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PROCEEDINGS OF THE 12TH INTERNATIONAL

CONGRESS OF THRACOLOGY

The Thracians and their Neighbors in


the Bronze and Iron Ages
- Volume I -

Institutions involved in the organization of the Congress:


Dmbovia County Council
Valahia University of Trgovite
Institute of Archaeology Vasile Prvan
Center of Thracology Bucureti
International Union of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences
30th Commission
Curtea Domneasc National Museum Complex of Trgovite
Braov County History Museum
Museum of Brila

Persons involved in the organization of the Congress:


The Honorary Committee
Prof. univ. dr. Ion Cucui, president
Conf. univ. dr. Clin D. Oros, vice-president
Conf. univ. dr. Adrian uuianu, vice-president
Acad. Alexandru Vulpe, vice-president
Prof. univ. dr. Marin Crciumaru, secretary

Organizing Committee
Prof. dr. Valeriu Srbu, president
Prof. dr. Cristian Schuster, secretary general
Conf. univ. dr. Marian Cosac, vice-president
Dr. Ovidiu Crstina, member
Dr. Radu tefnescu, member
Prof. univ. dr. Ionel Cndea, member

Secretariat
Prof. dr. Cristian Schuster
Dr. George Murtoreanu
Dr. Ana Ilie

It is the authors who are responsible for the contents and the quality of studies. Due to the late reception
of manuscripts, the Editorial Board could not in all cases intervene to any significant extent in order to
ensure a standard language.

DMBOVIA COUNTY COUNCIL


INSTITUTE OF ARCHAEOLOGY
VASILE PRVAN BUCHAREST
CURTEA DOMNEASC
NATIONAL MUSEUM COMPLEX OF TRGOVITE
VALAHIA UNIVERSITY OF TRGOVITE

The Thracians and their Neighbors


in the Bronze and Iron Ages
PROCEEDINGS OF THE 12TH INTERNATIONAL
CONGRESS OF THRACOLOGY
TRGOVITE
10TH -14TH SEPTEMBER 2013

Settlements, Fortresses, Artifacts


- Volume I Editorial Board
Cristian Schuster, Ovidiu Crstina,
Marian Cosac and George Murtoreanu

Covers: Valeriu Srbu, Dana Smaznov


DTP: Dana Smaznov, Valeriu Srbu

Descrierea CIP a Bibliotecii Naionale a Romniei


INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF THRACOLOGY. Proceeding
(12 ; 2013 ; Trgovite)
Proceedings of the 12th International Congress of Thracology :
the Thracians and their Neighbors in the bronze and Iron ages : Trgovite, 10th14th September 2013. - Trgovite : Cetatea de
Scaun, 2013
2 vol.
ISBN 978-606-537-208-5
Vol. 1 : Settlements, fortresses, artifacts / editorial board: Cristian Schuster, Ovidiu
Crstina, Marian Cosac and George Murtoreanu. - Bibliogr. - ISBN 978-606-537-207-8
I. Schuster, Cristian (ed.)
II. Crstina, Ovidiu (ed.)
III. Cosac, Marian (ed.)
IV. Murtoreanu, George (ed.)

904(398.9)(063)

ISBN general 978-606-537-208-5


ISBN vol. I 978-606-537-207-8
Editura Cetatea de Scaun, Trgovite, 2013
www.cetateadescaun.ro , email: editura@cetateadescaun.ro




SUMMARY

FOREWORD ......................................................................................................................................... 9
A NEW BANIABIC TYPE AXE FROM SOUTHERN ROMANIA
Radu Bjenaru (Bucharest Romania), Alin Frnculeasa (Ploieti Romania)............................. 13
A SPECIAL RED DEER ANTLER ARTEFACT FROM THE DACIAN SETTLEMENT OF
UNIP, TIMI COUNTY, ROMANIA
Corneliu Beldiman (Bucharest Romania) ..................................................................................... 17
DATA ABOUT THE OSSEOUS MATERIALS ARTEFACTS FROM DACIAN HILLFOR OF
ARDEU, HUNEDOARA COUNTY, ROMANIA
Corneliu Beldiman (Bucharest Romania), Iosif Vasile Ferencz (Deva Romania), Diana-Maria
Sztancs (Bucharest Romania) ........................................................................................................ 39
WOMEN AT PISTIROS
Jan Bouzek (Prague Czeh Republic), Lydia Domaradzka (Sofia Bulgaria) ............................... 67
WHETSTONES WITH A HANGING HOLE IN STEPPE ZONE CULTURES OF THE
NORTHERN PONTIC AND THE GREAT HUNGARIAN PLAIN FROM THE LATE
BRONZE AGE AND THE EARLY IRON AGE
Marcin Burghardt (Rzeszowsk - Poland) ........................................................................................ 83
REPERES CHRONOLOGIQUES OFFERTS PAR LA CERAMIQUE GRECQUE
IMPORTE
Livia Buzoianu, Maria Brbulescu (Constana Romania) ............................................................ 95
VIEWPOINTS IN INTERPRETING LATE IRON AGE HILL-FORTS AND FORTIFIED
SETTLEMENTS BETWEEN THE SOUTHERN CARPATHIANS AND THE DANUBE (2ND
CENTURY BC 1ST CENTURY AD)
Vlad Crbii, Monica Nicolescu (Bucharest Romania) .......................................................... 111
THE TRIBAL WORLD OF ANCIENT THRACE
Peter Delev (Sofia Bulgaria) ....................................................................................................... 127
DATA ON LIVESTOCK MANAGEMENT IN THE IRON AGE HABITATION FROM
CRLOMNETI (BUZU COUNTY), IN THE LIGHT OF RECENT
ARCHAEOZOOLOGICAL RESEARCH
Georgeta El Susi (Reia Romania) ............................................................................................ 135
TEI CULTURE SETTLEMENTS IN BUCHAREST AND ILFOV COUNTY
Elena-Florentina Gavril (Bucharest Romania) ......................................................................... 153
FIRST MILLENIUM BC THRACIAN SETTLEMENT ARCHAEOLOGY IN THE UPPER
MARITSA REGION AND ITS ADJACENT AREAS
Alexei Gotzev (Sofia Bulgaria) .................................................................................................... 169

