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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. VI [XXI], nr. 1


The results of archaeological research in the Mazarache Church of Chișinău in 2010
ISSN 1857-0240
E-ISSN 2537-6330

The results of archaeological research in the Mazarache Church of Chișinău in 2010

Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. VI [XXI], nr. 1, Arheologie. Istorie Antică

In the summer of 2010 archaeological excavations in the historic part of Chișinău were carried out. The earliest written records about the Chișinău show that the historic core was located in the lower part of the modern city, near the river of Bâc. Apparently, the locality already existed in the 14th  century, before the Golden Horde was ousted from the south-eastern part of the Carpathian-Dniester land in 70s-80s of this century. On the opposite, left side of the river there was located the settlement of the Tatar times mentioned in the sources.

On the right bank of the Bâc River, on top of a hill at the foot of which there was a spring, there is the Intercession (Mazarache) Church that was built in 1739-1740 (Eșanu 1998, 56), 1742 (Ciocanu 2002, 39-43) or, according to some data, in 1752 (Kishinev 1984, 324). According to researchers, the stone church was built on site of an ancient wooden one, burned by Turkish troops in 1739 during the Russian-Turkish war of 1735-1739 (Eșanu 2001, 147).

Archaeological excavations conducted in the immediate vicinity of the Mazarache Church revealed some ceramic materials of the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages, as well as ample evidence of the existence of a settlement and burial site of the medieval and modern times.

Among the most interesting finds we can mention an earthen fortress moat, which refers, apparently, to the 16th-17th  centuries. Having a depth of 4,5 m and width at the top to 5,1 m, it would close access to the cape, where the cemetery was located. To the west of the cape the remains of a dwelling with a stone vault, referring to the 17th-18th centuries, were investigated. There were found well-preserved remains of a monumental architectural structure of red brick, determined by us as a part of the urban water supply catchment galleries constructed by A.I. Bernardazzi in the late 19th century (Bubis 1997, 59-62).

Excavations were carried out in the south-western periphery of the cemetery and directly at the northern apse of the church. The excavation area is 88 sq. m. There were investigated 52 burials. All of them are in the Christian tradition. More than half of the skeletons belong to children or teenagers. Skeletons lie on the back, face up, or on the right or left side. The arms are bent at the elbows, hands on chest, abdomen or, more rarely, on the collarbone. A special attention was drawn to a children’s burial, the head oriented to the west, in a highly flexed position on the right side.

Inventory of burials is quite poor. In different burials there have been found from one to five coins, as well as bone, bronze or silver buttons of various types, earrings, rings and fragments of ceramics. In burials of the Mazarache Church cemetery of Chisinau 29 coins were found. Of these, 13 specimens belong to the Hungarian issuers of the 16th  - early 17th  centuries, a silver poltorak of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of the early 17th  century, and a silver Swedish shilling of the second half of that century. A third, undefined, poorly preserved European coin, obviously, refers to these issuers. Ottoman coins (13 pieces) are in the majority of 18th - early 19th centuries. Three Ottoman coins belong to the 16th-17th  centuries.

Discovery of these coins in burials can be explained by the fact that the Hungarian silver denarii depict Our Lady with the Child and were worn in 6th-17th  centuries as an icon, mostly by children and women (at least according to our observations in the course of investigation of burial grounds). It must be noted that the finds of coins in the graves of the Mazarache Church cemetery were observed only in the graves of children, adolescents, and, rarely, women. This shows the existed practice of wearing of silver coins as a talisman, both in the Middle Ages and in modern times. If they originally worn the coins with the image of Our Lady with the Child, later, in the 18th  - the beginning of 19th century, they become to wear, symbolically (Dautova 1977, 75-78), any silver coins, including the Ottoman akçe and para.

As a result of the investigation of the medieval cemetery in Chisinau it can be also stated that in the middle and in the second half of the 16th  century a territory of the cape around the supposed wooden church was fully occupied with the local Christian community burials.

Recent burials refer to the first two decades of the 19th century, until 1827, when a stone wall around the church was built, and burials were prohibited.

Ion Tentiuc
Aspects of funeral rite and ritual in the Prut-Dniester region in the early Middle Ages (The Molești-Ialoveni necropolis)
Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. I [XVI], nr. 1, Arheologie. Istorie Antică Chișinău, 2007
Ion Tentiuc, Valeriu Bubulici
Finds of coins in the late medieval cemetery of the Măzărache Church in Chișinău (excavations of 2010)
Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. V [XX], nr. 1, Arheologie. Istorie Antică
Ion Tentiuc
Sergiu Musteață, Populația spațiului pruto-nistrean în secolele VIII-IX. Editura Pontos, Chișinău 2005, 189 p., rezumat în limba engleză, indice, 10 tabele, 7 diagrame, 4 hărți, 78 planșe cu figuri, 12 foto, ISBN 9975-926-43-6
Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. II [XVII], nr. 1, Arheologie. Istorie Antică
Mariana Vasilache
Établissements cucuteniens dans l’espace d’entre Prut et Dniestre (étape Cucuteni A- Tripolie BI). Aspects de l’histoire de la recherche
Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. VII [XXII], nr. 1, Arheologie. Istorie Antică
Ion Tentiuc
Les carreaux des poêles avec l’images heraldiques de Căușeni
Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. III [XVIII], nr. 1, Arheologie. Istorie Antică



 

 

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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