#Exhibit of the Month
The rocking bowl from Grigoreuca
It is fascinating how over thousands of years, clay objects have not lost their charm and have adapted to each era, evolving with society. Such a modest material as clay, could be used in a variety of ways, among which the most ancient - the modeling of vessels. The multitude of shapes and decoration of ceramic vessels fascinates and represents a true art adjusted to the way of life and the spiritual level of communities from different historical periods. A separate category is represented by miniature vessels. They can represent from miniatures of kitchen utensils (pots, cups, glasses) to zoomorphic, anthropomorphic representations, models of chariots.
Such a vessel was discovered in 1989, during the research of a burial mound located on the territory of Grigoreuca village, Sîngerei district (excavation authors: E. Antipenco, V. Beilecci). It was deposited as a funerary inventory in a tomb attributed to the Jamnaja culture (early Bronze Age period, XXIII-XVIII centuries BC). The vessel is hand-shaped from clay paste mixed with crushed ceramic. It is rectangular in shape with rounded corners and trapezoidal in section, straight base and slightly raised walls. The mouth of the vessel is wide, with a straight lip, weakly highlighted. Below the lip is provided with 12 conical protuberances located three on each of the sides. Those on the long sides are provided with a longitudinal circular hole. The outer surface of the bowl, including its base, is decorated with string printing. The decoration is made in the form of radiating lines and overlapping triangles. It is yellowish-grey in color with brown spots on the outside and gray-brown on the inside.
Although it was discovered in a tomb attributed to the Jamnaja culture, at the moment, no other objects of this kind are known in the environment of this culture. The closest analogues are known in the dwellings and funerary complexes of the Catacombs culture that existed in the middle period of the Bronze Age, the XIX-XVIII centuries BC, in the North-Pontic steppes. Such pieces are also known in the environment of the North Caucasian culture (XX-XXIII centuries BC). Most likely, the vessel discovered at Grigoreuca represents an import object from the Catacomb culture environment.
Both the shape of the vessel and the side holes, which assume its suspension, allowed its interpretation to be the model of a swing, hence the name swing vessel. But according to other opinions such objects are chariot models. The presence of visible traces of burning (soot) inside some of them, does not exclude their use as an opiate or smoker.
Dimensions: H - 4.9 cm; L - 13.6 cm; W - 8.3 cm.