The Thracians and their Neighbors in the Bronze and Iron Ages

LEXPLOITATION DES SOURCES SALES DU BASSIN SUPRIEUR DE LA RIVIRE


IALOMIA, DE L GE DU BRONZE JUSQUAU IER SICLE AP. J.C
Ana Ilie, Gheorghe Olteanu, Ovidiu Crstina, Adrian Puna, Bogdan Ilie
(Trgovite, Roumanie).................................................................................................................. 183
SPARADOKOS: BRUDER ODER SCHWAGER DES ODRYSENKNIGS SITALKES?
Dobriela Kotova (Sofia Bulgarien) ............................................................................................. 207
LES SPCIFITS DE L'EMPLACEMENT DES HABITATIONS DU PREMIER ET SECOND
GE DU FER DANS LA ZONE DE STEPPE BOISE DE LA MOLDAVIE CENTRALE
Alexandru Levinschi (Chiinu R. Moldavie) ............................................................................. 213
IN QUEST FOR QUALITY STONE: LA TNE ROTARY QUERNS FROM IDOVAR,
SOUTH BANAT
Marija Ljutina (Belgrade Serbia) .............................................................................................. 225
MULTIDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH IN THE PRUT-DNIESTER
INTERFLUVE BARBARICUM
Sergiu Mateev (Kishinev R. of Moldova) ................................................................................... 237
ON A POSSIBLE FUNCTION OF THE GETO-DACIAN DECORATED HEARTHS
Alexandru S. Morintz (Bucharest Romania) ............................................................................... 255
LA FORTIFICATION GTE DE HORODCA MICA, RPUBLIQUE DE MOLDAVIE:
TECHNIQUES DE CONSTRUCTION ET PHASES DE LDIFICATION
Octavian Munteanu, Vasile Iarmulschi (Chiinu R. Moldova) ................................................. 269
DIACHRONIC EVOLUTION OF SITES FROM SAHARNA AREA,
THE REGION OF MIDDLE DNIESTER
Ion Niculi, Aurel Zanoci, Mihail B (Chiinu R. of Moldova) ............................................. 295
LES POLEIS-EMPORIA ET LES MARCHES THRACES DU ROYAUME
ODRYSE (VE MILIEU DU IVE SIECLE AV. J.-C.)
Kalin Porozhanov (Sofia Bulgarie) ............................................................................................. 315
HELLESPONTUS, THE THRACIAN BOSPORUS AND INFORMATION
RELATED TO THRACIANS ON THEIR COASTS DURING
THE HALF OF THE FIRST MILLENIUM BC
Alexandar Portalsky (Blagoevgrad Bulgaria) ............................................................................. 321
DISCOVERIES OF CELTIC NATURE ON THE MIDDLE AND SUPIRIOR COURSE OF
THE OLT RIVER IN THE SECOND IRON AGE
Lucica Savu (Braov Romania) ................................................................................................... 327
DIE GETISCHEN DAVA VON RADOVANU IM LICHTE
DER NEUSTEN FORSCHUNGEN
Cristian Schuster (Bukarest Rumnien), Done erbnescu (Oltenia Rumnien), Alexandru S.
Morintz (Bukarest Rumnien) ..................................................................................................... 335
THE GETO-DACIAN FORTRESS OF PIETROASA MIC GRUIU DRII, BUZU
COUNTY (ROMANIA)
Valeriu Srbu (Brila, Bucharest - Romania) Sebastian Matei (Buzu - Romania) ...................... 347
NEWLY DISCOVERED MONUMENTS OF THE ANCIENT IRON METALLURGY:
RESEARCH PERSPECTIVE AND EXPECTED OUTCOMES
Nino Sulava, Rusudan Chagelishvili, Nino Kalandadze, Tamar Beridze (Tbilisi - Georgia) ........ 375

