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National Museum of History of Moldova
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#Exhibit of the Month

This unique amphora was found in 1984 during the excavations of the Şuri I settlement of the Cucuteni-Trypillia culture (5th-4th thousand BC), which existed in the Eneolithic era, in the mid-1st half of the 4th millennium BC, near the village of Şuri, Drochia District of the Republic of Moldova.

In the classifications of Cucuteni-Trypillian painted pottery, it belongs to a separate type distinguished by archaeologists, known in the special literature under various names: facial urns, amphorae with an ornament of the "owl face" type, amphorae with facial ornament, facial amphorae.

These names were given to the amphorae due to their peculiar ornament and their truncated-conical or rounded body that resembles the head of an owl (large circles on the sides of the handles are the eyes of a bird, and the handles are beaks), as well as due to attempts to hypothetically interpret the vessels as images of some two-faced or four-faced anthropomorphic, zoomorphic or ornithomorphic mythological creatures of the Cucuteni-Trypillian pantheon.

For the first time, amphorae with facial ornament appear in pottery assemblages of the Cucuteni-Trypillia community at the beginning of the 4th millennium BC, during the period of its highest flourishing, and are present later, as a separate type of tableware, in each of the dwellings of the settlements of this culture for about 700 subsequent years, until its collapse and disappearance from the historical arena in the last quarter of the 4th millennium BC.

The origin of the facial amphorae goes back to the anthropomorphic two-faced vessels with a rounded or spheroconical body, equipped with 2 or 4 handles, depicting two female figures standing with their backs to each other, which were used by the Cucuteni-Trypillians for centuries and were widely used in religious practices, representing, as is commonly believed, the main female deity of the Cucuteni-Trypillian pantheon - the Great Mother Goddess in her two different incarnations, who was also considered as the Deity of the Universe.

The study of vessels of this type indicates that, being a reflection of the cult of the Great Goddess and probably embodying cosmogonic ideas about the creation of the World from the elements and body parts of the Primordial Being (probably depicting this creature itself, possibly mixomorphic and like Aditi - the Divine Bull-Cow - androgynous), with their shape and ornament, the facial amphorae recreate the prevailing ideas of the Cucuteni-Trypillians about the structure of the Universe.

This is evidenced by the stylized features of anthropo- and zoomorphism, three-tier or two-tier division of the ornament vertically and four-tier division horizontally, the image of such cosmic universals as the Center and corners of the World, the Cosmic Mountain (Earth) and the Sky, the Tree of Life, the Sun, the Moon in various phases, etc. Often, images of animals, birds or their symbols are included in the ornamental system of the amphorae. There are also facial amphorae with two or four images of female deities with an indication of their particular characteristic functions. As with their prototypes, the anthropomorphic two-faced vessels, the most important ornamental zone in the facial amphorae is the space between the handles.

It is here that the ornament reflects one of the most significant themes of the Cucuteni-Trypillian religion, the theme of the connection between the Earth and Heaven.


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National Museum of History of Moldova
 

Collections

Development of Collections

The number of exhibits in the Museum collections is permanently growing through donations, acquisitions, field research and transfers. Thus, in 2009 the collections were enriched with 1,538 objects of historical and artistic significance, including 1,042 archaeological objects, 92 numismatic pieces, 29 photographs, 24 documents, 4 objects of weapon and military equipment, 95 ethnographic and household items, 13 objects of technical equipment, 29 objects of decorative art, 5 paintings, 70 philatelic objects, and 135 objects classified to “miscellanea”.

Among the most valuable items entered the collections, we can mention:
  • Roman coins, 2nd century;
  • dirhams, Golden Horde, 14th century;
  • Gospel, Bucharest, 1750;
  • ecclesiastic vestments, Bessarabia, early 19th century;
  • measure units, Russia, 1857;
  • photographs and household items from the painter Nicolae Coleadici’s family;
  • documents and photographs that belonged to the member of the Country Council Ion Pantaru’s family;
  • clothing that belonged to the composer Zlata Tcaci. 

In the period 2012-2013 the heritage of the National Museum of History of Moldova was enriched with 9389 pieces, including 4087 in the main collection. The objects entered the museum collections through donations (2442), acquisitions (157) and transfer from the former Museum of Archaeology of ASM (6214) and State Treasury of Republic of Moldova (576).

The main museum heritage collection was increased with 5087 objects, including: 2538 archaeological items, 536 numismatic objects, 88 ethnographic and usual objects, 9 technical objects, 79 photographs, 93 documents, 108 paintings, 208 pieces of decorative art, 120 philately objects, 2 furniture objects and 296 marked with „other".       

