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National Museum of History of Moldova
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#Exhibit of the Month

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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National Museum of History of Moldova
 

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Library „Tyragetia"




Medieval Churches and Monasteries in Bessarabia
Vlad D. Ghimpu
Medieval Churches and Monasteries in Bessarabia
Series “Biblioteca “Tyragetia” I, Chisinau, 2000, 220 p.
Medieval Moldavian Documents from the Military Archives of Sweden
Nicolae Răileanu
Medieval Moldavian Documents from the Military Archives of Sweden
Series “Biblioteca “Tyragetia” II, Chisinau, 2001, 308 p.
Necropolis of Scythian Aristocracy in Dubasari (5th – 4th centuries B.C.)
Nicolae Chetraru, Natalia Serova
Necropolis of Scythian Aristocracy in Dubasari (5th – 4th centuries B.C.)
Series “Biblioteca “Tyragetia” III, Chisinau, 2001, 74 p.
Ion Casian Surucean in Bessarabian Archaeology and Museology
Nicolae Chetraru, Nicolae Răileanu
Ion Casian Surucean in Bessarabian Archaeology and Museology
Series “Biblioteca “Tyragetia” IV, Chisinau, 2001, 256 p.
Parcalab Gangur’s Treasures
Nicolae Chetraru, Isac Rafalovic
Parcalab Gangur’s Treasures
Series “Biblioteca “Tyragetia” V, Chisinau, 2002, 118 p.
Romanian Books in the Collections of the National Museum of History of Moldova
M. Danilov, A. Grițco, L. Malahov
Romanian Books in the Collections of the National Museum of History of Moldova
Catalogue, series “Biblioteca “Tyragetia” VI, Chisinau, 2002, 223 p.
Rara avis
Nicolae Răileanu
Rara avis
Series “Biblioteca “Tyragetia” VII, Chisinau, 2003, 258 p.
Life and Work of Paul Gore
Life and Work of Paul Gore
Series “Biblioteca “Tyragetia” VIII, Chisinau, 2003, 248 p.
Nicolae Morosan: the Tragedy of a Scientist
Nicolae Chetraru, Anton Moraru, Nicolae Răileanu
Nicolae Morosan: the Tragedy of a Scientist
Series “Biblioteca “Tyragetia” IX, Chisinau, 2003, 224 p
Studies on Museology and Museography, vol. I
Studies on Museology and Museography, vol. I
Series “Biblioteca “Tyragetia” X, Chisinau, 2004, 526 p.
Baron Alexander Stuart
Nicolae Chetraru, Nicolae Răileanu
Baron Alexander Stuart
Series “Biblioteca “Tyragetia” XI, Chisinau, 2006, 111 p.
Halt in the Time
Ana Grițco
Halt in the Time
Catalogue of picture postcards, series “Biblioteca “Tyragetia” XII, Chisinau, 2006, 268 p.
Synodal Censorship and Religious Book in Bessarabia, 1812-1918 (Between the Tradition and Tsarist Policy)
Maria Danilov
Synodal Censorship and Religious Book in Bessarabia, 1812-1918 (Between the Tradition and Tsarist Policy)
Series “Biblioteca “Tyragetia” XIII, Chisinau, 2007, 264 p.
Greek Amphorae in Barbaric World of North-Western Coast of Pontus Euxinus in 6th – Early 2nd Centuries B.C.
Natalia Mateevici
Greek Amphorae in Barbaric World of North-Western Coast of Pontus Euxinus in 6th – Early 2nd Centuries B.C.
Series “Biblioteca “Tyragetia” XIV, Chisinau, 2007, 284 p.
Cultural and Chronological Interferences in North-Western Coast of Pontus Euxinus in Late 2nd – Early 1st Millennia B.C.
Andrei Nicic
Cultural and Chronological Interferences in North-Western Coast of Pontus Euxinus in Late 2nd – Early 1st Millennia B.C.
Series “Biblioteca “Tyragetia” XV, Chisinau, 2008, 282 p.
Studies on Museology (I)
Studies on Museology (I)
Series “Biblioteca “Tyragetia” XVI, Chisinau, 2008,194 p.
Museographic Concepts of Historical Profile: Retrospect and Prospect
Elena Ploșnița
Museographic Concepts of Historical Profile: Retrospect and Prospect
Series “Biblioteca “Tyragetia” XVII, Chisinau, 2008, 248 p.
Habitat in the First Millennium B.C. in the Middle Dniester Region (Sites from Saharna Area)
Ion Niculiță, Aurel Zanoci, Tudor Arnăut
Habitat in the First Millennium B.C. in the Middle Dniester Region (Sites from Saharna Area)
Series “Biblioteca “Tyragetia” XVIII, Chisinau, 2008, 408 p.
The Settlement with „Ash Pits” near the Village of Odaia-Miciurin, the Republic of Moldova
Eugen Sava, Elke Kaiser
The Settlement with „Ash Pits” near the Village of Odaia-Miciurin, the Republic of Moldova
Series “Bibilioteca „Tyragetia” XIX, Chișinău, 2011, 532 p.
Encyclopedia of Museology of the Republic of Moldova
Elena Ploșnița, Mihai Ursu
