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Abstract

The tell settlement from “Măgura Gumelnița” is the eponymous site of the Eneolithic civilization with the same name. It is probably the biggest tell settlement North of the Danube, and it belonged to the Kodjadermen ‐ Gumelnița ‐ Karanovo VI civilization that occupied in the Balkan area in the second half of 5th millennium BC. In 2017, a complex interdisciplinary project resumed the research of the Gumelnița site. The project was led by a consortium which comprises The Gumelnița Civilization Museum, The Bucharest Municipality Museum, and The National Institute of the Heritage, alongside specialists from other Romanian institutions (Institute of Archaeology “Vasile Pârvan” Bucharest, National History Museum of Romania, University of Bucharest, “Al. I. Cuza” University of Iași, “Valahia” University in Târgoviște, “Horia Hulubei” National Institute for Nuclear Physics and Engineering, and National Museum of Eastern Carpathians). The current paper will present the preliminary interdisciplinary results of the 2017 archaeological campaign.
StudiidePreistorie14,2017,p.119174.
Gumelnița:ThenandNow.Theresearchresults
ofthe2017fieldwork
CătălinLAZĂR
*,**
,AdrianBĂLĂȘESCU
***
,Ionela
CRĂCIUNESCU
****
,CristinaCOVĂTARU
**
,
MihaelaDANU
*****
,AdelinaDARIE
******
,Mădălina
DIMACHE
*******
,OvidiuFRUJINA
**
,Mihaela
GOLEA
***
,ConstantinHAITĂ
*
,TheodorIGNAT
******
,
BogdanMANEA
**
,MonicaMĂRGĂRIT
********
,Vasile
OPRIȘ
******
,ValentinRADU
*
,TiberiuSAVA
*********
,
GabrielaSAVA
*********
,DanȘTEFAN
**********
,Gabriel
VASILE
***
Abstract:Thetellsettlementfrom“MăguraGumelnița”istheeponymoussiteoftheEneolithiccivilization
withthesamename.ItisprobablythebiggesttellsettlementNorthoftheDanube,anditbelongedtotheKodjadermen
‐Gumelnița‐KaranovoVIcivilizationthatoccupiedintheBalkanareainthesecondhalfof5thmillenniumBC.In
2017,acomplexinterdisciplinaryprojectresumedtheresearchoftheGumelnițasite.Theprojectwasledbya
consortiumwhichcomprisesTheGumelnițaCivilizationMuseum,TheBucharestMunicipalityMuseum,andThe
NationalInstituteoftheHeritage,alongsidespecialistsfromotherRomanianinstitutions(InstituteofArchaeology
“VasilePârvan”Bucharest,NationalHistoryMuseumofRomania,UniversityofBucharest,“Al.I.Cuza”
UniversityofIași,“Valahia”UniversityinTârgoviște,“HoriaHulubei”NationalInstituteforNuclearPhysicsand
Engineering,andNationalMuseumofEasternCarpathians).Thecurrentpaperwillpresentthepreliminary
interdisciplinaryresultsofthe2017archaeologicalcampaign.

*
NationalHistoryMuseumofRomania,12CaleaVictoriei,Bucharest030026,Romania;
lazarc@arheologie.ro,costel_haita@yahoo.com,raduvalentin@hotmail.com.
**
UniversityofBucharest,DepartmentofAncientHistory,ArchaeologyandArtHistory,3436Blvd.M.
Kogălniceanu,Bucharest050107,Romania;lazarc@arheologie.ro,covataru.ioana@yahoo.com,
ovidiu_alex_2008@yahoo.com,manea.bogdan90@yahoo.com.
***
“VasilePârvan”InstituteofArchaeology,RomanianAcademy,11HenriCoandăStreet,Bucharest
010667,Romania;abalasescu2005@yahoo.fr,mihaelas.golea@yahoo.com,gsvasile@yahoo.com.
****
C.N.A.I.R.,38Bd.DinicăGolescu,010873Bucharest,Romania;ionela.craciunescu@gmail.com.
*****
“AlexandruIoaCuza”UniversityofIași,FacultyofBiology,ResearchDepartment11Bd.CarolI,
700506Iași,Romania;danum2007@yahoo.com.
******
GumelnițaCivilizationMuseum,101ArgeșuluiStreet,915400Oltenița,Romania;
dimachemadalina@yahoo.com.
*******
BucharestMunicipalityMuseum,2Bd.I.C.Bratianu,030174Bucharest,Romania;
adelina.darie@yahoo.com,theodor_ignat@yahoo.com,vasilelieopris@yahoo.com.
********
“Valahia”University,DepartmentofHistory,35Lt.StancuIonStreat,13010Târgoviște,Romania;
monicamargarit@yahoo.com.
*********
“HoriaHulubei”NationalInstituteforNuclearPhysicsandEngineering,30ReactoruluiStreet,
Măgurele,077125,Romania;tiberiu.sava@nipne.ro,gabriela.sava@nipne.ro.
**********
NationalMuseumofEasternCarpathians,16GáborÁronStreet,520008SfântuGheorghe,
Romania;danstefan00@gmail.com.
CătălinLAZĂRetalii
120
Rezumat:Așezareadetiptelldela„MăguraGumelnița”estesituleponimalcivilizațieieneoliticecu
acelașinume.AceastaesteprobabilceamaimareașezaredetiptelldelanorddeDunăreșiaparținecivilizației
Kodjadermen‐Gumelnița‐KaranovoVIcareaocupatzonaBalcanicăînadouajumătateamileniuluialVlea
BC.Înanul2017,cercetareasituluiGumelnițaafostreluatăsubformaunuiproiectdecercetareinterdisciplinară
complexcoordonatdeMuzeulCivilizațieiGumelnița,MuzeulMunicipiuluiBucureștișiInstitutulNaționalal
Patrimoniului,împreunăcuspecialiștidinalteinstituțiiromânești(InstitutuldeArheologie„VasilePârvan”,
MuzeulNaționaldeIstorieaRomâniei,UniversitateadinBucurești,Universitatea„Al.I.Cuza”dinIași,
Universitatea„Valahia”dinTârgoviște,InstitutulNaționaldeFizicășiInginerieNucleară„HoriaHulubei”,și
MuzeulCarpațilorRăsăriteni).Lucrareadefațăvaprezentarezultateleinterdisciplinarepreliminareobținuteîn
campania2017decătreaceastăechipă.
