The first objective – Organizing the activities and drafting the project development plan for the entire team – due to its exclusively organizational character, will not have quantifiable results in the near future, but they will reflect, in exchange, during the entire period of the project implementation. Thus, in the weekly reunions, with the entire team of the project, we identified the action strategies and we made a planning of the working program, for each of the team members. An important activity of this objective had in view the launching of the project website (the optimum structure, in order to be useful for other specialists, not implicated in the project, from our country and overboard; design; means of raising the visibility and impact). It was operational during November 2018 (http://www.eneolithicbonetools.ro/). This first objective aimed also the making of the preliminary instruments and data base, which will present the gathered information. For this purpose it was elaborated a standard analyze chart – for all types of personal adornments studied. Each chart will be inserted in a database which we hope will become a useful instrument not only for the team members, but also for other specialists of the period considered in the project.
Returning to the actions concerning the project implementation, the main issue of the debates, within the framework of the working reunions of the project members, concerning the covering of the other actions, aimed at the research directions that must to be approached for the integration of the data resulted from the study of the personal adornments with those specific for the osteological vestiges (archaeozoology), with physical analysis methods (stone raw materials and various types of pigments) and those of strictly archaeological nature (stratigraphical context, radiocarbon dating). The correlation of the data offered by these three fields (otherwise represented by specialists integrated as members of this project) is the only modality to outline a complete picture of the types of ornaments used by the prehistoric communities in the area concerned.
Within the second objective – The evaluation of the actual stage of research, in the light of the bibliographic resources, by means of some documentation sessions regarding the theme of the project and the analysis of unpublished materials, belonging to this category – was initiated the inventory of all bibliographic data, for the north Danubian area and for the prehistoric period, in order to finally be able to correlate all these data and to identify the actual level of the Romanian research. A second problem, after the inventorying of the archaeological collection that we would like to study, aimed at the modality of correlating the data offered by each of the archaeological sites, because, alas, we cannot speak about an unitary method of excavations at the level of the archaeology in Romania, the result being that the recovery of the artefacts was not made with the same accuracy. Starting from these considerations, the team meetings have attempted to Identify and spatially and temporally inventory all sites, settlements, artifacts and materials that will be analyzed in this project – this being another activity assumed for the first year of the project.
Moreover, it was also begun the practical stage, of direct study of materials. Travels for the evaluation of archaeological collections from various institutions in the country from the perspective of this project were carried out at three institutions: the Institute of Archeology “Vasile Pârvan” of the Romanian Academy (to take over, for study, the archaeological collection from the Pietrele settlement – excavations D. Berciu); the Bucharest Municipality Museum (the archaeological collection from the Vidra settlement) and The Museum of Gumelnița Civilization – Oltenița (archaeological collection from the Chirnogi necropolis). The study of these collections will be reflected in the publications that will appear during the project period.
The dissemination of the information was done by participating at a scientific meeting of the masterand (Alexandra-Georgiana Diaconu) involved in the project. Through this participation, another important project objective was also pursued: to attract and form young people in the field of prehistoric archeology. She was attended at the Conferința națională a studenților și doctoranzilor (November 16-17 2018, Alba Iulia), with a presentation devoted to the Typology and technology of personal adornments used by the Gumelniţa communities north of the Danube. There is, to date, a rich literature dedicated to the ornaments attributed to the Gumelniţa communities but the studies only address certain aspects of a wide range of issues: analysis of raw materials, technological analysis of specific archeological assemblages or different experimental programs regarding the processing and use of these ornaments. Supposing the considerable potential of these artifacts, the central aim of this study is to synthesize the published data on the types of ornaments used by the Gumelnița communities (c. 4500-3500 BC) north of the Danube. Among the local raw materials, we mention first of all the shell of the Lithoglyphus sp. gastropod, fom which were made bracelets and necklaces, the Unio sp. bivalve, transformed into circular beads or the Cardium bivalve, transformed through perforation, in pendants. Also, in the tell-settlement of Hârșova, circular beads from Cyprinus carpio operclar bones were identified. Exotic raw materials are represented by various beads or bracelets from Spondylus sp. or tubular beads from Antalis shell. We can assume that, depending on local or exotic origin of the raw material, these ornaments have different socioeconomic meanings.
Two articles were subscribed, in order to be published, elaborated by the members of this project. The first one, bears the title: Manufacturing technique and social identity:
three cases of ‘manufacture-by-wear’ technique (Authors: M. Mărgărit, P. Mirea, A. Bălășescu) has already been published in the Archaeofauna. International Journal of Archaeozoology journal (ISI journal), no. 27, 2018, p. 253-274. This paper focuses on the identification of changes in the processing of osseous materials in the southeast European Neolithic, beginning with three types of production by manufacture wear technique typical for the region: bipartition by abrasion, segmentation with fibre and perforation by wear technique. The processing of osseous materials is strongly conditioned by their natural anatomic shapes which is why only a restricted range of possible transformation variables, with minimum changes through time, would be expected. However, numerous specialists invoke the cultural value conferred by the community as the preeminent element in the selection of raw material more than the limitations of the raw material form. Therefore, there are some examples in which there was little change in raw materials selection across long periods of time, although there was variation in animal species availability. Consequently, the study of the three types of ‘manufacture-by-wear’ technique becomes more interesting. These techniques are not present in all prehistoric times in this region. Some of these techniques appear on worked osseous materials in Romania and neighbouring areas at the beginning of the Neolithic and disappear just as suddenly (bipartition by abrasion) or appear only sporadically (perforation and segmentation with fibre) by the Early Chalcolithic. Based on experimental reconstructions of the three processing techniques and comparing them with archaeological assemblages, our study aims to register all the relevant variables (technological gestures, time required for each operation, tools used etc.), and evaluate if they represented a real innovation in the way which the osseous materials were processed.
It was also accepted for publication in Studii de preistorie (BDI indexed) and it is in the process of editing, the papers: Personal adornments and figurines made of osseous materials from the Eneolithic settlement of Vidra (Ilfov county) (Authors: Monica Mărgărit, Camelia-Mirela Vintilă). Tell-settlement of Vidra is located on the left bank of the Sabar stream and it was discovered by D.V. Rosetti in 1929 with the occasion of a preventive investigation. It was intermittently excavated between 1931-1958. The settlement has several levels of habitation belonging to the Boian and Gumelnita cultures. In this paper are presented the figurines and personal adornments discovered in the site and which are preserved in collections of the Bucharest Municipality Museum. According to the information provided by D.V. Rosetti, these pieces come exclusively from Gumelniţa levels. 85 pieces were analyzed of which 24 made of bone, 2 made of teeth and 59 made of bivalve shell. These are finished pieces, exceptionally preserved and which gives us information about the spiritual and aesthetic life of the Vidra community.