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The eneolithic necropolis from Sultana-Malu Rosu (Romania) – a case study

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The Eneolithic cemetery of Sultana-Malu Roşu is located in the Southeast of Romania and it is one of the most important prehistoric cemeteries currently researched in Romania. From a chronological and cultural point of view it was used by two communities belonging to the Boian and the Gumelniţa cultures and covers the end of the 6th millennium BC and the entire 5th millennium BC. Until now, 50 inhumation graves have been discovered there. The burials are similar in terms of basic elements of the funerary rite. This paper will try to present the funerary traditions of these Eneolithic communities that have used this cemetery, based on the archaeological evidence.
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Mobility and Transitions
in the Holocene
Edited by
Luiz Oosterbeek
Cláudia Fidalgo
BAR International Series 2658
2014
UNION INTERNATIONALE DES SCIENCES PRÉHISTORIQUES ET PROTOHISTORIQUES
INTERNATIONAL UNION OF PREHISTORIC AND PROTOHISTORIC SCIENCES
PROCEEDINGS OF THE XVI WORLD CONGRESS (FLORIANÓPOLIS, 4-10 SEPTEMBER 2011)
ACTES DU XVI CONGRÈS MONDIAL (FLORIANÓPOLIS, 4-10 SEPTEMBRE 2011)
VOL. 9
Published by
Archaeopress
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Table of Contents
Détroits ................................................................................................................................... 1
Marcel OTTE
Exploring size and shape variations in late Holocene projectile points from Northern
and Southern coasts of Magellan Strait (South America) ................................................. 9
Judith CHARLIN, Karen BORRAZZO, Marcelo CARDILLO
Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene at Sitio do Meio (Southern Piaui, Brazil):
a revision of stratigraphy and comparison with Pedra Furada ........................................ 21
Fabio PARENTI, Giulia AIMOLA, Camilla ANDRADE, Leidiana MOTA
The Origins of the Brazilian Sambaquis (Shell-Mounds):
from a Historical Perspective ......................................................................................... 31
Gustavo Peretti WAGNER
Affinity Groups from the shellmound Jabuticabeira II (Santa Catarina, Brazil):
what does the cranial morphology say? .......................................................................... 37
Mercedes OKUMURA, Sabine EGGERS
Substrats néolithiques aux arts traditionnels des Balkans .................................................... 45
Marcel OTTE
Other faces of the Megalithic in the north-east Alentejo, Portugal,
and the reuse of tombs .................................................................................................... 53
Jorge de OLIVEIRA, Clara OLIVEIRA
Some possible assessments of the different burial spaces in the Alentejo and
Arrábida in prehistory and protohistory ......................................................................... 59
Leonor ROCHA, Rosário FERNANDES
The eneolithic necropolis from Sultana-Malu Rosu (Romania) – a case study .................... 67
Ctlin LAZR
A group of offerings of Cotzumalguapa, Guatemala: late classic period ............................. 75
Erika GÓMEZ
ii
Artistic relations between attic vases producers from 510 to 475 B.C. reviewed
by the attribution methodology ....................................................................................... 81
Carolina Kesser Barcellos DIAS
67
THE ENEOLITHIC NECROPOLIS FROM SULTANA-MALU ROSU
(ROMANIA) – A CASE STUDY
Ctlin LAZR
National History Museum of Romania, Bucharest, 030026, Romania
acltara@yahoo.com
Abstract: The Eneolithic cemetery of Sultana-Malu Rou is located in the Southeast of Romania and it is one of the most important
prehistoric cemeteries currently researched in Romania. From a chronological and cultural point of view it was used by two
communities belonging to the Boian and the Gumelnia cultures and covers the end of the 6th millennium BC and the entire 5th
millennium BC. Until now, 50 inhumation graves have been discovered there. The burials are similar in terms of basic elements of
the funerary rite. This paper will try to present the funerary traditions of these Eneolithic communities that have used this cemetery,
based on the archaeological evidence.