Among most valuable objects which enriched the heritage of the Museum in the years 2012 - 2013 are:

- Little amphora, burned clay, 2nd century BC;
- Amphora, end of 6th - beginning of 5th century AD;
- Roman coins from the treasury of Goleni, Cantemir raion, 3rd-4th centuries AD;
- Medieval coins discovered at Costești, Ialoveni raion, 14th-15th centuries;
- Treasury from the Late Bronze period, Noua-Coslogeni culture (14th-12th centuries BC);
- Collection of copper coins, Golden Hoard, Costești, 14th century;
- Brass vessels, 14th-17th centuries;
- Decorative fragments for clothing discovered at the archaeological excavations from Căpriana Monastery;
- Chimney clocks, office lamp, Western Europe, 19th century;
- Porcelain statuettes, Western Europe, 19th century;
- Book Город Кишинев времен жизни в нем А.С. Пушкина(1820-1823), Ioan Halippa, Chișinău, 1899;
- Romanian-Russian dictionary by Nicolae Popovschi, Chișinău, 1922;
- Ladies hats, 40ies and 50ies of 20th century;
- Collection of „Basarabia" newspapers, September 28th, 1941 - October 20th, 1941;
- Photos and letters from the front which belonged to Grigore Crivonosov from v. Macovei, 1944;
- Collection of photos about the deportations from Bessarabia in the summer of 1949;
- Collection of decorative bells, 1978-2011;
- Collection of objects, books, sketches and paintings signed by painter E. Childescu.


Between 2014 and 2015 the museum heritage has increased by 6 578 pieces, including 2 530 in the main collection. They entered the museum through donations, purchases, transfer from the former Museum of Archaeology of ASM and the State Treasury of the Republic of Moldova.

In the main collection of museum heritage were included new and valuable archaeological objects (1401), numismatic pieces (243), photos (103), documents (57), decorative art objects (103), clothing and accessories (29), technical objects (27), weapons (15), furniture objects (29) etc. Among the most valuable cultural assets that have enriched the museum collections are to be mentioned:

- Documents written in Romanian language, published in Bessarabia in the years 1815-1828;
- Kettle with burner, teapot and sugar bowl, England, 19th century;
- Sewing machine „Phoenix", Germany, beginning of 20th century;
- Documents, photos, and personal objects reflecting the life and activity of film director and screen writer Valeriu Gagiu;
- Materials about the activity of the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Moldova.



 

 


Independent Moldova
Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic
Bessarabia and MASSR between the Two World Wars
Bessarabia and Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in the Period between the Two World Wars
Revival of National Movement
Time of Reforms and their Consequences
Abolition of Autonomy. Bessarabia – a New Tsarist Colony
Period of Relative Autonomy of Bessarabia within the Russian Empire
Phanariot Regime
Golden Age of the Romanian Culture
Struggle for Maintaining of Independence of Moldova
Formation of Independent Medieval State of Moldova
Era of the
Great Nomad Migrations
Early Middle Ages
Iron Age and Antiquity
Bronze Age
Aeneolithic Age
Neolithic Age
Palaeolithic Age

  
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#Exhibit of the Month

This unique amphora was found in 1984 during the excavations of the Şuri I settlement of the Cucuteni-Trypillia culture (5th-4th thousand BC), which existed in the Eneolithic era, in the mid-1st half of the 4th millennium BC, near the village of Şuri, Drochia District of the Republic of Moldova. In the classifications of Cucuteni-Trypillian painted pottery, it belongs to a separate type distinguished by archaeologists, known in the special literature under various names: facial urns, amphorae with an ornament of the "owl face" type, amphorae with facial ornament, facial amphorae. These names were given to the amphorae due to their peculiar ornament and their truncated-conical or rounded body that resembles the head of an owl (large circles on the sides of the handles are the eyes of a bird, and the handles are beaks), as well as due to attempts to hypothetically interpret the vessels as images of some two-faced or four-faced anthropomorphic, zoomorphic or ornithomorphic mythological creatures of the Cucuteni-Trypillian pantheon...

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The National Museum of History of Moldova takes place among the most significant museum institutions of the Republic of Moldova, in terms of both its collection and scientific reputation.
©2006-2021 National Museum of History of Moldova
Visit museum 31 August 1989 St., 121 A, MD 2012, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
Phones:
Secretariat: +373 (22) 24-43-25
Department of Public Relations and Museum Education: +373 (22) 24-04-26
Fax: +373 (22) 24-43-69
E-mail: office@nationalmuseum.md
Technical Support: info@nationalmuseum.md
Web site administration and maintenance: Andrei EMILCIUC

 



The National Museum of History of Moldova takes place among the most significant museum institutions of the Republic of Moldova, in terms of both its collection and scientific reputation.
©2006-2021 National Museum of History of Moldova
Visit museum 31 August 1989 St., 121 A, MD 2012, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
Phones:
Secretariat: +373 (22) 24-43-25
Department of Public Relations and Museum Education: +373 (22) 24-04-26
Fax: +373 (22) 24-43-69
E-mail: office@nationalmuseum.md
Technical Support: info@nationalmuseum.md
Web site administration and maintenance: Andrei EMILCIUC

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