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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. X [XXV], nr. 1


Cremated remains in bronze situla from Sipoteni (2nd-1st centuries BC)
ISSN 1857-0240
E-ISSN 2537-6330

Cremated remains in bronze situla from Sipoteni (2nd-1st centuries BC)

Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. X [XXV], nr. 1, Arheologie. Istorie Antică

Keywords: Bronze situlae, funeral urns, odd hoards, East Carpathian region, Bastarnae, Celts.

Abstract: In the work on the materials of a cremation burial in bronze situla of the 2nd-1st centuries BC, which was found in Mana village (Orhei district), we have taken for comparative and anthropological analysis remains of calcined bones from the burial in situla from Sipoteni (Călărași district) published in 1950s (fig. 1).

Osteological research of the contents of the bronze vessel from Sipoteni (fig. 2) showed that the remains belonged to a man 20-30 years old. In the burial urn a fragment of a black-burnished vessel, a silver fibula of the Middle La Tene type (fig. 4), an iron ring, and an amorphous iron object were found. The grave goods also contain a bronze situla (fig. 3), identical in shape and size, which was found near the funeral urn. Researches attributed the Sipoteni burial to the 2nd-1st centuries BC, a period of domination of Bastarnae tribes in the central and northern part of the Carpathian-Dniester region. Our own comparative analysis of this type of bronze vessels showed that they are similar with identical containers from the Middle Danube sites, as well as from northern Italy, southern France and Spain, which were used by Celtic tribes as funeral urns.

To the east of the Carpathians identical bronze vessels were found in the village of Mana, at the site of Bădeni (Iași) (fig. 5), and as part of the so-called odd hoards from Bădragii Noi (fig. 7), Vesela Dolina, and Maryevka (fig. 10) (in the region from the Eastern Carpathians to the Dnieper and the Don at least 50 so-called hoards were found), including ones in the bronze vessels, which we have mentioned.

Some researchers' attempts to attribute the situlae from Sipoteni, Bădragii Noi, Vesela Dolina, Maryevka, etc. to the type of Eggers 18-23 or the type of Bargfeld seem to us to fail, because these bronze vessels have slender shape, riveted bronze or iron attaches and the maximum diameter of the vessels is at the height of the fourth part. The East Carpathian situlae are of less slender proportions, and the largest diameter is located at the third part of the height of the vessels. In addition, the East Carpathian vessels have no trace of riveted attaches. They either have a different system of handles attachment (Fig. 9) or have no traces of them.

Morphological features of bronze situlae found to the east of the Carpathians made it possible to attribute vessels without handles and attaches or traces of rivets to a special type - the type of Mana (fig. 8), and bronze containers with mobile iron handles - to the Bădragii Noi variant of the same type (fig. 9).

Most researchers dated the bronze situlae within the 1st century BC. Analysis of the grave goods from the cremation burial complexes identified at Sipoteni and Mana (bronze situlae, silver fibula, weapons of Celtic type, etc.), as well as analysis of objects from odd hoards confirm that they belong to the 1st century BC, likely to the first half of this chronological interval.

List of illustrations:
Fig. 1. Map of the place near Sipoteni where the cremation burial was found. Fig. 2. Sipoteni. Bronze situla - a funeral urn (photo, drawing).
Fig. 3. Sipoteni. Bronze situla - grave goods (photo, drawing).
Fig. 4. Sipoteni. Silver fibula (photo, drawing).
Fig. 5. Bronze situla from Bădeni (Iași) (photo, drawing).
Fig. 6. Bronze situla from Bădragii Noi (Edineț) (photo, drawing).
Fig. 7. Graphic reconstruction of the iron handle of the situla from Bădragii Noi (Edineț).
Fig. 8. Typology of situlae. Type of Mana (1-2 - Sipoteni; 3 - Mana; 4 - Bădeni).
Fig. 9. Typology of situlae. Variant of Bădragii Noi, type of Mana (1 - Bădragii Noi; 2 - Vesela Dolina; 3 - Maryevka). Fig. 10. Map of the spreading of bronze situlae to the east of the Carpathians: 1. Sipoteni (Călărași); 2. Mana (Orhei); 3. Bădeni (Iași); 4. Bădragii Noi (Edineț); 5. Veselaja Dolina (Odesa); 6. Mar'evka (Nikolaev); 7. Brad
(Bacău); 8. Bâtca Doamnei (Neamț); 9. Răcătău (Bacău); 10. Poienești (Vaslui)
Fig. 11. Sipoteni. Remains of burnt human bones. Male 20-30 years old. The degree of fragmentation of the skeleton Fig. 12. A fragment of the frontal bone, the upper edge of the right orbit with traces of iron oxide.
Fig. 13. Fragment of hip bone, close to the sciatic curve.
Fig. 14. Fragment of the parietal bone, closer to the sagittal suture.
Fig. 15. Fragment of the tooth root, perhaps premolar.
Fig. 16. Fragment of the occipital bone.
Fig. 17. A fragment of the temporal bone.
Fig. 18. Fragment of a lumbar vertebra.
Fig. 19. Vertebral arches, fragmented.
Fig. 20. Fragments of epiphyses, some with traces of metal oxides.
Fig. 21. Metatarsal bone I, fragment, distal end.
Fig. 22. Left femur, fragment.
Fig. 23. Phalanxes of fingers in anatomical order.
Fig. 24. Tibia, diaphysis fragment, with longitudinal cracks.
Fig. 25. Femur, diaphysis fragment, with transverse cracks. Visible metal oxides.
Fig. 26. Humerus, diaphysis fragment.
Fig. 27. Radial bone, diaphysis fragment. Fig. 28. Fibula, diaphysis fragment.
Fig. 29. Fragments of the epiphysis and metaphysis of the femur. Transition from carbonization to calcination. Fig. 30. Fragments of deformed diaphyses with traces of metal oxides.
Fig. 31. Radial bone, diaphysis fragment (with traces of possible injury). Fig. 32. Maximum temperature mode in color and patterns of bone damage.

Ion Tentiuc, Valeriu Bubulici
An incineration burial in metal urn (2nd-3rd c. AD) discovered at Iagorlîc, Dubăsari
Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. XII [XXVII], nr. 1, Arheologie. Istorie Antică
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About horse rider pendants from the early Medieval period in the Prut-Dniester area
Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. IV [XIX], nr. 1, Arheologie. Istorie Antică
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Finds of coins in the late medieval cemetery of the Măzărache Church in Chișinău (excavations of 2010)
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Profesorul, savantul și omul de cultură Gheorghe Postică la 60 de ani
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Considerations regarding the 10th-11th century Scandinavian pendants with animal motifs or in the shape of hemispheric shield found in the Middle Dniester region
Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. XV [XXX], nr. 1, Arheologie. Istorie Antică, Chişinău, 2021



 

 

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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