Key-words: Cemetery, graves, funerary traditions, Eneolithic, Southeastern Europe
Résumé: Le cimetière chalcolithique Sultana-Malu Rou est situé au sud-est de la Roumanie et il est parmi les plus importantes
nécropoles préhistoriques en train d’être recherchées en présent. Le cimetière qui du point de vue chronologique et culturel a été
utilisé par les communautés humaines qui appartiennent aux cultures Boian et Gumelnita couvre la fin de VI millénaire BC et tout le
V millénaire BC. Les enterrements sont similaires du point de vue des éléments primaires de rituel funéraires. Cette présentation
propose de montrer les traditions funéraires spécifiques aux communautés chalcolithiques qui ont utilisé cette nécropole grâce aux
donnes archéologiques.
Mots-clés: Cimetière, tombes, traditions funéraires, Chalcolithique, sud-est de l’Europe
INTRODUCTION
The study of funerary practices offers an unique
perspective about the past, regarding the funerary rites,
habits, spiritual beliefs and social organization of
particular human communities, collective and individual
identities, traditions and innovations, similarities and
differences between cultures, and the presence or absence
of interactions between the people of neighbouring and
distant cultures. That is why burials have continually
exercised a special attraction for anthropologists and
archaeologists.
In this context, cemeteries are a special case, because
they represent an association of several graves belonging
to one or more communities, contemporary or not,
constituting an exceptional source of information,
throwing light on many aspects of life and death in
prehistoric societies (Todorova 1978, 74). Also,
cemeteries can provide evidence of specific funerary
traditions, the evolution of funerary space, changes and
variability of burial behaviour, and finally, but not less
important, the identities of past communities.
In this paper we will try to explore the particular case of
one of the most recent cemeteries discovered in Romania,
Sultana-Malu Rou, because it has been the subject of
complex interdisciplinary research that allowed us to
record some original data on specific funerary behaviours
of the Eneolithic communities from Southeastern Europe.
GEOGRAPHICAL FRAMEWORK
The Eneolithic cemetery from Sultana-Malu Rou is
located in the northern area of the Balkan region, in the
southeast of Romania, on the right bank of the old
Mostitea River (which has been converted into several
artificial lakes), about 7 km from the Danube river, near
the border with Bulgaria (Fig. 1). From an administra-
tive point of view the site is located in Sultana
village, Clrai County, Romania (Lazr et al. 2008,
2009).
The geographical coordinates (Latitude / Longitude) of
the cemetery area are 44° 15' 40.3292" N / 26° 52'
2.6103" E, 44° 15' 40.3577" N / 26° 52' 2.8609" E, 44°
15' 39.4114" N / 26° 52' 3.0610" E, 44° 15' 39.1235" N /
26° 52' 1.3720" E, 44° 15' 39.7711" N / 26° 52' 1.2342"
E, 44° 15' 39.9275" N / 26° 52' 2.6986" E (Lazr et al.
2009, 165). The corresponding absolute altitude of this
area is at least 45.021 m and maximum 46.740 m. All
data are reported in the STEREO-70 projecting system of
coordinates and 1975 Black Sea elevation system
reference.
From topographical point of view the cemetery is
located on the high terrace of the Mostitea Lake, at
150 m (±1 m) west from the Gumelnia tell
settlement (Sultana-Malu Rou) and 320 m (±1 m)
east from the Boian flat settlement (Sultana-Gherie)
(Fig. 3).

MOBILITY AND TRANSITIONS IN THE HOLOCENE
68
Figure 1. Map of Romania and the location of the Sultana-Malu Rou cemetery
THE CHRONOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL
SETTING
From cultural point of view, the cemetery of Sultana-
Malu Rou was used by two communities belonging to
the Boian and the Gumelnia cultures. Both cultures
belong to large Eneolithic cultural complexes, Boian-
Maritsa-Karanovo V and Kodjadermen-Gumelnia-
Karanovo VI respectively (Fig. 2), which cover almost all
the Balkan area (Todorova 1986; Dumitrescu et al. 1983;
Bojadjiev et al. 1993; Petrescu-Dâmbovia 2001a;
2001b). Generally, Romanian researchers are using the
terms Boian and Gumelnia cultures and not the full
denominations of this cultural units.
