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(The 2003 campaign)


Ion Motzoi-Chicideanu, Dorin Sârbu, Mihai Constantinescu, Nicu Sultana


 In a rescue intervention in fall 2001 was saved a Bronze Age tomb in the village Cârlomaneşti, county Buzau, near the Bronze Age settlement from the same locality situated in the point Cetaţuia. Due to objective reasons an archaeological excavation was impossible on that time. In September 2003 were started the excavations the main purpose being to save the Bronze Age cemetery already destroyed by erosion and villagers.

The cemetery is placed on a large plateau called La arman which is part of the northern terrace of Nişov spring at about 400 m south-west of the settlement Cetaţuia. To day the terrace is about 40 m height and is cultivated with maize. The first tombs appeared in a ravine which “cut” the plateau and became the main street of the village. After the inventory – especially a cup with two handles - of the grave 1, the burial belongs to the “phase” Ic1 of the Monteoru culture (see footnote 5). Although in Cetaţuia were performed archaeological researches on a large scale during several campaigns in 1972-1981 only one tomb, belonging to a late stage of Monteoru culture, was discovered inside the settlement, the place of the necropolis remaining unknown.

Due to the time of crop and restricted financial support the rescue excavation of the fall 2003 was made on a small scale. In the same time a topographical sketch of the entire plateau was made. In the first campaign were discovered 15 funerary objects on a surface of about 80 square meters. The inventories of the tombs consist of jewelry – ear rings and a collar so-called Ösenhalsring – and pottery. The skeletons laid crouched on the left side, excepting grave 5 with the skeleton laying on the right side and grave 11 with the skeleton laying on the belly but with the legs flexed and laying on the left, all with the skulls toward SSW or SW. Very interesting is the manner in which some grave pit were dug, i.e. the grave nr. 2 with a pit with two stairs, or the custom to fill up the pit-grave with a lot of pebbles, i.e. grave nr. 8. The rest of the tombs had the skeletons covered also by pebbles and in the middle of these a large slab of conglomerate. Except the skeleton graves – nr. 1-10 – were discovered another four objects without human bones – Cpl. 1-2, 9 and 12 -. The structure of these – pit, in one case with step, and the filling with a large amount of pebbles – and the inventory – a cup for Cpl. 1, 2 and 9 – are very close to those of the tombs reason for which all these four objects were considered as symbolic graves, so-called “cenotaphs”. A special case is the grave nr. 10. The tomb had an oblong pit with some rocks around and inside a double handled cup. In the pit were discovered only small pieces of burnt bone. The form and dimensions of the pit are unusual for a cremation grave and the burnt bones were too small to see if they are human ones or not. We think that the grave nr. 10 could be also a “cenotaph”.

The custom to fill the pit graves with pebbles seems to be of eastern origin as is proved by some tombs belonging to Mnogovalikovaja culture. The same thing could be said regarding the pit graves with two steps.

Regarding the decoration of the cups of the inventories the graves could be placed in the Ic2-Ib “phases” of Monteoru culture. The cemetery ceased to function some time in the Late Bronze Age as is proved by two large (nr. 10a-b and 14) pits with a pottery characteristic for the final stage of Monteoru culture.