The Thracians and their Neighbors in the Bronze and Iron Ages

SPECIAL ASPECTS OF GRAECO-BARBARIAN CONTACTS IN THE EARLY


COLONIZATION PERIOD OF THE NORTHERN BLACK SEA COASTAL REGION IN
THE LIGHT OF THE EXAMINATION OF THE MATERIALS OF THE CITY-SITE
NEMIROV ON THE RIVERSIDE OF SOUTH BUG
Marina Vakhtina, Maya Kashuba (Saint-Petersburg - Russia) ...................................................... 379
TRANSCARPATHIAN FINDS OF STAMPED CERAMICS
Izabela Wnuczek (Rzeszow - Poland) ............................................................................................ 397
THRAKISCH UND DAKISCH SPRACHEN ODER DIALEKTE?
Svetlana Yanakieva (Sofia Bulgarien)......................................................................................... 407

FOREWORD

Our country has previously hosted once more this Congress, 17 years ago, when the 7th edition
was held at Constana-Mangalia-Neptun/Olimp. Since then, other editions of this congress have been
organized by colleagues from Bulgaria (2000), Republic of Moldova (2004), Greece (2005) and Turkey
(2010). In 1996, when the 7th edition of the Congress was held, the status of this research direction
Thracology was most probably different than today both in Romania and in the other countries. At
that time, our research field benefited from the existence of an independent institution (The Romanian
Institute of Thracology, director prof. dr. Petre Roman), with its own juridical status and budget. Today,
the Centre of Thracology activates harmonically as part of the Vasile Parvan Institute of Archaeology
of the Romanian Academy.
As other peoples from antiquity were dedicated distinct branches of research that included
historical, archaeological, linguistic, anthropological, archaeo-zoological, and ethnographical
investigations it was only natural that the Thracians also had their own distinct discipline. The
Thracology was and still is a field of extremely interesting scientific disputes. An example in this
direction is the dispute concerning the appearance of the first Thracians in the Balkans.
Many research opportunities are still offered by the study of antic written sources. The
archaeology and the linguistic studies permit (and most surely will still do so in the future) the discovery
of new faces of the material and spiritual culture of this people.
The development and the evolution of the Thracians cannot be fully comprehended without
knowledge of their neighbors and of the connections between the Thracians and the Celts, the Greeks,
the Macedonians, the Scythians, the Romans, etc. This is what justifies the theme of this congress,
namely The Thracians and their Neighbors in Antiquity, in the Bronze and Iron Ages.
Of course, not all the specialists that research the Thracians accept the existence of a separate
field of research dedicated to this people. Some do it out of belief, having, in their opinion, the necessary
arguments in this direction, others, unfortunately, do it for reasons that include fashion or pure
opportunism. As long as the disputes are carried at a scientific level, the things subscribe to normality.
But, unfortunately, we notice that sometimes this pseudo-conflict is transferred to the relations between
institutions or even between persons which is damaging to the scientific research.
On behalf of the Organizing Committee, we convey our thanks to everyone for the personal,
scientific and financial efforts made in order to attend this prestigious scientific event.
We need to express our gratitude to the Dmbovia County Council, and to its President
Professor Adrian uuianu, who, understanding the meaning of a scientific manifestation of the
amplitude of the present one, accepted from the start to grant us a decisive financial help without which
we could not have organized this event. We also thank the Valahia University, its rectors Professor
Ion Cucui and Professor Clin Oros, who allowed us to use their International Conference Center and
the Campus. And we also thank the colleagues, Dr. Marian Cosac and Dr. George Murtoreanu, for their
support. We must not omit from the thank you list the Curtea Domneasc National Museum
Complex from Trgovite and its director, Dr. Ovidiu Crstina and his colleagues, the Brasov County
Museum and its manager Dr. Radu tefnescu, and the Brila Museum and its director Professor
Ionel Cndea. Another thank you we direct towards the manager of the Vasile Parvan Institute of
Archaeology Academician Alexandru Vulpe and to the colleagues from the Centre of Thracology.
We also want to express our high appreciation towards the efforts of Professor Marin
Crciumaru, who, with his well-known ability and determination, was the generator of energy that made
all the people involved in the organization of the Congress to resonate in unison.