Most of Romanian archaeologists consider that the
Kodjadermen-Gumelnia-Karanovo VI cultural aggregate
originated through the evolution of the Boian-Maritsa-
Karanovo V cultural complex (in the case of the Boian
culture only the final phases, as the earliest phases belong
to the Middle Neolithic). This phenomenon occurred so
rapidly that from its origin it can be referred to as a
unique culture with regional attributes (Dumitrescu et al.
1983; Haotti 1997; Petrescu-Dâmbovia 2001b; Popovici
2010).
The general chronology of these two Eneolithic cultural
units (Fig. 2) covers the end of the 6th millennium BC,
the entire 5th millennium BC and the beginning of the 4th
millennium BC (Dumitrescu et al. 1983; Bem 2001;
Petrescu-Dâmbovia 2001a; 2001b).
In terms of absolute chronology, based on AMS
radiocarbon dating obtained for Sultana-Malu Rou
cemetery (n = 5), we can estimate that the graves belong
to the probable chronological interval range of 5071 –
4450 cal BC (91.8% – 95.4% probability).
From a cultural point of view, this means that the graves
can be included in the Vidra and Spanov phases of the
Boian culture, corresponding to the A1 – A2 phases of
the Gumelnia culture (Fig. 2). However, if we consider
the cultural sequence represented in the tell settlement of
Sultana-Malu Rou, then in the future it may also be
possible to find graves belonging to the B1 phase of the
Gumelnia culture. On the other hand, these radiocarbon
data indicate that Sultana-Malu Rou cemetery was in use
for approximately 600 years. Obviously, this is just a
preliminary observation; future excavations and new
radiocarbon data will bring supplementary explanations
about the chronological range of the use of this cemetery.
METHODOLOGY
The Sultana-Malu Rou cemetery is one of the few cases
in Romania identified following a systematic research
approach. With two exceptions (Radovanu and Mriua
sites), in other cases the Eneolithic cemeteries were
discovered by chance, due to erosion processes or due to
industrial development projects (Coma 1990, 104;
Lazr, Parnic 2007, 136-137). On the other hand, in
Romania, identifying the cemeteries was not a priority for
archaeologists, the research focusing on settlements,
which was in fact a methodological flaw.
In these circumstances, the methodology used at the
Sultana-Malu Rou cemetery was a special one, taking
into account the size of the terrace (about 3.5 ha) and the

C. LAZR: THE ENEOLITHIC NECROPOLIS FROM SULTANA-MALU ROSU (ROMANIA)...
69
Figure 2. The Eneolithic chronological and cultural sequence
present at the Sultana-Malu Rou cemetery
Figure 3. The location of the Sultana-Malu Rou cemetery and the two settlements
particular aspects posed by the research of a prehistoric
funerary areas (Fig. 3). Thus, in 2003, a series of geo-
magnetic prospects were conducted on the terrace, near
the Sultana-Malu Rou tell-settlement in order to identify
the cemetery. After this, in 2007, the site benefited from
an investigative aerial research. Corroborated with older
aerial photographs, this has led to results regarding the
evolution of the landscape, the evolution of the
archaeological diggings over time, the erosion of the
lakes banks and the presence of anthropic interventions
(Lazr et al. 2008, 132-133).
The initial excavation method consisted in digging small
sections (3 x 1 m or 2 x 1 m), placed at 10-20 m one from
another, in order to cover as much terrace surface as
possible. After the first graves were uncovered, bigger
sections and surfaces were made (8 x 2 m or 10 x 2 m),
for systematic and complete research of the targeted

MOBILITY AND TRANSITIONS IN THE HOLOCENE
70
Figure 4. The general plan of the Sultana-Malu Rou cemetery
areas. Microstratigraphic method was used to record the
stratigraphic data, by a thorough analysis of the
stratigraphical units (s.u.) (Lazr et al. 2009, 166).
The integration of the archaeological, stratigraphical and
topographical data has been achieved through a GIS
software.