Keywords:Eneolithic,Gumelnițaculture,bioarchaeology,geoarchaeology,radiocarbondata.
Cuvintecheie:Eneolitic,culturaGumelnița,bioarheologie,geoarheologie,dateradiocarbon.
Introduction
TheGumelnițasite(knownas“MăguraGumelnița”or“MăguraCalomfirescu”)is
probablythebiggesttellsettlementnorthoftheDanube,anditbelongedtotheKodjadermen
GumelnitaKaranovoVIcivilizationthatoccupiedtheBalkanareainthesecondhalfof5th
millenniumBC.
Thehistoryofthissiteislinkedtothebeginningsofthearchaeologicaldisciplinein
Romania,andthefirstarchaeologicalresearchesinthistellsettlement(Vl.Dumitrescu1925).
TheresultsofthatinvestigationwerethebasisforthedefinitionofGumelnițaculture.
TheGumelnitasiteiswellknowntothearchaeologicalcommunityespeciallyforits
tellsettlement,butinitsproximity,therearealsoseveralothersites(flatsettlements,
cemeteries,etc.)thatbelongtovarioustimeperiods(e.g.,Neolithic,CopperAge,BronzeAge,
etc.)(Vl.Dumitrescu1925,1966a,1966b,1993;D.Șerbănescu1985;Vl.Dumitrescu,S.
MarinescuBîlcu2001;C.Lazăr2001;D.Șerbănescu,O.Androne2016).
Despiteseveralarchaeologicalinvestigationscarriedoutherebyvariousresearchers
(VladimirDumitrescu,IoanNestor,BarbuIonescu,DinuV.Rosetti,SilviaMarinescuBîlcu,
ErsiliaTudor,DoneȘerbănescu,OlgaAndrone)overthelast90years,whichrevealedthesite’s
complexity,andspectacularartefacts,veryfewpapershavebeenwrittenrelatedtoGumelnița.
Inthesecircumstances,in2017,acomplexinterdisciplinaryteamresumedtheresearch
oftheGumelnițasite.TheprojectwasledbyaconsortiumwhichcomprisesTheGumelnița
CivilizationMuseum,TheBucharestMunicipalityMuseum,andTheNationalInstituteofthe
HeritagealongsidewithspecialistsfromotherRomanianinstitutions(InstituteofArchaeology
‘VasilePârvan’Bucharest,NationalHistoryMuseumofRomania,UniversityofBucharest,‘Al.
I.Cuza’UniversityinIași,‘Valahia’UniversityinTârgoviște,‘HoriaHulubei’National
InstituteforNuclearPhysicsandEngineering,andNationalMuseumofEasternCarpathians).
Theaimofthisnewinterdisciplinaryapproachconsistsinevaluatingthearchaeological
potentialofthesitethroughfieldsurveys,testpits,cores,andgeophysicalprospections,
alongsidesamplescollectingforavarietyoflaboratoryanalysis(e.g.zooarchaeological,
archaeobotanical,14Cdating,etc.),inordertoreconstructthepalaeoenvironmentaland
anthropicfeaturesthatshapedtheprehistorichabitation.Fieldinvestigationstookplacefor
twoweeksinSeptember‐October2017,andtheyweredoubledbythestudyofvarious
artifactsandecofacts,alongwiththeanalysisofthecollectedsamples.
Thecurrentpaperwillpresentthepreliminaryinterdisciplinaryresultsofthe2017
archaeologicalcampaignconductedatGumelnițasitebyourteam.
Gumelnița:ThenandNow.Theresearchresultsofthe2017fieldwork
121
Fig.1.ThelocationoftheGumelnițasite.Scaleinkm.
LocalizareasituluidelaGumelnița.Scaraînkm.
Locationandgeologicalbackground
TheGumelnițasiteislocatedinthenorthernareaoftheBalkanregion,intheSoutheast
ofRomania,ontheleftbankofDanubeRiver.ThecurrentdistancefromtheDanubeRiveris
about4.5km.Moreover,thesiteisalsoneartheArgeșRiverabout2.7kmeastfromit(fig.1).
Fig.2.TheresearchareasoftheGumelnițasite.Withoutscale.
ZoneledecercetarealesituluidelaGumelnița.Fărăscară.
CătălinLAZĂRetalii
122
Fromtheadministrativepointofview,thesiteislocatedontheexecutiveterritoryof
Oltenițatown,CălărașiCounty,4kmawayfromthecity,neartheOltenița‐Călărașilocal
road.
Fromageographicpointofview,theGumelniţatellissituatedintheDanube
floodplain,immediatelysouthoftheconfluenceareaoftheArgeş Riverwithasmallleft
tributary(ValeaMare).Thetellwasbuiltbypastcommunitiesonanerosionalremnantfrom
thehighterraceoftheDanubeandismadeupofloessdeposits.Besidesthese,froma
geologicalperspective,finealluviumssuchasclays,silts,andsands,arealsoencounteredin
thisarea.
Methods,strategyandexcavation
Consideringtheimpressivedimensionsofthetellsettlement(c.6.5haatthebase/c.
2.5haatthetop),butalsotheareathatweintendtoinvestigateinthefirstphaseoftheproject
(2018‐2022)ofabout90ha,itwasdecidedtodividethetargetedareaintothreemainresearch
zones(fig.2):Zone1:Tellsettlement,Zone2:Offtellarea(theareabetweentellandtheterrace
thefloodplain),andZone3:Terracearea(thehighterraceoftheDanubewerethecemetery
islocated).Thisdivisionallowedusadifferentiatedapproachtothesite,onspecificor
particularissues,andpropermanagementoftheavailableresources.
