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#Exhibit of the Month

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Bronze cauldrons of the Scythian time are rare in the Northern Black Sea region, especially on its western borders. Therefore, those few items found on the territory of the Republic of Moldova occupy a worthy place in the collection of the National Museum of History of Moldova (NMHM). In particular, in the archaeological exhibition, two bronze cauldrons are displayed, discovered near the village of Nicolscoe in 1988 in burial mounds no. 14 and 15. In addition, in 2020, two bronze cauldrons without any accompanying documents were found in the collection of NMHM; however, they were visually identified as coming from various excavations in the Low Dniester region, such as burial mound no. 45 near Dubăsari and burial mound no. 1 near the Răscăieții Noi village.

The object presented as the exhibit of the month is a little-known find discovered in 1979 in barrow 1 near the village of Răscăieții Noi in the Ștefan Vodă district. In addition to its outstanding size (about 10 m high), this mound is known for discovering a cast bronze finial in the Scythian animal style on its surface in 1953. However, by the beginning of excavations, the locals had damaged part of the mound and a Scythian cast bronze cauldron was found near it. The cauldron was seriously damaged by mechanical impact, as a result of which the rim was deformed, and the walls, with one preserved vertical handle, were bent inwards. Fragments in the upper part of the body and one handle have been lost. The total reconstructed height of the cauldron is 24 cm (excluding the handles), the reconstructed diameter of the hemispherical cauldron is 30 cm, and the weight is 6.5 kg. In 2020, data on the chemical composition of the bronze cauldron alloy were obtained, revealing that it was cast from an alloy of almost 95 per cent copper. Unfortunately, due to the loss of information on the context of the discovery of the cauldron at Răscăieții Noi, it is impossible to link its discovery with one or another Scythian burial of the barrow. Moreover, the grave goods of other Scythian burials of Barrow 1 do not allow them to date below the 4th century BC. However, the cauldron with vertical handles from Răscăieții Noi most likely belongs earlier. This may be indicated by a bronze finial from the first half of the 5th century BC, which was found on this barrow in 1953. In addition, burial 7 from the nearest excavated barrow 2 at Răscăieții Noi, containing a plaque depicting a rolled predator (a copy of which is also on display at the NMHM), belongs to the mid- 5th century BC. Thus, there is a high probability that the cauldron from Barrow 1 at Răscăieții Noi is associated with the late Middle Scythian period or the mid-5th century BC.

Scythian bronze cauldrons in the west area are concentrated in three main regions: Bukovina-Podolia, the Lower Danube, and the Lower Dniester. Some Scythian cauldrons have no reliable archaeological context. Nevertheless, in combination with the same "stray" finds like the Scythian statues, the finds of Scythian cauldrons mark the Scythian presence, most likely not earlier than the late 6th century or even the turn of the 6th-5th centuries BC. The cauldrons first appeared in Bukovina, where they have been known since the middle of the 7th century BC. Bronze cauldrons (with their carriers) entered the steppe region 150-200 years later, and the "military" burials that appeared in the western steppe regions were no earlier than the middle of the 5th century BC. Most burials with cauldrons (and, apparently, the stray finds) are dated back to the second half of the 5th century BC. Then, in the early 4th century BC, their quantity was reduced, and after the first quarter of the 4th century BC, they completely disappeared from the cultural practice of the population of the steppes of the North-Western Black Sea region.

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Publications Journal „Tyragetia"   vol. VII [XXII], nr. 1


Archaeological research on the site of Saharna Mare (2009-2012) (II)
ISSN 1857-0240
E-ISSN 2537-6330

Archaeological research on the site of Saharna Mare (2009-2012) (II)

Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. VII [XXII], nr. 1, Arheologie. Istorie Antică

This article presents information on the findings relating to the Thraco-Getian period, which have been identified as a result of archaeological excavations in 2009-2012 on the site of Saharna Mare.

In examining orthophotomaps and the results and geomagnetic prospecting there was discovered a new defensive line traced over 650 m to the north, east and south sides of the cape. Its ends are connected to the "wall" on the west side, thus forming an integral defensive system surrounding the fortress on all sides and having an area of approximately 6 hectares. This recently discovered defensive line represents a "rampart" barely visible on the current surface of the soil, having at the base a width of 3 m and a height of about 0.3-0.4 m. Toward the east this "rampart" meanders, forming eight bastions grouped in four on the northern and southern flanks.

As a result of archaeological investigation it was found that the identified "rampart" is the remains of a defensive wall built of two rows of wooden poles dug vertically into the mainland. The space between rows was filled with stones and earth, thus forming a fortification of about 1.1-1.6 m width.

In the settlement there were also examined two above-ground structures, 36 household pits and fairly rich and varied inventory attributable to the 8th/7th - 3rd centuries BC.