ENEOLITHIC FUNERARY TRADITIONS IN THE
SULTANA-MALU ROU CEMETERY
The Sultana-Malu Rou cemetery is a typical Eneolithic
extramural cemetery, with 50 graves discovered until
now (Fig. 4). It was used by two settlements belonging to
two different communities (Boian and Gumelnia
cultures) (Fig. 3). This funerary area it is placed in
proximity of the settlements, in the middle-distance
visibility range according to Higuchi’s visibility indices,
which shows that the necropolis and the settlement are
always inter-visible (Lazr 2011a). Based on the
archaeological information and radiocarbon data it is
clear that these communities were not contemporary, and
therefore there is continuity in the use of cemeteries,
which reflects a tradition in the funerary rules of those
people and perhaps even descendant communities.
In terms of internal structure and organization, the graves
from Sultana-Malu Rou cemetery are grouped on the
terrace edge and slopes, placed at variable distances each
other. In some cases they are placed at distances of under
1 m, forming apparent groups (e.g. graves 4 and 5, 8 and
12, 9 and 11, 14 and 24 or 25 and 22), whereas in other
instances graves are more distanced from each other (Fig.
4). Generally, with few exceptions, the graves seem to be
aligned into parallel rows oriented to the direction east-
north-east. The same organization of the graves was
identified in other Eneolithic cemeteries in the Balkans
(e.g. Goljamo Delevo, Targovište, Vrti, Devnja etc.)
(Todorova-Simeonova 1971; Todorova et al. 1975;
Angelova 1991; Coma 1995).
Also, in the perimeter of the cemetery were found four
pits (Fig. 4), which have circular shapes, variable
dimensions (not very large), and contained pottery
fragments, charcoal, burnt clay fragments, stones, animal
bones, shells, etc. The presence of such features in the
area of the cemeteries may be related to certain stages of
the funerary 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. Similar cases have
also been identified in the Eneolithic cemeteries from
Vinica and Mriua (Raduneva 1976; Lazr, Parnic
2007).
The burials from Sultana-Malu Rou cemetery are
individual, without complex grave structures. They
consist of ordinary pits devoid of plaster lining or any
traces of related constructions. Generally, funerary pits
had irregular oval shape, of varying sizes, depending on
the size of the dead bodies. Based on the data collected so
far, the graves from here were not marked on the surface,
or the markings that were potentially used were made of
materials that were not preserved. The orientation of the
pits from Sultana-Malu Rou cemetery was very

Figure 5. Su
Figure 6.
consistent, a
(graves 2, 3,
was closer t
o
The treatme
n
majority of
i
(laterally, d
o
anatomical
o
24, 26 and 4
(Fig. 5). Al
s
ventral ext
e
p
reserved th
e
or North – S
o
Excepting
t
cemetery ar
reburials (F
i
and until no
w
3, 10, 16, 1
9
graves cont
a
(Fig. 6). On
l
individuals
graves conta
skulls, ribs,
v
all containe
d
anatomical c
These char
a
relationships
seem to i
n
osteological
archaeologic
ltana-
M
alu R
o
Sultana-
M
al
u
long an Eas
t
26 and 43) h
a
o
a North – S
o
nt
of the dea
d
i
ndividuals w
o
rsal or ventr
o
rder (Fig. 5).
1) the deceas
e
s
o, there was
e
nded positi
o
e
orientation
o
o
uth).
t
hese cases,
e
documented
i
g. 4, 6). Th
e
w
we have id
e
9, 20, 23, 2
7
a
in human b
o
l
y in the Gra
v
have been
f
a
ined the sam
e
v
ertebrae etc.
)
d disarticula
t
onnection.
a
cteristics,
a
s
of these co
m
n
dicate the
i
remains in
c
al data we
e
o
u cemetery,
u
Rou cemet
e
West axis.
a
d a different
o
uth axis (Fig.
d
followed th
e
ere laid out i
n
al), on the l
e
Only in fou
r
e
d were plac
e
one case w
i
o
n (grave
3
o
f the funerar
y
at the S
u
also some se
e
y represent
a
e
ntified nine
s
7
, 28 and 37
)
o
nes fro
m
a
v
e 28 the lo
n
f
ound (Fig.