The Thracians and their Neighbors in the Bronze and Iron Ages

The Institute of Archaeology, an institution with a smaller budget compared to the other partners,
wishes to thank for the financial help granted by the ArchaeoCommunity Foundation from the USA and
Sebastian Morintz Foundation from Oltenita and to Cristina-Hannelore Schuster.
One can say and many have said upon departure and in messages sent afterwards that this
congress was a scientific and cultural success, but also a success in terms of the interpersonal relations.
The congress was attended by 96 distinguished researchers, from 14 countries, which held 67
lectures of great topical, geographic and chronological diversity.
Without a doubt, the lectures and the discussion that took place resulted in a significantly
wealthier body of knowledge on the Thracians and neighboring peoples. Furthermore, the publishing,
before the end of the year, of the lectures will result in the quick adoption by the international scientific
world of many finds, ideas and interpretations of the phenomena in question.
It is worth noticing that the participants voted, unanimously, in favor of establishing an
association with legal personality The International Association of Thracian Studies , which will
be able to include all the specialists across the globe involved in the research and scientific and cultural
application of the Thracian vestiges, of course as interacting with the neighboring peoples. This
association will be able to promote a more fruitful scientific cooperation across borders, between
researches with such interests.
Also, all the participants to the Congress adopted a Statement of protest against the destruction
of historical monuments, in general, and of Thracian vestiges, in particular, destructions which have
multiplied lately.
The lectures held at the congress will be, for topic and financial reasons, published in 2013, in
two volumes. The first volume, containing the lectures on the topic Settlements, Fortresses, Artefacts,
will be published in Trgovite, while the second one, on the topic Necropolises, Cult places, Religion,
Mythology, will be published in Braov.

On behalf of the Organizing Committee,


Prof. Dr. Valeriu Srbu
Chairman
Prof. Dr. Cristian Schuster
Secretary General

10

The participants at the Congress

DIACHRONIC EVOLUTION OF SITES FROM SAHARNA AREA,


THE REGION OF MIDDLE DNIESTER
Ion Niculi, Aurel Zanoci, Mihail B
(Chiinu R. of Moldova)

Keywords: Middle Dniester, Early Hallstatt, Thraco-Getae, fortification, civil settlement


Abstract: The archaeological research and survey at the sites situated around Saharna village from
Rezina region of Republic of Moldova have revealed 24 sites which correspond chronologically to the end of 12th
c. 3rd c. BC. The archaeological investigations undertaken in the last 10 years have resulted in great discoveries
which made possible to trace four development periods: 1) end of 12th c. 11th c. BC; 2) 10th c. first half of 8th
c. BC; 3) second half of 8th c. 6th/5th c. BC; 4) 5th/4th-3rd c. BC. The character of the settlements varies from one
period to another, but in most cases they were grouped in agglomerations/nests which included fortifications
and civil settlements. These agglomerations represented probably the vital space of some political-territorial
formations from the Middle Dniester region.

Geographic space
The investigated territory represents a stripe with the width of 2,0-4,5 km and the approximate
length of 8,5 km placed on the right bank of Dniester (Fig. 1/1), between the villages Stohnaia (47 43'
37" North, 28 57' 53" East) and Buciuca (47 38' 55" North, 28 59' 35" East) and is located in the
borders of Saharna village (Fig. 1/2) from Rezina region of Republic of Moldova.
This territory is part of Dniester Plateau with absolute heights of 250-347 m above sea level,
segmented by a network of rivers and valleys (Rmbu 1982, p. 12, 14). The Dniester Valley in this area
is characterized by highly eroded ravines developed into compact sedimentary rocks (limestone, marl,
sandstone, shale). They got the shape of canyons with steep slopes (20-30), sometimes very abrupt (4070) (Rmbu 1982, p. 33, 46) and are crossed by a network of small rivers, tributary of the Dniester
(Fig. 1/3).
The hills and the valley coasts are covered with clayey-sandy, ashy and chernozem soils, which
developed a specific forest steppe flora, characterized by presence of oak, lime, maple, beech etc.
(Mihilescu et alii 2006, p. 112-130).
Thus, the physical-geographical conditions, favorable to the human habitat, contributed greatly
to the population of this territory from oldest times.
Chronological framework
The lower limit (12th/11th c. BC) is determined by the time when in the region of Middle Dniester
appeared monuments specific to hallstatt period, while the upper limit (end of 3rd c. BC) by the
abandonment or destruction of Thraco-Getian sites. During this period in the mentioned space many
cultures and cultural groups developed and which were attributed to sedentary populations of Thracian
Tmoani-Holercani-Hansca/ Sihleanu-Rmnicele-Saharna Mic (Hnsel 1976, 122; Lszl 1986, p.
65-91; Leviki 1994, p. 219-256; Nicic 2008), Cozia-Saharna (Hnsel 1976, p. 134; Lszl 1989, p.
111-129; Kauba 2000, p. 241-488; Niculi et alii 2008, p. 14-24, 51-68, 71-87), Basarabi-oldneti
(Meljukova 1958, p. 64-76; Lapunjan 1979; Kauba 2007, p. 369-380; Kauba 2008, p. 37-50) and
Getae-Thracian origin.
Research stage
The surveys and archaeological research uncovered in this area 25 monuments (Fig. 3) with a
different research degree (Fig. 2/1). Some of these, such as the settlements Saharna Mare/Dealul
Mnstirii, Saharna Mic, Saharna La an, Saharna iglu, Saharna La Revichin and the
necropolises Saharna Gura Hulboacei, Saharna iglu were investigated by means of
archaeological excavations. However, most of them are known by surface survey only.
The biggest issue in studying the archaeological objectives form the region of Middle Dniester
is to establish the periods of their foundation, development and abandonment. Although being still at a
quite modest level of research, the analysis of discovered materials makes possible to establish the

