The Cucuteni culture is, chronologically speaking, the last great chalcolithic civilisation in southeastern Europe and, at the same time, parts of the great Neolithic spiritual edifice in this region. The area of the first European Neolithic, which included the Balkan Peninsula, today's territory of Romania, Bessarabia, Western Ukraine and Southern Hungary, was called by Marija Gimbutas, in an inspiring phrase, "Old Europe". Starting with the beginning of the chalcolithic, a series of profoundly original cultures appeared in this area, which involved the whole region in a spectacular process of development that brought it to the verge of civilisation. Fortified settlements, considerable architectural achievements, sanctuaries and temples, fabulous necropolis containing thousands of golden objects, a diversified agriculture with plenty of crops, a trade network, all this are the great achievements of the "Chalcolithization" of south-east Europe.
However, beyond any material achievement, the most important accomplishment is the great Chalcolithic spiritual structure of Old Europe, based on the life - death - afterlife cycle. This structure was hard to be explained because of the opacity of mysteries with the latest archaeological discoveries. They supplied immemorial religious and mythological structures. Our region is not only a source of future archaeological discoveries but also an ethnographic reserve, which can contribute through its agrarian tradition to the deciphering of the Chalcolithic spirit. The Cucuteni culture is, chronologically speaking, the last great chalcolithic civilisation in southeastern Europe and, at the same time, parts of the great Neolithic spiritual edifice in this region. Revealing its "mysteries" can contribute to the investigation of an essential moment in our history, a moment which generated our present way of living.
Gheorghe Dumitroaia and Cornelia Magda Mantu
[ The Romanian and Hellenic Organising Committee | The Habitat | Over 100 years of research ]
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