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Coțofeni culture

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Title: Coțofeni culture  
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Subject: Neolithic Europe, Neolithic, Romania in Antiquity, Archaeology of Bulgaria, Archaeology of Moldova
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Coțofeni culture

Coţofeni/Kocofeni culture
Period Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age, c. 3500 and 2500 BC
Usatove culture

The Coţofeni culture (Serbian: Kocofeni), also known as Usatove culture, is a Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age archaeological culture that existed for over 700 years in south-eastern Central Europe facing the Black Sea between the mouths of the Bug River and the Danube in present-day Romania, Moldova, and southern Ukraine.

The first report of a Coţofeni find was made by Fr. Schuster[1] in 1865 from the Râpa Roşie site in Sebeş (present-day Alba County, Romania). Since then this culture has been studied by a number of people to varying degrees. Some of the more prominent contributors to the study of this culture include C. Gooss, K. Benkő, B. Orbán, G. Téglas, K. Herepey, S. Fenichel, Julius Teutsch, Cezar Bolliac, V. Christescu, Teohari Antonescu, and Cristian Popa.

Geographic area

The Coţofeni culture area can be seen from two perspectives, as a maximum area of extent and as a fluctuation zone. The former covers the territories of present day Maramureş, some areas in Sătmar, the mountainous and hilly areas of Crişana, Transylvania,[2][3] Banat,[4] Oltenia,[5] Muntenia (not including the North-East), and across the Danube in present day north-eastern Serbia and northwestern Bulgaria.[6]


Absolute chronology

Coţofeni culture vessels, stone and bone tools, in display at the National Museum of the Union, Alba Iulia
Coţofeni culture pottery at Aiud History Museum, Aiud, Romania.

Bronze Age in Romania Unfortunately, most of the Coţofeni culture chronology is based on just three samples collected at three different Coţofeni sites. Based on these radiocarbon dates, this culture can be placed between roughly 3500 and 2500 BCE.[7]

Relative chronology

Cultural synchronisms have been established based on mutual trade relations (visible as imported items) as well as stratigraphic observations. There is an evident synchronicity between:

Coţofeni I - Cernavoda III - Baden A - Spherical Amphorae;

Coţofeni II - Baden B-C Kostolac;[8][9]

Coţofeni III - Kostolac-Vučedol A-B.

Relations with contemporary neighbouring cultures

During the evolution of the Coţofeni culture, there were clearly relationships with other neighbouring cultures. The influence between the Coţofeni and their neighbours the Baden, Kostolac,[10] Vučedol, Globular Amphora culture as well as the Ochre Burial populations was reciprocal. The areas bordering these cultures show cultural traits that have mixed aspects, for example Coţofeni-Baden[11][12] and Coţofeni-Kostolac finds. These finds of mixed aspects suggest a cohabitation between related populations.[13] It also supports the idea of well established trade between cultures.

See also


  1. ^ Fr. W. Schuster, 1867, Ueber alte Begräbnikftätten bei Mühlbach, în Programm des evanghelische Untergymnasium zu Mühlbach, 1866-1867, p. 3-16.
  2. ^ H. Ciugudean, 1996, Perioada timpurie a epocii bronzului în centrul şi sud-vestul Transilvaniei, Bibliotheca Thracologica, XIII, Bucharest, 1996.
  3. ^ Z. Kalmar, 1983, Descoperiri Coţofeni în bazinul someşan (Someşuri, Crasna, Almaş), in ActaMP, VII, 1983, p. 61-68.
  4. ^ H. Ciugudean, 2000, Eneoliticul final în Transilvania şi Banat: cultura Coţofeni, Bibliotheca Historica et Archaeologica Banatica, Timişoara, 2000.
  5. ^ D. Berciu, 1939, Arheologia preistorică a Olteniei, Craiova, 1939.
  6. ^ S. Alexandrov, 1990, Cultura Coţofeni în Bulgaria (Doctoral thesis, advisor. D. Berciu), Bucharest, 1990 (mss.).
  7. ^ P. Raczky, 1995, New data on the absolute chronology of the Copper Age in the Carpathian Basin, în Neure Daten zur Siedlungsgeschichte und Chronologie der Kupferzeit des Karpatenbeckens, Inventaria Praehistorica Hungarie, Budapest, 1995, p. 51-60.
  8. ^ P. I. Roman, 1977, Noţiunea de “cultura Kostolac”, in SCIVA, 28, 1977, 3, p. 419-429.
  9. ^ P. I. Roman, 1980, Der “Kostolac-Kultur”-Begriff nach 35 Jahren, in PZ, 55, 1980, 2, p. 220-227.
  10. ^ D. Nikolić, 2000, Kostolačka kultura na teritoriji Srbje, Centre for Archaeological Research, 19, Beograd, 2000.
  11. ^ I. Emödi, 1984, Descoperiri ale culturilor Coţofeni şi Baden în peşterile Igriţa şi Izbândiş, in ActaMN, XXI, 1984, p. 405-431.
  12. ^ S. Morintz, P. Roman, 1973, Über die Übergangsperiode vom Äneolithikum zur Bronzezeit in Rumänien, in Symposium Badener Kultur, Bratislava, 1973, p.259-295.
  13. ^ P. I. Roman, 1982, Constituirea noilor grupe etnoculturale de la începutul epocii bronzului, in Carpica, XIV, 1982, p. 39-49.


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