Judging by its strategic location, powerful defensive structures, and by the findings found in the area of the site, it can be assumed that the fortified settlement of Saharna Mare was an important economic, political, administrative and military center of the Middle Dniester region.

List of illustrations:

Fig. 1. Geographical and topographical location of the Saharna Mare site.

Fig. 2. Saharna Mare. Topographic plan and magnetometric map.

Fig. 3. Saharna Mare. Plan and profile of the excavations 13/2009 and 14/2010.

Fig. 4. Saharna Mare. Plan and profile of the excavation 13A/2010.

Fig. 5. Saharna Mare. Plan and profile of the excavation 15/2010-2011.

Fig. 6. Saharna Mare. Plan and profile of the excavation 16/2010.

Fig. 7. Saharna Mare. Plan and profile of the excavation 17/2011.

Fig. 8. Saharna Mare. Plan and profile of the excavation 18/2012.

Fig. 9. Saharna Mare. Plan and profile of the excavation 19/2012.

Fig. 10. Saharna Mare. Plan and profile of the excavation 20/2012.

Fig. 11. Saharna Mare. Plan and profile of the excavation 21/2012.

Fig. 12. Saharna Mare. Plan and profile of the excavation 22/2012.

Fig. 13. Saharna Mare. Defensive line on the northeast side of the cape: 1 - orthophotomap; 2 - location of the bastions; 3 - topographic map; 4 - magnetometric map; 5 - view from the south to the bastions no. 2 and no. 3; 6 - view from the west to the bastion no. 2.

Fig. 14. Saharna Mare. Bastion no. 2: 1 - traces of burning in the ruins of the bastion; 2 - charred beam; 3 - Pit of a pole from the structure of the bastion; 4 - section through the structure of a „wall"; 5 - profile of the excavation no. 19.

Fig. 15. Saharna Mare. Objects found in the ruins of a defensive „wall" and within the bastion no. 2 (1, 3 - bronze; 2, 4 - iron; 7-13 - clay; 11, 14 - bone; 15 - horn)

Fig. 16. Saharna Mare. Pottery found in the ruins of a defensive „wall" of the bastion no. 2.

Fig. 17. Saharna Mare. Pottery found within the bastion no. 2.

Fig. 18. Saharna Mare. Remains of a defensive „wall" in the eastern side of the fortress: 1 - stones from filling; 2 - stone filling and an contour of the ditch behind the wall; 3, 4 - pole-pits from the construction of defensive „wall"; 5 - profile of the excavation no. 17.

Fig. 19. Saharna Mare. Material found in the ruins of a defensive „wall" (excavation 17).

Fig. 20. Saharna Mare. Remains of a defensive „wall" in the southern side of the fortress (excavation 20).

Fig. 21. Saharna Mare. Stone structures at the base of a defensive „wall" (excavation 20).

Fig. 22. Saharna Mare. Material from the filling of a defensive „wall" (excavations 21 and 22).

Fig. 23. Saharna Mare. Variant of reconstruction of a Thraco-Getae defensive „wall".

Fig. 24. Saharna Mare. Contour of the defensive line of the 5th/4th - 3rd centuries BC.

Fig. 25. Saharna Mare. Structure no. 4: 1 - plan and profile; 2-4 - remnants of charred poles in situ.

Fig. 26. Saharna Mare. Structure no. 4. Fragments of fired clay with prints of twigs from the debris .

Fig. 27. Saharna Mare. Oven from the structure no. 4.

Fig. 28. Saharna Mare. Findings from the structure no. 4.

Fig. 29. Saharna Mare. Structure no. 4. Pottery.

Fig. 30. Saharna Mare. Structure no. 5: 1 - ruins of the structure; 2 - contour of the pole-pits at the base of structure.

Fig. 31. Saharna Mare. Findings from the structure no. 5.

Fig. 32. Saharna Mare. 1 - Plan and profile of the pit no. 141; 2 - plan and profile of the pit no. 142; 3 - plan and profile of the pit no. 143; 4 - plan and profile of the pit no. 144; 5 - plan and profile of the pit no. 145; 6 - plan and profile of the pit no. 146; 7 - plan and profile of the pit no. 147; 8-10 - findings from the pit no. 141; 11-15 - findings from the pit no. 142; 16-18 - findings from the pit no. 143; 19-21 - findings from the pit no. 146; 22, 23 - findings from the pit no. 147.

Fig. 33. Saharna Mare. Pit no. 148: 1 - plan and profile; 2-6 - findings from the pit.

Fig. 34. Saharna Mare. Pit no. 149: 1 - plan and profile; 2-12 - findings from the pit.

Fig. 35. Saharna Mare. 1 - Plan and profile of the pit no. 150; 2 - plan and profile of the pits no. 113, no. 151, and no. 152.