Oncetheresearchzoneswereestablished,wehavesetouttheresearchstrategyofour
approach.Thus,inafirstphase,wesurveyedthearea,alongsidewithUAVflightsinorderto
establishtheinvestigatedarea,determinethedegreeofhumaninterventionsinthesite
perimeter,andthesizeofpreviousarchaeologicalresearch,butalsotocollecttopographical
datarelativetothelandscape.Thesecondphasewasrepresentedbyamagnetometric
investigationoftheareabetweenthetellsettlementandthehighterrace(Fig.3)fordetecting
possibleanthropicstructuresornaturalelementsinthealluvialsystem.Thenextstepwasthe
archaeologicaldiagnosticexcavation(testpits)toverifytheresultsofthemagnetometry,but
alsoanotheroldarchaeologicalinformationinrespectwiththetellstratigraphyandcemetery
location.Thearchaeologicalinvestigationwasaccompaniedbyseveralsoilcoringstocomplete
thesetofpalaeoenvironmentalinformation.Lastbutnotleast,thenextstepwastheanalysis
ofdiscoveredartefacts(e.g.,pottery,flint,etc.)andecofacts(e.g.,seeds,animalbones,etc.),
butalsotheothersamplescollectedinthefield(e.g.,palynologicalsamples,14Csamples,etc.).
Fromamethodologicalpointofview,thearchaeologicalresearchundertakenonthe
Gumelnițasiteinvolvedaninterdisciplinaryapproachthatincludednonintrusive
prospections(e.g.,magnetometry),theGISintegrationoftopographicaldata,
zooarchaeological,malacological,archaeoihtyological,anthropological,palynological,
carpological,andsedimentologicalanalyses,alongsideartefactstechnotypologicaland
functionalstudy,rawmaterialdeterminationandcompositionalstudy,andradiocarbon
dating.
Gumelnița:ThenandNow.Theresearchresultsofthe2017fieldwork
123
Fig.3.MagneticmapsuperimposingtheDigitalSurfaceModelofthetellsettlementand
surroundingarea.Scaleinm.
Hartamagneticăcaresuprapunemodeluldigitalalsuprafețeiocupatedeașezareadetiptell
șizonaînconjurătoare.Scaraînm.
Magnetometricinvestigation
Theareainvestigated(120x60m)waslocatedinthefloodplain,betweenthewestern
sideofthetellsettlementandthehighterraceoftheDanube(fig.3).
Theunderlyinggeologyofthisfieldconsistsofalluvialdepositsoverlainbyshallow
topsoil.Thealluvialoriginofthestudyareaisanactivefactorthatcontinuouslyremodelsthe
stratigraphyofthevalley.Forthisreason,itistobeexpectedthattheprehistoricstructuresor
othertracesofhumanactivity,ifany,tobenowadaysburiedunderathicklayerofsediments
orevenreplacedbythealluvialdynamiceffects.However,duetotheplacement,nexttothe
Eneolithictellsettlementtotheeast,itispresumedthatthestudyareawasinthepastan
importantpassagetothenearbyterrace.
Thepurposeoftheexplorationswastodetectpossibleanthropicstructuresor
particularnaturalelementsinthealluvialsystem.Givenitseffectiveness,amagnetometric
investigationwasplannedasafirststeptocreateapreliminarymapofthesubsurface.
ThemagnetometricsurveywasconductedusingaBartingtonGrad6012
magnetometer.Theinstrumentoperatesingradiometerconfigurationwithtwounitsof
sensorshorizontallysetapartby1m.Thus,thedevicecancollecttwolinesofdataper
transverse.Eachoftheunitscomprisestwosingleaxisfluxgatesensorsverticallysetapartby
1m.
Readingswererecordedwithinagridcomposedof8cells30mby30meachandtaken
every1m(transverse)by0.125m(sample),foratotalsurveyedareaof7200sqm(figs.34).
CătălinLAZĂR
etalii
124
Thelocationofthesurveygridwasestablishedinthefieldandrecordedusingadifferential
GPSreceiver.AllthesurveydatasetsweregeoreferencedinaGISapplication.
Themagneticsurveydatawasprocessedbyazeromeanprocessinordertoeliminate
anyunbalancingbetweenthetwosensorunits.Fordisplayingpurposes,appropriate
interpolationalgorithmwasused,whilethemaximumrangeofthesignalwasclippedtoa
rangeof±15nT/m.
Fig.4.Theresultsofthemagnetometricprospectsinthealluvialplainareabetweenthetell
settlementandtheDanubeterrace.Scaleinm.
RezultateleprospecțiunilormagnetometricedinzonadeluncădintretellșiterasaDunării.
Scaraînm.
Thefluxgategradiometerconfigurationusedforthemagneticsurveycutoffanysignal
below1mdepth(fig.4).Thus,allthemagneticanomaliesdetectedandrepresentedinthe
magneticmaporiginatedfromfeaturesupto1mdepth.Overall,manyofthemagnetic
anomaliesrevealedinthechartexhibitabipolarpatternanddefinededgesoftheferrous
disturbancessuchassmallobjectsonthesurfaceorinthetopsoil.Thesearespreadallover
thestudiedarea.Otheranomaliesofthesametypebutlargerandevenmoreintenseappeared
inthesouthandwestonthemagneticmap,andaretypicalforsomelargerburiedferrous
objects.Fewoftheobservedanomaliesdisplayedtheform,nature,andpatternoftheresponse
consideredastracesofhumanactivity.Inthiscase,slightincreasesinmagneticresponseoccur
incircularorlinearareaswithdiffusecontour.However,thesetracescouldbeofanyage.
Particularattentionmaybepaidtotheeasternsideoftheinvestigatedareawhereabandof
magneticanomaliesappearsformingacontinuum(fig.4).Herethemapslightlytoucheda
paleochanneloftheriver.Thischanneltoocouldhavebeenactiveatanymomentintime.
Theresultsofthemagneticsurveyhavebeenpreliminarilyverifiedusingfewsmall
testexcavationsandstratigraphicdrillings(bothdiscussedinthenextsectionsofthecurrent
article).
Archaeologicalexcavationsandcores
Aspreviouslymentioned,thearchaeologicaltestexcavationatGumelnițasitehas
focusedoninvestigatingthreemainresearchzones(fig.2),andthegeneralplanofthe
excavationsispresentedinfig.5.
Gumelnița:ThenandNow.Theresearchresultsofthe2017fieldwork
125
Theexcavationwasundertakenusingmicrostratigraphicmethods(s.u.recording),
coupledwithaseriesofgeophysicalprospection,aGISapproachforthecollectionof
topographicalandarchaeologicaldata,aerialresearchtoinvestigatelandscapetransformation
processes,palaeoecologicalstudies,samplingforvariousinterdisciplinaryanalysesandalso
thesievingandflotationofsedimentobtainedfromtheexaminedfeatures.Thealtimetrywas
measuredfromazeropoint(P0),establishedincorrelationwiththeSTEREO1970national
system,andthe1975BlackSeaelevationsystem.Thetestpitsweredoubledbytwo
sedimentologicalcorings,inordertoobtainpreliminaryinformationonthenaturaldeposits
inthesurroundingarea.