6
e
skeletal ele
m
)
. Except for
t
t
ed skeletal
a
s well as
m
plexes rec
o
i
ntentional
d
pits, and
e
xclude the
p
C.
L
AZ
examples of
p
e
ry, examples
Only a few
c
orientation,
w
4).
e
same patter
n
n
a foetal po
s
e
ft side, in n
o
r
cases (grav
e
e
d on the righ
t
th the skelet
o
3
5). The b
o
y
pits (Eas
t
W
u
ltana-Malu
R
condary buri
a
a
special sit
u
s
uch cases (g
r
. Generally,
t
single indi
v
n
g bones fro
m
6
). Usually
t
m
ents (long b
o
t
he Grave 23,
elements wi
t
the stratigr
a
o
rded in the
f
d
eposition o
f
on the basi
p
ossibility of
R
:
T
HE ENEOL
I
71
p
rimary buri
a
of secondary
c
ases
w
hich
n
, the
s
ition
o
rmal
e
s 22,
t
side
o
n in
o
dies
West
Rou
a
ls or
u
ation
r
aves
these
v
idual
m
two
these
ones,
they
thout
a
phic
field,
f
the
i
s of
later
inte
r
the
r
not
Alt
e
trea
t
exc
l
Mo
s
dev
o
mat
e
fun
e
that
(gra
45),
ado
r
b
ea
d
De
n
200
8
So
f
dep
o
assi
g
In
S
12,
C1/
2
(Fi
g
offe
repr
taur
u
hu
m
of t
h
I
THIC NECROPO
L
a
ls: from left
t
burials: fro
m
r
vention. We
r
esult of acci
d
allow for th
e
e
rnatively, th
e
t
ment of ce
l
usive practic
e
s
t of the grav
e
o
id of grave
g
e
rial that ca
n
e
ral inventor
y
were found
v
e 6), flint bl
a
a polished st
o
r
nments (gra
v
d
s made of
n
talium, bone
8
, 2009).
f
ar, we were
o
sition of gr
a
g
ning invento
S
ultana-Malu
19, 28, 31,
2
009, C1/201
0
g
. 7). These
r
ings. Regar
d
esented by a
u
s was repr
e
m
erus, an alm
o
h
e frontal bo
n
L
IS FROM
S
ULT
A
t
o right, grav
e
left to right
g
consider thes
e
d
ental or spe
c
e
normal co
n
e
se complex
e
r
tain indivi
d
e
s, or occasio
n
e
s from Sulta
n
g
oods. Only 1
6
n
be unamb
y
(Fig. 7). T
h
in the grave
a
des (graves
1
o
ne axe made
v
es 1, 13, 1
4
shells of
S
, marble an
d
not able to
i
v
e goods or
s
r
y items.
Rou cemete
3
3, and 34)
0
and C4/201
remains
w
d
ing the ani
m
metatarsus
f
e
sented by a
o
st complete
r
n
e attached a
t
A
NA
-M
ALU
R
O
S
e
s no. 24, 17,
1
g
raves no. 10,
e situations a
s
c
ial circumst
a
n
duction of
f
e
s may refle
c
d
uals of the
n
al habits.
n
a-Malu Ro
u
6
% of the gr
a
b
iguously ass
h
e categories
e
s are repres
e
1
, 11, 12, 13,
1
e
of limestone
4
and 48) r
e
S
pondylus g
a
d
malachite
i
dentify any
p
sex and age
d
e
ry some of
t
and comple
x
1
1) contained
w
ere probabl
y
m
al species,
f
ound in the
diaphysis f
r
r
ight horncor
e
t
the base (C
1
S
U
(R
OMANIA
)..
.
1
8, 22 and 2
6
16 and 28
s
representin
g
a
nces that di
d
fu
nerary rites
.
c
t differentia
l
community
,
u
cemetery ar
e
ves containe
d
i
gned to th
e
of material
s
e
nted by pot
s
1
6, 20, 34 an
d
(grave 1) an
d
e
presented b
y
a
ederopus o
r
(
Lazr et al
.
p
attern in th
e
d
ifferences i
n
t
he graves (2
,
x
es (C6/2007
,
animal bone
s
y
placed a
s
Ovis aries i
s
grave 2; Bo
s
r
agment of
a
e
with a 8 par
t
1
/2009) and
a
.