Encyclopedia of Museology of the Republic of Moldova
Series “Bibilioteca „Tyragetia” XX, Chișinău, 2011, 308 p.
Contributions to the History and Archaeology of the Prut-Dniester Area: The Sites of Durlești and Molești
Ion Tentiuc
Contributions to the History and Archaeology of the Prut-Dniester Area: The Sites of Durlești and Molești
Series Bibilioteca „Tyragetia” XXI, Chișinău, 2012, 288 p.
Military traditions (past, present, future)
Simion CARP, Ghenadie CHIRIŢA, Terentie CARP, Ecaterina GÎRBU
Military traditions (past, present, future)
Series Bibilioteca „Tyragetia” XXII, Chișinău, 2013, 375 p
Studies on Museology (II)
Studies on Museology (II)
Series “Biblioteca “Tyragetia” XXIII, Chisinau, 2013. 228 p.
Ottoman Coins in Moldova from 1512 to 1603
Ana Boldureanu
Ottoman Coins in Moldova from 1512 to 1603
Series Biblioteca “Tyragetia” XXIV, Chișinău, 2013. 191 p.
The Early Iron Age settlement and cemetery of Saharna-Ţiglău
Ion Niculiță, Andrei Nicic
The Early Iron Age settlement and cemetery of Saharna-Ţiglău
Series “Biblioteca “Tyragetia” XXV, Chisinau, 2014. 420 p.
Settlements from the Late Bronze Age in the space between rivers Prut and Dniester (Noua-Sabatinovka)
Eugen Sava
Settlements from the Late Bronze Age in the space between rivers Prut and Dniester (Noua-Sabatinovka)
Series “Biblioteca “Tyragetia” XXVI, Chisinau, 2014. 592 p.
Evolution of the habitat in the Saharna micro-zone in the Iron Age
Ion Niculiță, Aurel Zanoci, Mihail Băț
Evolution of the habitat in the Saharna micro-zone in the Iron Age
Biblioteca “Tyragetia” XXVII, Chișinău, 2016, 464 p.
The population of Central Moldova in the 10th-13th centuries
Ion Tentiuc
The population of Central Moldova in the 10th-13th centuries
Biblioteca „Tyragetia” XXVIII, Chişinău, 2017, 323 p.
Historic site “Camp of king Charles XII of Sweden at Varniţa”. Recovery of the memory
Historic site “Camp of king Charles XII of Sweden at Varniţa”. Recovery of the memory
Biblioteca „Tyragetia” XXIX, Chişinău, 2017, 164 p.
Research of the mounds from the Bugeac steppe (1980-1985)
E. Sava, S. Agulnicov, I. Manzura
Research of the mounds from the Bugeac steppe (1980-1985)
Biblioteca „Tyragetia” XXX, Chişinău, 2019, 368 p.
Anthropomorphic figurines from Cucuteni A stage from the Prut-Dniester interfluve (the collections of the National Museum of History of Moldova)
Stanislav Ţerna, Mariana Vasilache
Anthropomorphic figurines from Cucuteni A stage from the Prut-Dniester interfluve (the collections of the National Museum of History of Moldova)
Biblioteca „Tyragetia” XXXI, Chişinău, 2019, 263 p.
Poienești-Lucașeuca settlement and necropolis from Borosești (Iași county)
Mircea Babeș, Vasile Iarmulschi
Poienești-Lucașeuca settlement and necropolis from Borosești (Iași county)
Biblioteca „Tyragetia” XXXII, Chişinău, 2020
Maria (Lupu) Radziwiłł’s private life in documents, letters, and images
Lilia Zabolotnaia
Maria (Lupu) Radziwiłł’s private life in documents, letters, and images
Biblioteca „Tyragetia” XXXIII, Chişinău, 2020
Museum. Museumification of the immovable cultural heritage
Elena Ploșnița
Museum. Museumification of the immovable cultural heritage
Biblioteca „Tyragetia” XXXIV, Chișinău, 2021

 

 


Independent Moldova
Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic
Bessarabia and MASSR between the Two World Wars
Bessarabia and Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in the Period between the Two World Wars
Revival of National Movement
Time of Reforms and their Consequences
Abolition of Autonomy. Bessarabia – a New Tsarist Colony
Period of Relative Autonomy of Bessarabia within the Russian Empire
Phanariot Regime
Golden Age of the Romanian Culture
Struggle for Maintaining of Independence of Moldova
Formation of Independent Medieval State of Moldova
Era of the
Great Nomad Migrations
Early Middle Ages
Iron Age and Antiquity
Bronze Age
Aeneolithic Age
Neolithic Age
Palaeolithic Age

  
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#Exhibit of the Month

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...

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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.
©2006-2021 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.
©2006-2021 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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