The Thracians and their Neighbors in the Bronze and Iron Ages

diachronic evolution of these monuments. Therefore, as a result of archaeological investigations at sites


from micro-zone Saharna were highlighted four evolution periods: 1) end of 12th 11th c. BC; 2) 10th
first half of 8th c. BC; 3) second half of 8th 6th/5th c. BC; 4) 5th/4th-3rd c. BC (fig. 2/3).
Cultural-chronologic distribution of monuments
I. End of 12th c.-11th c. BC
This horizon has been documented by archaeological excavation at the open settlements Saharna
Mic, Saharna iglu and Saharna Mare/Dealul Mnstirii (Fig. 3/1). Most eloquent traces of living
were discovered at Saharna Mic (Fig. 4) were are know three constructions, six pits and a rich ceramic
material, ornamented exclusively with incising or in relief decoration (Niculi et alii 2008, p. 14-24,
fig. 3-11, photo 4, 5, 8, 9).
At Saharna iglu (Fig. 5/1-7) to this horizon is attributed a pit (no. 8) were was discovered
pottery with trumpet shape neck, truncated bowls with wavy walls and the rim slightly thickened within
and cups with profiled neck and biconical body, some examples have one raised handle with a cylindrical
button in the upper part, ornaments with transversal incised stripes interrupted by flattened supports
(Niculi, Nicic 2008, p. 227, fig. 17/2-10) similar to those from pit no. 1 from Saharna Mic (Niculi
et alii 2008, p. 19-20, fig. 9/1, 3-11) or with ,,fir leaf patterns. All the ceramic material from pit no. 8
is entirely attributed to the period of the end of 12th c. 11th c. BC. This pit is overlapped partially by
another complex (pit no. 9) with a filling of different pot fragments with in relief and pressed decoration
characteristic to the ceramic assortment discovered at the monuments of Cozia-Saharna culture
(Niculi, Nicic 2008, p. 228-229, fig. 17/1, 18/1-9). The overlapping of the two complexes with
different materials demonstrates clearly that pit no. 8 was used long before the pit no. 9 and which
indicates to the existence of an initial settlement in the area of Saharna iglu site just like at Saharna
Mic and which functioned at the end of 12th c. 11th c. BC.
A similar situation was attested at Saharna Mare/Dealul Mnstirii1 (Fig. 5/8-13). Here, in
the south-western part of the interfluve was discovered a pit (no. 119) whichs filling contained various
ceramic fragments with transversal and horizontal incised patterns, shaded triangles or relieved bands
(Niculi et alii 2012b, p. 134, fig. 27/4, 8-23). Above the pit was discovered an ashy layer with the
width of 0.5 m, overlapped by an agglomeration of human bones deposited following mostly the
anatomic position. Some ceramic fragments were discovered near the bones; they have incised, pressed
or in relief decoration (Niculi et alii 2012b, p. 141-144, fig. 33-35). The fact that there are no traces of
disarrangement of pit no. 119 filling by those who set the agglomeration of human bones, but also the
difference of layers ( 0.5 m) between the two complexes demonstrates that they were used in different
chronological periods: the pit at the end of the 12th c. - 11th c. BC, while the agglomeration of bones
in the next centuries. From topographic viewpoint, the listed sites are situated in their immediate vicinity
to one another forming an agglomeration of three settlements.
II. 10th c. - first half of 8th c. BC.
From this period (Fig. 3/2) in Saharna area are kwon 11 settlements and two necropolises
Saharna iglu (Smirnov 1955, p. 119; Kauba, Golceva 1991, p. 197-209; Kauba 2000, p. 368390), Saharna Gura Hulboacei (Smirnov 1955, p. 117-119; Meljukova 1955, p. 58-63; Meljukova
1958, p. 84-87; Kauba 2000, p. 390-396). Only two of these settlements have been archaeologically
investigated Saharna Mare/Dealul Mnstirii and Saharna iglu. At Saharna I it were conducted
only small surveys (Kauba 2000, p. 414-416, fig. XLVIII/2, 5, 7-11, 13, XLIX).
The best researched among the Early Hallstatt settlements from Middle Dniester is the one from
Saharna Mare/Dealul Mnstirii. Initially here existed an open settlement which occupied the
south-western and central part of the interfluve. After a certain period, at its south-eastern periphery
(Fig. 6/2) was built a semi-oval citadel with the dimensions of 6064 m (circa 0.32 ha). It was
delimited all-round by an artificial defensive system made of a wall with an adjacent ditch (Fig. 6/3).
1

In Previous publications (Kauba 2000; Kauba, Haheu, Leviki 2000, p. 126; Niculi, Nicic 2007; Niculi, Zanoci, Arnut
2008, p. 51-68 etc.) for the period from the end of 12th c. - first half of 8th c. BC were mentioned two distinct sites: Saharna
Mare and Saharna Dealul Mnstirii. As a result of the archaeological investigations from the last 10 years was found out
that in this period existed only one site which occupied the entire surface of the settlement known under the name Dealul
Mnstirii, also including the southern and central part of interfluve Saharna Mare. From these considerations and in order
not to create confusions, it was decided that the settlement from the end of the 12th c. - first half of 8th c. BC to be named
Saharna Mare /Dealul Mnstirii.