6
g
d
.
l
,
e
d
e
s
s
d
d
y
r
.
e
n
,
,
s
s
s
s
a
t
a

MOBILITY AND TRANSITIONS IN THE HOLOCENE
72
Figure 7. Sultana-Malu Rou cemetery – grave goods and offerings distribution
neurocranium including a left horncore (grave 28) (Fig.
6). The last two pieces come from the same animal, a fact
demonstrating that the two complexes were
contemporaneous. Three right upper molars of the same
species were found in C6/2007 together with a left lower
jaw of Sus domesticus and two Unio sp. shells. Cervus
elaphus was represented by a fragment of an un-fused
lumbar vertebra found in C1/2009. The same complex
contained two other fragments of lumbar vertebra and
two diaphyses of long bones which could not be
identified taxonomically. Grave 12 contained a river shell
and grave 19 an unidentifiable bone fragment. The
presence of animal bones within these complexes
suggests the practice of a funerary ritual.
Also in the case of funerary offerings we did not identify
any pattern of the deposition or sex and age differences in
association with these animal bones.
The anthropological analyses made so far on 35 skeletons
showed that most of them belonged to adults and only
two to Infans (grave 2 and a mandible fragment from
grave 21). To them we can also add the three children’s
graves discovered in 2011 (graves 38, 42 and 43).
There is a higher number of female subjects (n = 22)
compared with the number of male subjects (n = 12). We
must mention that some of the skeletons (graves 36 – 50)
have not yet been anthropologically determined.
In the case of reburials, no preference for male or female
subjects was observed, their percentages being equal.
From point of view of the age, all individuals belong to
the adult category.
Based on the archaeological and anthropological analyses
we can conclude that the burial customs do not reflect
any sex or age differences.
DISCUSSIONS AND CONCLUSIONS
Generally, most of the Eneolithic cemeteries from the
Balkans are associated with a single settlement (Coma
1974a; 1974b; Todorova 1978; 1982, 1986; Lazr
2011a). Only in a few cases is a single cemetery
associated with multiple settlements, as in the case of our
cemetery. In four of those situations we have an associa-
tion with two settlements (Cscioarele, Durankulak and
probably Cernica), and only in two cases probably more
than two settlements (Cernavoda and Varna I) (Berciu,
Morintz 1957, 83-84, 90-91; Margos 1961, 128-129;
1978, 146-148; Ivanov 1993, 20; erbnescu 1996, 28-
29; 1998, 14; Coma, Cantacuzino 2001; Dimov 2002,
28; Slavchev 2010, 206; Lazr 2011b, 147). All this cases
demonstrate that the Sultana-Malu Rou cemetery is not
an exception from the point of view of location and its
relationship with the settlements. This situation is very
similar to the cemeteries of Durankulak and Cscioarele
(erbnescu 1996, 1998; Dimov 2002; Lazr 2011b).
The cemeteries used by different communities, both
culturally and chronologically, are best suited for a
complex analysis to identify perpetuated traditions and
preserved funerary practices. In our case, specific
information recorded in this cemetery, indicates the
perpetuation of certain funerary rules from the Boian
communities to the Gumelnia communities. This process
of perpetuation is not complete and there are also new
elements or particular customs. This is a normal situation,
especially if we consider that any culture is traditionally
seeking to promote their ancestors’ rules and knowledge,
but also the new ones defined by the coevals (Pouillon
1999).
In terms of grave structure typology the situation from
Sultana-Malu Rou cemetery falls within the series of
cases known from other Eneolithic cemeteries, where the
funerary pits had irregular oval shape, with varying sizes,
depending on the size of the dead bodies (e.g.
Durankulak, Vinica, Vrti, Goljamo Delevo, Mriua
etc.) (Todorova et al. 1975; Raduneva 1976; Coma
1995; Boyadžiev 2006; Lazr and Parnic 2007).