Fig.5.Thegeneralplanof2017excavationatGumelnițasite.Scaleinm.
Planulgeneralalsăpăturilorefectuateîn2017însitulGumelnița.Scaraînm.
Zone1:Tellsettlement.Firstly,ourapproachwasaimedatidentifyingthelocationof
oldexcavationsofthetellsettlement.Inordertoachievethisgoal,wemadesomefield
surveys,doubledbyUAVflightsfordataacquisition.AfterobtainingtheDigitalSurface
Model(fig.2),thedatawerecollectedwithinthefieldandfromavailablepublications(Vl.
Dumitrescu1925,1966a,1966b,1993;Vl.Dumitrescu,S.MarinescuBîlcu2001;D.Șerbănescu,
O.Androne2016).BasedonthisanalysiswewereabletoestablishthatVladimirDumitrescu’s
trencheswerelocatedinthenorthwestareaofthetellsettlement.DinuV.Rosettiʹstrenches
arelocatedmostprobablyinthetopnorthernareaofthesettlement,andthoseofDone
Şerbănescuinthecentralarea(fig.2).ThestudyoftheDigitalSurfaceModel,aswellasthe
fieldresearch,indicatesotherinterventionsofsmallersize(probablymadebyBarbuIonescu),
alongsidealargeareaaffectedinthecentral‐northernpart,which,weknow,itisrelatedtoa
counterairdefencesystemfromWorldWarII.ThetrenchI/2011excavatedbyDone
CătălinLAZĂRetalii
126
Șerbănescubetween2011and2012(39x2m)isstillopenandnoticeablefromanyaerial
images(includingGoogleEarth).Publicationofthisexcavationfrom2011‐2012(D.
Șerbănescu,O.Androne2016)showsustheexistenceofotherarchaeologicaltrenchesinthe
southernsideoftheGumelnițamound,atthebaseofit,duetopublicworks.Unfortunately,
althoughthetextdiscussesthoseexcavations,theirplans,dimensions,andlocationhavenot
beenpublished(D.Șerbănescu,O.Androne2016),buttheirexistenceisbeingconfirmedby
oursurfaceresearch.
Inthesecircumstances,consideringthatthetrenchesfromthesoutheasternbaseofthe
Gumelnițamound,madepreviouslybyDoneȘerbănescu,showvisibletracesofpotential
archaeologicalfeatures,wedecidedtocleanandstraightenaverticalsectionofthem(northern
side)inordertorecordthestratigraphicdata(fig.5).Thelengthoftheverticalcrosssection
was5mwithamaximumheightof1.201.30m.Thestraighteningprocesswasdonemanually,
andtheexcavatedsurfaceareawasnotmorethan2030cm.Also,ourarchaeological
interventionnamedSonDS(fig.5)didnotgodeeperthantheoldsectionbase.Theresulting
profilegaveusanoverviewofthearchaeologicalsituationinthisperimeter.
Fig.6.TheverticalcrosssectionofSonDSlocatedsoutheasternsideofGumelnițatell
settlement.Scaleinm.
ProfilulsondajuluiSonDSdinparteadesudestaașezăriidetiptelldelaGumelnița.Scaraînm.
Thus,justbelowthemodernsoilunit(s.u.1011),thereareseveraloccupationlevels
attributedtotheGumelniţaculture,A2phase(fig.6).Theidentifiedfeaturesconsistoftwo
dwellingsoneunburned(L1)andanotherburned(L2),alongsideadomesticwastearea(C4)
andseveralpits(C2,C3,C5,C6,C7),perforatingtheothercomplexes(fig.7.bc).Thevertical
sectiondrawingisshowninfig.6andthestratigraphicmatrixinfig.7.a.
Almostallartefactsandecofacts,aswellasothervarioussamplespresentedinthis
study,arefromthesearchaeologicalfeatures(seenextsectionsofthearticle).
Moreover,atthebaseoftheoldexcavationfrom20112012,whereourteamstraightened
averticalsection,asedimentologicalcoring(C3)wasmadeinordertounderstandthe
geomorphologicalcontextoftheanthropologicalsuccessioninthisarea(tab.1).
Gumelnița:ThenandNow.Theresearchresultsofthe2017fieldwork
127
Fig.7.Thestratigraphicmatrix(a)anddetailsoftheverticalcrosssectionfromSonDS(a
generalviewb,pitC5c,andpitC2d).
Diagramastratigraficăaprofilului(a)șidetaliialeacestuia(vederegeneralăb,groapaC5
cșigroapaC2d).
CătălinLAZĂRetalii
128
Depth
(cm)
StratigraphyDescription
Interpretation
0‐30  Silt,wellsorted,yellowish,homogeneous,without
anthropogenicconstituents(c.a.).
Colluvium.
30‐50  Silt,wellsorted,lightbrown,finelygranular,slightly
heterogeneous,organic,withfinemodernroots.
Colluvium/
Filling.
50‐70  Silt,moderatelysorted,medium‐darkbrown,fine
granular,slightlyheterogeneous,withrarec.a.‐2
ceramicfragments13cm,2bonefragments23cm,
raregranulesmmofcharcoalandburntdaub.
Filling.
70‐110  Silt,moderatelysorted,yellowishbrown,finely
granular,slightlyheterogeneous,12%burntdauband
finecharcoal,2ceramicfragments,12.5cm.
Filling.
110‐120  Silt,poorlysorted,lightgraybrown,finegranular,
slightlyheterogeneous,withrare(23%)c.a.burnt
daub,finecharcoal,2ceramicfragments12cm,and
organic.
Filling.
120‐150  Silt,poorlysorted,yellowishbrownandlightreddish,
granular,heterogeneous,withmorefrequent(1015%)
c.a.fineburntdaubandfinecharcoal,12fragments
ofburntdaub12cm,9ceramicfragments1.54cm,1
limestonefragmentof3cm.