296

The Thracians and their Neighbors in the Bronze and Iron Ages

The research established that the wall consisted of two facades made of wood beams situated at around
1 m from each over, while the space between them was filled with earth and stones (Fig. 6/4). The ditch
was dug in front of the wall and had the width of 4.2-6 m and the depth from the ancient step level of
1.2-1.6 m (Niculi et alii 2011a, p. 226-236, fig. 3; Niculi et alii 2012b, p. 112-114, fig. 4, 9, 10).
On the north-western side of the citadel was discovered another premises, semi-oval in
shape with the dimensions of 5578 m delimited by a ditch whichs ends united with the defensive ditch
of the citadel (Fig. 6/1). Ceramic fragments were identified in the inferior part of the ditch which
corresponds to pottery characteristic to Cozia-Saharna culture and which allows us to date the defensive
construction together with the citadel with the Early Hallstatt period (Niculi et alii 2012b, p. 124126, fig. 18-20).
As a result of the archaeological investigations undertaken in the perimeter of the civil
settlement were discovered two huts, 45 household pits and a rich archaeological material (Fig. 7; 8/1)
(Niculi, Nicic 2007, p. 225-248; Niculi et alii 2008, p. 51-68, 71-87, fig. 40-67, 69-84; Niculi et
alii 2009, p. 193-225; Niculi, Nicic 2012b, p. 169-184) attributed to Cozia-Saharna cultural horizon.
Also, within the settlement were attested some complexes related to the funerary practices of the
inhabitants of the site (Niculi, Nicic 2011a, p. 225-235). Inside the citadel were discovered a surface
construction, over 40 household pits, a cult complex and a diverse archaeological inventory (Niculi et
alii 2012b, p. 126-161, 21-45) typical to Cozia-Saharna findings.
Saharna iglu site represents an open settlement with the surface of around 300m2 situated
on the high bank of Dniester. Here, as a result of archaeological investigations were discovered a hut,
two surface constructions, over 40 household pits and a rich archaeological inventory (Niculi, Nicic
2008, p. 205-232) attributed to the Early Hallstatt horizon of Cozia-Saharna type (Fig. 8/2).
While investigating the distribution of Early Hallstatt monuments in the area of Saharna we
notice a grouping of them into an agglomeration occupying a stripe on the right bank of Dniester with
the length of 8 km. The citadel from Saharna Mare is situated at an equal distance from the extremities
of this agglomeration which makes us assume it to be the administrative-political centre of this
territorial unit.
III. The second half of 8th - 6th/5th c. BC.
To this evolution stage belong the sites from Saharna Mic and Saharna Mare (Fig. 3/3). The
archaeological research demonstrates that towards the middle of the 8th c. BC - the beginning of the 7th
c. BC Saharna Mic promontory is populated again. Stating with this period here was a fortified
settlement with a wall and an adjacent ditch (Fig. 9/1-3). As a result of the investigations was
established that the wall consisted of two facades made of vertical wooden beams united with
horizontal wooden straps. The space between them was filled with debris, sand, clay and stone.
Therefore, here was built a real wall with the width of around 6m. The ditch had a large opening at the
surface of 5.4 m and a depth of 2 m. The discovery among the ruins of the wall of Thraco-Getae
ceramics dated with the 7th-6th c. BC offers the possibility to assume that the wall from Saharna Mic
was built and functioned precisely in this period (Niculi et alii 2008, p. 25-28, pl. 1, photo 3). With
time, as a result of the increase in number of population and the need for more space, the defensive
system was been demolished. On the top of the wall and also in the upper ditch layer were found
traces of construction, while the archaeological inventory can be dated with the 4th-3rd c. BC. (Niculi
et alii 2008, p. 28-34, fig. 12-13). This situation demonstrates clearly that the defensive system existed
before these buildings.
In this period, the site from Saharna Mare has been fortified with a palisade on the western
part of the interfluve dividing it from one edge to another. A ditch was preserved from this defensive
construction, trapeze shaped in section with the width at surface of 1.2-1.8 m, at bottom of 0.20-0.36 m
and the depth of around 1 m (Fig. 9/4-5). This ditch was probably the foundation/place were the beams
of the palisade were fixed into (Niculi et alii 2008, p. 87, fig. 50-51, photo 11; Niculi et alii 2010, p.
363-364, fig. 7).
IV. 5th/4th-3rd c. BC.
In this period the number of sites increases significantly. The surveys (Niculi et alii 2013, p.
26-28) and the archaeological investigations identified in his region 11 fortifications and eight civil
settlements (Fig. 3/4). Among these, archaeological excavations were conducted only at four fortified
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The Thracians and their Neighbors in the Bronze and Iron Ages

