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Stratum plus. 2001-2002. №2

I. V. Manzura (Kishinev, Moldova)

The problem of the emergence of Early Bronze Age cultures in the Northeast Balkans

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Pages: 458-485

The article is devoted to the problem of the cultural-genetic and chronological sequence in the Northeast Balkans during the final Copper Age and in the beginning of the Bronze Age exemplified by the development of ceramic assemblages. There is considered the material of four cultural units: Cernavoda I, Cernavoda III, Khotnitsa, and Brăteşti cultures. The study is based on the comparative analysis of spatial and chronological distribution of three main categories of ceramic attributes: technological, morphological and stylistic.
The detailed comparison of these traits makes it possible to clarify the genetic sequence and cultural interrelations in the region under discussion. First of all, three basic trends in the pottery evolution are traced. One of them is connected with the Cernavoda I and Khotnitsa assemblages and shows a growing diversity of all discussed categories to the end of these cultures. The Cernavoda III pottery seems to demonstrate a stable state of the culture, which is distinguished by a relatively restricted number of technological groups, morphological and stylistic types. A peculiar model of development is represented by the ceramics of the Brăteşti group, which has an extremely low level of variety and obviously isolated character.
According to the degree of similarity or divergence between different ceramic traditions two parallel and independent genetic lines in the Northeast Balkans can be recognized. The first sequence embraces the Khotnitsa and Cernavoda III cultures the former being older and the latter younger. This line mainly originates in the Central Balkan cultural milieu (Telish-Sălcuţa IV culture) with some later impulses from the Carpathian Basin (Boleráz culture). The second sequence leads from the Cernavoda I culture probably to the Cernavoda II culture. This line is based on radically transformed Gumelniţa traditions combined with strong influences from the Cucuteni-Tripolye area. A separate development line is represented by the Brăteşti group, which has to correspond the situation of a full cultural stagnation.

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