The orientation of the funerary pits along an East – West
axis, identified in the most cases from Sultana-Malu Rou
cemetery, is also known in other necropolises belonging
to the Eneolithic period from Balkans (e.g. Goljamo

C. LAZR: THE ENEOLITHIC NECROPOLIS FROM SULTANA-MALU ROSU (ROMANIA)...
73
Delevo, Cscioarele, Curteti, Radingrad, etc.)
(Todorova et al. 1975; Ivanov 1982; erbnescu 1996;
erbnescu and Soficaru 2006). This way of positioning
the funerary pits may reflect a rule turned into a tradition,
transmitted from generation to generation, from the Boian
communities to the Gumelnia communities.
In the case of primary burials, the treatment of the dead
followed the same pattern in most of the cases – foetal
position (laterally, dorsal or ventral), on the left side (very
rarely on the right side), which is a major characteristic of
Eneolithic funerary practices from the Balkans. It is very
interesting that this type of deposition of the deceased is
characteristic both to cemeteries belonging to the Boian
culture (e.g. Andolina, Curteti, Popeti-Vasilai, etc.),
and also for the Gumelnia communities (e.g. Vrti,
Targovište, Mriua, Vinica, Goljamo Delevo,
Gumelnia, etc.) (Coma 1974a, 1974b; 1995; Todorova
et al. 1975; Raduneva 1976; erbnescu 1985, 1999;
Angelova 1991; erbnescu and Soficaru 2006; Lazr
and Parnic 2007; Lazr 2011b). Most of these cemeteries
also contained individuals deposited in a crouched
position on the right side, but in a very small percentage.
From the perspective of the graves goods, the typology of
the objects identified in the Sultana-Malu Rou cemetery
is similar with the situations encountered in other
Eneolithic necropolises from the Balkans. Instead, in
terms of wealth, the situation is different, most
graves being without inventory. In our opinion, this
situation reflects only the research stage and not a past
reality.
The secondary burials from Sultana-Malu Rou cemetery
are a rare discovery type for Eneolithic communities from
the Balkans. Some similar situations are known in the
Eneolithic necropolis of Varna I (burials type 1.D, as
catalogued by the author of the excavations), but also in
Vrti, Vinica and Devnja cemeteries (Todorova-
Simeonova 1971; Ivanov 1978; Raduneva 1976; Coma
1995; Chapman 2010). We do not exclude that these
cases can be more numerous in the Balkans, but the
evidence for secondary burials may be confused by the
archaeologist with the disturbance of the graves.
Based on the available information we can conclude that
the Sultana-Malu Rou cemetery corroborates many of
the characteristics documented in other cemeteries
belonging to the Eneolithic period. From the point of
view of the traditions, funerary practices are probably
most likely conservative, representing reflections of the
eschatological concepts of a particular community
accumulated along several generations. On the other
hand, they represent extended forms of identities, both
personal and collective. Probably during prehistory, as in
present, cemeteries were a public space, which made
them an ideal place where traditions can be built and
rebuilt by the living through the dead. Also, this
metaphorical reconstruction allows the living to express
individual and group identities. All this demonstrates the
existence of some social strategies as social adaptations
in the Eneolithic period.
Acknowledgements
We thank Ciprian Astalo (University College London)
for improving the English translation of this paper. This
work was supported by a grant of the Romanian National
Authority for Scientific Research, CNCSIS – UEFISCDI,
project number PN-II-ID-PCE-2011-3-1015.
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... The Sultana-Malu Roşu cemetery is located in the northern area of the Balkan region of southeastern Romania (Fig. 5.1) on the right bank of the old Mostiştea River, approximately 7 km from the Danube River, near the border with Bulgaria (Lazar 2014). The burial ground is an extramural cemetery typical for Eneolithic communities in the Balkans, with its location in an uninhabited area, not far from the settlement(s). ...
... The burial ground is an extramural cemetery typical for Eneolithic communities in the Balkans, with its location in an uninhabited area, not far from the settlement(s). The people from two settlements belonging to two largely chronologically different Eneolithic communities used the same cemetery (see Fig. 5.1;Lazar 2014;Lazar and Voicu 2015). This situation has also been identified in other Eneolithic burial grounds in the region, including those at Durankulak, Varasti-Gradistea Ulmilor and Cascioarele (Lichter 2001;Dimov 2002;Lazar 2011;Borić 2015). ...
