The Gumelniţa Culture in West Muntenia
The Eneolithic Settlement of Vităneşti, County of Teleorman, by Radian Romus Andreescu

      Topography of the Settlement

      The Eneolithic settlement is situated in the village of Vităneşti, commune of Purani, about 7 km north-east from Alexandria. In that area the Teleorman river valley is about 1 km wide, bordered to the south-west by a high terrace, while the north-east terrace goes down in a slow slope towards the meadow. Close to the latter terrace, protected by it from the north and east there is the tell type settlement, relatively oval shaped with diameters in the 40 x 45 m upper part and a 6.5 m height (Figs. 1, 2).

Fig. 1 Vităneşti North view
Fig. 2 Vităneşti South-West view

       Gumelniţa Dwelling

      The researches revealed the fact that at the base of the tell there was the first dwelling phase, belonging to the beginning of the Gumelniţa culture. This first dwelling phase was deserted, being covered by a natural layer with a thickness of over a meter. There follows a new dwelling phase including the Gumelniţa A2 and Gumelniţa B1 phases, with a human deposition about 4 m thick.

Fig. 3 Vităneşti tell - dwelling's remains
Fig. 4 Vităneşti tell - wood structure (floor)

      The settlement of Vităneşti was inhabited by a human community that must have had a flourishing life, judging from the archaeological material uncovered by the archaeological researches. The dwellings were of wood and adobe, with one or two rooms including fireplaces (Figs. 3, 4). The archaeological inventory is extremely rich. The pottery is good technically and artistically, especially that belonging to the Gumelniţa A2 layer. As a matter of fact, in this layer they uncovered the first pottery fragments painted with gold to the north of the Danube (Fig. 5). Hundreds of silex, bone, horn and copper tools were uncovered. Art objects include many clay and bone anthropomorphic and zoomorphic statuettes. The preliminary tests prove that wheat, barley, rye and vegetables were cultivated. For the Gumelniţa B1 layer the data point to a parity between domestic animals (horned cattle, sheep, pigs) and wild ones (the aurochs, stag, wild boar, beaver), which proves that, at least during the final phase of the settlement, hunting plays a rather important role.

Fig. 5 Shard painted with gold
Triple pot
Zoomorphic statuette- turtle

      Recently, close to the settlement, they uncovered another Gumelniţa dwelling, Vităneşti 2, seemingly contemporary to the first phase in the tell type settlement (Fig. 6).

Fig. 6 Vităneşti II -North view