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Stratum plus. 1999. № 6

R. A. Rabinovich (Kishinev, Moldavia)

Dirhams on the Territory of Moldova: Cultural and Historical Context

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Pages: 263-275

The articles treats the problem of origin of the dirhams in Moldova in the early Middle Age. The author considers that the origin of the Kufic coins in the lands between the Carpathians and Dniester is not connected, as it is believed by other researchers, with this territory joining Kiev Russia in 30s of X century. The cultural and historical context of dirhams in Moldova is exclusively connected with the sites of a peculiar material culture of ring-like settlements of Echimauti-Alcedar type. A foreign and having no roots in this region culture probably belonged to a population, which had migrated here from the Balkans not later than the end of IX century, the “Tivertsy” of the chronicles. The dirhams were brought to Moldova by the Dniester, an important component of the so-called second route “from the Varangians to the Greeks” (the Black Sea – Dniester – Upper Western Boog – Wistula – Baltic Sea), which connected lands between the Carpathians and Dniester with Northern and Western Europe. Dirhams were not used in Moldova as means of circulation and payment. They were brought here as raw material for the local jewelry manufacture of silver embossed decorations, for example, earrings of “C” type (typology of “Wolyn” earrings by S. S. Ryabtseva). Partly, the manufactured decorations were sent to the North by the same route, towards Southern coast of the Baltic Sea, which is illustrated by concentration of “C” type earrings in the treasures of “broken silver” found in the basin of Wistula. It is likely, that the dirhams were brought to Moldova from this very territory, in other words, the raw material was exchanged for the ready-made products. Probably, the Kiev princes extending their power over the Dniester territory, the existing order of the dirham import was changed, which negatively influenced upon import of the Eastern silver coins in this region.



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