... The Sultana-Malu Roşu cemetery contained 16 child graves (Table 5.1). To these can be added the burials of two adult females (20-35 years) that were associated with children's bones (see Fig. 5.2) -a fragment of the right side of a mandible derived from a nine-to ten-year-old child was found in the thoracic region of the adult skeleton buried in Grave 21, while Grave 88 was that of a pregnant adult female (Lazar et al. 2008;2009;Lazar 2014;Lazar and Voicu 2015). ...
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This paper focuses on Eneolithic child burials discovered in the Sultana-Malu Roşu cemetery, southeastern Romania (c. 5000–4000 cal. BC). The associated burial practices may implicitly re ect, through the inclusion of grave goods or other features such as the treatment of the body and the position of the burial within the funerary area, the potential symbolic signi cance of children and their connection to the household and social groups. Each of these characteristics is a potential active representation of special treatment that may have been applied to children and could therefore be interpreted as a message not so much about the individual identity of the child, but more probably the collective identity of the family or community. Thus, deceased children display evidence of an ‘arti cial’ identity created by adults. The graves will be discussed from the viewpoint of their symbolic potential and their position within society. In addition, possible reasons for the paucity of grave goods and their potential signi cance when they do exist in the burials will be discussed. Di erentiation between children and adults, relating to the impact that their deaths may have had on the community and how this is re ected in the funerary ritual, will also be explored.
... 1). It is located ca. 300 m northeast of Sultana village, Cȃlȃraș i County, Romania (Lazȃr 2014). The scientific study of Sultana-Malu Roşu began in 1923 and continues to the present (Andrieşescu 1924;Isȃcescu 1984aIsȃcescu , 1984bAndreescu and Lazȃr 2008). ...
... The scientific study of Sultana-Malu Roşu began in 1923 and continues to the present (Andrieşescu 1924;Isȃcescu 1984aIsȃcescu , 1984bAndreescu and Lazȃr 2008). The site consists of a multi-component settlement (tell) and its necropolis (Lazȃr 2014). Unfortunately, since 1923 most of the settlement has eroded into Lake Mostiştea. ...
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The relationship between people and dogs has its beginnings in the Palaeolithic and extends tocontemporary times. This paper explores the role of dogs in Eneolithic communities from the Balkans, witha particular focus on two dog mandibles which were discovered in House No. 14 at Sultana-Malu Ros ̧u(ca. 4600–3950B.C.) in Romania. The two artifacts belong to different excavation levels. The firstmandible was identified in the foundation trench which marks the beginning of the house’s lifecycle; thesecond was found in the abandonment level of the house, marking the end of its lifecycle.Archaeozoological, technological and functional analyses demonstrate the unique character of theseprehistoric artifacts, telling the stories of those who used, sacrificed and abandoned them.
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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 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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Currently more than 30 Kodjadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI culture necropolises are known in Bulgaria and Romania. Most of them are extramural necropolises with just 3 intramural necropolises (Kubrat, Ruse, Yunatsite). This article aims to establish ways of locating necropolises areas in relation to settlements, the factors underlying the choice of these areas, rules of spatial organization and the existence of a possible pattern used by Kodjadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI communities. Although, apparently, ways of organizing funerary areas near settlements appears to be similar for the entire area of this culture, in fact there are many particular aspects (e.g. two tell settlements and just one cemetery - Căscioarele ‘D’aia Parte’ and ‘Ostrovel’; or two cemeteries for a single tell settlement - Gumelniţa I and II etc.). The issue of spatial location and spatial organization of cemeteries is very complex and there are still many questions awaiting answers.
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ERB NESCU, D.; SOFICARU, A. (2006) Sultana, com. M n stirea, jud. C l ra i, Punct: Valea Orbului. In Cronica Cercet rilor Arheologice din România. Campania 2005. A XL-a Sesiune Na ional de Rapoarte Arheologice, Constan a, 31 mai-3 iunie 2006, p. 343-347. Bucure ti: cIMeC.
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