Filling.
150‐190  Silt,poorlysorted,gray,lightgrayishbrown,granular,
heterogeneous,withrare(5%)finec.a.andveryrare
fragmentsofburntdaub12.5cmandceramics13cm,2
fragmentsofburnedbone24cm,2piecesofrock23cm.
Filling.
190‐240  Claysilt,moderatelysorted,yellowishbrown,
relativelyhomogeneous,finelygranular,12%fine
charcoalandburntdaub,1ceramicfragment3cm.
Filling.
240‐280  Claysilt,wellsorted,yellowishbrown,slightly
heterogeneous,withoutc.a.,withbioturbation
structure.
Soilunit.
280‐300  Claysilt,wellsorted,mediumbrown,slightly
heterogeneous,withveryrare(12%)c.a.,burntdaub
andyellowishclay.
Colluvium?
300‐360  Claysilt,wellsorted,mediumbrown,slightly
heterogeneous,withoutc.a.,withbioturbation
structureandrare(5%)fine,mm,ironoxides.
Soilunit.
360‐370  Clayfinesandysilt,wellsorted,yellowishbrown,
slightlyheterogeneous,withoutc.a.,withrare(12%)
fineironoxides.
Finealluvial
deposits.
370‐390  Claysilt,wellsorted,yellowishbrown,slightly
heterogeneous,withoutc.a.,withrare(5%)fineiron
oxides.
Finealluvial
deposits.
390‐400  Siltyclay,wellsorted,lightgrayishbrown,slightly
heterogeneous,withoutc.a.,withrare(5%)fineiron
oxides.
Finealluvial
deposits.
Tab.1.SedimentarysuccessionobservedincoringC3/2017.
SuccesiuneasedimentarăobservatăîncarotajulC3/2017.
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129
Althoughtheanthropogeniclevelswerenotfoundinsitu,theareabeingthesubjectof
anolderarchaeologicalexcavation,(e.g.,thesedimentarysequenceobserveduptoadepthof
4mfromthebaseofthestudiedprofile)(tab.1),providedsignalsofthepossiblestratigraphic
expansionoftheGumelnițaoccupationinthisarea.
Thesequenceobservedherehighlightedthefactthattheoccupationareapresentsan
importantstratigraphy,whichcontinuesfromthepresentsurfaceuptoadepthof2.40m,and
thatthisareawaslocatedonthepalaeosolformedbeforetheEneolithicsettlement.Thedating
oftheselevelswillbeabletoestablishthechronologicalconnectionwiththeprimary
habitationoftheGumelnițatellsettlement.
Depth
(cm)
StratigraphyDescription
Interpretation
0‐30  Claywithfinelysandysilt,moderatelysorted,
browngraymedium,relativelyhomogeneous,
organic,withmodernrootsandaggregate
structure,withrarebrickgranules.
Theorganichorizon
oftheactualsoil.
30‐60  Siltfinesandy,lightbrownandyellowish,
relativelyheterogeneous,withveryfinefinemica
flakes.
Theorganichorizon
oftheactualsoil.
60‐80  Finesandysilt,wellsorted,yellowish,
homogeneous,withrarefinemicaflakes.
Finealluvial
deposits.
80‐100  Siltyclay,finesandy,wellsorted,yellowishand
yellowishbrown,relativelyhomogeneous,with
rarefinemicaandrare(23%)ferruginous
concretionsandimpregnations.
Finealluvial
deposits.
100‐110  Claysilt,finesandy,yellowish,homogeneous,with
finemicaandrareironoxides.
Finealluvial
deposits.
110‐130  Fine‐mediumsand,wellsorted,yellowish,very
homogeneous,withmorefrequent(5%)finemica.
Finealluvial
deposits.
130‐150  Siltyclay,finelysandy, wellsorted,yellowishand
lightbrown,relativelyhomogeneous,withrare(2
3%)micaflakesandironoxides,concretionsand
impregnationsupto1cm,andrarefinevegetable
fragments.
Finealluvial
deposits.
150‐160  Claysilt,finesandy,wellsorted,homogeneous,
withraremicaflakesandironoxides.
Finealluvial
deposits.
160‐200  Siltyclay,verywellsorted,grayishgreen,with
areaswithmorefrequent(510%)reddishiron
oxides,mmcmstains,withheterogeneous
appearance.
Finealluvial
deposits.
200‐210  Finesandysiltyclay,wellsorted,lightgrayish
brown,homogeneous,withrare(23%)finemica
andstainsofironoxides,12cm.
Finealluvial
deposits.
210‐220  Finesandysiltyclay,lightgray,lightgrayish
brown,withrare(3%)finemicaand12cmiron
oxides.
Finealluvial
deposits.
Tab.2.SedimentarysuccessionobservedincoringC2/2017.
SuccesiuneasedimentarăobservatăîncarotajulC2/2017.
CătălinLAZĂR
etalii
130
Zone2:Offtellarea.In2017weresearchedonlytheareabetweenthetellandthe
terracethefloodplainthatsurroundsthetellsettlement(fig.2),whichwasbeforehand
magnetometricprospected(seetheprevioussectionofthearticle).Themainreasonfor
selectingthatareawasitslocationnexttotheEneolithictellsettlement,totheeast.Itis
presumedthatthestudyareawasinthepastanimportantpassagetothenearbyterracewere
thecemeteryislocated.
Thus,inordertoverifythemagneticanomalies,seventestpits(2x2m)weredesigned
intheprospectedarea(Son17).However,thesituationdeterminedustoexcavateonly3of
them(Son13fig.5).Themainreasonforthatdecisionwasthesoilhardness,butalsothe
occurrence,intheupperpartoftheexcavation,ofnumerouscontemporaryhumantraces
(includingapitofanelectricpoleinSon1fig.8),alongsidewithothermodernmaterials.
Besidesthat,inthelowerpartofthetestpits,someconsistentalluvialdepositshavebeen
identified,whichiswhythesectionshavenotbeenfurtherexcavated.
Fig.8.PhotooftheeasternprofileoftheSon1testpit.
ImagineapofiluluiesticalsondajuluiSon1.
