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#Exhibit of the Month

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This is a case for needles, unusually large in size. It was used in the Stone Age as a container for storing and preserving small and fragile items. The case was discovered by the famous researcher Ilie Borziac in 1996 during archaeological excavations at a multi-layered Upper Paleolithic site in the village of Cosauți, Soroca district. The artifact was found at a depth of 9.7-9.85 m in a loess-like occupation layer, among the remains of a seasonal deer hunter camp (in the so-called occupation layer 5). The occupation layer was dated by radiocarbon method to 18140 ± 180. The object is 17.6 cm long and 1.5 cm in diameter. It was made of a thin-walled tubular bone, probably of a large bird (eagle, bustard or gull). The ends of the object were cut across. A round hole 5 mm in diameter with carefully polished edges was made at one of the ends.

The entire surface of the product is polished to a shine. It is ornamented with notches. The notches are applied rhythmically around the entire perimeter. They, without a doubt, indicate that the work was made by human hands. The length of the notches is 3-3.5 mm. They are located transversely, grouped in three rows. The number of notches in the rows is 8/8, 16/10, 14/7, with an average distance between notches of 4 mm.

The researchers who addressed the issue of the functionality of this rare archaeological piece, put forward several hypotheses. One of them is that the artifact probably had a multifunctional practical utility. According to one hypothesis, the presence of a hole at one end of the object indicates that it is a flute. This opinion was called into question due to the identification of only one obvious hole on the surface of the artifact. Most likely, the presence of the hole indicates that a thread was passed through it to hang the case with needles in order to protect and secure it. On the other hand, the relatively large size of this object also allows it to be used as a coupling. According to another version, this kind of vestiges could be used by hunters to remove skins from hunted animals, as a tube for pumping air under the skin of small animals in the process of skinning them. This not only greatly facilitated the removal of the skin, but also kept the subcutaneous fat intact.

Specimens of equally large sizes, similar to the one found at the ford on the Dniester, made of tubular bone with cut off epiphyses, were discovered at several Neolithic sites in Yakutia. Here they were used as needle cases. Some of them were found with needles inside, which confirmed their practical functionality.

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#Exhibit of the Month

September 2021

Painted amphora from Şuri

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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#Exhibit of the Month

This is a case for needles, unusually large in size. It was used in the Stone Age as a container for storing and preserving small and fragile items. The case was discovered by the famous researcher Ilie Borziac in 1996 during archaeological excavations at a multi-layered Upper Paleolithic site in the village of Cosauți, Soroca district...

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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.
©2006-2022 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.
©2006-2022 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.
©2006-2022 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