Bronz timpuriu (Post-Coţofeni)

Livezile (Bedeleu; west Carpathian tumuli)

Chronology: EBA I

Distribution: west Transylvania

The Livezile group was only defined in the middle of the 1980ies, at that time termed Bedeleu group. It was comprised of material coming from some tumuli at the eastern edge of the Apuseni mountains. The eponymous locations Bedeleu (today: Izvoarele, jud. Alba) and Livezile, jud Alba, were already excavated in the 19th century. We can add a number of new finds, among which the well-published cemetery of Ampoiţa is especially important (Ciugudean 1991). Sometimes, we find the group termed as “Grupul tumular vest-transilvănean” (Ciugudean 1995, 140). Before the graves were combined to form a separate group, they were either attributed to the Coţofeni culture, the “ochre-grave” culture or the Schneckenberg culture. Especially problematic is the separation of Livezile from the younger Copăceni group for both groups are partly defined using the same locations (Rotea 1995). Interestingly enough it was in this very book, where Rotea described the Copăceni group, that H. Ciugudean used the Copăceni finds to form a younger phase together with Livezile (Ciugudean 1995). Later, however, he mentions them separately (Ciugudean 1997 and 1998).

The treatment of the dead (Ciugudean 1997, 5f.; Catalogue of Graves: Ciugudean 1995a) is characterized by crouched burials, covered with stones and a tumulus. They were placed directly on the soil without the use of a burial pit. Sometimes, skeletons were found with their bones dislodged, the bones – sometimes from several individuals – placed to form a heap. Cremations occurring in the younger burials from Ampoiţa and Meteş rather belong to the Copăceni group; the burnt remains may be placed into an urn or just scattered (Ciugudean 1995, 147). The settlement which is best researched is the hill settlement of Livezile – “Baia”. It is located at about 700 m altitude and is comprised of two layers (Ciugudean 1997a). Further settlements can be found in Zlatna or Cheile Mănăstirii (Ciugudean/Anghel 2000).

The tool repertoire is related to that of other groups. We have to mention metal axes (types Dumbrăvioara and Baniabic), stone axes and curved knives as well as small bone and flint tools occurring everywhere. Jewellery is made up of pierced animal teeth and many different types of metal ornaments (copper and arsenic bronze), among them double-spiral pendants, pearls, earrings, needles and bracelets. Especially worth mentioning are two gold hair rings of the Leukas type from Ampoiţa whose parallels are searched for in the Aegean and the Adria (Ciugudean 1997). The pottery of the Livezile group can be subdivided into a reddish coarse ware and a dark fine ware; we note many late Coţofeni traditions. The decoration of the vessels (mainly jugs, amphorae and bowls) consists of barbotine, simple impressions, applied bands, knobs and furthermore of horizontal bands with diagonal incisions and rhombuses filled likewise. Rarely Furchenstich occurs; it is seen as a Coţofeni tradition (Ciugudean 1997). Some decorations remind of the Cernavodă II phase (Ciugudean 1995, 146). A commonness with many other cultural groups of the Carpathian early Bronze Age are zoomorphic figurines (Ciugudean 1997a, 39 fig. 17), a specialty is a bucranium found in Cheile Aiudului (Ciugudean 1997, 29 no. 18).

Livezile is parallel to the Kostolac, Vučedol, Zăbala and older Schneckenberg cultures whose elements are supposedly all visible in the Livezile pottery (Ciugudean 2000, 117f.); the treatment of the dead is due to influences of the Yamnaya culture (Ciugudean 1997b, 45). H. Ciugudean dates the group to the early Bronze Age I (Ciugudean 1998). This corresponds to the synchronization with Zăbala which was done by Zs. Székely (Székely 1998). In terms of absolute chronology the Livezile group can be placed into the second quarter of the third millenium BC; however, there is only one radiocarbon date (Ciugudean 1997a, 44 fig. 22).


© 2007-2009 Matthias Thomas
translated by Valeska Becker
How to copy texts: Impressum.

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