Bronz timpuriu (Post-Coţofeni)


Chronology: EBA III

Distribution: south-east Transylvania, Muntenia

The definition of the Năeni-Odaia-Turcului group is probably the most controversely discussed of all groups we deal with. Actually, it is based on a negation of the existence of the Schneckenberg group and a split-up of the finds into those belonging to the Glina group and those belonging to the Odaia-Turcului group. This, however, is accepted only by some researchers. The discussion, in which also the Jigodin group plays a role, was initiated by the excavation of the eponymous location Odaia Turcului, jud. Dâmboviţa. Here, a layer containing Schneckenberg-B-like material superimposed three layers of the Glina culture and, moreover, filled up its fortification ditch (Tudor 1982). Furthermore, the excavations of the settlement and the graves of Năeni - “Colarea”, jud. Buzău, ignited discussions. They led A. Vulpe to refute the term Schneckenberg and to introduce the terms Odaia-Turcului group and Năeni-Schneckenberg group resp. (later) Năeni group (Vulpe 1981 and 1991).

Both groups were not only compared from the beginning with the oldest phases of the Monteoru culture (IC4,1 and IC4,2) since it was recognized how similar the material from the lower layers of Sărata Monteoru was. Moreover, without further ado Vulpe attributed these two phases to the new groups and therefore let the Monteoru culture start with phase IC4,3 (Vulpe 1991). Băjenaru who dealt with these problems in various articles confirmed Vulpe’s ideas (Băjenaru 1998) and even combined both groups under the term Odaia-Turcului. He created three phases (Băjenaru 2003, 146) which he defines with the locations mentioned above and with material from the multi-layered settlement “Cetăţuia 2” from Năeni-Zănoaga (Motzoi-Chicideanu/Şandor-Chicideanu 2001). However, there are many objections to this new classification of the younger early Bronze Age: Especially Monteoru researchers strictly refute the existence of the Năeni group. E. Zaharia, I. Motzoi-Chicideanu and M. Şandor-Chicideanu regard the material as belonging to the oldest phase of the Monteoru culture (Zaharia 1987; Motzoi-Chicideanu 1995; Motzoi-Chicideanu/Şandor-Chicideanu 2001). Schuster accepts the existence of both groups, however, he pleads for a classical division into Glina and Schneckenberg. According to him, Năeni’s origin lies in a Schneckenberg expansion to the south (Schuster 1998, 26f.).

The treatment of the dead and the settlements were not covered in summary up to today. Above all, the treatment of the dead is represented by the burials in stone crates from Năeni (Vulpe 1981). However, we can assume that further graves of this kind can be attributed to the group (Schuster 1998, 27). In this context we can also mention the graves of the Dâmboviţa-Muscel group. The way of settling can best be observed when we regard the settlement of Odaia Turcului. Here, nine small houses (ca 4 x 5 m) were excavated. At that time, the fortification ditch of the Glina settlement was filled up (Băjenaru 2003, 142).

The find material of the group consists above all of pottery (Băjenaru 2003, 143 fig. 2). In terms of typology it can be classified mainly into bowls, beakers and amphorae. However, it differs strongly from the pottery of the Glina group. This can be ascertained by bowls with two or four handles at the rim and beakers with a tiny round base. Also, we have to mention kantharoi, lids, t-shaped rims, spouts, lugs placed above the rim and brought-up handles. Mostly the pottery is undecorated, however, there are exceptions such as the almost obligatory applied bands close to the rim, “hedgehog” decoration and motifs from the „Năeni-Schneckenberg“ type made up of bundles of horizontal or diagonal incised lines borderd by rows of small impressions and combined with half-moon shaped motifs or applied bands (Băjenaru 2003, 145 fig. 4). This type of decoration is the main argument for the chronological discussions mentioned above. Other finds – e. g. wheel models, stone tools, a dagger – do not differ much from the common early Bronze Age repertoire, with the exception of a bone slide from layer IC4,2 from Sărata Monteoru, although it was questioned recently whether this object does really belong to that layer (Popescu 2001, 28f.).

There have been attempts to relate the Năeni-Odaia-Turcului group to the Bulgarian, Makedonian, Aegean and Anatolian early Bronze Age, using single finds and features like the “hedgehog” decoration (Băjenaru 1996), the bone slide or the vessels with a spout (Băjenaru 2003). These comparisons cannot help with a chronological fixation, but it seems plausible that the features we mentioned are a sign for the Anatolian and Aegean influences over the Balkans. Since many of these features appear often in the Carpathian Basin – this is true not only for the bone slide and the “hedgehog” decoration but also for the bowls with four handles and the kantharoi – the Odaia-Turcului group could play a crucial role as a connector between the great cultural centres.

In terms of chronology, Roman placed the finds from Năeni and Odaia Turcului to his second phase of the early Bronze Age (Roman 1986, 31). If, however, we accept the assumption that both aspects are younger than Glina we have to date the material to the early Bronze Age III. This is supported by the differentness especially of the Odaia-Turcului material, the stratigraphic evidence and the fact that we cannot assume the presence of the Textilmuster- and Besenstrich-horizon in Muntenia (cf. Schuster 1998, 28f.).

If it exists, the group is distributed in Muntenia and south-east Transylvania, according to Băjenaru. Moreover, comparable finds have occurred as far as Oltenia (Băjenaru 2003, 146) and maybe even as far as the eastern Banat (Gogâltan 1999, 381). None of the finds allow at presence to speak of a distribution that far to the west. Especially in the discussion about the Năeni-Odaia-Turcului group we can expect much fluctuation so that these questions should be answered after a good clarification of the Jigodin, Glina, Schneckenberg, Năeni, Odaia Turcului and Monteoru IC4 cultures.

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

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