Moreover,inSon1(2x2m),asedimentologicalcoring(C1)wasmadeusingasoil
auger,uptoadepthof1m.CoringC2wasmadeinitseasternneighborhood,inaslightly
higherareawithinthealluvialplain.Thesedimentarysuccessionispresentedintable2.Asin
C1,finealluviums,rangingfromsiltyclaystofineandmediumsands,whichdonotcontain
anthropogenicindices,havebeenobserved.
Althoughthecoredrillingsmadeinnaturaldeposits(C1andC2)didnotexceedthe
depthof2.50m,asuccessionoffinesedimentswasobservedthatrecordsindetailthealluvial
historyofthefloodplainarea(tab.2).Therewerenoidentifieddepositsofalluvialbarsorloess
remnantsfromtheterrace,whichcouldhaveconstitutedthegeomorphologicalsupportofthe
Gumelnița:ThenandNow.Theresearchresultsofthe2017fieldwork
131
anthropogenicoccupation.Itistobeexpectedthatthesedepositswillonlyrecordthehistory
ofthelastfewhundredyears.
Instead,thepresenceofalacustrinesedimentationareaintheimmediateproximityof
thetellsettlementmakesitpossibletocarryoutresearchtoincludebothradiocarbondating
andpalaeovegetationhistory.Thisareawillbeinvestigatedinthe2018campaign.
Zone3:Terracearea.Anothergoalofourdiagnosticcampaignfrom2017wastoverify
theareaofthehighterracelocatedatabout200meastfromthetellsettlement(fig.2).There,
inthesecondhalfofthe20thcentury,severalarchaeologists(e.g.,SilviaMarinescuBîlcu,
ErsiliaTudor,BarbuIonescu,DoneȘerbănescu)discoveredandresearchedthecemeteryof
Gumelnita’ssettlement(C.Lazăr2001).
Whereasthelandscapehaschangedsincethe60sand70swhentheseresearcheshave
beencarriedout,itwasnotpossibletodiginthesameareaduetotheexistenceofanacacia
forest.Forthisreasonourtestpitswerelocatedafewhundredmetersnorthonthesame
terrace(fig.5).
Onlytwotestpitsof3x1mweremadeinthiszone(Son89).Inthefirstofthem(Son
8)noarchaeologicalfeatureshavebeenidentified.Instead,inSon9wediscoveredapit,with
noarchaeologicalmaterials(almostundoubtedlymodern),butalsoaninhumationgrave(M1
fig.9)inthewesternprofileofthesectionatca.1.50mdepth.
Fig.9.Thegraveno.1(M1)discoveredintheGumelnițacemetery.Scaleinm.
Mormântulnr.1(M1)descoperitîncimitiruldelaGumelnița.Scaraînm.
Thefunerarypitwasanordinaryone,withanovoidshape(1.35x0.70m),E‐W
oriented,devoidofplasterliningoranytracesofrelatedconstructions.Itcontainsahuman
skeletonlaidoutinafoetallateralposition(thatfollowsthesameorientationasthefunerary
pit),withnogravegoods(fig9).Aflintfragmentidentifiedinthepitfillisunrelatedtothe
CătălinLAZĂRetalii
132
funeralcontext.Moreinformationaboutthatindividualisavailableinthenextsectionofthis
article.
Anthropologicaldata
Theskeletonfromgraveno.1(M1)waspoorlypreserved.Theremainswerewashed,
cleanedandrestored.Theevaluationofthehumanremainsindicatesthatthefragments
belongedtotwoindividuals(MNI=2),namedI1andI2.
I1.Theoverwhelmingmajorityoftheskeletalremainshavethesurfacestrongly
affectedbytaphonomicagentsfromwithinthesoiland,especially,bioturbation.Also,the
bonesdisplaynumerousexfoliations,and,insomeofthecases,arediscolored/whites.This
particularitywouldcorrespondtothe4thrankoferosion/abrasion(M.Brickley,J.I.McKinley
2004).
Thereweremanyfragmentsoftheneuralskullrecovered,andaftertherestoration,
onlytherightparietalandthelefttemporalturnedouttobequasicomplete(fig.11.ab).Also,
threeteethwereconserved:M1M2fromtheleftsideandM1fromtherightside.Regarding
thepostcranialskeletonmainlydiaphysisoflongbones(humerus,femur,tibiaandtheright
fibula)wereidentified(fig.11.c).Thevisceralskull,thevertebrae,theribs,thehipbones,as
wellasthemajorityoftheepiphyseswerenotpreserved.
Fig.10.ThedegreeofdentalabrasionofindividualI1intheGumelnițagrave.Scaleinmm.
GraduldeabraziunedentarăaindividuluiI1dinmormântuldelaGumelnița.Scaraînmm.
Basedontheskullfeatures(lowandroundedforehead,frontaleminences,glabellaand
thesuperciliaryarchesslightlyprotuberant,flat,roundedorbit,thinandsharpleft
supraorbitalmargins,smallandsharpleftmastoidprocess),butalsothegeneralcharacteristics
ofthelongbones(thin,gracile)(G.Acsádi,J.Nemeskéri1970;D.Ferembachetalii1980),the
subjectisafemale.Theageatdeathwasestimatedaround3335years(matureadult)based
onthemolarsfeatures(attrition)(D.R.Brothwell1981).Thedentinisevenlydistributedover
theocclusalsurfaceandisdelimitedexternallybyanenamelring(fig.10).
IndexesandcranialdimensionsDimensions Category
10.Maximumfrontalwidth(coco)121.74mmMiddle
26.Frontalsagittalarch136.00mm
29.Frontsagittalcord114.13mm
Sagittalfrontalindex(29:26)83.92 Ortomethop
Tab.3.DimensionsofthecranialbonesoftheI1skeletondiscoveredatGumelnițagrave.
DimensiunilescheletuluicranianalindividuluiI1dinmormântuldelaGumelnița.
Gumelnița:ThenandNow.Theresearchresultsofthe2017fieldwork
133
Unfortunately,thehighdegreeoffragmentationallowedustoperformonlyafew
measurements,exclusivelyontheskull,andthesemeasurementsareshownintab.3.
Theabsenceofallthelongbonespreventedusfromcalculatingtheskeletalstature.
However,basedontheverysmalldimensionsofthepreservedfragments,andbycomparison
withotherEneolithicskeletons,webelievethattheindividualhasastatureofthevery
small/smallcategories.