Fig. 36. Saharna Mare. 1-3 - Findings from the pit no. 150; 4-9 - findings from the pit no. 151; 10-12 - findings from the pit no. 152.

Fig. 37. Saharna Mare. 1 - Plan and profile of the pit no. 153; 2 - plan and profile of the pit no. 154.

Fig. 38. Saharna Mare. 1 - Findings from the pit no. 153; 2-9 - findings from the pit no. 154.

Fig. 39. Saharna Mare. Pit no. 155: 1 - plan and profile of the pit; 2-15 - findings from the pit.

Fig. 40. Saharna Mare. 1 - Plan and profile of the pit no. 156; 2 - plan and profile of the pit no. 157; 3 - plan and profile of the pit no. 158.

Fig. 41. Saharna Mare. 1-6 - Findings from the pit no. 156; 7-10 - findings from the pit no. 157; 11-17 - findings from the pit no. 158.

Fig. 42. Saharna Mare. 1 - Plan and profile of the pits no. 159 and no. 160; 2 - plan and profile of the pit no. 161; 3 - plan and profile of the pit no. 162.

Fig. 43. Saharna Mare. 1 - Findings from the pit no. 159; 2 - findings from the pit no. 160; 3-6 - findings from the pit no. 161; 7 - findings from the pit no. 162.

Fig. 44. Saharna Mare. Plan and profile of the pits without chronological indicators, attributed to the Thraco-Getae horizon.

Fig. 45. Saharna Mare. Iron tools from the cultural layer.

Fig. 46. Saharna Mare. Items of bone (1-4) and horn (5) from the cultural layer.

Fig. 47. Saharna Mare. Stone tools from the cultural layer.

Fig. 48. Saharna Mare. Clay utensils from the cultural layer.

Fig. 49. Saharna Mare. Weapon of metal (1, 2 - iron; 3 - bronze).

Fig. 50. Saharna Mare. Bracelets (1-3 - iron; 4 - copper; 5 - silver).

Fig. 51. Saharna Mare. 1-5 - Ornaments; 6-10 - clothing items (1-4, 10 - silver; 5 - bronze; 6-9 - iron).

Fig. 52. Saharna Mare. Amber beads.

Fig. 53. Saharna Mare. Fragments of pots from the cultural layer.

Fig. 54. Saharna Mare. Fragments of pots from the cultural layer.

Fig. 55. Saharna Mare. Fragments of pots from the cultural layer.

Fig. 56. Saharna Mare. Fragments of pots from the cultural layer.

Fig. 57. Saharna Mare. Fragments of pots from the cultural layer.

Fig. 58. Saharna Mare. Fragments of pots from the cultural layer.

Fig. 59. Saharna Mare. Fragments of pots from the cultural layer.

Fig. 60. Saharna Mare. Fragments of pots from the cultural layer.

Fig. 61. Saharna Mare. Fragments of pots from the cultural layer.

Fig. 62. Saharna Mare. Fragments of vessels from the cultural layer.

Fig. 63. Saharna Mare. Fragments of pots from the cultural layer.

Fig. 64. Saharna Mare. Fragments of bowls from the cultural layer.

Fig. 65. Saharna Mare. Fragments of bowls from the cultural layer.

Fig. 66. Saharna Mare. Fragments of bowls from the cultural layer.

Fig. 67. Saharna Mare. Fragments of bowls from the cultural layer.

Fig. 68. Saharna Mare. Fragments of fine ware: 1 - black-glazed wares; 2, 3 - grey wares.

Fig. 69. Saharna Mare. Fragments of amphorae.

Ion Niculiță, Aurel Zanoci, Mihail Băț
Geospatial and archaeological research in the micro-zone of Horodiște-Tipova
Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. VIII [XXIII], nr. 1, Arheologie. Istorie Antică
Ion Niculiță, Aurel Zanoci, Mihail Băț, Sergiu Matveev
Archaeological investigations at the site of Saharna Mare (2009-2011) (I)
Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. VI [XXI], nr. 1, Arheologie. Istorie Antică
Mihail Băț
Early Iron Age settlement in Ţahnăuţi, Rezina District
Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. XI [XXVI], nr. 1, Arheologie. Istorie Antică
Sergiu Matveev
The beginnings of archaeology in MSSR
Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. X [XXV], nr. 1, Arheologie. Istorie Antică
Aurel Zanoci
Typology and evolution of gates and access into early hallstattian fortresses in Tisa-Dniester space
Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. IX [XXIV], nr. 1, Arheologie. Istorie Antică Chișinău, 2015



 

 

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#Exhibit of the Month

Bronze cauldrons of the Scythian time are rare in the Northern Black Sea region, especially on its western borders. Therefore, those few items found on the territory of the Republic of Moldova occupy a worthy place in the collection of the National Museum of History of Moldova (NMHM)...

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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