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#Exhibit of the Month

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The exposed object, an "askos" type ceramic vessel, comes from the tumulus necropolis near the village of Ciumai, Taraclia district. The vessel was discovered in 2015 in a cenotaph tomb attributed to the Jamnaja culture, dated to the early Bronze Age (ca. 3300-2600 BC).

The vessel, with an obviously asymmetrical configuration, is hand-moulded from quality clay paste, having a smooth brown surface with gray spots. The body of the vessel is provided with a pronounced protrusion and a truncated neck with a wider opening towards the mouth. The vessel has a stem and is ornamented with three pairs of symmetrically placed relief appliqués. The height of the bowl is 15.5 cm, the diameter of the mouth is 11.4 cm, the diameter of the body is 15 cm and the diameter of the base is 7.5 cm. Such vessels in the archaeological literature are known as "askos" vessels, the respective term being of ancient Greek origin, denoting one of the primitive containers of the period - the bellows made of animal skin.

In prehistoric times, among some peoples, the bellows was transposed into ceramics, in these cases the basic features of the archaic leather vessel were preserved, acquiring a prominent convex shape with a stem and a flat bottom. From the original appearance of the bellows, the asymmetric mouth corresponding to the animal's neck has been preserved, and sometimes three or four legs, corresponding to the appendages of the flayed skin from the animal's legs. These vessels have lost their original zoomorphic character, entering as a new form in the inventory of Neo-Eneolithic ceramics. The first vessels of this type are attested in Greece, in the early Neolithic (ca. 5000-4500 BC) having the shape of cups or cups. In the Neo-Eneolithic Carpatho-Balkan cultures, the type of Aegean askos of short or tall form, with or without legs and with a handle, is found. Less often, they are provided with two mouths (one for filling and one for emptying) or they are off-center and provided with strangely shaped mouths. In the space between the Carpathians and the Dnieper, only tall forms of simple askos, without zoomorphic elements, are known. Askos-type vessels are present in various prehistoric cultures, especially in Southeast Europe and Anatolia.

Being often discovered in association with cult inventory, askos vessels could be an important indicator of use in religious ritual practices. Along with the zoomorphic, anthropomorphic and rhyton-type vessels (roughly conical container from which, in some ceremonies, liquids were drunk or poured), the askos were included in the category of vessels intended for worship, being related to libations (ritual act that consisted of tasting and then pouring a cup of wine, milk, etc. as homage to the deity).

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#Exhibit of the Month

January 2023

Mirror from Nikolskoe

In the culture of many peoples from ancient times (and to the present day), mirrors have been given a special role in ritual practice, especially funerary ones. For many communities, mirrors, like metal objects in general, served to protect against evil spirits. Mirrors had a dual purpose - a utilitarian one, as a toilet item, and ritual, as an attribute of a magical rite. The latter is explained by the fact that in the ideas of many peoples the soul of a person is connected to his reflection in a mirror or water. Being external to man, the "soul-reflection" is subject to various dangers.

Obviously, belief in the magical possibilities of mirrors is one of the reasons why the owners kept them closed in wooden, cloth, felt or leather cases and pouches. An expensive mirror was placed in the grave along with the deceased for fear that the soul of a living person reflected in it could be carried away by the spirit of the person passed away. On the other hand, to this day, many nations have a tradition of hanging all the mirrors if there is a dead person in the house, so as not to multiply death.

Metal mirrors are quite rare at the dawn of Scythian history, but over time, they were widely distributed in the Classical time or "Herodotus' Scythia" of the 5th-4th centuries BC. Then the mirror became one of the most important toilet items in Scythian burials. In the west of the Pontic steppes, at least 40 mirrors are known, made in Scythian or Greek workshops, 12 of them are stored in the collection of the National Museum of the History of Moldova.

One of the metal mirrors of Greek work was found on the left bank of the Dniester, near the Nikolskoe village, in the burial mound 14. It was found in a burial near a skull, and in addition to a mirror, 114 arrowheads and six golden fish-shaped plaques. The mirror was cast in bronze along with the handle. The mirror diameter is 16.5 cm, handle length with a round extension is 11.5 cm.

Although burial 1 of kurgan 14 was identified as male, 18-20 years old, mirrors are a marker of exclusively female burials. Such bronze mirrors with side handles appear in the middle of the 5th century BC but were most massively distributed during the last quarter of the 5th - the first half of the 4th century BC.



 

 


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#Exhibit of the Month

The exposed object, an "askos" type ceramic vessel, comes from the tumulus necropolis near the village of Ciumai, Taraclia district. The vessel was discovered in 2015 in a cenotaph tomb attributed to the Jamnaja culture, dated to the early Bronze Age (ca. 3300-2600 BC)...

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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.
©2006-2024 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.
©2006-2024 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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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.
©2006-2024 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