Fig.11.IndividualI1fromGumelnițagrave:skullthefrontalview(a),andtheverticalview
(b);longbones(c).Scaleincm.
IndividulI1dinmormântuldelaGumelnița:craniulnormăfrontală(a)șinormăsuperioară
(b);oaselelungi(c).Scaraîncm.
I2.Thesecondindividualisrepresentedonlybyafragmentofarightfemoral
diaphysis,belongingtoanadolescent/adult.Onasmallbonesurface,ablackishspotisvisible,
resultingfromcombustioninareducingatmosphere,inasmolderingfire(fig.12).
Fig.12.IndividualI2:Thefemoraldiaphysisfragmentwithtracesofburning.Scaleincm.
IndividulI2:fragmentdediafizăfemuralăceprezintăurmedeardere.Scaraîncm.
CătălinLAZĂRetalii
134
Zooarchaelogicaldata
ThefaunalsamplesanalyzedcamefromthearchaeologicalfeaturesidentifiedinSon
DS(Zone1:Tellsettlement).The485skeletalremainsweredirectlycollectedfromaseriesof
stratigraphicunitsandstudiedcomplexes(seeprevioussections).Variousanimaltaxahave
beenidentified:sixbelongingtomollusks,threetofish,onetoreptilia,andeighttomammals
(tabs.4and5).Thesefragmentsshowallthecharacteristicsofsomehouseholdwastes(traces
ofcuttingdisarticulationanddefleshing,burningandtracesofcarnivorousteeth/swine,etc.)
butalsoofuseastoolsinvariousactivities.
Methodologically,weusedthemethodspresentedinValentinRaduʹsworks(2011)
formolluscs,fish,reptilesandAdrianBălășescuʹsworks(2014)formammals.
Features C2 C3 L1 C4 L2 C5 C6
Species/S.U. 1014 1013 1019 1022 1017 1018 1026 1027 1028 1030 1031 Total
Uniotumidus 32176 5 3 13 4 35
Uniopictorum 224318121
Uniocrassus 123
Unio sp. 2 2 5616 3 7 2 34
Anodonta sp. 3151610 5 1 6 38
Viviparussp. 3 1 4
Dreissenasp. 1 1
TotalMollusca 5 4 9 2 24 22 4 20 10 2 25 9 136
Esoxlucius11
Cyprinuscarpio21 3
Silurusglanis 112
PiscesIND 1 1 2
TotalPisces 1 1122 1 8
Reptilia(Emys
orbicularis )1 1
Total 6 4 10 3 27 24 4 20 11 2 25 9 145
Tab.4.Faunalremainsdistribution(fishe,mollusksandturtles)discoveredintheGumelnițasite.
Repartițiaresturilorfaunistice(pești,molușteșițestoase)descoperiteînsituldelaGumelnița.
Mollusks.Only136mollusksshellshavebeenidentified.Ofthese,themostnumerous
(93)belongtothethreespeciesoftheUniogenus(U.pictorum,Utumidus,U.crassus),followed
(38)bythelakebivalve(Anodontasp.).Viviparussp.gastropodisalsopresentwithfourshells
andDreissenasp.withoneshell(tab.4).
ThedimensionsofUnioindividualsareofmediumsize,buttherearealsoindividuals
ofsmallerorlargersize(fig.13).Thevaluesoftheshellheightforthe13individualsofUnio
pictorumvarybetween23.7and38.3mm(medium33),thatofthe16Uniotumidusindividuals
between28.2and39mm(medium33.2),andthatofthethreeUniocrassusindividuals
between25.4and30.6mm(medium27.6).Thesedatacorrespondwiththelimitsspecificto
GumelniţaA2level(V.Radu2011).
Fishes.Onlyeightremainsbelongingtothreespecieshavebeenidentified(tab.4).Pike
(Esoxlucius)vertebracomesfromamediumsizedindividual(0.54minlengthand1kgin
weight).Carp(Cyprinuscarpio)isalsopresentwithamediumsizedindividualhavingalength
of0.34mandaweightof0.55kg.Asforthewelscatfish(Silurusglanis),thedimensionsoftwo
individualswerereconstituted:oneofmediumsizewithalengthof1m(7.97kg)andanother
withaverylargesizereachingabout2.3mlenght(92kg).
Reconstitutedsizesaremediumandlarge,andallindividualsarebreeders.
Gumelnița:ThenandNow.Theresearchresultsofthe2017fieldwork
135
Reptiles.Onlyonefragmentofturtlecarapacewasidentified(Emysorbicularis).
Fig.13.VariationoftheUniogenusshellsheight(Ut‐Uniotumidus;Up‐Uniopictorum;Uc‐
Uniocrassus),existingintheGumelnițasample.
VariațiaînălțimiicochiliilordingenulUnio(Ut‐Uniotumidus;Up‐Uniopictorum;Uc‐Unio
crassus)prezenteîneșantionuldelaGumelnița.
Mammals.Mammalianremainsarethemostnumerouswith340fragments(70.1%).
Amongthese,184(54.1%)remainsweredeterminedtothetaxonomiclevel.Thelistof
identifiedtaxaisnotverylarge.Thereareeighttaxaamongstwhichfourofthemare
domesticated:cattle(Bostaurus),sheep(Ovisaries),pig(Susdomesticus),dog(Canisfamiliaris)
andfourarewild:aurochs(Bosprimigenius),reddeer(Cervuselaphus),wildboar(Susscrofa)
andfox(Vulpesvulpes).Wecanaddthegoat(Caprahircus)whichcanbefoundwithinthe
ovicaprinegroup(Ovisaries/Caprahircus)butwhichcouldnotbeidentifiedinaprecisemanner
duetotheextremelyhighfragmentationofthefaunalremains.InFigure3Bossp.andSussp.
groupsarestillpresent.Theybringtogetherremainsofbovines(Bostaurus/Bosprimigenius)
andswines(Susdomesticus/Susscrofa)forwhichitwasnotpossibletoestablishpreciselythe
statusofdomesticorwildmammals.Atthispointofourstudy,wedidnotestimatethe
minimumnumberofindividuals(MNI)giventhattheanalyzedsampleissmall(fromour
pointofview)withlessthan200mammalsremainswithaspecificdetermination.