sites: Saharna Mare, Saharna Mic, Saharna Revichin and Saharna La an. At Buciuca fortress
was conducted a small archaeological survey which established the period when the defensive system
was build (Niculi et alii 2012a, p. 17-19).
Saharna Mare fortification occupies in this period the central and the eastern part of the
interfluve on a trapeze shape surface on the high terrace (the altitude of about 140 m from the river bed)
of the right bank of Dniester. The northern, eastern and southern sides of the interfluve are marked by
high steep banks of the promontories that unite in the western part of Saharna village. For the defense
of the fortress from the 5th/4th-3rd c. BC was used a circular defensive system surrounding a surface of 6
ha (Fig. 10/3). The defensive elements from the western side had a length of around 385 m and consisted
from a wall (Fig. 10/5) with an adjacent ditch, three bastions with own ditches placed on flank and in
the center (Fig. 10/4). As a result of the archaeological investigations was established that the wall
had a width of around 5.6 m and was built from wooden hull with four facades, filling of earth, sand,
gravel and stone. The ditch had the width in the upper part of 15 m and the inferior 6 m and the depth
of around 3.2 m. The bastions on the western side were placed on the entrance gates and were
semicircular in shape, with the diameter of around 70 m the central one, and around 30 m those from
flanks. For the building of the bastions was used the same building technique as for the premises wall
wooden hull with filling (Niculi et alii 2007, p. 27-62; Niculi et alii 2008, p. 89-99, pl. 5-7, photo
13-26; Niculi et alii 2010, p. 365-371, fig. 8-11). On the northern, eastern and southern sides, which
are currently quite steep, the site was defended by a wall whose remains were traced on a total length
of 650 m. The wall is wavy on the eastern side forming eight bastions grouped by four at the northeastern and south-eastern flanks. The bastions (Fig. 10/1, 2) have a semi-round shape with a diameter
of 9-11 m and are situated at the distance of 5-6 m from one another, the distance from the two groups
of bastions being of 34 m. The bastions are situated in such a way to defend both the flanks and the
frontal part of the fortification. As a result of the archeological investigations was established that the
same building technique was used for the construction of the wall and the bastions: wooden hull made
of two facades with filling of earth and stones. The width of the wall varies from one portion to another
but stays within the limits of 1.1-1.6 m.
The archaeological research from the Thraco-Getian fortress Saharna Mare revealed traces of
four surface constructions, nine hearths, over 130 household pits and a rich and varied archaeological
material represented by tools, weapons, horse harness parts, adornment objects (Niculi et alii 2011b,
p. 193-204), local and imported pottery (Niculi et alii 2008, p. 102-140, fig. 92-159).
The fortified fortress Saharna Mic is situated north of Saharna Mare being placed on a
promontory with the altitude of around 160 m with slopes almost impenetrable steep slopes on the southwestern, south and south-eastern parts (Fig. 11/1). The settlement was defended by two bastions in the
north and north-eastern part. The northern bastion wall formed a semi-circle with the diameter of 50
m and was built from a hull of wood beams with the width of 8m and filled with earth and stone (Fig.
12/1-3) (Niculi et alii 2010, p. 374, fig. 14). For the construction of the north-western bastion was used
another building technique. It had a stone semicircle foundation (Fig. 11/2) with a length of 37 m and
width varying between 5 and 9 m. Two to nine rows of broken stone (Fig. 11/3-4) remained from this
wall (Niculi et alii 2008, p. 25, 169, fig. 2).
As a result of the archaeological investigations of the layer dated with the 5th/4th-3rd c. BC were
discovered four constructions, 19 household pits and a varied archaeological material (Niculi et alii
2008, p. 28-46, fig. 12-39).
The fortification Saharna La Revichin is situated at 2.2 km north-east of the fortress
Saharna Mic on the right bank of Dniester which is 80-100m above the river bed on this parts.
It is semi-circular in shape and has a surface of 15070-75 m. It is protected on the east-northeast side by the high steep bank of Dniester and on the rest sides by a built defensive system
consisting of a wall with an adjacent ditch. The investigations established that the wall was built
from wood beams hull with a width of around 5m and a filling of earth and sand. The ditch was 8 m
width and 5.5 m deep (Levinschi et alii 2002, p. 41-44, fig. 1; Levinschi 2004, p. 64, 74). Inside
the citadel were found three constructions deepened into the ground, 12 surface constructions and
a varied archaeological material represented mostly by Getae-Thracian and imported ceramics
(Levinschi et alii 2000, p. 87-100; Levinschi 2001, p.103-111; Levinschi 2004, p. 65-80, fig.1-6).
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The Thracians and their Neighbors in the Bronze and Iron Ages

