
142
ЗЛАТНОТО ПЕТО ХИЛЯДОЛЕТИЕ
... From a cultural point of view the settlement of Sultana-Malu Roşu belongs to the Kodjadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI cultural complex, one of the most flourishing civilizations from the Balkans in the second half of the 5th millennium BC (Andreescu and Lazăr 2008;Andreescu et al. 2011). ...
... The human-shaped vessels (ID 1 and 2) represent persons in standing position with an apparently solemnly attitude. For the "Goddess of Sultana" (ID 1) some authors have discussed the hand brought to the mouth, the so called "thinker position" as a cultic attitude (Marinescu-Bîlcu 1967;Voinea 2005b;2009), with a strong connection to present day gestures. But we think that we have to take a closer look at the people who inhabited the Eneolithic settlement from Sultana-Malu Roșu, buried in inhumation graves in a cemetery situated 150 metres to the west of the settlement (Lazăr et al. 2012;Lazăr 2014). ...
... Certainly the biggest challenge of studying the humanised pottery from (but not only) Sultana-Malu Roșu consists in the identification of their meanings. In Romania, throughout time, the archaeologists have tried to interpret this kind of items (Dumitrescu et al. 1983;Andreescu 2002;Voinea 2005a;2005b;2009), but unfortunately, these approaches have not exceeded the theme "Mother-Goddess" postulated by M. Gimbutas (1982). We will not insist on the limits of this approach here because a constructive criticism of those theories was done by several authors (Meskell 1995;Bailey 1994;2005;2013;2015). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
he issue of prehistoric anthropomorphic pottery currently represents a challenge for archaeological research from different points of view (e.g. typology, technology, aestheticy, art, function, meaning and symbolism). The burned clay pot associated with the general human shape or only with some anthropomorphic features epresents a special category of vessels, certainly different from “everyday pottery”, both in terms of quantity and quality. The full understanding of these kinds of pots involves a complex analysis, based on typological-technological studies, but also on the evaluation of the archaeological contexts in which these vessels were discovered. This paper will present and analyse several anthropomorphic pots discovered in the Eneolithic tell settlement of Sultana-Malu Roșu, where many such vessels were found.
... The metal items batch from Sultana-Malu Rosu consists in total of 11 copper items plus seven gold ornaments (Isacescu 1984;Halcescu 1995;Andreescu et al. 2011). Only three copper items (ID 8,9,10) and one gold pendant (ID 7) are from our excavations. ...
... The fi rst was found in 1982: a gold assemblage (ID 1-6), weighing a 37.17 g. It is the largest discovery of its kind from Romanian Eneolithic contexts (Figure 3.4) and led to the naming of it as the 'Hoard of Sultana' (Halcescu 1995;Andreescu et al. 2011). The hoard comprises 4 circular pendants, a necklace with 7 links and 4 saltaleone (Table 3.3; Figure 3.4). ...
... It was identifi ed in a dwelling, on the hearth, in association with fragments belonging to a miniaturized house representation. In 2003, during new excavations in house L2, inside the heart structure (among its rebuilding layers), a small pendant made of golden foil, in a fl at tubular shape and perforated was found (Andreescu et al. 2011;Lazar et al. 2016 ;10. Coteana;11. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
The analysis of the metal artefacts from Sultana-Malu Rosu complete the data available for early metallurgy in the Balkans and it has provided an interesting evidence concerning the individual and collective choices of that human community. Undoubtedly, these pieces reflect a form of symbolic expression of those communities, related to the construction of identities and personhood, but also to the emergence of elites and the development of some socio-economic differences in KGK VI societies. The metal items reflect the existence of a dominant ideology in the second half of the 5th millennium BC that is probably bound by the development of exchange networks with the distribution of copper and gold in southeastern Europe.
Book
Full-text available
This study aims to identify what the houses of prehistoric men and women were like on the European continent. The work focuses on the physical characteristics of houses, as archaeological records are limited and ethnographical knowledge is required to correctly interpret any remains excavated.
Article
Full-text available
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.
Article
Full-text available
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.
Article
Full-text available
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.
Article
The discovery of what is demonstrably, on the basis of present knowledge, the earliest major assemblage of gold artifacts to be unearthed anywhere in the world is an event of some note, comparable in significance with Schliemann's find of the Great Treasure at Troy more than a century ago. The finds at Varna must be at least 1,500 years older than those of Troy 11, yet apart from the original announcement by their excavator (Ivanov, 1975), and useful, although brief, descriptions by Gimbutas (1977 a and b), the Varna cemetery has so far excited little archaeological comment. The publication by Ivanov (1978) of the first well-illustrated account of the cemetery allows an assessment of its importance. Its status as the oldest substantial find of gold emphasizes the position of south-east Europe as an early and independent centre of metallurgical innovation. But the gold is only one of several materials indicative of high status in the cemetery: what had hitherto seemed a moderately egalitarian society now displays clear evidence of salient ranking. This in turn has major implications for our understanding of the social context in which early metalworking in Europe developed and prospered.
Andrieşescu 1926: I. Andrieşescu. Sultana. Descoperirile arheologice din vara anului 1923
Andrieşescu 1926: I. Andrieşescu. Sultana. Descoperirile arheologice din vara anului 1923. – Buletinul Comisiunii Monumentelor Istorice, XIX, 50, 1926, 170–185.
1989: Le premier or de l'humanité en Bulgarie, 5è millénaire
  • Le Premier Or
Le premier or... 1989: Le premier or de l'humanité en Bulgarie, 5è millénaire, 17 janvier-30 avril 1989, Ministere de la Culture, Paris, 1989.
Începuturile civilizaţiei europene. Neo-eneoliticul la Dunărea de Jos.Cronica Cercetărilor Arheologice din România. Campania
Andreescu 2007: R. Andreescu. Începuturile civilizaţiei europene. Neo-eneoliticul la Dunărea de Jos.Cronica Cercetărilor Arheologice din România. Campania 2006, Bucureşti, 2007, 399-401.
Tell Settlements: a pattern of landscape occupation in the Lower Danube Living well together? Settlement and materiality in the Neolithic of South-East and central Europe
  • Mirea R Andreescu
  • P Andrescu
  • Micrea
Andreescu, Mirea 2008: R. Andrescu, P. Micrea. Tell Settlements: a pattern of landscape occupation in the Lower Danube. In Douglass Bailey, Alasdair Whittle and Daniela Hofmann (eds.): Living well together? Settlement and materiality in the Neolithic of South-East and central Europe, Oxbow Books, Oxford, p. 28-34
Sultana Malu-Roşu. Catalog selectiv.-Cercetări Arheologice, XII
  • Popa R Andreescu
  • T Andreescu
  • Popa
Andreescu, Popa 2003: R. Andreescu, T. Popa. Sultana Malu-Roşu. Catalog selectiv.-Cercetări Arheologice, XII, 2002, 59-70.
Renfrew 1978: C. Renfrew. Varna and the Social Context of Early Metallurgy
Renfrew 1978: C. Renfrew. Varna and the Social Context of Early Metallurgy.-Antiquity, 52, 1978, 199-203.