Withinthefaunalspectrumdomesticmammalsremainsaredominant(84.2%),and
withinthem,themostnumerousarethecattlebones(42.39%),followedbyovicaprineswith
33.7%(fig.14).Atafairlylargedistance,thereisthedog(4.89%)andthepig(3.26%).Atthis
stageofresearch,wecanseethatbovinesareexploitedinamixedmannerbothformeat(14
yearsoldanimals)andformilk(49yearsoldadultanimals)whileovicaprinesaremainly
grownformeat(younganimalsbetween624months).Thisexploitationsystemoflargeand
smallhornedmammalswasalsoobservedinotherGumelnițasettlements(S.Brehard,A.
Bălășescu2012).Thepigisgrownexclusivelyformeat,andwenoticethattherearemainly
animalsaged12years.
CătălinLAZĂRetalii
136
Complex C2 C3C4C5C6 L1
Specie/S.U. 1011 1014 1013 1015 1019 1022 1017 1 030 1031 1018 1024 1027 1032 To tal %
Bostau rus 24 3 1 10 4 10 4 1 12 1 8 78 42,39
Ovisaries 11 21,09
Ovisaries/Caprahircus 16 3 10 4 2 11 2 8 4 60 32,61
Susdomesticu 663,26
Canisfamiliaris 7 1 1 9 4,89
Sussp. 4 2 1 1 2 2 1 13 7,07
Bossp. 221 52,71
Bosprimigenius11 21,09
Cervuselaphus 221,09
Susscrofa 41 52,71
Vulpesvulpes 221,09
Totalmamma ls
det e rmined 65111 1 021813171 2241171 1184100
Ma mma ls bigsize
undete r mine d 385 336242 5 3 172
Ma mma ls me diumsize
undete r mine d 44 5 2 10 3 6 2 6 6 84
Totalmamma ls 147211 6 3371323191 4351261 2340
Tab.5.MammalianfaunalremainsdistributionintheGumelnițasampleuponstratigraphic
units(s.u.)andarchaeologicalfeatures.
RepartițiaresturilorfaunisticedemamiferedineșantionuldelaGumelnițapeunități
stratigrafice(u.s.)șicomplexearheologice.
Ontheotherhand,anumberofosteologicalremainsofSussp.(7.07%)andBossp.
(2.72%)couldnotbedeterminedinaprecisemannerduetolackofpertinentcriteriafor
identifyingtheslaughteredanimalsvs.huntedanimals,alongsidewithothercauses(e.g.,
fragmentarystateofbones,butalsotheveryyoungageofsomespecimens,etc.).
Huntedanimalsareunderrepresentedbothassomeremains(6%‐tab.5,fig.14)as
wellastaxa(onlyfourexamples).Inparticular,largeandmediumsizedmammalswere
huntedwhichprovidedarelativelyrichamountofmeatbutalsootherproducts:skins,bones,
antlers,etc.Amongthehuntedspeciesonthefirstplaceisthereddeer.
Fig.14.MammalremainsdistributionintheGumelnițasample,byspecies.
RepartițiaresturilorfaunisticedemamiferepespeciidineșantionuldelaGumelnița.
Insum,thecurrentstudyhighlightstheexploitationofaquaticresourcesinthe
neighboringareasofthesite.Bothriver(Uniosp.)andlake(Anodontasp.)bivalveswere
consumed.Thefishinghasprovidedasignificantamountofanimalproteinbycapturinglarge
0
10
20
30
40
50
cattle caprins pig dog Sussp. Bossp. game
%
Gumelnița:ThenandNow.Theresearchresultsofthe2017fieldwork
137
sizespecies.Theexploitationofmammalsplayedaparticularrolethroughtwosubsistence
activities:livestockbreedingandhunting.Consideringthatdomesticanimalsprevailwithin
thestudiedsample,wecanconcludethatthebreedingoflarge(bovines)andsmall
(ovicaprines)hornedmammalsweresignificant.Thepigʹsimportancewasextremelylow
(under3.5%)comparedtootherGumelnițasettlements(A2phase)(A.Bălăşescuetalii2005a;
2005b).Thepresenceofreddeerandwildboarinwildlifewouldsuggesttheexistenceof
forestsclosetothesettlementbutalsoopenspacesthatwerepopulatedbyaurochs,which
consistedofpasturesforlargeandsmallhornedmammals.
Comparedwiththe1966study(O.Necrasov,S.Haimovici1966),thedifferencesare
notsignificant:thecattlesprevail,followedbyovicaprinesandpigs,whilehuntingispoorly
represented.Preliminarydatainthisstudycorrespondtothepaleoeconomicscharacteristics
oftheGumelniţacommunities(A.Bălășescuetalii2005a;2005b).
Carpologicaldata
Duringthe2017campaignatGumelnița,368litersofsedimentwerecollectedfrom
differentarchaeologicalfeatureslocatedinSonDS(Zone1:Tellsettlement).Thesedimentwas
sievedthroughacolumnoftwostrainersof3mm,and1mm,respectively.Afterdrying,the
samplesweresortedunderamagnificationlamp.Thenextstepwasthedeterminationofplant
remainsdiscoveredinthesesamples.Theremainsrecoveredfromthe3mmsievewere
analyzedunderastereomicroscope(onlyonesample,froma1mmsievewassortedandthe
remainsdetermined).
From122litersofsedimentthatweresievedandsorted,wehavediscovered208plant
macroremains.Oftheseplantremains,only12wereuncharred.Themostabundantbatch
featureisfromdwellingno.1(unburnedhouseL1)with81plantmacroremainsfoundin26
litersofsediments,followedbythepitC5with48charredplantremains.
Therepresentationofspeciesidentifiedandtheircontextualdistributionisshownin
tab.6.ExceptthefragmentsofCerealia,thespeciesthatprevailsisPrunussp.(fig.15.a)with
charredplumnutstonefragments(11%).Asforcereals,barleyisprevalentwith4.32%(fig.
15.b).Othercerealspeciesencounteredare:einkorngrains(2.4%)andeinkornspikelet
fragment(0.4%),emmergrains(1.9%)andemmerchaffs(3.3%)andryegrains(1.44%).
Likewise,seedsoflegumeswerefound,suchaspea(0.96%),lentil(1.44%‐fig.15.d)andbitter
vetch(0.4%‐fig.15.c).The