The fortress Saharna La an was situated to the south of Saharna Mare on the high and
steep bank of a canyon (Valea Crac) and consisted of two premises (fig. 12/4). The first was irregular
polygonal in shape with the dimensions of 307254 m. It was delimited on the north and west by the
abrupt slopes of the depression, and on the south and east by a built defensive system representing a
ditch and probably a wall or palisade forming a semi-circle with the total length of 458 m. The second
premises was semi-oval with approximate dimensions of 17560 m and was situated on the northeastern extremity of the first premises. Therefore, the fortification was naturally protected on the north
by the abrupt slope of the canyon and in the west, east and south by an artificial defensive system: a
wall with an adjacent ditch. The investigation conducted at this defensive system revealed that the
wall consisted from beams hull 3 m wide filled with earth and stone (Fig. 12/5-6). In front of the
wall at the distance of 2.7 m were discovered the traces of a ditch 2.2 m wide in the upper part and
0,5m deep from the ancient step level. The modest proportions of the ditch do not correlate with the
characteristics of a defensive element; they were used most likely for water drainage (Niculi et alii
2008, p. 151-153, pl. 9, photo 27-30). The archaeological research conducted in the premises, modest
though, uncovered nine household pits and a varied archaeological material dated with the 5th/4th-3rd c.
BC (Niculi et alii 2008, p. 153-162, fig. 162-173; Zanoci, B 2011, p. 116-130).
From topographic viewpoint was noted that the sites from this period are grouped on the banks
of the canyons which take their beginning from the Dniester river bed and go inside the land. The fortress
Saharna La Revichin is an exception in this context, being situated directly on the high and steep bank
of Dniester. The investigated region has three canyons which connected the Dniester with the
surrounding territories. The first is situated near Stohnaia village, who hosts three fortifications
(Stohnaia I, Sohnaia III, Stohnaia IV) and a civil settlement.
The second canyon begins on the territory of contemporary Saharna village and bifurcates
towards west of monastery Sf. Treime. In this area are attested five fortifications (Saharna Mare,
Saharna Mic, Saharna La an, Saharna Valea Grimidon, Saharna La Vile) and four civil
settlements. The third canyon is located to the north of Buciuca village on whichs bank are attested
two fortifications (Buciuca and Saharna Hulboaca) and a civil settlement.
These concentrations/agglomerations of civil settlement sites situated in the immediate
vicinity of the fortifications formed a so-called extra-murus area. For example, to the north of Saharna
Mic fortress was recently investigated a civil settlement from the same period. This observation is valid
for other fortresses, such as Saharna La an in whose vicinity were found three civil settlements or
Saharna Hulboaca with an adjacent civil settlement etc.
Based on the topographic location of the sites from Saharna area and on the results of
archaeological investigations we can assume that in the 5th/4th-3rd c. BC on this territory was an
administrative-territorial formation with a possible center/capital at the fortification Saharna Mare.
Conclusions
Several layers of habitat dated with the 12th/11th-3rd c. BC were discovered at the
archaeologically investigated monuments but also at some sites were surveys were conducted. (Fig.
2/2). Currently, the entire cultural-chronologic spectrum was attested at only one site Saharna Mare,
starting with the aspect Tmoani-Holercani-Hansca/Sihleanu-Rmnicele-Saharna Mic and ending
with the 3rd c. BC. At Saharna Mic were discovered three living levels (end of 12th-11th c. BC; the
second half of the 8th-6th/5th c. BC; 5th/4th-3rd c. BC). Among the site with two living levels attested are
those from Saharna iglu (end of 12th c. BC-11th c. BC; 10t-first half of 8th c. BC); Stohnaia I (10th first half of 8th c. BC; 5th/4th-3rd c. BC) etc. However, most numerous (10) are the monuments with only
one attested level of living - 5th/4th-3rd c. BC.2.
Mapping of monuments from the 12th/11th-3rd c. BC from the area of Saharna and the comparison
with the situation from other regions populated by communities from that period, especially CoziaSaharna and Thraco-Getians, allow us to talk about a quite densely populated space. Although the
number varies from one period to another we can conclude about a permanent living on this territory
(Figs. 2/3; 13). Demographic explosions are attested in the 10th-9th/8th c. BC and in the 5th/4th-3rd c.
2

More levels of living could be identified in case of deeper research of these monuments.

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The Thracians and their Neighbors in the Bronze and Iron Ages

BC a time when most of the sites functioned. The decrease in number of sites can be caused by some
cataclysms which produced in the respective periods or by the insufficient research degree of
archaeological monuments3.
Regardless of the period, the settlements were not isolated but formed groups of several sites.
These agglomerations are usually formed of fortifications, open settlements and necropolises. The
number of sites within the agglomerations varies from one period to another, most rich being specific
to Cozia-Saharna and Thraco-Getian cultures (5th/4th-3rd c. BC). These agglomerations represented
probably the vital space of some political-territorial formations from the Middle Dniester region.
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Ion Niculi, State University of Moldova, Chiinu


Aurel Zanoci, State University of Moldova, Chiinu
Ee-mail: azanoci@gmail.com
Mihail B, State University of Moldova, Chiinu
E-mail: mb_usm@yahoo.com

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